5 Music Performers for Kids’ Birthday Parties

Musical Performers Birthday PartyWe know that the yearly birthday party search is not the most enjoyable task for our parents. Costs,  Themes, Venues, Locations, Alcohol allowed?  So many things to figure out,  So, we at Kidz Central Station are hoping to streamline this process by doing a lot of the heavy lifting for our parents.

This week, we’ve found the best music performers in NYC who can travel to your party to entertain the kiddos.

Andy and Suzanna Kids Music:  Andy and/or Suzanna provide 35-45 minutes of singing and dancing with bubbles, shakers, bells, movement activities, and hands-on guitar time! They mix original music with kids standards and family friendly pop singalongs and take any song requests.

Kids at Work Musicians: Musicians create authentic musical experiences for young children via storysongs, contrasting activities, instruments, and movement. They can play and sing almost anything!  Enjoy $10 off discount for Kidz Central Station parents.

Music with Breezy:  Breezy Sharp is a Music For Aardvarks teacher and professional touring musician/singer. She brings rhythm sticks and egg shakers for the kids, as well as her guitar for 30 minutes of sing along fun.  She sings both Aardvarks favorites, such as “Taxi,” as well as, popular songs “Wheels on the Bus” and a rock-n-roll version of “ABC”

Ms. Janis Music: Ms. Janis Music performers are professional singers and guitar players that  are hand picked and trained by Ms. Janis.  All packages (30, 45 or 60 minutes) include music, singing, dancing, parachute play, scarf play and use of other engaging props.

Sing & Celebrate:  Early childhood music teacher Laca Tines runs this program.   Each party program runs 45 minutes and specific activities are hand-picked to best suit your party. The program is packed with guitar sing-along, lap bounces, circle dances, and loads of instruments – shakers, bells/tambourines, rhythm sticks, and DRUMS!

Family Fun and Birthdays at NFL Experience Times Square

rogerKidz Central Station just had a ridiculous fun time at NFL Experience Times Square (NFLX) and we want to spread the word.  This is a live action experience that involves athletic skills games (e.g., vertical leap, quarterback challenge, blocking dummy, etc) and a wholly immersive 4D surround sound movie theater to bring us the feel of being “in the game.” This is awesome if you are a football fan, but  we learned that you do not need to be a fan or even know much about the game to enjoy the journey.NFL Experience Times Square

On a hot and muggy day, NFLX was the perfect place to get our kids out of the house and out of the sun to release their energy.  When we first arrived, we visited the second floor gift shop and cafe area where Good Morning Football is filmed.  The kids got to sit at the desk and pretend they were tv hosts.

Next, we entered the exhibit, which begins on the fourth floor with a walk down a hallway that introduces the 32 football teams and showcases jerseys and helmets and displays for each NFL conference.  Learn football history here, especially with  an interactive map where we could learn about any team we chose.  This is an example of when you do not need to be a fan.  Kids love pushing buttons and being the one in control of the adventure.NFL Experience Times Square

After taking some fun photographs in front of a green screen, we entered the theater, aka The Stadium, for a short 13 minutemovie.  This was the favorite attraction for both the kids and adults.  During this interactive film, the audience gets to feel like they’re in the game.  There are screens on both sides of you, on the ceiling, and in front of you with speaker systems all around.  The seats move with what’s happening in the film.  If there’s a tackle, you feel it.  When we were watching games take place in snow, it began “snowing” in the the theater and I swear, it felt like snow.NFL Experience Times Square

After exiting the movie onto the third floor, you and the kids can take part in all the skills games.  The kids rushed forward to the tackling dummies and tried with all their might to try to move them.  They tried their hands at the quarterback throwing contest and the vertical jump challenge.  These were the 2nd and 3rd favorites for the kids as their competitive sides were now in full force as they ran around to all the games.  NFL Experience Times SquareThey created or suited up their own football player on screen and then had that player mimic their movements.  They weighed themselves together to compare to offensive linemen.  They stood next to a height chart to see if they could reach Julian Edelman.  Note, short is still tall in sports.NFL Experience Times Square

