This is our small step towards a sustainable living.

I am introducing Shaunak to different types of plants. And when one has nature experts in the family itself then the learning has to happen whether in the same city or not. On Saturday, after coming back from ECA workshop, I and Shaunak did a video call with Purohit family to know about their initiative- Prayaas, to have a look at different plants and to know their advantages and benefits. The most exciting part for Shaunak was to see his little cousin Vihaan (4 years) watering the plants with squirt bottle and telling us names of various plants. As I always say, the more you do yourself, the children in the house get involved in it naturally, you don't have to struggle to get them interested.



Screenshot taken during video call with Purohit family.
All four elders in the family have devoted themselves to experimenting and creating beautiful plants with strong scientific background. They have even read about NASA's reports about the air pollution, the various psychologists' reports to learn about sleeping problems, various papers to know about health problems of the citizens of metro cities as well as 2-tier cities like breathing, blood pressure, etc.

The family is too generous to spread the knowledge and awareness because it is their passion and not a business to survive. The plants rates are affordable to literally everyone. People with breathing and sleeping problems must check out their page. The family is working on it since six months. They first did experiments at home, placed the plants in their bedrooms, only after they were sure that the magic is working, they are all set now to accept the orders!

I know a very little about plants and gardening and I wanted something that I would not have to invest lot of time in but still look green and nice. And what perfect solution! The magic plant, which waters itself! A self-watering plant! One just needs to water them thrice in a month! And the pot, very beautifully painted and decorated by the creative daughter-in-law Kanchan, gave me another reason to buy it instantly. During our Plants theme at The Crafting Kids we are going to learn science behind these magic plants.

Some of the plants that we saw during our video call were:

1. Spider Plant 
2. Peace Lily 
3. Lucky Bamboo 
4. Snake Plant 

and many more...

One can place these plants anywhere in the house, kitchen, bedrooms, living room. Or even on the office desk.

Some of the advantages of these plants are:

1. Improved indoor air quality
2. One can reduce stress level by placing it on a work desk
3. Green plants help increase focus and productivity
4. These plants control humidity in the air which helps in decreasing fatigue and breathing problems
5. One feels committed and responsible towards the environment which creates feel-good feeling

Go here for more pictures and placing orders:

Their Facebook pagePrayaas- Ek Kadam Swasth Jeevan Ki Aur

Email: k.valimbe@gmail.com

Phone number (Mrs. Vinita Purohit): +91 9930113503

They ship the plants all over India. Plants are very carefully packed and they only send it through a very reliable courier service.

Below find Plants' pictures and few videos where the Purohit family members explain the science behind these self watering plants and talk about their passion.











Hello, welcome to the crafting kids! Today I want to share with you the importance of having a learning wall and how I have created one for my son. The main reason to make this learning wall was that I don’t get time to open so many books everyday for reading. I wanted a place where we could both sit together and talk and to make this place more interesting and stimulating I have made this learning wall and have made it inviting for him. Whenever I introduce a new concept to him, I feel this wall helps me bring the subject to life.

It is simple to make, not expensive at all. All you need are a few chart papers for the background. try to avoid dull colors, use bright colors and better if it is your child's favorite. The child should feel attracted towards it. Then think of what your child is interested in, take printouts, laminate them if necessary and paste them onto the wall, I have used paper tape.

So let me show you what is all up on our wall. Please note that this is not in the corner of the house, this is the main wall of the house, this is the room we spend most of our time of the day. I change the printouts every month, except for a couple of them which are constant. To decide what to put up on your wall, you have to follow your child, know his interests, or you can ask your child what he would like to see on his wall.

Links to Printables:

Map of India, I downloaded from HERE

Part 1 of Famous Landmarks of India Chart FREE download HERE

Dolch Sight Words, I downloaded from HERE

Weather Chart FREE download HERE

Seven days of the Week FREE download HERE

Tayo Bus song lyrics FREE download HERE

Paw Patrol and PJ Masks songs' lyrics FREE download HERE

Planets Chart FREE download HERE

Numbers 1- 10 Counting Chart FREE download HERE

Numbers Chart 1- 50 FREE download HERE

Five Little Pumpkins song (by Super Simple Songs) lyrics FREE download HERE

Opposites Chart, I downloaded from HERE



Montessori-inspired transfer activities help children be confident about their actions. They learn to correct themselves. These activities can be done to develop pre-writing skills. These activities are beneficial as the grip becomes firmer and finger muscles stronger.

