Cobble Hill

Best NYC Public Schools: Dual Language Programs

We're always adding new bloggers to our Mommy Poppins team, and we're thrilled to welcome NYC schools and education expert Blythe Grossberg to the fold. Blythe will be writing posts about NYC schools. For her first post, Blythe shares info about one of the hidden gems of the New York City public school system: dual language programs.

Available at all grade levels from pre-K to 12th grade, dual language programs are open to English language learners (ELL) and students whose first language is English. A bilingual education can help kids succeed in our multicultural world.

Learn more about how dual language programs work and some of the best bilingual programs in NYC public schools. 

City Stomp: An Awesome Interactive Music Class for Young NYC Kids

[UPDATED: July 18, 2012]

When I was researching music classes for my two-year-old, a friend of mine recommended I try City Stomp. She said it was as a more interesting and affordable alternative to the ubiquitous Music Together programs.

I was intrigued by the fact that City Stomp was created specifically for New York City kids. Plus, I loved that the class could accommodate my toddler and my newborn. So all three of us hopped aboard the City Stomp train, and boy were we glad we did. This parent-child music class is great fun for little kids (up to about age five), so it really works for sibling pairs!

Used Kids' Books in NYC: Where to Buy Second-Hand Children's Lit

As a novelist myself, I’m all for people supporting authors by purchasing brand-new copies of their books. However, as a budget conscious mom who has watched her two small children spill/drool/color all over expensive picture books, I know that sometimes buying used titles makes a lot more sense.

While there are lots of ways to snag second-hand kid-lit online—I see tons of kids' stuff up for grabs on sites like freecycle.org and paperbackswap.com—I really enjoy browsing used books in person. I always end up finding wonderful, weird vintage tomes, and I don't have to wade through all of the branded characters stocked by big box bookstores.

Here are my top shops in New York City to find used children's books.

Celebrate Bastille Day 2011 with NYC Kids

Fourth of July festivities may be over but on Thursday, July 14, you can celebrate Independence Day all over again, French-style. Bastille Day is a national holiday in France that commemorates the storming of the eponymous prison, a pivotal moment during the French Revolution.

In Paris, a huge military parade marches down the Champs-Élysées, followed by massive parties and fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. Although there won't be any processions or sparklers here in NYC, there are a few fetes. In fact, the Big Apple is home to one of the largest Bastille Day celebrations outside of the City of Lights, right on the Upper East Side.

While many of the activities are aimed at adults (sorry kids, you're not ready for wine yet), les enfants can get a taste of French culture (beyond French fries), and maybe even play a little pétanque. Liberté, égalité, fraternité! Here's how to celebrate Bastille Day in NYC with your family.

Great Prenatal Yoga Studios in New York City

Pregnancy is a strange and beautiful time. You get to grow an entire new human PLUS experience such joys as nausea, back pain, varicose veins, and more. Luckily, prenatal yoga can help with the various discomforts of pregnancy. It’s also a lovely way to commune with your growing child (and belly), prepare yourself for labor, and meet other expecting mamas. Here are six great prenatal yoga studios around the city.

Five Artsy Indoor Places for Tots in New York City

Say what you will about winter, it’s the ideal time for indoor art projects and encouraging creativity. But many art classes and drop-in studios are directed toward older kids, and may offer projects that are too complicated to hold your little one's interest. Here's a round-up of some of the best options for the under five set. So when your stir-crazy toddler has had it with your nubby crayons and crusty water colors, feel thankful that you live in a city where so many fun places offer outlets for the artsy tot. Here are five great options for those antsy days.

12 Great Hot Chocolate Spots in Brooklyn

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, which means six more weeks of winter. Luckly, we've lined up 13 of the best places to grab hot chocolate in Brooklyn, just in time for the cold, dark February weather. And if Phil is to be believed, you'll be enjoying a hot cup well into March.

See our posts on where to get a great cup of hot cocoa in Manhattan and Queens also.
 

New Tribeca Kids Film Club and 3 Other Cool Kids Movies Series

Earlier this week we wrote about a website that helps you choose appropriate movies for your kids. Another way to find great movies for kids is to check out one of the local film series where aficionados have selected for you movies that are outstanding.

And this week there's a new option because the people who bring you the Tribeca Film Festival are turning their filmy goodness to movies for kids with the brand new Tribeca Cinemas Kids Club. Read on for the scoop on this new film series where you can catch cool flicks for kids every other Saturday starting this weekend, plus three other cool film series you won't want to miss.

10 More Free Story Times for Indoor Fun

Sometimes a story time is just the right amount of activity for us when we don't want to commit to a whole involved outing, but we want something to do out of the house. Plus, they are relatively restful and easy for the exhausted grown-ups. We've written about the story times at Barnes & Noble and the New York Public Library, plus some others, but if you're bored of your same old, same old, here are some interesting new-to-you storytimes to check out, many of them in fun places that you'll be able to stretch your story hour into a full day of fun:  

Valentines Day Ideas: Parents’ Night Out Drop Off Childcare

Picture 50.pngTrying to save a few bucks by skipping out on a baby sitter doesn’t mean you have to be cooped up every Friday night, dreaming of sassy restaurants with plush furniture. Many places in New York City offer drop-off times, especially around Valentine’s Day, that allow you and your date to have some play time while the little guys are having a good (and safe ) time, too. Plus, drop-off services won’t leave your wallet as empty as that baby sitter of yours, you don't need to worry about paying for the car service home, and your kids will have so much fun they'll think it was their party night, not yours.

In honor of Cupid, skip the Netflix and try one of these happenin’ spots for a night on the town that’s fun for you and the kids. We've listed the Valentines Day event, but most of these places do a Parents' Night Out Event regularly, so check them out for now, or for later.

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