steamboat springs

Winter Activities in Steamboat Springs CO – A Travelogue

I love traveling to the core.  I enjoy each and everything about the travel – the planning, the scenery, the drive, the stay, the activities, of course, the photos, the peace, the relaxation, the happiness and the beautiful moments we create as a family. So, this time, let me share my favorite travelogue in Colorado.

We traveled to ‘Steamboat Springs’ in the last winter. Steamboat Springs is a town in Northern Colorado which is famous for skiing. It is also famous as a destination for winter sports and it is also a home to 86 Olympic champions. When we planned to visit this place, we wanted to try the popular winter activities like skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing,  Snow tubing, Gondola rides, Hot springs etc.,

We have 2 sons and our younger one is just 4 years old. So, we had to keep this in our mind as we cannot venture into adventurous sports. The drive from our place is around 5 hrs and we had to take multiple stops due to kids. When planning a trip with our kids, usually we don’t hurry and prepare for unexpected stops, delays, and change in plans in the last minute.  The weather was very harsh and extreme cold in Steamboat Springs, so we bought thermals, good jackets, gloves, scarfs, snow boots, hand, and toe warmers etc., before starting for the trip.

steamboat springs

steamboat springs

Skiing:

The Gondola square at Mt.Werner circle is always buzzing with tourists who come for skiing. There are skiing classes available for both adults and kids. Kids from 2 years of age can take beginner skiing classes. Steamboat ski resort offers nighttime skiing as well.  We haven’t tried skiing yet, but if you can stay for 3 days, your family can learn skiing and enjoy.


Snowmobiling:

We have reserved our spot for snowmobiling in advance from Saddleback ranch. We were ready by 11 am with layered clothing(thermals, jackets) and hand, toe warmers etc., The Saddleback ranch team have also provided outer gear and snow boots. Even with all these, it was difficult for us to bear the coldness after 1.5 hrs. We have booked for a 2hr slot. But, Snowmobiling was super fun as a family. It was as if we were swimming in a snow ocean. There was only snow within miles of distance on all sides. It looked like heaven.

Snow Tubing:

We have booked tubing as well from the same ranch. Our kids enjoyed tubing a lot. It was 100% safe and fun for all ages. Sliding through the snow was really awesome.

snow tubing

snow tubing

Gondola rides:

Whenever we visit any place in Colorado, we make it a point to ride the Gondola. The breathtaking views of mountains should be experienced and can never be explained in words. There is a sunset ride as well for couples including dinner.

Mountain coaster:

We have assigned our next day to try the mountain coaster. Did you ever think how it would be to have a brake in your hand while riding a roller coaster? That’s exactly is a mountain coaster. If you are afraid to slide quickly, you can come down slowly by breaking your coaster. While riding the coaster you can stop and enjoy the beautiful views around. We enjoyed this ride.

Hot Water Springs:

There are many mountain towns in Colorado with natural hot water springs.  Old town hot springs is an old natural hot springs pool which was existing from around 100 years. Temperatures of water range from 80 to 104 Fahrenheit. They are believed to have therapeutic properties. Strawberry hot springs are also popular in Steamboat Springs.

Hot springs

Hot springs

Overall, that was a memorable trip. We also experienced driving on icy roads while snowing. We were careful and drove slowly.  So, if you want to plan a trip in Winter to any Colorado mountain town, don’t hesitate! Just buy proper winter gear and enjoy 🙂

Winter Activities in Steamboat Springs, CO

 

Broaden Your Parenting Horizons

Dussehra

Major festivals Celebrated in Andhra Culture

Festivals are one way to understand any culture, right? The way we celebrate, the food that we prepare, the traditions that we follow etc., say a lot about our culture. We, Indians have many festivals to celebrate and this post is about the festivals celebrated in the Southern part of India in Andhra Pradesh state.

Sankranthi

The First Important festival celebrated by Hindus is the Makara Sankranthi. This is also called the Harvest festival. “Sankranthi” in the Sanskrit language means the transmigration of the Sun to another zodiac sign.