To have a vision of the cosmic plan, in which every form of life depends on directed movements which have effects beyond their conscious aim, is to understand the child’s work and be able to guide it better. - Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind.

Through these transfer activities I have been able to introduce Shaunak to one of the important math term- 'equal', like "pour equal amount of water in both the bowls". And many other words to his vocabulary- transfer, squirt bottle, water blaster, scooper, strainer, etc.

This is part 3 of the water transfer activities. We have been doing these activities for more than a year and now I am confident that he has confidence in pouring liquids. If he feels thirsty, can pour for himself and drink. A step towards making him independent. And can pour and serve others too- that builds co-ordination.

Did you see my post about montessori- inspired water transfer activities Part 1? And part2? Do read it, has many interesting tools which can be used for increasing the concentration level in children.

Ideal work for ages: 18 mo+

I gave two plastic trays to Shaunak for these activities to define the working space. This gave him a sense or order, and increased the concentration level as he constantly made sure the water doesn't spill out.

All you need is:

1. Two plastic or metal trays
2. Strainer
3. Squirt bottle
4. Scooper
5. Water Blaster
6. Glass for pouring water
7. Water :-)

Strainer
This is a an interesting tool to visually stimulate a child and visual stimulation helps in brain development. I placed a small plastic strainer over a plastic container with a wide mouth and asked my son to pour water with a glass. During funnel activity he noticed water falling down in one stream whereas in strainer activity, he noticed water falling down in many small streams. This activity provides an opportunity to explore creatively and promotes the development of coordination and concentration.


Squirt bottle
This is a great tool for fine motor development, not only for children but also for elders. I often use it myself to give a good exercise to my palms and fingers. Children love squirt bottle. To make it interesting I kept a toy duck in a bath-tub shaped bowl and my son was too excited to give it a good bath.


Scooper
A spoon and a scooper grip is different. I asked my son to scoop out water from the tray and wash his tiny cars and bikes. He washed almost 20 tiny vehicles. This activity helped me keep him engaged for long and also all the vehicles were tidy clean! What a win-win! As he poured water with a right hand using a scooper, he was rubbing the vehicles with his left hand simultaneously.
This activity provides an opportunity to explore creatively and promotes the development of coordination and concentration.


Water Blaster
Using water blaster requires strength in arms and elbows. To make the activity interesting we decided to bath a plastic toy robot. He filled the water blaster by squeezing in water from the bucket and did it over and again. A great exercise for the muscles! I pointed at different body parts of the robot and my son poured water on those body parts which helped me keep him focused.



LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
1. Bilateral Co-ordination
2. Fine Motor Development – Palm and Fingers' Strength
3. Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
4. Concentration
5. Language Development – describing what is happening
6. Builds confidence

Hope you too enjoy doing these activities with your child and see him growing into a confident and gentle human being.

It has been more than a year since we do water transfer activities using different methods to move water from one bowl or apparatus to another. They are all really simple to set up and help me keep Shaunak focused for some time. 

We often get distracted in this busy world where the phone is buzzing every other minute! Concentrating on a task for even 15-20 minutes seems difficult. The things will only get worse in future. And I believe, if children are taught at a younger age to stick to a task, to focus and concentrate, it will help them for life. All they need is their parents' undivided attention. It doesn't work if as a parent I ask my child to concentrate on, for example, a puzzle and I keep busy with my chores, then he too will get distracted. I started involving my son in "transfer activities" since he was 2 years. Transferring things like pom-poms, beans, marbles, etc. can keep the child engaged constructively.


Did you see my post about Montessori- inspired water transfer activities Part 1? Do read it, has many interesting tools which can be used for increasing the concentration level in children. 

