5 Fun STEM Activities To Get Preschoolers Excited About Engineering

Activities based on engineering principals offer a great way for kids to learn art, science, technology and concepts of literacy, while also strengthening fine motor, critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork skills. That’s the thinking behind STEM-based schools, like our sponsor BASIS Independent Brooklyn, which starts teaching engineering in its PreK classes. But learning engineering principles can happen at home, too, and BASIS Independent Brooklyn teachers have shared some of their favorite engineering-based activities from their preschool and K-4 classrooms to try with your family.

"With increased screen time in PreK-12 environments, there is a growing and important movement to build in time for actual 3D play into children's days," says Hadley Ruggles, head of school at Basis Independent Brooklyn. "Not only is engineering important for asking larger questions about the world around you, but it keeps important parts of kids' brains and bodies active." So challenge yourselves with these fun engineering activities, perfect for your preschoolers and older kids, too.

6 Mother’s Day Brunch Spots in Queens

By Elizabeth O'Connor

Just as its population is diverse, so are Mother’s Day brunch options in Queens for families with kids. It’s mom's special day, and she'll want to relax with family, sip a mimosa and eat great food knowing that spills won't be met with rolling eyes from staff. So we’ve curated this family-friendly list of brunch options in the borough, offering inventive twists on traditional favorites. Don’t worry, omelets and French toast are still represented.

Check out our suggestions for how to spend the rest of your 2016 Mother's Day in NYC, or peruse Brooklyn or Manhattan brunch options if you're thinking of hopping boroughs.

Cinco de Mayo Celebrations and Events for LA Kids

First let's set the record straight: Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. Mexico celebrates its independence on September 16, and—while the festivals might look similar—confusing the two holidays is as gringo as, say, putting pastrami in a taco. (Actually, scratch that—LA is pretty darned proud of its pastrami tacos.) Let's simply agree that just because the US named its independence holiday 4th of July doesn't mean that Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) is Mexico's independence day. What the day actually celebrates is an underdog Mexican victory over a French military attack on Puebla, Mexico in 1862. The holiday is mostly observed in Puebla and in Southern California, where there's little mention of the French, but much swinging at piñatas and dancing to mariachis. After all, by the first weekend of May, who needs more excuse than that to revel in the sunshine?

Discover the Magic of Pixar at The Franklin Institute

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind-the-scenes of your favorite animated films? Now's your chance to find out at the Franklin Institute's The Science Behind Pixar exhibit. See how Finding NemoToy StoryA Bug's LifeMonster's Inc. and more were created. From concept, to design, creation and the finished product this exhibit offers insight on even the most minute details of the process.

7 Must-Do Long Island Day Trip Ideas for Families

For those of us lucky enough to live on Long Island (especially during the summer months), there’s plenty of time to explore everything our beautiful home has to offer. But for families who might be coming in for just a few days, it's essential to make the most of your time here. With that in mind, we’ve come up with our top seven must-see locations for those taking a quick trip to Long Island.

Exploring these places—and we've included both indoor and outdoor fun so you don't have to worry about the weather—will leave you making plans for another visit ASAP. And for more to do in the area, be sure to check out our Events Calendar and Long Island Spring Fun Guide.

10 Kid-Friendly Breakfast Places in Somerville

During the last few years Somerville has become a haven for both foodies and families. With more parents with little ones moving into the city, many kid-friendly restaurants have been popping up all over town. 

While going out to dinner with small children isn’t always a fun or relaxing experience, breakfast is often a much better option. The next time you’re looking to dine out with the whole family, try one of these Somerville breakfast spots sure to please parents and kids alike.

Weekday Picks: Jet Propulsion Lab, Carnival of the Animals, Stargazing, April 25-29

Mark your calendars and book your Ticket to Explore: The annual open house at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is coming up the weekend of June 4th and 5th, and for the first time the free tickets must be booked in advance. They become available online Monday April 25th at 9:00am, so settle in front of the computer with a big mug of coffee and get in a virtual queue; these golden tickets are likely to go fast. Each applicant can reserve up to five spaces. If you score, you could follow up with an afternoon at the Science Center, where you and the kids can have a blast checking out Endeavor and other space related oddities.

Leave your computer home the rest of the week and head out into our fair city. Dance with Camille Saint Sëins’ Carnival of the Animals at the Broad Theatre in Santa Monica, revisit Marty McFly at a free screening of Back to the Future, or keep the space theme going by contemplating the universe at Garvey Ranch Observatory in Monterey Park, where you can make your own telescope and party with the stars.

From the desert to the sea, Mommy Poppins'  Event Calendar has you covered.

Weekday Event Picks for NJ Kids: Spring Festival, Hiking Adventures, April 25-29

As April comes to a close (already!), get outside and soak in the spring at seasonal events like Hiking Adventures: A Toddler’s Perspective, Mommy & Me Class at Rizzo’s Wildlife World and Cape May Spring Festival. Plus, put away the wallet and enjoy some fun freebies, like Whole Foods Wonder Wednesday Kid Club, Uptown Storytime and Story Stretchers. And don’t forget to check out our Event Calendar for even more options!

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