Why should children get bored? My thoughts
As a parent we think it is important to keep the child active and busy, for we have been told an idle mind is devil’s workshop. In pursuit of keeping the child busy are we limiting their natural inclination to access simple things available around them and find the ‘fun ‘ in it.
Yes it is important for me to keep my child busy with different activities, it is equally important for him to be bored and try his hands out on unstructured play. This thought was a revelation to me through my firsthand experience.
There are days I am too tired to engage myself in creating activities, on one such days my son was done with the activities that were on the shelf. I had energy only to sit and watch him. But watch him do what? I was clueless. It didn’t seem to be a concern for my son, he casually picked up old decoration balls lined them up color coordinated, then he decided to experiment those balls by removing the glitter.
He was excited to see the texture changing, the curiosity reached the next level when he scratched the surface and saw there was something else inside. I let him do what he wanted, the next thing I saw was a thermocol ball waved in front of my face between those little fingers.
Gleaming with excitement with the discovery, he now wanted to see play float or sink. And the game went on for some time.
In all the tiredness I found the energy to smile and get excited that a simple decoration ball lying in one corner of his toy box kept him busy. More importantly it gave me time to sit back relax and enjoy, plan something for the next day.
I wasn’t able to capture those moments to share. All I could do was to happily watch him play.
After that instance we have been having many such moments of free play where he uses whatever is available at his disposal
A glimpse of it below in which he tries to balance his cars in the basketball net.
Now you tell me, how much of free play do you encourage? How long does the free play happen?
Meanwhile take a moment to join our support group Early Learning for Toddlers India and find your mom tribe 🙂
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 – that paperbacks are the best. The best children books that I have found have always been in paperback format.
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 🙂
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 🙂
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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 😉
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 🙂
While this was all done we made sure he got enough attention during the whole pregnancy and after the baby’s arrival.
Afterall that would be the only time your toddler will be your only child 😉
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 🙂
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 baby’s arrival. That was our first and only night away from me.
3. I wish I had read books about the baby’s arrival.
4. Finally, I wish we three had gone on a tour or something which would have been memorable 🙂
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 🙂
2016 was a busy year for me. 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 🙂
We all strive to be better parents every day, don’t we? 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 🙂
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 🙂
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 🙂
Reduce screen time for toddler:
I have observed that screen time makes my lil boy aggressive. He clearly doesn’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 🙂
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 🙂
Cheers to you all. You guys have a happy, joyous and prosperous year too 🙂
P.S: I am flawed and imperfect. Please do not judge me from what I have written above 🙂
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 one’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 🙂
I intend to post about this on my Instagram account, my pinterest board and on my facebook group as well 🙂
Comparing yourself with another Facebook mom!! May I say please don’t?
Are you one of those Facebook moms who spends quality time in FB checking your feed and ‘like’ pictures of friends’ kids?
Or worse, you are part of some fabulous mom groups and get to see overwhelming ‘perfect’ posts and makes you feel guilty that you aren’t doing enough for your child ?
I have news for you, you are not alone.
Yes, parenting is tough(don’t remember anyone saying it is easy ;-)) and that’s the hardest role I have come across. I guess you would be in a similar situation as mine, if not the same.
You get to see many perfect moms on Facebook, while you sit here with a cranky toddler who wouldn’t let you change his dress or wouldn’t let you give her a bath for the third day in a row.
Well, the perfect moms have a clean home, perfectly arranged toys, colour coordinated rooms, a separate art room or a play area (well I didn’t have my own room till I got married), a themed activity shelf, loads of DIY materials whereas you couldn’t draw a simple apple without a scale and pencil.
Duhh, that’s what facebook shows us.
Ooops, I have to reframe my statement. That is what people post on facebook for us to see.
I have been there as well, I have posted many a pics on my facebook page and some mom groups as well.
But there is a lot behind my pinterest worthy pics.
Yup, I edit them. I remove/crop the messy elements from the picture and post only what I think looks beautiful on my phone screen.
