Archive for February 2012

A Lunch Break (for a great cause!)

A Lunch Break (for a great cause!)
School lunches and childhood nutrition are hot topics right now -- as they should be. This is one of those issues that has been overlooked for a long time and is now finally getting the attention it deserves. If you are free for lunch (a really delicious lunch) tomorrow, there is a way for you to do your part in supporting the healthy school lunch crusade. On Wednesday, February 29, Michael Kornick from MK (one of my favorite Chicago restaurants) will be hosting a Lunch Break for Schools fundraiser to raise money to support the Chefs Move to Schools program’s efforts to encourage healthier eating by kids – including eating more vegetables. Inspired by the recent news of the updated White House recommended school lunch menu and the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, the fundraising event will raise funds to promote healthy eating habits and proper nutrition amongst children...

Are you ready to Wake Up and Boogie Down with NPN?

Are you ready to Wake Up and Boogie Down with NPN?
If you are a parent in Chicago, you don't need an introduction to NPN (Neighborhood Parents Network). You know who they are and all of the resources they offer every Chicago family. I encourage you to come out and enjoy a morning of family fun, while also supporting NPN and all that they do to make it a joy to raise kids in the city. If you've never been to a Wake Up and Boogie Down event, check it out this year...

Celebrate Dr. Seuss' Birthday with Open Books

Celebrate Dr. Seuss' Birthday with Open Books
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” (Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”) How much Dr. Seuss do you read at your house? I myself just finished The Cat in the Hat Comes Back an hour ago (love that one). If you are Dr. Seuss fans, I've got a family event for you (featuring some of my very favorite creative people -- Nili and Candice -- I am looking at you). On Saturday, March 3rd, Open Books  (213 W. Institute Place, Chicago) encourages adults and children alike to experience the joy of reading with a one-day celebration in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday and national Read Across America day. Bringing Seuss’ creative, wacky, and educational novels alive, the day will feature three special guests, each paired with a unique Seuss-inspired activity...
Advertisement:

Guest Post: Play Matters

Guest Post: Play Matters
My husband and I have resolved to have more fun with our kids in 2012. We've found that we have a tendency to let the stress of our day-to-day lives interfere with having fun every single day (no matter what). As part of that plan, we are focusing more on playing together as a family. I am trying to spend more time on the carpet building LEGO towers and playing bingo. More play. More fun. When I was approached by a representative of Sharp As A Tack, a new organization in the city focusing on "play with a purpose," I was intrigued. I invited Caryn Lichtenberg, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Sharp As A Tack to share some thoughts on the importance of play and what her organization is doing to help, kids and educators play purposefully. A former kindergarten, 2nd grade, and 7th grade teacher, Caryn knows that play is important at all ages and stages. At Sharp As A Tack, she hopes to spread innovative thinking, imagination, and a sense of wonder. Here is what Caryn has to say about the role of play in learning. ------ You don’t need to ask a child what their favorite part of school is to know the answer. It’s recess, of course. Children love to play and they might know something about their brains that schools have forgotten. Play matters. In fact, our brains need play to practice and strengthen key academic and life skills such as problem solving, working memory, and empathy. ...

Be the Star of the Show at the Circus Zirkus

Be the Star of the Show at the Circus Zirkus
At the Chicago Children's Museum's newest exhibit Circus Zirkus, your kids don't just get to see a circus -- they can actually perform in the circus. At this one-of-a-kind exhibit, kids get a hands-on, interactive take on what it would be like to be a real circus performer. In the backstage area, aspiring circus performers can practice tumbling, juggling and balancing skills, create a circus poster, swing on the Flying Trapeze or take a twirl on the Spinning Hoop. Whew! The equally bustling performance area features Tricky Plates, Twirling Balls plus the opportunity to don costumes and entertain the crowd as a wacky clown. Or skip the main stage and sell hot dogs and ice cream, staff the ticket booth and cheer from the bleachers. This space is overflowing with super cool props (including my favorite -- fake 500 pound dumbbells so you can be the world's "strongest" man) and apparel for hours of imaginative play. I visited this exhibit with my three year-old son last week and we both had a blast. I was most impressed by two things...

The Windy City Circus Opens on February 17th

The Windy City Circus Opens on February 17th
Update 2/14/12: I received an email this morning saying that the entire 10-day run of the Windy City Circus has been canceled. My kids love a circus. So do I. But I really love a circus "with a purpose" that benefits worthy charitable causes. The Windy City Circus, a-new locally produced, professional circus featuring jaw-dropping circus acts and hilarious characters from around the world, will make its debut inside Navy Pier’s Festival Hall  on Feb. 17. This event promises a strong hometown feel, featuring cameo appearances by an assortment of famous and infamous Chicago-area historic figures. Here is the best part: 80% of net ticket sale proceeds will go to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana and the Special Olympics Chicago and co-sponsor Special Children’s Charities...
Advertisement:

Explore Sounds at Sonic Sensation at the Kohl Children's Museum

Explore Sounds at Sonic Sensation at the Kohl Children's Museum
I love the idea of kids (and frankly their parents too) exploring the concept of  sound. Talk about a fascinating topic. Psssst, Mom and Dad . . . it is okay for you to admit that you don’t exactly understand how sound works either (because it is super complicated and fascinating). Kohl Children’s Museum of... Read more »