Fab Kids

Admissions to the Gifted and Talented (G&T) programs in NYC requires a minimum score of 90 for district-wide programs and 97 for citywide programs.    The elusive test is important because it provides a shot at a high-quality alternative to the often unimpressive public school default.  And the stakes are high because for many parents, private schools (which can run up to 50k a year depending on which private school you choose in NYC) are oftentimes not an option.   Not only that but admittance into a citywide G&T score also means getting to skip the dreaded middle school admission process and scoring a guaranteed G&T seat through 12th grade which is like GOLD here in New York!  No wonder the pressure is ON.  It’s also especially intense here in New York because even if your genius child scores 99% or better on this test which is graded on a curve, there still is no guarantee of admission for the only 400 available citywide G&T seats.  (Only 1 in 4 99th percentile scoring kids get one of the coveted citywide G& T school spots!)  So the competition is fierce and the lottery system is real.    But how does one prep a 4 year old for a 1-2 hour exam where a stranger is allowed only to state a question once and never repeat the instruction?

gifted and talented, nyc tutoring

Kids who are extremely intelligent may still stumble on concepts when a strange test proctor questions them with an unfamiliar format.  The only way to set your child up for success is to make sure your child understands the basic premises behind what the test covers and to actually practice the types of questions he/she will encounter on test day.  I’ve never gone into a test without preparation and expected to do well so I would never expect a 4 year old to do so either.  I strongly believe that there are test-taking skills that will improve any child’s performance – and they CAN be learned!  Just take the component of stamina for instance.  What 4 year old child, naturally is gifted at focusing for an hour or more on answering boring test questions?  They can however learn to exercise their concentration and listening skills beforehand so that they are able to remain more focused for a prolonged period.  So when Noodle Pros contacted me about participating in a trial tutoring period in exchange for a review, I jumped at the opportunity and was curious as to how their service worked.

Noodle Pros is an exclusive group of experienced, professional tutors who work in all tests and subjects, from Pre-K to Graduate School.  We were so happy with our assigned teacher, Kalen who had a decade of experience tutoring and an expertise in the kindergarten G&T exam. As a fellow Ivy League graduate, I felt comforted and confident in the fact that she valued educational achievement in the same way that I did.  She is so invested in children’s development and learning that she even helped design, market and create content for Scene App for Kids on the side.  I found also that she was able to quickly establish a connection with Juliet who warmed up to her and broke out of her shyness easily with fun tasks like finding matching mermaids and coloring them for their initial project together.  Juliet liked this task so much that when Kalen promised she would keep that mermaid page for her to continue working on next time, Juliet remembered two weeks later, and looked forward to her specially saved page.  I appreciated how Kalen innately understood how to peek the interest of my 4 year-old girly girl.

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The hour-long session involves teaching and/or reviewing concepts that the test would cover including visual discrimination, following aural directions, recognizing sequences and predicting patterns.  This is done through colorful manipulatives that involve plastic figurines (“let’s see how you would group these objects”), to identifying opposites with puzzle pieces (see above), to pattern completion challenges on the ipad or dry-erase board.

  

Together they aptly incorporated and discussed handy test-taking vocabulary such as “right, left, single, identical, diagonal, column, row, beneath, outline…” all words that kids at age 4 might not be required to know at school yet but would need to know in order to answer the test questions.   Basic arithmetic vocabulary was introduced as well.  “Let’s organize by land or sea creatures… If we take away 1 then how many do we have left?  That’s an equal number of land and sea creatures!”  I make sure to incorporate addition and subtraction concepts regularly in life so Juliet already knows how to count and subtract anything by 1 and loved that this was reinforced here.   I was also happy to observe that Juliet enjoyed all the “brain games” but was not surprised given the girl has in the past sat through 18 worksheet pages at a time totally determined to try and finish her workbook in record time.  (Is there a class for us parents to train our own stamina so that we can keep up with our own children’s love of learning?? Cuz I was ready to quit after page 10!)  Even Kalen who just met her, noticed and reported how “engaged and eager to do well” she was.  new york tutor, gifted and talented test, gifted and talented tutor, noodle pros, how to prepare for gifted and talented test  She isn’t a robot though.  And as nerdy as she may naturally be, she is still a 4 – year old.  During the hour when Kalen noticed Juliet was getting a little restless, they got up for a quick game of silly Simon says (and I spy out the window during the 2nd day of tutoring).  This enabled them to take a much-needed break, shake their sillies out and re-focus with even more energy.  And Juliet continued the laughter throughout the rest of her sessions.

