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Toys for Toddlers : Healthy Brain Development

During those first few years of life, toddlers learn important skills such as language, cognition, motor skills, social skills, and imagination. With the right toys, parents can help their youngsters have tons of fun while they learn those valuable skills. Here are a few toys to help your toddler have healthy brain development.

Sesame Street Learning Case Bundle

Packed in simple carrying cases, this bundle is full of learning fun. While one case is filled with the letters of the alphabet, the other includes numbers 1-10 along with 10 cookies to encourage counting. Toddlers will learn numbers, letters, and spelling with these cases.

Big Building Blocks

Children’s big building blocks are a great way for toddlers to learn several skills while having tons of fun. These big, soft blocks give children a safe toy that will allow them to use their imagination to create anything they can think up. Big building blocks teach imagination, problem-solving, motor skills, and self-expression.

VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk

This activity desk is full of learning opportunities for kids between the ages of 3-6 years old. With over 160 vocabulary words, more than 20 songs, and over 30 activities, children are sure to learn a lot from this educational toy. This desk teaches animals, numbers, people, letters, and so much more. There are four different learning modes including an easel and drawing board.

Learning Resources Farmer’s Market Color Sorting Set

With 25 different food items ranging in five different colors, this is the perfect toy to teach toddlers about colors. Youngsters will enjoy learning to sort the correct colors into different baskets while learning the name for each food item.

LeapFrog Number Lovin’ Oven

The LeapFrog Number Lovin’ Oven includes an interactive oven, skillet, spatula, plates, a baking tray, and an assortment of play food. This oven teaches children sharing, numbers, songs, and counting. Children from ages 2-5 years old can enjoy imaginative cooking play with a clicking timer and real sizzling sounds on the stove.

Toddlers are endlessly curious and constantly ready to learn something new, which makes educational toys a great way to aid in healthy brain development. According to Playground Professionals, there are six main benefits to educational toys including better concentration, higher IQ’s, better creativity, social skills, heightened senses, and the development of problem-solving skills. Every moment is a learning opportunity for a toddler.

Meaningful Books for Holi(1)

Children’s Books to Make Holi Meaningful

Holi, the ‘Festival of Colors’ is coming soon, marking the arrival of Spring! A world of colors and life lessons can be found in this two-day celebration. Making this celebration of Holi more meaningful with children’s books, is a great way to help kids build on self growth.

Holi in Northern India is celebrated to mark the advent of spring, when the flowers beginning to bloom. The many colors in the air reflect the bloom around you too.

The meaning of Holi has it’s origins in two stories. And both carry a lot of meaning for most Hindu families, specially to strengthen the bond between couples. One is of the love of Radhna Krishna, whose love is eternal and renowned for being full of naughtiness. The other is the story of Prahlad, whose demon father time and again forced him to renounce his love for Lord Vishnu and pray to him as God.

Here are some books that can make this celebration of Holi meaningful with books :

Let’s Celebrate Holi by Ajanta Chakraborty

Go on an adventure with Maya, Neel and their cute little partner, Chintu the squirrel, as they learn all about this famous Indian festival of colors including the story behind Holi, the colorful Holi markets, the incredible fun of playing Holi, the delicious Holi food and drinks and even about some unique ways of celebrating throughout the country.

Let's Celebrate Holi Ajanta Chakraborty

Holi Activity Book by Ajanta and Vivek

How do you explore the concepts of Holi with your kids in a fun & engaging way? In our latest book, we provide you easy ways for you to do just this!

Other than the usual RECIPES, GAMES, PUZZLES, etc., this book also explores these 6 sub-concepts of Holi:

Holi Activity Book Ajanta Chakraborty

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Celebrate Holi with Me by Shoumi Sen

This book is part of the series From The Toddler Diaries, a series of illustrated books which celebrates the spectrum of Indian festivals as experienced by a toddler. Presented in poetry and color, ‘From The Toddler Diaries’ is designed to drape parents and children in vivid hues of India’s cultural fabric. The inspiration behind this collection comes from an appreciation of a child’s clarity in perception, which is magical in its simplicity.

Holi Book by Sunita Shah from Jai Jais

The Jai Jais bring the ancient tale to life with magical and modern illustrations which engage children around ages 5-8 years and beyond. This is a great story for all children to learn about the Hindu festival, and a great teaching resource for schools.

Sunita Shah Jai Jais

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10 Gulab Jamuns by Sandhya Acharya

Idu and Adu are eager to try the soft, sugar soaked Gulab Jamuns that Mama has made for guests, but they have strict instructions wait. But of course, it is really hard to stay away from such deliciousness and soon the Gulab Jamuns are all gone. What will they serve the guests? This light-hearted, fun story will have kids laughing, reading, counting and yes, asking for Gulab Jamuns to cook or devour.

10 Gulab Jamuns Sandhya Acharya

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Festival of Colors

Siblings Mintoo and Chintoo are busy gathering flowers to make into colorful powders to toss during the festival. And when at last the big day comes, they gather with their friends, family, and neighbors for a vibrant celebration of fresh starts, friendship, forgiveness, and, of course, fun!

Festival of Colors Kabir Sehgal Surishtha

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How Our Skin Sparkles by Aditi Wardhan Singh

The beautiful story of Krishna asking his mother why he looks different is a wonderful metaphor of understanding the how important the many colors of the world in rainbows, flowers and people are essential to accept for children. A must read to teach kids about kindness and confidence.

How Our Skin Sparkles Aditi

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Powerful Life Lessons Holi Celebrations Teach Every Child

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Keeping Kids Connected to Nature

Today’s world is a very different place from the one in which many people of a certain age grew up in. In the past, it was very common for children to spend most of their free time outdoors, playing games in the backyard, visiting the local park with their families, constructing tree forts with their friends, and so on.

These days, however, studies show that kids are spending more time than ever before sitting indoors, usually in front of a screen. Some reports go as far as suggesting that the average American child spends several hours per day watching screens, and just a few minutes, on average, playing games outside and connecting with nature.

While screen-based activities can have their advantages, video games and TV shows cannot be considered the epitome of entertainment for our children. Kids need to get outside and enjoy a diverse range of activities, and many studies show that connecting with nature is key for a child’s development, so here are some ways you can help to make that happen.

Outdoor Attractions

One of the best ways to get the kids connected to nature and amazed by the world around them is to visit open-air, nature-based attractions, such as zoos, nature trails, national parks, and so on. Depending on where you live, you can find all kinds of great attractions like these nearby.

Perhaps you live near a big city and want to check out the local zoo, for example, where your kids can have an amazing time seeing animals from all over the world. Or maybe you have a great park nearby, in which case you can pack up a picnic and set off together, as a family, to have a lovely day in the sun, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature all around you.

Get Them into Gardening

If you’re lucky enough to have your own backyard space with a vegetable or flower garden, you’ve already got all you need to have a lot of fun with your little ones outdoors. You can buy special, safe gardening tools just for kids and step outside on a warm day, introducing your children to all the wonders of nature.

You’ll be able to show them how plants grow, teaching them the responsibility of caring for other living beings, explaining the science of ecosystems, and so on. Children of all ages can have fun gardening and learn a lot in the process too, and many will especially enjoy the idea of growing and eating their own foods.

Camping and Hiking

Another amazing way to have fun and keep kids of all ages connected to nature is to plan some kind of camping trip or hike through the wilderness near you. Some of the happiest memories of a young person’s life can be made while camping, and it’s an incredible way to get in touch with the natural world and develop a genuine appreciation of the gifts that Mother Nature herself has provided.

Studies from scholarship essay writing service have shown that kids love to camp, and even those who spend a lot of time sitting behind screens can really open up and have a ton of fun enjoying activities like sleeping beneath the stars, roasting marshmallows on an open fire, and walking through the woods in search of wildlife.

Yard Work

It might sound like a chore at first, but yard work can actually be a lot of fun, especially when you take it on as a family. Grab some tools and gardening supplies and set aside a couple of hours on a summer day for you and your children to get outside and have some fun together, while also improving the look of your outdoor spaces.

You can cover the basics, like digging up weeds and clearing away leaves, or you and your child can come up with your very own backyard project, like painting your fence a new color or building an outdoor structure of some kind. Children can have a lot of fun building and creating, especially when they feel like a part of the process, so make sure to ask them for ideas and allow them to choose key aspects like colors and paints.

Get Creative

So far, we’ve looked at just a few ways to keep the kids connected to nature and have a great time in the process, but there are countless other options out there, and you can create many more! It doesn’t matter what your day job happens to be, whether you’re an office worker, an essay writer, an accountant, or something else, you can always use your imagination to create fun, inspiring ideas.

Why not encourage your child to start their own bug collection? Or create your very own ‘Backyard Olympics’ for the whole family to participate in? Or download a treasure hunt app and head out into nature in search of hidden prizes? The options are limitless, and together with your children, you can surely create some wonderful ideas.

Justin Osborne is a essay writer, he loves to share his thoughts and opinions about education, writing and blogging with other people on different blogs and forums. Currently, he is working as a content marketer at scholarship essay writing service.

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Teaching Kids the Art of Film Making

Your child is interested in film making, but you aren’t sure how to help. Nurturing a child’s creativity and desires is a good thing, and the following are a few ways you can nurture this passion. Teaching kids the art of film making is not that difficult.

Education

One thing you can do is encourage your kid to learn about filmmaking. The best way to do this is to send your kid to a film class or camp. You can also have your child take a few classes online that will delve into this art form. Your kid is going to learn how to use some of the equipment and how to properly tell a story.

The passion and the eye is inside your kid. What education will do is refine things a bit. It may be a good idea to use free resources first, like library resources to see if your kid is willing to continue his or her education. You don’t want to pay money for a class and find out your child doesn’t want to put much work into this.

Invest in the Equipment

Helping your kid learn how to film is just one step. The next thing you can do is invest in the equipment. Your kid is going to need all sorts of tools to tell stories through this medium. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on this. Have your kid start with older cameras and recording devices.

Some of the common equipment can be bought used online at reasonable prices. You’ll be allowing your child to get familiar with the equipment. Accidents happen when you’re learning how to handle a camera, and it’s better to have those accidents with items that didn’t cost too much.

Get the Software

You also want to invest in the software you’re kid is going to need as he or she films. For example, your kid is going to need a good editing program if he or she wants to learn how to speed up a video or how to add transitions between scenes.

Depending on how complex the editing software is, it could take your kid a long time to get the hang of it. Talk to your kid about this before you introduce the software. You want him or her to understand that patience is key when it comes to mastering these types of software systems. The school you send your kid to might teach some of these programs to add finishing touches to your kid’s movies.

Get Involved in the Storytelling

Okay, your kids won’t have a crew of workers and actors to work with. Some of the lucky ones will be able to enlist friends to help them tell stories, but the chances are you’ll have to jump in from time to time. Allow your kids to direct the story and run the shoot.

It might be a good idea to consider talking to family members or friends who can lend a hand from time to time. If you are asked to be an actor, learn the lines your kid gives you, and be the best actor you can. As strange as this might be at the beginning, it’s good to participate in your child’s dream like this. You can bond with your kid if you join him or her with this passion.

Start Showcasing the Projects

Letting your child tell a few stories on film is one thing, but now you’ve got to show them their work on the big screen. You could rent a screen from your local theater, but that’s a bit expensive. You can do the next best thing, which is to show these movies at home. Consider purchasing a real home theater system complete with a projector and a screen.

These systems allow you to create the theater experience at home. Depending on the placement of your projector, you could make the image look quite large, which is going to be cool for everyone. Ask your family members and friends to come to the screening of your kid’s movies. Make this screening as special as possible. Bring the popcorn, and ask folks to dress up. Do everything you can to show your kid how special the stories are.

Now, you know what to do for your young filmmaker. Talk to your kids to find out what they want from you as they work on their passion.

What would you add to this to add to teaching kids the art of film making?

teaching kids film making

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Empower Your Child with Self Growth This Valentines

Romance from Indian movies is way more cheesy than any Valentines celebration can ever be. But Valentines day is very much a western/commercial influence in most multicultural homes. What can this celebration of love actually teach children, you ask? Specially during Covid, when it’s hard enough to do things outside.
If we don’t fall into the materialistic trap, what is Valentine’s Day but another excuse to spend time with those we care the most about. And recognize the love we are surrounded by.Love that celebrates the tantrums, growing pains, and sick days when cooking was forgotten and messy house and hair ruled! What we are doing is marking this day with more memories of time together that make us laugh and our eyes well up with tears.This love is more pure than any other. It takes hard work. Every. Single. Day!In my book Strong Roots Have No Fear, I talk about how important it is for children to see that love is so much more about respect and nurturing. And I wish my kids can see that kind of love, in the people they eventually look towards for support through a lifetime of struggles and triumphs. How will they learn unless we as parents show them that it matters.

So makes this valentines special in these simple ways –

Creative Writing Exercises

Use this time to help your kids build a conversation around growth mindset. Download our free journal for valentines day. Prompts like help build writing skills and conversations around love and self empowerment.

Download our exclusive creative writing printables for promoting a growth mindset .

 

Handmade Keepsakes Help Practice Creativity and Reading Skills

Fancy gifts have been replaced by keepsakes. Handprints. Footprints. You name it, we have it. Pinterest is full of simple crafts to do with your little ones no matter how old they are.

Simple heart cut out of papers, with loving messages written on them is a great way too. You could also choose to

Make adorable Monster Pom poms
Easy Valentines Pop Up Cards

This year I’m gifting both the kids books I got from the local library sale as they both enjoy reading. Also, I did the thing where I posted a note of what I love about them on their door. We are going to read them all on V-day. It is paramount kids learn early that gifts/acts of care are not about BIG gifts.

Really See Ourselves as Parents

To love another, we need to know ourselves better.

If we want to improve on ourselves, we can only ask our children and they will be happy to tell us.

And who better to give you a real perspective that the little ones who have no filter. Every year I ask my kids questions. I record their answers in a journal or a fancy card that later goes into the journal. Their answers are super cute and so heartwarming to go back to and read. It’s fascinating to see the world as they see it.

  • What does dad like to do?
  • What’s something mom should do less of?
  • What’s something dad should do more of?
  • What do you love to do with mom?

As the kids get older, I can make the questions help me see myself in a better light. It helps the kids learn how to self evaluate as well.

A Themed Dinner Builds Cultural Awareness & Cooking Skills

Restaurants everywhere, ANYWAY used to be a hassle. So, every year our meal is home cooked and made fancy for us. Something to a theme, that we can cook together. Discuss different cultural foods and add a twist to dishes you already know. We have been doing a lot of baking: brownies, cakes, cupcakes.  Decorating together. Cooking together. Setting the table as a family, are all fun things to do. The kids do whatever they can. We have a blast creating memories while learning kitchen skills.

Plus cooking is a great way to build on math and learning many related skills.

Decorating the Home Helps Organization Skills

I always do a little something to make the home feel a bit more festive. My son is older now, and my daughter has a lot of opinions. So what do we do? We head to the dollar store and brainstorm a few items appropriate for Valentine’s Day. Then we go home and decorate together. Nothing too lavish ever mind you, but I personally enjoy shopping with my little ones. Getting inventive with little is certainly a must have talent.

Games to Bond and Build Sportsman Spirit

We make it a super special night with games. I love playing games with the kiddos. The laughter, hugs, and memories we create as we cheat, lie, and run around are truly priceless. You never feel as young as when you play with little ones and relearn the lessons of life with them. If you like, you can grab our free ebook for games, that can actually be played with anyone in the family.

Games are the best way to bond and build sportsman spirit.

Beats to Your Feet get the Body Moving

We make sure to spend a part of the evening dancing our hearts out. It is so therapeutic. and the kids love getting their wiggles out. When we put on some slow songs, the kids get into the fun and slow dance with mom and dad too. Seeing moms and dads enjoying so with the kids, shows how important activity is to mark the occasion. Equality in genders and how to treat someone you care about is something that comes across in the small things.

Talk About the Four Pillars of Love

Kindness, Actions, Appreciation & Respect

Our celebrations may be a few of these things, or all of these, but sometime during the festivities, we make sure to discuss the four pillars on which all love stands. We converse about what are the different ways we can be kind and show our appreciation for someone. We discuss about the importance of respect and how we can care for our family members and friends. This conversation for sure lasts all year long.

Our creative writing printables help with that for sure.

Wishing you all a wonderful Valentine’s Day as you shower your endearment on those who matter the most.

Share in the comments below how your celebrate this special day.

Download here –
Sparkling me Series

A Glimpse of Our Creative Writing Printables

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Be Sure to Address the Positive Things Your Child Does

As a parent, you probably put a lot of focus on telling your child what not to do. It’s easy to get into the habit of “catching” them doing something negative so you can correct the problem. While there isn’t anything wrong with that and it’s an effective way to teach them what they should and shouldn’t be doing, your child also needs reinforcement when they do something positive.

Criticism and compliments should be equally given to children, no matter their age. Think of your boss at work constantly pointing out the things you do wrong, but never offering up words of encouragement or telling you that you’re doing a good job. Chances are, it would start to affect your mood, your thought process, and even how well you function at work.

