Tag Archives: Kids

A Country Birthday in a City Apartment

My son’s first birthday party got the label of “Brooks’ Barnyard Bonanza!”

Based on his expressions it looked like he had a great time, but he’s only one, so it’s a little hard to tell. What I know for sure is that I had fun planning it, and the day off wasn’t too bad either.

My goals were to enjoy the moment and not get stressed, to not spend a lot of money, and to keep it focused on the type of birthdays I had growing up back home in Ohio.

My first task was to think of a theme. Farm and country got my vote.

Second, compile an invite list and create a design for the invitation. I outsourced adding all the e-mails to the evite I designed. Both of these were free!

Third, what to eat? I wanted to keep with the tradition of the birthday parties I remember, so I made my mom’s sloppy joes. Only one person at the party knew what a sloppy joe was (maybe these are a Midwest thing), but once people tried them they ended up being a crowd favorite. I also got an easy recipe for potato salad, which I would have bought, but no one sold it nearby. The potato salad took under 45 minutes and it turned out awesome!

Next, the cake. My husband wanted to help, so I gave this to him, but somehow I ended up executing on the matter. He ordered a cake from a grocery store on Long Island for $35, and let me tell you people, it was the most delicious cake I ever had. I ended up buying decorative icing to draw a cow and a barn on it, because my husband didn’t want to ask. It all worked out.

Forth, what to drink? My husband helped with this, too. I made the list and he bought beer, champagne, and orange juice.

Fifth (my favorite), the decorations. I am the product of two teachers and the oldest of five girls, so I grew up crafty. I made a homemade cow out of our dinner table by ordering a cow table cloth from Amazon, drawing a cow head, cutting out hooves for the table legs, and making a tail out of belts. Then, I cut out a barn along with some sun and clouds to make a farm on our family room wall. I bought a dozen cowboy hats to be placed on the back of chairs and around the apartment. The final thing was a ‘Yee Haw’ sign on the wall.

The attire for the party of course involved wearing flannels and jeans. My son also had a farmer bib to eat his cake.

I think the entire party cost me $300.00, which in NYC is about the cost for a custom cake.

If you need help with your next party let me know!

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Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Treat Your Head Right with Headspace

Happy. Healthy. Enjoyable.

These are three words that describe the teachings of Headspace to help motivate everyone to live their best life.

Headspace was launched in 2010 by two passionate head health individuals, Andy Puddicombe and Rich Pierson. Their mission – to get people everywhere to look after their health of the mind by sitting to meditate for a few minutes a day, everyday.

Headspace quickly grew from their events company when attendees wanted to take the techniques they’d learned home with them. Since then, Headspace has worked to make such techniques available through events, books, and a comprehensive online resource and mobile app service. Headspace is now used in over 190 countries, with the books translated into 12 different languages.

In June 2016, Headspace released their newest product, Headspace for Kids. This program was created to teach children the basics of meditation and mindfulness in a fun and engaging way, for both kids and parents to enjoy together. Headspace for Kids is offered for three age groups 1) Five and under, 2) Six to eight, and 3) Nine to 12.

For complete information about Headspace, visit their website.

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Image provided by headspace.com.

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor 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

 

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

Choking Hazards for Kids

In a recent article published by Lucie’s List, they talk about the most common choking hazards amongst children. Now that you are up to date with the CPR procedures from our last blog (read here), we wanted to highlight some of the items to look out for in the case you need to perform CPR.

Choking is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children, especially those aged three years or younger. More than 60% of childhood deaths due to choking occur in the first year of life.

Of 17,500 incidences of non-fatal choking here are the items kids most often choke on:

Food: 41%
Candy and gum: 19%
Other non-foods: 17%
Coins: 13%
Unknown: 10%

In the breakdown of these categories, here are some specific items to pay special caution to:

1. Balloons (other) – latex balloons were associated with 29% of deaths overall, making it the most dangerous hazard for kids. TIP: Use the Mylar balloons instead (the shiny foil ones).
2. Hot dogs (food) – about 17% of choking deaths are form hot dogs alone. TIP: Cut hot dogs length-wise before serving.
3. Grapes, carrots, and bananas (food) – the pediatrician of the article writer said that bananas are the number one choking hazard based on his personal experience. TIP: Never give your child a whole item; cut them into halves or quarters.
4. Water bottle tops (other) – bottle tops are everywhere and often ignored. TIP: Make sure the tops are always tightly sealed and/or out of the reach of children.
5. Coins – these aren’t high on the “deadly stuff” list, but coins are around everywhere especially on the ground (a kid’s favorite place to be). Pennies and nickels are the highest risk. TIP: Shiny coins often attract kids. To be safe, don’t let them play with them. Plus, they are dirty and germ-infested. Yuck!

