How to tell if your preschooler is ready for school

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That every child develops at a different rate is established. Normally preschools start accepting children at 2 ½ years of age. But just because a child has crossed 2 ½ years of age doesn’t mean he is magically ready for preschool. There are a lot of things to ensure your child receives full benefit of attending a pre-school or worse doesn’t actually regress in certain areas. [Read more…]

Christmas Vacation Recipes for the whole family

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A brilliant way to make the most of Christmas vacations is to engage your children in making homemade gifts for relatives and friends. Homemade gifts are a message that the receiver is important enough for you to spend time thinking of a gift idea and making it yourself. We’ve put together a few easy to make recipes that will be fun and make an ideal homemade gift.

Nothing gets pre-schoolers going like a mashable play-doughy type of material to squish between their fingers. Now imagine if you could get them to use something like that to make ginger bread dough that is edible! Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Let’s begin! [Read more…]

Christmas Celebrations: A fresh take on the tradition of Giving

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Holidays are a joyous and memorable occasion that we share with our friends and family. We keep the tradition of giving by exchanging gifts and spending quality time together.

However, for many families, the struggle for survival does not change with the arrival of festivities. Sharing or exchanging gifts is not a possibility. We could acknowledge the blessings we have by giving back to people from disadvantaged background, at the same time keeping the spirit of giving alive. [Read more…]

Practising spirituality with children, the Play-Way method

We all have been given a mission to be spiritual companions to our children, grandchildren, and young friends. There are many blessings to be shared across the generations. We also can do more to respect and cherish children’s spirituality. How do we express it? Through creativity, sharing experiences, narrating stories, questions and much more. [Read more…]

Safeguarding your children against dangers on the playground

In our bid to get our children more outdoor play, we must also safeguard them against seemingly harmless outdoors. This article is does not intend to prevent you from sending your child outdoors to play, but to ensure that when you do so, proper safety precautions are undertaken to everybody has a good time.

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3 Reasons why it is important for your child to play in Mud

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What is your child’s typical day like? I bet it includes loads of activities that involve art, craft,sports and study. Have you ever considered mud? I find children, even the very young ones, are always fascinated by mud. But our current lifestyle can elicit responses like, “Eww, not the mud, honey. It’s dirty” or “There are germs in there, you don’t want them on your hands!” [Read more…]

Help Your Toddler Share

SharingRaising a toddler can be tough and challenging at times. If you have a toddler, I am sure you have heard the phrase “That’s mine”, quite often. Your toddler is not out of the normal, this is just a part of growing up. Even the most reasonable and well behaved toddlers will not want to share certain things of theirs.

Don’t be embarrassed when your friends come over with their children and your child doesn’t want to share. I am sure they have dealt with the same situation with their children more than once. Don’t blame yourself either for your child’s behavior. Simply take comfort with the fact that this is a part of your toddler’s development and they are on their way to growing up and moving to the next stage of life.

While this might be stressful to you, there are a few tips to help you with the situation:

Use The Distraction Method – With this method, you will distract your child with another toy. Or you can ask your child to come do something with you. You could ask them to help you clean something, play outside, etc., without making a big deal about sharing their toy.

Use The Walk Away Method – If your child is playing with someone else’s toy and refuses to give it up, pick up your child and walk away. This might cause your child to act out, but explain to them that the toy is not theirs. Take your child to a quiet corner and let them calm down. Explain to them that the toy is important to the other child, just like they have things that they don’t like sharing.

Use The Nip It In The Bud Method – When you have toddlers playing together, be sure to keep an eye and an ear out. As soon as you see or hear a bad situation about to happen, get in between them and break it up. Show your child something else they can do or play with to distract them. This will save some tears for your child before it happens. This is also something you will want to do if your child is playing nicely and the other child is picking on your little one. The last thing you want is two upset children.

If your child is playing nicely and another child is trying to take her things then distract that child. Find something similar or a close replacement to what your child has and offer it to them. Tell them how great it is, of course, but don’t overdo it or you’ll have two toddlers fighting over this new toy.
As your toddler grows, it will also grow out of this stage. This is when your child most likely won’t mind sharing and will enjoy the company of another child. Always be up front with your child and let him / her know what is going on. Let your kid know what is right and wrong. Distraction can be a big help when raising a toddler.

Image Source: [google.co.in]

 

Fun With Fingerpaint

Fingerpaint

When my child was a toddler, I remember her spending some of the most satisfying time with finger painting. It was the one time, when she would sit still for more than 40 seconds. And what’s more, she didn’t need me to be there for those few minutes at all.

Finger painting has been around for centuries, but its developmental effects on young children and toddlers were discovered only later. Without getting into too much detail about the research itself, I’ve found out a lot about how finger painting can benefit children right from the age of one. Today at ten years old, my daughter still finds self expression through painting.

 

Here are some of the most important benefits of finger painting that will give you every excuse to start your child on it.

 

  • The best thing about finger painting is the fact that the whole focus is on enjoying the process father than the end product, an important life lesson in itself.
  • Preschoolers learn about the world through their five senses of taste, smell, touch, hearing and sight. Finger painting allows them to use all five senses (provided you are using edible finger paint)
  • It promotes creativity, imagination and self expression.
  • It gives lots of opportunity to young tots to practice their hand eye coordination.
  • Older tots learn about color mixing and exploration.
  • It promotes sensory development.
  • Sometimes children express their emotions through painting.
  • Finger painting is easy for toddlers who can’t wield a brush or a crayon.
  • It makes a great activity for a bunch of toddlers painting simultaneously.
  • The art work can be displayed for years to come, remind you and the child of the happy time spent together.
  • The messier it is the more fun!

 

Making Edible Finger Paint at Home

I could never quite trust store bought paint for the fear of toxins and chemicals. There is a simple recipe I use for making edible finger paint at home.

Yellow: Mix turmeric in one cup of water and boil it till it reduces in half of its quantity. Add sugar to taste and store in an airtight container.

Red: Peel a beet and cut into small pieces. Add 100 mils water to it and pressure cook it till the beet is tender. Once done, strain the colored water and mix in the sugar! And Viola edible red finger paint.

Green: Quite similar to the recipe above, all you need is some spinach leaves pressure cooked in very little water. Once done, strain the water in a container and store it in fridge.

Image Source: [google.co.in]

Teach your Child to be Thankful

In today’s world, one thing that is most difficult to be found is ‘satisfaction’.  We human beings never think, feel or say that what we have is quite a bit. Rather we fail to enjoy what we have, in search of what we don’t have. It is good to be ambitious and aspiring. But at the same time, if we fail to see what we have got and focus only on the glass that is half empty, then we would never be able to taste ‘happiness’.

How many times in a day do we actually thank the Almighty for what He has given us? Do we ever thank Him for the simplest things which we take for granted like getting a parking place easily, getting a green signal at the road which is generally jammed, for getting ample supply of water, for electricity without which our urban life would come to a standstill, for getting the hot delicious food on the table every day, for the light and warmth of the sun, and so on….The list is endless, if we actually open our eyes to see the same.

We seem to be so occupied and stressed in focusing on what we don’t possess, that we fail to derive pleasures in the simplest things, the absence of which would make our life miserable.

This attitude of ours reflects in our children, because they have more or less the same vision as ours. We teach our children how to look at the world, knowingly or unknowingly.

Quite often our children crib and complain about the toys that they don’t have, about their dress that is less trendy than their friend’s dress, about the luxury car that their neighbour’s son drives, in front of their so-called ‘ordinary’ one. For them too, the list is endless and we as parents, feel that inspite of doing so much, we cannot satisfy them. It is because we never imbibed in them, the magic of gratitude. Teach them to be thankful for everything that they have or are getting in their life. But before doing so, remember the old saying, ‘Practice before you preach’, and see the enchantment in your and your children’s life. They will always be thankful to you for the rest of their life…..

Re-published with permission from the blog of ParentEdge, a bi-monthly parenting magazine that aims to expose parents to global trends in learning and partner with them in the intellectual enrichment of their children. This blog was written by Raina Bajaj, who has worked in the education sector for many years now. Working with children in their formative years has given her insight into in understanding children’s needs, aspirations, desires and psychology.

Image courtesy: Google Images

Work life balance for a working mom

 

Work life balance

 

Perhaps the greatest challenge for a working mom is finding that elusive balance between work and home. Where exactly does work end and home life begin? Should you allow your family time to be compromised by last minute urgent work? Do you even have that choice?

In one of our earlier articles we had spoken about the predicament of an Indian working woman. She is a wife, a mother, a daughter and a sister, but the fact that she has a career too is just incidental. It shouldn’t interfere with her domestic life. That’s the general idea that her family has. Or sometimes even she could think the same. And this could make matters worse because she will frequently find herself in a situation where she doesn’t like her job but has to do it in order to support her family.

Today we impart some pearls of wisdom to all you mothers out there who want to have a perfect work and home balance. You can’t literally have it all. But baby steps will surely see you a long way through.

The first step is to acknowledge the fact that you will always be playing multiple roles. Acceptance is the key to a happy time taking all those responsibilities through.

There will be role models that you would want to follow. Women who have seemingly managed to master it all. But refrain from doing that. Your situation can never be compared to another.

It is in a woman’s nature to look for guidance and acceptance from friends, family and society. Indian culture allows for family to be around for help. Accept help whenever needed. Invest in a day-care without any pangs of guilt tugging at your heart. You are doing your best, always remember that.

Spending at least an hour of gadget free time with your child everyday has shown to make the bond stronger. When you are home, be there physically, as well as mentally. It is easy to let your mind wander to unfinished business, but training yourself not to go down that road will help you in the long run.

And lastly, listen to your inner voice. Your natural maternal instincts will always help you make the right decision for your family.

Do things that make you happy, and do it with your family too. But keep some time aside just for you. Doing things that you loved doing before domesticity set in will make you relaxed and happy.