I love making rangolis with colors for this festival. I also love the traditional food that we prepare for this festival like chakralu (crispy fritters), arisalu (Sweet made with rice flour and jaggery) and laddus.

Explaining Sankranthi to Kids

Sankranthi Rangoli - Muggulu

Sankranthi Rangoli – Muggulu

Ugadi

The Next important festival for us is Ugadi.  Ugadi is usually celebrated in March and it is considered to be Telugu New year.

We prepare a special dish called ‘Ugadi Pachadi’ on that day, which has 6 different flavors/ tastes. This is to remember that life is full of ups, downs, bitterness, happiness and a mixed bag of feelings.

Ugadi Pachadi made with the following flavors is my favorite.

salt (salty-ness), jaggery (sweet), neem flowers (bitterness), tamarind/ mango (sourness), banana (tardy ness) and green chilies (spice).

Ugadi Pachadi

Ugadi Pachadi

We also prepare Pulihora (Rice item spiced with tempering) and Mango dal on that day.

We follow a tradition of listening to “Panchaga sravanam” which is a future prediction told by pandits reading the panchangam (predictions written for different zodiac signs).

Sreerama Navami

Sreerama Navami is celebrated on the 9th day after the beginning of the new year.  We pray Lord Rama on this day.

We prepare Panakam (a drink made with water, pepper , nd jaggery) which is good to beat the summer heat.

In Bhadrachalam, Seetha rama kalyanam (A marriage of God Rama and Goddess Sita) is celebrated on that day and many devotees attend the event.

Read more about the festival here.

Sita rama kalyanam

srirama navami

Varalakshmi Vratham

We celebrate Varalakshmi vratham/ Pooja in August. Married women usually do pooja and fast the whole day.  Like many other festivals, we prepare a lot of dishes to offer God and later we feast. Some famous items are Garelu, Boorelu, Payasam, and pulihora.

Read more about the festival here.

Vinayaka Chavithi

Vinayaka Chavithi is another major festival where the whole family participates together. Vinayaka Chavithi is a festival celebrated to pray Lord Ganesha who is worshipped to ensure new beginnings and avoid all hurdles in the path of success.

We usually buy a clay idol of Lord Ganesha, hang all types of fruits above the God on a wooden structure called palavelli and perform pooja. We also prepare many tasty dishes like talukalu (made with rice flour and jaggery and milk), pulihora, chalividi (sweet made with rice flour and jaggery) etc.,

Read more about the festival here.

Dasara

Dasara is a festival celebrated around September where we pray Goddess Durga for 9 days. Women also chant “Lalitha sahasranamam” (religious chant) every evening on those 9 days.  We set idols in a step pattern for display and we call this “Bommala Koluvu”.

Read more about the festival here.

Dussehra

Dussehra

Deepavali

The last and the most exciting festival of the year is Deepavali. Deepavali means an array of lights.

This festival is celebrated to signify the win of Good over evil.  We prepare rangolis with flowers, light lamps and illuminate our houses with lights.

We pray Goddess Lakshmi on that day for wealth and prosperity.  We also prepare a lot of yummy sweets like Kaju barfi and gulab jamun.

We burst firecrackers too. Yes, it’s a lot of fun. 🙂

Deepavali Fire crackers

Deepavali Fire crackers

Read more about the festival here.

We also celebrate festivals like Maha Siva ratri, Nagula chanviti, and Atlathaddi.

So, that’s about some of the major festivals celebrated by Telugu people. People from Andhra Pradesh talk the Telugu language. Share all the festivals you celebrate in the comments below.

 

 

 

Have Your Kids Played All These Classic Party Games?

Have Your Kids Played All These Classic Party Games?

I am a mom of 2 boys. Thus, there are two mandatory birthday parties at my house every year. In addition to Cake cutting, snacks, balloons, friends, and gifts, I want to celebrate their birthdays in a special way. I want my children and their friends to enjoy the day. Thus, the idea of party games came to me. I decided that I would choose some age-appropriate games for them to play and give them some surprise gifts. Here are 10 birthday party games for kids which are on my list.

Birthday Party Games

 

Picture Bingo :

We all know Bingo, right? If there are children below 5 years are playing the game, it is better to go with picture bingo instead of word Bingo. There are a lot of free websites which can be used to generate Bingo card templates with the pictures that we want like animals, birds, alphabets etc. If we can take a print out of these Bingo cards along with call-out sheet which has all images, we are ready to start the game. Bingo will easily take 30 mins of time and kids will surely love this.

Instructions and the printable BIngo cards can be found here.

Make a Garland :

This game is good for below 7 years old. Each kid is given a cup with beads and one craft stick. They have to insert beads into the stick as many as they can within a half minute. So, if we have enough cups and sticks, this game can be played by multiple kids at the same time. Whoever makes a long garland with more beads win. You can get all this craft material in any Dollar store.

Separation Anxiety :

This is another game with multicolor beads and cups. You can also play this with colorful pins and cups. We give a cup with multicolor beads/ pins to each child. We should provide enough cups/ just disposable classes for all colors available. Within a minute or half a minute, kids have to separate beads/pins to each color cup. All blues in one cup, all reds in another, so on..

Whoever could separate more beads/ pins correctly will win.

Castle with cups :

This is one more “One Minute” game. And we just need paper cups, nothing more than that. We can ask kids to form a castle with cups placing one above the other with a base of 5 cups minimum. Whoever builds to more height without any cup falling, wins.

Cups – One over the other :

Handover at least 15 red cups and one blue cup – all placed one above the other with the blue cup on the top to each kid. With the timer on, each kid should remove one cup from the top and keep it at the bottom, remove next cup from the top and keep it at the bottom and so on until the blue cup comes to the top. Whoever does it quickly, will win. We can get the colored cups in any dollar store.

A bowl with balls :

You need a bowl/ disposable lightweight bowl, cotton balls and a disposable spoon for this. The kid has to place the bowl on his/ her head and can hold it with one hand. With the other hand, he/she should take one cotton ball at a time with the spoon and put them in the bowl. Since cotton balls easily fly off and fall, it takes time to focus and win. If any cotton ball falls down, it should be ignored and the game should be continued. Within a minute, whoever can put more balls in the bowl will win.

Flying Fish :

This is a super fun game with just a plain paper cut as fish and a paper plate. You make a fish with plain white paper (by cutting it in the fish shape) and place it on the floor. Each kid has to sway the paper plate to move the paper fish. With the air generated by the paper plate, the paper fish will move. They win if they can move the paper fish to a certain distance.

Duck Duck Goose :

Managing more than 10 children is tough as they become naughty and talk with each other. I asked for other parents to help though. Group/ team games are always better than individual games as it is easy to manage them while all of them focus on the game.

Duck Duck Goose is a classic game where all kids sit in a circle and one person who is a Goose will walk through the circle. While The Goose is going through the circle, he/ she will touch each kid head saying Duck/ Goose. The chosen person should try to catch the Goose before he/ she sits. Check this wiki link for detailed instructions of the game.

Musical Chairs :

This is another classic game that always works in any party. We arrange chairs (one less than the number of kids) and play music on TV while kids walked around slowly. We pause the music in the middle, kids have to sit in the chair near to them leaving one behind who is out of the game. Here is a link on detailed instructions for the game.

Lemon and Spoon :

Who doesn’t know this classic race game? This is inexpensive too with just spoons and lemons. For younger children below 2 years age, you can try cotton ball on the spoon. This classic race game is fun for all the kids.

So, those were my party game ideas which are not expensive to organize or implement. What do you say?

Mahathi Ramya is a mom of 2 boys, a blogger, software testing professional and a classical dance teacher. She writes on books, travel, and parenting. She loves writing, traveling and painting a lot. You can find more of her work on Fantastic Feathers.
10 Birthday Party Games for kids

10 Birthday Party Games for kids

4 Ways to Make Saving Money on Grocery Fun

4 Ways to Make Saving Money on Grocery Fun

We all want to save money for our future. Saving money ensures financial stability and security. Because of our busy schedules, saving money on regular grocery purchases might be time-consuming and challenging. Fortunately, there are many apps which are 100% free to use on our smartphones that help in saving money. I have tried out a few of them and here is a list of 4 apps that work for me and are easy to use.

