7 Toys That Help Kids Learn Through Play

7 Toys That Help Kids Learn Through Play

The holidays are just around the corner, and you’re no doubt already thinking about what to get your little ones. Fun is the top priority in searching for toys and gifts–but giving gifts that will help kids learn creates an added bonus. There are so many cultures, concepts, ways of life, and more for kids to explore through toys that you can gift a whole world in a few boxes! To help you get started searching, Allyson McCormley is here with seven toys and toy lines that make learning fun. From world cuisines to STEM concepts, there's no shortage of knowledge or entertainment in this lineup.

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New STEAM-Focused Preschool Center Will Open in Corona in Fall 2021

New STEAM-Focused Preschool Center Will Open in Corona in Fall 2021

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson, and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza recently announced that a new STEAM-focused, state-of-the-art, 306-seat Pre-K Center will open in Corona in the fall of 2021 in partnership with the New York Hall of Science. This partnership will allow students and parents access to resources at NYSCI, including specialized proessional learning and coaching for teachers, and opportunities for family and community engagement. This Pre-K Center will be the first of its kind in the city to focus on early childhood STEAM education while partnering with a cultural institution.

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Tutors, Test Prep, and Academic Enrichment Programs for Kids in Queens

Tutors, Test Prep, and Academic Enrichment Programs for Kids in Queens

UPDATED November 2019: Children who are struggling in school can lose the motivation to try in specific subject areas, while other children need more challenging curriculum because they are in a gifted and talented program. Sometimes children who are doing fine in school want a little extra learning to get ahead in a subject, while other children just need help preparing for the SAT, ACT, Regents, or state exams. If your child falls into one of these categories, a tutoring program, academic enrichment program, or test prep program in Queens could be just right for you. So consult our comprehensive list of tutors, academic enrichment programs, gifted and talented programs, and test prep centers in Queens to find the perfect program for your child. These services are located in Fresh Meadows, Elmhurst, Auburndale, Floral Park, Bayside, and Forest Hills, as well as locations in Manhattan and on nearby Long Island.

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After-School Academic Enrichment, Classes, Programs, & Tutors for Kids in Queens

After-School Academic Enrichment, Classes, Programs, & Tutors for Kids in Queens

UPDATED November 2019: Looking for after-school academic enrichment classes and programs for your child in pre-K to 12th grade in Queens? This directory provides you with a broad range of resources, including after-school enrichment classes that offer additional support in reading, writing, and math. Additionally, there are programs geared specifically toward both gifted and talented children, as well as academic enrichment classes for children with special needs (including ABA therapy and speech therapy). Classes and at-home tutoring services are available to prepare children for a variety of tests including the ELA, Regents, state, and standardized college admission tests such as the ACT, PSAT and SAT. Have a STEM enthusiast? You’ll also find classes in web design, front end development, and coding. And for foreign language and writing enthusiasts there are Spanish classes and a creative writer’s workshop. These after-school academic enrichment classes and programs are located throughout Queens and the surrounding area such as, including locations in Bayside, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Forest Hills, Woodside, Middle Village, Auburndale, Floral Park, Rego Park, Whitestone, and Elmhurst, as well as on nearby Long Island, including Roslyn Heights, Huntington Station, Melville, Brookville, and Great Neck.

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Preschools, Nursery Schools, Day Cares, and Pre-K Programs in Queens

Preschools, Nursery Schools, Day Cares, and Pre-K Programs in Queens

UPDATED November 2019: Ensuring your child has a good early childhood education sets the tone for the rest of their educational careers. And deciding between traditional, Montessori, Catholic, parochial, private, independent, public, or charter is a huge decision. We know the preschool application process can be brutal, so we're here to help with a roundup of the best preschool options in Queens. These preschools, nursery schools, and pre-K programs set the foundation your child needs to progress to kindergarten. You'll find preschools in Whitestone, Forest Hills, Flushing, Great Neck, Fresh Meadows, Rego Park, Elmhurst, Little Neck, Kew Gardens, and a few in nearby Nassau County.

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School, Camp, & After-School Class Open Houses in Queens This Month

School, Camp, & After-School Class Open Houses in Queens This Month

UPDATED November 2019: The best way to get to know camp directors, counselors, teachers, faculty, and staff at schools, summer camps, and after-school classes is to attend an open house in Queens. Many open house sessions offer tours of the camp or school, opportunities to meet teachers, counselors, current students and campers, and sample classes and programs. You may even be able to speak directly to the head of school, admissions team, or camp director to determine if it’s the right school, day camp, or after-school program for your children in Queens. Various schools, camps, and after-school programs are hosting open house sessions throughout Queens this month, from tutors, academic enrichment programs, music schools, day camps, and specialty camps, to charter schools, magnet schools, private schools, preschools, and independent schools. These open houses are being hosted across Queens, including open house events in Jamaica, Corona, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Forest Hills, Flushing, Bayside, Howard Beach, Richmond Hill, Long Island City, Astoria, and Ridgewood.