Children need encouragement and praise, too. It can help with their overall growth and development and allow them to become confident and self-assured as they grow. It’s a parenting style that could make a big difference in how your child sees themselves.

Let’s look closely at why it’s important to address the positive things your child does and how you can do it more often.

The Problem With the Negative

Pointing out things your child is doing wrong provides an opportunity to address and correct those things. But, only focusing on those negative things can end up doing more harm than good. When you are constantly correcting your child’s actions or behaviors, you could be causing them extra stress. This can lead to both short and long-term issues, including:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Tension
  • Headaches

Too much stress can even lead to mental health issues like anxiety or depression. Having no positive reinforcement might also make your child feel like they don’t do anything right, which can be a huge blow to their confidence and self-esteem. They might also start to look at the world through a negative, pessimistic lens, which can hold them back from opportunities.

When you create a healthy balance between pointing out negative and positive things, you can teach your child to accentuate the positive, and they will learn how to build themselves up and be more confident in everything they do.

Understanding Your Child’s Behaviors

It’s easy to get frustrated with your child when you feel they’re doing something they aren’t supposed to. But, you have to remember that almost everything in a young child’s life is a learning experience. As a parent, you have the unique opportunity to guide that experience for them, one way or another. While you might jump to conclusions about why they do certain things or exhibit certain behaviors, one of the best things you can do is to work toward a better understanding of those actions and behaviors.

For example, your child may be acting out in certain ways due to a bigger issue, like a physical problem. Do they seem to have trouble focusing on one thing for too long? Are they doing poorly in school? Instead of punishing them for such things right away, talk to them about it. You might learn more about the underlying cause, which may even be something like a vision problem that is making life a bit more difficult for them.

It’s also important to consider any other life changes your child may be going through, including:

  • A divorce or separation
  • Moving
  • Changing schools
  • The death of a loved one

By having a better understanding of why your child might be acting a certain way, you can teach them how to change those behaviors into positive actions and work through things in healthy, effective ways.

How to Focus On the Positive Things

Strangely enough, it can often feel easier to address negative behaviors than positive ones. But, you can be positive with your child and still enforce a lesson with positive punishment. Positive punishments:

  • Have meaning
  • Are black and white
  • Solve problems
  • Hold your child accountable for their behavior

But, it’s important to not only focus on punishment and behavioral changes. How can you, instead, pay more attention and address the positive things your child does?

First, again, remember that everything is a learning experience. One of the best things you can do is to teach your child to ask for help in situations where they might be struggling. Kids want to be independent, but encouraging them to ask for help gives them a better opportunity to learn. It also allows you to reinforce positivity in the way you help and guide them.

Focusing on the positive also means encouraging your children to explore and dive deeper into the things that naturally seem to interest them. When your child has more confidence and self-esteem due to positive reinforcement, they may have an easier time learning something new, like a musical instrument or a sport. In turn, that gives you more opportunities to focus on the positive things they’re doing.

So, the next time you’re tempted to scold your child or call them out on negative behavior, make sure you follow it up by addressing some positive things your child does, as well. It’s a small change in your parenting style that can make a big difference.

 

Tools That Help You Protect Your Home and Your Family During a Crisis (002)

Tools to Protect Your Family During a Crisis

Is your family prepared if a natural disaster should hit your area? Any type of community crisis or a major problem that affects your home could cause significant problems. The professionals that would usually help may be impacted as well or may be busy helping other families ahead of yours. Here are several tools you need to protect your family and home when disaster strikes.

Power Supply

Homes that are at risk for losing power during a storm or a blackout should be equipped with generators for emergency use. A generator is easy to operate and can be safely stored out of the way until it is needed. Solar generator models with a backup battery are a great way to protect your house and your family when the power goes out. Creating on average between 10,000 and 20,000 watts, a small home generator can cover a portion of your home whereas a larger one can be used for the entire structure.

Light

Keep batteries on hand for flashlights and fuel on hand for lanterns as your fill-in light sources. Store the batteries as recommended by the manufacturer to preserve their use as long as possible. Check your flashlights every few months to make sure they still work, and replace worn-out ones as needed. Keep your lantern fuel locked up until needed to protect children and pets. You may want to install solar lights along the porch, patio, and garage for night-time outdoor light if needed.

Medical Kit

Fill a pill container for seven days with all the tablets you need for each day. Keep it handy in an accessible cupboard for emergencies. Replace the pills if they expire before being used, and replace them with fresh ones. Stock your medical kit with first aid items like bandages and over-the-counter pain relievers as well as topical antibiotic cream. A thermometer and a blood pressure cuff would be a good idea as well. Don’t forget to stash a week’s supply of your pet’s medicines, too.

Communication

Smart phones may not work during a local or regional disaster if the cell tower is damaged or inoperable. But keep your phone charged and the charger cord within reach in the event you are able to make calls. Do the same for your computer or iPad to ensure they can be used to contact others if an emergency occurs.

You can also look into investing in a satellite phone or radio. If cell towers or the internet are down, you may need other ways to communicate with people in your family and with authorities. Walkie talkies can be useful if your group might have to split up.

While it is stressful to think about disasters that could upend your life, planning ahead will help to mitigate the problems that could arise. Prepare now so you and your family will be ready later if necessary.

Click here

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Lohri, Makarsankranti and Pongal – Books, Printables & Activities

Celebrated on the January 13th and 14th respectively and for the same reason, different states of India celebrate these auspicious day in different ways. Rejoicing in the fruits of harvest.

Celebrated by Punjabi Indians on the 13th of January, Lohri is marked by a bon fire, colorful clothes music and dancing. Popcorn, sesame, chikki are enjoyed. Makar Sankranti is celebrated on 14 January every year.This particular festival is celebrated by many more states, in different ways. This day is marked differently by the element of traditional prayers and kite flying. Celebrated in Tamil Nadu, Pongal this is a grand festival of four days. Learn more about the festivals celebrated during this season  and WHY they are celebrated HERE.

