March 25, 2016

Finger painting

Colours and paint is something A loves to the core. Today, as we sat down, she started painting rhymes with brush and singing along. Later we moved to finger painting where I guided her to put dots around with her finger.

Colour with dots

Trace palm, sole and colour with dots

Watermelon, as she says, and sings along the rhyme 'Watermelon, Papaya'

Jack and Jill, Fruits rhyme and Itsy Bitsy spider that I could show her

Row, row, row your boat - by A

Santa Claus by A, sang jingle bells umpteen number of times

Colour the shapes

Tree by A

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Touch the aeroplane

A: Aeroplane goes zzzzzzzzzzz up in the sky

Me: Yes, up in the sky

A: Aeroplane goes zzzzzzzzzzz up in the sky

Me: yes, very high in the sky

A: Aeroplane goes zzzzzzzzzzz up in the sky. I will touch the aeroplane like this (pointing her fingers)

Me: You will touch? When? When the aeroplane is in the sky?

A: Yes, when it is in the sky, I will touch the aeroplane.

Me: Do you think you can reach the aeroplane when it is very high?

A: Ummm... you will lift me up like this and I will touch the aeroplane.


March 20, 2016

Colour the shapes

Draw shapes on a plain paper and ask your toddler to paste coloured powder/colour paper to fill in the shapes.

This time A wanted to do all of the tasks herself:

Draw shape
Apply glue
Paste paper/ Spread colour

Materials you could use for colour powder:

  • Rawa + food colour
  • Rangoli colours
  • Semolina + food colour

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Prick it

Materials Needed: Cardboard box, paper, glue, toothpick

Glue the edges of paper over an empty cardboard box. Prick the paper with toothpick to form tiny holes in it. Try guiding your child to prick forming various shapes.

I drew a circle and A pricked all over it.

I drew a standing line, but, A refused to prick over it, instead she pricked to form a sleeping line, as she says, but accidentally tore the paper right on the line.

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March 15, 2016

Parent vs Child - Sleep time

A hyper active A running around in the bed, singing rhymes and refusing to sleep.

Me: Time to sleep, how do you want to sleep?

A: Still running and jumping around in the bed

Me: Can you come to me, please?

A: Yes. (sat on my legs, facing me)

Me: Do you want a bed time story or song? Which story/song do you want? (giving her a few options to choose from)

A: Let's play this game (named one game that we play facing each other)

Me: OK. Next, we shall sleep.

(done with the game)

Me: Now, do you want story or song?

A: Let's play this game (same one played earlier)

Me: Now, do you want story or song?

A: Let's play this game (same one played earlier)

Me: Now, do you want story or song?

A: Let's play this game (same one played earlier)

Me: Now, do you want story or song?

A: Let's play this game (same one played earlier)

Me: OK. Next, we shall sleep.

(done with the game for some good number of times now)

A: Let's play this game (same one played earlier)

Me: Is it night now?

A: Yes, good night time

Me: Did you see the moon?

A: Yes

Me: Did you see the stars?

A: Yes

Me: It is sleeping time, shall we sleep ?

A: Let's play this game (same one played earlier)

Me: Look at me, can I hug you?

A: Yes

A: Now, I will hug you

A: wohooo, I hugged you very tightly !! (gatttiga in telugu)

Me: Yes, yes, you did

Me: It has gotten dark, it is sleeping time, let's sleep now, wake up in the morning and play all new games.

A: Sleeping time, yes

Me: See, you're very tired

A: (leaning over my shoulder)

A: I will kiss you

Me: I will too

A: Let me hug you

A: Sing this song for me

Me: continued with whatever she asked for

A, very quietly slept after a short while.

During this time, it can be noticed that there is a lot of effort in convincing and getting a hyper active kid up to your shoulders. This itself consumes more time than the actual putting-to-sleep process. During this effort, if your child finds you irritating or threatening, the later actual putting-to-sleep process becomes difficult. When she finds you unwelcoming, irritating, it is natural that she tends to move away from you. Threatening a child makes her feel insecure which leads to not wanting to close her eyes how much ever tired she is that ultimately makes her more tired, cranky and difficult to handle.

Dear parent, whenever the child is hyper, it is you who has to calm down and pass on this trait of yours to your child - this is how your child learns behavioural traits from you.

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Clipping on clothes pegs

Materials needed: Cardboard, clothes pegs

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Fun with flour

Materials needed: Corn flour, food colour, water, bowl, glasses - 2

Mix in the cornflour, food colour and water while asking your toddler to stir in her hand through the mixture. It is a different texture for them to experience.

Then, you can ask her to pour out the liquid from one glass to another.

Meanwhile, the flour starts to settle down at the bottom of the vessel leaving watery part on the top. So, keep asking your child to stir through the mixture in a while.

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Will you fly high?

A: Look, pigeon, it's flying high

Me: Yes, it is high in the sky

A: haan, sky!

Me: Will you fly too?

A: yes, I will fly

Me: Oh! How will you fly?

A: (flapping her hands vigorously while running some distance) this way I will fly

Me: In the sky?

A: Yes up in the sky!

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March 14, 2016

Tracing with paint brush

This activity involves colour, brush, hands and mess. Kids will surely love this.

Materials needed: Chart Paper, sketch pen, paint brush, colour, wall hooks

Long time back, I had written A-Z, 0-9 on a chart paper when ananya used to crawl over it to identify the alphabets and numbers. I happened to notice that chart paper somewhere down the rack when I opened it up for another activity.

Hang the chart paper on the wall and ask your toddler to write/paint over the letters/numbers with the paint brush.

Explain the shape of each alphabet/number (as you hover over it with your finger) while she gets her brush towards the chart.