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It filled me with joy to see her enjoy her Noodle Pros session.  The varied tasks and visuals really helped to make the learnings fun and playful.  What child doesn’t love a game or puzzle?

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What I also found to be a major benefit of this one-on-one tutoring besides the customizable program, designed to fit your little one’s specific strengths and weaknesses was the post-session report.  Below are excerpts from our first two sessions’ reports so that you can understand the level of detail you may expect.

“…She is a lot of fun and really enjoys these brain games and challenges. As I mentioned, I’m impressed with her ability to focus with you in the room. …. I asked her to identify which item in each row was different. She enjoyed this and had no trouble finding the different shell in each row. Next, we did a variety of games with manipulatives to help prepare her for the language in the three OLSAT subtests: aural reasoning, following directions, and arithmetic reasoning. When asked to sort the manipulatives into groups she was unsure of what to do. However, as soon as I specified what group: by color or by a particular type (fruit, sea creatures, etc) she was able to follow my instruction. She demonstrated strong foundational skills with math concepts seeing that she was able to count quantities accurately and understood one-to-one correspondence. We did some pattern completion practice using a Bright Kids NNAT app. I also demonstrated figural analogies in the form of matrix reasoning on a drawing app and with the SET cards. Throughout the course of the session I used the following vocabulary with Juliet: row, identical, most different, outline, solid, second to last, bottom, equal.

 Overall, we were so happy with the level of engagement, learning and enthusiasm with which both Kalen and Juliet brought to each session.  Juliet actually kept following-up post- session with questions as to when she was going to get to see Kalen again and when they were going to do the games again.  That sort of sealed the deal in my mind, I’ve since booked a series of sessions for this last month leading up to the test.

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Each tutor comes at a differing hourly cost and each teacher comes with their own curriculum, materials and philosophy.  So it’s important to read up on their profiles, and find your best match.  They are not cheap.  You will pay upwards of $200/hour for these premium tutors but if you compare that investment to the cost of 1 year (or 12 years of private school tuition) hoping your child will get into a citywide G&T program, there really is no comparison.  And even if your child doesn’t get in, the investment is not wasted because the skills and concepts learned will help them with logic, reasoning, analysis and focus down the line anyways.  For those of you considering having your child take this all-important 1-2hour test, this one-on-one test prep is worth it.  And with the next round of testing coming up in January, there is still time to book your private tutor through Noodle Pros.

noodlepros, nyc test prep

DISCLAIMER.  All opinions expressed are my own.  This service was provided in exchange for an honest review.

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target clothes for kids, target littles, minifashionista, mini modelSometimes the shoes make the outfit and sometimes the shoes simply inspire one which is why when we were sent an amazing package from Amadin we knew the outfit would begin with these fab shoesamadin, amadin shoesThis burgundy primary IV Motif style features a luxe suede slipper and velvet exterior.  The embroidered motif screams royalty and you can immediately tell this is one special shoe.  We paired it with a matching pom pom fur hat and some clothes from Target (socks are Catimini).   This shoe retails for $150 and can be purchased through the Amadin website.

Handcrafted in Italy, this luxurious suede slipper is accented with a stylish embroidered motif.

Below, we styled it with a matching maroon skirt and a more studious looking blazer for a classic and very cute look!  cute kids shoes, minifashionista, microfashion, kids fashion blogger

The 2nd set of shoes were just as special.  Take a look at the adorable tassel detailing! kids shoes, kids fashion, girls fashion  These are the purple primary color (one of Juliet’s favorites!!) But they also come in pink, orange, blues, yellow, chestnut and brown and they retail for $125.  Also handcrafted with care in Italy, they feature only the finest in genuine leather.  Below, J wore the slippers with leggings, a tee and a fur vest.

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Surprisingly this brand originated for boys as the founder, a dad who wanted to match his mini-me couldn’t find suitable shoes to style his trendy tot.  So the shoes you see here are unisex.  Click through to shop their fabulous collection!

 

How would you wear these shoes??  And what which pair would you choose?

 

 

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For our Back-To-School Brainiac Bash, we were so happy to have Mabels Labels as one of the goody bag sponsors.  They were the perfect brand to tie into the celebratory school kick-off season since their handy, customizable labels are so perfect for lunch boxes, backpacks, and the extra clothes stored at school.  Have you heard of Mabels Labels?  They are the most trusted label provider for durable, customizable and cute labels!  They stick on everything: clothes, shoes, sports equipment, sippy cups..the list goes on.

 

Any parent knows that we are constantly susceptible to losing any one of these items while commuting, strolling around or simply leaving things behind from destination to destination.  These microwave-safe, laundry-safe, dishwasher safe labels are wayyyy better than the masking tape and scribbly name that our parents resorted to. Be the mommy superstar that you know you want to be and start school, camp, daycare and everyday right with the coolest identification in town.  With celebrity mom endorsements coming from everyone from Victoria Beckham to Gwyneth Paltrow to Heidi Klum and Reese Witherspoon, you know you’re onto something!

Besides being entirely innovative, and handy I loved how customizable they were!  You could choose from tons of designs.  Being that I have a princess-obsessed 4 year old who loves purple and pink, I chose for her this adorable tiara design below that included her full name and my phone number in case anything got lost (and found).

organizational labels, mabels labelsThey also had Hello Kitty, and a myriad of other popular graphic designs.  The perfectionist in me is sooo happy with these perfectly pretty labels.  It satisfies whatever OCD I have and I can’t get over how I’m able to wash, wear and launder these things!!  How amazing is that?  And they’re perfect for little kids trying to figure out their left vs. right shoe.  They make these ingenious stickers that are vertically pre-cut in half so the child can visually match them up to complete the picture and figure out which shoes goes on which foot!shoe labels, school suppliesHooray!!

What would YOU get??

DISCLAIMER We were given product to review for this article.  All opinions are 100% my own.

 

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girls clothes, cami girls panties

We were recently introduced to the brand, Lucky And Me and given a delightful package of comfy and colorful bike and gym shorts, panties and tunic to try on and style.  And we are in love!  They’re exactly the kind of cute basics that we needed in Juliet’s wardrobe, made with only high-end, organic fabrics.  Moms will also be happy to know that they’re made free of harmful chemicals and come in the cutest colors!  Check out the gym short color selection!  gymnast, gymnastics clothes, lucky n me, lucky and me They’re the perfect thing for our little gymnast to wear providing both comfort and coverage.  And they can double as cover-ups under skirts too.

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The longer version of these shorts are called “bike shorts” and come in various vibrant options as well. We use these under skirts, tutus, and as summertime jammies.

comfy girls clothes, gym shorts, bike shorts for girls, lucky n me They’re the perfect piece for the playground and it’s so great to have a bunch of colors to choose from in our wardrobe!The blue tunic top worn with the bike shorts here is a size 6 (she usually wears a sz 5).  As you can see, it can easily double as a dress or part of a PJ set.    And of course the panties.  This brand started with the mission of creating durable, comfortable panties so it is no surprise that they were such high quality.  girls panties, girls underwear Lucky and Me is our new go-to for all the basic staples…leggings, socks, camis, shorts and undies.  What would YOU get??

 

DISCLAIMER:  We received product in exchange for a review.  All opinions expressed are 100% our own.

 

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We were excited to take our mermaid-obsessed, 4-year old to National Geographic’s Encounter: Ocean Odyssey in Times Square because it was the first of its kind to immerse you in an under-the-sea experience without requiring you to know how to swim!  (I’m the only one in our family who can so that was a relief!)  This cool new National Geographic Encounter allows you to virtually swim under and across the Pacific Ocean overnight, from Asia to California and explore the magical underworld that is their 60,000 square foot entertainment experience all without getting wet.  By harnessing ground-breaking technology (think video mapping, 3D effects, 8K photo real animation, enveloping sound system, mega projection screens, and“real-time” audience tracking),  you’re transported and traveling underwater.

national geographic ocean odyssey, national geographic encounter, things to do times squareThis first room really took my breath away.  With the floor to ceiling screen and the touch-sensitive projections on the floor, you really feel immersed in this underwater scene. ocean odyssey, national geographic encounter, national geographic ny, national geographic times squareYou can expect to encounter dolphins, sharks, stingrays and whales and may find your kids either mesmerized in one spot or chasing after them as they swim by.  It’s a sight to see and so fun for the kids to watch!

 

After the timed portion ends, you and the group follow the hosts who act as your tour guides and direct you into the reef room where you’ll find that coral glows beneath you and smaller creatures can be found if you look closely.  The production quality is truly remarkable.  I loved taking in every detail from the kelp forest to the underwater sounds of the most mysterious and mighty sea creatures.

 

And the interactive elements like the kelp mirror maze which we let Juliet lead us into and out of were truly engaging!Playing with sea lions and having them mirror our every move was so much fun!  Juliet tried to teach them ballet and some of her signature twirls lol 

 

Overall, the blockbuster digital technology wowed us all – even my geeky husband who thought he was up on the latest and greatest in technology was seriously impressed with the 40 foot 3-D dome room.  new york acquarium, nyc acquarium We just wish that part of the experience had lasted longer!

new york things to do, times square things to do ,digital acquarium, nyc fish, national geographic odyssey, national geographic encounterOverall, the visuals are truly stunning. The creators and producers of National Geographic Encounter, have engaged a world-class global team of Academy, GRAMMY®, and Emmy® Award-winning artists, including the design firm Falcon’s Creative Group and the visual effects team behind “Game of Thrones,” to produce this never-before-seen experience.  Everything from the majestic ocean soundscape across the 230 loudspeakers and 180 independent sound channels to the creative set design and cinematic quality forge to create an incredible state-of-the-art immersion.

 

You totally forget you’re in the bustling center of Times Square.  I love experiences that make me feel ‘present’ and in the moment.  Too often we are rushing and racing around whether physically or in our minds.  This experience had a calming, meditative effect on me that reminded me to enjoy the ‘now.’ Plus I’m happy to report that my little one learned a thing or two and piqued her interest in the underwater world.  Instead of talking just about mermaids, she now chats about squids, how large whales are and coral too!    People varied in their reviews of whether they liked that the bulk of the education and information was found at the end of the experience.  I preferred it that way.  I liked that nothing interrupted the sensory experience I was having in each room.  And this way I could explore whatever topics most piqued my interest at the end by finding the sound dome to stand under that matched the visual I loved.  Here, kids of all ages could learn through touch screens, audio-visuals, and taped interviews with marine biologists.

And in the end, Juliet had so much fun browsing the gift shop where she got to take home a fun souvenir to remind her of her newfound interests.  

 

 

DISCLAIMER:  Our tickets were complimentary in exchange for a review but all opinions expressed are my own.

ADDRESS:  226 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

Wednesday 10AM–10:30PM
Thursday 10AM–10:30PM
Friday 10AM–12AM
Saturday 10AM–12AM
Sunday 10AM–10:30PM
Monday 10AM–10:30PM
Tuesday 10AM–10:30PM

READ ON about another Times Square, family-friendly experience, Gulliver’s Gate!

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I believe in recycling and re-using what you have and the same philosophy comes up during Halloween when I’m preparing costumes for our endless series of special events.  See my last post about 8 easy DIY Costumes from last year here as an example!  This year, I took a slightly different approach and let Juliet”s favorite toys serve as the inspiration to all our make-at-home costumes.  They were so fun to create with her and for her.  See below for some costume inspiration and let me know what you think you could create at home with what you already have!

  • Baby Momma.  Does your doll love dolls?  Make her a mommy this year!  With an infinity scarf, I made her a makeshift baby carrier and stuffed her Water Baby in there.  Props could include, a (plastic) wine glass (I filled our with sparkling water), a Starbucks cup, a cellphone, a stroller, baby bottle, purse and kitchen accessories!  We glammed her up as a fab mom but you could easily do the stressed out mom look and opt for a more disheveled tee shirt and leggings paired with some under-eye circles and messy hair lol!diy costume, make at home costume, kids costumes, kids costume ideas, mommy costume, beauty salon dropout, beautician costume
  • Beautician.  If your daughter is like mine, she is obsessed with anything beauty-related.  Here she is making over Barbie’s hair, make-up and nails.  The Barbie hair styling bust came in handy for this photo opp (as well as for our recent Barbie-themed play date read more here.  You could however, easily use any long-haired doll, play make-up, or an apron filled with tools (ours was from Melissa & Doug). 
  • Veterinarian.  Do you have a doctor’s set and some stuffed animals?  It’s easy to re-create this doctor’s costume with a button down shirt, glasses, a cute stuffed animal and doctor’s tools (stethoscope, thermometer, bandaids, suckers, etc).  My friend made this lab coat and gave it to us as a hand-me-down and it completed the costume!!  BTW, if you haven’t already heard of Parker, you’ve got to check him out! While he looks like your classic, cuddly teddy bear, he actually digitally interacts with an app for an immersive, augmented reality experience!  We live in the future, I tell you!parker the teddy bear, seedling bear, seedling toys, dr costume, kids costume ideas, veterinarian costume
  • Rock Star.  Encourage your kid to rock on with his/her favorite musical instrument of choice and/or a microphone.  Get flashy with the outfit, and have fun!  I gave Juliet’ an 80’s rocker look with MY fishnet stockings, hair in a side ponytail, a bright neon dress, toy guitar and sunglasses.  Must have sunglasses.rock star costume, 80s rocker, 80s rock star, kids costume ideas, diy costume

Thanks to the toy sponsors who sent us the beloved toys!  Follow us on IG and watch our IG stories to see the toys in action!

Seedling for the interactive teddy bear and doctor’s set

Just Play for the Barbie styling head and Water Baby Doll

 

 

For more Halloween inspiration see the below links!

See my past Halloween parties here.

Party treats by Gym Craft Laundry

Craft and healthy snack by Ottawa Mommy Club

free printable Halloween decor by Mommy of a Princess

More DIYs by Jones family travels

 
 
 
 

 

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Barbie is a classic toy that Juliet and I both love.  I get nostalgic just looking at anything Barbie so it was with great joy that we hosted this posh play date with a Barbie girl theme!  We blasted the music, “I’m a Barbie girl” and invited a friend to come over and party with us.  Both dressed perfectly in pink, giggled, sang along and danced to the music.

I’m a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world
Life in plastic, it’s fantastic
You can brush my hair, undress me everywhere
Imagination, life is your creation
Come on Barbie, let’s go party!
barbie party ideas
The girls snacked on Barbie fruit-flavored gummies and took turns playing with each Barbie station that was laid out ahead of time.  barbie doll, barbie styling head, giant barbie
Thanks to Just Play Products who sent a dream package consisting of this giant Barbie doll and a Barbie styling bust, we had such an exciting time getting girly! 

Standing over two feet tall, (giant) Barbie became a beautiful centerpiece for this fabulous table. Barbie Fashion Friend Doll is articulated so you can move her in fun poses and she comes dressed in a trendy removable outfit complete with stylish peep-toe shoes and beautiful rooted eyelashes!  She also comes in Black and Asian ethnicities!

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The Barbie styling bust was my child-fantasy come true.  Hmph…I never did receive this item off my Christmas wish list…though I’m sure I was a good girl, (Santa)!!!  So it was with much gratefulness that I, I er …I mean Juliet unpackaged this gift.  I couldn’t believe how the styling heads of yester-years had advanced into the new year.  They now came with hands with which you could give manicures, hair that could flip and reveal a color change, and stencil or crimping sets for the hair!! How cool, right?

 deluxe styling head, barbie girl, barbie beauty
Juliet is completely obsessed with hairs styling right now so she couldn’t get over all the amazing features.  The Barbie Flip & Reveal Deluxe Styling Head features color change magic! Besides the hidden surprise of the hair – flipping magic, you could add water to the nail and lip applicator to transform Barbie’s nails and lips to a beautiful shade of dark pink!  You can even use the included stencils to create fun colored designs with the chalk marker! Comb Barbie’s hair with the cute pink brush, or style and braid it into fabulous up-dos with the pink hair bands! Add a bit of flair to Barbie’s look with the bonus hair extension and decorate her nails with the tiny stickers!   And again, this Barbie styling head (unlike in years past), comes in different skin and hair colorings!  Gotta love that!!

