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.

For more exciting updates and contest you can stay connected with me through Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

Image source – www.pixaby.com

How motherhood has changed me? or has it evolved me?

When Pooja from themumandbabies.com invited me to join the blog train comprising of 41 moms across the globe who will share their stories about how motherhood has changed them, I felt this post will be a cakewalk for me. Afterall, I have been a mom for 27 months now!

For the past few days, I have gone back and forth wondering how I have changed or in fact if I have changed at all. I concluded – I haven’t, but I feel I have evolved.

I think my journey began even before I had Kenisha – in June 2013 when we got a Moose home. Back then, we were a newly married carefree couple busy with our work over weekdays and recklessly lazing around or exploring places over the weekend.

Moose was just 35 days old when he arrived home, but I guess he might have been separated from his mom and siblings much earlier. It sank in rather quick that little guy looked up to me to take care of him from this moment onwards. So began the role of a mother – feed, sleep, clean his litter, repeat.

Siddhant and I are dog lovers but Moose became the first dog that we actually got home. Clearly, with no real experience, we were on a roller coaster ride. Sid was busy at work while I managed my business from home.

Suddenly I had a lot more to do than I wanted to. Feeding a pup 5 times, clearing up afterward, constant petting and reassuring, running down from 11th floor for potty training after each meal, discipline training sessions, vaccination follow-ups and what not! Motherhood sure kicked in early.

But in return, I found a companion for those long hours of work alone at home. I had someone to cuddle with and enjoy long runs and walks every evening. I loved this feeling and it reassured me of my capability to take care of a little human in future. Our family had begun!

moose and cherry

Cherry joins the gang

Then in September 2014, we came across a post in one of the groups calling for volunteers to foster an abandoned female Labrador. We named her Cherry.

It took us two months to get her health back on track. And by then we realized how well she got along with Moose.So we finally took a call for adopting her. Now I had 2 babies.

 

June 2015, I was blessed with a baby girl. Life took a 360-degree turn like it does for every mom. Nonetheless, I felt at ease. I knew this. I was expecting this. I was ready.

motherhood

My little angel

My daughter is my biggest strength today. She has helped me face my biggest demons with a smile, pushed me out of my comfort zone, made me a responsible and a mature woman, helped me prioritize and be less stressed when I mess up, seek joy in the smallest things and above all made me a much happier person!

The C-sec scars heal and the post-pregnancy weight also bids farewell. But this precious tiny human helps a woman realize her true potential.

Motherhood

Our beautiful family

I am more patient, more loving. Not just to my own child but towards all children I meet. I respect my mom a million times over and all the other beautiful moms who are doing the best in their ability to raise a beautiful and responsible human. I judge less and I accept more.

My traveling partner

Motherhood has helped me let go of perfection and accept the fact that I cannot control it all. It has made me real and accepting of my flaws. But it has given me the strength to also stand up to new challenges. Today, I want to be fit and healthy. I want to prove to my daughter that women can do a lot more than what’s set for them traditionally. Even though in the past I have been a marketing professional as well as a businesswoman woman, today if I chose to give it up to enjoy these extra days with her I also got the opportunity to blog and share my experience with all you wonderful moms. So yes motherhood has evolved me into my new Avatar and I absolutely love it!

I am part of this blog train started by Pooja Kawatra of Mums & Babies and she has networked to bring together 41 moms across the GLOBE. (Meet the 41 moms here.) Pooja has also shared her own perspective on this here.

motherhood

Mums and Babies Blog Train

 

Next on this blog train is a beautiful mama Misha, mom of twins. 

motherhood

Misha freestyle blogger is a fashion postgraduate and has worked as a designer in her initial career years.

Post marriage and kids she entered the blogging world with her 2 different blogs.

Fashion Narssicist that was a fashion and beauty Blog and resulted in her all organic hair n skincare brand – Ang-Tatva 

Freshly Baked Head where she freely expresses and talk about the life, experiences, and product reviews

 

Happy Reading!!

