Memorial Day Activities for Kids

Memorial Day Activities for Kids

Monday, May 27th is Memorial Day and the kids are home from school! 

SIGN UP for a great day off activity.

Robots & Science Memorial Day Camp

at NORY locations in Pine Street School and Brooklyn Heights. Age 3-7.
Your child will spend the day doing what they love and learning while they do it. Young innovators will use their strengths, as well as develop new skills, to program a robot and build circuits and structures. 

Memorial Day Art Camp

at Creatively WILD Art Studio in Brooklyn. Age 10+.
Happy Campers spend action packed days going on exciting artistic adventures. Camps include instruction & exploration in Painting, Drawing, illustration, Cartooning, Manga, Found Object Art, Mixed media, Collage, Sculpture & more.

 

Kids’ Birthday Parties at Blue Man Group

Blue Man Group BirthdayBlue Man Group will rock your world!

Leave your expectations at the door and let three bald and blue men take you on a spectacular journey bursting with music, laughter and surprises.

Located at the very intimate space at Astor Place Theatre on Lafayette Street, the Blue Man Group has been a long standing iconic show since 1991.  Kidz Central Station recently received complimentary tickets to attend the April 22nd afternoon show when our kids were on Spring Break.  The parents were happy to take a break from the playgrounds and enjoy a different form of entertainment,  The kids (ages ranging from 7-10) were happy to have a “field trip” during vacation.  Although I’d been to a show many, many years ago, I was excited to have the experience with my kids.

Blue Man Group Birthday

Blue Man Group Birthday

We don’t want to spoil the show (which is unlike anything you’ve seen), but will say that the kids totally loved the childlike humor of the show.  And people being splattered with paint is always funny to them.  They were laughing and smiling throughout the 90 minutes.  The performance is very family friendly and the little bits of adult humor are lost on the kids anyway.  The favorite parts the kids mentioned were the audience interaction and the toilet paper fun at the end. You can tell from the photo above that this is a crowd pleaser.  Among their exact reactions were “awesome!,” “funny,” “messy,” and “Can we go again?”

Blue Man Group Birthday

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After watching the show, we were convinced that this would be a great way to celebrate a birthday while also treating our children’s friends to a unique experience.  It also would be stress free planning. Parents can drop off their kids at the location and the kids are firmly seated for the duration while you relax and enjoy the show with them.  Blue Man Group takes care of the rest!

Celebrate Your Child’s Next Birthday at Blue Man Group New York

Groups 10+ receive complimentary birthday package, which includes:

Themed e-vites

Opportunity for birthday child’s name to appear on LED screen for a birthday shout out

Spin art canvas created by the Blue Men

Show poster for each guest.

Merchandise, Concessions, and Additional Experiences Available for an additional cost.

After the show, get your photos with the performers

Save $20 per ticket for select performances

Blue Man Group Birthday

Kidz Tips

  • Price Per Ticket: $65.00 incl. 1 guest
  • Duration: 90-100 minutes (No Intermission)
  • Wear white to have fun with the fluorescent lighting
  • Bring Earplugs if the kids are sensitive to loud sounds
  • Location: Astor Place Theatre, 434 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003

Concussions On or Off the Playing Field: What Parents Need to Know

Hassenfield Children's Hospital

From the real experts at Hassenfield Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone:

A concussion is an injury to the brain caused by sudden head movement – from either a jolt or blow to the head or body. While many people think of football and other contact sports as the most common cause of concussion, playgrounds and bicycling or scooters are the leading cause of concussion in children. It is critical that children play safely and that kids, parents, and guardians know how to spot the signs and symptoms of concussion. Symptoms from a concussion can take minutes or hours to develop, so if a concussion is suspected, it is important to book an appointment with a doctor trained in concussion management for a thorough evaluation after a blow to the head or body. Concussions typically resolve on their own within a month of injury, but recovery is faster for children who see a specialist right away.

A few simple precautions can help keep you and your children safe:

  • Use age-appropriate playground and cycling equipment
  • Ensure that equipment is properly maintained for safety
  • Use guardrails to prevent falls
  • Wear a helmet when bicycling, skateboarding, or using a scooter
  • Look out for hazards that can cause trips or falls
  • Talk with kids about the importance of playing by the rules to avoid unintentional injury

Concussion identification:

Signs or symptoms of concussion may include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Balance problems
  • Nausea
  • Mood changes
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Sensitivity to light or noise

You should immediately seek medical help or call 911 if there are signs of:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe or worsening symptoms
  • Sudden changes in speech or walking
  • Bruising around the eyes or behind the ear
  • Facial deformity
  • Vision changes

 Recovery:

Children can begin to return to their normal, non-contact, non-strenuous activities a few days after suffering a concussion as long as their symptoms do not increase with activity. Promoting good sleep and nutrition can help the child feel better. The child can also gradually return to school as tolerated under guidance from a physician, so communication with school administration is important. Children should not return to sports or strenuous physical activities until they are in school full-time and have been cleared by their physician.

