Vacation Countdown

Source: Cristina, CPL

Most summers we stick around to enjoy all that Chicago has to offer, but this year we're packing our bags and heading to California. Coming along for the trip will be our Summer Learning Challenge Explorer’s Guide as we continue to read, discover and create. What vacation books or music are your favorites? Here are some things […]

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Ferris Wheels: A Chicago Original

Ferris Wheel, Navy Pier, Chicago

Are you ready to ride the sparkling new Ferris wheel coming to Chicago next year? If you've been to Navy Pier recently, you've seen all the construction taking place in honor of Navy Pier's centennial celebration in 2016. Among the changes will be a new 196-foot Ferris wheel. That's almost 50 feet taller than the Ferris wheel […]

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Cinco de Mayo 101

Source: melycgcg, Flickr

How much do you know about Cinco de Mayo (the fifth of May)? People often confuse Mexican Independence day, which is September 16, with Cinco de Mayo. Growing up, my family attended the Mexican Independence Day parade every year, but we never did anything for Cinco de Mayo. So what exactly is Cinco de Mayo? Cinco […]

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¡Festejando Día! Celebrating Diversity in Action!

Source: Cristina, CPL

On April 30 join niños (children) all over the country for El día de los niños/el día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day), also known as Día. When author Pat Mora heard that many countries observed Children's Day on April 30, she brilliantly decided to include books, culture, heritage and language to give us a new holiday […]

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Jolly Helpers

Elf on the shelf in hot air balloon

It's almost that time of the year again! Santa's workshop is in full swing as they get ready to deliver presents all over the world and children everywhere are on their best behavior to be sure to make it onto the nice list. We always think about dear old Santa, but what about all the others that […]

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Hooray for Bilingual Children! ¡Celebremos a los Niños Bilingües!

Source: Cristina, CPL

Are you raising a bilingual child? October is Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month and I'm excited to have a month especially for our children! I want to raise my boys bilingually like I was. Recent studies have shown that being bilingual is extremely beneficial for many reasons. Bilingual children have better cognitive and literacy skills, are better multi-taskers and find […]

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Play Outside the Box

Source: Cristina, CPL

My children have an infinite amount of toys ranging from small and simple to large and complicated. So which is the best toy? It's always the empty box that provides them endless adventures. Not only is it fun, but it allows them to use their imagination, creativity and most importantly they learn as they play. The next time […]

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New Mexican Cinema Films with Nail-Biting Plots

Source: Matt, Flickr

Whenever I think of Mexican movies, classics that feature Mexican icons like Maria Felix, Pedro Infante and Mario Moreno "Cantinflas" always come to mind. While my dad is a huge fan of Cine de Oro (Golden Age of Mexican Cinema), I am not. Luckily I discovered Nuevo Cine Mexicano, which started in the early 1990s and features contemporary story […]

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Arrr! Pirates for a Day

pirate ship at sunset

Yo-ho-ho mateys, arrrr ye ready!? September 19 is Talk Like a Pirate Day! What can be more fun than dressing like a pirate? Talking like one!! Talk Like a Pirate Day started as a small celebration among friends in 1995 after an outburst of "Aaarr!" when John Baur and Mark Summers were playing racquetball. They realized that […]

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Prepping for Kindergarten

Kindergarten

It's Get Ready for Kindergarten Month! Are you ready for the first day of kindergarten? In my house we are getting ready for a full day of kindergarten. I expected a smooth transition for my son since he's going to kindergarten at the same school he attended preschool for two years. But that is definitely not the case. Besides […]

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