 

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We had so much fun stylin’ with these classic dolls.  They encourage friendship, fashion and fun with their endless pretend play options. We love how Barbie has extended their offerings to include dolls of all races, shapes and sizes.  And we love how Barbie has so many career options and interests to explore nowadays!  She has become so much more than a fashionable friend!

Thank you to Just Play Products for gifting us with these products.  All opinions expressed are 100% our own.

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The Bippity Boppity Boo Boutique is any princess – wannabe’s dream come true.  The spa / salon is decked out with darling Disney princess details including a gem atop the vanity, shoppable wardrobes around the perimeter, and a menu of services featuring fantasy makeover options. disney cruise review, disney cruise princess Given Juliet’s closet was already bursting with princess dresses, we opted for the one service that did not include a new dress in order to keep the cost down and to ensure her closet would be able to still close.  princess boutique, princess salon, bippity boppity booHer princess experience with the “crown package” for $64.96 included a “diva” hairstyle of choice including extensions, make-up application with gem stickers, princess sash and commemorative bag, glittery manicure and a wave of wishful wand (which sprinkled a little Disney magic on her).   The picture-taking opportunities though…priceless!

disney cruise, disney cruise review, disney cruise princessCan you guess what Juliet’s favorite color is? haha

bippity boppity boutique, disney cruise afternoon tea, afternoon princess teaThe whole experience was both picturesque and delightful and I’d highly recommend it for a special mommy and me memory.  Extra special touches included the verbiage the “fairy godmothers-in-training” used.  “Purse your lips now like Tiana would to kiss a frog”  (when applying lipstick).  The stylists were well-versed in all things Disney and carried on cute conversations with the little ones to spark their imagination and wonderment.  “Did you know Ariel was just here in this very seat yesterday?!”

Juliet was so excited because she was allowed to keep and take home the make-up set and glittery polish as part of the package.  Click here to read on for all the package offerings and details.  They even offer knight, captain and pirate packages for the boys!Subscribe and read on for our review of the Disney cruise afternoon tea which is the occasion that we got all dolled up for -next!

Click here to read our review of Glitter and Glam Spa in NJ, Milk ‘N Cookies Spa in NY.

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Back-to-school season is exciting for a whole host of reasons:  parents get their time back, kids see their school friends again, everyone buys something new, and you look forward to a brand new start.  Why not mark the occasion with a back-to-school bash they’ll never forget?  That’s what we at Fab Kids did in NYC with our friends and followers!  Once families were settled into their new routines, we gathered everyone up at the NY Kids Club which offered their fun padded, play space, arts and crafts room and incredibly helpful staff.  And we got GEEKY!  Here are 8 tips on how to host the best back-to-school bash that your friends have ever seen!

