learninghousejaipur

nurture the uniqueness in your child…

Practice the Fine Art of Observation through Nature Walk!

Get ready to experience nature with your senses!

Take your child for a nature walk, even just around the backyard and let it become an opportunity to practice the fine art of observation. Just focus on these tips-

SIGHT

Take the time to really look at the world around you.  Walk slowly.  Your purpose is the journey and not a destination.

Some questions to ask your child:

  • What does the sky look like today?
  • What does the ground look like?
  • What animals can we see?
  • Any there any insects?  Birds?
  • What do the trees look like?
  • What colors do you see?
  • Have there been any changes since yesterday/your last walk?

A walk together is a good time for talking with your child, and we do encourage you to do that, of course.  But make an effort to spend some time in silence, too.

SMELL

Ask your child to tell you about what they can smell on your walk together.

  • Flowers and vegetable plants
  • Dirt
  • Grass, leaves
  • Is there a farm nearby?  Animals?

TOUCH

Pick up the stone that catches your eye, crumble a leaf in your fingers, run your hands over the bark of a tree. What do you feel?

Encourage your child to describe what they are sensing, not just with their hands, but their whole bodies.

  • Temperature – compare the hot sun on your shoulders with the coolness of the shade
  • Is there any wind today?  Can you feel a breeze?
  • Pick up some rocks – are they smooth? rough?
  • Pinch some soil between your fingers – is is sandy? or does it stick together, like clay?

 

Keep a nature journal and encourage your child to record (through words or pictures) the things they experience on your walks.

 

Remember, you’ll both be glad you did!

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3 games to learn about animals

To toddlers and preschoolers, animals are endlessly fascinating, mostly because they seem just as silly, noisy, and cute as little kids. They’re even easy and fun to imitate — one reason most toddlers can moo soon after they say “Mama.” Lots of tots are eager to learn about their furry or feathered friends (especially if you already have a pet), so try a few of these animal activities to boost your child’s knowledge of the natural world.

Eat like an animal.

Turn snack time into a lesson on what animals eat by filling a muffin tin with animal-friendly snacks: berries for bears, pumpkin seeds for birds, sliced bananas for monkeys, or baby carrots for rabbits. As your munchkin munches, have him try to guess which animals prefer each food — he can even match the treat to a lineup of pictures you’ve printed out. (Add a few sneaky snacks, like mini marshmallows — your little one will think it’s hilarious that they’re a favorite of those junk-food fiends, raccoons.)

Build your own zoo.

Most kids have a menagerie of stuffed animals, so why not give these furry friends a home? Brainstorm the perfect habitat, like a mixing bowl of (imaginary) water for his stuffed seal or cut out some brown construction paper to create a mud puddle for his plush pig. Group animals from similar places: sea creatures in one corner, barnyard critters in another. When you’ve finished your DIY zoo, take the grand tour together.

Do a dance.

Your munchkin probably loves to get her groove on, so the next time you turn on the tunes to dance, transform the party into an animal activity. Take turns calling out different creatures to imitate. The two of you can waddle like a penguin, prance like a deer, lumber like a bear, or slither like a snake. To boost more large-motor skills, see if your tot can balance on one leg like a flamingo, tiptoe like a giraffe, or climb up the couch like a chimpanzee.

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Tell your Kids the Story of Dusshera!

Dussehra, also called Vijayadashmi which is the culmination of the nine-day Navaratri celebrations. It is a festival that marks the killing of Ravana, his son Meghanatha and brother Kumbhakarna, by Rama. It is seen as the victory of good over evil.

The Ramayana

The epic Ramayana, describes the story of Rama. Rama was the exiled prince of the kingdom of Ayodhya. While in exile, he lived in the forest with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana. One day Sita was abducted by Ravana, the demon king of Lanka. Rama, assisted by an army of monkeys and Lakshmana, attacked Lanka to rescue her.

