A Fall Centerpiece Made By (and for) Little Hands


Fall is a fabulous time to learn about color, shape, and texture: Think beautiful red maple leaves, bumpy orange gourds, and smooth brown chestnuts. Bring the beauty of fall to your home, and encourage your child to explore these concepts, by creating a coffee-table centerpiece filled with autumnal objects he’s free to touch—and touch and

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Turn Your Picky Eater into a Foodie


By Kim DeMarchi and Ann DeWitt “Eat two more bites!” “I swear, Izzy will only eat chicken nuggets!” “We don’t have a single gram of sugar in our house—and that’s how it’s going to be now and forever.”  “I make a quesadilla for Kai and one meal for us—it’s the only way he’ll eat!” Welcome

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4 Wet-and-Messy Activities for Babies, From Award-Winning Teacher Megan Martina

Top early childhood educator Megan Martina encourages the children in her class to explore the world. Photo by Getty Images.

Twice a week, every week, the boys and girls in our infant classrooms get wet and messy. In fact, “Wet and Messy” activities—in which babies are encouraged to explore, touch, feel, and even crawl on different materials and textures—are a core part of our infant program. There’s a reason for that: “Babies learn so much

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7 Readaloud Tips from a Top Teacher

Ed Award Ari Duquel

Ari Dacquel is a story time expert, a reading master, and a connoisseur of questions—she asks LOTS of questions. A kindergarten teacher at Lacey KinderCare, in Washington, and one of our 2015 Educator Award winning teachers, Dacquel loves reading—and  the kids in her classroom love it, too. “As a child, I reveled in books. I

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Living Room Forts Are Awesome

This is the stuff that great childhood memories are made of. Photo by Brian McEntire/Stocksy United

’Tis the season when cold, wet, and windy weather can keep kiddos cooped up indoors … and that means ’tis the season for the blanket fort! With a little imagination, sheets and blankets draped over tables, couches, or chairs can become superhero caves, bear dens, elf houses, mermaid grottos, the “office,” and oh so much

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You Got This! Advice for New Parents, From Award-Winning Infant Teacher Janet Simons


Janet Simons has spent 25 years—an entire career, really—caring for infants at Shoreview KinderCare in Minnesota. How many babies has Simons nurtured over the decades? “It’s so many babies, that I wish I would’ve kept track,” she says. “It’s an awesome number.” Awesome, indeed. This year, Simons won an Early Childhood Educator Award for passion an

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Nightmares No More!

As children's imaginations blossom, so may their nighttime dreams, both good and bad. Photo by Lawrence Sawyer

It’s the wee hours of the morning, and your child is standing at your bedside, tugging at your arm, wide-awake and scared: She’s had a nightmare. While witnessing it can tug at your heartstrings, know that it’s also quite typical for children. “Dreams, even disturbing ones, are a part of normal development,” says Dr. Elizabeth

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Crantastic! 10 Things To Do with Your Leftover Cranberry Sauce

Photo by gitusik.

Ruby-hued cranberry sauce adds that perfect sweet-tart touch to your savory Thanksgiving feast—but you’ve probably noticed that one bag of cranberries makes a heackuva lot of sauce, leaving you with a heckuva lot of leftovers.  Of course, you can use cranberry as a turkey-sandwich filler (highly recommended) but you could also give this holiday side

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The Jaws Effect, aka Why I Now Hate the Ocean


Back in 1978, when I was just four years old,  my mother—no doubt in an admirable attempt to keep me on the crest of the cultural zeitgeist—decided to take me to see one of the year’s highest grossing film:  Jaws 2. It didn’t go well. You may recall the theatrical release poster, featuring a bikini-clad

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Penguin Power: When Walking on Ice, Take a Tip From an Arctic Expert

When the temperatures drop, do the penguin walk. Photo by photorom.

Well before the first snow storms hit, freezing temperatures can turn parking lots, sidewalks, and streets into winter versions of a Slip ‘n Slide®. While icy slips and falls have provided plenty of fodder for America’s Funniest Home Videos, we want our families (and all families) to stay upright and safe, whether they’re coming in

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