Off the Cuff Links:Play Forts

A collection of links on a random topic.

Forts are a great imagination-building activity for city kids on a cold winter day - or any day. Here's a collection of links to get your imagination going:

Wondertime (via nursery.apartmenttherapy) article featuring three different ways to build forts.

For the ambitious, check out MrMcGroovys awesome fort plans including instruction for cardboard castles and, perfect for city kids, skyscraper forts.

Playhut pop-up forts are perfect for apartment dwellers. One minute you have a suburban-style playroom, then fold it up, tuck it in the closet and nobody even knows you have kids.

For one dad's take on the fun of forts check out Ryan's Rage blog post, "Busy Hellions".

For more fort-building ideas pick up a copy of The Kid's Guide to Building Forts from Amazon.

Find more great activities like this in our Indoor Activities Guide.

 

 

An Overview of the NYC Preschool Admissions Game

Managing schedules, budgets, working and finding affordable childcare are a challenge for many NYC parents. Parents want to provide their children with the best and most affordable childcare experience available. Yet, the sheer number of programs is overwhelming, and costs are frightening. So, let us remove the vulnerability of being a new parent, misconceptions about educational philosophies and finances to find out how to deal with an application process shrouded in mystery, and trepidation. In an attempt to demystify the processes involved with finding the right preschool for your family, we reached out to Admissions Consultants, Preschool Directors and parents. What we discovered is that there are as many different and "great" preschools as there are perfectly wonderful children. The right preschool situation is out there for your family! With a few helpful tips, you will be able to navigate through the preschool admissions obstacle course and turn your experience into an opportunity.

Move back to NYC when you're ready to have kids

Thank you, Greg Allen of DaddyTypes, for bringing our attention to Steve Johnson's response to David Brooks' Hipster Parent rant. Johnson does a nice job of dissecting the multiple layers of BS in the editorial, but what I am really happy about was his main point - that the big deal with the hipster parent movement is the choice to raise kids in the city.

I'm so glad that he said that because I do believe that is a big deal and he's really hit on the crux of the matter. As Johnson says, let's "see the forest for the t-shirts." This obviously isn't an issue of whether you put your kid in a Power Ranger or a Pogues shirt as it's been (constantly) purported to be by the press. However, families moving back in to the cities is a huge cultural phenomenon and will have strong ramifications on our country for years to come.

I followed a link in Johnson's post to another article he wrote for Babble about how raising kids in the city creates beautiful communities. This is a wonderful article, well written and feels so true to me. It brought back a lot of feelings that have faded from my consciousness, but really shaped how I feel about living in the city with kids and the choices we have made since.

It's Square to be a Hipster Parent

I've been trying to stay out of the whole hipster parent smorgasblog, hoping it will just go away, but since David Brooks brought it up in his NYTimes editorial today - and my kids are asleep - I guess I'm going to enter the fray.

Needless to say there has been a lot written on this subject already, some of it smart, some of it entertaining, none of it really getting to the heart of the matter. From Neal Pollack's Alternadad, articles in TIME and New York Magazine to today's New York Times editorial, all of it seems to focus on whether it is OK to raise your kids like little mini-me hipsters or not.

So far I haven't heard anyone say anything about what is the true issue at hand - Hey, alterna-parents, you're not cool. And, yes, since I'm a native New Yorker I do feel qualified to judge you on this - that's why you're raising your kids here too.

Shopping for Schools in NYC

An article in the New York Times discusses the school choice process parents face for their children in NYC. In a city where education is such an important issue for families, parents and kids are stressing out over it earlier and earlier. The article questions whether educational choices give more options or whether "school shopping" just makes it harder for families.

Mommy Poppins was interviewed for the article and I will share excerpts of the interview with you. I hope it provides some useful information on the school process and the education choices for kids in NYC. Here's Mommy Poppins' experience:

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