Tag Archives: new york city

Inside Scoop on Explore + Discover Early Learning Center

Along Second Avenue in New York City, you’ll come across an organization like no other.  Explore + Discover Early Learning Center is an organization that provides both excellent and unique childcare in the heart of Manhattan. Infants and toddlers will feel right at home as they receive nurturing care, and learn life-long social and physical skills.

Bell Family had the opportunity to talk with the Co-Founder & President of Explore + Discover for a Q&A, to provide a quick guide for families on why this should be their new go-to for childcare.

Q: How does a family apply to be part of Explore + Discover? How much advance time should a family give for the application process? Do you offer all age programs?

Families begin the application process by calling and setting up a time to visit the center. Once the date/time are scheduled, prospective parents (with or without child/children) come in for a visit with our Director and/or Educational Director. This accomplishes a number of important objectives, including but not limited to:

- Giving us an opportunity to learn more about the child and family.
- Allowing us to more completely explain how the program operates, and answer any questions.
- Letting the family see the facility, and the program in action.

We recommend that if a family is considering applying to the program at that point, that they fill out an application and pay the application fee at the time of their visit. This allows the family to be in the queue, and if they should decide to take next steps to join the program, we have their information and are able to move things along fairly quickly.

Advance time is always recommended—we have some families who come to us when they are thinking of conceiving, which is wonderful (and frankly pretty forward-thinking from a family-planning POV).  At the same time, we keep our doors open to families who may not make preparations in advance, and if we can accommodate them, we are happy to!

Q: What does a common day look like for an infant or toddler at Explore + Discover? What kind of activities can they expect to be apart of?

A typical day for a child at Explore + Discover involves a combination of open exploration, thoughtfully planned creative experiences, and careful attention to caregiving routines.

We believe that allowing children time for exploration through free play each day is vital for social and emotional growth. Each classroom environment is designed with the age and developmental level of the children in mind, offering high quality open-ended materials to encourage creative play.

We also offer a variety of open-ended art and musical experiences throughout the week. Art specialists, as well as classroom teachers, plan engaging activities as a creative outlet for the children. Painting, mark making or drawing, working with clay, and collage are just a sampling of the experiences in our art studio.

Many of our teachers play the guitar and each class is visited by the music teachers, where they listen to, and eventually sing along with familiar songs and rhymes. As part of our Music Before Words program, the children are exposed to a variety of instruments. They are encouraged to listen to the sounds, move to the music, and even touch or play each instrument.

A thoughtful focus on caregiving makes Explore + Discover unique. Feeding, sleeping, and diapering routines are looked at as a time for bonding and beginning to encourage independence.

Q: What are some key items you look to teach the children that attend Explore + Discover? Tell us about your mission.

At Explore + Discover, our goal is to set the foundation for children to become lifelong learners.

We encourage them to investigate their curiosities and wonderings by providing an engaging classroom environment and enriching open-ended materials.

We believe that teachers are partners in learning rather than the keepers of knowledge, therefore providing opportunities for exploration, creating, and questioning.

Using the children’s natural interests and developmental stage as a starting point, the teachers design curriculum unique to each group. By the time the children leave E+D, it is our hope that they have developed the self-confidence, problem solving skills, and inquisitiveness needed to navigate the upcoming years of school.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

New York Baby Show Highlights

At the end of last month, the annual New York Baby Show concluded, where our very own, Lindsay Bell, was a guest speaker.

This year, the event racked up its biggest numbers yet with 5,000 families registered! At the two-day event, both expecting and new moms had the opportunity to walk around the show to discover new products, take in seminars on bump and baby, and check out fun attractions such as the Cannon Step-And-Repeat and the respites (like the DK Reading Rest Stop).

This is a great event hosted every year by New York Baby Show. If you haven’t gone yet, next year is your year!

To see additional photos and coverage from the event, check out their Facebook page!

NY Baby Show

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Scandinavia House Playing & Learning Center

The Scandinavia House Playing & Learning Center is a hidden gem in midtown east NYC.

First, it’s clean. The toys seem new and the carpets are always well vacuumed for the next day, which is not always the case with free play areas.

Second, it’s cost effective! People can sign up for a membership at $400 per year, and have full access to the play center. Or you can use a trial pass on Saturday’s for $15.

Third, it’s for those toddlers that are walking and up. With padded walls and soft carpet, it’s perfect for new walkers and rolling around.

Finally, it’s a great way to mingle with other moms and nannies.

For more information, checkout their website here.

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Written by our Founder & President, Lindsay 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!

Ladybug

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

 

Potty Training Seminar (February 4th)

Do you have, or know anyone who has toddlers ready to be potty trained? If so, you’re in luck because this weekend, NYC Potty Training is hosting a Potty Training Seminar!

The event is hosted by Samantha Allen, founder of NYC Potty Training, who has received great praise from one of our Bell Family moms saying, “She’s incredible! I used her for my son when we were desperate for help and she got him trained in a weekend!”

If you aren’t able to attend the event this weekend, there’s still good news! You can have Samantha Allen (founder), speak to families at your child’s school about methods and strategies for seamless potty training in 1-2 days. Samantha is also available to speak at private events.

If you are interested in attending the event, you can purchase tickets here, but hurry because the event has been sold out the last two years!

3rd Annual Seminar by NYC Potty Training
Leman Manhattan Preparatory School
Saturday, February 4, 2017 from 10AM-11AM (ET)
New York, NY

Potty

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Event: Turn Each Good into a Greater Good

This Sunday, goods for good, a nonprofit using microenterprise to transform orphan care in Southern Africa, will host their family-focused Kids for Good: Meet Me in Malawi on October 23rd from 10:30 am –1:30 pm at 501 Union, Brooklyn. The event will feature African drumming, a magic show, music, and arts and crafts while raising support for their programs in Malawi.

goods for good empowers local communities in Southern Africa to transform orphan care. By partnering directly with Malawian community centers that care for orphans, goods for good gives communities the resources and industry knowledge required to build successful businesses. In so doing, these community centers become fiscally equipped to support orphan care, all while creating living wage jobs that boost the local economy. So far, goods for good has launched ten community businesses and forty household businesses that have helped provide 95,000 orphans and vulnerable children with the care they need.

Three years ago, goods for good realized there was a real need to get families involved in learning about other parts of the world and giving back to kids in need. From this—Kids for Good was born! Now in its third year, Kids for Good uses entertainment, arts & crafts, and interactive learning to get kids involved in goods for good’s mission of empowering communities to transform orphan care.

“We take great pride in Kids for Good,” founder Melissa Kushner says, “and it’s largely because this event naturally captures children’s behaviors and uses them as a way to teach them more about Malawi and what we do. By harnessing kids’ energy in familiar activities and then giving them a twist, we’re able to get kids excited about learning, exploring the world, and making a difference.”

For more information about the event, please e-mail Kathleen Rommel at krommel@goodsforgood.org.

For tickets, visit give.goodsforgood.org/MeetMeinMalawi.

GOODS FOR GOOD - Malawi Project Awareness Tour: UFULU Community Center [Day 1]