Kids At Work
Face painting, a magician, and ice cream. Sounds like a birthday party, right? Nope. It was “Bring Your Child to Work Day” at Town Residential’s Upper East Side office last week. (The real estate firm’s Flatiron office held similar festivities.) Town really went to town and pulled out all the stops on this annual day when kids get to see how Mommy and Daddy bring home the bacon.
There wasn’t much buying or selling among this crowd, but there was plenty of showing, especially while the children decorated their own picture frames. Using sparkly glue, neon-colored pipe cleaners, and fanciful cut-out shapes, the kids created their own masterpieces. “Mommy! Mommy! Look!” was the continual shout-out as parents oohed and ahhed.
Taking A Stand
Some parents call it “opting out,” while others label it “an act of civil disobedience.” But one sixth grader at the Institute for Collaborative Education describes it simply and succinctly as a “boycott” when she decided not to take the new state exams, which end this week.
While her classmates took the ELA test, which incorporates the tougher Common Core curriculum, this sixth grader, whose parents prefer she not be named, penned a six-page letter in which she cogently explained to her teacher why she decided to sit out this year:
“I am boycotting the test because I don’t like the way the DOE uses the test results. The kids who take the test are being used like guinea pigs in a lab. I do NOT want to be used this way. By boycotting the state exams we’re trying to change the way the exams work. We, as students, want to make a change, a change that will last.”
“At Schwinn, we hear stories all the time about how a helmet saved someone’s life during a bike accident,” said Alice Tillett, President of Schwinn. “The effect of those stories has made a profound personal impact on me and the other employees at Schwinn. [Helmets on Heads] comes from our desire to ensure that riders of all ages, particularly children, are safe while enjoying their bikes.”
Thus is the basis for Schwinn’s new safety and education campaign, Helmets on Heads, a partnership with the ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation. Over the next ten years, the initiative will attempt to inform and educate around one million adults and children about bike safety and the importance of wearing a helmet. Scooter knows that bike riding often is at the top of many grown-ups’ fondest childhood memories, so on Thursday October 4, we went to the cause’s New York City launch event at the PS41 School Yard in the West Village. Schwinn brand ambassador, Olympic Gold Medalist and mother of two, Summer Sanders, was on hand to meet local families and promote Helmets on Heads by fitting everyone with bike helmets.
Crying, angst, nightmares, restless nights. Parents are constantly dealing with a variety of reasons for rowdy behavior or an ostensible lack of fatigue in their children during bedtime. While some young ones may have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, other children and adolescents are plagued with crowded agendas, noisy environments, technology distractions such as T.V., or sickness, which prevents them from getting a good night’s rest.
According to a WebMD report by Stacy Lu, reviewed by Charlene H. Beard, MD, the National Sleep Foundation recommends between nine and 14 hours of sleep per day for children ages 3 months to 18 years old. Most kids (and parents) get significantly less.
One product that claims it can aid in the bedtime ritual and help young ones drift asleep is Sleep Blend from Essence of Vali. According to owner Valerie Bennis, the potion’s unique blend of lavender, marjoram, cedar wood and ylang-ylang relaxes you, acting as an anti-anxiety solution with its potent bouquet and works to lull you into a recuperative sleep.
Soho’s MoMA Design Store has upgraded its 81 Spring Street outpost with added offerings for children. The re-designed, lower level space has expanded its assortment of curiosities, books, home products and objets d’art by about 30 percent, MoMA reports. The store opened in conjunction with the museum’s new exhibit, Century of the Child, which opened July 29th. Several items in the exhibit have been made available online and in the stores.
“Our goal is to create an area where families can enjoy an expanded offering of books, toys and games designed to ignite imaginations and expose young minds to modern and contemporary art,” said Kathy Thornton-Bias, President of the MoMA Retail Division.
Last Saturday, June 9, a bevy of young adults, clad in white, flocked to 121 Fulton Street in Manhattan to honor Pencils of Promise, a non-profit organization that aims to create quality education for all children through the implementation of new schools and learning programs, increasing access to education and fostering global, sustainable communities.
To take Al Gore’s word for it, the world is coming to an end and humans are chiefly responsible. Perhaps the next generation of tykes can stop the damage if supplied with the right tools. So how do we teach them that using excessive amounts of hairspray, taking 45 minute-long showers and driving gas-guzzling cars are not in their best interest?
Scooter recently discovered babesta.com’s eco-friendly dollhouse ($240). The innovative dollhouse mimics the design of “green homes,” featuring a miniature wind turbine, solar cell panel, rain barrel, recycling bins and other renewable energy resources. It’s a fantastic way to stimulate kids with an interest in design, architecture, technology and/or house-play.