Tag Archives: children

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!

Personal-Creations-Easter

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.

Fishtank

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

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.

 

Raising a Bold, Brave, and Self-Reliant Boy

Have you ever wondered what motivates and drives your son in his everyday life? Teaching empowerment and belief in oneself is important, and it’s something parent’s can learn about in an upcoming event in New York City.

Join author and psychologist Dr. Adam Price,  for an event explaining how to teach your son to persist when challenged, and to develop the critical self-regulation skills necessary for success. He will also decode ‘boy world,’ explain why some bucks are “too cool for school” and give you the tools to raise confident, emotionally strong men.

On Wednesday, November 15 (6:30 PM until 8:00 PM), take part in the event by registering with HRP Mamas. Don’t wait – the Tuesday event is already sold out!

For full event and registration details, click here.

Hes_Not_Lazy_COVER

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Parental Phone Use Linked to Child Behavior?

The amount of screen time isn’t only something to be cautious of for children, but it’s also something to keep top of mind for parents. In a recent article published by The Bump, it discusses how a child’s behavior can be influenced by the parent’s relationship with their cellphone.

The study was conducted by University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Illinois State University, and involved 170 two-parent households. The parents were asked to fill out a short survey, which included questions about 1) their use of smartphones, computers, tablets and other devices, 2) how this usage may interfere with family time, and 3) details about their child behavior issues within the last two months.

At the conclusion of the survey, 48% of parents said two or three technology interruptions were standard for a given day.

“We know that parents’ responsiveness to their kids changes when they are using mobile technology and that their device use may be associated with less-than-ideal interactions with their children. It’s really difficult to toggle attention between all of the important and attention-grabbing information contained in these devices, with social and emotional information from our children, and process them both effectively at the same time.”

Senior Author, Jenny Radesky, MD

At the end of the day, it may be challenging to make the direct correlation between technology interruptions and child behavior, but it’s certainly something to keep at the forefront of parents’ minds.

For the full article on thebump.com, click here.

Phone-1

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Training Thursday Vol. 12 – Bad Behavior

Welcome to volume 12 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 how to redirect bad behavior.

Here are some fast redirecting bad behavior tips for ages 3 years and up:

1. Divert the child’s attention into other activities. For example, if the child is having a tantrum, start setting up a picnic on the floor and talk about how much fun it is. The child may forget what he/she was upset about and join you.

2. Give clear choices of what the child can do next as an option - 1, 2, or 3 options at the most.

3. Get down to their level and ask them why they are upset, or try to read them – are they hungry (is it past meal/snack time), are they tired?

4. Be sure to keep calm yourself. Children can always sense when we (as adults/childcare providers) get anxious or upset. They feed off that energy. Keeping cool and calm for the child will provide the best result.

Read more from Parent’s Magazine on how to manage bad behavior in children here.

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.

Sticker-face

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.

 

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.

Swings copy

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.

Lessons Mothers Should Teach Their Daugthers

Think about some of the lessons your mother taught you while you were growing up. Do you teach those same lessons to your daughter?

It’s something that is very interesting to think about. I look back at my upbringing and the lessons my mother has taught me, and I wonder if these same lessons were taught to her by her mother, and her mother before that. Just when, and how long has this lesson been apart of the family?

I recently read a post through Big City Moms that touches on this subject. They present 31 lessons that all mothers should teach their daughters, and it makes for a great read!

Below are some of the important lessons moms hope to impart on their daughters:

  1. “That she is beloved and precious…worthy of respect and love.” — Kristel Acevedo 
  2. “That in life you will have smiles, tears, good and bad days, so always have a plan to go to, but to laugh more and don’t sweat the small stuff. Be proud of who you are.” — Sheila Bohnett
  3. “To be content, secure, and kind.” — Meg H.R.
  4. “Always know your worth.” — Amy Fraser Tackabury
  5. “The same message my parents instilled in me: to have the confidence to pursue your dreams and work hard, and your parents will always be there to support you, no matter what.” — Joy Symonds
  6. “It is not your job to make people happy. You can do nothing about how other people feel, only your response is up to you.” — Jessica Lemmons
  7. “To know that if Jesus walked this earth (as GOD) and couldn’t keep everyone happy, there is no way we as mere humans could. And it isn’t our job. Find what it is that you were made for and go for it!!! And to not take frustrations and stress out on your body but to love your body. You only get one!” — Bonnie Byrd
  8. “The friends you choose will play a big part in who you become so surround yourself with people you admire. And love yourself, imperfections and all.” — Tasha Newcomb
  9. “The “handyman” skills my mom learned from her mom and in turn taught me. I love being able to fix, build, and install things myself! Dated a bit, but my grandma told my mom “when it breaks, your husband will probably be at work, and when he gets home, he’ll be too tired. So your best bet is fixing it yourself.” — Sarah Huston
  10. “That her stubbornness will take her great places in life, if only she uses it the right way.” — Laura Delagarza Gruenwald

 

For the full list, check out the Big City Moms website!

Court_girls

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Meet New York Sleep Coach

It’s time to learn how to sleep train your little ones, and give parents everywhere a life with more sleep.

We had the opportunity to talk with Kylee Sallak, founder of New York Sleep Coach, and the creator of Happy Parents, Happy Child method of sleep training. Read below to find out more about her and the impressive work done by New York Sleep Coach.

Q: What experiences or motivational factors helped lead you to create New York Sleep Coach?

Creating NYSC was a culmination of 16 years of helping families and one big recent ‘ah-ha’ moment with a close friend who wasn’t able to convince her 14 month old to nap. While I have many years of sleep training behind me, it wasn’t solidified that I could create something this acutely helpful until I saw my sleep-deprived friend feeling hopeless with her toddler’s sleep. It was enormously motivating to realize that I can be of service to parents in such a short and transformative period of time. At my core, I am a nurturer and have always found myself needing to care for others. NYSC has given me the privilege to nurture parents, so they can be at their best to nurture their kids.

Q: What are the benefits of hiring a sleep coach for a child?

The primary reason parents choose to work with me is because they have tried on their own and always end up caving in at some early stage of the process out of fear, being too sleepy to keep with it, or a combination of both. Parents report that working with me helped them feel confident in their decision to sleep train and supported during the periods they would have otherwise caved in. I make sure that parents who work with me are getting accurate facts about sleep, support, encouragement and walk away feeling empowered with tools to uphold their decision to sleep train.

A lack of restorative sleep negatively affects your child’s mood, their gross and fine motor development, their appetite, short and long-term cognitive development, and their ability to handle frustration. Fewer tantrums and cheery moods are the outwardly and immediately noticeable perks for your little ones. If your child is sleeping soundly all night, and napping well during the day, you also have the opportunity to be getting quality rest. Uninterrupted time spent with your partner, both in and out of the bedroom, waking up more refreshed, having more patience when are you with your little one(s), and being more productive during your awake hours. These are the notable perks for the parents. And while it may not seem so obvious right now, there is a significant domino effect and implications of not sleep training your child that extends beyond toddler and preschool years into primary school and beyond.

Q: We like your approach on common sense sleep training, can you share a few tips for new parents?

I am happy to share the most commonly missed practices, which are also the most immediately impactful practices you can start using today. So many parents I speak to are doing only 1 or 2 of these tips, and some parents aren’t utilizing any of them. This is usually because they either hadn’t gotten around to trying, or because they didn’t believe these would work for their baby or young child. Either way, I would recommend giving these a try even if you are skeptical. These are going to make a noticeable difference if done consistently. And if you get stuck along the way and feel you need more support, I am here to help parents just like you get over this bump in the road!

NY Sleep Coach_tip 1

NY Sleep Coach_tip 2

NY Sleep Coach_tip 3

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

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!

Kidz-Central-Station-1024x775

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell