New York City is a preschooler's paradise. Literally, of course, if you are living or visiting there. And metaphorically, too, if you happen to be engaging in just some armchair travel.
Whether he's heard of it or been there or never dreamed of either, your little one will delight in the wild wonders of the Big Apple. It's a tiny island crammed with skyscrapers and taxicabs, all plotted out and zooming around a giant park. Sounds like urban planning powered by a preschooler's imagination. Sounds like fun!
To learn the lingo, you've got to start with the basics: ABC NYC. B is definitely not for ball in Manhattan or any of the other boroughs (even B-B-Brooklyn and the B-B-Bronx would agree, we're sure): B is for bagel!
And any trip, real or daydreamed, to New York City starts with counting. The numbered east-west streets that dominate Manhattan's grid are a preschooler's urban abacus. To start with just the first digits, look no further than City by Numbers—plus, it rewards careful looking and a flexible perspective, your little one's built-in developmental specialties!
How do you plan to get around this urban jungle gym? The mellow, syncopated jazzy cadence of My Taxi Ride makes an irresistible case for hailing a cab. You're little one will get a driving tour of New York, with a lesson on how to hail and how to ride too! And reading it aloud truly sounds like the heartbeat of the city.
If you think you've got a spirited autocrat in the house, do take comfort in the fictional extreme that is Eloise. Nothing your little one can conjure up can truly rival her. You might be able to come close, but your little one will take years to ripen to full Eloise status (and yes, that is a terrifying thought!). Her life at the Plaza hotel (now condos, but we hear the portrait of Eloise is supposed to remain up in the public areas near the restaurants) is iconic New York.
Also essential to any preschooler's understanding of New York is the soft underside of the tough guy front the city gives off. All that rushing and zooming and not sleeping (are we describing the city or your kiddos?!) takes place in a little village with a big heart. Amaze your little ones with this can't-make-it-up and yes, only-in-New-York story of a taxi driver and some ducklings.
And if you are lucky enough to live in or visit the giant NYC playground, make the fantastic Mommy Poppins site your first, last and ever stop for what to do, where to go, what to see, how to play, New York style. The summer fun guide is especially indispensable these days for visitors and locals alike!
Lastly, you simply must teach your little ones to belt out New York, New York just like Liza Minelli or Ol' Blue Eyes (take your pick). Preschoolers singing the standards. What fun!
Have fun on your New York escape, real or imagined!
The Savvy Source is an Amazon affiliate.
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