H - two standing lines and one sleeping line in the middle
A - two slanting lines and one sleeping line
O - one round
D - one standing line and one curved line

similar way for other letters and numbers

Tracing the number 7

Tracing the number 1

Tracing the number 3

Tracing the letter O

Tracing the letter V

Tracing the letter W

Tracing the letter T

Continued tracing many other alphabets - the end result is this:

And when she wanted to put her hand in the colour - this is what we did. She first drew a BIG round, as she says, then some design and later hand print.

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March 09, 2016

Child vs Parent - Conflicting Needs at the Moment

This is one conversation with A which is typical of many kids this age and the way you handle their needs plays crucial role in their developing behaviour.

6:58 PM
Me: Just got up to serve dinner

A: (tired, crying tone) I want painting

Me: Yes, sure, shall we paint after having some food

A: I Want painting

Me: Hugging A. Sure, do you want to paint and then have food or eat and then paint?

A: I want painting

Me: (carried along her) Which colour do you want to paint? BTW, Do you want to know what's there for dinner? (excited tone)

Me: (showed her the curry) it is raw banana!! Do you just want to taste it? We can paint as soon as we finish this.

A: (seated comfortably) I want painting

Me: Yes sure, but, we cannot paint while eating. Shall we quickly finish this off?

A: (looking at the plate reluctantly)

Me: Do you want to bite on a smaller piece or a bigger one?

A: biiiiiiiiiiig

Me: Ok, here it is

A: now, smaaaaaaaall

Me: Yes, smaaaaall, take this one, Do you want to take it your self?

A: (established comfort level with the food) I'll take this one, you take the smaller piece amma

A: A has big piece, amma has small piece, but amma big A small

A: Chewing on a big piece, spits out some part of it

Me: ok, you didnt like it? leave it, take another piece, whichever you want. (Do not yell, do not get irritated)
I notice that it was a very big piece she had taken earlier and she felt it was little undercooked in the inside, though it was evenly cooked. Respect her views as well, because she need not have the same views as I have every time.

A: continues to eat

Me: OK, ill get charu(this is a liquid dish mixed in rice)

A: I will have it myself with spoon, you don't hold it.

Me: Be careful, it will spill over

A: being very slow while eating

Me: I observe what she is doing and why she was slow. The charu being a liquid item beingat a very low level in her plate, she was not able to take a full spoon of it when the plate was kept horizontal. She tried to tilt the plate and noticed that the level of charu came up at one side of the plate. Bit of it also spilled over. Yes, from a parent's eye, she may be playing. But, no, she is learning. Again from parent's eye, she might have spilled over. But, she didn't do it knowingly. She didn't know it would leak off from the edge when she tilted the plate.
If you had yelled or just ignored her, she continues to tilt the plate leading to spill out the entire food. Instead, if you had observed what she was doing and explained to her that, it is a liquid and it cannot be held hard, if you over tilt it, it will spill out, tilt it only to the desired level and so on. She is sure to learn something out of it, practice her learning positively and build trust in her parent that you are always there to guide her.

This learning is very much different from the reaction you get out of yelling or ignoring your child.

Me: (got curd rice) Shall we have some curd?

A: I want krishna book

Me: Aren't your hands wet/untidy? Do you want to hold the book?

A: I'll wipe them off with cloth, I want krishna book

Me: OK, getting it

Instead of only telling to do this and that and all the fifty rules, try posing questions to your child. Ask her if she can handle it. She will herself do what you wanted her to do. If I had yelled at her saying, 'no book now, your hands are dirty or this is not the time or first dinner then anything', it would seem like an order to her. Put yourself in her place and think over if you will really do whatever is being told by people around you.

Another example where questioning works is when she wants to lift/handle something that you fear will spoil if she drops it down. Ask your child to just see if she can really hold it hard or it's heavy for her. She will put her hand, try lifting one side and then leave it if she feels it is heavy. Do not restrict her, instead, questioning her will enhance her thinking and decision making ability.

Children learn by examples, patience, love, respect and not out of rules.

Yes, she happily started painting after finishing her dinner. Once you notice your child is tired and is asking something that is not feasible at that moment, all what is needed is a tight hug, soft voice and assurance that you will definitely give her what she wants. No force, no rolling on the floor, no getting upset. Everyone is cool.

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Stamping Activity

This is one activity that I had bought recently in which there were 6 animal stamps and a stamp pad. A  thoroughly enjoyed stamping all the animals and then continued stamping her finger impressions of both hands.

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Conscious Parenting - Empathy

It is very important to know what you talk and how you react when with children.

Any 2 year old does not have a fully developed brain to think from another person's perspective and act accordingly. Young children do not have the ability to empathise with others. 'Being empathetical' is an ability that children develop gradually as they enter their third or fourth year and most importantly based on their early childhood experiences.

This is when the importance of conscious parenting is realised. To teach a child empathy, you have to empathize with her in her early years, when she was upset with something, when she simply screams because she was not able to open the lid, when she was rolling on the floor, when she wanted the toy that was not practically reachable, when she wanted to play something that was not possible at that moment, when she doesn't want to leave her sand play, when she doesn't want to come out at the end of her bath, when she wants to have some snacks right at her dinner time and many other instances when she wants to do something that is not acceptable by you as a parent.

For example, when she suddenly yells out because she was trying to open a lid and it doesn't open as it got stuck somewhere. Or, she was trying to close a drawer while she hurt her finger and there's a screeching cry. Or, she returns from park, reaches the entrance of your flat and then suddenly rolls on the floor asking to take her back to the park. How do you react? Do you also yell at the child saying, 'why do you want to do all this? Can't you just leave it there? OK, its your wish, I am leaving, you can stay there.' etc. If you had reacted so, remember that the child is learning to react the same way when she encounters similar situations in her life. You are teaching your child to react in that manner.

Being conscious of what you speak and how you react is very important. 

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