So, how do you make these festivals relevant to kids today?

With books, fun activities and food of course!

Books

Let’s start with books. Here is a list of fun books you can read with your kids about these festivals.

Lohri – the Bonfire Festival

Bola – the Festival Kite

Festivals All Year Round – This is not specific but talks about the many festivals around the year.

Creative Writing

It is important to teach kids how to relate to new festivals. Click here for PRINTABLES you can use to help kids better learn. They can discuss with you and answer or search online and create a resource.

Similar printables for

Lohri

Makarsankrati

Khicheri

Pongal

Writing printable for Makarsankrati / Khicheri

Generic Festive printable

Crafts

Rangoli Drawings for Pongal / Khicheri

Rangoli is decorative drawings that can be made with colored powder, chalk, playdough or more…

You can also color books with color pencils to mark the occasion.-
Rangoli Books

Make a Kite

As mentioned above, you can simply draw a kite but making a kite would be so much fun and flying it out marks these occasions.

Craft with Sticks

A simple craft to do with kids, using sticks, colored paper and glue. You can use this as a wall decor or card cover for sending wishes to family and friends. Source of pic unknown.

Conversations over Food

Lohri – Sarson da saag, Makke di Roti, Atta ladoo, Gur, Gajjak etc

Makarsankranti – Tilwa, Raamdaane ke laddoo, Undhiyu, Puran poli etc

Pongal – Veg pongal, Rava pongal, Bisel Bhaath, Lemon Rice etc

India’s culture is diverse! It is essential you have these conversations about the many, many subcultures within to have a better appreciation of what Indian culture entails.

You can go to this post to see what foods mark these festivals that fall around the same time. Conversations about the significance, reasons and how they are celebrated about the world go a long way to expanding your horizons or having a better appreciation of your own.

 

Explore our children’s books – Sparkling Me Series for a better look at body positivity, diversity and inclusion. Build self confidence and acceptance within kids.

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CHECK OUT MORE CREATIVE WRITING PRINTABLES AND LESSON PLANS HERE.

How to Discuss Getting a Family Pet With Your Kids (2)

How to Discuss Getting a Family Pet With Your Kids

Adding a pet to your home is wonderful. However, there are things that you will want to discuss with your family before you get a pet. You will need to determine exactly why you want to get a pet, who is going to take care of all the pet responsibilities, and what kind of pet you want to get. Knowing all these options beforehand will help to ensure that your pet adoption goes off without a hitch.

Why Get A Family Pet?

Get together as a family and discuss why you want to get a family pet. Let each family member discuss why and what they are looking for in a pet. Adults may want to get a pet to teach kids responsibility. Kids may just want to get the pet to have something fun to play with. Sitting down and talking as a family on the benefits of getting a pet will help to educate everyone on the responsibility of taking care of a pet.

What Family Pet Should Your Family Get?

There are many types of animals out there that are a good option for a family pet. Getting everyone together and discussing what each person wants in a pet is a good idea. Take into consideration how much time the pet is going to need. If you live a busy, active lifestyle, taking care of an involved pet will not always be possible. If you travel a lot, you might not be able to take care of the pet as well. It is a good idea not to get any kind of pets that scare other members of your family. For example, adopting a snake may not sit well with every member of your house. It is important that all members of your family agree on which kind of family pet to get. You cannot come to an agreement at first, have several different family meetings, and research different pet options. This will help you to determine which pet would be best for your family.

Getting Ready For A Pet

Once you decide on what pet you will get, you will want to make sure that you start getting supplies. Getting supplies before you have the pet can help you be ready. Nothing is worse than having to run out at the last minute to find everything you need for your new pet. For example, if you plan to get a family cat, you will want to make sure you get all your cat’s necessities. This includes food, litterbox, toys, and more. You will also want to get the cat something to scratch on, like the Cat Scratcher Lounge. This will give your cat something fun to scratch on instead of your furniture. If you are going to get a bird, you want to make sure that you have cages and food before purchasing.

You also will want to make sure that you find a great veterinarian in your area. This will help to ensure that your pet is kept in good health throughout the years. Look for a veterinarian who has great reviews and comes highly recommended. You also want to make sure that you keep up-to-date with all your pet’s vaccines and any vitamins and minerals that they may need. For example, if you have a dog, you may want to go ahead and purchase flu medication and heartworm prevention.

Getting a pet can be a joyous time for your family. You will need to take your time and meet with your family to determine which pet works best for your family. Remember to delegate pet responsibilities to each member of the household. That way, everyone is helping with the pet and can help everything goes smoothly.

Click here for Children’s books to empower your child — Sparkling Me Series

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20 Unique Books Released in 2020 by South Asian Authors

2020 was a year going to be remembered fondly for all the time spent indoors. As we all struggled with balancing more work, more time with kids and learning life lessons, these South Asian authors took their efforts from 2019 and more to diversify your library.

The books are a must read for all multicultural families but more so because the books empower the perspective of children from multiple angles. Simple storytelling, introduction to Indian culture, empowering conversations and more bind these books together and make it an honor for us to bring you the words of South Asian authors building awareness.

These books are a MUST read and a great addition to ANY library. Order them NOW or recommend them to your local library.

It’s Not Easy Series

It’s not easy being a Lazy Bug

This is a hilarious and enjoyable tale that inspires kids to do things for themselves and not be lazy. Featuring vivid illustrations and an upbeat theme, Bug’s delightful story is perfect for teaching young children about the downsides of being lazy and the rewarding satisfaction that comes from taking control and being independent.

