Posts from: April 2016

Mine, mine mine! How to mediate playspace tiffs


Photo credit: Sabine75/Flickr

“What do I do when my baby reaches over and grabs another baby’s hair?” It's a common question at the playgroup I lead. 

As a teacher of young children—birth to three years—I see lots of exploration, curiosity and expression of wants that affect other children, as well as parents and caregivers. What is the best way to guide young hearts, hands and minds in a group setting?

It’s important to remember the age of the child. I have seen two babies,...

Posted on April 14, 2016 at 12:20 PM by Laurie Empen

NPN exclusive discount on summer camp for girls |

Inspire STEAM! Summer Camp, brought to you by Inspire Girls Academy, is an engaging day camp for girls ages 4 to 6 years old! Each day is dedicated to fun-filled real world exploration that opens girls eyes to the world around them. Each week girls will explore a theme highlighted by science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM) with a culminating project. Our curriculum will provide literacy, motor, social, and self-regulation skills through play, art, yoga, and more.


Posted on April 12, 2016 at 9:55 AM by Ellie Ander

12 truths about giving birth from an OB nurse

Photo credit: Mama Loves/Flickr

If you’re expecting, no doubt you’re receiving unsolicited advice and hearing horror stories. I’ve spent more than 20 years working in OB at three of Chicago’s leading maternity centers. Here is my perspective as a nurse.

1. There is no crystal ball. Labor is not an exact science. However, the majority of the time, mom and baby are fine, and most couples tell me it was a nicer experience than they expected.

2. The nurses aren’t mind readers. Tell y...

Posted on April 07, 2016 at 3:06 PM by Kim Wilschek

Perk discounts! Waterparks and more! |

Spring break is soon upon us, and there's still time to make some pretty "suite" plans. 

Your adventure starts with a splash at Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. As an NPN member, you'll enjoy an exclusive 30% discount on your stay, which comes complete with a deluxe suite and complimentary waterpark passes! Simply login to NPN and click here for your NPN Member promo code! Valid April 4 – June 23, 2016. Restrictions apply.

Your first stop is Moose Mountain F...

Posted on April 07, 2016 at 6:39 AM by Ellie Ander

The special needs of a special-needs parent

Photo credit: Julianne Neely


One thing I know with absolute certainty is that we wouldn't have been able to advocate as hard and effectively as we have for our children without our community. I also know that our kids wouldn't be as strong and stable as they are today without the amazing friends and family who have gone above and beyond to keep us, their parents, strong. 


Everyone knows someone with a special-needs child and I guarantee that even if they haven't asked or e...

Posted on April 06, 2016 at 10:50 AM by Julianne Neely

Create your own Pillow Fight Day with your family |

Photo credit: Gerald Peart

*SPONSORED BY DACRON® Brand Fiberfill*


International Pillow Fight Day (yes, this is a thing) was April 2, 2016, and Chicago was woefully unrepresented.

While people in cities all over the world—from Tallinn, Estonia to Sydney, Australia to Atlanta—were gathering in public squares to joust each other with soft, fluffy rectangles, Chicagoans just went about their business, oblivious to the fun they were missing out on. 

Luckily, there is no rule tha...

Posted on April 05, 2016 at 8:01 AM

Easy science projects to do with your kids |



Whether it's a rainy weekend or a day (or summer) off of school, it's hard to come up with engaging and fun activities for your kids when you're stuck inside. Mad Science of Chicago is here to help with exciting science experiments you can do with your child at home, and on the cheap!


Catch a bubble

How many times have you caught a bubble in your hands without breaking it? We're guessing not that many. That's because dirt or oil on your...

Posted on April 01, 2016 at 11:21 AM by Norman Mick