Category Archives: Activities

Get Crafty with the Kids for Spring

It may be hard to believe for northeasters, but it is actually springtime. A time where you normally wear a light jacket, smell fresh flowers blossoming on the trees, and spend more quality time outside. Sounds magical, doesn’t it?

If you find yourself inside because all of those things are not yet achievable, then spend some time with the kiddos being crafty with fun Easter and Spring-themed activities!

Easter morning is almost as exciting as Christmas morning, so why not prepare for the Easter Bunny just like you prepare for Santa? Have the kiddos write letters to the Easter Bunny, and prepare snacks for him to give him energy to hide the eggs! These printable letters and poems will welcome him and keep your kids entertained.

Once Easter morning arrives, wake up early and place bunny footprints around the house with the bunny footprint template from Personal Creations. They come in three sizes, and all you have to do is print them out, cut on the dotted line, and sift flour on top of them to show what path the Easter Bunny took through your house or around your yard.

You kids’ faces are sure to light up when they wake up and see that the Easter Bunny paid a visit!

For all of the fun creations and activities, click here!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell, with guest contributor Katie Santos from Personal Creations

Experience Farm Life in the City!

Being stuck indoors during the cold, winter months with children can take its toll on any parent. It can become even more challenging when living in the not so spacious quarters of a city apartment. 

Wouldn’t it be nice to linger away from the city life and head for a life surrounded by what nature has to offer? Imagine getting that experience and not having to travel a hundred miles outside the city for a farm spotting. 

The Art Farm in the City is a children’s education center that is home to New York City’s only indoor petting zoo! Art Farm is a unique space to meet and interact with animals from bearded dragons, to chinchillas and chickens. Their philosophy encourages a childhood relationship with the natural world, while engaging children in care and compassion of all living creatures.

Children can enjoy a various amount of activities including art, music, and cooking-themed classes, playtime, drop-ins, birthday parties, and camps.

Bell Family’s Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell, took her toddler son there after the holiday season and he loved every minute of it! Growing up on a small farm in Ohio, it’s important for Lindsay to share a piece of her upbringing in nature with her son. Her son loved the turtles the most! So much that he said it over and over for the rest of the day – a new word! He also spent time looking at the fish, birds, and he got inside the fence area with the rabbits. Mom and son practiced the names of the pets and the sounds they make. It was a playtime activity mixed with some learning. 

The place was packed as it was a frigid winter day, but all guests were in good spirits and there were plenty of activities for all the kids.  For more information on The Art Farm in the City, check out their website here.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Holiday Memories in Your Own Photo Booth!

To continue Bell Family’s week of spreading holiday cheer, we rounded up a great activity for everyone in the family. A DIY photo booth!

The holidays are the perfect time to capture memories with your little ones, whether it’s gathering around the Christmas tree, or sitting down for a delicious meal. A DIY photo booth can be a fun way to not only snap some photos, but have some fun while doing it! Simply hang a backdrop or some festive decor, and set up a camera to snap the pics.

These photo booth props from Shutterfly are perfect for such an occasion. There are so many to choose from, from antler ears to hot cocoa. Pick your favorite, print them out, and get ready for hours of fun.

Children will love playing pretend with elf ears, top hats, and reindeer antlers! They can make believe they’re in a winter wonderland with festive hot cocoa or gingerbread houses. The pictures you’ll get of your little ones having a ball will be priceless!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell, with guest partner Karli Jaenike at Siege Media.

Treats for Santa and Fun for Kids

This week, Bell Family is spreading holiday cheer to families near and far by featuring some great, festive craft activities for the kiddies. Not only are they fun, but they pose as a great way to keep the kids busy while they are out of school for the holidays.

On the night before Christmas, Santa and his team of 8 reindeer deliver gifts and goodies to kids around the world. Many families leave cookies and milk out for Santa, but don’t forget about the reindeer! Help Rudolf and his team journey to your home this Christmas Eve with Personal Creations’ yummy reindeer food and adorable poem printables.

With a few ingredients you likely have in your cupboards (mix oats, sprinkles, and a pinch of sugar), create a special treat the kids can leave out the night before Christmas. This is the ultimate way to say “thank you” to all of Santa’s hard-working helpers. Once you have created your reindeer food mixture, sprinkle onto your yard and await the morning for a special surprise: presents under the tree!

Printable-reindeer

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell, with guest partner Sherry Chen at Personal Creations.

 

Benefits of Playing Guitar Are Greater Than You Think

Guitar and music lessons can be much more than just another hobby. Playing an instrument provides a great break away from the busy every day life, and cannot only benefit those as an individual, but those with families as well. So, why not bring a care-free, mind-relaxing activity into the daily routine?

Guitar by Anthony Music School will help with just that, by teaching how music works, specifically guitar. We had the chance to team up with Anthony to learn more about his teachings through the Q&A below.

Q: Many sitters, nannies, moms, and dads can use a break from the day-to-day grind. Why is learning or playing the guitar such a great way to break away from the busy city life?

Playing any instrument is a great way to maintain a quality of life. The guitar is portable which is a plus, and it’s a great healthy way to escape the grind of the day-to-day life. The benefits are many. Stimulating your brain and spirit just to name a couple. It also can be quite grounding as well. It teaches you to be in the moment as it increases your focus, which can benefit you in other aspects of your life.

