Cobble Hill

10 Montessori Preschools in New York City

Picking out a preschool is no simple feat. From dual-language and immersion programs to outdoor and nature-themed classes, there are so many options and, as always, so little time. But, if you're considering sending your child to a Montessori school, this roundup of some of the most popular ones in New York City could save you some stress.

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. Read on to see what makes these 10 NYC schools extra special, and you just might find the perfect fit for your preschooler.

Find more options in our Preschool Guide and Directory.

A Lego Pop-Up Has Landed in Brooklyn for the Holidays

An interactive Lego pop-up play zone from the folks behind Brick Fest Live opened in Downtown Brooklyn last weekend for a limited two-week engagement. You'll find Legos to play and build with, video games, a Lego block pit, walk-through exhibits made of Legos, collaborative projects, a Star Wars theme, and yes, shopping options. I visited with my 3.5 year old son over the weekend, so read on for what he (and I) thought of it!

The 1,500-square-foot Lego Holiday Experience is located in Brooklyn’s new City Point Brooklyn, an ongoing development project set to house a Target, Trader Joe’s, movie theater, giant food court, and other retail stores. While the website says it’s “open now," the only store that is actually open is Century 21 and this LEGO pop-up, so don’t count on getting food or much shopping done inside of the complex.

10 Dual-Language and Immersion Preschools in Brooklyn

Whether your child already speaks two languages or you merely want to expand their intellectual horizons, dual-language preschools can help. These schools promote knowledge and language learning in one neat package. Lucky for us, NYC is packed with immersion preschools.

We've already done a roundup of immersion preschools in Manhattan, and now we've pulled together a sampling of those in Brooklyn, the city's most populous borough. To find more preschools with dual-language programs or other preschool options, visit our NYC preschool directory.

Sensory Gyms in Brooklyn: 8 Spots for Children's Physical Therapy

We've written about sensory activities before, and while there are plenty of things your kids can do at home, sometimes you want an expert to address certain issues. That's when you might need a sensory gym, one of those highly specialized (and fun) spaces where occupational and physical therapists help kids. Children work on gross and fine motor skills, core strength, neurodevelopmental delays, balance, coordination, and sensory integration, but the activities are usually so engaging they just think they're having a great time.

Finding a sensory gym that's a good fit for your child can be a challenge. Once you do, snagging a great therapist and a decent time slot usually involves multiple wait lists (and relentlessly checking in on those wait lists) and a willingness to remain flexible about scheduling. Fortunately for Brooklyn families, the borough has a number of well-equipped sensory gyms staffed by accomplished therapists.

Trying to navigate NYC's special education services and programs? Check out our Special Needs Guide for NYC families.

Circus Arts Classes for NYC Kids: Learn Acrobatics, Juggling

My daughter was just 18-months old when she saw her first circus show (Big Apple Circus, of course). We've gone back every year and by the time she was in preschool, she was begging me to show her how to hula hoop, juggle and clown around. Except for the acting like a clown part, I am seriously circus-skill challenged. But there are lots of cool circus programs in NYC that are happy to teach aspiring acrobats and budding Bozos the tricks of the trade.

While we already have a post on trapeze classes for kids, the programs spotlighted here train children in a wide variety of circus skills, not just the aerial arts. Similar to theater courses, circus arts classes can help kids build their confidence, spark their creativity and get a great physical workout. Not sure how your kid would take to a circus class? A lot of these programs offer drop-in sessions so you don't have to make a long-term commitment. On the acrobatic flip side, if your kid is obsessed with circus, many of them offer semester-long courses and awesome summer camps, too. Here are 11 circus classes for kids in New York City.

You can find more NYC classes in our Classes Guide and Directory Listings.

NY Kids Club to Open Three New Locations in 2017

NY Kids Club will open three new enrichment centers and three more of its accredited NY Preschools in January 2017, bringing to 15 the number of locations across NYC. These new tot learning spots will be situated in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Dumbo and Cobble Hill, as well as Greenwich Village in Manhattan. Each will be equipped with state-of-the-art gymnasiums for ongoing enrichment classes and open play for members, as well as classroom space for the preschoolers.

The Dumbo location at 135 Plymouth Street in Brooklyn will house five classrooms contained within an 8,400-square-foot floor plan, while the two-story Cobble Hill location at 299 Court Street comes in at 6,000-square-feet with five classrooms. Greenwich Village's 11 Fifth Avenue location will be cozier at less than half that size and three classrooms. 

Anima: An Eery Woodland Art Exhibit Pops Up in Brooklyn

What’s the difference between humans and animals? Do all living beings have a soul? What happens to us after we die? These are pretty heavy questions to ask of your kids, but if you’ve been looking for a way to broach the topic with your little ones, the Anima exhibit at The Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn's Boerum Hill neighborhood may be your way in.

The small art installation, part of the Tilt Kids Festival, creates a quiet space away from the outside world, where you and the kids can marvel at the calm and power of nature, and all its living beings. Inspired by Mayan mythology, the installation asks, “What if all living things are equal?” We visited this unusual, immersive FREE exhibit and have details to help you decide if it's right for your little one and tips to help you plan your visit.

6 Favorite Brooklyn Prenatal Massage Spots

Pregnancy, for all its blissful reward, takes an undeniable physical toll on a woman’s body. Along with regular prenatal care, a top-notch therapeutic massage can work wonders to relieve muscle aches, reduce swelling and lower stress and anxiety for the mama-to-be. Not to mention growing humans is hard work and opportunities to indulge should never be passed up.

With the aches and pains of pregnancy still vivid in our minds, we rounded up six of our favorite Brooklyn prenatal massage spots. Among our picks, Swedish massage, with its focus on gentle muscle relaxation and boosting blood and lymphatic circulation, is often the prenatal massage therapy of choice, with add-on services available. Check out our NYC Baby Guide for more pre- and postnatal tips and services.

Strike a Pose at Monkey Do! Yoga in Brooklyn

Let's be honest: Kids practically invented yoga. From happy baby pose to downward dog, these forward bends, twists and headstands come naturally to youngsters. The just opened, kid-focused Monkey Do! Yoga in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn, sandwiched between two family-packed neighborhoods, Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, gets this.

The cozy, 700-square-foot studio focuses exclusively on classes for kids and families, which means an emphasis on play-based yoga that incorporates kid-sized props, games, stories and songs and fun themes like a Girls Are Superheroes session. Prenatal yoga, baby and me yoga, yoga for crawlers and family yoga where caregivers can join the fun and weekly open play hours are also on tap. Read on for our review. 

Mega Indoor Play Space Curiosity On Court Opens in Cobble Hill

Families are flocking to Curiosity on Court, the new indoor play space that just opened in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. And for good reason. With custom play structures and exhibits, open-play hours, weekend hours, date nights and birthday party packages, Curiosity on Court is a great addition to the recent spate of indoor play spaces opening up in Brooklyn.  

Read on for our parent review of this new kid hot spot.

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