 

screen time

Elizabeth Barchi, MD, is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and sports medicine specialist at NYU Langone Health. She sees children and adults at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital and the Joan H. and Preston Robert Tisch Center at Essex Crossing, and her main interests include injury prevention, cross-training, nutrition and energy availability, and optimizing recovery.

Love of Reading Starts with Play

Playful Literacy'Every year, teachers are struggling to motivate kids to read, even starting in kindergarten, because of poor attention spans. While the research does not unequivocally state why attention spans are shorter now, there is new evidence to suggest that technology overuse is not helping. Speech-Language Pathologist Frida Matute, founder of a new class called Playful Literacy, is reigniting that natural motivation kids have to learn by organically combining playing and reading.

Playful Literacy’s philosophy is that kids become motivated to read if they learn early reading skills through movement, games and mostly, fun! Playful Literacy builds upon the premise of many evidence-based reading programs like Orton-Gillingham, which use multisensory activities that incorporate movement of the whole body to read. Playful Literacy involves and captures kids through playing games like ‘Pin the Sound on the Donkey’ and ‘Sound Trivia’ as well as word obstacle courses and vowel scavenger hunts. For older kids, the curriculum builds on literacy by incorporating reading and writing through songs, plays and scripts, which engage kids to write content for their own shows, private YouTube channels and blogs. Playful Literacy aims to combine today’s interests with the inherent love of play. This whole-body, multisensory approach to learning is a well-researched and proven method to increase children’s motivation, confidence and success while learning to read.

Playful Literacy

Teaching reading through play and movement is becoming  popularized as specialists in reading, teachers and parents become more aware of the benefits of learning how to read through multi-sensory activities. The Playful Literacy curriculum changes for each grade level, but always embeds reading and writing into highly interesting activities, making learning to read “sticky” for kids. Classes are led by speech-language pathologists with master’s degrees in language and reading specialists trained in Orton-Gillingham. Classes maintain small groups with specialist to student ratios of 1:5 so learning outcomes are met in fun, structured lessons. Playful Literacy is now an option for parents to help their kids love reading during afterschool or summer classes.

WHY DO I NEED TO START THIS NOW?

Playful LiteracyThe term ‘Literacy’ means reading and writing. In order for kids to learn how to read and write, they need to learn skills that prepare them for reading starting in pre-k. In pre-k, self-regulation and active listening are critical precursors to reading. From there, kids learn early literacy skills like rhyming and sound identification. Kids then start blending simple sounds together to read short words. Children with well-established literacy skills are more equipped learners and listeners. These children excel in a variety of domains and build profound abilities for reasoning, language awareness, self-understanding, and formulation of questions (All Children Read).

PLAYFUL LITERACY | LEARNING OUTCOMES

  1. SELF-REGULATION: The ability to recall important information and sustain attention while inhibiting distractions from accomplishing tasks. Students that learn to self-regulate earlier demonstrate long-lasting increased language and learning skills.
  1. ACTIVE LISTENING: Fully listening to a communicative partner is critical to academic and daily life. A large portion of students’ class time involves listening to instruction and newly presented information.
  1. PRE-LITERACY SKILLS: Early literacy skills like sound identification, rhyming, letter identification, and syllable segmentation need to be secured to dive into reading and writing successfully.
  1. THE LOVE OF LEARNING: Playful Literacy’s curriculum is fun! A fun and engaging approach to learning motivates kids to participate.

Playful Literacy spring and summer classes are starting at 92ND ST Y and The Art Farm the week of April 29th and run through August 23rd.

Download the curriculum

Register for a class visit

City Parents Love Shibley Day Camp

Shibley Day Camp

“You want me to put my 5 year old on a bus from Manhattan to Long Island every day this summerare you crazy? 

We often hear these words or see the wheels spinning in parents’ heads when we talk about campers coming to Shibley Day Camp from Manhattan. In fact, a large percentage of our campers do come from the east side of Manhattan in addition to areas in Queens like Long Island City and Forest Hills; and parts of Brooklyn including Park Slope. 

So why do parents send their children in droves from the city every day to day camps on Long Island? We asked a mix of first time Shibley families and veterans and here were some of their answers: 

I feel so grateful to have found Shibley for my daughter. I’m so glad that I can give her the perfect summer camp for a city kid; one where she is outdoors in the sunshine, swimming in the pool and running in the grass every day. She comes home exhausted with dirty knees and crazy hair. Most importantly, she comes home happy. – Mrs. Grillo 

Shibley Day Camp

“Sending our children out of the city for summer camp was the best decision we could have made.  We love our city living most of the year, but the amazing landscape at Shibley provides a true camp experience and the ability to be outdoors for activities as much as possible – a luxury no local camp could provide.  While the bus ride to and from was my greatest hesitation, this was actually one of their daily highlights. They made friends outside of their groups and age bracket which made them feel even more connected to the Shibley community.  I know it was a good thing when I offered to pick them up from camp one day and they both quickly responded ‘NOOOO!'”– Mrs. De Angelis

Shibley Day Camp“As much as we love the city, you can’t beat the variety, offerings, and outdoor facilities that a suburban day camp has to offer. The minute my active little city-bird saw Shibley, he asked if he could go there over the summer. We’re confident that it’s the right choice for us.” – Mrs Goldenberg  

“We knew it was time to give Marco a taste of suburban life when he saw the Shibley Day Camp promotional video and said “look, it’s in the jungle!”  There’s more to life than steaming hot sidewalks and fenced-in city parks. We wanted to give him the opportunity to spend his summers running around in fresh air and green grass, and swimming in a beautiful outdoor pool.”-Mrs. Zambetti

Shibley Day Camp“…imagine not hearing the shrill of car horns and emergency vehicles for days on end.  Instead, imagine the magical sound of kids having fun in a truly natural setting.  My daughter loves escaping the noise of the city and enjoying full days filled with the sounds of nature…” – Mr. McLaughlin 

Shibley Day Camp

Sending our daughter to Shibley from LIC was one of the best decisions we have ever made! Our daughter gets the opportunity to be active in the outdoors on a beautiful large suburban property while participating in so many activities including; swimming, ropes course, playgrounds, sports, color war…the list is endless. Shibley provides convenient busing, which is amazing especially for working parents. She is currently counting down the days until she goes back to camp!– Mrs. Fritz 

Shibley Day Camp

This will be my daughters second summer at Shibley Day Camp, and the excitement in our home is at a whole new level! When is camp starting mom? How many more days again? Living in Manhattan is an amazing experience for my daughter and our family, but like every New Yorker and especially my child who is born in and being raised in NYC, you need a break every once in a while.  When my daughter was old enough she went to Shibley and upon her return from camp that afternoon her happiness and exhaustion was evident. The activities were beyond her imagination and the staff and counselors were just amazing even the bus ride home was an exciting adventure for her filled with fun and appropriate songs and games. City kids have benefits like no other children, but you should not pass up an opportunity to send them to a camp outside the hustle and bustle of the jungle of Manhattan. And make sure its a place like Shibley that your child will love just as much as their own home.– Mrs. Sticco 

Shibley Day Camp

I love sending my daughter to camp in the suburbs for so many reasons.  First and foremost is getting her to spend time outside surrounded by large lawns of green grass and giant shady trees. She learns about nature and escapes the concrete jungle.  Also, I love that there are various pools for swim instruction dedicated to each age level. My daughter finally learned to put her head under water and started to swim last year and now she runs and jumps into the water with no fear. This year she will work to pass the deep water test. Let’s not forget about the bus! I feel like my daughter grew up on that bus, gained independence, developed patience and made great friendships with boys and girls of different ages.  Lastly but equally important are all the outstanding activities that take place outside like carnivalOlympicsrelay racesbungee .. and so much more.. We love Shibley Day Camp! – Mrs. Fastenberg 

Shibley Day Camp

“The environment is such a departure from more urban settings. It’s like having a relative with a country house who lets your kids go run, swim and play all day (under adult supervision). Their summer days don’t crawl by looking for things to do. Every day is spent in a beautiful wooded sanctuary that gives my children the feel of a upstate sleep-away camp. But I get the added bonus of seeing them at the end of every day, exhausted and relaxed as they regale me with the stories of their adventures. Without a haven like Shibley, my kids would probably never lay back on the grass and watch the clouds on a beautiful summer day like they were in their own backyard. They don’t have to compete with neighborhood kids for a hot swing on a blacktop playground. They don’t have to wonder how they will fill their hot summer days in a concrete jungle. Instead, all four of my children learned to swim from Red Cross certified instructors, they climbed rock walls, played softball, hockey, basketball and gaga….Over the many years I have realized it is a different kind of friendship that forms over the summers, when you only see each other for a few months. Those relationships are special. They will have these camp friends for a lifetime. – Mrs. Haberstumpf

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Book a private tour today so we can show you our beautiful, private and wooded 20+ acre facility!