This is part 2 of the water transfer activities my 3 years old son does at home. Water transfer activities can be listed under practical life skills. Since I started doing these pouring and transferring activities, I see an improved control on his hands, palms and fingers. 

Ideal work for ages: 18 mo+

I gave two plastic trays to Shaunak for these activities to define the working space. This gave him a sense or order, and increased the concentration level as he constantly made sure the water doesn't spill out.

All you need is:

1. Two plastic or metal trays
2. A tumbler and 2-3 bowls
3. Squeeze tube or bottle
4. Funnel
5. Eye dropper
6. Toy watering can
7. Water :-)

Tumbler and bowls

I like to expose him to various kinds of containers- plastic, glass, stainless steel, copper, etc.  
I gave him a set of three bowls of equal size. And gave a him a tiny steel tumbler to fill them up with water. I asked him to count how many tumblers are required to fill one bowl. He realized he had to fill up two bowls to fill up each bowl.


Squeeze bottle

Squeeze bottle applies pressure on the palm and child uses all five fingers to squeeze the water in and release.


Eye Dropper

Water Play with Eye Droppers is a colorful and fun activity that encourages development of the pincer grasp. The pincer grasp enables a child to pick up small items using the thumb and index finger and is important for tasks such as holding writing implements and manipulating items such as zippers, buttons and shoes laces. Water Play with Eye Droppers involves collecting water in the eye dropper from a bowl and transferring the water into plastic bottle top lids. 


Funnel

Funnel as a tool seems very interesting to a child to watch how water falls down like a stream. I placed an old plastic bottle in a tray, placed a funnel on top of it and asked my son to pour water with a small glass. He had to fill up the glass over five times and pour it into the funnel to fill up the entire bottle. We did counting while he filled the glass with water. Funnel and stream were the new words which I added to his vocabulary.


Toy watering can

We have a tiny toy watering can, which we used to transfer water from one tray to another. It is a great tool to strengthen child's grip.  It makes a child think- with how much pressure can the water be poured? Or from what height? It is fun to watch water falling down in many small streams.


Learning Opportunities

1. Bilateral Co-ordination
2. Fine Motor Development – Palm and Fingers' Strength
3. Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
4. Concentration
5. Language Development – describing what is happening
6. Creativity and Imagination

Watch the video below to see Shaunak performing the above mentioned water transfer activities:
Hope you too have a lot of learning and focused time with your child. 

Edited to add:

The below post won the Pampers  #SoftestForBabySkin contest powered by Blogadda. I was rewarded with a gift hamper and an amazon voucher! Woot! Nothing makes me more happy than an achievement related to blogging. As I always say, my blogs and blog posts are my babies, I nurture each one of them.

_____


I have been asked number of times by my friends and even by strangers at the malls, tourist places, about what do I do to keep my baby's skin soft and healthy. I don't have any secrets to share; all I do is follow the pediatrician's advice and my instincts!





Pre and post bath massage

A coconut oil massage before bath helps to keep the baby's skin plump. A good 15 minute massage is not only good for skin but for their bones and muscles too. Mom's hands too become soft as oil penetrates in her hands too!


A light massage using a hydrating moisturizer within 2 minutes of leaving the bath or shower is very important too, as it allows better absorption. As my doctor had advised me, I apply moisturizer 2-3 times a day on his entire body which keeps him away from skin rashes of any kind.


Keeping sun safe

It is very crucial that baby is well protected in the sun. Baby's skin is very delicate. Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before heading outdoors, and reapply it every two hours. Make sure you cover all exposed areas of your baby's skin, including the tips of the ears, the back of the neck, and the tops of the feet.

Other things to keep in mind are dressing up your baby in light, cotton clothes, using baby stroller with sunshade, cooling the car before setting off for a ride and wearing sunglasses and hats to avoid sunrays.



Drinking Water

Our skin is made up of cells and skin cells, like any other cell in the body, are made up of water. The insufficient amount of water results in dry and flaky skin.

