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.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day With Your Kids

Valentine

Celebrate our favorite love holiday with these parent-child foodie activities around NYC!


Valentine’s Heart Cupcakes Workshop, Feb 10th 2019

Taste Buds Kitchen. Celebrate the season of LOVE with delicious red velvet cupcakes. Enjoy whipping up scrumptious creations from scratch and working with fondant to create the perfect heart shaped toppers. Bring your loved ones. This class is designed for kids and parents to cook together! $45 per child w/ one caregiver included.

  • Age: 2 to 5 years, Time: 9-10am, Location: 109 West 27th St, 10FL, New York, NY 10001

Sweet Hearts Gift Box, Feb 6th – Feb 12th 2019

Chocolate Works Upper East Side. Everyone loves Valentine’s Day and CHOCOLATE! Decorate your chocolate GIFT box with colors and fill it with chocolate/candies. Enjoy a marshmallow dip in the delicious Chocolate Fountain & Ice cream. These tasty treats are as pretty as they are yummy.

  • Age: 3 to 13 years, Duration: Choose your 1 hour time slot,
    Location: 1410 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY

Valentine’s Love Shacks Workshop (Ages 2-8 w/ Caregiver), Feb 14th 2019

Taste Buds Kitchen. Bring your little Valentine and get creative decorating your very own Love Shack in this signature Valentine’s Day Workshop. From pink frosted roofs to heart shaped window panes, you and your creative chef will love the endless decorating options as you work together to design and decorate your very own gingerbread house masterpiece. Invite friends to join you for this creative workshop! $75 per child w/ one caregiver included.

  • Age: 2 to 8 years, Time: 4-5pm, Location: 109 West 27th St, 10FL, New York, NY 10001

What to do on President’s Day with NYC Kids

Celebrate President’s Day on February 18th with kid-friendly fun around New York City.  Our kids have the day off school and for many of them, it also Midwinter Recess/February Break. Take advantage of the time off with these fun camps and activities!


 

NORY

Presidents’ Day Robots & Science Camp on February 18th with locations in Manhattan and  Brooklyn. Half Day or Full Day sessions. Young innovators will use their strengths, as well as develop new skills, to program a robot and build circuits and structures.  We encourage children to ask “why” and will never answer “just because.”

 

Wildlife Conservation Society

Mid Winter Wildlife Camp from February 18-22 at the Queens Zoo. 9am-3pm. The water cycle, decomposition cycle, and so much more! The earth is an incredible place that naturally recycles. Join us this week to learn how to be the best Earth-dweller you can be and gain an appreciation for our planet.

 

The Fashion Class

Mid Winter Recess Fashion Camp from February 18-22 in Midtown West. Half day or Full day sessions. Fashion Campers will have a blast sewing and creating with other stylish kids during the February Mid-Winter Break 2019!  Each day breaks down into five classes with experienced instructors who work in the fashion industry.

 

Karma Kids Yoga

Holiday Kids Camp! from February 18-20 in Flatiron/Union Square. 9am-12:30pm. Take part in this super fun Holiday Camp for the preschooler community! Enjoy music, dance, yoga, drama, science, storytime, crafts, singing, free play, games and more! Healthy snacks and a pizza lunch provided.

 

Snapology

Open Play from February 19-21 @11am in Long Island City. Want to let your little one play with Lego bricks and Duplo blocks, with none of the cleanup? Take one of our morning classes and enjoy an hour of creative play!

Vascular Birthmarks in Babies: What Parents Need to Know Part 2 of 2

Vascular birthmark

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

Last time, we learned about the most common type of vascular birthmark in babies, the infantile hemangioma. Read on to learn more about the other most common vascular birthmark in babies, capillary malformations.

Capillary Malformations

Capillary malformations are another very common vascular birthmark. More commonly called “port wine stains,” “angel’s kiss,” or “salmon spots,” they are the result of dilated capillary connections close to the surface of the skin. Unlike infantile hemangiomas, these vascular birthmarks are almost always clearly visible at birth. They start off pink, red, or salmon-colored, flat and flush with the skin, and usually stay flat for years. They are painless and do not bleed, and they do not follow their own growth cycle like infantile hemangiomas do. Depending on the type, they either fade early on, or grow with the patient and remain present for life.

