4 unexpected spots for your kid's next birthday party

Birthday party planning can be stressful. I get it. I have nine-year-old twin boys and we’ve had our fair share of big, blowout birthday parties. For a few years, we invited all 60(!) of their classmates. Thankfully, our days of parties are over. Now we try to invite a few close friends for a special activity like mini-golf or Great America. If you’re just getting started with your planning, you’re in luck. I’m sharing my recommendations for the best parties I’ve planned, researched or at...

Posted on February 20, 2018 at 8:24 AM by Jill Morowitz

NPN members get 15% to 50% off at Mathnasium

*PARENT PERK BY MATHNASIUM*
 

Math, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. Mathnasium's caring instructors are head over heels in love with math, and we're not shy about shouting it from the rooftops.

Math is delightful and interesting, and we love inspiring your family with all of its beauty and wonder! We can't wait to see what we can achieve together in the spring semester ... and beyond!

From counting by 2's to preparing for AP exams, Mathnasium helps students reach t...

Posted on February 20, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Free or cheap ways to entertain your kids on winter weekends

Photo: Evelyn Perez-Horita

Is your whole family about to lose their minds to cabin fever? Don’t let it get you down! There is so much free or cheap indoor and outdoor fun to be had. Here are some activities you and your special-needs kiddo can enjoy.

Around town activities
Free museum days Adler Planetarium, Chicago Children’s Museum, dancing with the kiddos at the Chicago Cultural Center, sensory Saturday at the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium and the Chicago History Museum.
Con...

Posted on February 15, 2018 at 2:48 PM by Evelyn Perez-Horita

NPN members get 15% off Field Museum membership

 

*PARENT PERK BY FIELD MUSEUM*

 

Give the gift of membership

A Field Museum membership supports one of the world’s finest museums and gives you many benefits to be enjoyed throughout the year. With an encyclopedic collection of cultural objects and biological specimens, The Field Museum is a place to visit again and again. Members enjoy free admission 364 days a year,* discounted tickets to special exhibitions, free coat check, reciprocal membership to 200+ museums, a special...

Posted on February 13, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Terrified of the flu? Here's what to do.

To keep your family healthy during the rest of the winter season, it’s important to keep our immune systems in tip-top shape. Here are some ways to keep your immune system boosted so those colds and flus don’t get you down.

Know what works and what doesn’t. First, understand that antibiotics are ineffective against the flu because influenza is a virus. Medications that are not effective against the flu can cause more harm than good, especially to our gut health. What do you do if you o...

Posted on February 06, 2018 at 1:10 PM by Jasmine Jafferali

NPN members: Get 20% off tuition at Chicago Grammar School

*PARENT PERK BY CHICAGO GRAMMAR SCHOOL*

Experience the Wonder of Learning at Chicago Grammar School 
Chicago Grammar School: where the traditional meets the progressive! CGS combines the richness of a classical curriculum with the latest engaging teaching practices. 

Chicago Grammar School is a private, PS-–8, independent school established to provide children with the essence of a classical liberal arts and sciences education. The CGS motto, Sapere Aude – Dare to Know, captures Ch...

Posted on February 06, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Tips for your next IEP meeting from a special-ed attorney

After working as a special education teacher for a few years, I attended law school with the sole intention of becoming a special education attorney who represented parents of children with special needs. In 1998—right out of law school—I was lucky enough to get a job doing just that.

For years, I attended hundreds of IEP meetings involving all types of special education issues. However, about five years ago, my perspective and practice were forever impacted when my own child was diagn...

Posted on February 05, 2018 at 12:49 PM by Lara Cleary

Cabin-fever busters your kids will love

It’s that time of year: shortened days of sunlight, exhaustion from all the holidays and we’re stuck inside with little ones, ready to pull our hair out. How could anyone survive this, let alone enjoy it? Yes, these are tough days, but with a few helpful hints, we are going to have fun! It may just be changing up the same old routine with a few new and different things. Enjoy the time together and know spring will eventually return.

Turn on the tunes. I always put on music, as it chang...

Posted on February 01, 2018 at 7:08 AM by Laurie Empen

Does your child have SAD, or is it just the winter blues?

As the lack of sunshine becomes a part of our daily lives, a certain gloom comes over many young people and is often assumed to be something ranging from “winter blues” to a depressive disorder called seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

According to kidhealth.org, “SAD is a form of depression that follows a seasonal pattern; SAD appears and disappears around the same times each year. People with SAD usually have symptoms of depression as winter approaches and daylight hours become short...

Posted on January 31, 2018 at 2:40 PM by Keisha Mathew

How to do Disney World and Disneyland right with kids in tow

Planning a Disney vacation can be an overwhelming experience filled with a mixture of excitement and angst. Here are some tips I’ve learned over our many trips to Disneyland (DL) and Walt Disney World (WDW).

Have a loose plan. Choose two to three things you want to accomplish each day, then go from there. I get input from my family then sketch out a general plan. You will definitely see and do more, but this allows you to plan FASTPASSES (line shortcut, free with your ticket). Consider...

Posted on January 23, 2018 at 7:44 AM by Christina Hollister