A Jon Gruden video taught us one of his actual game plays, which he drew up on a visit here.  We walked through the victory tunnel and celebrated our Super Bowl win.  There was another photo op in front of a green screen in which a bucket of Gatorade is spilling you.  The kids loved it!  It was very cool was seeing all of the Super Bowl rings and the Lombardi Trophy in person.  Also, Good Morning Football ends filming at 10AM and players have been known to hang around.  We didn’t see any NFL players during our visit but Sterling Shepard stopped by the day after and posed with lucky fans.  Next time!

NFL Experience Times Square

And we will visit again because the cafe broadcasts games during the season, as well as, other sporting events such as March Madness during the rest of the year,  The location is fantastic on Times Square and the 2nd floor had a perfect view of all the action.  And they serve a full menu (and bar) along with lots of kid friendly options.  My son was also interested in the idea of a birthday party here.  See below for details.

NFL Experience Times Square

Kidz Tips:

*******************************************************************

Birthdays at NFL Experience Times Square

ALL PRO – $800

  • Admission for 21 (kids and adults)
  • Kids Lunch Package Options
  • A Birthday Cake! Choice of chocolate, vanilla or Fruity Pebble Marshmallow
  • Paper Goods (plates, cups, utensils)
  • Commemorative photo for all children
  • Dedicated Tour Guide
  • Bounceback return visit admission to NFLX for all children!

Birthday MVP Child will also receive:

  • One NFL Team Mini Helmet (Team of Choice)
  • One NFLX Credential & Lanyard

MVP – $1100

  • Full ALL PRO Package benefits PLUS:
  • Birthday Child’s Name Listed on Select Screens
  • NFLX Goody Bags

HALL OF FAME – $1400

  • Full MVP Package benefits PLUS:
  • Birthday Child’s Name Listed on Select Screens
  • Upgrade to Premium NFLX Goody Bags (includes Junior Leather NFL Team Logo Football
  • One Adult Menu Food Platter (feeds five)
  • Open Bar for One Hour

NFL Experience Times SquareTo reserve your party, please request info here.

Beat the Heat: Tips to Keep Your Child Safe from Heat Related Illness This Summer

heatAs temperatures rise and we find ourselves spending more time outdoors with children this summer, it’s important to remember that high temperatures and too much time in the heat can have negative effects on your child’s body. Here are some tips on preventing heat related illness in children.

HYDRATION:  Staying hydrated is one of the most important things we can do to prevent heat related illness. It is essential to give your child water frequently while they are outside on a hot day. Many children may not ask for water while they are playing outdoors, but it’s important to provide children with water even if they don’t ask for it. Additional and frequent hydration with water or sports beverages is especially crucial while children are playing sports or exercising. Infants less than 6 months of age should not be given water, but they can be given extra breastmilk or formula to keep them hydrated.

SUN PROTECTION: Protecting your children from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays is also important. Dress your child in lightweight and light-colored clothing. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses can offer additional protection. Keep children in the shade as much as possible and try to avoid exposure to direct sunlight on very hot days, especially during the sun’s most intense hours (between 10 AM and 4 PM).

Apply sunscreen that is at least SPF 15 to any areas of your child’s skin that are not protected by clothing. Using sunscreen that says “broad spectrum” or UVA/UVB protection is ideal. Sunscreen should be applied at least 30 minutes before going outdoors.  Don’t forget to apply sunscreen on cloudy days as well, as the sun’s rays are still present.

Infants less than 6 months of age should be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible. If you do take young infants outdoors, be sure to keep their skin protected with lightweight clothing and a hat and to keep them in the shade. You can apply a small amount of sunscreen to your infant’s exposed skin if needed.

STAY COOL: Staying indoors in a location with air conditioning is a great way to beat the heat on days when temperatures are extremely high. If you do not have air conditioning available in your home, think about going to a public location such as a library, museum, or mall. This is a great way to engage in a fun activity for the day while still staying cool. Additionally, a cool bath or shower may help cool your child down on a hot day.

