Category Archives: Bell Family Fridays

JMFamDay-3

Fun Fridays – Crave Culture At The Jewish Museum

Common misconception – You do not have to be Jewish to appreciate the revolving installations at this Upper East Side Museum.   Saturdays are FREE for everyone and kids under 18 get in FREE all other days of the week. Our friends at The Jewish Museum have put together some great ideas and facts for the wee ones when exploring beyond the playground and usual playspaces.  NYC is abundant with culture, just there for the taking, don’t miss out!  (Psst, BFC reader discount on membership below, so read on!)

From The Jewish Museum’s Education Department – written by Nelly Silagy Benedek, Director of Education; Rachel Katz Levine, Senior Manager of Family Programs; and Rachael Abrams, Senior Coordinator of Studio Programs.

Why is culture important for early learners?

Having cultural experiences at a young age supports the development of critical learning skills in fun and engaging ways. The Jewish Museum’s family programs encourage young children to look closely, describe, move, and think in response to original works of art through gallery and studio art experiences.  Similarly, our family concerts inspire children to listen actively and express themselves by singing and dancing—all this in a friendly, collaborative environment. Through their participation in gallery conversations, performances, and hands-on activities, children express themselves creatively. They also learn how to share their experiences with others.

Studio art is an important component of our early childhood programming. Families create original works of art inspired by their experiences and by the works of art they encounter in the Museum’s exhibitions. Our studio art programs and projects emphasize the importance of using the imagination, articulating objectives, experimenting with different materials, developing original ideas, making thoughtful choices, learning from mistakes, and expressing different points of view.

Family programs at museums offer enriching artistic and cultural experiences for multi-generational audiences in an environment where families can learn together.  Furthermore, children who begin coming to museums at a young age are more likely to feel comfortable in museums and other cultural institutions and are more likely to seek out similar experiences throughout their lives. We hope that visiting museums at a young age is a first step to fostering a life-long passion for the arts.

How can my children and I better engage with art as a family?

•           Follow your child’s lead. What sparks his or her interest?

•           Look closely. Describe what you notice in a work of art. Explore the colors, shapes, textures, and materials that you see. Discuss what is happening in a scene.

•           Take your time. Give your kids time to make close observations.

•           Choose a theme. Plan your museum visit around an idea or topic, such as people, place, nature, color, shape or materials. Hunt for specific images or objects in the galleries. Discuss the artwork by asking questions related to your theme. For example: Find a work of art that involves something from nature such as an animal, tree or plant. Have you ever seen this animal or plant before? Where? How is this work of art similar or different from the real animal or plant?

•           Ask open-ended questions, such as: What do you think is interesting about this work of art? What do you think is happening in this scene? Does this remind you of anything?

The Jewish Museum is pleased to offer your readers a discount on family memberships.  Normally a Jewish Museum family membership is $135, but we can provide a special rate of $100 just for your readers who join by December 31, 2014.  Readers can use the discount code BELFAM and redeem the offer by:

-       Emailing the membership desk at JMMembership@thejm.org

-       Call the membership hotline at 212.660.1519

-       Visiting the membership desk at the Jewish Museum and mentioning the code or bringing in the blog entry

Further information about membership at the Jewish Museum and benefits can found at http://thejewishmuseum.org/support#memberships by looking at the section headed “Family $135.”

greg fam

Fun Fridays – Behind the scenes with Greg at BFC

We thought we would introduce our families to the crew that makes BFC run smoothly each and every day.  Our crew is just like yours, work, kids, laundry, vacations, me time.  First up, some questions for Greg Shafiro our CTO and resident Photographer.  Our new online platform is thanks to him and his team and we are ever so thankful!!!

BFC – How do you balance work and life, with 2 (right?) kids, a F/T IT career and photography on the side?

GREG – That’s a good question. My Wife would probably add, Secretary of the Co-op Board, cycling volunteer Marshal for all events that need help, a UrbanSoccer youth Soccer Coach, and Handyman for anything that might break in my mother’s house. Honestly, my two kids and a wonderful wife enable me to balance work and family life, without their support none of this would be possible, Squeezing 28 hours our of a 24hour day also helps.

BFC – How did you get started with Lindsay and BFC?

GREG – I was introduced to Lindsay, by Miles Spencer whom I met at the NorthSide Conference in Brooklyn. I had been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug when I was 11 years old, I started a soda distribution business at my sleep away camp, so when Miles presented me with an opportunity to join the Bell Family Company team as a Founding CTO, it was a no brainier.

BFC – If you could live in any city and have any career what would they be?

GREG – I love to travel, so it’s really hard to pick one city where I would like to live. But if you twist my arm, I would probably say Jerusalem. I fell in love with the city during my studies at a Yeshiva right by the Wester Wall. Regarding my career, it would have to be something that would allow me to spend more time with my kids, help people less fortunate than me, travel and photograph different cultures. Not sure if a position for that job description has been created yet. But hey a man can dream.

