Why you should also read paperbacks to your kids?

Why you should also read paperbacks to your kids?

If you have been following us and surfing through our website, you would have known that my toddler boy and I absolutely adore books.

We introduced books to him when he was 18-20 months old. We took him to the bookstores and kept browsing for books, while he got to touch the books and explored them.

Serious reading started few months later and he was introduced to a variety of picture books. What I realized was that most of the picture books came as board books.

While we moved on to story books, I was surprised that there were very limited options in board books category. That is when we fell in love with paperbacks.

Take it from a bookseller who comes across a 100 books each day โ€“ that paperbacks are the best. The best children books that I have found have always been in paperback format.

Paperback Children kids books

Here are some reasons why you should introduce paperbacks to your kids

1.Reading a paperback teaches them how to be gentle with books.

2.It makes them feel trusted and responsibl.

3.When your child tears the paper pages you could use that as an opportunity for problem solving.

4.Children learn know that papers tear and cannot be fixed. This is also one of the reasons why they use glassware in Montessori spaces.

5.If your kids go to traditional schools this would be a perfect precursor to notebooks.

6.Because they save space.

And last of all, paperback books are priced low when compared to board books or hardcovers. It is light on the pocket ๐Ÿ™‚

Tips on handling paperbacks:

1.Show them how to turn the pages and how to care for the books.

2.Show them how to avoid dog ears in the page corners.

3.Slowly transition from board books to paper backs. During the transition period, you could do paperbacks for reading together and use board books while your child reads alone

Happy reading guys. Check out some of our loved paperback suggestions on the pictures below. And drop a comment on what is your favorite, I would like to get some lovely book recommendations as well ๐Ÿ™‚

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Egg Shell Cracking and Slicing Activities

Egg Shell Cracking and Slicing Activities

I must have been 10 or 12 years when I cracked the first egg for my omelets.

As a child I always thought that eggs were to be handled by adults.

Oh boy, how wrong was I.

My little ones tryst with eggs began when he was 18 months old and he is more of a pro now.

We do have our hit and misses, nevertheless he generally does a clean job ๐Ÿ™‚

I decided to take it to the next level and introduce an egg slicer to him.

Montessori Egg Peeling and Slicing Activities for toddlers

This egg slicer from amazon is pretty sturdy and the wires line up charmingly with the base.

It is a simple to use one which is safe for those little fingers ๐Ÿ™‚

The best thing is that the eggs donโ€™t get smashed when the child cuts it.

So I got the boiled egg, two bowls-one to put in the peeled shell and the other one for the sliced eggs.

I presented him the trick of breaking the eggs the good old fashioned way- by slightly cracking it on the kitchen counter ๐Ÿ™‚

He then carefully peeled the egg shells manipulating the egg on all angles.

He had a deep concentration while his fingers worked and I and my husband observed it in silently.

I could very well say that this could be the best fine motor work that you can practice in the kitchen ๐Ÿ™‚

He was told to place the egg in the slicer and gently press the top to the base ๐Ÿ™‚

Voila, he was extremely amused to see how the slices came out from it.

Anything for that smile ๐Ÿ™‚

I asked him if he wanted to make a quick egg sandwich for his dad.

But we finally had a meltdown and he ended up eating that sandwich ๐Ÿ™‚

You can follow us on our Facebook Group for our next posts and on instagram,pinterest and facebook page here ๐Ÿ™‚

Want to tell me about your experiences with egg? Does your little one know how to crack the eggs? Would you do this with your child? Drop in a comment about that ๐Ÿ™‚

How to prepare your toddler for a new baby?

How to prepare your toddler for a new baby?

If you have been following this blog, you must have noticed that we welcomed a cute bundle of Joy a month back.

In this post, I wanted to talk of how you could prepare your toddler to make the entire episode a happy one.

It is such an awesome news that the family will grow, but it is quiet overwhelming and challenging for your toddler.

Here are some tips that we used that kind of eased or transitioned our toddler well.

