Tweens & Teens

Little Naturalists see Nature All Around in NYC

children-and-nature.jpg

You don't have to move to the suburbs to experience nature right in your own backyard. Here in New York City we have more nature all around us than most people realize. I asked Leslie Day, author of Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City, to give NYC parents some ideas for how to find, experience and learn about nature with kids in New York. Read her article below for NYC nature activities; and I highly recommend her book, with detailed information on the flora and fauna of NYC and where you can find them, as an excellent resource to help you get more nature out of NYC with kids!

A Week of New York City Earth Day Activities 2008

eco-camp.jpgEarth Day and NYC Public School Spring Break are in alignment this year. Coincidence? ...Yeah, probably. (shrug). So, school's out but the fun, hands-on learning is just beginning. You don't have to go to a fancy resort to have an eco-vacation. With the Mommy Poppins Do-It-Yourself Spring Break Eco Camp kids can learn, do, make and play their way to a greener, smarter world right here in New York City.

We've organized a week jam -packed with the best of Earth Week's eco-friendly fun for NYC kids of all ages. It's almost completely free, will keep you busy all week, and registration is super-easy (just ask yourself if you still have spots available!)

Saturday, April 19
South Bronx EarthFest Celebration in St. Mary??™s Park.
A recycled materials fashion show, free boat rides in the Bronx River and electronics recycling are some of the highlights among the more than 30 activities booths at the South Bronx EarthFest Celebration in St. Mary??™s Park.
Saturday, Apr 19, 2008 from 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
St. Mary??™s Park , St. Ann??™s between 146th and 148th Streets
FREE
South Bronx Earth Fest is a family celebration of the environment and of the South Bronx community. Enjoy food and entertainment, including: a "Music Gets Me Green" song contest, a recycled-materials fashion show, a musical performance by the Oscar-nominated Impact Repertory Theater, free boat rides on the Bronx River, a student dance performance, and a keynote presentation by Majora Carter of Sustainable South Bronx. Bring your old cell phones, computers, printers, fax machines, TVs, VCRs and stereos to be recycled. Donate gently used clothing for reuse. Bronx Green-Up will be among the more than 30 activities booths, which also include Bronx Community Solutions, CENYC, Butterfly Project, Solar Oven, and South Bronx Job Corps Academy.
Free admission

Habana Outpost, Fort Greene's new eco-eatery, is hosting a very cool Earth Day Expo 2008. Two Days of free workshops and events including beekeeping, recycling within your environment, composting, recycled art show and umbrella recycling. I like this event because the activities make you think differently about greening your life rather than the same old topics we hear over and over again.
Saturday, April 19th & Sunday April 20th 2008.
757 Fulton Street (corner of South Portland) Brooklyn
Kid??™s Corner-Saturday& Sunday 12-6
Check the website for the full schedule.
FREE

Go Green Go Greenpoint
Saturday, Apr 19, 2008
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
McCarren Park, behind the Field House, Lorimer Street between Bedford and Driggs Avenues
FREE
Educational programs, recycling stations, a scavenger hunt, tree planting, live music and more.

Earth Day Weekend at the Queens Zoo
Sat 19, Sun 20 11am??“4pm.
Queens Zoo, Flushing Meadows??“Corona Park, Queens.
Free with zoo admission.
Kids learn how to sort recyclables, plant seeds, design their own reusable tote, and learn about environmental projects or activities going on in your Queens neighborhood and discover ways to participate.

Sunday April 20
Ninth Annual Gowanus Canal Flotilla
Sunday April 20 11am??“3pm.
Gowanus Canal, between Second Ave and Bond St, Brooklyn
FREE
Go on an eco-cruise. Take a ride in a 21 person indian shipping canoe and pick floating trash out of the Gowanus Canal.

Join us for a fun-filled of environmental education through recreation. Paddle along this annual flotilla on the historic and notorious little estuarine waterway that flows in the heart of Brooklyn. Armed with landing nets, garbage bags, our fleet of skiffs, including our unique 32ft canoe (accommodates 21 paddlers at at a time). The Urban Divers Environmental Educators guide eco-volunteers on an eco-cruise and help pick-up floatable debris along the water and on shore...Everyone is also welcomed to bring their own kayaks or canoes or GET ON BOARD OUR FLEET OF VESSELS, including our unique GIANT 32ft INDIAN SHIPPING CANOE- vessel accommodates 21 paddlers at time. To register to volunteer call The Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy at 718-802-9874, or 347-224-5828.

Earth Day Celebration in Central Park
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
FREE
Activities for all ages begin at 12:00 pm, including recycled musical instrument-making, tree tours, make and take home your own mini vegetable garden and more. Get the full schedule online.

Monday, Apr 21, 2008
NATUREMANIA
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Sherman Creek Campus (3725 10th Avenue)
SHERMAN CREEK PARK, Manhattan
FREE
Spring Break is marked by being outdoors and having fun. This year for Spring Break, come learn how to build a boat, grow plants and vegetables, plant and identify trees, explore habits and fish, and more. Also join in arts and crafts projects, story time, group games, and service projects during the spring break camp at Sherman Creek Park.