And they are such a fun way to make saving money on grocery fun. After all, who doesn’t want to use all that time on their phones for a great cause … adding to their own savings!

  1. Receipt Hog

It is very easy to earn money with Receipt Hog. We can snap any receipt (grocery/ restaurant/ fuel bills), get points for every receipt and a few bonus points for some receipts. These points can be redeemed to gift vouchers like Amazon or restaurant gift cards or converted to cash through PayPal.

Receipt Hog

The simple design makes it easy to take a photo of the receipt in a few seconds. Since it accepts all types of receipts including fuel and restaurant bills, this app is better than all other money-saving apps. There are different levels that each user will be assigned to depending on how many receipts he/ she is submitting in a month. As we reach higher levels, we get more bonus points for each submitted receipt.

Receipt Hog is not accepting applications as of now, but keeps the new users on the wait list and will approve later. So, check for updates @ https://app.receipthog.com/portal

2. Ibotta

This app works best for regular grocery shopping. There are many apps which will give rebates/cash back for grocery purchases, but usually, the rebates will be on specific products or brands. But, the specialty of Ibotta is that it sometimes provides cash back for any purchase/ any generic purchase like any yogurt brand/ milk brand etc., A cashback of $0.25 is given for any receipt monthly twice or so. So, whatever we buy, we get cash back regularly. If we buy the specific brands recommended by them, we might get more cash back of course.

Ibotta

I have been using this app for 2 years and I usually get $20 gift card every 6 months. This might not be a great way of earning money, but more shopping = more cash back. Ibotta app directly shows the cash back and total in our account and when it reaches $20, we have several options to choose from. We can choose gift cards for all famous restaurants/ amazon gift cards/ gift cards from major retail stores.

Here is my referral link to sign up on Ibotta.

3. National Consumer Panel (NCP)

This is the most reliable app though it is not as easy to use as the above apps. NCP is a market research company which is a joint venture between IRi and Neilsen. When we apply and get selected for the panel, they send a scanning device. We have to scan each and every product purchased and can enter every grocery purchase through scanning device by scanning barcodes. For every grocery receipt that we scan, we earn some points and the accumulated points can be used to buy any products in NCP website/ or buy gift cards for movies/ restaurants/ clothing retailers. The process might seem tedious initially, but it will take only 5 to 10 mins of our time to scan the products and transmit the data.

National consumer panel

When compared to other apps, we get more points for every purchase through NCP. After a few days, NCP will let us return their device and allows us to use their app to scan purchases, which is a lot easier to use by the way. After using NCP scanner for about a year, now I am using NCP mobile app. Sometimes, they also send some surveys, by answering which will give a few more bonus points.

There is no referral program as of now. Here is the link where you can apply to become a member. It might take some time to get approved as a panel member and there is a possibility that you might not be approved at all.

4. Walmart app

If you are in the USA, I assume, you do a lot of regular shopping at Walmart. You might have known that there is an app for the retailer. But, do you know that there is a feature called ‘Savings catcher’? This is the wonderful feature that can save money on regular purchases.

Walmart savings catcher

Savings catcher works this way –

  1. We scan the receipt in ‘Savings catcher’ section.
  2. Walmart compares the prices of all items we purchased at Walmart with the prices at other stores. If there is any price difference – say, Kohls has the same item for the lesser price, Walmart issues the cash back of difference amount.
  3. If the price is less at Walmart than other stores, we might not get any cash back.
  4. The accumulated cash back can be set up as Walmart pay and can be used for our next purchases at Walmart.

So, this feature indirectly does a price match for us. I was surprised to receive more than $40 till now from Walmart because of Savings Catcher.

