Jessica Laird

Jessica Laird

Latest posts by Jessica Laird

Science, Language & Arts International School Brings New Language Immersion Programs to Brooklyn

Bienvenue to Brooklyn! Or should we say 欢迎?

Dual-language schools are all the rage as parents and educators realize the growing importance of preparing kids for our quickly globalizing world. Here in Brooklyn, Science, Language & Arts International School (SLA) continues to grow with the increasing demand for its innovative and effective immersion program. Founded by linguist and bilingual education specialist Jennifer Wilkin back in 2011, the independent school has expanded to offer a rigorous, project-based education in a bilingual French or Mandarin setting for kids ages two to fourteen. And starting this academic year, SLA is launching a brand new pre-K Mandarin immersion track to run alongside the existing French immersion track, as well as middle school tracks for 6th to 8th graders in both Mandarin and French.

Not only does SLA offer a rich science, math, and arts curriculum in a bilingual environment, but it does it at a significantly lower tuition than many other local private schools.

New Guidelines and Tips for Early Allergen Introduction to Babies

From crying it out to co-sleeping, swaddling to self soothing, conflicting parenting ideas can make our poor sleep deprived heads spin. And even more so when it comes to feeding. For​ ​decades,​ new parents​ ​were​ ​instructed not to introduce possible ​allergens before baby's first birthday or later. Foods like fish, eggs, cow's milk, and peanuts were stuck under a fridge magnet with a scary warning about potential life-long allergies, and the need to create an allergy management plan, if your little one was found to have an allergy when you finally introduced these forbidden foods.

More recently though, research is changing the way families approach the introduction of potentially allergenic foods. In fact, in 2015, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) said that there is no reason to delay the introduction of potentially allergenic foods past 4-6 months of age - a total reversal from previous beliefs and practices. Since that time, even more research regarding the early introduction of allergens has been pouring in and, most recently, the FDA approved a qualified health claim for the early introduction of ground peanuts just this month.

Head spinning yet? We’ve partnered with Inspired Start to provide tips to simplify introducing potentially allergenic foods to baby, in accordance with AAAAI’s latest information:

Zombies and Wizards Teach "Sneaky STEM" at Guard Up in Boston Area

Celebrate a birthday by battling the undead in a zombie apocalypse. Spend the school break brewing potions in the Mages' Guild. Cap the school day with an epic afternoon NERF battle. These fantastic adventures are 100% reality at Guard Up, a local spot in Burlington and Waltham, Massachusetts, offering weekly classes, summer camps, birthday parties, and school holiday camps for ages 4 and up.

As magical as Guard Up may seem, the real wizardry is that the carefully developed programs actually teach creative problem-solving, leadership, teamwork, and yes, even STEM, all through gamified adventures kids will love. And that's just the tip of the iceberg; the more you hear about Guard Up the cooler it sounds.

New LICM4All App Helps Families Enjoy The Long Island Children's Museum Even More

The Long Island Children's Museum gets it: under the best circumstances, it takes planning to pull off a great outing with kids; if your child has special needs, even more so. That's why we think their new smartphone app isn't just smart, it's brilliant.

Designed specifically to support children with neurodiversities and physical challenges, the free LICM4all app aims to take the guesswork out of planning a visit to the museum. Before the trip, families can download the app from either the App Store or Google Play and create a totally customized schedule based on their interests, as well as their needs. Short videos offer a sneak peek into current exhibitions, while also showing kids what to expect — like that they may get a little messy at the Bubbles exhibit, or that they might have to wait their turn at the TotSpot. Meanwhile, the color-coded, sensory-friendly museum map identifies galleries that are quieter or louder, and a list of tips provides parents with helpful details on accessible parking, restrooms, service animals, and more.

Léman Manhattan Launches a New "Grown-Up and Me" Toddler Program

Léman Manhattan Preparatory School has been serving preschoolers in downtown Manhattan for the past twelve years, but parents of even littler learners will be happy to hear there's a brand new toddler program in town. Developed by the school's experienced early childhood educators, Léman Explorers is a “grown-up and me” class that aims to give children ages 16 months to 3 years old the skills and confidence they need for preschool and beyond.

Music Together Sing Shalom, New Jewish Music Program For Long Island Families

For many moms and dads, Music Together® might as well be the official soundtrack to early parenthood. Even those who haven't taught their toddlers to shake a tambourine at one of the many classes available across Long Island are probably familiar with the much-loved program that brings kids and caregivers together through music and movement. And while Music Together has been a family favorite since it first launched in the eighties, its latest collaboration with The Jewish Education Project is a really exciting new addition to the already-popular offerings.

Car Seats Are Now Available for Lyft Rides Across NYC

When you just can't face rush hour on the F train with your stroller, or you're already running 15 minutes late for morning drop off (again), a cab can be a lifesaver for an NYC parent. But if you've got a little one who needs a car seat, the ultimate hack quickly becomes a major hassle, since you need to lug a seat with you or find a car service that actually has them on hand. Luckily, it looks like someone over at Lyft has heard the cries of commuting parents everywhere, because the popular and affordable app just rolled out a new car seat option that makes it really easy to call a car for you and your kiddo.

Dying to know the details before your next missed-the-bus Monday morning or too-wiped-out-to-walk Wednesday? Well, we've got answers to your biggest Lyft car seat questions, and a sweet discount on your next ride.

Sylvan EDGE STEM Classes (Almost) Too Cool for After-School

We're forever amazed by the things kids are learning to do these days. From coding to building robots, today's kiddos are mastering critical 21st century skills that will help them excel in school and, ultimately, their careers. And the best part of all is that places like Sylvan Learning have figured out how to make engineering, coding, and even math, fun. Sylvan Learning believes that engaging and interactive experiences during this pivotal time help nurture an early love of STEM, which can literally serve kids for a lifetime.

We recently took a bunch of kids to try out a Sylvan EDGE STEM program for an afternoon, and we couldn't believe what they created. Check out the video to see what your little learners could be doing at Sylvan.

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