Sunday, 24 May 2020

How to Make Screentime Productive for Toddlers

Screen time! A lot has been said and done to address this elephant in the room.You can fight it, you can give in to it, but you definitely can't ignore it.
Parents all around the globe have been trying to limit access and dependence on it, but in the current scenario it has became like a necessary evil, as parents try to juggle work and home while being home bound with kids.
My daughter is almost 3 now, and we are not different. Just like mommy enjoys her screen time (read instagram) her daughter loves Youtube; nursery rhymes, short stories and her favourite bollywood songs.
Before the corona virus hit us, it was really easy to control her screen time, because being a  preschooler, she had a schedule of her own. School time, nap time, play time and so on. But now with schools closed and no access to parks and her friends, Ishanvi tends to get bored pretty easily. Living in a joint family, Ishanvi is fortunate to have her grandparents around who do their best to keep her entertained and engaged while her parents try to work from home. But screen time, yes it totally exists in our household too. After all everyone needs a breather.
I wasn't really thinking about  it too much until I gave it a second thought and decided to act smart with Ishanvi's screen time. I thought if Ishanvi has to have screen time, it better be informative and fun. And so began my expedition to research and curate toddler relevant content that was fun, informative and would keep her independently engaged for sometime during the day. So here's a list of content that we show Ishanvi. Now she not only enjoys seeing it but learns so much too.

Nursery Rhymes:
If we want Ishanvi to memorize anything we just keep repeating it in front of her. This technique when combined with screen time works wonders. We keep playing nursery rhymes that we want her to learn, and in a few days we are surprised to see that she has memorized them and is singing them independently.


Shlokas:
Studies have shown that chanting shlokas helps to improve concentration and memory in kids. That is because shlokas emit vibrations that activate one's chakras that aid in learning and concentration.
But the tricky part about shloka videos is they usually do not come with cute and fun videos to keep the kids engrossed. So I took some extra efforts to dig in videos of shlokas that have fun visual content too that keeps her hooked to the screen while she learns a few shlokas along the way.
 

 

Short Stories:
As a kid I loved story telling sessions with my mom. Not only was my mom a great story teller but a patient person too, both qualities which I seem to lack. So I got some help from Youtube. We not only show her Indian mythological stories, Panchatantra and Jataka tales but also classic old fairy tales that I grew up watching, like Hansel and Gretel, Gingerbreadman, etc




Yoga for kids:
It's a no brainer that physical activity is a must for kids especially now, since we are all confined to our homes. So I tried to introduce Yoga to Ishanvi. Every morning we would do some breathing exercises and stretches and graduated to some asanas. But she lost interest in it in a few days and refused to join me. So I found a few videos that teach yoga to kids in a fun and interactive way. This seems to be working for now. So I feel its definitely worth a try.



Art:
What would life be without art? Very dull and boring.   
Someone said , art is as natural as sunshine and as vital as nourishment. So why would you deprive your kids of it?
Since Ishanvi is too young to do art independently, we try to make this a family affair.

We all sit in front of the screen with the necessary supplies along with Ishanvi and guide her to create art. These are some of our favourite videos.






General Knowledge:
The next category is general knowledge.
A few weeks ago, we found this fun Chota Bheem video and it introduced Ishanvi to planets.


She loved it so much that she wanted to hear it on loop.
Slowly she learned all the names of the eight planets and we showed her a few more videos to explain a few characteristics of each of the planets. 




After this success, we started searching for more such videos to introduce generic concepts to Ishanvi. This has been working great, since Ishanvi would never sit down in one place and listen to me if I tried explaining it to her. A few videos that we like:
Why do we have Eyebrows?
How and why do we Cough?
That's it. You too can try and make screen time informative for your kids by putting in a little efforts. Please let me know, if you like these ideas, and if you want to add more please drop us a comment.

Saturday, 16 May 2020

#SelfLove in Times of Quarantine

An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity and a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.
Being an optimist (or trying to be one), in this quarantine situation, I saw a lot of opportunity to get back to self love which I had been ignoring since the birth of my daughter.
A happy mom makes a happy child. And hence, I decided to do something that made me happy. This is what self care means to me:
  • Cooking my favorite food and eating it too, but skipping those unnecessary snacks and binge eating.
  • 30 minutes of Surya Namaskars every single day. You will be surprised how it relaxes the tiniest muscles of your body after a full day of zhaadu pocha, bartan and cooking.
  • 1 teaspoon of Chyawanprash twice a day and sipping on hot water from time to time.
  • Face masks atleast once a week while I simultaneously try to scare away my toddler. Entertaining eff. ;)
  • Tel maalish aka hair oil massage every week. And not washing it off the next day.
  • Doing something which I have not done before. Case in point baking a cake and giving haircuts.
  • Watching a movie on weekends, sometimes even alone, if no one else is interested.
  • Calling and chatting with friends atleast once a week, and indulging in harmless gossip. 
  • Reading online, whenever I get time.
  • Getting back to blogging and that includes dressing up and forcing my husband to click my pictures minus the face on my building terrace. I had almost forgotten how that felt.
The list looks pretty long but takes a few minutes of my day. Apart from taking care of our families, lets not forget ourself.
























































