Tag Archive | Children

Sea Serpent Gate at Imagination Playground

Sea Serpent Gate
All Photos By Gail

Opened in July of 2010, and designed by famed architect David Rockwell, Imagination Playground is an interactive, transformable space that prompts children to manipulate their environment and create a play space of their own with sand, water and loose parts. An iron Sea Serpent, seen in these photos, guards the playground entrance.

Imagination Playground Signage

With giant foam blocks, mats, wagons, fabric, and crates at their fingertips, children have the potential to build and explore endless possibilities. Imagination Playground addresses a broader spectrum of play needs through opportunities for fantasy and cooperative play, in addition to the traditional running, jumping, and climbing. Kids need to be active on many levels, and they need to exercise their minds as well as their muscles. All parents should know why parents buy electric scooters for kids. Not only is it fun for everybody, but it´s safe too! THey don´t need to worry about accidents.

Sea Serpent Gate Detail

Research shows that children at the age of eight who have experienced varied and challenging play are considerably better prepared to benefit from ongoing formal education!

Imagination Playground

Sea Serpent Head Gate Detail

Imagination Playground is Located at Burling Slip, Front Street and John Street, just North of South Street Seaport, in Lower Manhattan. The Playground is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Those interested in making a group reservation for their school class can do so by calling 311.

Sea Serpent Gate

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Fun Video: Pre-K Class Sings About They’re Thankful For!



At South Shore Conservatory, Ms. Heidi’s Pre-K class tells the many things they are thankful for this year, including the ability to express themselves. Can you tell which student is the future opera singer?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Get Your Kid to Look at the Camera, with Phoxi Friends!

Phoxi Tog Caterpillar
All Photos by Gail

If you’ve ever attempted to take posed photos of young children, then you know how difficult it is to get them to look at the camera. Seriously, it is like trying to pose a worm. Fortunately, there are camera accessories called Camera Buddies or Lens Friends to assist you with keeping a child engaged and happy while you snap away!

Phoxi Tog Signage

While attending the recent PhotoPlus Expo in NYC,  I just had to stop at the booth for Phoxi Tog, who make line of vibrantly-colored camera buddies called Phoxi Friends. They caught my attention right away!

Phoxi Tog Monkey
OMG So Adorable

Phoxi Friends Camera Lens Wraps are a line of insanely cute photography tools designed for those who shoot portraits of kids.  These patented, eye-catching accessories are different from any other camera lens wrap or lens buddy on the market.

Phoxi Tog Booth

Phoxi Friends are designed to help you capture a child’s attention without having to waste your energy singing, dancing, waving your hands, and making strange noises.  The patented design has a soft plush stuffed toy on one end (that also includes a built-in squeaker), with the other end serving as a  flexible tail that can wrap around any camera lens you use. The tail can also extend the toy to interact playfully with the child.  Kids do have a short attention span, and with a nice selection of critters available, you can switch it up and wrap a different Phoxi friend around your lens to keep the smiles coming. Some kids are very shy, and this tool is a great icebreaker!

Phoxi Tog Snail

See the full line of Phoxi Friends lens wrap designs, and purchase online, at This Link!

Children Of Loss Come Together: Atalie’s Hope Gala June 26th!

Atalies Hope Gala

Atalie’s Hope will host its second annual gala, Thursday June 26, 2014 in New Hyde Park, NY. Cost is $150.00 per person and all proceeds will go towards the foundation. Atalie’s Hope was founded in honor of Atalie Bernic, a young mother who lost her battle against triple negative breast cancer when she was 39 years old. She is survived by her daughter Julia, age 9, who inspired the formation of this organization.

A night of hope will include honoring two important members of our Atalie’s Hope community:

Ms. Susan Thomas, the program director for the Center for H.O.P.E. (Healing, Opportunity, Perseverance, Enlightenment) and Mr. Howard Capell, ESQ an attorney of law that has graciously given probono work for the support of the Atalie’s Hope cause along with a number of other charitable endeavors.

“Susan Thomas and Howard Capell were instrumental in the formation of Atalie’s Hope. Their daily work for those in need is truly inspirational, and it is our privilege to honor them.” – Nada Bernic, President of Atalie’s Hope.