So, these are the apps that help me in saving money on my regular grocery purchases. Did you try any of these? Let me know in comments.

Also, do let me know of other money-saving apps. I will be happy to try.

Mahathi Ramya is a mom of 2 boys, a blogger, software testing professional and a classical dance teacher. She writes on books, travel, and parenting. She loves writing, traveling and painting a lot. Your can find more of her work on Fantastic Feathers. 

PS: This post contains a few referral links and I might receive a commission when someone signs up with those links.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1433837033306425/

 

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Teaching Mother tongue

Teaching the Mother Tongue to Children in a Foreign Country

Being bilingual is beneficial for children. People who know more than one language have better problem-solving skills and are good at decision making as per the latest research. If you are like me, who relocated to a foreign country, do you feel difficult to teach mother tongue to your kids?

When we moved to the USA 2 years ago, we visited a doctor for a regular checkup for my kids, the doctor asked if my toddler can speak/ understand 2 languages. I said, “yes”. She told me that it is good for the development of children to learn more than one language and she encouraged me to continue teaching 2 languages to my children. But, Teaching the mother tongue to children in a foreign country is not that easy as everyone around our kids speak one language which influences them more. My children speak English fluently with friends and teachers and converse in “Telugu” (our mother tongue – a South Indian Language) at home.

Here is a post on a few tips for the parents staying in foreign countries to teach mother tongue to their children.

Teaching Mother tongue

1. Speak the mother tongue at home:

Learning always starts at home for children. If we speak in our native language to our kids, they tend to catch the words and use them. The only way to teach a new language is to get them exposed to the vocabulary in that language. By constantly listening to the language at home, children learn quickly. Start with teaching simple instructions like – “Switch on the light” and get them familiar with basics like greeting others, asking for help, requesting and thanking someone.

2. Make writing the new language a part of their homework:

If we have to separately teach Telugu at our home, it is tough as the concentration levels of children below 7 years is not more than 20 to 30 mins. So, I make it a part of their homework. After finishing their class homework, they spend only 10 mins writing the Telugu alphabets. After the children learn all the alphabets we can move to forming words and sentences and making them write simple words like their name, some objects/ toys they like etc.,

3. Read stories in native language:

Reading stories is the best way to teach anything to the children. They focus and understand better when anything is narrated as a story. So, get some books of your native language and read them daily. This way, they catch the new words and sentences and even try to use them when they speak.

4. Encourage and Correct their mistakes then and there:

When children try a new language, they are hesitant if they are using right words or not. So, encourage them to speak and help them with the vocabulary. If they use wrong words/ make mistakes while speaking, gently correct them then and there, so that they won’t forget. Use the language that they are comfortable with(like English) as a medium to teach new words and their meanings so that they can correlate both the languages easily.

5. Use tools/ aids to support learning:

We can make use of word games to encourage kids to learn new words. Crossword puzzles, word jumble, and Pictionary are some of the fun ways to teach languages. We can ask kids to identify the letters, form sentences using specific words and even ask them to give an impromptu speech for one minute on their favorite topic. Watching movies in our native language also improves vocabulary to a great extent.

Click here to download our comprehensive checklist. A great tool to make sure your kids speak their native language. 

Numerous studies have shown that learning more than one language can improve brain function and can help in multitasking. It is surprising to know that being bilingual also slows the aging process.

Can your children speak 2 languages? Do you encourage them to learn a new language? If you are in a foreign country, do you teach your children your mother tongue? Let me know if any of my tips find helpful.

 Mahathi Ramya is a mom of 2 boys, a blogger, software testing professional and a classical dance teacher. She writes on books, travel, and parenting. She loves writing, traveling and painting a lot.
Andhra Cuisine - Spicy and flavorful

Andhra Cuisine – Spicy and flavorful

Food is an important part of any culture. The methods of preparation of food, preservation, and types of food eaten vary from culture to culture. As part of retaining our culture, I try to learn about different foods that were part of our culture and try to prepare them. I am from Andhra Pradesh, a state in Southern India. Andhra cuisine is famous for the spicy and flavorful dishes. Andhra is one of the major producers of Red chilies and Rice, thus our staple food is rice and spicy curries.

5 New Age Parenting Rules that I Follow

5 New Age Parenting Rules that I Follow

Parenting has been changing a lot from generations to generations. The main point is the safety of the children, which is same across the generations. But we, as parents are seeking effective ways to give the best to our children.

This generation parents have the luxury of learning more information about different types of parenting and tips through the internet and also get the advice from previous generations. While a few pieces of advice work or not, we learn a lot on this journey.

Are there any rules to parenting? Enjoy these special ones from Mahathi Ramaya

That’s how this post came into my mind. With my experience, learning from elders, friends and researching through the internet I have adopted some parenting rules. Here are a few:

  1. Being Active With Kids 

Nowadays, parents are as active as kids and are spending more time with them. I think, one of the best gifts that we can give our children is our time and many parents started implementing that. I am always physically active whole day even when I was working and also now when I am a stay at home mom.

I enjoy reading books to them, watching animation movies, making crafts together with kids and taking them to the library and many social events and play dates. Our children have more toys and tools to play with when compared to our generation.

I really appreciate them playing with building blocks/ legos with their imagination knowing no boundaries. I join the fun whenever I can.

Being active with kids and spending more time is beneficial to both me and kids as I get to teach them well while participating in their fun activities. I also get more bonding time with them.

2. Encouraging Imagination

In our childhood, there was much focus on academics. But, in this generation, I feel, there should be more focus on individual thinking, decision making, and imagination. I make it a rule to let my kids explore new things and think creatively. Encouraging imagination will develop creative skills.

Gifting kitchen sets, tool sets, car repair sets, doctor sets are very useful in encouraging their imagination. My kids build anything that they see outside with legos and building blocks like a cable car they saw on their last vacation or a snowmobile they tried once. There is really no limit on what children can imagine and be able to construct them.

Imagination, Parenting

Encouraging Imagination

3. Making Screen time effective

Don’t get me wrong when I say TV is not an idiot box. That was an old saying. But, since we have smart TVs at most of our homes, if used effectively, TV is not that bad. So, instead of restricting screen time, we make it useful. We reduced watching cartoons and started watching documentaries on how cars are made, how things work, how food is made etc.

We also watch travel documentaries to know about different places and cultures. Watching ‘Food Factory’ episodes helped my children to understand that food goes through a lot of processes before coming to our table.

This helped me to teach my kids not to waste food and also to teach them about health benefits of a few food items. Since ours is smart TV, we also watch Youtube channels of science videos for kids and how to videos on crafts and arts.

4. More Outdoor Play

I think this is the parenting rule that I am taking back from our childhood. We used to play at least an hour after school in the evening. Cycling, playing hide and seek, tag, and play, tossing the ball, Biking, skateboarding, swimming etc., – we have a lot of options for outdoor play if weather permits.

This brings children close to their friends and they will know the importance of being gentle and sharing with others. Unfortunately, the weather doesn’t permit all the time here to play outside due to snow and cool conditions. So, We utilize the Spring and summer to maximum to cover up.

5. Not being over-protective

I see that this generation parents are over-protective about their kids. I supervise my kids when they play/ run or do anything, but I don’t run to stop them doing something. I just guide and I am ok if they fail. My responsibility is only to encourage them to keep going and learning from failures but not protecting them completely from failures.

If we are not teaching responsibility to our kids and micromanaging/organizing everything for them ahead, it leads them to failure in the future. Parents might not live long to be with children all the time and so, our responsibility for our children is to make them self-reliant. I feel it is better to make our children aware of the harsh realities of the current world than keeping them safe in a bubble.

What are your new age parenting rules? What rules work for you? Do let me know in comments.

 

 Mahathi Ramaya Raising World Children Mahathi Ramya is a mom of 2 boys, a blogger, software testing professional and a classical dance teacher. She writes on books, travel, and parenting. She loves writing, traveling and painting a lot.

