Oct 15 School Fair - Must-Have Details

The Saturday, Oct. 15 Annual Preschool & Elementry School Fair is just days away!  Here are all of the details you need to prepare, arrive, and have a great school search experience.  


Read School Fair 101 for a helpful School Fair Q&A.

Create a Must-See list.  Review the list of exhibitors on our School Fair Event page (Scroll to the bottom of the page to see our list of 125 exhibitors)

Clean out your book shelves and bring a bag of ...

Posted on October 11, 2011 at 9:00 AM by Leslye Whittman

Playdate of the Month: October Mix It Up

Signs of Fall are here and the city is looking gorgeous.  The leaves are changing and mild yet brisk days are calling us to plan time outside!

Parks are perfect for Fall Playdates, and we are so fortunate to have incredible parks and tot lots in every neighborhood.  Here are some ways to plan a play date and Mix It Up this Fall.

1. Mix UP a FUN snack-

Last week I was inspired by the gorgeous trail mix bar at Lincoln Park Whole Foods.  We made a fun mix that had my so...

Posted on October 10, 2011 at 10:00 AM by Anne Book

Homework without Tears or Tantrums: One Month Later

One of the great things about being involved in NPN is the opportunity to seek experts to help address problems we are having at home.  The recent big one for our elementary school child was the nightly struggle over homework.  It seems that it is the last thing anyone wanted to do.  Fatigue.  Inattention.  Boredom.  Oh, and that's just me!

Last month's Nurturing Wisdom program "Homework without Tears of Tantrums" offered a lot of good tips on how to get homework done without a nightly...

Posted on October 07, 2011 at 9:00 AM by Bernadette Pawlik

October Fun: City Scarecrows to Ghouly Goodies

The weeks leading up to Halloween are full of outdoor adventures and easy ways to craft up a storm!  Here is our pre-Halloween plan.  Here's our plan - what's on your agenda???


Make some paper plate ghosts to ghoul up your entry way
Create your own Halloween wreath or hit up Paper Source to "make" your own (e.g., owl door wreath)
Pretzel fun - try these ghostly goodies for your next play group
Make some silly and sometimes creepy Halloween snacks!


Posted on October 06, 2011 at 8:00 AM by Sarah Cobb

Get ready to shop & save big! Oct.14-15

Want to buy incredible items for your kids and only pay a small fraction of the original cost?  Then mark your calendar for the Babies, Tots n’ More Fall Consignment Event, October 14-15.  Our twice-yearly event features thousands of quality, gently-used or new kids’ and maternity items, including children’s clothing (through Youth size 16), shoes, toys, books, games, baby equipment, furniture, n’ more.

Babies, Tots n’ More is Chicago’s first and only seasonal consignment sale; we know...

Posted on October 05, 2011 at 7:49 AM by Kristin Myers

Fresh from the Forum: Lunch Box Ideas

NPN's discussion forums are chock-full of millions of posts on topics ranging from behavior challenges to snack ideas!

School is back in full swing, and many parents are looking for something other than peanut butter sandwiches to pack in their kids' lunches every day.

Recently one of our discussion board users was seeking some creative lunch options. Our members posted some fun and healthy lunch box ideas, including:


Pizzas with whole wheat pitas from Trad...

Posted on October 04, 2011 at 10:17 AM by Melanie Schlachter

Teachers' Tips to Ease the Transition to First Grade

The beginning of the school year is exciting and daunting for every child, especially first graders. But Akiba-Schechter Kindergarten teacher Mara Katz reminds us that “so much about school is being comfortable.” Thankfully, you can ease the transition:

Make the Unfamiliar Familiar

Plan a play date with a classmate. If your child is new, knowing someone before that first day is even more important.

Visit the school. Check out the building and the neighborhood so your chil...

Posted on October 03, 2011 at 10:10 AM by Annette Gendler

Tips for School Success

The beginning of the school year is an excellent time for students and parents to become acquainted with the year’s goals and expectations. The following checklist may be helpful for parents when evaluating a child’s strengths and challenges.

Does your child:

Follow age-appropriate one- and two-step written directions? Spoken directions?

Begin and/or continue work independently?

Ask for assistance when he needs it?

Complete short-term assignments by the due da...

Posted on September 30, 2011 at 8:39 AM by Heather Bragg

Story Time Extravaganza - Read for the Record

Story times are the perfect way to enjoy an hour with your little ones!  I am so excited to be a reader at Building Blocks Toy Stores' story time week in honor of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record!  We hope to see you one day next week at a Building Blocks in Wicker Park (2130 W. Division) – please pledge to read and join millions of other concerned parents.

Building Blocks will donate $15 to Jumpstart on behalf of each child our local leader reads to at the events.  Thank you to Katherine M...

Posted on September 29, 2011 at 11:00 AM by Sarah Cobb

Sep 28 CPS Board of Ed Meeting from CNC

NPN has partnered with the Chicago News Cooperative to help parents get answers to questions they have about Chicago schools. CNC education reporters will contribute posts about how CPS works and what's happening at the board of education. CNC will also weigh in about state funding issues and trends in education. If you have a question you'd like to see addressed, please send it to cyednak@chicagonewscoop.org. 

CNC is our eyes and ears at the CPS Board of Education Meetings. Preview: C...

Posted on September 28, 2011 at 1:00 PM by Crystal Yednak