But in reality, I have a messy home (if I may add not always though) which I do not have the energy to clean up and there is my son who is working on an activity without an underwear sometimes.
I obviously cut out those parts which I do think people will validate me upon.
Somewhere, Facebook started to depress me and it started to define my parenting style.
The moment I started to read some posts on moms group, I started to feel low and felt like a total failure.
I saw things, which I could not and would not be able to do any day.
Themed shelf baffles me. I did that once and failed miserably at that. It was too time consuming to set those activities and to have (read force) my son to work on that.
In a separate post I would talk about why these themed shelf/letter of the week are not worthy of its effort.
That is when I realized that I was comparing myself with another mom who had the time and luxury and may be more money to buy/do stuff for their little ones.Yes, like those wise people say “comparison is a thief of joy”. I was losing myself in the battle and would feel low every time I got notifications from mom groups.
I finally happened to open about this to few of my friends (whom I have gotten close through those same groups) and got to know that it wasn’t just me- but even they felt the same.
So, who are these people who make you feel low or come across like supermoms who inspire people a lot?
1. They could be bloggers/youtubers like me.
2. Someone who is already making DIY stuff at home and has a Facebook page on which they try to sell the same stuff.
3. Someone who has future plans to start a home business.
4. Or moms who live in a joint family setup who has some support in day to day chores.
5. Or moms who have a live-in maid or adequate sources/resources to manage the unmanageable
6. Or moms who are depressed or feeling lonely who need some validation from the likes and shares their posts receive
There could be exceptions to the above though.
There are still some real supermoms who somehow manage to get done with their chores, take care of their children and still have the energy to make some time for kids for activities/games/play time and work magic with their little ones. Hats off to those moms 🙂
But, that percentile is steeply low.
In reality, most of the moms struggle with simple stuff which seemed easier prior to parenthood.
Next time you see such post just remember these.
1. You are not alone, definitely not alone.
2. All what you see isn’t the whole picture. There are censored stuff behind those picture perfect posts
3. Not all Moms are DIY moms and not all of them have enough time/patience to work on it every single day
4. You are doing your best for your child and you are best at it. Validation is not mandatory 🙂
5. Facebook is just a trend today and it would subside in a few years. But you would have a lovely grownup kid by then.
6. There would be good mood days and you could do your best to keep your child entertained and make rosy memories
7. Yes the likes and shares of your facebook posts does not define your success or your little munchkin’s success 🙂
Let me end with a twist from a fairy tale.
You: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the supermom of all?
Mirror: “You are looking at one J” – your kid will say it to all
If you could relate to this post or think of someone you know would like to be reminded of this stuff, then please share this post on your favorite mom group using the link below 😉
If you have felt the same way and have overcome the guilt factor, then please drop in a comment of how you did it 🙂
There is nothing like a wonderful comment that would make my day 🙂
if you liked this post, then am sure you would like my previous post on “ Why one child does not need all the toys? ” 🙂
Hello lovely moms!!
What are you guys upto?
Life is so busy at my end and I am trying to juggle many things with just a pair of hands and an energetic toddler who keeps me busy every free moment I could find. Uff… life of a mom isn’t it?
Despite my hectic life, I wanted to write this post.
Nah, this post isn’t about me or my toddler.
So pull up a chair and grab a cup of coffee. One of those deep chairs that you just sink…sink…sink into.
I am going to ask you something?
Do you buy stuff for your kid?
I am not talking about those cute frilly dresses. But about those educational stuff which you think is more like an investment in laying your child’s fundamentals strong.
Again, do you buy some of those?
Okay, let’s do a quick math. How many a month? How much in terms of money? How much for a year? Spinning head!
To the point now.
Thanks to the reach of online resources, we see a lot of markets spring up every day ‘promising’ toys which are educational or something which is going to improve your child’s learning abilities.
You might ask me, whats wrong with that?
With every passing day and with the ever growing customer base, education is becoming a money making mantra.
I am going to spare schools and other after school tuitions for now (that calls for a whole new lengthy post).