It’s not easy being Santa

This sweet holiday story has an underlying message of self-love and acceptance, showing children that character and self-confidence matter. It’s perfect for reading aloud, early learners, elementary classrooms, plus anyone who loves holiday cookies! Great for introducing new vocabulary and opening dialogue about tough topics.

Mindful Affirmations

These coloring books are fairly large (8.5”x 11″) and printed on high-quality paper. The gorgeous cover has a beautiful gloss finish and inside pages are best for crayons, and colored pencils. A soothing and inspiring coloring book that reassures girls, they can handle big emotions and empowers them to develop inner strength and self-confidence. For Ages 2-100 and above 🙂

Ellen the Elephant

Ellen is different from other elephants. Many animals do not want to play with her. This makes her feel very sad. But all this will change one day. How? Through compassion and comedy.

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Lilu’s Rakhi

From author/illustrator Devika Joglekar comes a book about an environmentally conscious girl, Lilu, who has decided to make homemade plastic-free Rakhi for Little Kuku. Through wonderful, vibrant illustrations and rhyming text, Lilu’s Rakhi teaches kids how to make a beautiful plastic-free Rakhi.

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Celebrate Onam with Me

It’s time for Onam, a 10-day harvest festival celebrated widely in the Indian state of Kerala with a lot of fun, food and festivities! Travel with Riya to “God’s Own Country” and learn how and why we celebrate Onam.

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Ritu Weds Chandni

Centering Ayesha’s love for her cousin as much as it showcases Ritu and Chandni’s love for each other, this warmhearted debut from Ameya Narvankar (published by Yali Books) celebrates the power of young voices to stand up against prejudice and bigotry.

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Ved and Friends Investigate Your Family

From author Diksha Pal Narayan and illustrator Abira Das, comes a book in which you can become Amateur Genealogists and Discover Your Family.

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Sing Along with Eli Puli

Do you LOVE English nursery rhymes? Well, this illustrated book will show you how to sing 8 of your favorite songs to the same tunes – In Tamil! Free audio included.

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Bhoomi Learns to Draw a Kolam

It’s a book about a little girl Bhoomi who is captivated by her mother’s kolams – an Indian art form – and decides to learn the art from her mother.

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The Adventures of the Pillow Gang

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Little Avery dreams BIG dreams. So big that he needs a little help from his pillow friends to tackle his nighttime adventures. Whimsical and charming, The Pillow Gang is a book that embraces the value of kindness and sharing, regardless of how different others may seem.

Vaaranam’s Children’s Books

Ethirpatham (Opposites) – With over 30 flaps to lift, this delightful book helps children learn about opposites in Tamil in a fun and interactive way.

Paati Veedu (Grandma’s House) – Paati Veedu is a simple story that is a reflection of the author’s own childhood memories and depicts the joy an extended family brings into a child’s life.

Hanuman Chalisa

Chanting the Chalisa creates positive energy and vibrations. Children who recite the Chalisa, will be filled with wisdom and strength. Sometimes children try to do things that can be challenging or tricky, and can cause them to become sad or frustrated. Praying to Hanuman can help children accomplish difficult tasks. He can bring peace and happiness to their minds, and achieve well-being. There are forty verses praising Hanuman, each line has been translated by The Jai Jais for children to easily understand.

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My Rakshabandhan

This colorful story from author Priya Kumari and illustrator Komal Garg explains the meaning of Raksha Bandhan, the legend behind it, and how Taaraa and Chundoo give a bigger meaning to their festive day by visiting a fire station!

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See You Soon

Mama needs to go to work, while the little champ is being taken care of by his teachers at the nursery, his nanny or his grandparents. Mama needs to step away, but the village around her steps up. Read ‘See You Soon’ together with your child to prepare and deal with being apart from each other.

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Sparkling Me Series

The following children’s Books (Growth Mindset stories for Global Citizens) were launched this year to empower children everywhere to build diversity and inclusion for acceptance, for others and self:

How Our Skin Sparkles – Answer this question using this multi-award-winning (voted Teacher’s Pick by Amazon) that uses culture, concept, and science to build confidence within and kindness for all.

Small or Tall, We Sparkle After All – A body-positive children’s book that teaches every child to be kind to others and themselves using science, mythology, and concept.

Sparkles of Joy Celebrate the joy of togetherness this holiday season with a story that spans the festivities from Diwali to Christmas creating conversations around kindness, social skills and cultural uniqueness.

Check out more of our book lists and editorial reviews of books here.

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3 Ways Military Families Can Plan for Their New Home

Owning one’s own home is a source of pride and comfort. The main reason contributing to happiness is based on one’s ability to house and take care of their family. For military families – veterans, servicemen and women who serve in the military, the feat of buying and owning a new home is often challenging and needs careful consideration. Some of the most important aspects to consider include finances, the family’s size, and the specific requirements.

The Size of the Family

A military family is one from which the man or the spouse is either in continuing military service or has been discharged. Despite the generalization brought forth by definition, every individual has their way of looking at the concept of family. Consequently, the family size may vary from one person to another.

Military families can plan for their new home by knowing the number of people living in a new home. The first avenue for this is to count the people who form the current home physically. The strategy could include the individual veteran in addition to other members such as the spouse and children.

The second way of planning for this is just bearing in mind that the serviceman or woman foresees starting a family. Having this in mind paves the way for the need to plan and acquire an appropriate home’s appropriate size and structure. In many cases, such plans also consider the possibility of having additional members of the extended family.

Having to consider the size of the family works well because it protects you from the element of surprise and the need to make changes or plan to move again. Owning a home is a significant step in, and proper planning goes a long way to ensure that you make a perfect life decision.

Financial Planning

Statistics show that most people who do not make prior financial planning end up settling for expensive deals. Some of them even end up not being able to own homes. For military families within California and throughout the country, the challenge in trying to own a home comes in a two-pronged way.

