Nine-year-old Asean Johnson speaks out against Chicago Public Schools closings
Asean Johnson, whose school has since been spared, brings a rally crowd to its feet during a speech about the potential school closings.
Shedd Aquarium opens new outdoor Stingray Touch exhibit
Families can reach out and touch rays as they glide through an outdoor pool in Shedd's newest seasonal exhibit.
Bicycles displayed as works of art in new exhibit at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry [Slideshow]
The Art of the Bicycle shows families how science, architecture and art have a place in the history of biking.
Reader Appreciation Night at Chicago Children's Museum [Slideshow]
Check out a slideshow of photos from our first Reader Appreciation Night at the Chicago Children's Museum.
Watch a baby giraffe play at Brookfield Zoo [Video and slideshow]
There's nothing cuter than a 5-month-old giraffe playing outside for the first time.
Chicago Parent at ReptileFest 2013 [Slideshow]
We had a blast at this weekend's ReptileFest learning all about snakes, turtles and more.
Chicago celebrity violinist on parenting and lullabies
First-time mom Rachel Barton Pine talks about life as a parent and a professional musician, and her new CD of violin lullabies.
Brookfield Zoo's Dinosaurs Alive! exhibit brings the prehistoric to life
New exhibit uses interactive elements to help kids understand the links between prehistoric creatures and animals of today.
First Lady Michelle Obama shows off her dance moves
Even if your husband is the leader of the free world, you're still allowed to boogie down once in a while.
DuPage Children's Museum staff does the Harlem Shake
The staff at DuPage Children's Museum made their own hilarious Harlem Shake video.
Chicago kids take the stage as Joffrey Ballet's The Nutcracker celebrates 25 years
Local dancers become mice and dolls in this classic holiday performance.
Behind the scenes video from our October photo shoot
Take a peek at the making of our October 2012 cover and feature spread.
Brookfield Zoo's curious ambassador
What 5-month-old Pepe is doing at the Brookfield Zoo can help his fellow Humboldt penguins everywhere.
Goo (or non-Newtonian fluid)
For this month's This is Science, we went to the Chicago Children's Museum, where Laura Wurzburger and Chelsie Burdine helped me make goo. As with all good experiments, we ran into a snag. The two parts glue and one part starch did not come together quickly enough. Perhaps it was the way I was doing it - squishing it through my fingers rather than kneading it with my palms - or perhaps it was something in the air making things moister. We ended up having to add a little glue. The opposite can also happen - you may need to add starch if it's too thick. The bottom line is, don't worry if it's not going exactly as you think it should. Stand back and reassess, and you will be fine. It would also be great if you could share your experience by commenting below, or videotaping yourself and your child(ren) making the goo. We will post it online. Non-Newton what? The goo we make, as Laura points out, is not liquid and it's not solid, but it sort of has the properties of both. The proper name is Non-Newtonian Fluid, and we are surrounded by them in our everyday lives. Not all non-Newtonian fluids act in the same way, and often act differently depending on whether they're moving. You can test this with your goo by constantly moving it with your hands. Observe how it acts like a solid, not losing its shape. Then just stop moving your hands. Observe how quickly the goo seems to melt and lose its shape. Unlike water, you can walk on non-Newtonian fluids. But don't stop, or you will sink fast. These guys filled a pool with a mix of cornstarch and water (sometimes called Oobleck - from a Dr. Seuss book) and show clearly how motion keeps them up and stillness makes them sink. Non-Newtonian Scavenger Hunt There are lots of non-Newtonian fluids in your house. Some are more runny than others, but they all have uneven flow when poured. A great way to teach your kids to identify non-Newtonian fluids is to have a scavenger hunt. Here are some clues you can use: This red substance makes everything good to eat. Pour it on fries or hot dogs, or broccoli for a treat. Pour this on pancakes, but don't get picky. If you stick your fingers in it, you will get sticky. Too much sugar and you'll have to brush out. This minty stuff will make your mouth happy, no doubt. Fingers and brushes turn this into art. Tell mommy you love her, and make a big heart. For milk that is chocolatey, or eating ice cream, this topping makes dessert a sweet dream. This squishes your hair up into all sorts of things. Make it look like a crown and pretend you're a king. But be careful of dripping, or your eyes will sting. Other non-Newtonian household fluids are: honey custard or pudding starch molasses mustard caramel topping (as opposed to the chocolate from the rhymes above) lotion liquid soap You can also bake some bread with your child. That dough is definitely a non-Newtonian fluid. Of course, you can buy non-Newtonian fluids like Silly Putty or Play-doh, but it's more fun to make it at home. And, to distract your child from the pain, the next time he or she gets a cut, explain as you're putting on the bandaid that blood is also a non-Newtonian fluid. Here's a really great website that explains both Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids. (Answers to rhymes: ketchup, syrup, toothpaste, paint, chocolate syrup or sauce, shampoo.)