When capillary malformations are located along the middle of a baby’s body, they are called medial capillary malformations. On the face, they appear in the middle of the forehead, and point downwards in a V shape that ends with the point of the V around the tip of the nose. The sides of the V can cross the skin of the eyelids. On the back of the neck, they spread from the bottom of the hairline to the upper neck. They can also be located at the base of the spine. While common, medial capillary malformations usually fade on their own by two to three years of age, and generally do not require treatment.

Capillary malformations that are closer to the sides of the body are less likely to disappear without treatment. If these more lateral birthmarks are left alone, they can continue to darken and begin to grow thicker. They tend to turn a rich purple color, and will go from flat and smooth, to raised, with areas that feel like nodules under the skin. When they get to this point, they become much more difficult to treat.

Which Capillary Malformations Need Treatment?

In general, if a capillary malformation appears to be growing or darkening, it should be evaluated by a specialist. This is not only because there can be cosmetic consequences to leaving it alone, but also because, similar to infantile hemangiomas, capillary malformations can be external signs of internal issues. If this is the case, your doctor may order an MRI to check your baby’s internal organs. In particular, the brain and eyes may need to be examined if there are extensive capillary malformations over the face.

In very rare cases, a capillary malformation birthmark can also be an early sign of more serious health issues that are not obvious until late childhood. Because of this, babies with capillary malformations that are not in the middle of the body and/or do not fade after birth should be followed by a vascular anomalies specialist.

Laser therapy is the mainstay of treatment for capillary malformations. If laser therapy is chosen for your baby, the treatments will be spaced out to allow time for healing in between sessions. Your doctor might also prescribe a cream that helps to shrink the blood vessels close to the skin’s surface, which helps to make the effects of laser treatment longer lasting. This cream is also available without laser therapy, but is more effective when combined.

Take Home Message for Parents

All in all, most vascular birthmarks are completely benign, and will not lead to any complications or necessitate any treatment. If any of your baby’s marks resemble what has been described here, and you have more questions, speak with your pediatrician about seeing a vascular anomalies specialist. And congratulations on your new baby!

hassenfield
Megan M. Gaffey, MD, is a pediatric otolaryngologist at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone. She specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of children with complex ENT issues. She has focused training in vascular malformation management.

Lunar New Year Activities For NYC Kids

Lunar New Year

The Chinese New Year 2019 is celebrated on Tuesday, February 5th according to the Lunar Calendar.  This year’s Spring Festival is  the Year of the Pig.  Help your kids celebrate the traditions that are part of China’s most important holiday with these kids’ activities around NYC.



Lunar New Year

Enjoy this FREE family-friendly performance presented by Arts Brookfield and the New York Chinese Cultural Center.  A dynamic Lion Parade led by lion dancers, traditional Chinese dance and music, a martial arts demonstration, and theatrical players in full make-up and regalia! Saturday, February 9 from 2–3:15PM @Winter Garden at Brookfield Place

 

Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year: Around the World Camp: Taste of China

February 5 // Half day sessions // Chelsea. Your chefs will learn how to make delicious dumplings from scratch and create tasty sweet and savory treats, from Long Life Noodle Salad to Fortune Cookies.

 

Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year Feb 5th – Fashion Camp

February 5 // Half day or Full day sessions // Midtown West. A day of fashion design, sewing, styling and more on Tuesday Feb 5th for the Lunar New Year Public School Holiday.

Vascular Birthmarks in Babies: What Parents Need to Know Part 1 of 2

 

Vascular birthmark

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

More babies than not are born with some sort of birthmark, and while many fade, some are here to stay. Birthmarks come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Most of them are fine to leave alone, but there are a few kinds that can become problematic. For parents, it’s important to know which birthmarks are abnormal and should be seen by a physician.

What Are Vascular Birthmarks?

Vascular birthmarks fall under the category of vascular anomalies, which are the result of abnormal blood or lymphatic vessels. They can present anywhere on the body, including the skin, the scalp, on the inside of the mouth, or on the genitalia. They can also be present in internal organs. Depending on the vessel type, vascular birthmarks can vary in color from pink or red, to blue, purple, or gray. Some vascular birthmarks are close enough to the surface of the skin to be seen and/or felt immediately after birth, but others don’t appear until later in infancy or childhood.

What Are the Most Common Vascular Birthmarks?