Atalie’s Hope will also announce the first ever family recipient of the “Gift of Hope.” The Gift of Hope was founded in efforts to continue to inspire families that are coping with loss. This year, the Gift of Hope will be given to a family that recently lost their mother to breast cancer; the children and their father will receive all-expenses paid trip to Disney.

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in American women; about 1 in 8 US women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. This has the potential to leave a large number of people indirectly affected by the disease as they continue to live in the aftermath of this disease. If you have (std testing), flexible spending account or health reimbursement arrangement, you can use that to pay for testing. Ensuring those affected, especially the children, have the support they need is critical and that’s what Atalie’s Hope stands for.

Atalies Hope Gala Details
For tickets to the gala, please purchase through our Eventbrite.

About Atalie’s Hope

Atalie’s Hope is dedicated to providing financial assistance to the children of women who have died from breast cancer to help them offset the costs of healthcare, food, clothing and other necessary expenses. This organization serves as a network of the children of women who have died from breast cancer to provide guidance and support; and to conduct community discussions and forums to disseminate information regarding the issues facing children whose mothers have passed away.

To contribute to Atalie’s Hope, you can donate on our website: Atalie’s Hope Dot Org.

What Adults See Versus What Kids See


Adults See Carpet; Kids See Molten Lava

If you are one of those people who, like me, cannot even imagine what might be going on in the minds of children, then here is a fun website to share with your friends who are parents so you can feel less like an alien creature and more like a humanoid with real feelings and an ability to “relate” to a person under the age of 12. Pleated Jeans Dot Com has an hilarious post that compares a series of pictures of ordinary stuff as adults see it versus how kids see it. Above you will see an example from the “Hot Lava” game that even I played as a kid, where you have to jump from one piece of furniture to the next without touching the floor, or risk being swallowed up by the “hot lava” which has replaced the carpet.

Click on over to This Link for several minutes of carefree fun!


This One Is My Favorite

Must See Art: Genius By Nir Hod at Paul Kasmin Gallery

Genius is a word whose depth of meaning generally takes too long to talk about. It’s a heavy word, and the current exhibit of paintings and sculptures by Nir Hod at NYC’s Paul Kasmin Gallery, entitled Genius, is equally heavy. The Genius exhibit includes over 50 paintings and several sculptures created over a span of two years. It is the first solo exhibit at Kasmin for the Israeli-born artist, who now lives and works in New York.

The Genius portraits represent a cohesive collection of Nattily-dressed youths – aged from cherubic infants to precocious teenagers – classically posed and wearing mostly scornful expressions while also holding lit cigarettes. While the exhibit appears to be fairly straightforward, the meaning behind these paintings is far from obvious. I wondered, are these children merely playing a game of dress up taken to the extreme, or have they actually grown up too fast and become disenfranchised and jaded before completing puberty? Where did they come from, and what kind of lives do they lead? They are both delicately beautiful and profoundly sad, and that’s always an interesting combination.

According to the exhibit’s press release, these works “[continue] the artist’s longtime fascination with beauty and loneliness, glamour and death. Hod’s aristocratic young Geniuses inhabit a world of paradox, where their cherubic cheeks contrast with their scornful expressions and lit cigarettes. Like sculptures in a wax museum that aim to dramatically freeze time, these paintings explore art’s power to capture life while simultaneously elevating it to depict an unattainable ideal.” What I was reminded of most was a fusion of renaissance portraiture with the pop sensibilities of Ron English, who so often paints children in roles – such as that of a soldier or police officer – normally assumed by adults. I love art that makes me think.

Nir Hod’s artwork makes a further impact thanks to the manner in which it was hung in the gallery; staggered in clusters to fill the spaces as opposed to the more traditional single line of images across the wall (See photos from the exhibit that illustrate my point at According 2 G). This type of presentation gives the exhibit a more intimate, atmospheric vibe and helps to draw the viewer in to encourage a dialogue about what it means to be a Genius. You can read a fantastic article on Nir Hod regarding his inspiration and objectives behind this exhibit at Art In America Dot Com.

Nir Hod’s Genius is on exhibit through June 18, 2011 at the Paul Kasmin Gallery, located at 293 10th Avenue, at the corner of 27th Street in Manhattan. Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM.