Got 1 Minute? 3 Art Games to Boost your Kid’s Strategic Thinking, Problem Solving and Visual Recall

By Ruthie Briggs-Greenberg It’s Monday. You have to get your kids to school, and you’re only on your first cup of coffee. What can you do that will help them think better and not annoy you? An art activity! What, you ask, is an “art activity”? It’s something that exposes kids to art. Why should you […]

Amy Cahill of More Than Milk is Giving Back to Chicago–A Few Hundred Moms & Kids at a Time

By Lela Nargi Amy Cahill remembers the afternoon last December when she was shopping with sons Max, age four, and Logan, age 2, at the Target near their Lincoln Park high rise. Spotting two sparkly plastic princess crowns, Max turned to his mother and insisted, “We’ve gotta get those!” They were a perfect match for […]

Max Ventilla of AltSchool is Taking Tech–and More–to the Classroom

by Lela Nargi What makes a career tech guy chomp at the bit to open his own elementary school? The “disheartening” experience of applying for preschool on behalf of his own daughter. “It’s insane,” says Max Ventilla, founder of AltSchool, a four-location network of independent micro-schools in San Francisco, the first of which he opened in September […]

Are You Afraid? A Message to Daughters, From a Daughter

By Eliza Reynolds Are you afraid? I know that I am sometimes. There are moments when I have been so afraid of life beginning —like becoming-a-grown-up beginning—because then I might discover that I’m a failure, or a total disappointment, or maybe (whispers an especially dark part of my brain) never truly, fully lovable, except by my […]

Meet the Music-Loving Solares Family, Bucktown, Chicago

Photographed by Thomas M. Kubik | © 2015 TK Photography | www.tkphotographychicago.com

By Lela Nargi Jessica Solares and her husband, Luis, don’t just teach music in Chicago’s creative epicenter; they live music, too. Parents to 3-1/2-year-old Lucia, who attends preschool at Bucktown Academy, near the Solares’ Bucktown Music studio, the two met at Elmhurst College, where they both studied Music Business —a major Jessica describes as “odd” and also uninspiring when […]

Crafty Kids: How to Make Maps of Your Neighborhood–and Your Imagination

Children love maps. The graphic imagery of even the simplest charts can give them lots to feast their eyes upon, and to dream about. But maps also help them make sense of the world around them—something grownups, who’ve committed thousands of routes to memory, often take for granted. The warming weather provides the perfect opportunity […]

Crafty Kids: How to Make a Beaded Woven Plant Hanger

It’s spring, which means it’s a great time to bring some nature inside for you and the kids to nurture and enjoy. These easy decorative plant hangers are easy to bead together—think of them as macramé without the fuss. And they serve a three-fold purpose: they provide a fun craft for an otherwise dull afternoon; they enliven […]

Crafty Kids: How to Make Beaded Key Fobs

The title of this craft begs the questions: what exactly is a fob, and why on earth would any kid want to make one (aside from the fact, of course, that they’re really pretty)? Traditionally—meaning, in the late 19th century—a fob was a decorative chain that attached your pocket watch to your person. Since not […]

Crafty Kids: How to Make a Woven Yarn God’s Eye

Woven Yarn God's Eye

The ojo de Dios (Spanish for “eye of God”) is a folk toy with origins among the Huichol Indians of the Sierra Madre. The four points of the crossed sticks are said to represent the elements of earth, air, water, and fire; the finished eye, replete with alternating stripes of yarn, is meant to offer health, fortune, and long […]

Crafty Kids: Nifty Back-To-School Projects– with Tape!

Duct tape crafts have been hot for the past couple of years because a) they’re easy to put together and b) pretty much every child loves tape! You can help boost the excitement for back-to-school in your kids and tweens with these two fun (and useful) crafts from our friends at Duck Brand Tape. Chalk Circle […]