Contact heath@shibleydaycamp.com or call us at (516) 621-8777. 

Shibley Day Camp

Spring Recess Camps 2019

Spring Break

NYC Public Schools celebrate Spring Recess from Friday, April 19, 2019-Friday, April 26, 2019.  Don’t miss this great opportunity to get your children involved in fun activities and camps during this time off of school.  Below are great options.

STEM CAMPS

  • Robots & Science Spring Break Camp locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn with NORY.  Young innovators will use their strengths, as well as develop new skills, to program a robot and build circuits and structures.
  • Robotics and STEAM – Spring Break Day Camp in LIC with Snapology.  In the Creature Creator Robotics morning session, your animal lover will create their own animal inspired robotic models. Students will learn about gear ratio, sensors, simple machines, and programming.  In the afternoon session Science of Superpowers program, students explore the world of their favorite superheroes.
  • Video Game Design and Drone Commander – Spring Break Day Camp in E. Village/Chinatown/LES with Snapology.  Design your very own online game with Stencyl game creation software. In the Drone Commander class, your student will be introduced to the world of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and develop a deep understanding how to control and manage this exciting technology.

ART CAMPS

Happy Campers spend action packed days going on an exciting artistic adventures: Camps include instruction & exploration in Painting, Drawing, illustration, Cartooning, Manga, Found Object Art, Mixed media, Collage, Sculpture & more. At Creatively WILD Art Studio in Brooklyn.

TAKE YOUR KIDS TO A MUSICAL

  • Beauty and the Beast – The Musical! in Greenwich Village at Literally Alive! Theatre.  This adaptation, based on the original book by Jeanne-Marie LePrince de Beaumont, is filled with charming musical numbers, delightful dancing, endearing and amusing characters, wonder and magic. *Please note that this is an activity and show for the whole family! Drop-offs are not allowed and childcare is not provided.

SPEND A WEEK AT THE ZOO

  • Spring Break Wildlife Mini-Camp at Queens Zoo.  Just like us, animals eat, play, sleep, spend time with their family and explore! Throughout the week we will get to know animals in a whole new way. Snacks will be provided. Children must bring their own nut-free lunches.

SPECIAL LIBRARY EVENTS

Picky Eating? There’s an App for That

Picky Eating App

From the real experts at Hassenfield Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone:

Researchers at NYU Langone Health have launched When to Wonder: Picky Eating, a new app that studies children’s food preferences and emotions to better understand picky eating in young children and provide real-time suggestions for parents.

Picky eating is common among children, and parents of picky eaters often find themselves lacking the knowledge they need to address their child’s distinct challenges and needs. The Picky Eating app, intended for use with children age 6 and under, employs questionnaires, a child-friendly food sort game, and video activities, all completed on a smartphone to gather information from both children and parents.

Participants are screened for eligibility and then prompted to give informed consent to be enrolled in the study after downloading the app. The data collected through the research study is anonymized and securely stored at NYU Langone Health to enable researchers to examine children’s emotions, behaviors, and development as well as the impact of social and demographic influences, parent–child interactions, and other risk factors on young children’s development and mental health.

The main feature of the app is a food sort game using high-quality images of foods; children and parents separately play the game, swiping through to indicate whether a food is “yummy” or “yucky.” Then parents play the same game answering the question “Will your child eat this?” Afterward, the parent and child can compare answers by viewing their matches. Another interactive feature enables children to watch short videos while the front-facing camera records a video of the child, allowing computer vision tools to characterize the child’s emotions and attention.

The app offers parents evidence-based advice on their child’s food preferences, eating behaviors, and emotions, and provides suggestions on how to support their child’s healthy eating. In some cases, families are encouraged to seek further consultation with their healthcare providers.

Interested in checking it out? When to Wonder: Picky Eating is available to download for free from the Apple and Google app stores.

Q&A With Shibley Day Camp in Long Island

Shibley Day Camp

It’s cold outside but parents know that summer vacation is fast approaching.  Finding the right camp experience, the right fit for our children is one of the most important things that we can do.  To help give our parents guidance and options in this decision, Kidz Central Station spoke with Heath Levine, Camp Director at Shibley Day Camp in Roslyn, Long Island.

Shibley Day Camp

What are your session lengths and dates and is there flexibility?

