Importance of Unstructured Play for toddlers

Unstructured play is a category of play where children are allowed to engage in open ended or free play without any constructive objective. Basically the result of such play may not have a concrete result but can play an important role in their mental and physical development.

The key is to allow children choose what and how they want to play and when they want to stop and do another activity. It involves no goals or curriculum set by an adult. While an adult may provide the space and materials to play, the child is the leader and we take cues from them.

It’s important to have a curriculum and follow a routine but equally crucial to let toddlers play alone to help them develop crucial skills which are linked to higher academic achievement and well-being. Toddlers learn a great deal by exploring the inside and outside world, of course under our supervision. Just like adults, they can learn more about the world and how it works in a practical way.

It’s one thing to see an apple, but another to hold it in your hand, feel its glistening cool, smooth skin, smell its fragrance or maybe even taste it.  This kind of development is all the better if you ask questions: What color is it? Is it big or small? Sweet or bitter?

Benefits of Free/Unstructured Play
  1. Learn to explore and discover their surrounding
  2. Use their imagination to play with materials they find
  3. Builds creativity and come up with new ideas
  4. Important for emotional and cognitive development
  5. Develop motor planning skills
  6. Learn to socialize and collaborative play skills like – peer interaction, sharing, taking turns etc
  7. Express their emotions and understand their and others feelings
  8. Problem solving skills and learn to be independent
  9. Develop communication and language skills
  10. Provides opportunities for children to discover their interests and skills!

It’s important to note that unstructured play must be free of gadgets and electronics. Watching Tv or sitting and playing games on the computer isn’t free play.

Check out this article for idea on unstructured play – Unstructured playtime ideas to get the kids outside

It’s a great idea to head out to the park or have some fun free play time at home.  Let them go wild and explore. You can incorporate some learning as an outcome too. It’s a great way to work on their motor skills like kicking a ball, running, climbing up and down the stairs. Besides it boosts their sense of confidence and competence. In other words, they begin to think: “I can do it!”. Plus you get a tired kid by the end of the day!

Kenisha is wearing a beautiful pure cotton dress by a Indie Projects. They offers a beautiful selection of handmade clothing, accessories and baby products for boys and girls aged 0 to 5 years. Click HERE to see all their designs

As I mentioned, a balance is really important between structured & unstructured play. You can read views of Shalu Rathod on Structured Play (Click for direct link)

To read more of my parenting blogs click HERE

Why I chose to send my 2 year old to a Montessori preschool?

I have been homeschooling my daughter since she was 14-15 months old.

We have done several activities together to develop her cognitive, language and gross motor skills. I have loved and followed the concept of Montessori Principles and I have seen how well Kenisha picked up and has always amazed me with how well she could complete or understand an activity set for her. Following the child is a beautiful and effective way.

Many of you asked me why I decided to stop homeschooling and send her to a Montessori Preschool?

The answer is – I am not really going to stop homeschooling but I am adding a curriculum to her day.  We shall continue with our learning and development too.

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JS Puzzles free jigsaw puzzle website – Review

Authors Note: This is a sponsored post and contains affiliate links.

I always enjoyed jigsaw puzzles as I found them very competitive and super engaging! But who has time to buy, sit and play in today fast tech world. Gone are those days!

I just came across this amazing website www.jspuzzles.com which is a free jigsaw puzzles website, fun and safe for all ages.  It’s a perfect fun way to enjoy a break from work while keeping your brains totally kicking some thought process.

About JS Puzzles  –  The website offers a new jigsaw puzzle every day! If you subscribe you receive t free unique puzzles in your inbox every morning! They post a new puzzle everyday and have a wide variety of themes available – Nature, Places, Animals, Scenery and more!

 

jspuzzles free jigsaw puzzle online

jspuzzles free jigsaw puzzle online

Why JS Puzzles?

This user friendly website allows you to actually create own puzzle. Here is what you can choose to make this customsied for you!

  1. Choose a theme – there are so many to suit your mood.
  2. Number of puzzle pieces – great from a completive fun
  3. Size of puzzles from small or large – suitable for all age groups
  4. Shape of puzzle pieces which can make it simple or complex can beat the best time listes
  5. Finally you can time yourself and see if y

Being age appropriate these are great for younger kids too who can operate a computer or a tab.  Since my girl is just two we sat together and she loved it as I put this Lion puzzle together. I tried to enagage her as much as possible!

 

jspuzzles free jigsaw puzzle online

As a homeschooling mom I cannot emphasize enough on the importance of puzzles for young children. From fine motor skills to mental development, puzzles help us to understand space and the concept that everything has its place.

As we know jigsaw puzzles are perfect for memory building and also enhance problem solving skills. The only completion is time! How quickly can you solve a puzzle? It teaches you patience and and perseverance in the face of difficulty. And this one is perfect for all the adults to try.

I find myself reaching out to this www.jspuzzles.com  to clear of my mind and take a break. Do give it a try and am sure your whole family can enjoy it!

Disclaimer: Although this is a sponsored post, all opinions are of my own.

Kids need dirt to be healthy

Dirt is NOT Dirty!

As parents, we understandably cringe when we see our child plunging into the dirt. It means a whole lot of cleanup, which is obviously just not fun. But did you know, that allowing kids to let loose and get dirty is actually very important to their development and their health.

Many of my friends and relatives suggested me to keep my dogs away for an year, sanitize my house or else Kenisha might pick up allergies. But, little do they know it’s the other way round.

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Travel Stress free via flight with my 10 tips to fly with a toddler.

I always love to travel and explore. Lucky to have found a partner who enjoys it as much and now with a baby its more hard work to travel but we won’t give it up anyhow!

I have observed that most parents get super hyper when it comes to traveling with babies and kids especially on an international flight! If you plan it well, then it can really be managed and you no longer have to wait for them to grow up before you can continue exploring your passion for travel.

I don’t take any guarantee but I can surely say this – with a little planning ahead you can absolutely have a wonderful family time on an international trip! Many of you have also asked me on how I managed an international flight with a baby? So today am sharing our experience and as a result, some tips to fly with babies.

traveling with toddler

traveling with toddlers

 

 

 

 

We took our first International trip to Bintan Islands in Indonesia in August 2016 and Kenisha was then just 15 months old. She was still crawling on her knees and we knew we had to carry her around in our arms if we have to hop over from one place to the other.

Our journey was quite tiring – starting with a 6-hour flight from Delhi to Kuala Lumpur, connecting flight of 3 hours flight to Singapore and then immediately rush to catch a Ferry to Bintan Island straight from the airport. Door to Door, we were traveling for close to 20 hours! With our experience and learning here is a checklist for new parents that we came up with. It will be our go-to list for the upcoming travel too

1. Baby on Board – Firstly check the flight details and check their website on the allowance for baby luggage. Ideally, you will be paying less for babies under 2. Most international flights allow easy to fold strollers. But do read up about your destination and if its stroller friendly? Else you will be carrying a useless piece of equipment. Next – Ensure it’s tagged correctly! Ours went missing in a connecting flight! Luckily I was carrying an Ergonomic carrier by Kol Kol Carriers that helped!

2. One for the Road – Planning and then some extra planning – Always good to carry extra than repent! Make a small baby bag with extra clothes, wipes, bibs and whatever you usually need on daily basis. Ensure you carry an extra t-shirt for yourself too! Trust me you don’t want to smell of vomit or even worse if anything happens during the travel. Don’t forget plastic bags (for disposing of the diapers and in case of clothes get really dirty)

3. For the Rainy day – Put enough in your carry-on bags for the first day or 2 of your trip. We had a nightmare when we found out that one of our suitcase (carrying baby and my clothes) went missing. I had exactly 8 diapers left and one t-shirt for the baby. We struggled hard and luckily our suitcase came in the next connecting flight and was handed over to us the same night! Phew. Lesson learned.

4. Pick the right seat – Ask for a baby-friendly seat. If you are a breastfeeding Mom like me you can do with some privacy at a window seat or also take a seat in last few rows to access the toilet for regular diaper changes without bothering anyone. It’s also a great spot to pick up a crying baby and try to calm them down without disturbing too many passengers.

5. Check in early – This one goes without saying. Don’t follow the mom standard time. Calculate 1.5 hours extra and check-in. It can help with sudden bouts of sleep regressions, unexpected diaper explosions, and more such issues. Make you of the early boarding calls especially for travelers with kids. Get in quickly; stack up your luggage with easy access for later use. Plan your spot and then sit and relax.

6. Keep the Meds handy – Now with a baby ensure you carry a copy of his / her vaccination card plus any other test reports you may think is needful. Have all your OTC medicines ready especially common cold cough and fever. I prefer to make a list of medicines and prescribed dosage after consulting without pediatrician. This should be in your baby bag and always in your reach.

7. Stuff up some yummy Food – Since Miss K was still breastfeeding it was the perfect way to help with takeoffs and landing. In case of formula, always carry an extra pack and a bottle in case you lose one. Apart from that arm yourself with plenty of travel-friendly snacks. I picked small packs of flavored yogurts and kept simple fruits!! It is worth bringing a few candies or lollipops to help with the pressure change during taking off and landing). Some child-friendly cookies from Slurrpfarm would be my next bet for the upcoming travel!

8. Check for the kids’ play area – Long flight at odd hours cannot always be avoided during international travel. Our Flight to KL was at 12 am. So to keep K busy we found a small yet super awesome play area at the Delhi International Airport. She had not yet started walking independently then but she was very enthusiastic to walk holding my hand or with support and enjoy all the rides! She crawled all over the place and it helped to tire her down! No points guessing that she slept through the 6-hour flight!

9. Comfort First! Don’t get cute and dress your little girl in a fluffy tutu or fancy bows. An uncomfortably dressed child is an unhappy child! T-shirts and loose pajamas are best. Ensure you carry layers for the airplane air conditioning may give her chills! Even better, carry a light blanket or a stole that doubles as a cover when breastfeeding as well

10. Entertainment makes it fun – In-flight, entertainment can come to a rescue but just in case your kid is not in a mood, make sure you are equipped to handle a bored and restrained tod! Especially with babies it’s tough to contain them in a limited space.

More than real toys, mine is happier with stickers, tapes or just random catalogs on flights as she loves books. Keep small yet simple toys and hand them over one at a time only to keep it exciting. If there is a favourite toy, don’t forget to carry 2nd favorite for the return in case it’s lost.

These ideas did work for us and we are still learning with every trip we make with our little girl. I will be very excited to hear about your travel stories and how you worked on ideas for your baby?

In case you are looking for a quick getaway, this summer vacation do read about our experience to a 3 days trip to Amritsar and things to do HERE

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