Tuesday, April 22

Earth Week at Still Hip
283 Grand Avenue Brooklyn
Cool Brooklyn resale shop, Still Hip makes it easy to be green during Earth Week. Drop your old clothes off for recycling and let the kids practice tree poses.
10-5 pm: Clothing Recycling | FREE
12 pm: Baby Wearing & Cloth Diapering Workshop | FREE*
2:30 pm: Yogi Babies Save the Trees | FREE*
3:30 pm: Tree Pose Kids Yoga FUNdraiser | FREE*

Wednesday, April 23
Earth Week at the Bronx Zoo
April 21-27
Bronx Zoo
Free with Admission
Party for the Planet at the Bronx Zoo. Visit the Human Footprint exhibit to learn the impact people are making on the Earth, see recycled animal sculptures, hear stories, make crafts and more all week. See the full schedule.

Thursday, April 24
Earth Week at the Audubon Center
April 21 ??“ 27, 12 ??“ 5 p.m. every day
Prospect Park Audubon Center
FREE
Celebrate Earth Week at the Prospect Park Audubon Center! This year??™s Earth Week will have a different theme each day, with programming for environmentalists of all ages. Learn how to do your part through lectures, tours, activities, film screenings, workshops, recyclable crafts, and a daily exhibit. Check www.prospectpark.org for a full list of what??™s going on.
Friday April 25
Still Hip
283 Grand Avenue Brooklyn
Private Picassos is offering FREE Recycled Art Workshops for kids age 2-7 at Still Hip on Friday, April 25th.
Pre-registration is requested. Email info@privatepicassos.com to reserve your spot today.
Workshops include:
Junk Printmaking Workshop
Young artists age 2-4 will use recycled materials for a relief printmaking activity. Feel free to bring any toilet paper or paper towel rolls,old dry sponges, wine corks, slightly used cardboard cup protectors and corrugated cardboard scraps. 10:00-10:45am

Recycled Robots Workshop
Young artists age 5-7 will use recycled materials to create their own robots. Feel free to bring old cereal boxes, small cardboard boxes, toilet paper and paper towel rolls, corrugated cardboard, etc. 11:00-11:45am

Saturday, April 26
Go Green Expo
Saturday, April 26th from 10 a.m. ??“ 6 p.m. and Sunday, April 27th from 10 a.m. ??“ 3 p.m.
Learn about eco-friendly alternatives available today. More than 200 booths showcasing organic food and wine, home and office products, health and beauty supplies, energy alternatives, and the latest cars and transportation. Find out more at GoGreenExpo.com
Sunday April 27
Gardening Day at the Queens Botanic Garden
Sun 27 noon??“5pm.
$5 Donation
Queens Botanical Garden, Flushing, Queens.
Learn about and celebrate the honey bee with puppet shows, storytelling, and clowns!

Stay tuned for next week when our Earth Week posts really HEAT up. An don't miss our GREAT GREEN GIVEAWAY.

Free Fabulous Friday: Kid Concerts, Carnivals and Festivals

images-carnival.jpgAs the weather warms, my job just gets harder and harder, with more great events popping up all the time. I have so many things I want to write about and have been trying to stick to just one a day, but it's looking impossible. Show of hands, how many of you missed yesterday's awesome giveaway because it was the second post? Not too late, go leave a comment and win a $200 gift certificate to Barefoot Books. And keep an eye out for more multiple posts in your inbox (if you subscribe) there's just too much good stuff going on!

Hi Lo: Anime Classes for Kids


kikisdeliveryservice.jpg

When I saw that Hi-Art was giving anime classes for $675 I thought, "wow, those must be some pretty amazing classes." But I also thought to myself in New York City I bet there are some other really cool classes for kids to learn about the Japanese cartooning style, anime, that don't cost the maintenance money. I thought it would be fun to do a feature like in the magazine (same outfit Hi or Lo). So I did a little research and found a couple of different ways to expose your kids to anime in NYC right now. Here's Japanese Anime for Kids: Hi/Lo:

HI:
HiArt Manga Madness
For the $675 you'll pay for HiArt's Manga Madness anime classes, you'll get 8 classes (starting today). Yes, that's almost $100 per class, but kids 7-14 will learn anime-style drawing techniques from acclaimed artist Yali-Lin. In addition to learning the techniques for drawing different types of characters and faces, kids will write their own stories and learn how to create panels, incorporate text, and design their page. There will be beginner and advanced sessions so kids can really hone their skills.

What you'll get: Professional level art class with a renown artist in a beautiful, light-infused chelsea loft. Lots of individual attention and intensive study.

LO:
Brooklyn Museum Anime Event
The Brooklyn Museum is kicking off their Takashi Murakami exhibit at this Saturday's Target First Saturday event. Kids and adults are encouraged to dress up as their favorite anime characters. There will also be anime activities where kids can create their own anime alter egos. Try to catch a screening of Hayao Miyazaki's Kiki's Delivery Service (if you haven't watched this with you kids it's a wonderful story. If you're not going to the event think about renting it). That's the tip of the iceberg. There will be Japanese Drumming, gallery talks and more. Saturday, April 5, 5-11pm at the Brooklyn Museum.

