Category Archives: Events

Fall Happenings Around NYC

Festivals, markets, and all of the pumpkin-themed fun possible. We searched around for some fall events in and around NYC that would be great for a family-fun day! Browse through our list, plan your adventure and tag us in your photos on Facebook, so we can get in on the fun too!

Harvest Homecoming
When: October 20, 2019 (11 a.m.-5 p.m.)
Where: Brooklyn Botanical Garden
About: Discover an old-school fall foliage festival in the heart of Brooklyn—complete with hay rides, carnival games, music, and more! Local cider makers and kombucha brewers offer tastings, a farmers’ market features heritage apples from local orchards, and kids can debut their Halloween costumes in a high-energy drum parade.

Scary Bazaar
When: October 27, 2019 (10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.)
Where: Grand Bazaar NYC
About: Grand Bazaar NYC transforms for Halloween into a “Scary Bazaar”. Expect to be greeted by creepy crawly and ghostly decorations, and explore the 140+ spooky vendors – many in costume – indoors and outdoors. There will be a fantastic selection of scary sweet treats from artisanal food vendors. Get your scare on and come out for a fun day for the whole family and maybe uncover unearthly finds!

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
When: October 3-31, 2019 and every weekend in November
Where: Croton-On-Hudson, NY
About: Witness an army of more than 7,000 glowing pumpkins in the tristate area’s most spirited Halloween happening, It’s also one of the best and easiest day trips from NYC!

Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla
When: October 30, 2019 (4 p.m.-7 p.m.)
Where: Charles A. Dana Discovery Center (inside the Park at 110th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues)
About: Celebrate the Halloween season in Central Park. Listen to ghost stories, check out a costume parade and get creative by carving a pumpkin. After the festivities, the Central Park Conservancy will partake in a traditional Pumpkin Flotilla, where 50 gourds (possibly your creation) will take a sail across the Harlem Meer at twilight.

Written by Taylor Bell, Social Media & Marketing

Introduce Your Kids to Volunteering!

ATTN New Yorkers – It’s time to get out and help others living in that beautiful city of yours! Volunteering comes in all shapes and sizes, and no volunteer activity is too small.

We had the opportunity to learn more about New York Cares and the amazing volunteer opportunities that they offer. We were particularly taken by their kid-friendly volunteer opportunities where children and their parents can learn, give back and grow together, all while doing some good. Read below for our Q&A with Cynthia Chovan-Dalton, Director of Development, Individual Giving & Special Events at New York Cares and learn how your family can give back!

Q: Tell us about New York Cares Family Day on September 22nd. What does the event entail? Who can volunteer?

A: The New York Cares Family Day of Service on September 22nd will be a fun and educational event to introduce children to volunteering and giving back to the community. There will be eight stations that families can travel among to learn about different issues areas and participate in service projects such as packing baby boxes for families with newborns, making cards for seniors to brighten their day, creating seed balls for New York City parks, and learning how a family can collect coats to participate in New York Cares 31st Annual Coat Drive. The activities are designed for children ages 6-12, but younger and older children can attend (space for stroller parking is available). Parents can attend an express orientation for New York Cares volunteers, and then sign up for additional volunteer projects that are family-friendly. There are projects open to children as young as 6.

More information on the event can be found on our website.

Q: What are some other family-friendly volunteer events that you offer?

A: New York Cares Day for Schools on October 19 will have a family-friendly site. The New York Cares Family Council will plan additional volunteer projects over the course of the year that are exclusively for families, including a family-friendly coat sorting for the Coat Drive, a card-making opportunity for seniors or veterans, and a park revitalization project. Families can also search here for additional opportunities that allow children.

Q: How can someone sign up to be a volunteer? Can people of all ages sign up to volunteer?

A: Parents and guardians must create a New York Cares volunteer account and attend an orientation. They can then sign up for volunteer projects; for each project they must complete a Family Friendly Waiver. If a project is not one of the exclusive family projects organized by the Family Council, the parent or guardian must email the Team Leader of the project to let them know they will be bringing their child.

Q: What are some benefits you see families receiving after volunteering together?

