Tag Archives: activities

Meet Songs for Seeds!

Songs for Seeds introduces an interactive class that encourages children (newborn to 6 years old)  to sing, dance, and play along with a live, three-piece band. After being named “Best Kids’ Music Class” by New York Magazine and “Most Magical Music Class” by Red Tricycle, it’s no wonder everyone is wanting to know more about Songs for Seeds. We sat down with them for a short Q&A to learn all about their offerings. Read below, and sign your little one up for a class today!

1. What can a child and their parent(s) expect to takeaway from one of your 45-minute classes?
The biggest takeaway from our class is that it is really awesome to learn through play! Without even realizing it, the children walk away signing songs that reinforce colors, shapes, numbers, animals ad all they know is that they just had a good time! The parents walking away having just been able to enjoy themselves and their children is a relaxed, stimulating area.

2. How involved are the child’s parent(s) in each of the classes? Are they actively participating or just looking on from the sidelines? Parents/Caregivers are encouraged to participate throughout the entire class, however, it is their choice to be involved as little or as much as they want to be and feel their child wants them to be. All of the clapping, playing, dancing and questions-answer activities are designed to include a child and their adult.

3. You also make your services available for birthday parties and events. What do you provide for such events and how would someone go about hiring you?
Although we are not able to bring our roadie box (classroom setup) with us for parties or events, we do create an interactive concert. Using a lot of the songs/activities from class, we are able to engage them children with instruments, scarves, magic and of course, play! A quick inquiry e-mail to greenwich@songsforseeds.com OR a phone call (646-820-9916) is all it will take the get the conversation going and book your party or event.

4. For the moms and dads wanting to sign their little one up for a class, how do they get started?
Head to our website! You can find all schedules, classes, and pricing information directly on our site. You can also call me, Courtney Fischer-Karasin, directly 646-820-9916. We are so excited to share this AMAZING program with all of the little seedlings of Fairfield County!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Wee Ones Club to the Rescue

Have an infant and already worrying about being cooped up in your apartment all winter log?

If you live near Midtown East, sign up for a trial at Wee Ones, and hop into their Turtles and Tadpoles class! 

It’s a quaint, clean space with what seems like very happy teachers. My son and I went on a trial pass and it was a great experience! My son is 5 months and was the youngest baby in the room. The class is for 4 to 14-month-olds, which is quite a large span.  The class started with introductions followed by “tumbling” time; one baby at a time participated, while the others sat and watched. After this, there were sing-alongs, a short playtime, a puppet show of sorts, and a very colorful parachute ending.

This is their youngest class offering designed to introduce and develop skills for children who are not yet walking. Curriculum is carefully designed to explore all developmental domains of our youngest members and includes music, gentle movement, basic sign language, tumbling, parachute, and bubbles. Class structure supports language, social emotional, physical and cognitive development.

The trial was $15, and you can sign up for a semester class which comes out to approimately  $50 per class at 50 minutes per session.

I found the class on Kid Central Station. It was easy to find and easy to book! 

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Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Swim Lessons with Kids

There is a lot of pressure being a mom these days. There are many factors weighing on our backs: should my child be potty trained by now, am I disciplining correctly, are they eating right, and so on. My current dilemma has been swimming, I guess because it’s the summer months and kids need to cool down.

I enrolled my twins into swim class for 3-5 year olds at our community recreational center. My husband and I took them to their first lesson with everyone in their swim suits ready to go (since last year we had to go into the water with them). We get to the rec center pool and notice all of the other parents have their street clothes on, which was kind of concerning. I did not trust that my girls get into the water by themselves, especially because on the other side of the median there were 6ft deep signs. Um, no.

I soon told the instructors my concerns and led the girls into the water. I kind of hung around (because I was super paranoid) watching them get used to the water and noticed one of my daughters start walking deeper and deeper into the water. At this point, the water was up to her shoulders. I frantically got into the water because no one was paying attention to her, and I pulled her back to the group. I stood back and watched them again, and saw that my daughter was losing her footing. She started bobbing up and down in the water, flailing her arms. I panicked. I yelled at the lifeguard who pulled her from the water and handed her to me. Needless to say she took a break from the water, while I stayed in with my other child.