Check out the Brooklyn Museum site for the full schedule. All attendees will also get free admission into the museum to see Takashi Murakami exhibit and the other galleries. The exhibit will run through July 13th.

What you'll get:
Free anime workshops, free movies, free museum admission, and...crowds. Some events may be filled if you don't arrive early.

Family Day at the Asia Society
Discover the origins of anime through Japanese prints (ukiyo-e) in the "Designed for Pleasure" exhibit at the Asia Society. During this family day event children can also learn more about Japanese culture with traditional and modern Asian storytelling through pictures, puppets and performances. Free with Gallery Admission (which is free for kids under 16) Saturday, April 5, 12-3pm. at the Asia Society.  Exhibit runs through May 4.

What You'll Get: A free day of family events geared to exposing children to Japanese culture and placing anime in it's cultural and historical background.

Get Ready for Summer with Free Swimming Events


Summer is just around the corner and summer means swimming. In preparation of summer and swimming season get your feet wet at these free swimming events.

The Big Swim
April 12, 2008
The Big Swim is a one-of-a-kind open swim meet where 1,000 New York City children ages 6-16 participate in a free day of competitive swim races. Each child experiences the excitement of a real race with starting blocks, officials, and a timed finish. Races are all supervised by lifeguards and swimming Asphalt Green aquatics staff. This event has been recommended to me by other parents who said that your child does not need to be an very strong swimmer to have a great time. The environment is not competitive and each child goes home a winner with a medal, a photo with Olympians, a t-shirt, and a goody bag.

The Big Swim takes place on April 12, 2008, but registration forms must be received by March 30th. For more information on the meet, call 800.NYC.SWIM (800.692.7946) or go to the website to register online.

Asphalt Green's The Big Swim
555 East 90th Street
New York, NY 10128

YMCA Splash Week
April 21-25, 2008
The YMCA of Greater New York is hosting a week of free swimming lesson during their Splash Week to promote water safety for kids and families. During Splash Week local YMCA branches will be offering free half-hour swimming lessons to anyone aged 3 and up. Yes, there will even be free adult swimming classes as well as lifeguarding classes for anyone who's dreaming of getting a job as a lifeguard this summer. You won't find any information about Splash Week online. You must visit or call your local YMCA branch to find out the schedule of classes, but if you don't know where the nearest YMCA branch is you can find it at the YMCA website. Participating branches can be found in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island.

If you're looking for swimming classes for read our swimming classes post. It includes mommy and me swimming classes and classes for older children as well.

Easter Egg Crafts and Purim Recipes

We've got a long weekend and I'm in the mood to get crafty. Preparing for holidays is always a fun time in our house when we can slow down and do some craft activities together. My kids love this and the crafts don't have to be complicated.

Making Easter Eggs is a great craft to do with kids because it can be tailored to be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be for different ages, abilities and crafty proclivities ??” meaning I can really get into it with my own creations.

Below I've rounded up a bunch of links to great Easter egg craft ideas, but this first link is to a delicious looking recipe for some Purim Hamantaschen. If you don't know about the Jewish holiday Purim, you can read about it on the 92nd St. Y site which tells the story. Purim is one of the few Jewish holidays that's really a kids' holiday.

Easter Egg Making Tips and Craft Ideas:

See the Elephants March Across NYC

The Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus is heading this way and that means the annual elephant march is too. On Tuesday, March 18th at around nidnight the elephants will march through the mid-town tunnel and across 34th Street to Madison Square Garden. Yes it's late, yes it's a school night, but this is one of our 100 things to do with your kids in NY before they grow up, so if not this year definitely put it on your to do list.

Linkin' Blogs: Bad Baby Names, Brooklyn Openings, Art Walks and More

linkinblogs.gif

Links to the best of everything kid and parenting related in the NYC media for the last week.

Bad Baby Names
Will having an unusual name make your baby do poorly in school, be unpopular or even possibly become a criminal or a delinquent? A new book Bad Baby Names investigates??”NY Times

Coney Island Amusements Now Open
The Brooklyn Paper reports that Coney Island amusement parks opened this weekend, almost a month early. It's possible this will be the last year of Coney Island as we know it, so take advantage of the early opening to get in some extra trips out there.

Real Grown Up Art Exhibits That Kids Will Like Too

articles_18.jpgWe all love a good kiddie show. Sure. But every once in a while it's great to go to a real grown up museum and see real art and remember what it feels like to have a full working brain, and speak a sentence that has more than three words and isn't about scrambled eggs.

Through some confluence of the gods there happens to be quite a few art exhibits running right now (real art exhibits in real museums) that not only can you get away with bringing your kids to, but they might actually really enjoy. Art exhibits where children will experience them on a kid level and you can enjoy them on another level with that part of your brain you'd forgotten you had.

Below is a summary of 5 different art exhibits worth checking out??”for yourself and with your kids:

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Tweens & Teens