1. Let your toddler know the good news right from the beginning. My toddler knew he was going to a brother when I was 2 months pregnant.

2. Take your toddler along to the hospital visits and scan appointments. My boy was present during all scans and he got to watch the little baby on the scan monitors.

3. I let my little boy apply stretch marks cream on my tummy and had him gently stroke the tummy.

4. We spoke positively about the baby and told him when the baby is here he would have company to talk and play.

5. We took advantage of all newborn visits in the friends and family circle. While we were there we told him that is how our new baby would be.

6. We took him while we shopped for our newborn.

7. I told him his birth story of how he was born and how I instantly fell in love with him. I kept reminding him of how new baby would come in from my tummy as well.

8. We spoke about how we would get to stay in hospital for a while when the baby comes in.

9. We shopped few toys to keep him busy during hospital visits and we wrapped a car for him. We told him that baby got him this gift ๐Ÿ˜‰

10. We told him that we would move to my parents place and prepared him that his grandma and grandpa will take care of him.

11. When he first met his brother we asked him to kiss the baby gently.

12. Once we came home with the baby, we got his help in reaching out for diapers, massage lotions and other things.

13. I asked his preferences of the two choices of dress we would dress for the baby. Sometimes the combinations were funny but it gave him a sense of belonging and contributing to the baby ๐Ÿ™‚

While this was all done we made sure he got enough attention during the whole pregnancy and after the babyโ€™s arrival.

Afterall that would be the only time your toddler will be your only child ๐Ÿ˜‰

We made sure he does not feel left out and I and my husband tried to him undivided attention.
Honestly with a newborn it was tough but we did our part ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S: Below are the things I wish I had done differently.

1. I could have weaned my toddler during my pregnancy. Tandem breastfeeding got difficult while my little one started cluster feeding at 4 weeks.

2. I wish I had let my toddler stay in the hospital on the first day of babyโ€™s arrival. That was our first and only night away from me.

3. I wish I had read books about the babyโ€™s arrival.

4. Finally, I wish we three had gone on a tourย  or something which would have been memorable ๐Ÿ™‚

And good luck to you on your new arrival. Also if you have ideas and inputs on this, please leave it on the comment and I will add those pointers on this post ๐Ÿ™‚

8 Ideas for Montessori Pre-Reading Activities

8 Ideas for Montessori Pre-Reading Activities

Learning to read is not a race while there is so much emphasis on phonics these days.

The child has to be ready before they start reading on their own, if not it leads to frustration.

Pre-reading activities or reading readiness is like a warm-up before you start exercising.

I have a curated list of free printables which you can directly download from the websites.

Montessori explains that the sensitive period for language is from 0-6. Reading aloud books and associating objects to words are all started from birth, while these activities can be started anywhere from 3-6 years.

1.Reading Aloud before Bedtime:

My son loves to read and I read aloud to him before our nap time while we snuggle together. We started with picture books with few sentences each page and then moved on to books with more text. Now we read books like this at 3.5 years.

2.Sorting by Category:

Sorting is an important skill that cannot be taken for granted. This blog beautifully explains why sorting is essential in the part of growing. In the later part of the blog there are plentiful ideas to sort by category. If your child is young and you want to begin then concrete objects are the best to start with. Check this post for young children less than 3. I would like to try all of the sorting ideas in our future work. For now, we tried a few of it and I have attached the links of free printables below. Donโ€™t forget to download and practice them.

3.What does not belong?

Once children learn to sort they start noticing how things are alike and what is different. You can read on how to do this activity here and download your set of cards from below.

4.Pattern Cards:

Sequencing is an important life skill by itself. Here Children learn to move from left to right like how we read on print and also

The printable can be downloaded from below.

5.Story Sequence:

This is an extension work of pattern cards, the story sequence helps to observe and recall events.

You can start with something as simple as โ€œJack and Jillโ€ Rhyme (printable link below) and ask your child to arrange them in order.