It's a baby boy for Shedd
New dolphin calf is one of only three males in North American aquarium and zoos, making his birth particularly exciting for Shedd.
A talk with the stars of Disney's "Let It Shine"
Tyler James Williams, Coco Jones and Trevor Jackson stopped by Chicago for the local premier of the new Disney Movie, "Let It Shine." ChicagoParent.com's intrepid reporters, Dixon and Delaney, took the opportunity to ask them a few questions that were on their minds... like, Is Coco now a cast member of "So Random"?
Brizard on longer days for Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard takes questions from parents about the longer school day. He addresses concerns such as what model they're following to ensure success, how to accomodate extracurricular activities, and the timing of the implementation of the longer day.
8th graders make matchstick rockets
Combustion Bonus Feature Eighth graders Joe Gorski and Charlie Ovens, from Washington Jr. High in Naperville, show us how to make matchstick rockets. Joe is the one with the bowtie. Charlie is wearing the lab coat.
Combustion - Matchstick Rockets
In our May demonstration, we went to Washington Jr. High in Naperville to light matchstick rockets, which work primarily due to Newton's Third Law of Motion, which is, "For every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction." For matchstick rockets, that means that as hot gases from the lit match are forced out in one direction, the matchstick moves in the opposite direction. Bonus Feature: Joe and Charlie with their take on the experiment, and the words to their rap. It also makes you feel good when they take off a few feet. And it smells oddly comforting. We're told this is safe to do in your home. Depending on the age of your kids, you might want to light the matchsticks, though. And don't touch the paper clip right after you've launched. It could still be very hot. This experiment also uses Bernoulli's Principle. And, of course, at the most basic level, this is combustion. Click on the links above to learn more about these physical laws. We want to thank Washington eighth grade teacher Laura Colón, and eight grade students Joe Gorski and Charlie Ovens.
For the month of April, This is Science is turning flowers different colors - just like when your tongue turns purple when you drink grape juice. It's simple chemistry, in which molecules that are alike follow one another up the stem of the flower, like liquid in a straw. Try it at home and see what colors you can make.
Making simple sound effects and musical instruments
This month on This is Science!: Make simple sound effects or musical instruments. Perfect for rainy days and little kids. Good for older kids' first science project. Experiment and play! Thanks to the beautiful Children's Museum in Oak Lawn for their hospitality and ideas.
Egg drop inertia experiment at Museum of Science and Industry
This is Science! ChicagoParent.com's new video series in which we do a science experiment or demonstration that you can do at home. This month, we start with the Museum of Science and Industry, where we make eggs drop into a glass of water. This experiment is primarily testing Newton's First Law of Motion, which is, "An object in motion tends to stay in motion, while an object at rest tends to stay at rest." (OK, since there was a force used to move the eggs, we were testing out the Second Law of Motion a bit, too.)
Lincoln Park Zoo sends teacher to Niger in unique learning exchange
The Lincoln Park Zoo is facilitating a unique culture and learning exchange between students at Francis W. Parker school and two schools in the African country of Niger. Check out our video and story.
Rating the games at ChiTAG 2011
ChicagoParent.com editor Carrie Kaufman brought her daughters to the Chicago Toy and Game Fair with some specific instructions: play with the toys and tells us what you think. It was hard work, but somebody had to do it.
A quick talk with NBT finalist Shealeigh
Chicago Parent met up with Next Big Thing finalist Shealeigh at the Radio Disney Concert the weekend before Thanksgiving. When Emma and Grace DeCarlo (15 and 13, respectively) talked to her, there were still three people in the running. On Friday, it was announced that Shealeigh and Zack Montana were the final two. Here's our talk with the very exhuberant performer.
