This Diwali lets spark the joy of learning!

What Christmas to US, Diwali is for India.

This is the most favorite time of the year for many of us. Diwali brings in a flood of emotions and childhood memories for me. Each year my brother and I would look forward to Diwali and the loot of gifts we would receive from our parents and grandparents. It was exhilarating for us and keeping up with the anticipation was the toughest part!

The tradition of gifts continues. Children always have a long list of things they want and parents are more than eager to fulfill their child’s dream. More than often our wish list for our children is all about the fanciest outfit, expensive outings, lots of sugar-loaded candies and chocolates or some branded fancy toys that ‘we’ have been saving for the longest.

It’s almost a parents mission to get our child the very best!

Even when it comes to gifting, adults often look at things of social value more than practical/educational value. In today’s modern time many of us buy gifts for friends and their children to keep up a social status. Often bothered by social pressure – “does this show a value that I did spend a huge amount on it?” But do these gifts really bring joy and an emotion?

I for one, always look for practical gifts for everyone. A gift that becomes a part of the receiver’s life and something they would remember me and be thankful for. Plus the fact that I didn’t waste my money on a useless gift is the best satisfaction!

Especially for children, the best gift we can give them is a way to learn and grow. Toys are of course every child’s friend. If given an opportunity children can learn and grow through play. Early learning toys can lay the foundation of the discovery that fun and education can go hand in hand.

If you understand the importance of toys, you will realize how toys impact a child’s physical and mental skills, cognitive behavior and stimulate creativity. A correct choice of a toy can not only provide entertainment but also fulfill an educational role. Educational toys can support the fine and gross motor skills, cognitive development, improve problem-solving skills and aids in attention span which forms the very basis of early education.

educational toy

How to select the best educational toy?

The biggest dilemma is what to look for in a toy? How do you know if a toy is going to support early childhood learning and education? Listed here are some basic attributes that a good early learning educational toy will possess

  • The toy must be flexible or versatile and the child should be able to use it in various ways to support his/her creativity
  • The best toys always aid learning – in one way or the other
  • The toys/materials must be appealing and interesting enough for a child and offer several opportunities for success.
  • Look for toys that are durable. It should be well constructed, shatterproof and if required strong enough to hold the child’s weight
  • A good toy will have rounded corners, smooth surface with no exposed nails or projectiles and absolutely never requiring a battery.
  • Most importantly the varnish /paints and finishing must be non-toxic and must meet all safety standards
  • Of course, it should withstand repeated cleaning and washing.

Where to buy the perfect educational toy this Diwali?

Let me introduce you to Skola. Inspired by the Montessori principles of learning they have researched and developed some very apt and wonderful toys for the age 1-8. This was one of the main reasons I was attracted by their toys. You can also look for the toys based on a learning journey say whether you want to help your child with language, improve gross motor skills or even cognition.

Do visit their website to enjoy a plethora of educational toy which makes a perfect gift for children this Diwali! More about Skola and their toys coming up in my next post.

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Play Shifu Augmented Reality – educational game for early child development?

What is Play Shifu?

It is an educational game based on augmented reality that aids the kids learning to a whole new level with interactive play mode.  It teaches kids object labeling or naming a item, its meaning, spelling and pronunciation. It puts key focus on a child’s cognitive and imagination skills by providing real world knowledge.

Play Shifu Augmented Reality Games

Play Shifu Augmented Reality Games

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Home-made interactive toy in 5 mins

Sometimes making an interactive toy at home is simpler than searching one at the pet store. Let me tell you about one you can make in less than 5 minutes from your empty plastic water or soda bottles.
Things you will need:
  1. Empty plastic bottle
  2. Paper cutter or knife
  3. Dog treats
  4. Peanut Butter (I prefer home made. Click here to know you can prepare it at home)
  • Remove the plastic wrapper around the empty plastic bottle and wash it with a cleaning agent + hot water
  • Once the bottle is completely dried, take the cutter or knife and cut a small window closer to the base of the bottle. The size of the window should be just big enough to squeeze in the dog treats. Anything bigger than that will result into the treats dispensing out easily
  • Stuff a handful of treats into the bottle through this window
  • Now use a chunk of peanut butter to block the entrance of the bottle
  • And it is ready for your furry to play with
They will tale sometime to figure out the mechanism to fetch the treats and also to squeeze out the peanut butter. Once done, you can discard the bottle.
If you make a one for your furry and he enjoys it, don’t forget to share it with others J

If you have any questions, dont hesitate to mail me at 

KONG Puppy – One toy with multiple benefits for your growing puppy

“As a pup, I used to gobble up my food from the bowl in flat less than 1 minute. Yeah, it took me a while to develop that speed JBut then one day, instead of the food in bowl, I had a strange caterpillar lookalike thing landing in front of me when I barked for food. I could smell the food and on treading further, realised that my food was stuffed inside this thing which I later came to know was called KONG Puppy. It took me some effort to finally figure out how it works, the material was quite sturdy and I was unable to bite it. Eventually I realised that I can either use my two paws to squeeze the food out of it, or press it between my jaws. Once some amount of food was out, then it was a combination of my paws, jaws, tongue and most importantly … perseverance.
No longer was eating food a task which could be completed in a minute; by the time I finished cleaning up the entire food from the KONG Puppy, I was tired. I would drink some water and then take a nap.” Moose
The KONG Puppy toy is the original toy that started the KONG Puppy product line made with exclusive teething rubber formula. The material used is extremely sturdy, non-toxic, not easy to chew off but at the same time soft for a puppy’s gums. Ideal for pups from the age of 2 uptil they turn 9 months old. Depending on the breed and size of the pup, you can choose from S (< 20 lbs), M (15-35 lbs) and L (30-50 lbs) sizes. Ideally upto the point he has got rid of his milk-teeth. After that he can graduate to other products KONG has in larger size and stronger rubber based on durability. The KONG Classic is perfect for dogs who love to chew and KONG Extreme range is ideal for dogs that have a stronger bite and chew more than others.

If you are feeding your dog home cooked meal like rice, chicken stock, curd and meat, you can mash the mixture and stuff it inside the KONG Puppy. If you are feeding him packaged food from Royal Canin or Pedgiree, keep the food portion soaked in water for 5-8 minutes. You will notice that it starts absorbing the water and becomes softer. Now you can stuff it inside the toy and let you pup enjoy his meal. KONG also offers KONG Stuff’n treat separately which are specifically for these tours. What else, once he is done with the meal, you can also use the toy to play fetch and even stuff his treats inside it.

More often than not, people invest money in picking up other rubber toys which might not provide any mental stimulation and not be of a good quality. But spending between INR 400-800 is a worthwhile investment for the benefits it offers. When we wanted to purchase ours, it was available only on Heads Up for Tails.
A few benefits of the KONG Puppy:
  1. Better use and coordination with paws while balancing KONG Puppy to dispense food
  2. Unusual shape aids in unpredictable bounce while playing fetch
  3. Soft puppy rubber formula great for soothing sore gums
  4. Instils a discipline while eating meals
  5. Promoted proper chewing behaviour
“Stay tuned as I share more of my experiences” – Moose