 

I am taking My Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter

Temper Tantrums – A parents guide to keep peace

Temper tantrums are not a result of poor parenting or of a spoiled child. Tantrums are a way for toddlers to express themselves

Understanding Temper Tantrums

We all feel angry and frustrated as humans but children have primitive vocal skills and high emotional went ups at this stage and hence they might express with hitting, pushing or even biting when they need that extra cookie, a diaper change or that toy lying there. We call this a temper Tantrum or a meltdown.

Continue reading

Potty Training a 2 year old – Tips and Tricks!

Potty training for late bloomers?

Potty training is a real big deal for many parents. For some, it’s a matter of pride that their 2-year-old doesn’t have any accidents, though I really doubt. But if you have a successfully potty trained 2-year-old, then hats off to you and congratulations! Maybe this article isn’t for you!

My research showed bladder control vairies with a childs grwoth and development. A child younger than 12 months of age has no control over bladder or bowel movements. And in general most children do not gain full bladder control until they are 18-24 month old.

And potty training also means to be able to hold on a full balder else imagine running to the loo every 15-30-45 minutes with your baby? So I knew that it would not make any sense for me to push my 6-month-old to this routine, plus being all alone with no support I may not have the option to be consistent. Lastly, I was very happy with our gorgeous cloth diaper stash and cute bum. I stopped worrying and decided to wait when my child showed readiness. I know for sure that all kids are trained by 3-4 years of age, so starting late doesn’t delay it makes it much easier! Read on.

Toilet Training a 2 year oldWhen to begin Potty Training?

I am talking about our experience with a 2 year here (25-month-old to be precise). I feel you should start when your child shows the readiness or willingness to use the potty seat. Just remember that starting early doesn’t necessarily mean you will finish the training early, maybe it will take you longer to reach that goal.

Also, it’s very important to avoid the training when you are expecting big changes like starting school, expecting a sibling, shifting city/house or even travel/vacation. Begin when you are sure you will have 2-3 consistent months at least to keep the momentum going. Now the difficult part – be patient and consistent.

Potty Training Readiness checklist

The first step for a successful Potty Training is to look for signs of Readiness. Your toddler will show behavioral, cognitive and physical signs that he/she is ready. Focus and do not ignore these important cues.

  1. The child should be able to stand, run steadily even better.
  2. Should be able to squat. Pull her underpants up and down herself.
  3. Has a full diaper in one go rather than peeing often means they are able to hold on.
  4. Gives a verbal or physical sign to go to the toilet to pee or poop.
  5. Dislikes dirty or full diapers or chooses to wear only simple cotton underpants
  6. Regular predictable time to pee/poo – usually after meals, nap times and certain gaps.
  7. Shows signs of independence and is not resistant to the training.
  8. Feels accomplished when finishes her task and takes pride.

Tips to help a not so co-operative Toddler?

Some moms told me how they were finding it hard to convince their toddler to actually sit on the seat until they finish their job. I have been through that stage and boy, it tests your patience. But here are simple ideas to make this work for both of you.

  • Invest in right accessories -Pick the right toilet training equipment or adapter seat in advance and keep it available. Let your child be excited with this new toy! It should be secure, comfortable and if possible with handles. Even better let them choose a design. It makes it exciting for them. A colorful toilet seat is a bonus! We often talk about how many butterflies are printed on our pink seat. Conversation starter too, you see!

Here are some of our tops picks for an adapter toilet seat. Click on each image for product and price details 

 

 

 

  • Familiarize  – a toddler who has peed/pooped in the convenience of diapers may find it strange to sit on this new place one fine day and expected to do his job! So let them get familiar. You can allow them to sit with their clothes on to see how amazing/comfortable/exciting this can be! Tell them it’s only for the baby and not even the adults are allowed to use it.
  • Demonstrate – The best way for girl moms is to show yourself how to sit on the seat and urinate. Vice versa for dads. Talk about the process, ending with the flush. My girl does her job just to get the chance to hit the flush! Else use colorful board picture books about toilet training and even their favorite teddy/toy to show how it’s done. Some parents use videos as well to show how older babies conveniently use the toilet.
  • Make it special – I would keep some toys/things only in the toilet and Kenisha would get these only while she would be on the seat. She has some very silly fascination with random things like a plastic tub, a broken old toy which are now our “toilet toys”. Sticker sheets are again a great idea or their favorite books to flip through while they while away sitting on the seat.

Here are some reads I can recommend. Click on each image for product and price details 

                                                

 

  • Positive reinforcement – Children learn best when the association to a new task is positive and rewarding. Never push them if they are not willing to try. Allow time to familiarize and keep reinforcing how nice the new seat is and all the wonderful toys that await. IF they sit and get up, try after 20-30 minutes or as your intuition tells you to. Never leave a chance to praise them for the smallest progress they show. Do not be disappointed when they have an accident but just remind them about how it’s done.

We are still on our journey to a successful toilet training. My daughter is diaper free at her play school as well as home. We still use disposable for outing and bedtime but now that we have begun there is no turning back.

I hope you have found this article useful. Do sunscribe for more such informatiove blogs

 

This month, I will be posting for #MyFriendAlexa – India’s first and World’s Second only blogging event using Alexa Rank and associated tools.
This is my Ist post for #MyFriendAlexa Season 2. And I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with Blogchatter.
Current Alexa Rating
Global: 44,19, 495
India:  NIL

Flintobox – a monthly activity based subscription box for the Busy Parents!

Should I buy a Flintobox?

If you are wondering whether to take a monthly subscription with Flintobox or not, then this review will guide you. I am sharing my experience based on 3 boxes that I have tried with my daughter while she was around 19 months old, 24 months and now at 27 months.

What’s in a Flintobox?

A theme based subscription activity box filled combinations of age appropriate educational activities. Flintobox is available for 4 different age groups and all the activities are age-appropriate. They are 2-3 years, 3-4 years, 4-8 years and 8-12 years.

The play based material includes a book and 5 activities as a combination of puzzles, DIY, art and craft, experiments.

Apart from this, you will receive additional worksheets (10 per month/theme) and DIY activity videos (5 per month) in your registered mail ID.

You can watch a detailed video of the unboxing of our Healthy Habits (Age 203) box below to see what to expect. If you have any queries feel free to email me.

 

Will my child be able to do these activities?

Flintobox is designed for the age group of 2-12 years. We tried our first box called Amazing Animals (age 2-3 years) when my daughter was only 19 months old. Since we do homeschooling she already was learning about animals and was quickly drawn to the activities and puzzles. So yes these activities are very exciting for the children.

Each box has 5 activities and on each, it mentions the parental involvement and child’s involvement. The difficulty level varies with the age group for which the box is curated. Nonetheless, the best part is you can learn about the box contents before buying by visiting the Flintobox site which details the list of activities along with a complete demo video.

If you feel the activities look a bit too simple or too complex for your child you may choose to pick the same theme for the next or previous age group. This is a very useful feature to make a decision before buying.

Flintobox for toddler Flintobox review

Is it worth subscribing to Flintobox?

Since this a subscription box you have 3 options – 3months, 6 months or a 9-month subscription paid in one go. The pricing gets more economical when you pick a 9-month subscription box. It can save you up to 50%, making it Rs.595 each box. However, if you are not sure you can try the 3 months subscription for Rs.2385 which makes each box Rs.795.

Looking both at the effort in putting this box together and the contents of the box, it totally is a choice of the parent. I personally feel it suitable for busy/working parents looking for ideas to engage kids. Also if you don’t have time to plan or create elaborate DIY age appropriate actives then you must give it a try.

Our verdict – Do we love our Flintobox?

After playing with 3 boxes we have fallen in love with the concept of the subscription box. And my daughter looks forward to opening a new box like a little treasure.

We love Flintobox because:

  1. It’s a well-planned activity box with a new theme each month
  2. It has interesting and engaging education based activities spread across the month
  3. Comes with a detailed easy to follow instructions sheet and curriculum
  4. Excellent quality of material sued that allows an activity to be reused several times.
  5. Full Refund policy! Yes. Flintobox is open to cancellation of subscription incase you feel their boxes are not fitting enough for you

Give Flintobox a go and enjoy watching your kids having a wonderful fun time! and if you are still not convinced read on what my fellow mom blogger of twin girls –  Shalu has to say about her experience.

Read on about our Review on Playshifu augmented RealityGame Here