new york city

Musical Spanish Immersion Class in NYC

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We're excited to launch our partnership with The Pineapple Explorers Club (based in NYC) for their Musical Spanish Immersion Class using our Entertainment Immersion Method® and language learning materials. If you're located near New York City, see below for more details or visit their website linked above:

Classes begin MONDAY JUNE 26th at 10 AM in Marcus Garvey Park (upper west corner below playground) & WEDNESDAY JUNE 28th at 10 AM in Central Park (Enter at 79th and walk South, group will meet on the left just before the playground).

Cost: $15 a child (cash or Venmo) or find them on KidPass!

littlepim-pineapple-explorers

Pokémon Go Guide for Parents with Young Kids

pokémon go for kids

Everyone is going Pokémon crazy with the release of Nintendo's new app, Pokémon Go. As a parent of little ones, it's important to learn about the pros and cons of this app before letting your kids dive in on the fun. We've been playing for almost a week - for research purposes only, we promise ;) - and have seen the big phenomenon hit the streets of Manhattan and across the country. You've probably heard the news regarding the potential dangers of playing the game or perhaps you've downloaded the app yourself and can't get enough. We've compiled some great tips about how to make Pokémon Go a fun, safe, and educational game to play with your little ones.

Protect Your iTunes or Google Play Password from Your Kids

Pokémon Go is free to download, but there are in-app purchases to buy PokéCoins for different items in the "Shop." These purchases require you to login to your iTunes or Google Play account, so be sure your kids are not able to do so by disabling in-app purchases or keeping your password safe to avoid getting a huge bill at the end of the month. You and your family can still have all the fun for free as long as you play wisely to collect more items from PokéStops.

This app requires cellular data

Photo courtesy of  J House Vlogs  on YouTube

Photo courtesy of J House Vlogs on YouTube

Like many mobile apps, playing Pokémon Go will require use of your cell phone's data, so hopefully you have an unlimited data plan or else you'll probably start receiving texts from your carrier warning you that you've used a majority of your data this month. If you're hitting the max data allowed per month, you may need to have your data turned off until the cycle restarts. Also, this app will do a number on your battery life. Make sure you're fully charged before you head out the door or carry a charger with you.

Make it Fun AND Educational

Playing the app can be rather simple once you understand what to do. You're playing as the Pokémon trainer who collects Pokémon (cute, little "pocket monsters" with unique traits and skills) outside. The app connects to your GPS to show you your location and the whereabouts of Pokémon in the wild, nearby PokéStops, and gyms where you can virtually battle other players. At the end of the day, you and your kids could be walking miles on this virtual scavenger hunt while discovering local landmarks and small businesses that you'd normally never visit. This provides a great opportunity for kids to get outside and explore, with your supervision of course.

When you get to a PokéStop and it's a historical landmark, spend time with your little ones to read about the landmark and start discussions about the history. Playing Pokémon Go during summer vacation can be a fun way to teach your kids about your local surroundings and to provide incentives to take trips to the library or museum for more typical summer learning. You can even use family trips to a local gym or PokéStop as an incentive for finishing a desired task or summer reading.

Always Be Aware of Your Surroundings

According the the AppStore and Google Play store, the recommended age to play is 9+ years due to a warning for "Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence." Our biggest concern is having little kids roaming the streets while looking down at their device ("distracted walking") or being "lured" into a dangerous area, which is why we recommend that a parent or guardian is always present to supervise your children, especially your young ones when playing this app. Recent reports mentioned that players are using the "lures" (a feature used to lure more Pokémon to a location) to plan a robbery or to lure children. Always look up when walking and hold onto your kids when crossing a street or intersection. We recommend playing this game at your local park or an area where there is little traffic.

Another part of the game involves eggs that hatch into new Pokémon. When you collect an egg, you can incubate it by walking a certain distance (2 km, 5km, 10km) to make it hatch. We love that this feature gets you and your whole family outdoors walking instead of indoors on the couch. Different types of locations have different varieties of Pokémon, so you will have plenty of opportunities to explore fun spots with your kids, for example, when you visit a body of water such as a lake or river, you will see more water Pokémon.

It's a Great Way to Make new Friends

Parents playing the app with their little ones will quickly notice they aren't the only ones. When walking to a PokéStop or local museum or library that put out a lure to gather people for an event, you will most likely make a connection with another family. Since school is out, now's the perfect time to get out there and meet other parents and children who have similar interests. It's also a great opportunity to connect with your local area's small business owners and support them by buying the family ice cream or a delicious pizza pie!

Due to the game's diverse players, you're probably going to meet a bunch of families who are also raising bilingual children. This gives your kids a great opportunity to practice speaking in their second language with other children their age.

Language Learning with Pokémon Go

Here at Little Pim, we're all about making language learning fun, easy, and effective for young children. We thought of ways to tie in language learning into the game to keep their brains active all summer long.