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School, Camp, & After-School Class Open Houses in Westchester County This Month

School, Camp, & After-School Class Open Houses in Westchester County This Month

UPDATED November 2019: Attending an open house session in Westchester County is the best way to determine whether a summer camp, after-school class, or school is right for your child. Open houses offer parents opportunities to meet camp directors, counselors, teachers, faculty, and staff; tour the camp or school; and participate in sample classes and programs. Various schools, camps, and after-school programs are hosting open house sessions across Westchester County this month, from independent schools and private schools to summer camps, day camps, and more. Open houses are being offered at schools, camps, and programs throughout Westchester County, including open houses in New Rochelle, Hartsdale, Purchase, Bronxville, Yonkers, Scarsdale, White Plains, Tarrytown, Larchmont, and Yorktown Heights. You’ll be able to experience Westchester County camps and schools to determine which one is the right fit for your children.

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Private Schools, Independent Schools, and International Schools in Queens

Private Schools, Independent Schools, and International Schools in Queens

UPDATED November 2019: Whether your child wants a more rigorous curriculum, wants a special college preparatory education, or thrives in a smaller classroom setting, a private or independent school may be the right option for you. Queens is home to variety of high-quality private and independent schools for kids in kindergarten through 12th grade, including international schools, bilingual schools, schools that foster creative thinking, Catholic schools, schools that provide individualized curriculums, schools catered to children with learning disabilities, and schools that focus on preparing students for higher education. These private and independent schools in Queens are located Briarwood, Great Neck, Fresh Meadows, Flushing, Forest Hills, East Elmhurst, College Point, Woodside, Jamaica Estates, as well as Port Washington and Commack on Long Island.

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Charter Schools, Public Schools, and Magnet Schools in Queens

Charter Schools, Public Schools, and Magnet Schools in Queens

UPDATED November 2019: With the ability to choose a public school for your child in Queens, the choice can seem daunting—from weighing the benefits of each school to figuring out whether your child will do best at the regular public school, a charter school, or a magnet school. Each has its pros and cons depending on what your family values in terms of education, so we’re trying to help make the selection process a little easier. We’ve compiled a list of some of Queens’ public schools, including charter schools and magnet schools to assist you in deciding which environment is the better option for your child. Public schools provide general education in all subject areas and are overseen by the Department of Education administration, while charter schools are independently run public schools that are overseen by the New York State Board of Regents, the State University of New York Board of Trustees, or a local board of education. Like public schools, magnet schools are overseen by the Department of Education; unlike public schools, magnet schools typically focus on a themed curriculum, including science, technology, engineering, and math; fine and performing arts; international studies, career and technical education, and world languages. This list of schools in Queens includes magnet schools with focuses on STEM, STEAM, innovation, global studies, leadership, and foreign languages; charter schools that focus on a hands-on approach. These schools are located in such neighborhoods as Flushing, Corona, Jamaica, Far Rockaway, Rosedale, and Springfield Gardens.

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Catholic Schools, Religious Schools, and Parochial Schools in Queens

Catholic Schools, Religious Schools, and Parochial Schools in Queens

UPDATED November 2019: Catholic schools, religious schools, and parochial schools offer rigorous academic study paired with religious teachings for an education that promotes both spiritual and intellectual growth—and you’ll find the best school that pairs teaching styles with faith in Queens. These Catholic schools in Queens also offer a variety of specialized programming, including state-of-the-art technology in classrooms, AP and honors classes, STEAM and STEM programs, and special education services. Use this list to find the perfect parochial school in Queens for your child, including religious schools in Flushing, East Elmhurst, Briarwood, Manhasset, College Point, and Woodside.

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Special Education Services and Schools for Children with Special Needs in Queens

Special Education Services and Schools for Children with Special Needs in Queens

UPDATED November 2019: When you have a child with special needs, ensuring they have all the right care, education, and services is important to their success as they get older. Whether you have a child with autism, learning disabilities, ADD, ADHD, behavioral issues, cognitive disabilities, or other special needs, you may be looking for a school that offers a specialized setting created to ensure those with special needs thrive. Some of these Queens schools offer services and educational programs for children with special needs in a mainstream setting, while others focus on educating only those with special needs. These schools with special education and services for those with special needs are located throughout Queens, including schools in Forest Hills and Flushing, as well as schools in Manhattan, and Port Washington and Roslyn Heights on nearby Long Island.

