Won’t you meet your neighbors?

Blogger Serena Norr fills us in on the best listservs in Brooklyn.

Won’t you meet your neighbors?

One of the most daunting aspects of becoming a parent (other than the actual birth part), was finding ‘mom friends’ in my new neighborhood in Brooklyn. I was one of the first amongst my friends to have a child, so while I was young and excited about the new world of motherhood, I was also confused and overwhelmed in this new and unfamiliar version of Brooklyn, complete with strollers and diapers and naps and breastfeeding. As the days went on, I realized that I was in search of a community and network to connect with as a new mom. Through some online research, I discovered resourceful sites like A Child Grows in Brooklyn and Park Slope Parents, where I found drop-in and library classes, and various events throughout the borough, but I was still lacking the local connection that I wanted.


After six months of searching, I eventually stumbled on the KWTneighbors listserv where a group of local moms set up a sub-group called the Pipsqueaks. From there, I found parents (some of which were right down the block from my house) to meet for everything from coffee to playdates to outings to our local parks and beyond. My daughter and I spent a lot of time with this group during the first couple of years, and later it became a place where our co-op was formed, and now is a place for kindergarten discussion. What I learned -- and truly cherish about living in Brooklyn -- is that this diverse online group can actually serve as our urban version of the suburbs. Thanks to listservs, new parents can connect and forge an incredible community.

Here are some of the best online groups in Brooklyn, and the populations they serve. Check out listservs in downtown Manhattan, and stay tuned for groups in other NYC neighborhoods in the weeks to come.

1. Bococa Parents: BOerum Hill, CObble Hill, and CArroll Gardens (and the surrounding) neighborhoods

2. BrooklynParentsNetwork: All Brooklyn parents

3. Cortelyou Moms: First-time moms whose kids were born in the fall of 2009 in Ditmas Park/ Flatbush/ Midwood/ Kensington etc.

4. BrooklynHeightsParents: Brooklyn Heights and surrounding neighborhoods

5. BrooklynSingleParents: Single parents in Brooklyn

6. South Brooklyn Parents: South Brooklyn (Marine Park, Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach).

7. Ft. Greene Kids: The Fort Greene/Clinton Hill area

8. KWTneighbors: Kensington and Windsor Terrace

9. BBPOTC: Brooklyn parents of twins

10. Brooklyn Baby Hui: The Greenpoint/Williamsburg area

11. Bay_Ridge_Parents: Bay Ridge

12.ParkSlopeParents: Park Slope and its surrounding neigborhoods, coordinated by Park Slope Parents

13. DUMBO Parents: DUMBO

14. Greenpoint Childcare: Childcare in the Greenpoint area

15.PHeightsParents: Prospect Heights.

16. Sunsetparkbabies2013: Sunset Park 2013 babies

17.SHParentsGroup: Stuyvesant Heights

18.bushwickmoms: Bushwick

19. Bedford-Stuyvesant: Bedford-Stuyesant

20. CarrollGardensPFG: Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill

How did you meet new friends in Brooklyn? We would love to know in the comments section below!

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These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

1. Go apple picking.

Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

4. Have a touch-football game.

Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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