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  1.  Send a themed invite. Choose a scholastic image that you want to carry throughout your party. For instance, our rainbow colored pencils from the invite were found as cookies at the event on a rainbow colored dessert table.  The rainbow color theme was also found in the photo booth garlands, numbers, alphabets and balloons throughout the space.  Invite text included phrases with lots of alliteration such as, “brainiac book swap, dorky dance-a-thon, and NYC nerds.”  Make it fun, descriptive, and enticing!  It sets the tone!  Get your guests excited!colored pencil invite, back to school invite
  2. Dress up!  Fab Kids events always have a fun fashion theme.  For this one, we encouraged everyone to get geeky by posting inspiration photos in our social media and eblasts. (search #fab_nerd on IG if you want to see)  And we offered prizes for ‘best dressed.’ I love having dress-up themes for events becomes they become an automatic ice breaker on-site.  Plus it encourages creativity and whimsy from all the guests making the event something special to look forward to.  Plus the pictures…  can we say, ‘Instagram-able?’how to host a nerd party, how to plan a nerd party, kids nerd party, kids back to school party, geek chic
  3. Host a book swap.  I’m a big fan of re-cycling and re-using what you have.  And I believe one person’s trash can be another person’s treasure.  We encouraged each Brainiac to bring in a book they’ve outgrown or gotten bored of and swap it for another gently used book.  We actually had so many to giveaway from our own bookshelf that each child walked away with 2 new books!  The book swap had the additional side effect of adding a fun community feel to the event.back to school, back to school party, back to school bash, preschool books
  4. Prepare arts and crafts for the whole family to try.  For our themed activity, the little ones created masterpieces on composition books provided by one of our sponsors, Ba Ba Bling.  I provided alphabet stickers, scholastic-looking, scrapbook paper, and school stickers for the little hands to decorate with.  The older kids enjoyed making bead bracelets and necklaces with colorful string and alphabet beads. Parents created mock certificates, filling in the space for their children’s “most likely to____”award, all of which became fun photo props.back to school party, geek chic party ,geek chic, nerd party
  5. Offer smart snacks and sweets.  For desserts think nerds, dum dum lollipops, smarties, gummy brains and cupcakes topped with nerd glasses.  For water find the brand Smart Water.  And for snacks you could offer alphabet crackers and dip, Smart Food popcorn, pretzels or cereal shaped as letters, or any small snack stuffed into pocket protectors! B Lee Events did a wonderful job providing and presenting creative themed options such as these.  And they were such a pleasure to work with -so professional, cheery, and full of amazing ideas!  I highly recommend them!back to school dessert table, nerdy snacks, nerdy candy, nerd cupcakes
  6. Prepare photo props.  With fashions this smart, your guests will be studying each other!  Our guests definitely got an A+ when it came to getting dressed to impress!  Fab kids and fab parents, for sure!  For your party, gather props that you already have around the house and offer them to guests to try on!  I brought ties, bow ties, a calculator, a ruler, school bus toys, nerd glasses and a giant inflatable #2 pencil.  ..yes I had all of that around the house lol.  What can I say?  This is the 3rd back-to-school nerdy NY party that I’ve hosted!  See here for 2015 and 2014nerdy party, how to plan a nerd party, tips for nerdy party
  7. Dance the day away!  We called ours a “dorky dance-a-thon”, pumped up the music and let everyone shake it out in the colorful, play space that was NY Kids Club.  Kids danced on giant trampolines, snapped their suspenders, and busted a move with balloons, in the air waving around like they just don’t care!  If you wanted, you could have a leader teach some simple, nerdy dance moves for the kids to follow along to Simon Says style to add to the theme or make that an entirely separate game altogether. ny kids club, nerd party
  8. Giveaway goodies.  I like to always send my guests home with a little something to remember the event by.  This event came fully sponsored so our guests walked away with tons of amazing items worth more than 12x the price of their event ticket. (free event planning consultation from B. Lee Events, $50 off a NY Kids Club new class enrollment and a free PJ party, $42 worth of customized Mabels Labels, exclusive offers to get onto Little Spoon’s organic meal delivery service waitlist, trendy buttons from Kidpik, $50 off new Usborne and More books, Shopkins themed lip balms from Moose Toys, discounted Meisterdish offers, and more)!  But for your party it could be as simple as sending guests home with the remaining items from the snack and dessert bar in cute themed bags.  My daughter decorated our goody bags with alphabet stickers easily converting it from a plain purple bag to a themed one!little spoon, ba ba bling kids, curated care, ny kids club, shopkins

Thank you to everyone who came out and helped make this party such a BLAST!  I had so much fun seeing you get down in your geekiest gear.  Thank you to all the event sponsors who helped make this happen!  See below for details!  And see our FB page for the full album of event photos.