The one we used is a bit complex which explains the story of a snowman. This printable comes with a control card i.e. Montessori way of the child to know if he has done the work successfully. The printable link is mentioned below.

6.Picture to Background Matching:

This activity is to help one prepare for figure ground perception. This helps in focusing on one piece of information from a busy background. In simple words: looking for a particular word/line on a book page.

โ€œI Spyโ€ games can be done to work on this. We did some simple picture puzzle downloaded from a website. Link is given below.

7.Using Magnifying Lens to Focus on an Object:

My son is now fascinated to use his magnifying lens and I took that to advantage by giving him some matching work with the help of the lens. While he was working on this, I understood he enjoys using the lens a lot. In the coming days we hope we do a lot more of magnifying lens activities. The printable can be downloaded from below.

8.Look alike cards:

This teaches the child to move from left to right and top to bottom. You can read on how to present this activity here. The printable link is mentioned below.

Join our Instagram, Facebook page and Facebook group to chat and get inspired as a community ๐Ÿ™‚

Printable download links:

http://www.montessoriforeveryone.com/Language-Materials_ep_60-1.html

https://www.montessoriinspiredprintables.com/products/montessori-pre-reading-what-does-not-belong-activity

http://www.makinglearningfun.com/themepages/JackandJillSequentialOrder.htm

http://www.totschooling.net/2014/09/fall-leaf-shadow-matching.html

http://www.kellyskindergarten.com/science/science_center_activities.html

 

Reference links:

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/matching_and_sorting_are_early_stages_of_math_development

https://mindmoves.co.za/articles/article/PreReadingAndSpellingSkills.pdf

http://www.howwemontessori.com/how-we-montessori/2013/08/why-matching-sorting-and-categorising-is-good-for-their-brain-development.html

http://girlfriendscoffeehour.com/2013/11/14/4-benefits-sorting-activities-young-children/

http://carrotsareorange.com/pre-reading-lessons/

http://www.ot-mom-learning-activities.com/figure-ground-perception.html

A Happy Positive C-Section Birth Story

A Happy Positive C-Section Birth Story

Itโ€™s been two weeks since I had a newborn.ย  I wanted to share my positive C-section story with you all. C-section and happy positive in the same sentence? Well, I did have one ๐Ÿ™‚

Three years back when I was pregnant with my first born, all the pregnancy books I read spoke about vaginal birth (vaginal birth only).

I was so confident that I would have a vaginal birth and C-section was not the word for me. I assumed and envisioned my birth story like this- Water breaks (from all the English movies I had watched), followed by rushing to the hospital minus the crazy car drive, swishing through the labor room in a stretcher and having the baby within few hours. Who was I kidding?

What actually happened? Water broke early in the morning, we packed our hospital bag of whatever we could grab in our close reach, visited a couple of churches, registered in the hospital reception, walked to a room were people kept doing internal examinations on me and then contractions began but I didnโ€™t progress.

Six hours later while they kept me waiting, I suddenly blacked out and there was panic all over the room. They all pointed to the baby heart rate monitor and spoke louder. Apparently, the baby was going through distress and I was following the doctorโ€™s command like a robot being keyed to do things. There at that moment, my birth plan had gone for a toss out of the window and it took me a full year to get over my traumatic birth story.

Now when I analyze why it took me so long to accept my C-section birth, I have only one answer. I was not prepared for a possible C-section for I was told and made to believe that it was not the norm.

This time around I have a different story to say ๐Ÿ™‚

Though I wanted to have a VBAC tried, I also had a birth plan for a C-section if things donโ€™t go as I wanted.

  1. My Ob-Gyn and I spoke about my birth plan and I explained all my expectations to her.
  2. We spoke about the pain management after birth.
  3. We spoke about my fibroid cyst and if they would remove it or let it be.
  4. We spoke about how we could manage the visitors and how to get enough rest in the first few days.
  5. My anesthetist and I discussed about the anesthesia options and the pros and cons of having a general anesthesia.
  6. More importantly, she explained my mom about the 4th day baby blues which was new to her.