It is important to keep your baby hydrated at all times. After my baby turned 6 months I started feeding him little spoons of plain water as per the pediatrician's advice. The amount of water required depends on your baby's weight. Water cools down babies' bodies, lubricates the joints and makes our muscles work smoothly and this reflects on the skin too.



Introducing good diet

It is very important for expecting mothers to eat good food as the foundation of a good baby skin lays there. Your babies are what you eat! After 6 months baby can be introduced to good eating habits starting fruits, vegetables and grains that are packed with essential nutrients.



Choosing the right diapers

It is essential that you choose good disposable diapers for your baby. The choices are endless but I made my choice after comparing on the aspects of absorbency, fit and comfort. I use Pampers brand for my baby, it’s the one I can completely trust in. And the plus point is that, Pampers diapers are available across the country in all general and medical stores, so even when I'm travelling, I don't have to settle for another brand, I am sure to find it wherever I go with my baby. I love to see my baby in sound sleep wearing Pampers!


Pampers brings you the softest ever Pampers Premium Care Pants. Its cotton-like softness is #SoftestForBabySkin and allows it to breathe, thus keeping baby’s skin soft and healthy, and your baby happy.

Believe me, it is very difficult to keep up with all these daily jobs. But I work hard to make the foundation strong. And I wish more power to all the mommies!


Cooking is an essential practical life skill. Children can be involved in fire-less cooking to start with. It is a great activity to develop sense of sight, sense of taste and sense of sound.  Cooking is an ideal way to boost a child's self-confidence and teach responsibility.

A kitchen is a learning lab for children that can involve all of their senses. If the child knows the science behind cooking, he can burgeon in any part of the world. And this is what I importantly believe in, make the children so able and skillful that wherever they go, they will survive. Not only survive, but explore and innovate!


I have started fireless cooking with Shaunak, that is, the dishes which require less or no gas-stove-cooking. Also, the microwave/oven part is done by me. He does jobs like sorting, cleaning, mixing, pouring, measuring, etc.

We made seashells pasta last weekend, as a Snacktivity under the theme Oceans and Sea Life. Below is the recipe:

To make the Pasta:

1. 1 large cup boiled Seashells Pasta

2. 1 cup sauteed vegetables (capsicum, baby corn, zucchini)

3. 1/2 cup or more white sauce

4. 1 tbsp Italian seasoning (it contains dried basil, chilly flakes, oregano)

I provided Shaunak- boiled pasta, cooked white sauce and other ingredients. I asked him to smell and look carefully at all the ingredients first and then do the below steps.

How to make:
In a large bowl, add the boiled pasta. To this add sauteed veggies and white sauce and give a good mix. Then sprinkle the seasoning and give a good mix again. Pour it into a baking dish. Add sauce if leftover and sprinkle the remaining cheese all over and bake it under 180 degree C for 10 minutes.
Let it cool down. The child can now serve himself and others in the family and enjoy the meal together.

Learning Opportunities:

1. Sensory development

2. Math skills- fractions and measurements

3. Life skills- pouring, mixing, stirring, tasting

4. Language development- addition of the names of the new ingredients to a child's vocabulary- during pasta recipe I introduced Shaunak to new words like- seasoning- white sauce- sauteed vegetables, etc.

Have you started involving your children in the kitchen and food related jobs? Please do share with me in the comments.






I was looking out for an Oceans themed book for my son to read, and came across this wonderful 3D Pop Up book named 3D Wild Ocean. My son loved it, he loses his mind when he sees the book, literally! There are small information snippets which he likes for me to read and then he points to the fish I read about. I introduced him to 10 types of different fish with pictures and facts, thanks to this beautiful book!

My husband always lends a helping hand for all the activities that I do with my son. And field trip is completely his department. This time he took our son Shaunak to a local aquarium shop is Hyderabad. Shaunak was stunned to look at hundreds of Gold fish. The shopkeeper showed him bottles of fish food and different types of fish, some of them were Gold fish, Angel fish, catfish etc. We are vegetarians and know very little (Or rather, we don't know anything at all!) about the fish types. Such study related field trips helps children connect better with the topic. They are great learning experiences.