I called and voiced my complaints to the director who assured me she would monitor the next class to make improvements. I was thankful, but still not comfortable. With that being said, yes, getting your kids exposed and involved in various activities is important, just make sure your child is ready.

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Written by our Sitter Services Coordinator, Courtney Bell Garvey

Outside of the Box Fun

Are you getting tired of playing the same games or activities when watching the kids? Let’s face it, board games and “go fish” need a dose of resuscitation.

Our Bell Family sitters are helping everyone to think outside of the box with a slew of awesome ideas! Try out one of these fun activities the next time you are watching the little ones.

1. Get cooking: Pretend to own a restaurant and have the child be the chef. Practice using measuring cups and following recipes. Have them repeat the words you use and teach them how to cook and bake.

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2. Play Picasso: Pretend the child is a famous artist making paintings for their museum. Then be the customer in their gallery, view their original artwork, and buy them with pretend money.

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3. Play lifeguard: The sitter is the lifeguard at the city pool and the child pretends to be a grown up at the pool with his little sister or brother.

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4. Get outside and play town (a Bell family favorite growing up): Get play cars, make traffic stops, have a cop, driver, and have them direct traffic. If someone passes a red light they go to jail! Have a pretend jail.

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5. Think outside the box (literally): Get recycled boxes and make a train station or play house. Get construction paper, have the sitter use the scissors and create your own train station with a conductor.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Mother’s Day: Events, Gifts, and More!

Greetings, all!

The countdown is on to the day where we show moms everywhere just how much we love them. If you are still looking for the right gift for the mom in your life, take a look at some of the creative ideas we have listed below. We’re pretty confident you might be Mom’s favorite this year.

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8th.

Gifts:

Yankee Candle Bouquet (via diy-brico.blogspot.cl) If you smell every candle before checking out.
Cozy Stuffed Slippers (via Pretty Providence) If you want to be cute but your wallet funds are not.
Personalized Jewelry (via LayeredAndLong) If a little bling if her thing.
Homemade Everything (via DIY Ready) If crafty is your middle name.

Events/Activities (in NYC):

Brunch, Brunch, and More Brunch (via TimeOut) If you can eat eggs all day every day.
Picnic in the Garden (via TimeOut)  If you want a royally good time.
Cooking Class (via TimeOut)  If you want to build up your recipe box.
Choc-o-late (via TimeOut) If the key to her heart is through cocoa goodness.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

CoreMotion – From Lawyer to Fitness Studio Owner

Greetings, all!

We’re bringing you a special blog post today featuring the story behind CoreMotion Studios. Located in Fairfield, Connecticut, CoreMotion brings us a story of a woman who left her career as a New York City lawyer to become a stay at home mom, and later owner of a successful fitness studio. We had the opportunity to chat with Elise Zealand, owner of CoreMotion Studios, to find out more about her journey through this short Q&A.

Q: What made you decide to leave your successful career as a lawyer and become a full-time entrepreneur?

When I was working in-house as general counsel of a media company, I discovered that what really interested me was the business side, the strategic planning and operations, rather than the legal work. And I’ve always loved fitness — a lot more than I ever loved being a lawyer. I discovered the Megaformer in New York and was blown away by how strong I felt after taking just a few classes. Pretty soon I was hooked and I wanted to share my discovery with my friends and neighbors in Fairfield County, a community where we have a home and that’s very dear to my heart. It was an enormous leap of faith to start a business rather than go back into law, but I’ve learned more from this experience than anything else I’ve ever done professionally.

Q: I know you spoke about this a bit with Lindsay, tell us why you feel being an entrepreneur/business owner is more challenging than being a mom. What advice can you give other CEO mothers out there?