All this in turn can help in adding fun for nannies and adults playing with kids to keep them engaged in songs and music. Perhaps creating a game-like atmosphere, which can make your job easier, while practicing your guitar skills. The possibilities are endless to how this can positively impact a child.

Q: What are some of the benefits you’ve experienced from teaching and playing guitar yourself? 

Some of the benefits for me personally would include reaching goals and growing constantly. Always striving for more. The guitar can be an outlet as well.

Teaching guitar is also rewarding. To witness growth in someone else is always a thrill. Lessons can also parallel life lessons (at least in my classes), and teaching reminds me of lessons learned too.

Performance is another reward. When there’s an exchange of energy between the audience and myself it is truly transcendent – making all the efforts worth it. I too, have developed good habits in time management and multitasking as a result.

Q: How does an adult playing guitar in front of a child benefit them?

An adult playing in front of a child will help to inspire them if they witness the joy in the adult playing. They will want to take part in the fun. The benefits of that will lead the child to learn and grow in multitasking and time management. Of course, we all know how it can benefit their studies as well, due to focus and some of the previously mentioned benefits.

Just think, all of this just by the mere fact that they wanted to have fun! Which is what it’s all about.

On another note, which may be a bit off topic, I’ve witnessed very shy and introverted kids grow into very outgoing, brave, and strong individuals just because they found refuge in music. To think this could have started by watching an adult play is extraordinary.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

KidPass – One Pass to Amazing Activities

We recently teamed up with KidPass to learn more about the thousands of activities they offer to kids throughout the New York area. Read our Q&A below to see how one pass can unlock a new world of fun for your little one(s). A special discount offer for Bell Family may even be in store, too!

Q: What are some examples of the variety of activities offered by KidPass? Are the activities for children of all ages? 

A: Have you ever found yourself with a restless child and lots of time to fill? KidPass to the rescue!  KidPass can get your child into 5,000 places to play in New York City like Kidville, Gymboree, NY Kids Club, 92Y, lots of swimming pools, all kinds of classes, and tons of open play spaces throughout NYC. If you can dream it, KidPass can take your kids there, and we have activities for newborns, toddlers, and kids up to age 17.

Q: What are the different plans you offer those looking to join, and how do the plans work?

A: Most of our parents choose the KidPass Basic Plan. For $49 a month, you get 10 credits to use on activities of your choice. Search by date and neighborhood, find an activity you like, and book it on our site. Your spot will be waiting for you when you arrive. If you ever want more credits, we’ve got a Family plan and a Power plan too.

Q: Many families have busy schedules and require flexibility. How flexible are the memberships and class schedules? Is there a fee for cancellations?

A: Oh we know how it is! We are all parents at KidPass and we know that plans can change quickly. If you make a reservation with KidPass and need to cancel it, your safest bet is to cancel it 24 hours in advance. And if you ever want to cancel your KidPass membership, there are no penalties for pausing or cancelling your account.

Q: How does a family or childcare provider get started?

A: We’re inviting all our friends from Bell Family to try KidPass for free for one month! Use this link and the discount will be applied at checkout. Come play with us soon!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Scandinavia House Playing & Learning Center

The Scandinavia House Playing & Learning Center is a hidden gem in midtown east NYC.

First, it’s clean. The toys seem new and the carpets are always well vacuumed for the next day, which is not always the case with free play areas.

Second, it’s cost effective! People can sign up for a membership at $400 per year, and have full access to the play center. Or you can use a trial pass on Saturday’s for $15.

Third, it’s for those toddlers that are walking and up. With padded walls and soft carpet, it’s perfect for new walkers and rolling around.

Finally, it’s a great way to mingle with other moms and nannies.

For more information, checkout their website here.

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Written by our Founder & President, Lindsay Bell

Upper East Side Activities for Kids

Snow, rain, and cold, are all weather elements New Yorkers have to face. Rather than cocooning yourself at home and turning to the same ol’ activities, try out something new!

There are great indoor activities offered all around NYC, and we want to share some of our favorites to do in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Try out one of these fun places, and fear those dreary NYC days no more!

1. The Craft Studio (1657 3rd Ave.)

Try out their events including crafts, camps and classes, seasonal workshops, unique toy, gift, and party supply shop, and after school programs.

2. My Gym: Lincoln Center (22 W 66th St.)

They offer structured, age-appropriate, weekly classes that incorporate music, dance, relays, games, special rides, gymnastics, sports and more! Fun bonus, you can try a class for free!

3. The MET (1000 5th Ave.)

#MetKids is a digital feature made for, with, and by kids! Discover fun facts about works of art, hop in their time machine, watch behind-the-scenes videos, and get ideas for your own creative projects. Look, learn, and create together during fun, interactive programs for kids of all ages.

Another great tip is to check out KidPass – a monthly membership that gets your child into thousands of the best kids activities in the city near you. Some of the activities include arts and crafts classes, indoor playspaces, sports, music lessons, museums, and more!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

 

Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids

What’s the best part of Valentine’s Day? It’s a guaranteed date night! If you and your other half are headed out for a romantic evening, you’ll probably want to provide your little one’s sitter with a festive Valentine’s craft. We love these heart shaped animals from personal creations for an easy and fun art fix.

Simply print out your child’s heart-shaped animal of choice, then leave them with your caregiver. When it’s time to create, they can help your child cut out and assemble the pieces to make a creature they’ll cherish long past February. There’s a color version for a quicker craft or a black and white version if your little one wants to color the animal themselves. Happy crafting!

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Sherry Chen, Personal Creations