 

 

 

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Ugadi - A Festival Marking a New Year This Spring Season

Ugadi – A Festival Marking a New Year This Spring Season

In India, we celebrate a lot of festivals. Ugadi is celebrated by people of Andhra Pradesh to signify the Telugu New year. Universally, we follow English Gregorian Calendar. But as per Hindu Lunar calendar, “Ugadi” marks the first day of the year from the month Chaithra. “Ugadi” means “Begining of a new period”. This day also signifies the beginning of the Spring season.

While the people of Andhra celebrate the new year as ‘Ugadi’, People from other states like Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and Maharashtra celebrate this festival with different names and different traditions.

Happy Ugadi

Like most of the festivals, we wake up early on that day, take hair wash and bath, wear new dresses and perform pooja to God. We prepare Ugadi Pachadi and we eat with a hope for a new year which is a combination of different emotions (happiness, sorrow, challenges, and surprises).

Some traditions that Telugu people follow on Ugadi:

Ugadi Pachadi:

Our life is a combination of happiness, sorrow, and many other emotions. So, we have a tradition to recognize and remember this fact about life. We prepare a dish mixed with 6 different ingredients with 6 different tastes and eat it on that day.

Each taste signifies a specific emotion.

Jaggery (Sweet) – Happiness
Neem flowers (bitter) – Sorrow
Mango (tangy) – Surprises and new challenges
Tamarind (Sour) – Challenges
Salt (salty) – interest in life
Green chilies (Spicy) – Anger

Ugadi Pachadi

Panchanga Sravanam:

Usually, people gather at temples or at any public places to listen to an Astrologer’s predictions about the state of life in the new year, social and economic situation of the country, well being of the place etc., The knowledgeable Astrologers predict the turn of events in future as per the movement of celestial bodies in the space. Nowadays, we listen to these predictions on TV of-course 🙂

Delicacies:

We prepare a lot of tasty dishes on that day and have a feast with friends and family. Pulihora (Lemon rice), Mango chutney, bobbatlu (A sweet flatbread) and Boorelu (Rice flour balls stuffed with jaggery and dal) are worth a mention.

Ugadi

Bobbatlu

After all, Every festival is a way to get together with family and friends and spend some good time. Also, these festivals are to understand the significance of old traditions and pass them on to our next generations. Won’t you agree?

Boorelu

Have a Happy Ugadi to you all 🙂

  Mahathi Ramya is a mom of 2 boys, a blogger, software testing professional and a classical dance teacher. She writes on books, travel, and parenting. She loves writing, traveling and painting a lot.

 

5 Interesting Facts To Teach Kids about Butterflies

5 Interesting Facts To Teach Kids about Butterflies

March 14th is the National Butterfly day. There is a lot to learn from butterflies.

You might have heard this saying:

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.

This is so true for our children. We don’t know how they could turn into when they grow up, if nourished with care.

The butterflies are also an inspiration to us to adapt to the change.

Without change, there would be no butterflies.

Let’s see some interesting facts today about butterflies :

  1. The Hungry Caterpillar

Did you hear the story of the hungry caterpillar? It’s true after all. The first meal that caterpillars have is the shell in which they are hatched. When many caterpillars eat on a plant, we can actually hear a lot of munching noise that they make. Most caterpillars are herbivores (plant eaters).

2. Butterfly is an insect

Butterflies are actually insects. Orange and black Monarch Butterflies are the most commonly found species in America. They communicate with each other by scents and colors. They change the color of their wings to bright orange to warn the predators that they are poisonous.

At Butterfly Pavilion in Denver, CO, USA

3. Butterflies cannot fly if temperature is below 55 degrees Fahrenheit

Butterflies work well if their internal body temperature is 82 degrees F and the wings cannot function if it is too cold for them. So, they cannot fly and search for food either if the temperatures go below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Monarch butterflies are cold-blooded.

4. Butterflies taste with their feet

Since butterflies have taste sensors on their feet, they stand on plants and decide if that plant is good to lay eggs. Thay will choose a plant through which caterpillars can feed on. Another interesting fact is that most of the adult butterflies cannot chew or bite.