Being an entrepreneur, you constantly have to convince everyone around you — your clients, employees, business partners and even family — that you’re capable of creating and managing this new entity. You have to prove yourself and sell your product. In contrast, most people will give you the benefit of the doubt that you’re a competent parent and your baby’s cute. And there are so many moving pieces to a business that the work literally just never stops. At least a baby sleeps. Sometimes. I think CEO moms might as well let go of the guilt that comes from balancing a business with family, because they’ve made the choice to do it. And it’s important to tune out the negativity around them. I’m not saying to ignore constructive feedback or expert advice. But lots of people will have opinions about what to do with your business and that noise can get distracting. At the end of the day, you’re the business’s mother. And you know best.

Q: You offer a great program through CoreMotion called, “CoreNutrition.” Tell us about CoreNutrition, and why people should join in?

We are in the process of developing our nutrition counseling business because it’s integral to overall health. We want people to come into the studio and feel successful. For most people, real body change will require changes in their eating habits. I am a huge believer that your best body, inside and out, comes from a combination of eating well and exercising intelligently and with purpose. I used to sweat it out at a big box gym without giving much thought to what I was doing. Then I’d follow up with a 20-ounce smoothie that had more sugar than a donut. We want to help lift our clients out of old habits that aren’t working for them.

Q: How does someone join CoreMotion and/or sign-up for a class?

They can just go to our website, www.CoreMotionStudios.com!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Get to Know B2 Events – NYC!

Greetings, all!

We’re bringing you a special Q&A blog post today featuring New York City’s own, B2 Events! B2 Events offers cool and unique activities including arts and culture, fitness, neighborhood excursions, and more for parents and their children to participate in together. Parents, you’ll never again have to ask, what are we going to do today, because B2 has planned it for you!

Take a read at the Q&A, and then see below on how to schedule your next event with B2!

Q: What inspired you and Katy Goldman (co-owner), to create B2 events?

A: While picking wild flowers on vacation with my 9-year-old daughter Lucy, I said to myself, “wouldn’t it be cool to learn the true art of flower arranging?” Then my second thought was, “wouldn’t it be fun to learn this with my artistic daughter? She would be better than me!” Then I started to think of the many types of classes that would be even more rewarding to take with my daughter. Once kids are around 8 years old, all of a sudden you marvel at how capable they are and how they can learn at a level more comparable to your own. I knew at that moment that I wanted to make this idea a reality. I approached the one person who I knew together, we could make this happen.  After recently losing her sister to breast cancer, Allison had been planning unique ideas for special dates with her tween nieces. I knew she would understand my idea and want to help other people create the same memories with their kids.

Q: What are some of the unique classes you offer a parent, sitter, or role model and the child to do during an event or activity?

A: Since these are “one-time” classes, we try and vary our programming so there is something of interest for everyone.  Some of our more unique classes are Fresh Pasta Making, Birdwatching, Walking Tour of the Brooklyn Bridge with the Historical Society, Sneaker Graffiti and Self Defense Workshop. Our most popular classes are The Art of Cake Decorating and Photography 101.

Q: Why is it so important for a parent, sitter, or role model and the tween to involve themselves in learning activities together?

A: Research shows that child development experts have long praised the virtues of shared experiences, especially during the most emotionally vulnerable middle and teen years. Sharing a learning experience creates new positive memories together, and it is this time and bonding together that nourishes this complex relationship between parent and tween age children. Also, parents simply love how easy and refreshing it is to join in on a B2 class! Ariana Stolar, who attended Perfecting Brunch!, with her daughter, said B2 classes helped them relate in a new way. “I wasn’t the authority figure, we were both learning from the chef so it was more like we were peers. Usually I am the one orchestrating and planning everything for my kids. But with this I just showed up, I cooked, I ate and I didn’t even have to clean up.” All in all, it’s an exciting and new way to simultaneously learn with your kids and something parents aren’t privy to with school and drop off classes.