Cooking your way through the SAT
Charis Freiman-Mendel needed a way to memorize her vocabulary words. And she loves to cook. So she combined them, inventing a recipe that raised her scores considerably.
A hideout for kids with autism
One mother has created a safe, comfortable place for kids and parents to play.
Inspirational North Shore teen featured in documentary about Tourette's
Two years ago Chicago Parent wrote about Ariel Small. Now he's the subject of a documentary airing on PBS stations around the country.
The Wonder! of it all
This new Deerfield store is like a year-long parenting festival. You have to see it to believe it.
Boo at the Zoo 2011
Brookfield Zoo kicked of their annual Boo at the Zoo Halloween event last weekend, and Chicago Parent was there. Dress up and come on down this weekend, Oct. 29 and 30.
A spoonful of "Mary Poppins"
Alena Murguia and her sons took in the opening night of "Mary Poppins" at the Cadillac Palace. Their opinions? You should see it.
Newborn Titi Monkey at Lincoln Park Zoo
The Lincoln Park Zoo is celebrating the birth of a new titi monkey - adding to the scarce population of this Bolivian animal.
Brain tumor just part of life for Rosie
Rosie Colucci, who has taken many of the gifts she's received in her numerous hospital visits and given them to underprivileged kids, is holding a benefit to defray the mounting cost of her medical bills.
Chicago Bears’ Devin Hester wants to inspire more young dads
Devin Hester wants to show fans - and fellow dads - that for every stereotype about professional athletes as deadbeat dads, there’s one like him, who changes diapers and takes their kids to Yo Gabba Gabba!
LEGOLAND Chicago picks Mundelein 5th grader as MiniMaster Builder
A Mundelein 11-year-old has won LEGOLAND Chicago's MINIMASTER Builder Competition - and he has big plans for his new title.
When Chicago parents are always connected, kids' language development suffers
One local mom talks about making her home a 'text-free' zone so her kids get the attention they need.
"Toys in the Hood" bring Chicago's connection to iconic toys to Elmhurst museum
A new exhibit in Elmhurst unearths the Chicagoland roots of dozens of toys and games, from Lincoln Logs to Radio Flyer wagons to Operation, and gives kids a chance to get down and play.
Chicago families on finding faith
Religions make a strong pitch for kids. But to what end? What are the benefits of finding faith as a family? And how does having children affect our own beliefs as parents?
Chicago families on finding faith
Religions make a strong pitch for kids. But to what end? What are the benefits of finding faith as a family? And how does having children affect our own beliefs as parents?
8-foot-tall LEGO Buzz Lightyear goes up at Northbrook Court store
Contribute your brick to a monster-sized Buzz Lightyear that's being built at the LEGO store at Northbrook Court this weekend.
"The Horse" exhibit gallops into Field Museum
The Field Museum 's newest exhibit, The Horse, running Feb. 16-Aug. 14, explores the bond between humans and horses through artifacts, some 3-D animation wizardry, and no fewer than nine (we counted) life-sized horses.
Chicago charter school receives top honors for health innovations
Kids at Namaste Charter School eat tilapia for lunch and have an hour of gym every day. This week, the school became the second in the Midwest to get top government honors for its health focus.
Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium to bring ocean creatures to Chicago in new spring exhibits
February 7 - Comments (2)
Chicago is a long way from the ocean, but this spring, a pair of exhibits will be bringing creatures of the deep to the city.
Groundhog's Day at Brookfield Zoo pushed up by winter storm
If you were planning to ride out the impending storm with polar bears, you're out of luck. For just the second time in its 76-year history, the Brookfield Zoo will be closed Wednesday.
Medical clown visits kids at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago
A medical clown visiting the Chicago area from Israel brightened up the morning for kids at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago on Thursday.
February cover shoot video
Meet twins Dyan and Diego Oliver, 7, of Chicago, the faces of our February issue.
Endangered African pups born at Brookfield zoo
Just two weeks after the birth of an endangered gibbon at the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Brookfield Zoo announced the birth of a litter of 10 African wild dog pups born Thanksgiving Day.
Brookfield Zoo's bears cheer for Chicago's Bears
January 21 - Comments (1)
The Chicago Bears are the playoffs, and Chicago's actual bears are getting geared up as well. Axhl and Jim, the Brookfield Zoo’s pair of grizzlies, showed just where their loyalties lay.