On the 18th morning when my VBAC plans was not happening, I gave up and said I am a having a C-section. They drove me to the operation theater. While they moved me on the stretcher, I waved bye to my husband, lil boy and my parents.

They lay me on the bed and gave me five minutes to settle down (like I was going to take an exam ;-)). My anesthetist came in and gave my spinal. The nurses already knew my phobia for the needles and helped me calm down before that. And then the anesthetist talked me through the entire surgery.ย  My gynae told me that the baby should be out in next two minutes and I started to wait like a hawk.

There came the little man and they immediately put him on my breast. I got to touch his forehead, noticed that he had loads of hair and was immediately smitten. J The skin to skin and delayed chord clamping made the C-section worthwhile ๐Ÿ™‚ What followed is a blurred memory.

I remember the nurses giving the baby again to me while I was in the recovery room and two nurses put the baby on my breast for his first feed and kick started our breastfeeding journey. The golden hour of breastfeeding is what I read on the internet and insisted that I have it done before they shift me and baby to our room.

The second day the catheter was removed and they had me walking inside the room. I took all the pain killers given and was discharged to home in the next three days. Overall, things were under control and everything went as per plan ๐Ÿ™‚

I made peace with my C-section and my scars when I understood that the result is more important than the process when it comes to a newborn. All I wanted was a baby- a healthy baby. I donโ€™t care of how I brought him to this world which would not be a question in ten years from now.

There after three years of mind struggle- I have learnt to let go ๐Ÿ™‚

Tips for a positive C-section:

  1. Write your birth plan down and find a gynae who would support it.
  2. Read about delayed chord clamping, skin to skin and breast crawl and see if that is what you would want.
  3. I requested for my gown to be one arm free and open on top so they need not struggle to remove my gown to have skin to skin.
  4. Get to know the anesthesia options and figure out what works for you.
  5. If you would like your partner to be with you, check for the feasibility in the hospital
  6. Let your medical team know prior about your breastfeeding plans.
  7. Take all the pain killers offered to you.
  8. Sit and walk sooner after they get your catheter removed.
  9. Take enough fluids and make sure you rest your back enough.
  10. This new mom pads and the pad fixator made my life even easier.

And finally remember, it is not a failure if you had a C-section and you can have a positive C-section experience too ๐Ÿ™‚

My Parenting Goals to Make Life Better in 2017

My Parenting Goals to Make Life Better in 2017

2016 was a busy year for me.ย  The blog turned into an ecommerce website and since then things have been too hectic.

And then I got pregnant. My positive parenting went for a toss every now and then with my toddler clinging on to my legs or him stuck to me in the name of breastfeeding. Blame it on my hormones ๐Ÿ™‚

We all strive to be better parents every day, donโ€™t we? ย So do I.No matter how hard my previous day was, I try to wipe them off and start afresh the next day. Sometimes I lose my cool even before my morning cup of tea. There are days I behave like a Zen parent, those are far and few in between. I am going to assume that it is a typical mom trait.

With the New Year approaching I wanted to have better goals?

I am not really 100% sure if I would be able to stick to all my goals, but I would at least give it a shot and achieve at least 50% by the end of 2017 ๐Ÿ™‚

There are going to be loads of testing moments, now that I could pop my second baby anytime now.

To cut to the chase. What are my parenting goals?

Be a positive parent:

I am not someone who is blessed with patience as a virtue. This year I am going to keep calm no matter what and try to pass the positive vibes to my folks at home. In the last few years I have realized that when I am all happy the family stays happy. Basically, I am the lighthouse in our home and my family mirrors my mood. I am going to look on the funny bright side even in worst case scenarios ๐Ÿ™‚

Reduce expenditures and save some:

I intend to go minimalistic this year. There would be more of recycling and reusing when it comes to clothes, accessories, toys and books as well. Basically, think multiple times before I shop to bring home new stuff for my kids. That is going to be challenging, but the shopaholic in me needs to have a check ๐Ÿ™‚

Reduce screen time for toddler:

I have observed that screen time makes my lil boy aggressive. He clearly doesnโ€™t understand time limits yet and we do not have a stop clock or anything (I doubt if it would even work for us). That leaves us with him watching TV or phones till he dozes off. It is usually a power struggle to switch off the TV and distract him to a toy or book. By that time, I am blaming myself a hundred times for giving the TV remote to him which I wish was not done in the first place. Yes, so screen time it is that we are going to closely monitor.

