Preschools

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Which Preschool? NYC Parents Spill on How They Found 'The One'

When it comes time to choose a preschool for your NYC kid, especially the first child, the decision can seem daunting. What if you pick wrong and she hates it? What if you hate it? What if he won’t get the leg up you’re hoping for at this school? What if...what if...what if….?

At the time, it might even feel like the biggest parenting decision you’ve made to date, besides perhaps where to give birth or which pediatrician would care for your new baby. Seasoned parents, however, will tell you: It’ll be OK. 

Trust your gut—and it’ll be OK—and if it’s not, switch, or there’s always next year!

Don’t take my word for it, though. Here are four NYC parents who have been through the sometimes agonizing process of picking out a preschool and are now sharing their stories on how they whittled down the choices, selected a school, and made it on to pre-K and kindergarten without losing their...marbles. 

Learn in the Great Outdoors at NJ Nature Preschools and Programs for Kids

As schools across the country cut recess in favor of test prep, and kids spend more time indoors staring at screens, there is a growing movement to reacquaint children with nature, free play, and the joy of exploring the great outdoors. Modeled after the forest kindergartens that have long been popular in Germany and Scandinavia, nature-based preschools, kindergartens, and other outdoor programs for young children are popping up all over the U.S., including New Jersey.

In these programs, children examine flora and fauna, climb trees, make art, splash in streams, play with mud, count sticks, sing, listen to stories, and more. Proponents of outdoor learning point to its many benefits, saying it can improve cognitive function and physical health, boost confidence and empathy, and even counter symptoms of ADHD. 

The Garden State offers a variety of options, from preschool programs that take place entirely outdoors to more traditional schools that place a premium on spending time outside. There are even parent-and-child classes, so grown-ups can get in on the fun, too. All promote child-led, unstructured play as a means to spark curiosity and foster learning and a love of nature. 

To find more opportunities for outdoor learning and exploration, check out NJ's great nature centers, and for a comprehensive selection of classes of all kinds, take a look at our guide to Classes and Enrichment Programs for NJ Kids

Affordable Preschools in Southeast Houston

In what seems like the blink of an eye, first smiles, first words, and first birthdays fly by leading up to one of the biggest firsts of all: The first day of preschool! So many factors play a prime role in determining what is best for a family when it comes to choosing a preschool. Price is definitely a major consideration that many families must make. Finding the perfect place for your little one to call their home away from home for a few hours a day can prove to be just a bit overwhelming…but it doesn't have to be. To make this big decision just a little easier, we’ve rounded up a list of our favorite affordable preschools in Southeast Houston.

10 Montessori Preschools for Long Island Kids

The days are long, but the years are short. Before you know it, it’s time for your little one to spread his or her wings and head off to preschool.

There are many preschool options on Long Island and choices can be overwhelming. But if you’ve decided a Montessori preschool is a good fit for your child, we’ve put together a list of 10 options to get you started on a search.

For the uninitiated, Montessori is an educational philosophy developed more than a century ago that encourages kids to be independent and learn at their own pace. Typically students are grouped by ability rather than age, classrooms are outfitted with specific learning materials, and specially trained teachers act as observers and facilitators.  

Take advantage of the tours and open houses these schools offer and bring along your child so he or she can get a feel for the school as well. For more learning opportunities for Long Island kids, check out our classes and enrichment guide.

Best Events for Preschoolers in NYC This Summer – Mostly Free!

Summer may be the best time to have a preschooler in New York City. Yes, the days are longer, but there is so much to do! From free concerts and festivals to swimming, sand-sculpting, and star-gazing, not a week goes by without outings and activities that will truly make lasting summer memories.

With this list of our best picks for summer events with your preschooler, you’ll find yourself wanting to stay in town to take advantage of it all. Best of all? It's almost all FREE.

Check out our Summer Fun Guide for NYC Kids for more to do for every age in every borough.

9 Co-op Preschools in Cambridge and Somerville

Choosing a preschool for your young child can be anything but easy. There are so many choices—bilingual or language-immersion, Montessori, cooperatives—that it’s hard to know where to begin. 

If you’re looking for a preschool that allows parents to actively participate with things like helping in the classroom and shaping school policy, then a cooperative preschool may be right for you and your child. Also know as a co-op, these schools’ educational philosophies can vary, but one thing remains the same: Parents are an integral part of the running of the school. Recently, we looked at co-op options in the west suburbs. This week, we’ve rounded up preschool co-ops in Cambridge and Somerville where teachers and parents work together to nurture little learners.

Affordable Preschools in Southwest Houston

Preschool is one of those things I never put much thought into until my son's third birthday was looming. I assumed finding a preschool would be a breeze, one of those tasks I checked off the to-do list in a day (cue the first time mom chuckles). Instead, I quickly realized that there are a lot of variables to consider when selecting a preschool for your child, some of which make a big difference and others that may not matter as much. For us, price was one of those make or break factors, and finding an affordable preschool proved to be a big hurdle to overcome. So for all the parents out there looking for affordable preschool options in Southwest Houston, we have you covered.

30 Things to Do with Westchester Preschoolers this Spring

With a storm behind us and some more winter weather in the forecast, it seems like spring might never come! But fear not—we will eventually see grass growing and flowers budding, even if takes a little longer this year.

We know what it can be like to be cooped up indoors with preschoolers during the winter, and we’ve rounded up some of our favorite things to do in the spring—many of which take place in the glorious outdoors! (And for those March is a lion, not a lamb, days, we’ve included some indoor activities as well.)

Looking for more ways to spend time with your preschooler? Consult our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters!

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