Q: What if a parent wants to have one of you host at a private party? Is that something you offer? How would a mom or dad go about organizing that? 

A: Most of our class and event offerings work well as private parties. Or, if parents are looking to host a cool event just for the kids (i.e., slumber party, birthday, Friday night hangout), we are happy to customize this event. Please e-mail us at info@b2events.nyc.

Take a look at the upcoming events and schedule your next fun activity with B2 Events today!
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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

How to Perform CPR

Greetings, all! Are you needing a quick refresher on compressions only CPR? Well, it just so has it that the refresher you are looking for is below!

Note this post was developed and sourced by Bell Family from our training and experience in CPR, First Aid, and Fire Safety through the American Heart Association and from our training with the Fire Department of New York. We also cited trusted blogs for added information. Note this is NOT a training or certification. These are simply helpful tips.

How to perform CPR – Newborn/Infant
Perform CPR if the child is not breathing, has no pulse and has lost consciousness.

1. First do back blows

- If a baby is conscious but can’t cough, cry, or breathe and you believe something is trapped in their airway, carefully position them face up on one forearm, cradling the back of their head with that hand.
- Place the other hand and forearm on their front. The baby is now sandwiched between your forearms.
- Use your thumb and fingers to hold the jaw and turn them over so that they’re facedown along the other forearm. Lower your arm onto your thigh so that the baby’s head is lower than their chest.
- Using the heel of your hand, deliver five firm and distinct back blows between the baby’s shoulder blades to try to dislodge the object. Maintain support of the head and neck by firmly holding their jaw between your thumb and forefinger.
- Next, place your free hand (the one that had been delivering the back blows) on the back of the baby’s head, with your arm along the spine. Carefully turn the baby over while keeping your other hand and forearm on the front.

2. Then do chest thrusts

- Use your thumb and fingers to hold the jaw while sandwiching the baby between your forearms to support their head and neck. Lower your arm that is supporting their back onto your opposite thigh, still keeping the baby’s head lower than the rest of their body.
- Place the pads of two or three fingers in the center of the baby’s chest, just below an imaginary line running between the nipples. To do a chest thrust, push straight down on the chest about 1 1/2 inches. Then allow the chest to come back to its normal position.
- Do five chest thrusts. Keep your fingers in contact with the baby’s breastbone. The chest thrusts should be smooth, not jerky. Repeat back blows and chest thrusts.
- Continue alternating five back blows and five chest thrusts until the object is forced out or the baby starts to cough forcefully, cry, or breathe on their own. If coughing, let them try to cough up the object.
- Repeat the chest compressions and so on, until help arrives.

Child (toddler to approximately 7-8 years old, dependent on weight)
Check for alertness.  Tap the child gently. See if the child moves or makes a noise. Shout, “Are you OK?”

- If there is no response, shout for help. Tell someone to call 911 and get an AED (if available). Do not leave the child alone until you have done CPR for about two minutes.
- Carefully place the child on his/ her back. If there is a chance the child has a spinal injury, two people should move the child to prevent the head and neck from twisting.

1. Perform chest compressions

- Place the heel of one hand on the breastbone — just below the nipples. Make sure your heel is not at the very end of the breastbone.
- Keep your other hand on the child’s forehead, keeping the head tilted back.
- Press down on the child’s chest so that it compresses about 1/3 to 1/2 the depth of the chest.
- Give 30 chest compressions. Each time, let the chest rise completely. These compressions should be FAST and hard with no pausing. Count the 30 compressions quickly.

2.  Open the airway

- Lift up the chin with one hand. At the same time, tilt the head by pushing down on the forehead with the other hand.
- Look, listen, and feel for breathing. Place your ear close to the child’s mouth and nose. Watch for chest movement. Feel for breath on your cheek.
- If the child is not breathing: Cover the child’s mouth tightly with your mouth.  Pinch the nose closed. Keep the chin lifted and head tilted. Give two rescue breaths. Each breath should take about a second and make the chest rise. Continue CPR (30 chest compressions, followed by two breaths, then repeat) for about two minutes.
- After about two minutes of CPR, if the child still does not have normal breathing, coughing, or any movement, leave the child if you are alone and call 911. If an AED for children is available, use it now.
- Repeat rescue breathing and chest compressions until the child recovers or help arrives.