MONITOR: While prevention is the key, it is also important to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If your child exhibits any of these signs or symptoms, speak to your child’s pediatrician or take them to be evaluated by a physician immediately.

•Dizziness
•Nausea
•Vomiting
•Headache
•Weakness
•Fatigue
•Confusion
•High body temperature
•Muscle Cramps

Following these tips will ensure a fun and healthy summer and will help you beat the heat!

hassFrom the Real Experts at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone:

Kavita Patel, MD, is a pediatric emergency medicine physician at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone.

Kips Bay/Murray Hill Kids’ Birthday Party Venue

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday Party

The Shake and Burger Bar is a newly opened family fun restaurant and unique kids birthday party venue right here in Kips Bay/Murray Hill.  Located on 3rd avenue between 25th and 26th streets, this is a great place for a family meal in a comfy setting with goodies for both kids (milkshakes) and parents (alcohol infused milkshakes!).

Our Visit

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday PartyKidz Central Station recently visited with our kids to check out the masssive over 3000 sq ft space and  try out the giant artistic masterpiece milkshakes.  When we arrived at 6:30PM on a Thursday, the restaurant was packed with both an after-work crowd and parents with young kids. We had a short wait for a table and the servers could not have been nicer or more accomodating.  Everyone here is extremely friendly and service was fast once we were seated. With music blasting and energetic chatter, it is a festive experience.

The Shake and Burger Bar is a great addition to this area of 3rd Avenue, which is becoming more and more family friendly with a NY Kids Club opening across the street, Modern Pinball, a 16 Handles location, and NYPL Kips Bay.  If you’re looking for a unique birthday party, you can’t go wrong with milkshakes, chicken tenders and Disney movies for the kids and happy hour sangrias and Stellas for the parents. With numerous big screen TVs scattered throughout playing sports or kid-centric movies, there is something for all ages.  We sat towards the back of the restaurant in a slightly elevated separated area that could easily host 15-20 kids while the parents could sit off in their own space with their nachos and drinks.  And our three kids really tested the limits of running around and playing tag in a crowded restaurant. And l should add that they also spilled a milkshake all over our table and the floor.  The super nice staff cleaned it up quickly and without complaint or shaming looks. Thank you!

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday Party

Happy Hour and Menu

Important into for our parents:  Happy Hour is Every Day 4pm-8pm.  This includes $4 Pint & $14 Pitchers of Stella, $4 Mixed Drinks, 1/2 Price Wings (one per customer), and all day $4 shots of Absolute Lime.  The menu is standard fare of wings, sliders, nachos, several types of burgers, and sandwiches. Everything we ate was delicious! The adults tried the veggie and salmon burgers and the kids ordered from the $7.50 Kids Menu (either 2 chicken tenders w fries or 2 cheeseburger sliders w fries).  

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday Party

And, of course, the standouts are the magnificent milkshakes.  We’ll let the photos do the talking. 

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday Party

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday Party

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday Party

Kid friendly, awesome service, delicious food, and insane milkshakes! We’ll be back for Trivia Night on Tuesdays at 7:30PM.

A Parent’s Review of Eye Level Learning Center

School is out and it is time for kids to have fun!  And Kidz Central Station recommends summer classes and camps to keep our kids engaged and recharged.   On many parents’ minds is how to keep “summer slide” at bay.  With our parents’ concerns in mind, we visited Eye Level Learning Center’s location in the East Village.

Eye Level review at Kidz Central Station

What is Eye Level?

Eye Level Learning Centers offer after-school and summer tutoring.  Eye Level follows state standards and provides Math and English instruction to supplement and enhance what our kids learn at school.  Specifically, Basic math covers Numbers, Arithmetic, Measurement, and Equations. Critical math includes Patterns and Relationships, Geometry, Measurement, Problem Solving, and Reasoning.  English focus areas include phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing. Learn more at their national website.

One Parent’s Review

Both of my sons attend the Eye Level Learning Center in the East Village. They started in April/May 2018 and have continued this summer after taking June off.  My older son (3rd grader) is competitive and excels at academics and is a bit lazy.  My younger son (1st grader) has a learning delay and ADHD and is an extremely hard worker.  Both enjoy completing tasks and being rewarded for their accomplishments.  Eye Level has been wonderful for both of them!

Assessment

In our first appointment, the kids were given an assessment of both subject areas by the director of this center, Ryan Drucker.  This is a free assessment whether you continue with their services or not. Since I don’t always know what’s happening during the school day, I was happy to gain an understanding of where each one stood in comparison to their grade level and their overall strengths and weaknesses.  

Weekly Classes

We signed on for 6 months (4 tutor hours/month and ~$56/hour).  We attend weekly on Saturday morning so the boys can go together, which is a motivating factor for both of them.  My older son has an hour of English because he placed over a grade level ahead in Math.  The younger one has ½ hour of English and ½ hour of math. The older one sits with an instructor and 1 or 2 other students as the instructor rotates working individually with each student.  Due to his attention difficulty, the younger one has one-on-one instruction throughout the hour.  I has raised my concerns with Ryan and was very happy about the specialized attention.

What I really like is that each lesson is contained in a short booklet that is easily completed during the hour.  Then, homework is a booklet that follows this week’s lessons and is easily completed during the week. The younger son goes through a booklet per subject and then completes two booklets for homework.  The kids feel a real sense of accomplishment from finishing entire booklets.  You see the progress being made.

The space is small but packed with education materials and books and games.  The tutor hours are booked appropriately and we haven’t seen more than 5 kids including my two during our lessons.  Our teachers are very gentle and nice but do expect the kids to listen and work hard. The boys have worked well with them.  They give instructive feedback  at the end of every lesson.  

Most important for the kids, they are rewarded with star cards after each lesson that they can save to earn prizes or cash out immediately for small prizes.  It is amazing how cheap candies and toys can be such a motivation for kids. My boys love their star cards and “shopping” for prizes.

Results

Both of my sons have greatly benefited from Eye Level.  The older one needed the structure and feedback to stay focused.  He has worked on Reading Comprehension, Verbs (action, helping, linking, future tense, irregular) and compound sentences.  He is digging deeper into topics that are glanced over and in some cases not even broached in school. The younger one has developed his reading comprehension skills and grammar, as well as, learning to sit still for an hour. Examples of his lessons include repeating patterns and subtraction drills for Math.  Short vowels, sight words, and story elements for English. We are absolutely pleased with Eye Level!

How to Prepare Your Child for Sleepaway Camp

campfireFor some children, heading off to an overnight summer camp is natural and easy, and their parents aren’t too concerned. For others, especially those who are younger, more prone to anxiety, or who have special needs, the approaching first day of camp can be daunting.

Whether your child is spending a week or the whole summer away from home, here are a few tips to help you prepare your child (and yourself!) for a smooth transition to camp.

Manage your own anxiety.
Maybe you’re questioning your decision to send your daughter away to camp at her young age. Maybe you’re nervous that both you and your son will spend the first few nights of camp crying. Fears are natural, but don’t let your kids know how worried you are!

Take care of yourself and your needs first. Speak to friends and family about your anxiety, but make sure that you convey an excited, optimistic attitude when talking to your child. Remind yourself why you wanted to send her to camp in the first place. Making new friends, learning new skills, playing in the fresh air, and gaining a sense of independence are all wonderful experiences that will benefit her. You can also look forward to getting a brief respite from parenting duties while she’s away!

Whatever you do, never tell your tell child that you will miss him too much or that you wish he could stay home. If he asks if you’ll miss him, let him know that you love him, but that you want him to be at camp and that you can’t wait to read his letters and hear all about camp when he gets home.

Preview the camp schedule.
For anxious children or those who have difficulty adjusting to new routines, checking out the camp’s daily schedule together can be beneficial. These are often available on the camp’s website. If you can’t locate it, email the camp and ask for the schedule for your child’s age group.

With your child, review when wake up, bedtime, mealtimes, and activity periods will be. If he has been waking up and going to sleep on a drastically different schedule, slowly adjusting to the camp’s schedule can help make it more likely that he’ll fall asleep easily when he arrives. Taking a look at photos on the camp website to preview the new surroundings can also be useful.

Make sure to read the list of activities that are offered at camp. Generate excitement for both of you by talking about which new things your child wants to try at camp!

Let the camp know about your child’s special needs.
If your child has special needs, chances are that you have already discussed them with the camp director. If not, make a phone call or send an email to the camp administration to let them know. They will be glad that you shared information that will make the start of camp easier for both your child and for her counselors.

Full-time camp staff are childcare professionals who have seen and heard it all, so don’t worry about upsetting them with this information. Many children who require unique diets, have psychiatric diagnoses such as ADHD, or who have behavior problems in school have wildly successful summer camp experiences.

Although you might feel anxious and want to call multiple times, restrict yourself to one or two communications with the camp before the first day, unless the camp indicates that more are necessary, as camp directors are extremely busy just before and during the summer season.

Practice spending nights away from home.
If your child has rarely spent the night outside the comfort of her own bedroom, practice for the camp experience by having her sleep at friend’s and family member’s houses a few times before camp begins. Don’t call her to say goodnight; allow her to become accustomed to doing her bedtime routine under the watchful eye of another adult. When she returns home, praise her for her success at staying by herself.

Your child might ask if he can come home if he changes his mind about a sleepover or about camp. Reiterate that you’re confident that he will have a great time without you. Prepare him for the experience by saying, “A lot of kids feel homesick on their first few nights away. It’s okay if you feel that way or if you don’t feel that way. If it happens to you, don’t worry that it means you won’t have a good summer anyway.” Never promise your child that you will pick him up if he feels homesick.

Let go.
Once your child arrives at camp, the staff will take care of her needs. If there’s a problem that you need to know about, they’ll call you. Enjoy your freedom and give yourself time to relax while the children are away. Remember, whatever happens, your child will be home in a few weeks!

hassFrom the Real Experts at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone:

Arielle Walzer, MA, PsyM, is a psychology extern at the Child Study Center, part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, and a doctoral candidate at Rutgers University.

Summertime technology: one dad’s advice. 

netsafe-family-nightBy Chris O’Brien President, NetSafe Family

School’s out for the summer!  Riding bikes, skinned knees, climbing trees, what could be better?  Wait a minute, something is missing…. Yes how can we forget those other summertime activities; video games, YouTube, chat groups, surfing the web, streaming movies……, all part of the potential “screen time” overloading we parents will face this summer.

Here’s the question: is all this tech and screen time an okay way for kids to make it through the summertime doldrums?  If you are looking for basic guidelines, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends setting time limits:

• Children 18 months or younger: no screen time.
• Children 2-5 years: no more than 1 hour a day of supervised screen time.
• Children 6 years and up: use your best judgment but not more than 2 hours a day.

Why the limits?  Studies on excessive entertainment-based screen time show that conditions like childhood depression, obesity, trouble sleeping, and introverted behavior are often linked to too much screen time.  Experts like, Dr. Jean Twenge of San Diego State have shown that too much screen time is harming the overall mental health of our children.  Note: the average teenage boy spends nearly 8 hours looking at a screen daily (not including homework).

The good news is we have options that don’t include “accidentally” dropping your child’s smartphone into the ocean.  Tech solutions can be very helpful in limiting screen time and protecting your children from other kinds of online dangers; here are some examples of what we typically recommend to our clients:

• Make sure your home Wi-Fi and internet network is secure and protected.
• Set up content blocking (blacklisting) software on the network, this will block inappropriate content such as graphic violence, illegal behavior, and adult content from your child’s device.
• Configure home internet access time controls, (apple computers have a daily limit program that you can set up, we have an app that controls time limits by user).
• When you go to bed, shut off the internet.
• Set up the parental controls on all of your child’s devices.

On the non-tech side, and this is the hard part, make and stick to family “Techtime” RULES.  Personally, I have had some success using a “Summer Techtime” agreement with my children, which includes statements like:

• This device belongs to my parents, I get to use it as a privilege.
• I will listen to my parents and put down my device when asked.
• There will be no screen time 1 hour before bed, and all devices will be out of my room for bedtime.
• I will tell my parents when I encounter cyberbullying, violence, or other media content that makes me feel uncomfortable while at home or at a friend’s house.
• I (Parent) will put my phone down when I am home and by no means will I bring it to the dinner table…..again… 😊

You get the point, it is all about communication and giving your child responsibility not only for the device but for how it is being used.  One hero parent I know actually covers all these bases at once by using tech to start family communication with a “favorite video of the week” hour.  You can almost hear all the ooh’s, aah’s, OMG’s, and laughs.

Good luck, and as we head into summer, my wish is for several skinned knees, lots of games of Monopoly, and no early onset carpal tunnel cases!

Kidz Buzz Blog readers receive 60 days’ free service when you contact NetSafe Family and mention Kidz Central Station.

Netsafe-Family-Logo-3.3Chris O’Brien is president of NetSafe Family, a internet safety company featuring technology rated “Best in Class” by the Wall Street Journal.

Summer Socializing: How to Help Your Child Make Friends Over Summer Break

summer-friendsAs with times tables, proper spelling, and other academic skills, social skills can decline over summer vacation if children sit at home for months and ignore them. Yet, just as summer school and intensive tutoring in July and August can help kids catch up to their peers academically by September, so too can summertime be used for strengthening kids’ social skills and increasing their circle of friends before the new school year begins.

For children who struggle to make friends during the school year, the summer can be a valuable time to break free from their school-based social circles and form positive relationships with a variety of other peers. Follow these steps to learn how to maximize your child’s chance of success:

Choose the right activity.
Children are most likely to succeed in making friends when they are engaged in an activity that they love. While you might desperately want your video game-loving kid to get some exercise this summer, soccer camp is probably a poor choice if your child can’t stand organized sports. Crying or complaining about the activity is unlikely to attract new friends!

Play to your child’s strengths. What does your son or daughter talk about the most? If your daughter talks non-stop about animals, a nature program is where she’s most likely to find friends who share her passion. There are camps and classes out there for everything – coding, cooking, science, and movie-making camps are all alternatives to traditional sports and swimming summer programs.

Make sure the activity meets often.
Although it might seem like other kids make friends during chance meetings on the playground, these are unlikely to turn into lasting relationships without thoughtful follow-up. Even if your son enjoys splashing around in the pool with a boy he’s just met, it would be hard for him to turn that one-time interaction into a genuine friendship without repeated contact. Friendships tend to form over time when there are repeated opportunities to play together. If your child isn’t attending a daily camp program, try to ensure that the activities she’s enrolled in meet at least once per week to increase the odds that she’ll form a connection.

Identify potential friends.
Kids who struggle to form peer relationships often find it hard to identify potential friends. Even when they do report friendships, parents sometimes can’t help but wonder if the feeling is mutual. When possible, watch your child at the end of a program to see with whom she gets along well. If you can’t watch or if you find it difficult to tell, ask the group leader. Teachers and camp counselors are usually excited about helping facilitate new friendships and are likely to have good insight.

Make the first move.
Once you’ve figured out who might be receptive to an invitation from your child, approach the parents at pick up time or ask the group leader for contact information and call them. Suggest a specific activity and date.

Remember that parents and children often have busy summer vacation schedules, so it might be hard to set a time. Remember, there are many possible reasons that your playdate idea might be rejected! If unsuccessful at first, try again with a different family.