Open-ended play = play with no rules = child-driven play!

Examples of closed-ended materials would be single-use toys like cars or puzzles, where a finished product is expected or an outcome is per-determined.  All I did was choose and provide Shaunak with some open-ended materials for play. We had played a lot with sand and a lot with play dough, so I made some sand play dough for him using material at hand. First day he designed make-believe island with sand-dough, shells and marbles. Next day he rolled out flat breads out of sand-dough, and served us for lunch along with marbles curry and shells as spoons. Third day, made castle out of it and used shells as flags. Just imagine the power of these open-ended materials!


An open-ended play can give child a powerful learning experience. No rules to follow, no expectations and no problems to solve. Open-ended play materials possess limitless possibilities and have multiple uses. See your child design make-believe things or pretend play or just cook up stories around these materials!
Open ended play encourages creativity. It is important for a child to communicate through the senses using touch and texture.

Open-ended play encourages a child to use his imagination. Though adults should not control the play, supervision is must!

Ideal for ages: 1 year +

All you need is:

1. Sand-dough (for recipe scroll down)
2. Shells
3. Glass marbles
4. Laminated ocean-themed pictures
5. Blue or green play dough (optional)
7. Various creative bits like popsicle sticks, tiny fish toys, etc.

I made a simple setup for my son, by arranging materials in plates and recycled cardboard to place his creation (if he wants to). He was little amused to see all the material. When I asked him what he wants to make today, he said- 'Island'!

He first took the sand-dough and placed it onto the cardboard piece in shape of round island. Then he said I want to decorate it. He then placed glass marbles onto the sand-dough, almost pierced them inside. Then placed the laminated pictures, little toys and shells onto the island and used the blue play dough to create beach waves crashing onto the island shore.

Recipe for home made sand dough:

1. 1 cup of fine beach sand
2. 1 and 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
3. 1/4 cup of salt
4. 1 tablespoon oil (coconut or cooking oil)
5. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
6. 1/2 cup boiling water

Except water, mix all the above ingredients in a large pan or bowl.  Add the boiling water and mix well.  Let it cool and be warm. Knead it to play dough consistency, add more boiling water if required. Let it cool completely. Store it in an airtight container.

I tried engaging him as he created the island, by asking “What is it that you're making?" or "Where is the star fish?" or "Is the Octopus smiling?". I tried to encourage him to be more creative and insightful!

Learning Opportunities:

1. Child can use his creativity and develop imagination

2. Learning without pressure

3. Sensorial activity

4. Understanding new objects and textures

5. Language development

6. Fun!

Children like to move at their own pace and so this kind of play allows them to be calm and take no pressure.










I have a pretty good collection of Seashells which I used to create an Ocean themed matching activity for Shaunak and enhance the sensory experience. This activity involves color, texture and pattern matching and has great cognitive benefits. If this kind of activity is done repeatedly, it helps sharpen concentration, fine motor control and coordination. Quick and easy setup too! Download free printable (link below).


This activity can help develop memory skills and understand basic concepts, such as, matching, discrimination and same/different. Use common objects, like the shells I used, to develop object identification. Interact with children about the names and types of the shells.

Ideal age: 1 year +

All you need is:

1. Shells of various types
2. Printable for matching the shells

I arranged the printable and shells in a tray. Made him sit comfortably and gave him a brief of how it is to be done. He surprised me by completing the activity in a minute's time. I thought either he wouldn't be able to do it or will not be able to match about 2-3 shells. But he did it! So quickly! I realized I need to increase the level of difficulty henceforth. He kind of threw an open challenge to me!

Shaunak liked the activity so very much that he did it repeatedly. It also helped me adding new words to his vocabulary- the names and types of the shells.

Watch the video below to see Shaunak in action.

Download free printable here: Seashells Matching Activity Printable

Learning opportunities:

1. Concentration and problem solving

2. Matching, sorting and classifying

3. Vocabulary development

4. Fine motor skills

5. Hand-eye co-ordination

6. Colors, textures and patterns

7. Cognitive development




Next PostNewer Posts Previous PostOlder Posts Home