Back from war, a Chicago soldier reconnects with family
January 12 - Comments (4)
Lt. Ray Abordo returned Friday - a week early -from a year-long tour in Afghanistan. So naturally, he had his wife send the kids to their aunt and uncle's house, and he waited to surprise them at school on Monday.
Gage Park High School project brings Chicago's civil rights, King history to residents' fingertips
January 12 - Comments (1)
Students from Gage Park High School embarked two years ago on a project to unite their Southwest Side neighborhood's past and present through the events of Dr. Martin Luther King's 1966 march in Marquette Park.
Penguin Paintings: the gift for the kid who has everything
What's black and white and red all over? The Shedd Aquarium's penguin artists, whose webbed-feet paintings are on sale this holiday season.
Old Town's Wiggleworms program celebrates 25 years of early childhood music education
November 2 - Comments (2)
When the Old Town School of Folk Music launched its early childhood education program in 1986, there were two instructors and a handful of kids. Today, as the program turns 25, more than 2,000 kids are enrolled across the city, and the school is hosting a blowout concert Nov. 20 to celebrate.
Notebaert's Nature's LunchBox exhibit serves up lessons and laughs
The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum has jumped in with its newest exhibit, Nature's LunchBox, presents a big-picture view of food systems that engages kids of all ages.
Chicago nonprofit gives kids reading mentors, and motivation, to promote literacy
Open Books Buddies pairs students at Chicago elementary schools with a mentor from the community. A relatively new entry into the Chicago literacy scene, this program has its focus squarely on kids.
Hunting for hauntings in Chicago with ghost tour operator Richard T. Crowe
October 18 - Comments (6)
Richard T. Crowe is a professional ghost hunter who has been chasing down the eerie and unexplained in Chicago for nearly 40 years.
Interview with Zack Snyder, director of "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole" in Chicago
Father of six and director Zack Snyder talks about his first kid's film and why your little ones will fall in love with an owl named Soren.
Chinatown for little feet: A guided tour
The jumble of old and new, bold and subdued, treasure and trinkets that is Chicago's Chinatown will fascinate kids, and the untamed, "what'll-I-find-today," street-bazaar feel ensures no two trips will be alike.
VIDEO: Kid-hosted, kid-focused cooking show hits Chicago's airwaves
August 30 - Comments (5)
The Emmys didn't air until Sunday night, but on Friday, 16 Chicago-area kids glitzed and glammed it up on a red carpet of their own.
A Day in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
August 24 - Comments (2)
At the neonatal intensive care unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, premature and at-risk babies, some weighing less than a loaf of bread, are rescued, cradled and cuddled. Parents visit daily for feedings. Some babies never make it home to see their siblings.
Through their eyes: How kids with autism see the world
July 12 - Comments (6)
Ever wonder how kids with autism see the world, especially when their words are trapped inside them? Oak Park photographer Jeff Ebert did, and he's on a mission to help them tell their stories through photos.
Overcoming autism, spreading hope through music
July 12 - Comments (3)
Once nonverbal, Maurice Snell now raises his voice through song, raising money and awareness and spreading hope.
Three legs, but a full heart for working with kids with disabilities
Dharma, a three-legged pit bull rescued in the largest dogfighting ring bust in U.S. history, has found a new purpose as a therapy dog for kids with disabilities.
Audio Slideshow: Family Adventure Days are a cheap, easy way to see Chicago
June 22 - Comments (1)
You don’t have to do any driving, someone else makes the picnic lunch and a guide entertains both you and your kids. Oh, and it's under $50 for a family of four.
VIDEO: Go behind the scenes at Buckingham Fountain
Built in 1927, the Buckingham is still running smoothly today. We wanted to know how, so the Park District invited us to come take a look.
VIDEO: Field Museum celebrates a decade of Sue
Chicago's favorite dino turns 10, and the Field Museum is celebrating with two new high-tech exhibits for a very, very old set of bones.
Go nose-to-nose with bears at Brookfield Zoo's new exhibit
The Brookfield Zoo's new Great Bear Wilderness puts you nose-to-nose, nose-to-beak, nose-to-snout, and nose-to-whatever-bison-have with North America's most iconic creatures.