Adult
100 beats per minute. Sing a song that goes along with the pace of the compressions (“Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees or “Let’s Get It Started” by the Black Eyed Peas). 

 

Safety Refreshers
Note this is NOT a training or certification. These are simply helpful tips. 

Newborn and Infant (1 month-1year)

1. Burping

- Hold the baby with their chin near your shoulder. Support the baby with one hand and gently pat/rub their back with the other to soothe them while allowing their body to stretch out with your hand.
- Sit the baby on your lap with one hand, supporting their chin and pat/rub their back.
- Lay the baby at a slight angle (with their head higher than their chest) on your lap facing you; rub their belly to soothe them while they stretch out their body. We advise this method as a last resort after the above two.

2. Choking

- ONLY if you clearly see and can easily extract the item that is obstructing the airway, take it out. DO NOT stick your fingers down the baby’s throat to try and scoop something out (this can shove it farther down).
- If you cannot see the object, don’t try to find it. Start back blows.

3. Changing a diaper

-  A newborn/infant’s diaper should be changed following each feeding, approx. every 2-3 hours. As child gets older, time frame will vary. Consult parent for schedule.
- Be sure that you put the diaper on correctly- not backwards.
- Dispose of used diaper properly. 

Toddler Safety Techniques

- For naps and bedtime: Do not have anything in the crib with them, unless the parent instructs.
- Make sure electrical outlets are covered or inaccessible.
- Always keep one hand on an infant sitting on a high surface, i.e. a changing table to prevent falling.
- If there are stairs in the home, always use a gate.
- Keep your purse and any hazardous household items (electrical cords, medicine, cleaners, art supplies, toiletries etc.) out of a child’s reach.
- Stay with ALL children throughout bath time and never use more than a couple inches of water.
- Always ensure food is broken up into small enough pieces to prevent choking.
- Never administer medicine without the parent’s permission.

Pre K and K Safety Techniques

- Always use a helmet and/or protective pads when appropriate.
- If at a playground, make sure the equipment is age-appropriate for the children you are supervising.
- When crossing the street, choose street corners with crosswalks and make eye contact with drivers prior to crossing in front of them and always hold the child’s hand. Even if they are older, you must guide them across.

Elementary and Up Safety Techniques

- You are their biggest role model. Model safety first! Teach them safety rules for crossing streets, playing at playgrounds, etc.
- Avoid playing on non-impact-absorbing surfaces, like concrete.
- Remove helmets before using playground equipment.
- Keep screen use to a minimum.

1. AED Reminders

-  Don’t use AED near water.
- Don’t use while child is wet or in a bathing suit.

2. First Aid Tips and Tricks

- Carry 1st aid Kit with you- band aids, Kleenex, wipes, etc.
- Don’t give kids medicine without parental permission.
- Always use sunscreen in summer.
- Bring water always.

3. Fire Safety Tips and Tricks

- Make sure the home is installed with fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Change the batteries in all detectors every six months.
- Develop a home escape plan with the children and family in case of an emergency. Have two exit routes available. Do a practice fire drill so the children understand where they are supposed to go (make an activity of it).
- There are two types of apartment buildings, fireproof and non-fireproof:
a) A fireproof building is usually a high-rise, so the building is made of concrete, not wood. If the fire is not in your apartment, it is probably safer to stay inside than to enter a smoke-filled hallway. Keep the door CLOSED, and seal the gaps with duct tape or wet sheets/towels. Open the windows slightly. Call the Fire Department. b) A non-fireproof building is usually an older building, has an exterior fire escape, and is made of wood. If the fire alarm goes off, leave the building immediately.