Counting

You can have your kids count the number of steps to catch the Pokémon in the foreign language they are learning. If the Pokémon is further away, help them out with the bigger numbers and eventually they will learn all the numbers in the new language.

This app also forces you to learn the metric system as the distance to walk to hatch your eggs is in kilometers you can convert them to miles. A recent article by MentalFloss pointed out that according to Google Trends, searches for “how far is 2 km” and “how far is 5 km” spiked after July 6.

Vocabulary

Create your own flashcard set with a Pokémon Go theme. Choose vocabulary words that you encounter while playing the game, i.e. street, library, tree, ball, catch, throw, as well as all the related animal names you can think of. If you're child is learning Japanese with Little Pim, teach them the 1st Generation Japanese and English Names:

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Explore New Cultures

NYC Cultures

Here in New York City, we have an extraordinary mix of different cultures present within walking distance. For example, you can take a family trip over to Koreatown with your little language learns to get a glimpse of the Korean culture and enjoy the delicious cuisine at an authentic restaurant. Perhaps you'll run into a nice family of native Korean speakers that are also playing the game to spark up a conversation so your child can practice speaking in Korean.

Head over to Little Italy to catch some Pokémon and practice your Italian by pronouncing the various food and restaurant names. Enjoy some delicious Italian cuisine when in the area.

Learn more about NYC's ethnic neighborhoods from BusinessInsider to begin exploring this summer whether you're a local or just visiting.

Have Fun and Be Safe

Outdoor play and social interactions for kids is great, but can also present risks. As a parent of little ones, we recommend you supervise your child's cellphone use and play this fun game by their side. Make it a family activity and take the opportunity to teach your kids about "stranger danger" and the risks of "distracted walking." We hope you enjoyed reading this guide and wish you the best of luck in "catching them all!"

Korean-For-Kids

If you have any other tips for parents playing Pokémon Go with their kids, please comment below. Don't forget that you can also take Little Pim with you during summer vacation with our digital downloads available in 12 languages. Your kids will be speaking a new language in no time with our unique approach. Learn more on our website or contact us during business hours. Enjoy the rest of your summer and stay safe!

5 Trendsetting Toys from Toy Fair 2014

Last week, Team Little Pim gathered at the Javits Center in New York City for four days of pure joy at Toy Fair 2014. Imagine a football field full of the latest toys from classic companies as well as some exciting newcomers. Now try to wrap your head around the fact that the Javits Center holds roughly 10 times the square footage of a football field. In other words, there were a LOT of toys to play with. An emerging theme at this year’s Toy Fair was customizable toys: toys that kids could build and change themselves. As you might imagine, many of these toys had a digital component, but some of them were simply classic toys with a twist. Here are five of our favorites:

1. Potatoyz – It was only a matter of time before your kids would be able to design and order their own toys online, but who would have thought that it would be as simple as pressing “Print?” Potatoyz begin as little blob-like avatars in the Potatoyz app, where kids can add colors, patterns, facial features, and custom drawings. Within the app, the Potatoyz can play in a variety of different environments, and if your kids really fall in love with their custom characters, they can order a figurine to be 3D printed and shipped straight to your door!

2. DIWire – While 3D printers have yet to become a common household appliance, wire printers are just about to hit the market. A fellow Kickstarter success, DIWire can bend metal wire into complex, detailed sculptures that you design on your computer. It's especially cool for older kids looking to expand their toy horizons. Check out this video of DIWire in action at Toy Fair.

3. Tiggly -- Little kids love to play with iPads, but finding interactive games that teach at the same time they entertain is always a challenge, especially if you're looking for a physical element that allows them to look up from their digital realms. This fun  game is just the ticket: it lets kids play with shapes that they hold in their hands that combine with an iPad app where they learn and explore new concepts. We also love how portable it is; perfect for long car rides and other travel.

4. Stuffies – Who needs another stuffed animal? You can hardly get your kids to clean up all their toys as it is! Stuffies aren’t your typical stuffed animal, though. With up to seven hidden zip pockets, they provide a place for your kiddos to hide their favorite toys. Kids have a special spot to keep their things, while you have secretly won the clutter battle!

5. Ugly Doll – They might be less functional than Stuffies, but we don’t really care. Just look at that face. The latest “bad hair day” Ugly Doll sports a tuft of sculpt-able hair that your kids can style and restyle according to their mood. It’s a simple, but effective update of the classic troll doll. It’s also 100% less creepy than the classic troll doll (okay, maybe 99%).