For an older child or teenager, help her brainstorm the activity and encourage her to ask peers herself, as those out of elementary school rarely have adults coordinate their get-togethers. If she’s nervous, role play with her until she feels more comfortable. Remember to rehearse staying calm and shrugging it off if the peer says no.

Keep playdates short and planned.
To help reduce the likelihood that kids will become bored with each other or get into an argument, first playdates should be short and sweet. Aim for two hours or less.

Inviting the child to your home with a vague plan to play can be a great choice once the friendship is established, but it’s not the best move for a first playdate. It might be hard for the kids to choose an activity, and the playdate could quickly become boring or contentious. Instead, choose a specific activity that you know both kids enjoy. Activities such as watching a specific movie or completing a craft project can take place in your home, while visiting a children’s museum or a zoo are good options for outings.

Have realistic expectations.
Summer programs can be a great way for your child to improve his social skills and make friends, but remember that summer vacation lasts only a few months. Celebrate small victories, such as a single successful get-together with a friend or even the exchange of social media usernames. If your child’s summer buddy doesn’t turn into a year-round pal, that’s okay. Even a short friendship is worthwhile if it helps your kid feel less lonely and learn new skills for the next friendship. There’s always next summer!

Does your child have social communication difficulties? The Child Study Center’s Social Learning Program offers a wide array of social skills group therapy services for children as young as 3 through young adults up to age 35. Groups are appropriate for individuals with social communication difficulties related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, depression, or other challenges. Both children and parents participate in separate weekly groups that run concurrently for 12-16 weeks. Clinical faculty and staff use evidence-based interventions based on research that shows positive long-term outcomes. For more information about our social skills group sessions in Manhattan, please contact our Social Learning Program intake team at 646-754-5284 or email csc.sociallearning@nyumc.org.

hassFrom the Real Experts at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone:

Arielle Walzer, MA, PsyM, is a psychology extern in Autism Spectrum Disorder service at the Child Study Center, part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone. Rebecca Shalev, PhD, BCBA, is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone.

Top Kids Musical Theater & Dance Summer Programs

Kidz Central Station is excited to partner with the famed Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. Their mission  is to transform passionate dance students into artists able to collaborate and evolve in a fast-changing society.  This involves making dance fun for our youngest performers. The Joffrey curriculum was created to encourage age appropriate creativity, musicality, and physicality.  We want to help our parents get to know the exciting summer programs available for our music, dance, and theater loving children.  

The Joffrey Ballet School presents summer dance camps hosting dancers ages 3 to 18 in several sessions from June through August 2018. Auditions not necessary unless applying for scholarship; you will be placed during the first day of orientation.


Joffrey Ballet School Dance summer

MUSICAL BROADWAY THEATER (June 11- July 13)

This summer intensive partners with a major Broadway show each week and is geared toward your triple-threat performer. CURRENT Broadway performers teach the students acting, singing, dancing and choreography.  Students will then attend the featured show at the end of the week. This experience is unbeatable for your theater loving kids!

Week 1: School of Rock and Hello Dolly

Week 2: Wicked and School of Rock

Week 3: Wicked, Hello Dolly, Carousel

Week 4: Wicked, Hello Dolly, Anastasia

Week 5: Wicked, Anastasia, School of Rock


Joffrey Ballet School summer dance

SUMMER DANCE CAMPS (June 18 – July 20)

Summer Dance Camps introduce children to creativity and movement using fun themes in dance, arts, crafts, music and food.  Activities are held at the Joffrey Ballet School’s studios in the West Village and conducted by experienced staff. This Camp offers a sampler of Classical Ballet, Folk Dance, Hip Hop, and Jazz combined with elementary exploration into Body Conditioning.


Joffrey Ballet School summer dance

HIP HOP (July 9 – 27)

This class partners with STG The Ultimate Dance Competition and top hip hop artists such as Candace Brown, a Monsters of Hip Hop Alum. There will be 75 class types in Breaking, Freestyle, House, Jazz/Funk, Street, Locking, etc.  Dancers perform a summer showcase at the end of the program.