Have a schedule set:

Okay a deep dark truth revelation moment, we do not have a schedule for my son. Neither I have a schedule nor my husband. We wake up when we cannot tolerate the sun peeping inside our room anymore and sleep when we are fully exhausted to even move an arm. I would like to have a proper bedtime and wakeup time. That should definitely put us in a schedule. I would like to stick to bath before lunch and a park time in the evening. No rigid time plans but I would nevertheless like to try ๐Ÿ™‚

Conscious clean eating:

Intend to not skip breakfast and have a balanced diet. To cut down coffee is something I really have to do this year.

More hands free moments:

I spent a lot of my time on my phone last year, trying to be available to most of my customers and mom support groups. This year around, I am uninstalling all the apps from my phone and will try managing them from my laptop. Working on a laptop would give a dedicated time for my online work and help me be mindful with my kids when I am with them.

Be punctual to school:

I am not really proud to say this. My son is almost late to school every day. Every single day. I hate to wake up early and my son follows suit. This year I would like to wake up before him and get some simple breakfast ready and give him that extra time to get ready.

Taking care of myself:

Like they say, you cannot pour from an empty cup. I plan to take care of myself, sleep and eat well and do more trips this year ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers to you all. You guys have a happy, joyous and prosperous year too ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S: I am flawed and imperfect. Please do not judge me from what I have written above ๐Ÿ™‚

 

100 Activities/Books – One at a Time

100 Activities/Books – One at a Time

Lately I have been kind of distracted from preparing learning activities for my son .

I have very little time to spend alone with my son and I do not want to miss this golden period with him.

Most certainly want to go back to the good old days (when I started this blog) doing simple activities at home every day. Those activities kept him busy and helped in his learning process.

We have been having more screen time these days and I would want him to cut down on that. Plus, plan ahead for the coming days while I concentrate on other things.

Cut to the chase, we would be doing simple activities curated from around the web. Aiming at 100 activities to start with, minimum one a day. Sounds ambitious! Let me give it a try, with my lil oneโ€™s support, I am sure I can.

Also reading one new book a day.

I would plan things ahead for the next ten activities and share the list of printables and supplies needed, so that you could join me in this journey.

Want to be part of our team?

Well, wait for my next email on this ๐Ÿ™‚

I intend to post about this on my Instagram account, my pinterest board and on my facebook group as well ๐Ÿ™‚

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein Book Review

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein Book Review

The Giving Tree
Unconditional love!!
When I was a little girl, I heard this story for the first time in a church sermon along with my dad. And I remember my dad telling me the same story one night.
But he told me something more to the story I heard. He told me that parents would give everything they have to their kids without expecting anything back in return just to see their kids happy.
It didnโ€™t make much sense to me then. But years later, I can understand every bit of what he said.
And that is what they call, unconditional love.
When I came across this title on Amazon book suggestions, I couldnโ€™t resist from adding it to my cart. I knew my lil boy is only three years old and he cannot really understand the crux of the story. I still ordered this to be reminded of how not to be like the little boy and how to give like the apple tree.
The book cover has a small boy trying to catch the red apple falling from the tree ๐Ÿ™‚
The insides of the book and the illustrations are black and white with few words on each page.
I read this book while I was alone, realized one cannot make it to the last page without becoming emotional and be reminded of certain people in your life.
I would suggest this book for 4 years and above who would like to read about compassion, love and acceptance.
Happy reading ๐Ÿ™‚