Tag Archives: activities

Family Style Halloween in NYC

It’s the time of the year where you can dress as your favorite superhero, movie icon, or role model, and fit right in with everyone else. What can be even more fun than planning your own costume? Dressing up the little ones as their favorite character, too!

This Halloween, jazz up the kids, and take them to a special Halloween photoshoot offered by Classic Kids Photography. You know your child looks adorable in their costume, but nobody else does! Get great, high-quality photos to share with family and friends, and also for yourself. Make an appointment for the October 31st photoshoot by e-mailing (upperwest@classickids.com), or calling (212.799.3730) Classic Kids. Pets are also welcome!

Looking for another Halloween activity for the family around NYC? Mommy Nearest provides a great list of fun things to check out!

If you want to bust a move: head to the Broadway Dance Center on October 25th for a Halloween themed dance class and party (for children and teens).

If jack-o-lanterns are your favorite: go to Governors Island  to see more than 1,000 jack-o-lanterns lit along a windy night time trail.

If you’re feeling playful: take a stroll in your costume to Asphalt Green (in Battery Park or Upper East Side) on October 27th for fun games and prizes. The first 500 kids get a free goodie bag!

If you want to show off your costume: the Brooklyn Botanical Garden is the place to be! Take part in the afternoon costume parade, while enjoying giant stilt walkers and musicians.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Halloween

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Bell Family Teams Up with FDNY

To continue with CPR awareness from last week’s blog on CPR parties, we wanted to share Bell Family’s CPR training partnership with the FDNY team.

On September 6th, Bell Family hosted the FDNY to conduct their quarterly CPR training seminar to our sitters and nannies. The FDNY has been working with Bell Family for over six years, and we always appreciate them taking time out to help us be the best caregivers we can be.

FDNY went over Adult CPR, and had the caregivers practice on dummies. They learned all steps to performing CPR, and practiced chest compressions while humming along to “stayin alive”.

Our Nanny Services Manager, Lauren, then taught Infant and Child CPR, also while reviewing what to do if a child is ever choking, and basic first aid care.

It was a great night for all, and always a great refresher to know what to do in all situations while caring for infants and children.

Bell Family thanks everyone for coming, and we look forward to the next training! For any further information on what was learned, please contact us directly!

CPR-training

Written by  our Nanny Services Manager, Lauren Kruk

A Party with a Purpose

Drownings are the leading cause of death for children under four. What can help reduce this stat? Learning CPR.

Learning CPR is an easy activity that moms everywhere should partake in. There are a number of ways and locations where you can sign-up to learn CPR. Here are a few:

1. Online: if there is no location near you, become CPR certified through an online class.

2. American Red Cross: choose a location, select a class category, and then search for classes near you. They even have a class called Babysitting and Childcare.

3. Local Fire Department: for those living in NYC, FDNY offers free compressions-only CPR classes as part of its ongoing Free CPR Initiative.

What if there was one more way to learn CPR, and it was by having a party. Would you sign-up to learn?

CPR parties have been growing in apartments and homes everywhere. Imagine inviting other moms and friends to your home, along with a certified CPR trainer, and learning CPR right in your living room. That’s the exact idea of CPR parties – learning the life-saving skills of CPR and water safety education in a fast, fun and free environment.

To learn more about CPRParty™, visit their website and checkout their feature from Good Morning America!

CPR Party

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

Upcoming Event: The Creative Kitchen Kids Food Festival

Will you be strolling the streets of NYC this weekend looking for something to do? Head on over to Westfield World Trade Center on August 26th-27th, for a weekend full of flavor and fun with The Creative Kitchen!

The Creative Kitchen Kids Food Festival is a celebration to educate families about making balanced food choices to help create wholesome lifelong eating habits for both kids and parents. The weekend-long event offers a host of family-friendly activities including food demonstrations, live entertainment, food sampling, the Balanced Plate Scavenger Hunt, giveaways, and more! The event is free and open to the public for General Admission.

And for those enthusiastic eaters and little epicures alike, you can attend hands-on cooking classes at the James Beard Foundation Future Pavilion, where renowned chefs pass on their recipes, skills, and love for all things culinary to a new generation of learners!

Visit the website, on the Kids Food Festival Facebook page, and on Twitter at @KidsFoodFestFun to stay up-to-date on all things about the event.

Kids Food Festival 2017 Digitial Poster

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Training Thursday Vol. 10 – Playtime

Welcome to volume 10 of Bell Family’s video training series, where each Thursday we release a video to help coach sitters on an array of childcare topics.

This week we are featuring a training video on playtime!

Here are a handful of ways to easily and actively engage lil’ ones:

1. Read. Be animated! Act out the characters, make sounds, and point at the words or object you are referring to.

2. Sing. Sing child nursery rhymes or songs. You can act many of them out like ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ and ‘Wheels on the Bus’.