Celebrate Columbus Day with Little Pim

“In fourteen hundred and ninety two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue….” This childhood ditty is often what first comes to mind when you hear it's Columbus Day. But there’s more to the day, which became a Federal holiday in 1934, than the basic facts of the catchy song. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate Columbus’ Italian roots, and the holiday is an important part of Italian-American heritage.  Many Italian Americans festeggiare (celebrate) the day by watching or participating in a parade (New York City’s is the largest in the world), enjoying traditional Italian foods, and of course, recounting the amazing tale of Christopher Columbus’ journey to discover the New World. (Kids especially love to hear about the voyage of Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.)

It’s also a great excuse for any family to practice Italian and cook up a feast.

Get started by having kids, grandparents, parents --- anyone who’s at home --- whip up Marinara Sauce, which translates to “the sauce of the sailors” in Italian. It’s the perfect way to celebrate Columbus Day with your whole family. Have the kids help in the kitchen by adding seasonings to the pot and stirring the sauce (with adult supervision of course). Mangia! (Eat up!)

COLUMBUS DAY MARINARA SAUCE

  1. In a large pot, sauté one chopped onion in three tablespoons of olive oil until translucent. Add 3 cloves of chopped garlic, ½ a teaspoon of dried oregano and ½ a teaspoon of dried basil. Cook until garlic softens, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add 1 large can of diced tomatoes (29 oz) and 1 large can of tomato puree (29 oz), season with salt and pepper and 2 tablespoon of sugar. Stir frequently while sauce comes to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
  3. Serve over any pasta shape you like best.

(adapted from Around The World Cookbook by Abigail Johnson Dodge)

Dance Party: Little Pim + Baby Loves Disco

Attention New York families! If lazy Sundays aren't your thing, come down to (le) poisson rouge in Greenwich Village this Sunday (9/15) from noon to 3pm! Little Pim will be joining Baby Loves Disco at for an all-out, baby-centric dance party. With classic tunes from the 70s and 80s that mom and dad may remember, plus a chill-out room full of books, puzzles, and other surprises, this will definitely be a party the whole family can enjoy. For more information about ticketing and the location, click here. We'll be waiting for you in the chill-out room.

Little Pim at the Babies R Us Learning Center - Saturday 9/7

It's Grand Opening weekend at the Babies R Us Learning Center, and Little Pim will be there with bells on! Swing by the Union Square Babies R Us sometime tomorrow, Saturday, September 7, between noon and 3:00pm to visit the Little Pim table and discover some other amazing educational toys for your little ones.

Don't forget to say hi – you could win a French Deluxe Gift Set!

Little Pim Sandy Update

Dear Friends,We're pleased to announce that Little Pim is back up and running in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  We were all lucky enough to get through the storm with minimum disruption. Although the office was without power for a while, we're grateful that our staff, friends and colleagues are safe.

On our first day back in the office though, our thoughts go out to all those who have not been so fortune. To those who have lost their homes, their businesses, and even their lives - to people for whom getting back to normal will take considerably longer than a week.

We'd like to thank everyone for their patience and their support over the last week.

Best,

The Little Pim Team

A Message from Little Pim after Hurricane Sandy

Dear Friends of Little Pim,We wanted to let you know that we made it through the storm ok, and the office has not been damaged. Our site is still up, and our warehouse is shipping product, operating off a generator, to parts of the country not affected by Sandy. We are New Yorkers! It takes more than a little wind and surge to ruffle our feathers, but this WAS and is, a big one. My family was evacuated from our apt in Battery Park City and we just returned yesterday after two days, happy to find minimal neighborhood damage despite the 14 foot waves that washed over our streets. We are now one of the only neighborhoods below 34th street with power, and feel very lucky to have it.

Thank you for your support and patience as we try to get back to work this week. The MTA is still closed, and 4 of our 7 staffers have no power. The office (on 17th street) has no power and will not re-open until it does. Those of us who have electricity and Internet at home are working from home when we have Internet access, which is intermittent. Please excuse us if we don't answer emails in a timely way, as we are juggling whichever business issues are most pressing.

We hope you and your families and friends in the metropolitan area were out of harm's way and our hearts go out to the many families with young children who are still caught up in the aftermath of Sandy, with no power and much uncertainty about the days to come.

Thank you for being part of our extended Little Pim family. And Happy Halloween. We will all make sure our kids still have a wonderful Halloween and will remember this as,  "that Halloween", when everything was upside down. And then, life goes on. C'est la vie. Please read my P.S. for how you can help.

Best,

Julia Pimsleur Levine

p.s. We will suffer a serious loss of income in the days and weeks following the hurricane, as will millions of local businesses. For small businesses like ours this can have a huge and lasting impact. As you probably know, New York and its environs comprise one of our largest markets and sales may seriously drop off as people focus on recovery. If you have friends far from the hurricane's path, please encourage them to buy Little Pim on our site as a gift for a child under six this year. Thank you, every gift set counts!  Use HALLOPIM for 15% off.