- Children and toddlers have a curiosity about fire. Make sure they are taught to NEVER play with matches and lighters. If a child expresses curiosity about fire, calmly but firmly explain that matches and lighters are tools, not toys.
- Never leave a child unattended in a room with a lit candle.
- Do not use candles if the power goes out. ONLY use flashlights.
- Never use an extension for large appliances.
- Turn off/unplug all space heaters whenever you leave the room. Do not leave children unattended in rooms with space heaters. Never plug in space heaters into extension cords.
- Using a fire extinguisher for a SMALL fire: 1) Pull the pin, holding the extinguisher upright 2) Aim at the base of the fire, from 20 ft. away 3) Squeeze the handle 4) Sweep from side to side.
- Fire extinguishers can only be used ONCE, and must be replaced or refilled after a use.
- Cooking fires/grease fires should NOT be extinguished with water because it will splash the grease and spread the fire. First, turn off the stove. Then use either baking soda or slide a lid over the pan to smother the flame. Do not attempt to pick up/move the pan, and do not take off the lid before a couple of hours.
- Always stay in the kitchen whenever there is something on the stove. Keep pan handles facing inwards in case a child tries to grab at the handle. Ideally, keep pans on the back burners if the children are around.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Bored Children, No More!

Greetings, all!

It seems like it’s getting harder and harder to find ways to keep children entertained these days. To get away from the TV screens that seem to follow us everywhere, we put together this impressive list of fun activities, so both you and your child can fight the power of boredom.

1. Go to the park, make friends!

2. Make a treasure hunt – get some paper, crayons, and map out the hunt and hide the treasures.

3. Go on a nature hike – pack a zip lock baggie and gather all the cool things you find on the hike, and then write about them when you get back home.

4. Make clean up a game! Sing a song and chart how much you cleaned up.

5. Schedule a play date.

6. Hit the library – see if they have reading corners scheduled, research some great books and find them at the library.

7. Create your own book – encourage the child to get super creative.

8. Dance party – get music and make up a dance.

9. Try out a new restaurant and pretend to be a food critic.

10. Play tourist for a day.

11. Make an obstacle course outside or inside if the space is big enough.

12. Play board games.

13. Go for an I SPY walk. Make a list of all items you need to find, take a camera and snap the photos.

14. Babysitting for girls? Create at home spa day.

15. Go pottery painting.

16. My favorite – build a fort. Use pillows, blankets, blocks, anything you can, and have the kids visit each other in the fort they build.

17. Make a collage of photos.

18. Cook or bake with the kids. Have them follow the recipe, read it out loud, teach them about measurements.

19. Chalk drawing outside on the sidewalks.

20. Build a town – with a banker, hotel, restaurant, and have each child run the shop. They will love it!

Special thanks to The Centsible Life and our Founder, Lindsay Bell, for the great ideas!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Fun Family Event This Weekend: Really Ready to Read!

Greetings, all!

We wanted to bring our followers a very special event taking place this weekend at Society of Illustrators, that features Meredith Oppenheim and world-renowned psychologist Dr. Shefali Tsabary. At the event, you can learn about Conscious Parenting, a philosophy and bestselling book forwarded by HH The Dalai Lama, that revolutionizes the parenting journey and allows us to transform our relationship with our children.

Learn how Meredith put this philosophy into practice when the word games she and her daughter created inspired their self-published book Really Ready to Read, which generated over $10,000 on Kickstarter with proceeds going to early literacy charities.

Attendees can also look forward to literacy games, crafts, dance, music and more for children 4–8 years of age.

Event Information:
Time:
Sunday, March 6, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Location:
  Society of Illustrators – 128 E. 63rd St (between Park & Lex)

Cost:  $30/adult and $5/child
To register for the event click here!

We hope many of you will be at this great event to learn more! And when you’re there, share photos from the event on our Facebook page, or tag @lindsaybellnyc on Twitter!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!