3. ‘Ring-Around-the-Rosy’ and ‘Duck Duck Goose’. These are two easy, play anywhere games, that toddlers and up can enjoy.

4. Grab a ball. You can do so many things with a ball and a child that is six months and up (roll to one another, play soccer, catch, keep it up, etc.).

5. Color. Grab some paper and poster board, and draw/color simple pictures (flowers, planes, farm animals, etc.). Then the child can show their parent when they get home.

6. Art/crafts. You can use a lot of the things already in the home. Noodles and yarn to make necklaces, make cookies, play restaurant (you be the guest and the child the server), play theater (where the child puts on a production for you), and use props in the home for the show.

Here are some fast playtime clean up tips:

1. Tidy up: Always tidy up the children’s play or eating areas before the parents come home. If the child is of age (toddler and up) have them help you. You can even make a game or song out of it to make it fun!

2. Wipe down: Wipe down the toys with a wet cloth and some dish soap after playtime, especially if you saw the child put something in their mouth.

3. Dishes/cups/bottles: Make sure these items are placed in the dishwasher or washed in the sink before the parents come home. The parents should not come home to a sink full of the children’s dishes. It takes just an extra minute, and makes such a difference to the parents.

These videos are recommended to all BFC childcare providers to view for the latest techniques when caring for children. These videos were designed by our team comprised of long-time babysitters, full-time nannies, mothers, grandmothers, elementary educators, and social worker.

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Note: Always follow the family’s instruction and care methods, and keep the family informed of everything with their baby.  These videos are not required to view, but a simple recommendation. For more information or for questions, please contact our office or read our terms.

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!

Ladybug

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

Holiday Camps for Kids

Looking for some fun activities for the lil’ ones this winter break? Kidz Central Station is offering some great classes to keep them active and your hands free!

From December 19th-30th, you can check out these classes:

1. Holiday Camp Snowflakes
Age: 3-4 years
Time: Weekdays 9am-Noon or 12:30pm-3:30pm
Cost: $15-$75

2. Holiday Camp Full Day (Peppermints)
Age: 4-5 years
Time: Weekdays 9am-3pm
Cost: $15-$125

3. Holiday Camp Full Day (Gingerbreads)
Age: 5-8 years
Time: Weekdays 9am-3pm
Cost: $15-$125

4. Holiday Cookie Wars
Age: 4-8 years or 9-13 years
Time: Weekdays 9am-Noon or 1pm-4pm
Cost: $100+

For the full list of semester holiday classes and additional event details, click here!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Cardamom Event Recap

Our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell, recently attended CARDAMOM’S event that took place last week in NYC. Here is what Lindsay had to say about the “Girlfriends, Glam, & Giving” event (full details on the event can be found in our blog).

The event was well attended at a local salon in Flatiron; where moms were welcomed with complimentary blow-outs… wow! Then h’orderves and vino were passed around, and Project Playdate presented on behalf of Founder, Amanda Raposo. Project Playdate is an award winning alternative to babysitting that helps women and children in need. There was a silent auction on site where 100% proceeds of the auction went to Project Playdate. It was truly a great event all around!

To learn more about CARDAMOM read the release below.

Cardamom_event

CARDAMOM app launches to connect moms with one easy “wave”.

They say it takes a village. But modern motherhood can be an isolating experience, without ready-made friends to lean on, laugh with or talk with. Many women, disconnected from their “pre-mom” lives, struggle to find and make connections that are in sync with their new lifestyles.

Enter Cardamom, a game-changing new app for moms. Launched for iOS last week, Cardamom utilizes profile-matching technology to introduce moms by neighborhood, kids’ ages, availability, interests, and even niche factors such as language and career choices. Users create a customized profile Card, then digitally “wave” hello to each other to explore a friendship. Cardamom makes it easy to connect and chat with other women in real time.

“Before motherhood, we made friends organically through decades of life,” says Cardamom cofounder Sonal Patel, a New York City-based mother of two, “When you have a child, it can feel like starting all over. So, women expend a tremendous amount of time and effort in meeting other moms, through meet-ups, mommy-and-me classes, playgrounds, moms’ groups, events and more. But it can be overwhelming, exhausting and uncertain.”

The Cardamom app is an easy solution for moms to quickly find and connect with each other. “It’s all done from the comfort of your phone, with no planning and no pressure,” offers Patel. “And it’s not just about play dates. We connect women who just want to chat with other moms in their local areas or someone to grab coffee, or even build professional networks.”

Now available in New York City and the surrounding areas, Cardamom will be building out networks in the coming months, with a nationwide expansion planned by early 2017.

The Cardamom app is available for free download at the iTunes store. It is compatible with iPhone, and an Android-compatible version will be released in the coming weeks.