Joffrey Ballet School summer danceNYC Jazz & Contemporary Dance Intensive (July 16 – August 10)

The NYC Jazz/Contemporary program is the flagship Jazz and Contemporary dance intensive worldwide. Angelica Stiskin leads the program offering the classical techniques of ballet and modern, along with the neoclassical derivatives of contemporary, improv, hip hop, theater dance, and more.  The program culminates in a performance in a major NYC theater venue.


Joffrey Ballet School summer dance

The Joffrey Experience (August 13 – 24)

The emphasis of this intensive is to define Contemporary Dance in the 21st Century through study, creation, and performance, all done within two intensive weeks of classes and rehearsals. Ballet and Modern Contemporary styles are explored by choreographers who are successful New York-based artists and dance teachers. After the process of creating an original work, the dancers perform in a final show at the Gelsey Kirkland Arts Center in Brooklyn.

Head of the Class Dad, Danny Kron

Meet Head of the Class Dad, Danny Kron—Founder of FunFit Kids—and an amazing parent!dannyfun

Tell us about yourself. Why did you start Fun Fit Kids?
I was born in Tel Aviv and raised in Canada but have been in NY for the last 8 years. I have a lovely wife who is my partner in all life things, including FunFit Kids. Together we have son who just turned 3 months. I originally thought up FunFit Kids and began by running weekend classes on the Upper West Side. Parents were looking for an alternative way to teach language (Hebrew) to children. At the same time, I also realized I had a passion for teaching kids the fundamentals of movement and having them explore different sports. In September, we’ll be opening a 2700 square foot gym on the Upper West Side. We have multi-sport, 2Lingo (language through sports), alternative preschool, special needs and much more.

What is your secret to balancing work and family? Is there a balance?
It’s a work in progress! Some say it’s crazy to start this venture after the recent birth of my son. But luckily my wife is my partner in the business and somehow we’re managing to get through it together.

Share a funny story that helped you become a better parent and/or better at your job.
My wife was in labor. It was late at night (like 3am) and we grabbed a yellow cab. I had our hospital bag and birthing ball, all as planned. It was so late, and I was so tired, that I opened the door for her to get in the taxi, then proceeded to put in the hospital bag and birthing ball, all well also trying to squeeze into the back seat. I just kept pushing the birthing ball into my super pregnant wife and couldn’t, in my sleepy state, realize there was a whole empty trunk of the jeep taxi we hailed. Laughing (and also maybe crying) my wife said SLOW DOWN, put the stuff in the trunk! I did, hopped in the car and was on our way. It was a great reminder in life to slow down and take things step by step.

What has been your biggest challenge and/or greatest reward in the struggle for work-life balance?
Starting a business with a newborn means lack of sleep and the feeling that there are not enough hours in the day. Thankfully, sleep is improving, but there will never be enough hours in the day. The greatest reward is coming home after a hard day at work and seeing my son smile. Also, seeing families enjoy our classes makes me glad that the work I’m doing is wanted and worthy.

What is one thing you wish you knew before you had kids?
I really wish I knew about the feeding schedule and the fact that it sometimes takes two of us. I never knew how much effort and time it takes to making sure the baby is happy and fed.

If you could give other dads one piece of advice what would it be?
Keep your partner happy and the baby will follow. Children feel the vibe of the household. I also learned, through FunFit Kids, it is important not to put your sports dreams on your children. Let children explore and discover what sports speak to them, and that it is okay if they are not the next Lebron James.

QUICK Q’s:

What is your favorite children’s book? The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (I had the Hebrew version growing up called Ha’Etz ha’Nadiv)
What has been your favorite kids’ class (other than your own!)?  FunFit Kids 😉
What is your favorite thing to do with your family on weekends?  We love to picnic in Central Park or walk along Riverside Park
What is your favorite rainy day escape?  We have lots of family on Long Island, and like to escape by visiting them. or by watching movie marathons.

Learn more about FunFit Kids, their great classes and amazing birthday parties in their beautiful new facility.