Preschoolers

Preschools in the Hartford Area

Preschool. Once upon a time, it was mostly a time for play dates, but today, childhood experts agree that attending a high-quality program prepares little ones socially and academically for the school years ahead. Deciding which preschool to choose can be tricky since programs can be customized, such as nature-based preschools, or those that offer a bilingual environment.

Below are 10 suggestions for preschools in the Hartford area; no doubt, we’ve missed some great ones, so feel free to share them with us in the Comments section. Our Preschool Guide also includes a few suggestions for those residing in Fairfield County.

Immersion Preschools in Northern and Central New Jersey

With brains like sponges, preschoolers are the perfect age to begin learning a second language. Studies have shown that kids who learn a second language during the preschool years go on to speak more fluently than those who begin to learn at an older age. In addition, bi-lingual children tend to be more creative, have better critical thinking skills and a better understanding of humanity and culture.  One of the reasons young children learn a new language so easily is because they learn through exploration and play. By immersing them in one of these outstanding foreign language preschools, you will be giving them them a lifelong gift that will allow them to succeed in the global economy of tomorrow. If you're looking for some after school language programs for kids of all ages, check out these Language Classes for NJ Kids.

Sunnyside Plays: A New Drop-In Play Space for Queens Kids

Western Queens just gained a new indoor play space for kids with the opening of Sunnyside Plays in, of course, Sunnyside. My family was super excited to have a new indoor playground so close to our neighborhood. In fact, we were amazed when we saw our 7-month-old son start crawling there for the first time. We are already making memories.

The spacious location on 48th Avenue, which just opened this month, is close to Sunnyside Library and Lance Cpl. Thomas A. Noonan Playground. Sunnyside Plays, founded by local parents Ed Kim and Vanessa Quinn, is 1,700 square feet of open, rectangular floor space with 16-foot ceilings. LED track lighting and the studio's vibrant colors give it a refreshing artsy loft feel. Kim and Quinn have art backgrounds and use their knowledge to offer events and classes for kids and adults. 

10 Ways to Beat the Heat on Long Island This Summer

August usually brings high temps and plenty of humidity, leaving Long Island families scrambling to find ways to cool off. Whether you want to enjoy the sunshine or retreat indoors to central AC, there are plenty of options in both Nassau and Suffolk counties to help you beat the heat--and all are guaranteed fun for every age. After all, you want to enjoy these last bits of summer before school begins. For more to do this month, check out our Summer Fun Guide.

10 Free Back-To-School Apps Every Parent Needs

Sending the kids back to school is akin to setting those New Year’s resolutions in January. It’s a clean slate and a period (however brief) of good intentions. Make the most of this optimism with these 10 smartphone and tablet apps to help you stay organized, help lend a hand with homework, and even help add some extra learning fun.  

We talked with teachers, principals and other educational experts about their favorite apps, and then we gave them a try to see how they worked. What follows is a list of our front runners, all designed to help you and your family get the school year off on the right foot. The best part? All of these apps are free. 

Looking for more parenting tips, back-to-school related and otherwise? Sign up for our free newsletters to have them delivered straight to your inbox.  

BASIS Independent Manhattan to Open in Fall 2017

School searches can be fraught with stress, but searching for the right fit in Manhattan seems to multiply the tension tenfold...at least! Whether you're searching for a Pre-K program, elementary school, middle school or beyond, finding the right fit for your child is paramount. From public to private to charter, there are so many factors to consider and the landscape is ever- changing.

If you're a Manhattan-based family in the market for a school next year, you've got a great new option: BASIS Independent Schools is set to open its first Manhattan school on the Upper West Side in fall 2017. Serving kids in kindergarten through grade 8, the aim of BASIS Independent is to build well-rounded individuals who are challenged by the schools' accelerated liberal arts and sciences curriculum.

Weekday Picks for LI Kids: Get Busy, Lil' Athletes

The final Olympic torch has been extinguished, but the competitive fire within so many Long Island kids still burns bright. This week lets your children sink hoops, line frozen ropes or spring into the air. With summer ending soon, there has never been a better time to get outside and get physical. It's also a great time to corral the family and head out to the Hamptons and/or North Fork.

5 Places to Watch Airplanes on Boston's North Shore

I met a fella recently who was stationed with binoculars on the border of East Boston and Winthrop, gazing at the planes lift off from nearby Logan Airport.

“It's beautiful to watch. It's almost mystical,” he told me.

A handful of youngsters also peered at the planes, which, depending on the wind direction, buzzed right overhead with a thunderous roar as they headed to destinations unknown.

If you have kids who are into aircraft, there are some great spots on the North Shore to watch the planes come into and leave the airport. Here are top viewing choices, along with other nearby activities – including the beach, restaurants, and playgrounds – to enjoy:

Fall Consignment Sales for Philly Families

Preparing a kid's closet for the cool breezes of autumn can hit a Philly family right in the wallet. But, it doesn't have to. Purchasing children's clothes by shopping local consignment sales is one way to save some cash. Throughout Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, consignment sales offer families a place to buy gently used clothing, toys, baby items, and other childhood staples for a fraction of the retail price. Additionally, when your kids grow out of their clothes or toys, consignment sales provide an opportunity to sell these items for extra money.

We are constantly adding and updating to our Fall 2016 Consignment Sale post so check back often. Consignment sale organizers can submit their events to our calendar by clicking here.

5 Ways to Ease the Preschool Transition for Kids — and Parents

The start of a new school year gets everyone's nerves jumping—including when it's time to make the transition to preschool.

Every child is, of course, different. Some love to dive into new adventures without so much as a look back. Others are more cautious, preferring to watch and get the lay of the land. But children and parents are bound to be apprehensive about a child's first day (week, month) in a new environment, surrounded by new people and new routines.

We asked veteran preschool teachers in the NYC metropolitan area for their no-fail tips to help make this transition a positive experience for all and came away with five top suggestions.

If you're still searching for the right preschool, check out our directory of NYC schools, as well as those in the surrounding suburbs, such as New Jersey and Westchester

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