Win over dinner without an extra trip to the grocery store
April 26 - Comments (5)
VIDEO: One local mom has a recipe for dinner success. Learn how to get 70 meals out of one trip to the grocery store!
Shedd Aquarium peels back curtain on baby beluga
After four months behind a privacy wall, the Shedd Aquarium's baby beluga says hi to the world above water.
Rare redhead chicks born at Kohl Childrens Museum
A pair of rare auburn chickens, two of only about 300 in the world, were born at Kohl's Children's Museum last weekend.
Strength, balance are key to avoiding soccer injuries
Over the next few weeks, 8 million kids will hit the soccer field, which means bumps and bruises aren't far behind. Here's how to keep your kid between the sidelines, not on them.
Opening Weekend: Diary of a Wimpy Kid
March 22 - Comments (1)
"Diary of a Wimpy Kid" is pefect for those parents and children who appreciate Jeff Kinney’s take on growing up and the struggle for popularity.
Chicago charter school emphasizes health, fitness and yoga
March 20 - Comments (8)
How many second-graders do you know who do yoga, clamor for turkey burgers, and speak Sanskrit?
Nonprofit teaches healthy eating, one rice cooker at a time
March 9 - Comments (2)
Quinoa with chards and leeks? For your kids? For $2.39 per serving? Yes, yes, and yes. One area non-profit shows you how.
Raising a family with special needs
February 11 - Comments (17)
After Kathy Lavin's daughter was born with Down syndrome, a career spent helping people with disabilities suddenly turned personal.
Video | As local heroes lace up in Vancouver, speed skating clubs nurture younger talent
February 10 - Comments (1)
The U.S. speed skating team hits the ice this weekend in Vancouver. But closer to home, the north suburban clubs where several Olympians got their start are nurturing some younger talent.
Audio slideshow | Life on the homefront
January 27 - Comments (3)
Lt. Ray Abordo was one of 28 Army Reservists in a Chicago-based medical unit that deployed last month. Listen as the Abordo family talks about what his deployment means to their family.
Video interview with "Super-Manny" Mike Ruggles
January 26 - Comments (3)
Mike Ruggles, a Chicago family therapist, is the star of an episode of ABC's "Super-Manny" airing Jan. 29. We sat down with this smooth-headed softie to talk about the show, his newfound fame and his own family plans.
Congenital heart defects affect 1 in 100 newborns
January 25 - Comments (2)
When little hearts stop working the way they’re supposed to, doctors often have more questions than answers. But new treatments and awareness are changing the prognosis for the 1 in every 100 babies born with a congenital heart defect.
When parents go to war, families pay a price
January 25 - Comments (4)
As the way America fights its wars changes, so, too, does life on the home front, and it's taking more fuel than ever to keep the home fires burning.<br/> + <a href="http://www.chicagoparent.com/magazines/chicago-parent/2010-february/features/audio-slideshow-life-on-the-homefront">Audio Slideshow</a>
Want to know what your baby is saying?
January 22 - Comments (4)
Babies don’t come with instruction manuals. But using the Dunston Baby Language system, an Oak Park prenatal massage therapist is teaching new parents that their babies are telling them everything they need to know.
The world is her stage: Goodman Theatre and Make-a-Wish Foundation team up for Frankfort teen
All Maria Stavropoulos has ever wanted to do is act. So when the Goodman Theatre offered the Frankfort teen a walk-on role in last weekend's Sunday matinee of "A Christmas Carol," she was more than ready for her stage debut.
Video | Ballerina for a day at the Dance-Along Nutcracker
December 14 - Comments (1)
Hundreds of girls in tutus sashayed, curtsied and pliéd their way through a holiday classic at the eight annual Dance-Along Nutcracker.
Video | The kids of 'A Christmas Carol'
December 9 - Comments (1)
The Goodman Theatre's production of "A Christmas Carol" has been a Chicago holiday tradition for more than three decades. So we sat down with four kids in the cast to talk about what this family favorite means to them -- and what's on their holiday wish list.
Video | New exhibit teaches kids the science behind drugs
In 2007, Highland Park native Cebrin Goodman died of a heroin overdose. Last month, a new exhibit opened at the Robert Crown Center in Hinsdale, dedicated to Goodman and built to teach students the actual science behind "Just Say No."
YOU! The Experience opens at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago
The Museum of Science and Industry just made keeping your family healthy a little easier.