Category Archive: Partners

  1. Spotlight: SmartDad Makes Finding Sports Programs Child’s Play

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    The Finkel Family

    Aaron Finkel makes finding youth sports programs a no-brainer for NYC parents.

    Meet Aaron Finkel. He’s a third-generation native New Yorker living on the Upper West Side with his wife, Emily, and their two kids, Daniela (14) and Ricky (12). As someone who grew up in NYC and has two kids who are very active in sports, friends would constantly ask if he knew where their kids could play organized sports. Over time, Aaron noticed two things:

    1. Parents are unaware of the different youth sports programs that exist across the city.
    2. Parents miss deadlines to sign their kids up for sports programs.

    “I myself once missed the deadline to sign up my son for flag football. Needless to say I felt horrible and the look of disappointment on his face was one I didn’t want to see again. I promised myself that I would never again miss another deadline for a sports activity and that I would help others do the same.”

    To address these two problems, Aaron created New York Sports Connection – it brings together two communities: the community of people who play sports (or parents of kids to be exact) and the programs that organize the leagues, classes, and teams.

    Ultimately, Aaron’s goal is that will make life a little easier for parents of sports-playing children by first introducing them to all the different sports options that exist in the city, and second by helping them not miss deadlines to sign their kids up for the programs of their choice. A few clicks around the site will show you just how easy and intuitive it is to find everything from cheerleading to sailing, or access sports staples like soccer, basketball, and baseball. So take a look around, and if you have a suggestion, feel free to offer it up. The site is designed to be for the community and of the community, so expect new programs to be added and new site functions to be considered based on user feedback.

    New York Sports Connection is on it’s way to being the go-to place for all of a family’s sports needs. Users can search a directory of sports options with over 650 program offerings and close to 50 different sports including options for children with special needs. They can also find private coaches, sell used equipment, find local places to buy gear, post and read comments of other parents, find locations for sports-themed birthday parties and find ways to get involved with local sports-focused non-profits.

    To help keep parents abreast of important deadlines, users can register for the weekly e-newsletter. Every Tuesday this widely read newsletter lists upcoming, sign-up/registration periods, tryouts, clinics, school and summer break camps and other sports-related events in the city.

    “Creating New York Sports Connection and making it into a resource for families is an exciting project for me as it combines three things I love — sports, New York City and communications. I was a journalist for most of my career and always enjoy being the place people turn to for information they need. In this case, I really wanted to put together a resource for overwhelmed parents in the city. I love the fact that I am helping parents discover programs they never knew existed while at the same time helping sports programs reach out to new people. It’s been great to watch the site and the newsletter grow, to read the positive feedback from our users and to see how New York Sports Connection is becoming a useful tool for parents.”

    The Finkels are a fun-loving, close-knit and supportive family who use SmartSitting on an as-needed basis. To learn more about SmartSitting’s babysitting and nanny service, please call us at 646-396-0230 or fill out a Family Application.


  2. Brooklyn Cabbages & Kings Summer of Theatremaking Camp!

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    Be a part of the inaugural group of kids (ages 8-12) for BROOKLYN CABBAGES & KINGS
    Summer of Theatremaking Camp! At BC&K, we don’t just train actors, we train theatremakers!

    Campers will learn physical and vocal warm-ups, stage vocabulary, ensemble building games, acting technique, building a character, music, choreography, playwrighting, design, and more! Through a series of fun explorations, campers will create an original theatre piece. Register online at

    CAMP DATES: Monday, July 29-Friday, August 2 | 9AM-3PM
    LOCATION: Trilok Fusion Arts, 143 Waverly Avenue, Brooklyn, NY



  3. Kids and Foreign Languages: As Good Together As Peanut Butter and Jelly!

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    Foreign Language for Kids

    Foreign Language for Kids ages 0-6 has never been easier.

    I might seem like a pretty standard American girl to you, what with a name like Suzie and all, but I’m actually a first generation American with a very, very Russian family. My parents both grew up in the mother land and met in a Russian restaurant in New York in their 20’s. One day, my mom turned to me and said “I could have never imagined I would end up with two English speaking babies!”

    To be more accurate, by the age of 3, I was speaking full sentences in Russian, Polish and English. The Russian came from my family, the Polish from our nanny, and the English from a clothing designer that rented out our garden apartment and always let me come downstairs and play. These three languages were completely interchangeable for me and I moved between them naturally. Over the years, English became my main language though I’ve retained most of my Russian language through repetition at home.

    I know first-hand just how easy it is for a child to manage all those languages at such a young age. It makes me excited to one day give that gift to my own kids. One of our partners, Little Pim, has it figured out. They are busy transforming babies, toddlers and preschoolers into little language experts during those perfect moments when kids don’t even realize they are learning. Their award-winning program uses music, videos, board books, flashcards, and an adorable panda named Little Pim. Basically, kids learn languages by having fun, interacting with Pim, and repeating 360 or so words and phrases. Their language program caters towards really young ages (age 6 and under), to catch kids at the optimal time for acquiring language. An added bonus is that the program is so sophisticated that everyone around the house will pick up new words too. Families can also request a free Little Pim training for their babysitters and nannies.

    I feel fortunate to have grown up with a second language in my home. It made me curious about other cultures and stimulated my learning at an early age. Even now, I have a knack for picking up words and phrases whenever I travel abroad and not to brag, but even I get compliments on my pronunciation! Language played a big role in making me who I am today, and it’s something I’m going to pass on for sure. The only question that remains is which Little Pim videos am I going to use? The series is available in 11 languages (Spanish, French, Chinese, Italian, German, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, English, and Portuguese). Eeny, meeny, miny, moe? I think I just picked German!

    For more information about the different language programs Little Pim offers, please visit SmartSitting families and babysitters receive a special discounted rate.

    -By Suzie Z.