Rama, Sita & laxmana went to exile for 14 years

Ravana, comes in the guise of a sanyasi Bhikshu and forced Sita to cross laxman Rekha

Ravana abducted Sita

Ram meets Hanuman


Hanuman leaps to lanka in search of Sita

Hanuman meets Sita at Ashok Van

Havoc in Lanka by Hanuman

Rama killed Kumbhkarna

 

Rama killed Ravana

A fierce battle ensued between the two armies for many days. Rama found it very difficult to beat the mighty Ravana. So he prayed for nine days to nine different aspects of goddess Durga and accumulated enough strength to defeat Ravana. And thus today we celebrate Navratra for nine days to worship Goddess Durga.

Goddess Durga

Dussehra celebrates Rama’s victory over Ravana in a festival spread out over ten days. The story of Rama’s life is enacted in a folk art form called Ramlila. Every nook and corner has its own Ramlila, with millions of actors enacting it during Dussehra.

Dusshera celebration

The 10th day is one of fireworks. The final act of this drama is staged. Huge paper effigies stuffed with firecrackers, sometimes almost 100 feet high, of Ravana, his son and brother, are set ablaze. At the appointed hour, a person dressed as Rama, shoots flaming arrows at the effigies, which start to burn.

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Discipline strategies for parents

When your munchkin flashes that adorable grin or reaches up for a cuddle, it’s easy to forgive his mischievous ways — even if he’s pushed your buttons a dozen times today. Breaking rules and seeing how far he can push you is a big part of how your child learns — in fact, it’s his job. Your job? To act as rule-maker, limit-setter, explainer-in-chief of all things right and wrong. Sure, doling out discipline isn’t the fun part of parenting, but it is the basis on which happy citizens are built. So whether your tot is biting his buddies or about to earn an Oscar for a meltdown at the mall, at least one of these discipline strategies should help.

Remove the audience (aka you).

When tots start hungering for attention (or candy or that toy they just saw on TV), they’ll do whatever it takes to get it. Cue the manipulation tantrum (millions of kids can testify to its amazing powers of persuasion). Don’t give in — when your child launches one, calmly remove yourself from the situation and ignore him (just make sure he can’t hurt himself). It may take every ounce of zen you have, but this discipline strategy sends a clear message that this type of behavior is unacceptable and — maybe more important — ineffective.

Catch ’em being good.

There’s nothing like a healthy dose of praise to motivate a person, big or little. When you see your cutie cleaning up her toys without being asked 12 times or doing the deep-breathing trick you told her to try when she’s feeling frustrated, give her a shout-out for a job well done. It’ll show her that you’re really paying attention. Plus, your pride will encourage her to feel proud of her actions, too — an important first step in self-discipline. There’s one catch though: It’s important not to go overboard with praise, especially for things that don’t require much effort. As your child grows, start raising your standards of good behavior and she will too.

Distract, distract, distract.

You may think this discipline trick is effective only with babies and young toddlers, but it works with older toddlers and preschoolers too. As soon as you spot the windup to a meltdown (the whines, the quivering lip, the crocodile tears), enthusiastically change the subject. “Hey! Did you know your cousins are coming over tomorrow?” or “I totally forgot to show you something…come quick!” The surprising turn in your response may just be enough to snap your darling out of his downward spiral.

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Three ways to tackle tantrums

Toddler tantrums are a fact of life when you’ve got a one-, two-, or three-year-old in the house. Why? Put yourself in your sweetie’s little shoes. It can be really frustrating to be unable to say what you mean or watch your carefully built block tower topple because your hands aren’t steady. And while there are dozens of reasons why your munchkin might melt down, some are directly related to things you can fix. Obviously, if your toddler is hungry, offer him a snack. If he’s tired, put him down for a nap. But if he’s clearly just blowing off steam, it’s time to resort to trickier tactics to stop temper tantrums.

Yuk It Up

Method: See a toddler tantrum coming on? Quick, Mom, tame that tantrum with fun by doing something silly! Your darling won’t stand still for a diaper change? Put the (clean) diaper on your head. He refuses to drink his milk? Pick up a banana and make a phone call. He’s losing it for no apparent reason? Climb under the table with a book. Whoever heard of Mommy reading under the table?

Why it works: Laughter releases all sorts of feel-good chemicals in the brain and stifles the stress-causing ones. The best thing about getting a toddler to giggle is that it’s not all that hard. Tots find the unexpected especially funny, so doing something outside the usual routine will more often than not distract yours long enough to diffuse his tantrum.