We have flexible session lengths because we know that for every family looking for a full 8 week program there is a family that wants to travel or children interested in trying a specialty camp out for a week in addition to spending time at Shibley over the summer. The minimum program is 4 weeks because we feel that is the amount of time needed to make real connections with the other campers and become immersed in the Shibley experience. We allow campers to enroll for any 4, 5, 6 or 7 weeks. There are no rules about consecutive weeks however we always encourage our youngest campers to start at the beginning and attend consecutive weeks when possible for consistency. Our staff is trained to treat each Monday like the first day of camp, especially with our youngest campers who miss their parents the most while at camp.

Shibley Day Camp

What are transportation options?

In Manhattan we pick up campers on convenient street corners up and down the east side. We aim to keep our bus rides at one hour with the understanding that we can not control or predict the traffic on any given day. Buses are driven by professional bus drivers and have at least one bus counselor (usually two) from our wonderful staff. The bus has a bag of fun which includes stickers, coloring, games and books for children who need some entertainment in the morning or afternoon. Camp starts the second they step on that bus and doesn’t end until they are returned safely home at the end of the day. We have air-conditioned mini buses with seatbelts. Car seats are provided by Shibley. We offer a mini day option for 3-5 year old campers that ends at 2pm. The full day buses leave Shibley at 4:15pm. Bus service is also available in Long Island, Queens and Brooklyn.

Shibley Day Camp

Describe the “typical” daily schedule.

The key word when describing a day at Shibley is “BALANCE”. All campers have instructional swim in the morning and all full day campers swim again in the afternoon for fun. We provide a hot lunch (many child friendly options daily & ability to handle most allergies/dietary restrictions) and two snacks daily. The rest of the day will include at least one sports activity, one arts activity and one adventure/climbing/science type activity. We want to make sure that all campers have activities that they love every day while also exposing them to new activities that they may want to spend more time doing after camp ends. It is also important (especially in Junior Camp) that campers have structured activities in addition to unstructured “free play” activities like playground time, Lego building and other forms of creative, self-directed play.

Shibley Day Camp

What are some of Shibley’s best special events or camp traditions?

​We have many exciting special events throughout the summer. Two of the favorites are the Goose Cup, a boys field hockey championship game and the Shibley 500 where boys and girls race wooden cars they have designed at woodworking down our hill to make the fastest time. Our 3rd-8th grade campers have the option of attending Sleepaway Week which gives them a taste of the sleepaway camp experience while surrounded with familiar Shibley friends and staff. Our Theater and Solid Gold productions during show week are also a big hit! Each summer we have multiple dress up days including our GREEN Fridays where we celebrate our GREEN Values – Generosity, Respect, Empathy, Endurance and Nurture.

Heath Levine is a lifelong camper and experienced educator. His passion is for creating a camp program and culture where all children (and staff) take risks, explore interests, make friends and discover who they want to be. He is an active member of the American Camp Association as a standards visitor in the accreditation process of camps. Heath and his wife met as day camp counselors and have two beautiful daughters who attend camp.

Digital Strain: Screen Time and Overuse Injuries

screen time

From the real experts at Hassenfield Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone:

Screen time is a popular topic—from how long kids should be allowed to use devices each day to what age they should be allowed their own phones, tables, or other devices. Among the potential negative effects of too much screen time are what doctors have begun to refer to as “text neck” and “text thumb.”

Just like any repetitive activity, especially among children whose bodies are still developing, these overuse strains can occur when excessive time is spent using devices and when users engage in prolonged postures that tend to be awkward or stressful on the back, neck, shoulders, and extremities.

Orthopedic specialists and pediatricians have noticed an uptick in “text neck” and “text thumb” in recent years, especially among younger tech users—up to 50% of youth report symptoms of neck and shoulder pain, and up to 42% report symptoms of hand and wrist pain.

There are some ways that you and your kids can alleviate or prevent these types of digital overuse injuries:

  • Support the forearms while using a device, with an armrest, your thighs, or a table.
  • Type using both thumbs, to avoid overstraining one.
  • Position your device at a height to balance head, neck and upper extremity stress—if you hold it at eye level, that’s good for your neck but increases strain on your upper extremities. If you hold it in your lap, that can hurt your neck. Try to find a position in between.
  • Don’t text with high velocity—this can cause thumb inflammation and pain.
  • Avoid prolonged static postures by taking opportunities to move your body, head and neck, and upper extremity positions during use.

Not only can overuse of digital media cause these unique strains on growing bodies, but time spent on digital media also displaces other activities including physical activity and sleep. It’s important to help your child achieve a balance in those important areas of their health. Variety is the spice of life!

 

screen timeCordelia W. Carter, MD, is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, where she serves as director of the Pediatric Sports Medicine Center. She is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery.