Raksha Bandhan is right around the corner and this year, the struggle to celebrate a long distance Raksha Bandhan is real. It seems like bonding between brothers and sisters this year will take place either over calls or video chats. But that doesn’t mean you can't make the best of it 😉
Afterall, it is essential for your kids to spend time with their siblings, cousins and relatives on a day so auspicious, even if it is virtual. So if you’re not with your sibling this Raksha Bandhan, here are 5 ways to celebrate the day!
1. Put together a video montage
There’s nothing like reliving old memories, especially if you have your little ones involved in the process. Putting together a video montage of old pictures of your kids with their siblings or cousins, can be a fun reminiscent experience for you and the kids.
The best way to begin is by going through your gallery of old photos, picking the cream of the crop and neatly knitting it together on any free software that’s available to you on your smart devices or computers.
This is a great exercise to involve your kids in. They can personalize all their favorite pictures with their siblings from across occasions over the years and give it that personal fun touch. There are several free applications to make videos which provide easy solutions and quick fixes for times such as these.
2. A Rakhi + Letter in the mail, makes for a heartfelt surprise:
So you’ve made the video montage for the big long distance celebration on Rakhi day, but you want to do some more. We believe that a heartfelt, handwritten letter is the key to building a sibling bond among your kids.
Apart from being heartwarming and adorable, this idea lets kids exercise their creativity and strengthen their bond with their siblings over the exchange of personal notes. Ensure that you let them take control over each aspect of writing the letter. Trust us, a personal touch goes beyond words to express deep feelings.
We encourage the little ones' to attach a rakhi along with the letter to give it the celebratory touch that Raksha Bandhan so truly deserves.
To make a rakhi at home, all you need is: ribbon or yarn tread, origami or normal colour paper, beads, sequins, scissors and glue. Once set, follow the below video to get going.
3. Surprise gifts are a win
Now you’ve sent the letter and perhaps received one, but the experience of it all doesn’t quite seem complete, does it?
With the plethora of online gifting services available today, you can send the perfect gifts to your kids’ cousins from anywhere in the world! Your options are endless too! The tricky part is finding the right gift to send, but since we’re talking about young children, it shouldn’t be a very complicated affair.
Some of the best raksha bandhan gifts are the simplest. The easiest gifts to get children are the ones they’ll use daily. Clothes as gifts are the obvious and most versatile go-to. Enhance the experience by adding in some candy that kids prefer and you’ve got a sweet little package.
Sending raksha bandhan appropriate sweets to enhance the feeling of memorialization.Other age appropriate options great as gifts are Art and Craft Kits, Books, Legos and anything that is fun and engaging for kids. When it’s sent by a loved one, the value is nearly priceless, so don’t be afraid to experiment with new concepts.
4. A Video play-date for the Rugrats, with a twist
You can also go beyond the aforementioned gifts and invest in something that the kids will get enjoyment from, or can do together as a team online!
The definition of a play-date knows no bounds, and on an occasion such as this, why not go beyond the old cliche of one on one video calls and make the play-date more involved and interactive.
Again, the options you may have are seemingly limitless. There are plenty of online workshops for kids, in arts and crafts, music and entertainment. Popular kids filmscan be viewed on streaming services while inviting cousins and siblings to celebrate over watch parties. Online charades and cute little singing competitions among kids can make the day even more fun.
5. Celebrate with the whole Family on Video Call
It must’ve occurred to you by now that we were building this up to a massive closing tip. Get the whole family together on a video calling app of your choice, and celebrate raksha bandhan the way it’s meant to be.
All you need to do is plan it out with family and get them on board with the idea.
Fix a date and send everyone the zoom call or skype link. Don’t be afraid to jazz it up by using that creative video montage as an invite to the event. Remember, this is meant to be a massive celebration, so cutting corners isn’t advised.
That rakhi that was sent in the mail? That can be worn by the brothers on the day of the occasion! The online gift that you sent to little sis? She’ll be opening that package of goodness live, which makes the moment more happening.
It’s these little things that can alleviate that feeling of distance when it comes to maintaining and reinforcing the bond between brothers and sisters on a day so revered.
Today it feels like every fleeting moment must be captured as best as we can, and what better way to do that than to arrange for a fun engagement among relatives on a day where familial bonding is considered to be the highlight. These Raksha bandhan tips are sure to get everyone’s spirits up and the entire family to participate, kids included!
Getting kids off their screens today is more tasking than anything else a parent has to do. Kids today are so hooked onto smart devices and electronic forms of entertainment that it almost feels like they’ve not experienced what it feels like to be outdoors.
While a trek or an outing may not be possible for a while, the closest thing that comes to mind when wanting to experience the outdoors is gardening.
Gardening for kids can be incredibly relaxing, therapeutic and stimulating to the mind from a very young age. It can also be an effective tool to teach kids the very basic biology of plants and how they are an integral part of our ecosystem.
Gardening is an effective way to get kids off their smart devices, breathe in the fresh air and get active. While we as parents may not be an expert gardener ourselves, we’ve made you a list to get started & avoid the initial overwhelming visit to the nursery.
#01 Grow plants that bear fruit or vegetables Though challenging, growing plants that bear fruit or vegetables in your garden can be thoroughly fulfilling and engaging for kids. Find a fruit, vegetable or even herb suited to your child’s tastes and purchase the seeds from your local nursery or online. The process of growing one’s own food and later enjoying the ‘fruits’ of their labor will leave a lasting impression on your kids’ minds.
This project can also promote a healthy environmental message, give your kids a sense of how challenging it is to grow produce and will educate them on the balance of the ecosystem and even inculcate a good message to reduce wastage.
It’s a hobby that can be nurtured over time and prove to be a therapeutic experience .
Though not 100% sustainable, it is more cost effective than purchasing pots specifically for growing a garden. Smaller containers also take up less space, thus giving your kids control over how many plants they’d like to grow in their garden. This makes it a more accessible and low maintenance form of a hobby.
#03 Terrariums are fun too!
It may just so happen that you don’t have the space for a full fledged garden. Maybe there’s no room for pots at your window or you’re not sure if gardening as a hobby would click with your child. An easy solution to this is constructing a terrarium.
A Terrarium can be simplified as decorative gardening in a bottle. They require a glass bottle or container, with or without a lid and are filled with soil and plants that require minimal maintenance. They work efficiently as most terrariums require you to water them only at the time of assembly and later rely on the vapors in the glass container to keep the environment healthy.
It is a super easy, novel and engaging activity which is also highly educational. Since the combinations of environments that a child would want to create can all be contained in one tiny glass bottle, let your kids find the plants that they fancy and give terrariums a go. It’ll be the talk of the town when their friends come over.
#04 DIY Garden Artifacts
So your kids have decided on what kind of garden they’d like. You’ve got the pots set up at your window or in your backyard, and now all you have to do is wait for the plants to grow. Seems a bit boring, doesn’t it?
Kids will often feel the pinch of having to wait for days or even weeks before they see a tiny sapling poke its head out of the soil. This time can be used to make sure that the plants receive a warm welcome when they grow.
You can even have them paint colorful patterns on the pots that the plants will grow in. Perhaps your kids have tiny animal toys that they would like to place around the garden to make it feel like a livelier place.
If you’re up for it, why not make an insect home that welcomes the insects that are vital for pollination and plant care? The possibilities are limitless and each and every activity is bound to put a smile on your little one’s face.
Gardening may not seem easy to get into, however it is actually a very accessible and thoroughly enjoyable, fulfilling hobby if your kid is keen on developing a green thumb. We promise you that once your little ones experience the bliss of watching their own efforts bloom, they’ll never find the activity boring.
In the times of digital parenting, it is hard to keep kids away from their screens for hours together. And to be honest, the pandemic has made it all the more difficult for parents to do so. With most of the schools opting for e-learning this year and parents encouraging kids to pursue activities on phones and laptops to keep them busy, it is impossible to expect the little ones not to be glued to their gadgets.
While keeping the kids away from their screens for long duration might not be ideal, we sure can slide in some screen-free activities for kids at home to give their eyes the much needed break. Here are some of the activities that we love: Yoga & Meditation
Encouraging the little ones to engage in a little bit of mindfulness will certainly help them in the years to come. One such way is to introduce them to the ancient art of practicing yoga and meditation. You can start by slowly making them aware of the various postures of yoga. If need be you can take help of a yoga instructor.
While practicing yoga will certainly help enhance their concentration, memory and keep them calm in stressful times like these, it is also a great way to spend some quality time with your munchkins. Inculcate a habit of writing
With tabs and laptops rapidly replacing notebooks and pencils, kids today seldom know the joy of writing letters and notes. Bring the sweet pleasure of yesteryear's in their lives by daily giving them some topics to write on. The writings can be on their favorite people, games, food items or they can even write letters to their friends and relatives.
Irrespective of what they scribble on that paper, this habit will help develop their reading and spelling skills and for you parents, it will serve as sweet memories that you can cherish anytime when they grow up.
Make Science fun at home
Science does not have to be scary anymore. You can make it fun at home by performing kids friendly science experiments at home.
Some of the experiments that we love are: a) Tornado in a bottle All you need is two transparent bottles. Fill one bottle with water and some food color and glitter. Tape the second bottle at the opening of the first and turn the bottles upside down. Now whirl the bottle at the top with colored water. This will create a vortex as the water drains in the bottom bottle giving the impression of a tornado. b) Dancing Iron Filings Get some iron filings, a transparent jar and a strong magnet. Place the iron filings in the jar and then move the magnet around the jar from outside. This will make the iron filings inside the jar move along with the magnet’s movement outside. c) Baking Soda volcano What if we tell you that you can create a mini volcano right at your home? Don’t believe us?
Let us tell you how:
Step 01: Take a paper cup and tape its bottom to the middle of a paper plate
Step 02: Take a chart paper and tape it all over the cup and plate in a way that it creates the shape of a mountain.
Step 03: Cut a hole in the middle of the cup and paint or color your mountain with your little one.
Step 04: Fill the cup with 2 tablespoons of water and a tablespoon of baking soda. Stir the baking soda till it dissolves.
Step 05: Now pour some vinegar in the cup with the baking soda solution.
As baking soda solution and vinegar react with each other, they create carbon dioxide which in turn creates pressure inside the cup and erupts like a lava. You can add food colors in the solution for a dramatic effect. Insert a plastic bottle inside this model with baking soda in it. And you're done!
A Mini Fashion Show The pandemic has stopped all non-essential outings. This means that the kiddos cannot show off their new clothes to their friends at play dates or birthday parties. You can conduct your own fashion show at home for them.
All you need to do is bring out their favorite clothes out and set up a ramp walk for them to set the stage on fire.
Read bedtime stories
Another great way to cut screen time is to read bedtime stories. Apart from developing their language skills and enhancing their attention span, this little activity also inclines them to actively take up reading when they grow up. If you are looking for some good books to read to your child at night then do read our blog.
Have a screen-free activity that your child adores? Let us know in the comment section below.
As a parent, reading aloud to your kids might already be a regular activity.. When kids are younger, they are more likely to grow into the habit of reading if they begin to associate the activity with the memory of you reading to them. Reading is also known to develop attention span and language skills from the early stages of your child’s life which can help them perform better at certain life skills and even academically. Apart from that, your kid’s imagination gets strengthened as they attempt to relate to scenarios and characters in certain stories.
A love of reading is a gift every parent should give their child. This week, we are compiling a list of books that you can read aloud to your little one and spend some quality time with them.
Matilda, Roald Dahl It is a charming and humorous story about a very, very good girl. The story revolves around ‘Matilda’, a perfect five-year old with an imperfect life. Amidst her self-centered family and bully of a principal, Matilda is an astonishingly intelligent and strong character who is loved by everyone. The problems in her life surface when she stands up in defence of her teacher against the principal, only to discover that she has another gift.In this masterfully crafted story by Roald Dahl, children will be exposed to various themes of coming of age, which makes it a fantastic classic for kids between aged 5 - 10.
A great visual aid for this book would be its feature film adaptation available on Netflix, which is sure to entertain your little one.
The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss The Cat in the Hat is a fun, humorous and carefree romp about a troublemaking Cat, who just so happens to wear an obnoxiously tall Hat. This story is best read aloud to younger children since it is a relatively short story. Sally and her brother Conrad are stuck at home alone on a rainy day, when ‘The Cat in The Hat’ appears and offers them the chance to do something fun. However, this plan turns into hilarious havoc, as the cat begins to destroy everything in its wake, only to encourage fun for the kids. The story, though seemingly about an unruly cat, inculcates the virtues of responsibility.
The Percy Jackson Series, Rick Riordan Although for a relatively older audience (Ages 6 onwards), The Percy Jackson series will be a great initiator for your kids into the wonderful world of mythical creatures, Greek folklore, long winded adventures and inventive humor. The series consists of 5 books, of which the first is titled The Lightning Thief. Percy Jackson, a demigod, is wrongly accused of stealing the prized lightning bolt that belonged to Zeus, the King of gods. He must then go on a perilous adventure to find the true culprit behind the theft. There is no doubt that these books will fuel a sense of adventure and spark intrigue in delving into the depths of such a wonderfully fleshed out world with interesting characters and mystical storylines.
Malgudi Days, R.K. Narayan As one of India’s contemporary authors for children, R.K. Narayan’s Short Story Collection titled Malgudi Days, tells the story of a young boy named Swami, his endeavors and experiences and the various facets of life in the fictional village of Malgudi. It portrays human beings in the most honest, grounded and realistic manner which is sure to invoke emotion, and also make it more relatable and appreciable for younger kids.
It masterfully shows the innocence of humanity and with its mature themes, can invoke a sense of inquisitiveness among younger children. Truly a must read to your kids and what we call, a timeless story that kids of every age must read.
How I Taught My Grandmother To Read and other Short Stories, Sudha Murthy. A great book for every young child to experience, this book is heavily popularized in Indian households as it brings with it the simplicity and innocence that lies within each and every kid. The book contains various heartwarming and seemingly ordinary stories with extraordinary meanings and themes. It talks about life, age and literacy and some stories approach themes such as sadness and anger from a childlike, yet mature point of view. It is a masterclass in writing for young children and a must read for everyone.
The Lorax, Dr. Seuss While The Cat in The Hat is a classic about an unruly Cat, the Lorax is another one of Dr. Seuss’ classics about a lazy yet kind creature who “speaks for the trees”. The central message of the story involves the concerning danger of human destruction of the natural environment leading to climate change, and how we can and must inculcate values of respecting the climate, in the minds of our children. Though heavy handed in its subject matter, it only feels so on the surface. Deep within the pages of this book lies an easy to understand and joyous story about a character who must do everything he can to save the planet.
This book will appeal to children of today as there is a strong understanding and responsibility to the environment among young audiences today.
Coraline, Neil Gaiman Coraline is the best introduction your little one could have into the genre of dark fantasy, introducing your child to a character such as Coraline, one who is unafraid of confrontation and highly adventurous for her young age. The story involves a young Coraline, being transported into an alternate universe where she is taken in by ‘copies’ of her parents and then realizes that her world has been completely turned around, with constantly putting her in perilous situations. This one is again, recommended for an older audience (6 - 12 year olds).
Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White Most people have definitely heard of Charlotte’s Web being a must read for young children, and that comes with a fair amount of merit. This beloved E.B. White book, also the author of Stuart Little, writes about a pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. Wilbur is born as the weakest member of his litter which leads to him being taken care of by a spider named Charlotte, who tells us of her feelings through writings in her spiderwebs. This is a story worth listening to for little kids as it tells a tender and grounded story of friendship, love, life and death while dealing with the various mature themes in a wholesome, positive and easy to understand manner for kids between the age of 6 and 10.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl Another Roald Dahl classic, Charlie and the Chocolate factory is the perfect read for your little ones who love chocolates probably as much as anyone else. It involves a young penniless boy Charlie, who lives with his entire family in a cramped up shack, only to one day receive a Golden Ticket in a bar of chocolate, that turns his life around. The story has themes and morals of honesty, truth, hard work and appreciation for life as we know it with a heavy inclusion of chocolate themed incidents that are not only tempting but also teaches kids to take life in their stride and appreciate the little things.
Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne As a well loved, contemporary character, the rights of which currently belong to Disney, it is no surprise that a charming soft spoken character like Winnie-the-Pooh would make it on our list. The sheer number of short stories available to read through for your kids is endless. You can certainly approach any Winnie-the-Pooh book as your child’s first book and the characters will leave the same impression that the author wishes to hold across multiple stories without any continuity. In this masterclass of writing for children, the characters show their colorful personalities which allow for a fun filled reading and listening experience for younger kids. Listening to Winnie-the-Pooh and his ragtag band of friends involve themselves in constant hijinks will surely leave your kids entertained and exercise their imagination to new bounds. If your child is anywhere between the ages of 5 and 12, this series is a must read.
Kids can have varied tastes and you can’t know what they enjoy the most until you’ve introduced them to it all. We hope the list above helps you kickstart your joint reading sessions and makes for some truly awesome bedtime stories.
June has arrived, and with it, the stormy and windy monsoons. This season can be really fun for kids, provided they like the cold wet rain. However, making the most of this weather can come in many forms. We believe that a little bit of rain is no excuse for your kids to not have fun; whether it be snuggling them up in their jammies, taking them out to dance in the rain or letting them relish some hot cocoa on a cold rainy evening. In this blog, we’ve brought some fun indoor and outdoor activities you can enjoy with your kids this rainy season.
Not every kid is the outdoor kind, and we totally understand that. Sometimes, when it rains and pours, the best thing you can do is huddle up and play indoors. Here are some activities your kids can enjoy indoors.
Extreme Room Makeover: The monsoons are a great time to get your kids active around the house. The best place to start is your kids’ very own room. You can let your kids decide how they’d like to rearrange their room and figure out what would look good in which part of the room. It may be so that they want to change the arrangement of their bed, toy box or just rearrange their wardrobe. Either way it is a very productive and enjoyable activity to send their rainy day woes away. (This kids room guide might come handy!)
Indoor Treasure Hunt: We guarantee that this is an activity your kids will demand to participate in as often as they possibly can. All you have to do is create some fun clues that lead your kids to a treasure that is hidden within the house. The treasure can be anything of your choosing, chocolates and candy or even your kid’s favorite toy. Let the kids in on the game by informing them of the prize at the end and hand them the first clue to get them started. The sheer joy of finding the treasure at the end will give your little detectives all the fun they need, indoors.
Indoor Blanket Fort:
Another fun activity to do indoors is building a blanket fort. A blanket fort can be really cozy and comfortable while also serving as a novel experience for your kids, especially when they’re stuck indoors due to the rains. This is a fun activity that can be led by your kids, so be sure to relinquish control over to them and let their creativity in around the house architecture astound you. Help them by giving them the right tools, chairs, blankets, cushions & pillows and have them build a fort big enough for the whole family to enjoy. A blanket fort is the perfect place to enjoy movie nights as well.
Board games are a great activity that are sure to give your kids hours and hours worth of playtime, whether it is pouring outside or not. The astounding variety of board games that are available for kids today, just goes to show that it is not a dying trend. There are board games appropriate for kids of all ages such as Boggle and Monopoly Junior, Picture Puzzles and Ludo for kids between 5 and 8 years of age and Boggle, Uno, Scrabble and Pictionary for kids who may be a little older. As such, board games are the perfect tool to avoid the stormy weather.
Build a Time Capsule:
This one will require some patience but we assure you, the outcome is fantastic. All you and your kids need for a time capsule is a lockbox and mementos of the year you’re in while making it. Your kids can pick their favorite pictures, trinkets or perhaps their favorite toy to put into the time capsule. Once you’ve put in the goodies, find a safe place to stow it away in a hidden place for the next two, five or maybe even ten years, but be sure to take note of where you’ve hidden it. It could be dug up in your backyard or hidden somewhere in your wardrobe or even stashed in a loft. The beauty of a time capsule can be summed up in one word, ‘Nostalgia’. The feeling of familiarity from a long lost time is sure to get the emotions running, albeit in due time.
Outdoor Activities: Going outdoors* in the rain and having fun in the damp, cloudy weather can be somewhat comforting, when you and your kids wish to take a break from the indoor environment. Be sure to have your kids wear the appropriate rain gear before you leave the house, and stay indoors in case of storms and lightning. But if the rains permit these outdoor activities are perfect for your kids.