I have an online shop and I am into the same line of business and I know how these things work. I wanted to share my perspective both as a mother and seller/shop owner, with a balanced approach.
I am not going to pin point or talk in detail of what you should or should not buy, instead give you a heads up on what are the pointers you should have in your mind before you hit the “pay now” button or comment “ I need one of these” on a FB sale post.
Know the stuff you are buying and its purpose.
Make the right choice of play for your little ones.
Next time, when you are so tempted to fill the shopping cart pause for a moment and answer these questions in your head.
- Does it add any value to your child? Or it just a play toy which you assume would keep your toddler busy?
- Is it age appropriate?
- Do I really need this?
- Does my child really need this?
- Do I have a similar kind at home already?
If yes, it’s a straight NO.
Eg: Once my friend Kalyani had mentioned that if you already have a wooden vegetale cutter, you don’t need a pastry/cake cutter or a plastic fruit version of it.
- Could there be an alternative for this? Like something that could be made with what you already have at home?
Like a spooning activity set, which you can imitate using two similar bowls and a spoon and some soya beans at home.
Or a car slider, which one can easily make using a book slide. Isn’t that what we did when we were at school?
- Is it a luxury toy? (As a caring parent you are well within your rights to choose and decide the definition of luxury)
Eg.,You don’t really need to have a ball pit at home.
Come on. It is supposed to be an occasional joy ride in a birthday party and not an everyday affair at home.
We make all simple joys accessible for them at home. So what is left to explore outside at home. Or say in a school!
If you have a sand/water table at home, do you think your child would find it exciting when the same piece is kept at school when the other kids play together?
- Do not compare with what the other moms have for their children and fall for peer pressure.
- Finally, do your own bit of research. You don’t need a sentence building kit at two years. At two years you don’t need anything to do with letters and numbers.
My point here is, one child does not need to have it all.
Always remember the minimal is more and makes the experience better and richer.
Save your money. You are going to need loads of it as they grow.
And if your child is anything less than one year old. Please, please do not buy anything except for books.
Everything they see around in this world is new to them and they are going to be fascinated by every small detail this world has to offer them. Be it a paper windmill or the pages of the calendar on the wall ruffled by the ceiling fan.
So please please think twice before you buy anything.
Remember; one child does not need to have it all 🙂
Now finish that cup of coffee and share this post to all moms who would like to be assured and be reminded of this simple truth 🙂
Moms don’t stop shopping, remember PTS( Pause-Think-Shop)
Hello awesome moms!! Want to start Montessori at home? But,don’t have the time to read books? Do have the time, but the huge amount of information available overwhelms you? Not sure where and how to start? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I will run through the basics of Montessori philosophy on a series.
- Follow your child:In addition to the age required activities which you might get to read from my blog and other blogs or from the albums you buy, it is recommended to follow your child’s interest
- Sensitive Period:Children pass through sensitive periods during which certain skills can be learnt effortlessly at that point of time. And these periods are temporary periods. Once the skill is mastered the sensitive period vanishes. And if you don’t stimulate this sensitive period, the easy learning opportunity is gone for your child. Read more about it here on how to identify your child’s sensitive period.
- Control of Error: Every Montessori activity has something called Control of Error, which means while doing an activity your child self corrects and need not depend on you to do it for them. This self correction comes in handy to develop your child’s decision making skills. Eg: When they have sound cylinders/smell bottles they have matching dots or numbers at their bottom. Your child looks for these marks to know if they have matched right.
- Prepared Environment: Children love order and this prepared environment contributes majorly to it. This well ordered space provides lots of space to move and choose his/her own work. Every material has a place and your child knows where to look for it.
- Concrete to Abstract: Montessori once said “what the hand does, the mind remembers”. So the child should learn using concrete objects and then move to abstract ones i.e. paper pencil. E.g.: Introduction to numbers is done using counters/beads.
In the next post I would talk about how to make small changes in your home sweet home to make it easy for your child in this adult sized world 🙂
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