Outfit Details:
Top: Ajio
Trousers: Shoppers Stop
Watch: CK
Bracelet, Earrings: Steve Madden
Sunglasses: Rayban
Clutch: Limeroad

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Confessions of a New(?) Mom

First things first. Happy Mothers day to everyone.
Next, how long after the birth of your baby can you still be termed a new mom?
My baby is almost 3 now, and I still flaunt this term unabashedly.
Why? Maybe because I am still holding on to those last few kilos of baby weight.
Maybe because I am still struggling with motherhood or maybe because life will never be the same now.

Whatever the reason, I am a new mom and maybe I will be one, even after my baby turns 30. Who knows?


So here's a list of this new mom's confessions, garnered over my almost 3 years of motherhood experience.
  • All my life I have feared the child birthing process. But apparently it turns out to be the easiest part of motherhood. The second easiest thing is changing a dirty diaper. Rest assured everything else is just out of syllabus.

  • No matter however healthy lifestyle I follow I am perennially tired. And, no matter how ever tired I am, a single stupid demand from my daughter and I am on my toes to fulfill it. It's a vicious circle.

  • I have started enjoying going out to work more, after I became a mom. #noshame
  • Baby's nap time is my official happy hour. 

  • When I am alone and not thinking of anything particular you will find me humming Baby Shark Do Do Doo Doo. That's my jam! ;)
  • I have always respected my mother for the kind of mom she is. Always punctual, very loving, highly patient and perennially smiling. But now I respect every mother. The ones who are grumpy, the ones who are whining, the ones who are late, the ones who lose their shit in public, and the ones who struggle with everything. I feel you, I respect you, and maybe I Am You!

  • Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, and think did I really give birth to this being beside me?
  • I regret to say this, but I am the kind of mother whose good day depends on whether her baby ate all her meals properly. If not, you better not come close to me. And if my baby asks me Katappa Ne Bahubali  Ko Kyu Maara, I tell her because Bahubali refused to eat his food. #truestory

  • This is my third year as a mother and even this year no one will do anything to celebrate me. I think it will take me another 10 years to get used to this fact.























Saturday, 2 May 2020

DIY: Easy No Cook Edible Play Dough

Necessity is the mother of all inventions.
And even t
hough this is not my invention, it took me some time and trial and error to get it perfect.

So, ever since the lockdown started, Ishanvi has been requesting me to let her play with the roti dough whenever I make rotis. I would oblige and this would keep her occupied for 30 whole minutes. Since we didn't have clay/play dough at home, I decided to make my own.
So here it is DIY: Play dough recipe using as little as 5 ingredients easily available in your kitchen. O
h, and did I mention, its totally edible. ;)

Ingredients:
1 cup maida/all purpose flour
1/2 cup salt
1.5 tablespoon oil (I used cooking oil)
food colours
1/2 cup Water

Met
hod:
In a bowl take maida and salt and mix with a spoon. To it gradually add the 1/2 cup water and keep stirring. Now, start kneading it. Add the oil to this mixture now, to get a smooth consistency. The more you knead, the better consistency you get.
When my dough was ready I thought it was a bit hard, so I added 2 teaspoons of water, and kept kneading it. And finally I had the best texture and consistency dough ready.


I then divided it into 4 parts and added food colours that were available at my home.
You can alternatively use haldi and vegetable purees like beet and spinach in case you don't have food colours and have loads of patience unlike me.



Now knead the doug
h with the colours again, until you have the perfect coloured play dough balls ready to play.


It took me less than 10 minutes to get the doug
h ready and its totally edible, so even if your kids put in in my their mouth its totally safe.
If you are using food colours and refrigerate it, the dough can be preserved for 3 weeks.


This was a fun experiment and Ishanvi had too much fun playing with it.
At the end of the day, everyone was playing with the dough and it was perfect family bonding time with the DIY no cook edible play dough.



P.S. Please wear gloves while adding the food colours to the dough. I didnt and this is how my hand looked.

 

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