nerd party, back to school party, kids party ideas, geek party

Venue and event staff- NY Kids Club Battery Park City

Mocktails and tastings by Little Spoon

Smart snacks and sweet table by B. Lee Events

Colored pencil cookies by Baked By Tal

Giveaway prize package worth $50 from Lucky & Me

Designer nerdy tees and composition book craft by Ba Ba Bling Kids

Customized name labels for each guest from Mabels Labels

Stickers and free book offer by Usborne and More

Moose Toys Shopkins lip balms

50% off Meisterdish meal delivery kit

Jand G Handmade for the lovely back-to-school themed hair clip awarded toback to school fashion the female winner of the “best dressed” title)

 

 

 

 

 

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Juliet is no stranger to art.  Together we spot and admire street art, explore museums as a family, enjoy mommy and me art gallery days and get invited to the coolest pop-ups. Through it all, we’ve really developed a penchant for finding cool art around the world.  But our favorite art experience thus far has been Refinery 29’s 29 rooms.  What is 29 Rooms you ask?  It’s a multi-sensory, “interactive funhouse of style, culture, & technology.”  The masterminds at Refinery 29 have partnered with global artists, corporate brands, and fashion designers to takeover and transform a grungy Brooklyn warehouse into the most magnificent fantasy world where you get to feel, smell, create and sometimes literally, jump into the art segmented and found in 29 spaces.

29 rooms, nyc art

With only a 3 hour interval to explore 29 rooms, I calculated that left us with just 6 minutes per room including the wait time to get into each room.  Knowing that made my heart race because there were just so many amazing surprises to discover within this cavernous space.  And having seen it all last year (click here for the pictures from 2016), I knew there was something fabulous and exciting waiting for us in each space.  So without further adieu, I’m going to let the pictures do all the talking in this post.  Feast your eyes on this and tell me what your favorite room is!

refinery 29, 29 rooms 2017, turn it into art, #turnitintoart

29 rooms, refinery 29,

refinery 29

29 rooms, refinery 29, pillows

The 3 hours flew by and we wanted to stay longer!  If you want to see more, check out my Instagram story NOW while it lasts for more video and sneak peeks.

Here are 8 tips for those of you with kids:

  1. Only bring kids if you know they enjoy and appreciate art enough to follow directions about when they can or cannot touch artwork.  If they’re the type to run through breaking or tearing everything like a bull in a China store, it’s best to leave them home (obvi).  I only bring Juliet to so many artsy events and galleries because I completely trust and know that she will respect the artist’s (and my) wishes.
  2. Yes there are bathrooms on-site so no worries that you will have to hunt one down.
  3. No f&b is allowed inside and none is sold at the venue.  We made do by sneaking in some snacks in my purse and by purchasing a $1 bottle of water from the random guy on the street selling to thirsty fashionistas waiting in line
  4. The Wall Street ferry from Pier 11 in Manhattan takes you to the N. Williamsburg stop in about 20 minutes (3rd stop).  Tickets are $2.75 each way and kids under a certain height (43″ I think) are free. From the terminal stop at N. Williamsburg take a left on Kent Ave, walk 3 blocks and take a right on N 9th st. and Whythe Ave will be 1 block away but before you get to Whythe, you’ll likely see a line wrapped around the corner at 9th st. anyways.
  5. Dress light.  There is limited AC and no windows from which a breeze could relieve you.  We went on a perfect 70degree weather day and still found ourselves thankful we did not show up in pants/jeans.  Some rooms felt like saunas.
  6. If you’re a die-hard Instagrammer, bring a change of clothes/accessories and study the hashtag #29rooms beforehand.  By now, plenty of bloggers like me have posted reveals.  Check out their posts for ideas and inspiration and plan accordingly.  (See this post on how to achieve the highly coveted, Instagram-able shot!)
  7. Free up space on your phone and bring an extra portable charger.  You don’t want to be stuck missing out on recording these amazing scenes and memories because your phone just died or you’re out of memory!
  8. Download the new and free 29Rooms Interactive App which will serve as your personal tour guide for inside and outside the 29 rooms area.

If you’re a follower of my FB page then you’ve likely seen my alert the day Refinery 29’s tickets went on sale.  Tickets have sold out at this point but Refinery 29 was conducting social media giveaways so I’d follow them on IG and check Craig’s list for scalpers if you’re dying to get in but were too late to the game.

Now go ahead, what was your favorite room?

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