The long absences as you head out for assignments is a significant impediment to your availability to monitor the process of acquiring a home or keep track of the payments. Veterans and members of the armed forces are often occupied in service; keeping appraised on mortgages or construction processes may prove to be an uphill task.

Appointing an individual finance manager or institution could be one of the avenues for making a financial plan leading to owning the new home. Other service providers might suggest using housing or real estate agents to acquire the new home for a military family.

However, the best advice for you would be to use the available expertise of established organizations, such as CalVet. They have dedicated their skills and resources to assist veterans, discharged military personnel, servicemen, and women in ticking on their goal of owning a home.

CalVet Loans has been proven to be a leading source of success for military families seeking to find a new home in California. Consulting such establishments gives a great insight into the direction to take when trying to make an informed decision.

Specific Personal or Family Needs

Owning a home is an achievement of a lifetime, especially for military families. As the choice that you settle on for a house could end up being your permanent residence, an extra effort t research and consider everything will not hurt. To have the best experience and satisfaction in your new home, putting your most cherished desires into account as you plan a great idea.

For instance, if you have interests in outdoor activities such as gardening, landscaping, or plan parenting, seeking a home with a significant amount of space, fertile and productive soil is worth being in your list to be checked. Having children or planning to have them and other family members around the home should also inform the specific needs that you will need to consider.

All said, the process of owning a new home is both a vital and challenging one. Based on the difficulties of planning for a new home, the military family ought to give serious thought to financial planning, the family needs, and the family’s size is a significant step.

How to Stay Calm While Teaching Your Teen How To Drive (002)

Stay Calm While Teaching Your Teen How to Drive

Driving can be stressful under the best of circumstances, but things can get particularly hectic when you must teach a young driver how to handle a car. Here are a few tips to help you stay calm when teaching your teen how to drive.

 

Have Your Vehicle Checked Out

Nobody likes to deal with unexpected car trouble, especially a teenager who might not know how to handle grinding brakes or a stuttering transmission. Your vehicle should be in good shape if you’re going to use it as a training tool. So get it to your mechanic and have it checked out before you begin your driving lessons. If you are feeling up to the challenge, you should always be aware of what is going on under your hood as well. Having replacement Darche parts on hand can help with any fears you might have about a shoddy vehicle.

Start Small

Teach your teenager the basics before you get to a busy road. This means showing them where the pedals are, how to use a turn signal, how to turn on the headlights, how to come to a complete stop, and other basic driving skills. Spend as much time on this as you and your teen need; they need to learn to walk before they can run.

Practice in a Safe Environment

Your teen’s main training ground should be empty parking lots and seldom-used back roads. There is little chance that they will get into an accident here, even if they make mistakes (and yes, they will make mistakes).

Pick the Right Time to Go Out

Once your teenager is used to (slowly) accelerating and coming to a complete stop in your makeshift training course, you can take them on the road to give them an idea of what “real” driving is like. When you do this, do not go out during rush hour or any other busy time of the day. Mornings and early afternoons will be better than later afternoons or early evenings, and weekends will be better than weekdays.

Take Breaks

Overwhelming your new driver will only be stressful for both of you, so know when to take a break. Get behind the wheel of your car and drive home. You’ll probably feel better being in control of your own vehicle again, and your teen might learn a few things by watching you.

Driving has become second-nature to a lot of adults, but it is brand new to someone who is only 15 or 16 years old. Be patient while teaching your teen how to drive, and don’t stress out too much when they make mistakes. As long as neither of you panics and your teen does their best to follow the rules of the road, we promise that you both will do just fine.

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Positive Co-Parenting, Even After a Divorce

Getting a divorce is rarely easy. If you have children, the divorce can be further complicated. If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll want to keep the following information in mind so that you can provide a healthy upbringing for your child.

Keep the Focus on Your Child

The best way for positive co-parenting after a divorce is to remember that you’re both parenting the same child. While the end of the relationship may have caused you a great deal of pain, your child is going through their own issues at the moment. By putting the focus on your child, both you and your ex can allow the focus of your decisions to remain on a party about whom you both care.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Communication is key. While you don’t have to be friendly with your ex, you should make sure that there is a line of communication open so that you can discuss the important aspects of your child’s life. If your relationship is fraught, keep the communication focused on your child’s needs. Don’t use this channel to argue, but rather share important information for the good of your child.

Be Flexible When You Can

It’s always a good idea to be willing to be flexible when it will benefit your child. There’s a reasonable tendency for many to not want to be the parent who ‘gives in’ to the other, but it’s wise to act in good faith whenever possible. This will allow you to build a better rapport with your ex and encourage the other party to be just as flexible when something on your end needs to be changed.

Know Your Rights Under Child Custody Law

Child custody law can be tricky to untangle. It’s wise to create a custody agreement when you divorce, but your state may also have very specific rights and responsibilities for each parent. These could greatly impact your relationship and the choices the two of you make for your children. Before you make a major decision, make sure that the decision that you want to make is one that would be supported by the law. Consulting with a child custody lawyer, like those at the Law Office of Faye Riva Cohen, P.C., can help you better understand what your rights are.

Positive co-parenting after a divorce isn’t always easy but it is something that has successfully been accomplished by many parents in situations just like your own. Keep the lines of communication open, focus on your child, and know when to be flexible and when to bring the law into the process. If you can set up a plan that focuses on your child, your child can keep both of their parents involved in their life.

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Help Your Child Get Ahead in Their Education

Ensuring that your child has the tools that they need to get ahead in their education is one of your most important roles as a parent. There is nothing that can replace a solid education, making it important that you put a top emphasis on this aspect of your child’s development. Here are five proven ways by which you can help your child get ahead in their education.

Make it Personal

Any educator will tell you that learning is a personalized experience. Teaching is not a one-size-fits-all approach that will work for every student. If you want your student to live up to their true potential, it is important that you understand how your child learns so that you can best support it.