A: We’ve heard from many parents that their time is limited and while they want to volunteer, they must prioritize family time. The solution is to volunteer with your kids! This will allow parents to pass on to their children the values of giving back and civic engagement that they feel are important. And research indicates that service-learning activities can reduce stereotypes, facilitate cultural and racial understanding, and increase interpersonal development, leadership, and communication skills. Children who volunteer are more successful in school, are three times more likely to volunteer as adults, and are more apt to vote.

A special thanks to Cynthia Chovan-Dalton for working with us for this Q&A blog post. Happy volunteering, readers!

Young female volunteer marks a cardboard box with a pencil.

Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

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

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

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!
Brooks_bday
Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay 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.

FDNY with sitters_edited-1

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

CPR Training Near You

Greetings, all!

Are you in the NYC, Los Angeles, or Chicago areas, and looking to get CPR training? Us at Bell Family did some digging, and here is what we found.

New York

1. Free CPR training through FDNY (Download their “Be 911” free app)

2. HeartStart Training provides certification courses daily that cover infant, child, and adult CPR/AED/First Aid

Los Angeles

1. American Red Cross

2. American Heart Association

Chicago

1. American Red Cross

2. CPR in Chicago (FREE)

3. Chicago Pulse

If you take one of these courses as a BFC prospective sitter, be sure to get proof and send it to our team. Please note, Bell Family does not reimburse for certification or independent training.

FDNY with sitters_edited-1

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!

Cover_Kickstarter

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

BFC Inside the School Community

Greetings, all!

It’s a new year, and Bell Family wants to get involved with your child’s school!

Do you have a winter or spring gala, or perhaps another school event coming up? Are you looking to offer additional benefits to your families? Well, Bell Family Company would love to help!

Here at BFC, we love to get involved in the School Community! We have worked with a number of schools in the past, and provide services such as event staffing (Gala’s, family night, etc.), to donating to auctions. A few of the schools we have worked with include Grace Church, Absalom, Temple Israel and Hunter College Elementary. Bell Family can provide any of the following services to your school and family community:

1.  Sick day babysitters, and emergency last minute coverage
2. Donate towards a silent auction
3. Provide guest speakers or experts in the field
4. Family concierge – we offer high touch family care services through our staffed licensed therapists, certified coaches, and former nannies here, or we’re available to help with any childcare challenges (e.g., children not listening to the nanny) or relationship challenges (e.g., communication issues between parent and nanny) that commonly arise during the beginning stages of the parent-nanny relationship.

For more information on our participation, e-mail us at info@bellfamilycompany.com.

IMG_2591

Written by our Founder & President, Lindsay Bell and Sitter Services Coordinator, Meredith Hamler!

1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children

Greetings, all!

In a recent seminar hosted by BFC, we had the privilege of listening in on Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D., author of 1-2-3 Magic Effective Discipline for Children 2-12. He taught us that 1-2-3 Magic is simple, but not always easy. The easy part is the basic structure of the program. The hard part is the fact that the first step in disciplining kids is to discipline yourself.

Below you will find further tips that we pulled away from the seminar.

Tip 1: Think of parenting as a three step process:

Step 1: Controlling Obnoxious (Stop) Behavior
Step 2: Encouraging Good (Start) Behavior
Step 3: Strengthening Your Relationship with Your Child

Tip 2: There are two basic kinds of behavior problems:

STOP BEHAVIOR: arguing, whining, fighting, teasing, tantrums, yelling, etc. For this minor obnoxious behavior you will use the 1-2-3, or “counting,” method.
START BEHAVIOR: eating, going to bed, getting up in the morning, homework, cleaning rooms, practicing, etc. To encourage good behavior you will have seven tactics. You may use one or more of them simultaneously.

Tip 3: Controlling Obnoxious (Stop) Behavior

The “counting” method: two brief warnings (“That’s 1,” “That’s 2”) followed by a “rest period” or time-out alternative if the child hits three. No talking, no emotion. No explanations afterwards unless absolutely necessary.
What to do in public? Get 1-2-3 rolling at home first, then use it in the grocery store the same as at home. Beware of the threat of public embarrassment!

Tip 4: Strengthening Your Relationship with Your Child

Try these four things: shared one-on-one fun, avoiding over-parenting, sympathetic listening, and solving problems together

1-2-3

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