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Professional Services, Resources, & Providers for Families in Queens

Professional Services, Resources, & Providers for Families in Queens

UPDATED November 2019: We’ve taken the guesswork out of finding the right service your family needs by compiling a list of the best businesses in Queens. Our guide to professional family service providers in Queens includes tutors and test prep, legal services, doctors, dentists, orthodontists, financial planners, mental health and special needs professionals, photographers, and more. Whether your child needs braces to straighten their teeth, a tutor to boost their grades, an advocate to get the best education possible, or services specifically for their special needs, you’ll find the perfect provider for your family. These services are located across Queens, with locations in such neighborhoods as Elmhurst, Rego Park, Flushing, Whitestone, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, New Hyde Park, and Jamaica, as well as locations in nearby Long Island and Manhattan.

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New Data Shows Kids Are Struggling with Reading—How You Can Help

New Data Shows Kids Are Struggling with Reading—How You Can Help

If your child is having a hard time learning to read or you’re worried she might fall behind, the Nation’s Report Card scores released yesterday aren’t great news. An alarming percentage of students in fourth and eighth grades are indeed struggling, according to the 2019 scores. Nationwide, 35 percent of fourth graders and 34 percent of eighth graders are not proficient in reading, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. In New York City, the proficiency rates are even lower: 24 percent of fourth graders and 26 percent of eighth graders are proficient—both a full percentage point below what they were in 2017. Here's what you can do to help your child improve her reading proficiency.

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Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School Appoints New President

Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School Appoints New President

On Sept. 3, Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School, a Catholic high school administered by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart of the New York Province, announced the appointment of new president Nicholas Melito, the current assistant to the president and admissions and facility director. Melito will take over for current president Brother Joseph Rocco on July 1, 2020, just before the 2020-2021 academic year. The East Elmhurst school has a strong academic curriculum with numerous opportunities for students in religious studies, athletics, and college and career preparation. 

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Back-to-School Tips for Special Needs Families

Back-to-School Tips for Special Needs Families

It’s never too late to make sure your child is succeeding in school—especially if your child has special needs. Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, which took effect during the 2017-2018 school year as a reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, states are expected to prepare students for college and vocational programs, as well as support a well-rounded education. Unfortunately, ESSA is not fully inclusive of students with disabilities. Here's what you can do to ensure your child has a successful year.

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Working Parents Raising Gifted Children: Unique Methods for Enriching Their Lives

Working Parents Raising Gifted Children: Unique Methods for Enriching Their Lives

The first emotion that often comes to mind as a working parent with a gifted child is guilt. You might be thinking: “My child must be upset when I’m not there to get her off the bus.” “I wish I could be there when he’s doing his homework.” “I wonder if she understands our family values when I am always at work.” That usually isn’t the case, though. In fact, as a working parent, you can use your chosen profession to enrich your child’s life—and learning.

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How to Tour Colleges with Your Kids–And Stay on Budget

How to Tour Colleges with Your Kids–And Stay on Budget

Beginning to look into colleges can be overwhelming for both you and your teen. It can be even more overwhelming if your child’s dream schools are far away, cost an arm and a leg to stay nearby, and come with hefty price tags if she does get in. But there are ways to get to, tour, and learn more about colleges without breaking the bank. Ashley Boucher, a representative for Sallie Mae, is here with tips for touring your child’s dream schools on a budget.

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The Benefits of a Bilingual, Immersion Education

The Benefits of a Bilingual, Immersion Education

There are myriad options for parents who want their children to learn a second (or third or fourth) language, from after-school activities and in-school classes to international and bilingual schools. But the most successful way to become proficient in another language is learning through immersion, according to Sharon Huang, founder of HudsonWay Immersion School, a Spanish and Mandarin full-immersion school with campuses in New Jersey and Manhattan.

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P.S. 101Q in Forest Hills Wins Coveted National Blue Ribbon

P.S. 101Q in Forest Hills Wins Coveted National Blue Ribbon

P.S. 101Q in Forest Hills has been awarded a national blue ribbon for being among the highest performing schools in New York, the US Department of Education announced on Sept. 26. 101Q is one of eight schools in NYC to receive this distinction, and the only one in Queens. Blue Ribbons “affirm the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content," according to the DOE.

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New Child Care Center in Ridgewood Offers Unique Learning

New Child Care Center in Ridgewood Offers Unique Learning

Beautiful Minds Child Care took over the location of a previous day care business in July and is bringing many unique changes to day care options for kids in Queens. The Queens childcare center teaches kids through a creative curriculum with thematic units, so all lessons are structured around a weekly theme that includes new vocabulary and projects.

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