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7 Low Cost/ No Cost Family Bonding Activities

7 Fun Bonding activities at no Cost

This pandemic has tested everyone’s limits; especially when it comes to engaging the kids. Going out, family outings, movie and shopping is all stalled thanks to this novel Corona Virus.

The kids are getting bored and anxioux; while I am an advocate of free play, we definitely need to have some activities in place in order to keep them occupied for at least some part of the day. 

Sharing here some bonding activities that you do not need to shell out any money for and these are easy and simple without requiring advance planning.

  • Shadow play: Remember those frequent long hours of power-cuts from your childhood? Yes, you know what I mean here, you don’t need to wait for a power cut. Just turn off the lights and play. Create your own stories. Take this game a step forward, make shapes out of cardboard or any thick paper. Use your hands, or any other prop for shadows. You could even make puppets out of old socks. We make broom from chart-papers and we a have a witch-hat, all perfect for room on the broom play. I even went ahead with creating a mini shadow theatre for my son out of a big amazon carton. Don’t forget to share the stories about power-cuts  from your childhood, my son loves it when I talk about my childhood incidents and share those memories.
P.C. unsplash.com
  • Create a home spa- You could have fun converting a small corner of your house into a home salon or spa. We recently did nail art activity together with pretend play where I was obviously the artist. We often turn the bath times into pedicure times. I pretend to be the beautician and my little one becomes my client. Waiting for the times when we would reverse the roles and I could demand a nice foot massage
  • Pillow Fight: Another one from our childhood, wondering how to let your kid vent out his/her aggression? Simply engage in a pillow fight. Make your own rules, simple or silly. Better still, ask your kids to make the rules and play along.
  • The tickle game: May not be everyone’s favourite, but yes 5 minutes of this laughter therapy are good enough. We recently started playing the “Tickle game” before our afternoon quiet time/nap time. I call it quiet time because my son doesn’t let me nap, not that he remains quiet around that time, it is just that I wish to get some quiet, restful moments before starting evening chores.

  • Camping at home or in your backyard: Camping is fun, just the thought of it is so refreshing and fills your mind with adventurous ideas. But what to do when you can’t camp for real? Camp at home, yes, inside your home or in your backyard!! Make your tent out of chairs, clothes drying stand etc. find a spot in the house that has good sunlight and ventilation and set-up your tent there.  Prepare everything like you would for a day if you were to go camping. You could prepare some of your and your kids favorite dishes.  Keep the whole family off screen for those few hours or that whole day/night. Make sure your tent is big enough for all to snuggle up at night. Keep enough pillows to make it cozy. Get a board-game, prepare some camping songs and you could also do a treasure hunt in your house. At night put some fairy lights and use your flashlight to read bed-time stories, we love doing shadow plays even inside the tent.
  • Hide and seek and Dark Room: We often play these two games. Mostly just my son and me. However these can be fun if there are more family members involved.
  • Family water play: Kids love water and so do some adults. If your bath area is big enough, just get in your swim suits and get that shower on and enjoy some splashing and playing with bubbles or soapy froth. To add to it you could arrange for some disco lights and music.

Did you like these ideas, please share which one you liked the most. If you have tried anything exciting do share it with me, I would love to try those too, after all time spent with your family is worth every second.

babies, baby, education, Montessori, natural parenting, pampers, parenting, parents

How to select a playschool or Pre-school- Quick Guide For Parents


Why would you write a post on selecting a school, someone asked me. Well that someone has kids who are my age and that someone doesn’t know the challenges that we face. 

 

Being an army kid, my parents had to move cities every 2-3 years, which meant changing schools that often. Was it difficult? Well no, it was rather like a cake walk, easier for them than for me. Fewer schools, even fewer boards and our safest bet was a KV(Kendriya Vidyalaya) or an Army School. Things have changed drastically and choosing a school is as crucial and as confusing as making a career choice. 

 

Before move further, let us first know what exactly a play school is? A playschool as you may have guessed, is an informal set-up where a child learns through play. Pre-school is a term often interchangeably used with playschool. However, preschool is from 3 years to 5 years before a child starts his formal education at 6 years of age. A play school can start as early as 1.5years of age. 

 

Parents are flustered just by the thought of leaving their tiny baby in a play school or Pre-school, all by herself. They are confronted by many fears.  Here are a few things that you may look at before finalising a play school or a Pre-school for your child.

 

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early learning, education, learning, Montessori, Reviews, skola, toys

Flowers and the bee – A toy for toddlers to enhance multiple skills

Image source: skola.toys

Flowers and the bee – A toy for toddlers to enhance multiple skills 

Children are intrinsically curious and creative, growing up in this made up world adulterates these traits.
I still remember my childhood days, how we loved  playing outdoors and made into toys things that would otherwise be trashed. Not that there was any dearth of toys, but making those things gave us a sense of accomplishment and also taught many other lessons.
So, if you ask me, the best way to keep their imagination alive will be to keep them close to nature and to offer them opportunities for lots of open ended play.
Skola is one of my favourite toy brands; they have  wonderful range of educational toys made from the high quality material which is mostly wood.
I am going to share my views and our experience of this particular Skola toy –
“Flower and the bee”
Packaging-
The toy came in an attractive doodled carton along with detailed description about the toy and how it can be used.
Contents- The toy has 5 pairs of wooden flowers and 4 leaves. The flowers come in different colors.
A string with a bee-shaped needle at the end. The package also had a complimentary set of 4 crayons to be used for coloring the box.
Quality- There is no doubt that the toy is made up of the best quality material. The colors are bright and beautiful. The toy is sturdy and the finishing is just perfect.
Engagement-
The toy primarily requires threading of all the flowers and leaves.
Threading is a complex fine motor skill where coordination is required between both hands and eyes simultaneously. The child must be shown a few times how to perform this activity.
The beauty of such toys is that there are multiple things you can do with them.
You could teach pairing colors or shapes with this toy.
A memory game can be deviced with this toy.
Different pattern formation can be done, we made a few rangoli designs with these flowers.
Skills developed-
Fine motor skills-
The activity helps in improving multiple muscle movements and dexterity.
Cognitive skills- pairing helps in building short term memory and developing cognitive abilities.
Visual discrimination- Pairing activity helps the children observe patterns and to classify them based on their physical properties.
Creativity- Varied patterns can be drawn with just a few wooden flowers challenging and enhancing the creative abilities.
Writing skills- Threading is a pre-writing activity, setting the base for writing.
As the child moves the flower, the hand movements and tri-finger grip aid in writing skills.
Since threading requires finer skills, the toy did not interest my son much (he is 19 months old right now), but he does enjoy playing with the flowers and the string individually, another advantage of open ended toys.
Some pointers for parents when they head out to buy toys, these are the questions I try to answer before buying toys for my son-
1. What I want him to achieve from these toys?
2. Will this enhance his motor skills?
3. How will it improve his cognitive abilities?
4. Is there scope of manipulation or open ended play?
5. What material is It?
6. Could it pose any hazard to my child?
7. How many more months will it possibly be useful for?
8. How long can my child be engaged with this toy at a stretch?
9. What is the complexity level?
10. And of course the price. Is it a value for money purchase?
Skola toys are manufactured by a company that has pioneered preschool solutions in India and is a leader in making montessori materials. Each Skola toy is researched and crafted to provide the best learning outcomes for children. Check out their website for wonderful educational toys to choose from.
Happy learning and happy playing!!!