For additional items to look out for, read the full article here.

Kidz Central Station’s Plaza Hotel Event

Take in the sights of the Plaza Hotel during Kidz Central Station’s event this Veteran’s Day (November 11), from 5-7:30pm.

Make it a family early evening on the town and enjoy activities including face painting, a magician show, dj glow stick dance party, photo booth, and much more!

In honor of Veteran’s Day a portion of proceeds will be donated to the Bob Woodruff Foundation to help disabled veterans.

Don’t miss out! Join Kidz Central Station and their partners for this amazing fall event! To register, click here.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

What an Upset Kid Is Trying to Say

Tantrums and kids are two things parents wish never went together. Unfortunately, parents can only put off the inevitable for so long, and are in the position to help their child through something that upsets them.

A Bell Family mom that uses approaches from this article says, “I see this to be effective in certain situations, but in others I feel like the child has too much control, therefore running the show and their parents in circles.”

Read the full article titled, “What an Upset Kid Is Really Trying to Say” from Goop, and let us know your thoughts!

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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

Get to Know Rockets of Awesome

Rockets of Awesome is the latest and greatest when it comes to shopping with the little ones. No more chasing kids down aisles, packing up the stroller, or dealing with a public tantrum. Rockets of Awesome brings stress-free and stylish shopping right to your doorstep through their website.

Now who’s excited to go back to school shopping?

Take a read through our Q&A with Rachel Blumenthal, Founder of Rockets of Awesome, to learn more about the new way to shop!

Q: What was your biggest inspiration to create a business like Rockets of Awesome?

As a mom, I’ve always been frustrated at having to choose between style and value when it came to my kids clothes. I also can’t keep up with the demand of how quickly they grow. The minute I had unpacked the boxes of e-comm orders, my son was telling me his pants were too short, and my daughter’s belly was hanging out of her tops (#momfail). Through my own experiences and hearing the same from the Cricket’s Circle community, I knew I could come up with a smart solution. I set out to create a highly personalized, thoughtful experience to replace the disjointed, time-consuming process we have been forced to endure for so long. Rockets of Awesome delivers stylish, high-quality kids clothing at an incredible value – and takes an errand off every parent’s to-do list.

For kids that are particular with their outfits, are they able to select specific items? What about those that have no idea what they want to wear – how do you select clothes for them?

As the shopping solution for parents, our truly personalized experience simplifies the process of shopping for awesome kids clothing – from end to end. When a customer takes the style quiz on our site, they can indicate their kids’ preferences from style to color to fit and more. If their child doesn’t like red, they’ll never see a red item in their box! After receiving their first box, keeping what they want and sending back what they don’t, they’ll be able to shop a la carte in their own personalized shop, curated based on their kids’ preferences. Unlike any other brand, we’re really here to simplify and personalize the shopping experience to deliver high-quality, stylish pieces that parents and their kids will love – all at an incredible value.

While kids and parents aren’t able to select pieces for their box, we’re able to quickly cater to our customers’ wants and needs using data from their preferences and purchases to inform future collections. Combining customer driven curation with insights from our team of talented in-house designers, we’re able to continuously deliver a thoughtful assortment of outfits parents and their kids will love. And of course, if you see something you love on the playground that isn’t in your box or shop, we’ll do our best to get it to you.

What’s inside a shipment from Rockets of Awesome and what will the customer be charged for?

Each box includes 12 items. There’s no commitment – keep what you want, send back what you don’t. There is no fee to join (and no styling fee or any other fee for that matter), you only pay for what you keep. There’s literally no catch, everything we do is to simplify the lives of parents and deliver our customers the type of experience we want ourselves.

If a customer decides not to keep the clothes, how does your return policy work?

Customers have 10 days to return the Rockets of Awesome items that weren’t a fit. Returns are tracked, and once received, Rockets of Awesome will charge the customer only for the pieces they decided to keep.

What makes Rockets of Awesome different from other online clothing companies?

Rockets of Awesome not only makes shopping much easier for parents end-to- end, but also designs stylish, high quality-kids clothing at an incredible value. We give parents the best of all worlds – personalization, membership cadence, and on demand e-commerce all through a vertical brand. Producing our own product enables us to quickly tweak design according to customer feedback, and selling it direct to consumer allows us to price pieces at an exceptional value. We truly want to simplify the lives of parents and do the work for them.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor 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