BFC – What’s most important to you in a work career?  At Home?

GREG – When it comes to work, I am reminded of a quote by Mark Cuban “Work like there is someone working twenty-four hours a day to take it all away from you”. That said knowledge, hard work and respecting people around me are the most important thing for me.

At home, spending time with my kids and being the best father I can be to them is the most important.

BFC – Greg, What is your pie in the sky family vacation if money and time were no object?

GREG – When my wife and I first moved in together our favorite show was the Amazing Race, by the way we applied twice to be contestants on the show, sadly we never did get selected. Traveling the world and learning from the different cultures of the world with my kids would be my pie in the sky vacation.

KCS train

Keep em entertained !

Living in the city with kids has a slew of considerations all their own (what other city do you have to register for preschool while the kid is still utero ??).  Kids need freedom, they need space and most of all in a city like NYC they need an outlet for their energy that could power a freight train.

Whether it is art, music, gymnastics, bowling,  checkers, DJ academy or gardening to name a few, the apple has a ridiculous amount of offerings for the wee ones up to high school.  And it can make your head spin when trying to navigate the options, it’s plain overwhelming.  Our friends at Kidz Central Station are trying their hardest (and succeeding) in helping make this process painless.  Their one stop shop gives you 3 click access from looking to booking and then moving on to more pressing issues, like a glass of wine ;-)

Kidz Central Station: Your Go-To Resource for Kids’ Fall Classes

If you’re looking for ways to keep your kids active and learning this fall, check out Kidz Central Station a one-stop-shop for parents to find, compare, and enroll their children in classes and activities in and around NYC! With over 3,000 classes to choose from (in music, art, soccer, ballet, mommy and me, and so much more!), Kidz Central Station makes it easy for busy parents to find and manage their kids’ activities all in once place. Use the site to:

  • Narrow a class search by age, location, class type, date, and price.
  • Enroll in hundreds of NYC’s top class providers, such as 92Y, Gymboree, Little Maestros, and Super Soccer Stars.
  • Sign up for trial classes.
  • Earn reward points! With the Kidz Rewards program, the more classes you book, the more discounts you earn toward future purchases!

Visit Kidz Central Station to check out all of the great activities for your child this fall!

platinum drive

Movin on up…to the burbs

Once you have spoken with a counselor at Suburban Jungle and have decided that you are in fact moving to the burbs, call our friends over at Platinum Drive Realty – one of the premier Realty groups in Westchester, covering the county as well as Fairfield, CT.  below are the top 10 reasons to consider confirming that moving truck and kissing the concrete jungle goodbye according to agent Seth Keslow who made the move himself a few years ago.

Top 10 Reasons to Consider Moving to Westchester from Manhattan:

10) Price per square foot.  Imagine having more than a 10 x 10 area for 4 people and much more for much less money!

9) Overall quality of life for you and your family – much less hustle ad bustle, so me time and fresh air.

8) Open Spaces and trees -  Most people are happy to have a slightly longer commute for the payoff of having trees , a yard and much more.

7) A sense of community and involvement – Every town in Westchester offers excellent community and recreational opportunities such as beautiful parks, sports teams for adults and children, tennis courts, community pools and more.

6) Private laundry within your home – No more schlepping your laundry through public hallways, elevators or even streets.  Most city residents never have the opportunity to have their own washer and dryers within their home.

5) Super Markets! – HUGE super markets (and a variety of them including Stew Leonard and Fairway!) with plenty of room for wagons and strollers in each isle and everything you need for your home under one roof.

4) Property taxes in Westchester are higher then in NYC – BUT the schools are worth every penny and are FREE.

3) Privacy – Having a large backyard to host friends and family for a barbeque without having all the nosey neighbors across the street being voyeurs.

2) Safety – Having a sense of safety for you and your family with less threats of terror. Having your sense of physical, spiritual, financial, and more protected against failure and harm.

1) Education – Some of the best public schools in our country. In addition, many of the public schools in Westchester are better and higher rated than the private schools in NYC and without the cost.

 

 

Family Friday: Shannon

Bell Family works hard to connect the best sitters and nannies with your families; truly making them feel like part of your family. We’d like to take this Family Friday to introduce one of our own Bell Family Company “family members” here in the office: Shannon.

shannon Smith photo

Shannon is our resident Project Coordinator. Despite taking a few months off to travel the world, she is back in action and will be helping connect families and sitters from the NYC office.

Shannon is originally from Long Island and is a graduate of the University of Delaware. She loves to travel and has spent time abroad as a full-time, live-in Au Pair in Germany for 4 children ages 1-5 years. She is fluent in Spanish and conversational in German!

Shannon gets welcomed back by her favorite German family while visiting

Shannon gets welcomed back by her favorite German family while visiting

She has babysat her entire life for families in her neighborhood newborns to teens. Shannon also volunteered at a school with had classrooms that combine mainstream students and students with special needs. Shannon adores children and is a great part of the BFC team!