Infantile hemangiomas and capillary malformations are the most common vascular birthmarks. Both are on the skin’s surface, or typically close enough to the surface to be noticed before a baby is one month old, and tend to be pink, red, or purple.

Infantile Hemangiomas

Infantile hemangiomas are the most common vascular birthmarks. They are commonly called “strawberry angiomas,” because they often look attached to the skin’s surface, and protrude in small, clustered red bumps. Parents tend to say that the marks started as a single, small, red spot right at birth.

Hemangiomas can also be on the flatter side, or located deep to the skin. When deep, they might look like a tinted, smooth protrusion of skin. Shortly after birth, they begin to grow rapidly; during this period, they usually darken and turn from red to purplish.

Infantile hemangiomas grow at their fastest rate when babies are around seven months old. By one year, they begin to shrink. One of the first signs of shrinkage is lightening of the involved skin to gray, which usually begins in the center of the hemangioma. The gray skin is a sign that the blood vessels are being replaced by fatty tissue, which may or may not be noticeable, depending on how big or how deep the infantile hemangioma was.

By age two, infantile hemangiomas usually go away on their own, leaving only a faint mark, if anything. This is why most infantile hemangiomas can be observed as your baby grows, and don’t require any medicine or surgery.

Which Infantile Hemangiomas Need Treatment?

If infantile hemangiomas grow too quickly or get too large, complications can arise. Rapid growth can lead to ulceration, forming cracks in the skin and bleeding. This can lead to infection and scarring.

The size of infantile hemangiomas can also become problematic when they compress or cover surrounding structures. For example, an infantile hemangioma blocking a nostril, or one causing an eyelid to droop and block vision, requires action from your doctor.

Very large infantile hemangiomas can also become aesthetically unappealing, especially if they are located on the face. Even though the birthmark most often goes away on its own, large infantile hemangiomas can leave behind some fatty tissue and distended skin when they fade. This left-behind skin has a pale, saggy appearance. Typically, the larger infantile hemangiomas are allowed to grow, the more saggy tissue they will leave behind.

The birthmark location is also important because it may signify a disorder in the underlying tissues or organs. For example, infantile hemangiomas under or around the chin might indicate that there are infantile hemangiomas in the mucosa of the upper airway, which can lead to breathing problems. If your pediatrician suspects internal organ involvement, your baby may need an airway evaluation by an airway specialist, or an MRI, which is a special imaging study that helps evaluate deep effects of vascular anomalies.

Besides size and location, the number of infantile hemangiomas can also be concerning. In particular, if a patient has more than five separate hemangiomas, that could indicate vascular anomalies of the liver. Make sure to tell your doctor if your baby has multiple infantile hemangiomas, so that imaging tests to check the liver and other internal organs can be ordered, if necessary.

If your baby’s hemangioma is changing and showing some concerning signs, you should see a vascular anomalies specialist—a pediatrician, dermatologist, or surgeon who has spent time dedicated to learning about the spectrum of vascular anomalies, and how to treat them. This specialist will take into account the factors discussed above, and help guide you towards further observation of the infantile hemangioma, or towards a treatment plan. He or she may want you to see a subspecialist, like an otolaryngologist, ophthalmologist, orthopedist, etc, for an opinion about the area potentially affected by the hemangioma.

After evaluating your baby’s infantile hemangioma, your doctor may encourage you to intervene to halt its growth. Treatment options for infantile hemangiomas can be divided into three main groups:

  1. Medical Therapy – Several medications exist that have been shown to help slow or halt hemangioma growth, and in some cases, speed up the regression process.
  2. Laser Therapy – There are advanced medical lasers that can be used to shrink the blood vessels specific to infantile hemangiomas.
  3. Surgical Therapy – Occasionally, removing the hemangioma is the best option. This is usually a decision that is made when it is evident that the hemangioma will cause functional, developmental, or aesthetic problems if left alone

Choosing if and when to perform surgery is a decision that should be made with the help of a vascular anomalies surgeon. It is important to remember that surgery will always leave a scar, no matter when it is performed, so surgery is only chosen if the scar is more favorable than the predicted “scar” left behind by the infantile hemangioma.

hassenfieldMegan M. Gaffey, MD, is a pediatric otolaryngologist at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone. She specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of children with complex ENT issues. She has focused training in vascular malformation management.