*Disclaimer: We urge you to take all precautions while venturing outdoors. Wear a mask, keep gloves handy and at all times, maintain social distancing.
Paper Boats: While being fairly easy to make, the enjoyability factor with these fun little origami paper boats, exceeds expectations. Best seen in action once the rain subsides, all you need is a puddle and some paper. Making the paper boat itself is quite easy and you can find the tutorial for it here. Be sure to prepare more than a few as the paper may tear post dampening. Racing paper boats with your kids can be a fun pass time in the monsoons.
Nature Hunts: Whether it be your very own backyard or the local park, any area with ample greenery will serve its purpose. As nature flourishes in the monsoons, it is a great time for observing nature at its finest. Introducing your kids to the local shrubbery, while also looking for snails, frogs and other critters while possibly documenting their ‘adventures’ with pictures can be a different and new experience not many kids today have the opportunity to partake in. This activity is perfect for kids with a green thumb as well, since they can local plants to grow indoors.
Family Walks and Hikes: With the above mentioned greenery in mind, making plans to go on a short hike and explore your surroundings with your kids can be utterly refreshing. After being locked indoors for so long, a long walk ought to be a nurturing and nourishing experience for you and your kids. It is a great idea to also make a picnic out of the occasion. Carry light snacks that you can munch on as you walk, or carry gear that keeps you dry outdoors when it drizzles or pours. With endless possibilities of other outdoor activities being included under this topic, be sure to be as active and creative to keep your kids entertained.
Create Music with the Rain: This one is sure to spark interest in every kid and their parents. Making this one a group activity is great too. Find large hollow pots or utensils that you have in your house. And turn them over in the outdoors when the showers are relatively heavy. If you’ve got access to clay pots, all the better. This is a great way to pique your kids’ interest in music and it’s a fun little distraction from the fact that the sun isn’t out yet and your kids can’t play the way they’d like to.
Just Dance: There is no doubt that kids and adults alike love the first showers of the season. Getting your kids to enjoy this can prove to be a fantastic experience for them as well as make you feel like a child once again. From puddle jumping to the aroma of the damp soil. Stepping out and dancing in the rain is a perfect way to let your kids express themselves and bring some smiles even on gloomy and cloudy days of the monsoons.
The monsoons are here for a short while, so why don’t we let the kids get the best out of it? We assure you that these activities are sure to get your kids interested in trying out so many new hobbies and not feel bored under any stormy circumstances.
Have an activity idea that didn’t make it to our list? Share with us in the comments section below.
June is here, which means, we get closer to celebrating Father’s Day on the 21st of the month. Finding the best gift for dad can put us in a tizzy and sometimes, a store bought present may just not show our fondness, love and affection we have for our Father. It is a well known fact that buying gifts for dads can be a confusing process and to eliminate all the last minute rush purchases, we’ve compiled for you a list of five easy to do DIY gift ideas for Father’s Day.
DIY gifts tend to have a personal touch, since the very sentiment of making something from scratch for a special someone is much closer to our heart. So while you guide your kids to making the ultimate present for their dad this Father’s Day, start with these DIYs,
DIY Goodie Basket: If you’re looking for an easy and elegant present to whip up this Father’s Day, how about getting your kids to join in on filling up a large basket with all the goodies their dad would enjoy? A goodie basket is a wonderful gifting option since it can be packed with a variety of things the person loves.
From trinkets of their liking to shaving oils and colognes, to greeting cards made by the kids and even candy and snacks, the variety and possibilities of filling up a goodie basket with all the things a dad enjoys, are endless. It is also fun to add in gifts that would give them the pleasure of further pursuing their hobbies. If dad likes to cook, why not get him an apron? If dad likes a bit of music, why not a new headset? This will also let the kids get to know their father’s tastes and lead to wholesome family moments.
DIY Picture Frames: A picture frame is one of the most personal gifts a child can give their parents, especially when it’s made with all the heart and soul a child can pour into it. A picture frame can add a personal touch to dad’s work desk where he can preserve moments in time and it can make even the most boring work days more refreshing for him.
DIY Picture frames allow your kids to be incredibly creative and lets them use anything that they can possibly think of to make it look attractive. Encourage your kids to use different elements, think sheets of old paper, old dried pasta, Broken pencils, buttons, stamps, dried leaves, cardboard cutouts.. You can even give the frame a theme! Picture frames are meant to seal memories in time, so why not add another memory to dad’s desk?
DIY Painted Coffee Mug: If dad is the kind of man who loves the smell of coffee in the morning, this gift is a must have! The aromatic roastiness of freshly brewed coffee couldn’t be improved anymore than it would be in a handcrafted, personalized DIY Coffee mug .
With just a few shapes cut out from card paper, acrylic paints and some varnish, you can find the formula for a perfect father’s day gift. Acrylic paint is perfect for a project such as this since it rarely ever wears off. Remember to use a plain color mug so that your kids can use as many colors and invest as much love and creativity as they can. Do not forget to use some varnish so that the mug can withstand washing.
This is a perfect way to get your kids to engage in observing all of dad’s quirks. Does he have a moustache, or a catchphrase, or a funny expression? Encourage your kids to paint it on to a Coffee mug which dad can use everyday before taking off to work.
Activity Jar: With dad’s busy schedule, it may sometimes become a task for the kids to find days to spend quality time with him. One ingenious idea we came up with was making an activity jar with a wishlist. Start by getting your kids’ opinions on the activities they would love to do with their dads. Write these activities down with a marker on tiny chits of paper or on tiny lego blocks. Find an empty glass jar to fill up these blocks with. Your Gift is essentially ready, but the best part comes after the gift is unwrapped. The activities written down on the blocks can be the activities that your kids would want to partake in over the weekends or on vacations. It could be a sport, reading, camping, hiking, picnics or even a trip to the zoo.
This allows dad to choose a quality activity he can enjoy every weekend to ensure that he feels refreshed and closer to your kids. A tip we’ve included is to color code the blocks if you’ve got more than one kid. That way everyone gets a turn to join in on any activity every weekend.
DIY Book of Memories: The evolution of smart devices has made us feel more disconnected from traditional means of reminiscing about the good times. With all our precious memories being stored in pictures or videos on our smartphones, there seems to be a lack of a personal touch in the simplest things in life. How about a Book of Memories, made with the tender, loving care and the innocence of a child?
Start by finding an appropriately sized scrapbook, preferably a colorful one. Equipe your kids with sketch pens and print out all the pictures you can where the kids are spending time with their dad. Let your kids indulge in writing as many cute quotes and descriptions as they can for each image they stick into that book. Encourage them to get creative with picture placements and themes. Stick the pictures in a chronological order if you plan on building a narrative. Make sure you leave some pages in there so that the kids can stick on more memories that they make in due time. This present is surely going to spark a strong emotional connection between them!
Finding the best gifts for fathers may be a hard task to begin with, but the power of imagination and creativity that your kids possess can definitely bring out the old softy that resides within all dads.
What are you planning to gift him this Father’s Day?
It is never easy picking out a gift for your kids. Be it for an occasion such as a birthday or any festivity, finding a gift for a child at any age can be harder than it seems. Kids today have specific interests and know exactly what they want. As they grow older, their interests may change leaving you in a tizzy every time your eager, starry eyed little one asks for a present and you just can’t say no. So we decided to bring you a list of gift ideas for your children that aren’t necessarily toys.
#1 Painting kits: Art is one of the most approachable forms of hobbies a child can adopt into their routine. Whether it is sketching, painting, origami, or clay modeling, the possibilities and varieties are endless. Unlike back in the day, where we as kids had only our wax crayons and pencils to put ideas on to paper, kids today have too many things to choose from.
Affordable non toxic painting kits and kids’ easels with a canvas are available online and if that seems like a huge commitment, purchasing sketch books which come bundled up with color pencils and painting gear have ample availability and are ever so affordable.
#2 Crafts and Origami Kits: Origami, or the japanese art of paper folding, is another magnificent way to get children away from the same old playtime routine. The breathtaking creativity that can be organically drawn out of a young child folding a 20cm x 20cm sheet of paper is wonderful to watch. Apart from this Play-doh and other brands of clay for children are also great gifts to spice up playtime. Clay modeling is a hobby which seems to have gone quiet in the past few years, however among kids the sheer amount of creativity that can be exercised is endless.
The materials for these crafts are readily available at online stores such as Itsy Bitsy, Asian Hobby Crafts and Hobby Ideas.
You can tell that a child’s curiosity has been tapped, when they awe at an origami fish, swan or dragon being made within minutes from just a tiny piece of paper or a block of clay. These kits are readily available and come bundled with limitless possibilities. Origami and crafts gifts your kids can let their imagination run wild!
#3 Books: Books make great presents. We’ve all been told since our very own childhood that reading is important for us to improve our spoken language and vocabulary, and for younger kids who are in their early developmental stages, it makes for an extremely engaging experience that can be not only developmental, but also a fun daily activity. Books are the best gateway for your kids to explore more genres of things that may one day define them. Be it a fun fictional series, poetry, puzzles or even comic books, your kids will be able to broaden their horizons resulting in a creative spark within them as they go on mystifying adventures with their favorite characters. Popular among younger kids are Enid Blyton Classics which make for great bedtime reads and are easy to approach for children between the ages of 3 to 7. If your kids are older, gifting them books by authors such as Vishnu Sharma (Panchatantra Tales), R. K. Narayan (Malgudi Days), Sudha Murthy (Grandma’s Bag of Stories), J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter Series) and various other young adult authors could be just what you’re looking for.
Books can be gifted in varieties too, with audiobook subscriptions on demand and kindles being ever so accessible, your kids can use a smart device to access tons of digitally archived books online.
#4 Clothes: Clothes are the perfect gift since they can be used on a daily basis. Though not an activity, it is no surprise that clothes make excellent presents. The sheer variety of adorable clothes for kids of all ages, available these days is overwhelming. Clothes are tricky gifts to pick. On the surface, it seems easy to make a decision as to what your kids will like, but getting to know their tastes and getting their opinions on what clothes they would like to wear on a daily basis can make the gift giving activity itself a lot more engaging. Moreover, clothes can be considered to have the widest amount of variety.
From their favorite cartoon characters making an appearance on everything from innerwear to casual wear, popular merchandise and apparel is all the rage with kids today. It’s no denying that there is always something in store for your kids if you’re looking to give them clothes.
#5 Music: Be it subscriptions to online music portals or musical instruments, music itself is an incredibly invigorating gift. We’ve all wanted to be rockstars at some point in our lives, if your kids feel the same joy and excitement and have a similar desire to learn, why not gift them a musical instrument and perhaps a subscription to a class. It lets your child discover the language of heart and soul and will inspire them for years to come. Music is something every individual can connect to based on their interests and moods. It is therefore a phenomenal present of anyone, whether young or old.
As a parent, getting to know your child’s likes and dislikes is the easy bit. But when you’re browsing through an online store or are out shopping, you are essentially spoiled for choice. Even though there is a plethora of colorful varieties available on the local toystore’s shelves, it is never too bad to switch it up a little and invest in a gift that could prove to be enjoyable for your kids in a different way. We know your kids love their video games, legos and dolls, but breaking convention may have them get engaged in other activities as well.
The recent global phenomenon of the Coronavirus pandemic has us corralled. Staying indoors and social distancing has become the new norm and is now top priority. Initially it felt like life as we know it would come to a standstill, but humanity seems to have adapted quickly to these times. Online learning and working from home are now in the spotlight and are being adopted by much of the world’s population. As a parent, working from home comes with an extra set of responsibilities regarding your children.
Juggling work and personal life can be a stressful ordeal when your duties seem to be piled one on top of the other with no end in sight. This can be overwhelming, but we’re here to tell you that you are not alone. Working remotely can be a challenge for you when your kids are on summer vacation but can’t play outside indoors. It is therefore paramount to set up an appropriate schedule to ensure consistency at work and to effectively watch over the little ones.
Set Clear Expectations
It seems easier said than done, however, having an idea of things to do on a weekly basis can make remote working a more streamlined process. Start by making a list of things in the order that they take priority, whether it be work online or offline. Take a moment to analyze the tasks at hand and create a list of short-term goals you would like to achieve in the house, with the kids and at work. Remember that communication is key. Whether it is talking to your workmates about your commitments at home or having a conversation with your kids about your time working, it is very important that you are comfortable with the tasks you’ve assigned to yourself. This helps keep the anxieties away.
Having an effective work and childcare schedule that is structured may take some getting used to but is necessary to maintain the balance between work and personal life. Start by setting up appropriate times to maintain communication with colleagues and getting work done. This assessment can give you an idea of how you would want to spend the remainder of the day with your child. Try involving your children in the scheduling process, hear them out and address their questions and needs as you plan the week. It is an efficient method that allows you to work within your comfort zone and dedicate time to your children based on their hobbies and interests.
Building a schedule with a new theme every week can make things exciting and fun for your child, which will also be refreshing for you. Breaking away from the monotony, getting creative and diving into a new hobby for a few hours every day should be invigorating for the whole family. Partner swaps are also advised to keep your child’s every demand and need in check. Plan such that you work three-hour shifts, while your partner can watch over the kids, and vice-versa.
With the constant demands that arise from work and life, it may seem like taking a break from it all is a distant dream. The ebb and flow of life can sometimes be overwhelming and can induce a fair bit of anxiety. To avoid letting the frustrations pile up, channeling mental distresses in the right direction is highly advised, for you and your child. It is advised to seek professional help as early as possible to ensure a healthier mental being. Check in on your children, asking them how they’re doing, what bothers them and how you could help. Seek assistance from other parents who may be in the same situations. Planning online events such as book clubs, Facebook watch parties and exercise routines, with parent pods, over the weekend can be a fun family activity that can give you some breathing room and time to socialize.
The process of maintaining the right balance between work and life can be a challenging affair, but tuning your commitments and responsibilities to the right frequencies can make the art of getting by in these times, quite easy and harmonious.
For the past two months, the Coronavirus pandemic has caged us within our four walls. With lockdowns being in effect, the anxiety of when this pandemic could end looms over us. This time can be particularly complicated for working parents as taking care of the young ones while trying to juggle work, is no cakewalk. The health and safety of children is a priority, and since stepping outdoors isn’t an option this summer, keeping them productive with fun activities in the house could lend you a pair of helping hands as well.
We put our minds together to find a mundane activity that could be turned into something fun. That is wardrobe cleaning and decluttering.
Decluttering and organizing your child’s room or wardrobe can be a fulfilling process provided it is tackled with the right attitude and approach. Organizing clothes, shoes, toys and books and disposing of what is not required can be turned into a fun activity. According to Marie Kondo, founder of the Konmari method of decluttering and organizing, every item in your life should spark joy and when each item is done with their service to you, you should show it gratitude by saying thanks before you discard it.
This approach is best inculcated into the minds of the little ones, since a minimalist lifestyle could not only benefit your children in the future but could also help reduce the ill effects on the environment.
This is where quite a few parents ask the question, “But where do we begin?”
Prioritize and Categorize
To avoid overwhelming your child with the difficult decisions of having them give up their favorite action figure or sweater, it is best to step back and prioritize based on categories. In most cases, this begins with the removal of toys and clothes. If your child has clothes that they have outgrown, have a conversation with them explaining to them why it is necessary to make more room. If there are too many toys that your child doesn’t use, ask them whether they would like to give it away to the less fortunate. These conversations go a long way in molding your kids to have a considerate way of living.
Capsule Wardrobes are trendy
It is advised that a capsule wardrobe be put into action. A minimalist approach to dressing up can save you money, reduce the stress related to what your kids should wear, help you define their personal style and decrease environmental load.
Compartmentalizing your child’s clothes makes them easily accessible without having to turn the wardrobe inside out. Having separate drawers to keep their underwear, accessories, nightwear and socks, hangers for each set of clothes for the week, hooks for hats and a part of their wardrobe dedicated to footwear will ensure maximum neatness.
Once you’ve narrowed down the priorities, you and your child can start assessing the situation on a smaller scale. Help your kids in finding their favorite summer clothes. This lets you get to know their tastes and gives you a sense of what would be appropriate for them to let go of. Do not be afraid to take out what is not needed and hit the dispose button.
It’s All Fun and Games
Toys and books can be a more challenging affair. We’ve all had that one toy we absolutely loved and still reminisce about to this day. But looking back, in all honesty, it’s the memories that make them special. Give your kids an idea of what is to happen with the toys that are to be given away. Let them have a week to play with it one last time if that’s their request. Tackling this situation with respect to your child’s opinion is of utmost importance. The “20* toy rule” is an effective approach to having your kids choose their favorite or newest toys that are used the most and doing away with any of the remnants.
The process of decluttering must be made a staple in today’s households. A visible mess helps distract us from the true source of the disorder. Living a minimalist life may sound like it’s easier said than done, and it is true that in a time such as ours it has its own challenges. However, a simpler outlook on your way of living can make your life hassle free by giving you the right headspace to tackle situations that need more of your attention.
“We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.” – Marie Kondo.
Like many other things in our lives, our sleeping pattern has also been gravely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic has resulted in erratic sleeping patterns among adults and kids alike. We believe that factors like changed routine and lifestyle are the main culprits for disrupting sleep across all age groups.
A good night’s sleep is extremely vital for us to maintain our health. For kids especially, sound sleep aids in improving memory, attention span, behavior, ability to learn and grasp things and foremost it promotes overall mental and physical well being.
Children, in fact, need more hours of sleep than adults. According to the WHO, babies less than a year old need 12-17 hours of sleep, toddlers from 1-2 years and 3-4 years need 11-14 hours and 10-13 hours of sleep respectively. Yet another study by American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children from 6-12 years need 9-12 hours of sleep for optimal health. To make sure that your kids sleep well even during the lockdown, we put our thinking caps on and jotted down a list of things that may be affecting their sleep and how you can address them:
Change in Daily Routine
A normal day with a child involves getting them ready for school, taking them for various activities like dance, music and karate, some play time and then it’s time to retire for the day. But these aren’t normal times and a disciplined routine seems like a distant dream on most of the days. As we mentioned in our earlier blog on guide to keeping your kids busy in the times of COVID-19, even though it might seem difficult to set a routine, it is important. We urge you to embrace the new normal and set a routine that works for both you and your child.
While you must include some form of physical activity for your kids in the routine to channelize their energy during the day, do include spending quality time with them as well. This will ensure that they sleep peacefully during bedtime instead of delaying sleep to spend time with you.
Sleeping every day at the same time after a day full of activities ensures that your child sleeps peacefully. It is recommended that children sleep by 8 pm in early childhood. You may stop screen time at least 30 minutes before bedtime and have a calming bedtime ritual which may include reading or listening to soothing music.
Stress & Anxiety
Understandably, a pandemic brings a lot of stress and anxiety along with it. The fear of the unknown and the responsibility to protect the family can be overwhelming for parents. Believe us when we say, quite often our stress rubs off on our children as well. They may not be able to express what they are feeling but it may show in their behavior and irregular sleeping patterns or eating habits. So as parents, it is important to calm ourselves and be patient with our children. If your child can express their frustration and distress about the way their lives have been affected or fear of the disease then hear them out and help them overcome these feelings. A calm mind definitely helps get a good night's sleep. For younger kids, keep them busy and spend more time with them for their well-being.
So as parents, it is important to avoid all conversations related to the pandemic in front of our kids and to be calm and patient with them.
Practice What You Preach
We all know that children ape their parents. Be it the way we walk or talk, you will find a reflection of yours in them. The same is true for our other habits as well. If you want your children to reduce their screen time, adapt a set routine and sleep on time; then you must follow the same.
Using the right pillow
If you want to buy a pillow for your toddler then you must do some research before choosing the right one. The sole purpose of a pillow is to provide comfort so that your child sleeps peacefully. Use pillows that aren’t too soft as a child’s head is softer than an adult’s, they might get suffocated with an extremely soft pillow.
The Right Clothes
It’s summer and one must introduce summer clothingto their kids wardrobe which helps them to bear the rising temperature. A combination of track pants and vests or shorts and vests made with cotton fabric are the best choices.These are not just soft on your child’s sensitive skin but also provide them the freedom to sleep comfortably.
We hope that our blog helped you to gain insights on how to improve your child’s sleep. Do let us know in the comments below what helps your child sleep peacefully.