At Butterfly Pavilion in Denver, CO, USA

5. The eyes of butterflies are made of 6000 lenses and they can see ultraviolet rays

Butterflies have 2 different types of eyesights – Single and compound. While single sight is mainly to determine the brightness of light, the compound sight is the main eyesight to search for food.They can see light in the wavelengths ranging from 250 to 600 nm which includes ultraviolet rays. Human beings can see light in the wavelengths of 450 to 700 nm only.

Aren’t these facts interesting?

The butterflies are not only beautiful creatures with bright colored wings but also insects with some special abilities. Don’t you agree?

Teach your kids these interesting facts about Butterflies on March 14th . #Nationalbutterflyday

 Mahathi Ramya Raising world children Mahathi Ramya is a mom of 2 boys, a blogger, software testing professional and a classical dance teacher. She writes on books, travel, and parenting. She loves writing, traveling and painting a lot.

 

Garden of the Gods park

5 Best Places to Visit in Colorado Springs with Kids

Colorado Springs is a beautiful mountain town in Colorado state in the USA. It has many places to attract tourists and it is a nature lover’s paradise.

When I first visited this place a year ago, I fell in love with the mountains around the town. Nature seems beautiful even in winter with snow. There are a lot of places which kids will love. Here is a list of the best 5 places we enjoyed visiting with our kids.

  1. Pikes Peak Cog railway

Most of the kids enjoy the train rides. When the train goes to a mountain peak called “Pikes Peak” which is at 14,500 ft above sea level, it’s an incredible experience. This 3 hrs 15 mins round trip is never to be missed if you are visiting Colorado Springs. The trip to the peak offers fantastic views of valleys, lakes, forests and, waterfalls. If you are lucky, you might get a sight of animals like bighorn sheep, elks and squirrels. The summit has a gift shop and café to refresh. The donuts sold at the peak are crispy and delicious.

  1. Royal Gorge Bridge

Does your kid love a Gondola ride? Then, this bridge and park in Canon city which is around 1 hr drive from Colorado Springs is not to be missed. Royal Gorge is one of the world’s tallest suspension bridges. The Gondola ride gives breathtaking views of the valley and Arkansas river in the canyon. A walk on the bridge is also nice with kids. The entry is $23 per adults and $18 per child above 2 years old.

  1. Garden of the Gods

This is a natural park with free admission. Your child might love to watch the red rock formations and predict the shapes of rocks. There is an option to try rock climbing for kids. Balanced rock is the main attraction of the place where one rock is balanced on the top of the other. The visitor center has a lot of educational information for children to learn about how the rocks are formed. There are many walking trails and hiking activities and this place is beautiful to visit in all the seasons.

4. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

At an elevation of 6800 ft above sea level, this is one of the highest zoos in America. This zoo is home to over 750 animals and 170 species of animals. There are many engaging exhibits for the kids and rides like carousel and skyline ride. Children can spot over 150 species of reptiles along with animals like snow leopard, tigers, giraffes, grizzly bears etc., Children will love feeding Giraffes. Admission is around $19.75 for adults and $14.75 for kids.

  1. Cave of the winds

These caves are millions of years old but discovered only in 1869. They have many limestone formations which are formed naturally over the years. The caves have regular tours to educate children and adults alike. The knowledgeable guides explain about cave geology and the differences between many limestone formations. There are adventurous rides as well like Bat-A-pult, wind walker challenge and Terror -Dactyle.

Stalactites inside the caves

I love this variety of tourist attractions here. A cave, A Mountain summit, A bridge, Natural rock formations and a zoo. Don’t you agree?

5 Best Places to Visit With Kids in Colorado Springs | Travel | kids | Family | Colorado

 

Mahathi Ramya Raising World Children - Where Cultures Meet Parenting Mahathi Ramya is a mom of 2 boys, a blogger, software testing professional and a classical dance teacher. She writes on books, travel, and parenting. She loves writing, traveling and painting a lot.