Shhh…

Method: Your toddler is screaming at the top of his lungs. Instead of trying to out-yell him, start whispering. (Tip: This will work only if he’s looking at you.)

Why it works: As soon as your toddler realizes you’re talking, he’ll probably quiet down to try to figure out why you’re using your library voice. Just make sure to be saying something soothing: “As soon as you calm down, Mommy will help you find the missing puzzle piece,” or “I’m sorry you’re so mad. Why don’t we go for a walk?” Don’t rely on this trick too often though. Your child will eventually be on to your wily, whispery ways.

Hold On

Method: Pick him up and hug him firmly but gently.

Why it works: When a tantrum morphs from a minor meltdown to a full-blown screaming fit, no amount of silliness or reasoning or even non-reaction on your part is going to do the trick. If he’s that upset, he won’t be able to see you or hear you, so relying on the power of your touch can be soothing, especially since losing control can be scary for a little kid. That’s why being wrapped in your loving arms can calm down a crazed critter. (Sometimes a little hug therapy is the best way of all to tame a toddler tantrum — it’ll melt any anger or frustration you have, too.)

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3 easy recipes for kids

Cooking is a great learning experience. It promotes reading and following directions. It requires math skills, such as measuring and following a sequence. Fine motor skills are strengthened through pouring, scooping, cutting, and kneading.

It provides an opportunity to discuss where food comes from and healthy eating habits. Most children are more likely to try foods that they help prepare themselves. Getting children involved in meal preparation is a great way to expand their tastes.

Here are some healthy, easy, and yummy recipes even the smallest chefs can help prepare.

Waffle-wiches

Start with either homemade or frozen waffles. Cut a waffle in half, fill with favorite sandwich fixings and then put the other half on top. Give children choices for fillings and allow them to help assemble their own sandwich. These are great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! You can also try it with pancakes.

Smoothies

Encourage children to create their own recipes from a variety of fresh or frozen fruit. Throw it in a blender with milk or juice and blend into a frosty treat. Children love pressing the buttons on the blender. Add yogurt or peanut butter to increase the protein.

Stick It!

Set out a variety of food cut into bite-sized chunks. Options may include bread, cheese, leftover chicken, pineapple, green peppers, cherry tomatoes or whatever else you have on hand. Older children can handle wooden skewers, but drinking straws work great for the younger set. Children create their own balanced meal by sticking the chucks on their stick. Provide ranch dressing, honey mustard, or ketchup for dipping, if desired.

In addition to building great skills and healthy habits, cooking with kids also creates great memories!

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Chores for children

Think your toddler is too young to help around the house? Think again. Toddlers are the perfect age for pitching in — given their budding sense of independence and their desire to mimic everything you do. Of course, their help may slow you down, but resist the urge to finish the job yourself. By giving your child small chores, you’ll be boosting their confidence and making them feel like a valuable member of the family. Here are some age-appropriate chores for children, and tips for making them easy and fun:

Putting Away Toys: If the sight of all those blocks and stuffed animals all over the room makes you want to burst into tears, your toddler probably feels overwhelmed by the mess, too. Turn her into a pick-up artist by breaking the job down into manageable parts. Be specific — instead of telling her to clean up her stuffed animals, say, “Please take your teddy bear and put it on the shelf.” Or try to make a game out of cleaning up —”I’ll put the red cars away, you pick up the blue ones.” (You’ll be teaching her colors in the process!)

Watering Plants: Populating your rooms with plants is a simple way to detox your home. Your tot can definitely help out with watering duties. Let your toddler practice with a small plastic bottle or give him a little spray bottle of water and tell him to mist the plants s you do the pouring.

Putting Away Groceries: A toddler’s love of sorting things can also come in handy when it comes to putting away groceries. Let hims sort the fruits- apples in one bowl, oranges in another. He can also put the boxes and cans away on a low shelf, as long as you’re specific about what goes where. You can also point out interesting things about the groceries as he organizes them into smaller piles — mention that the apples are red or green, milk gives you calcium which is a bone-builder, etc.

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