One of the best ways to do this is to create a personalized learning strategy for your child’s specific needs and strengths. An individualized education plan will ensure that your child is being reached on their level and continually challenged. This will encourage them to reach their highest potential.

Teach Them Basic Organizational and Study Skills

You are never too young to learn basic organizational and study skills. While many parents focus on specific academic areas, it is the organizational and study skills that form the cornerstone of good learning habits. There are a number of age-appropriate ways that you can support the cultivation of these habits.

For younger children, start with teaching them to make and stick with a basic to-do schedule. Once they get older, you can begin to teach them how to use a desk planner to keep track of all of their responsibilities and deadlines. Not only will these skills help them to excel in school, but it will also provide them with invaluable life skills.

Stay Involved

A significant predictor of a child’s success in school is parental involvement. You can do this in various ways, depending on your own personal schedule. Start by making it a point to attend every back-to-school night. This will help you to establish a connection with the teachers so that you feel comfortable going to them with concerns.

If your schedule allows, it is a good idea to try to volunteer in the classroom as needed. This will give you an insight into the classroom dynamic, the way your child interacts with the teacher and classmates, and much more. It will also be easier to talk with your child about their day if you are more familiar with the routine.

Ensure Your Child is Ready to Learn

You cannot expect your child to be ready to learn each day if they are not feeling their best. Be sure that your child is getting adequate sleep each night so that they begin the day in the best position to absorb new information.

You can also support quality learning by making sure that they eat a healthy breakfast each morning. A nutritious breakfast will provide the energy that they need to power their brain and body. If mornings are difficult for you, make it easier by preparing healthy grab and go items for your child to nosh on during the commute to school.

Create a Work Space at Home

Your child will learn best if they have a positive place to work on their studies at home. Start this space with a comfortable chair and desk. There also needs to be sufficient lighting in place. Most importantly, the area needs to be free of distractions so your child can concentrate.

It is also important that you equip this space with the proper tools and supplies. You do not want your child to have to hunt down what they need to be successful in school. As your child gets older, you will want to make sure that they have the appropriate technological equipment to stay on top of their work and continue to push themselves to excel.

As a parent, it is your job to take your child’s education into your own hands so that they make the most out of all of these opportunities. These five tips provide a great starting point as you support your student’s educational endeavors.

 

 

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How to Teach Your Kids Patience

Ever worry that your children will grow restless in the following places and scenarios?:

  • In line at the grocery store?
  • In a car on a road trip?
  • At the doctor’s office waiting to be seen?

If any of these scenarios sound familiar, then it’s important to note that not everything will work out in your favor. With that said, while children should know that not everything will work out the way they want it, they should also know how to practice patience. Not only is a good ability to be patient a good character trait, but it’s also an essential skill to have in life generally.

Here are 8 ways to teach your kids patience, to help them build good character:

  1. Take Baby Steps

“When teaching your child patience for the first time, start small and short,” says Maya McDonald, a business writer at Revieweal and UK Services Reviews. “In other words, have your child practice patience in small doses, and don’t get angry at them for not catching on quickly. As they grow older, then you can expect them to wait longer for something.”

  1. Practice Positivity

As mentioned before, you can’t get angry at a young child for not catching on to being patient – patience takes time to learn, just like any other skill. Therefore, it’s important to stay positive on your end, so that you can show them that patience is a positive thing, not something that should be dreaded or feared.

  1. Reinforce Self-Control

When a child grows impatient, they’ll start to become antsy, and might have a slew of questions to ask you – that’s understandable. However, there’s a way that you can curb their anxious demeanor – self-control.

Children can practice self-control by telling them to calm down and wait before you fulfill their request. When they regain self-control, they’ll be less likely to act out.

  1. Practice Purposeful Delays

Instant gratification, unfortunately, is everywhere. However, that doesn’t mean that your child should follow suit.

Instead, teach your child that waiting is important. Use purposeful delays, meaning that you can pick a random time to have them wait for no reason other than to have your child practice waiting.

  1. Practice Taking Turns

Children love to have fun. So, why not have them play games that require them to wait turns?

Teach your kids patience by playing games that require taking turns. Or, you can take them to a park or a place of leisure to show how they must wait their turn on, say, a swing, a slide, etc. If they happen to struggle with taking turns the first time, then keep on teaching it by making more frequent trips to the park or leisurely place.

  1. Show Visual Representation

Countdowns are also fun. If your child is struggling to wait for something, then have a timer or clock that they can see, and point out the time when something will happen or arrive, depending on the situation. Plus, you can use flash cards to show your child how close you are to a destination, or when dinner will be ready, etc.

  1. Share Information

When children ask questions, don’t cut them off with a sharp reply, or get angry at them in general. Instead, answer them with information. If you know about how long something will take, provide the number of hours or minutes to them, or compare it to something relatable to help them understand like “Christmas is 5 sleeps away” or “The theme park is about one car nap away.”

  1. Reinforce Patience With Older Kids

“With older kids, teaching patience doesn’t stop there,” says Summer Wong, a communications manager UK Top Writers and Elite assignment help. “You must still hold true to your rules on being patient. For example, if your child asks for a loan of $20, then say that they’ll earn it once the time is right, and they’ve done some useful things around the house. So, as they learn to be patient, they’re also learning to earn something rather than just receive.”

Conclusion

While no one is perfect, nor is anyone born with good character, children must still learn and practice patience wherever they go. Teach your kids patience even if it takes weeks, months, or years to get it right – it’s worth the wait (for parents) – just take it slow, and allow your child to thrive in practicing a skill that’s needed in the long run.

Kristin Herman is a writer and editor at Big Assignments and Essay writer. She is also a contributing writer for online publications, such as Boom essays. As a marketing writer, she blogs about the latest trends in online advertising and social media influencers.