child development, Child's Education

FUN YET SIMPLE ACTIVITIES FOR TODDLERS 18-24 MONTHS

Once your child goes beyond a year old, she will be exploring so many things in her surroundings. It is the time when she would try to sneak into your kitchen and open the cupboards herself. It is the dangerous period when she would climb up the staircases and leave you breathless.

So how can you keep your baby busy on safer and more meaningful things? What are the best activities that you could give her during this stage?

To help you get through this time successfully, I have listed five of the best ways to make your 18-24 month old baby happy and busy:

1. Ignite interest with picture books.

children's-books-about-grandparents

Picture books are a real gift to the learning journey of our children. Most of the picture books that you will find in the bookstores and markets are of various themes and ideas. You can pick a book about shapes where different items that resemble certain shapes are shown so that your child can be familiar with them.

The toddler stage is the perfect time for your kids to embrace the fun in learning. It is ideal to introduce her to new words and concepts through the use of picture books.

2. Develop curiosity with wooden toys.

The use of wooden toys is promoted by the Montessori education. Contrary to plastics, wooden toys are safe for your kids. Just make sure that the wood has been painted with non-toxic materials.

eco-friendly-unique-wooden-toys-heirloom-natural-wood-cars-smiling-tree_98b020b9-1d8f-42a2-9e34-b4a63e222a3e_2048x

There are different kinds of wooden toys out there. The best wooden toys for children below two years old are those that can introduce geometric concepts and patterns. It is also nice to give her a wooden xylophone because music can intensify the cognitive development of children.

3. Stimulate creativity with art.

Boy, drawing a picture for fathers day

You might be surprised that your toddler can already create wonderful art even at her young age! Just allow her to hold a non-toxic and washable crayon with a piece of paper. See what she can randomly create! Do not forget to capture her creations through a photograph. There are also jewelry makers who can transform your toddler’s first doodles into a pendant for you to keep forever.

Other art ideas include tracing her hands using colorful and washable markers on a piece of paper, painting her toy box, making a DIY paint using a yogurt, or putting some stickers on a surface. Remember to be forgiving during this stage. There is no point in being so strict about cleanliness. Let her be messy to explore all areas of creativity.

4. Promote fine motor skills with play.

pipe-cleaner-fine-motor-20150412-11-800x533

You should not wait until her preschool years before you even attempt to consider the development of your child’ fine motor skills. You can check out the internet for some cool ideas about fine motor activities. One sample activity is the insert pipe game. Just get a used cardboard box, empty its contents, and create even round holes on the box. Then cut small pipe cleaners which your child could insert into the holes.

There is no need to spend so much on the toys of your baby. You can make do of whatever there is at your home. Be resourceful enough and enjoy the process.

5. Explore sensory capabilities with experiments.

Aren’t experiments fun? You don’t need to be a scientist just to let your child feel awesome about them! One experiment that you can do is the bubble fun experiment. Just get an empty bottle, fill it with water, pour some shampoo into it, add some food dye, and shake. Prepare three different colors to make things a lot more exciting. Your child will surely be amazed by the resulting bubbles!

pancakes-l

Another experiment that you can do is the simple pancake experiment. Create a pancake and add interesting toppings like mallows, nuts, syrup, and more. Let her get one topping at each time and ask her what she feels. Explain the idea of color, texture, taste, and flavor.

Enjoy every step of your journey to parenting. The toddler stage can be exhausting but it can also be extremely fun and meaningful for as long as you delight in little joys.


how to be the most loving parent the smart wayGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu

family time, games, Relationships

7 Ways to Make Christmas Magical for Kids

tree

Christmas time is really the most wonderful and magical time of the year especially for children. It is important to get prepared for it together. Here are some basic steps how to get prepared for the holiday season and decorate your home with your little ones.

1. Let the Music Play

Before starting, turn the classic Christmas songs on to create the festive mood. Music is great for every occasion, but for the holidays it’s extra magical. Here are some music ideas. 

2. Choose Your Colour Scheme

Choosing the perfect Christmas decorations is far simpler with a colour scheme in mind. You can choose traditional red and green combo or go further and pick new contemporary colour combinations.

Here are some Christmas colour palette ideas.

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3. Christmas Tree

The main attraction of the holiday season is the Christmas tree, so this should be your first port of call when you look to decorate your home for Christmas. It is very symbolic to use old ornaments from your childhood and tell stories and explain why those are special to you. Tell them that they can make a wish while hanging the first Christmas tree ornament. Make this process as fun and meaningful as you can. In case you need some ideas for Christmas tree decoration check out my special Pinterest board.

christmas-tree-ideas-lia-griffith_1vintage-glass-Christmas-ornaments

4. Deck the Halls and Kids Room

There are many simple touches you can add to the rest of your home to create a stylish festive look. A Christmas wreath is an essential festive accessory not just for the front door, wreaths can also be used throughout the home, suspended on mirrors or on internal doors. A small variety of garlands and other ornaments can also be utilised to decorate your halls or kids room.

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Do not forget about windows. Here are some Christmas windows decorating ideas for you so you’ll never forget to furnish those windows, whether it is small, big, has wide window sills or not. Such simple windows would be magnificent and ready for the festivities in no time.

5. DIY with kids

DIY projects with your little ones teach valuable hands-on skills that are even more important in today’s screen-heavy environment. First of all, they get the satisfaction of creating something with their own hands, they become more patient and creative. Also, this is a perfect activity for the season of gratitude, they can make ornaments or gifts on their own for the others. What can be a better way of gratitude than by making something for them. The creative act, paired with our appreciation of others, is a wonderful way to express gratitude for the people who do so much for us. DIY with kids is the best way to teach them all these values through play. Kids DIY projects that you can start right now.

6. Letter to Santa

Writing a letter to Santa can be such an exciting activity for kids. This is a great time of year to show your children the joy of kindness and empathy. Writing a letter to Santa, beside personal wishes, can include a request for someone else – a good friend, sibling or less-fortunate child. Ask your child who they would like Santa to help this season. Empathy is a new feeling for small children and must be supported by their parents. Let children know that Christmas isn’t just about getting stuff. Teaching your child that empathy is at the root of love and faith can be folded into a wonderful tradition that includes writing a letter to Santa Claus.

Here are free printable templates for Santa letter

7. Family Movie Time

 

When all the decorations are up and you’re ready for some quality family time amid the chaos of the season, there’s nothing better than curling up on the couch with some Christmas cookies, hot chocolate and a holiday flick. Don’t know what to watch?  Here are a few suggestions:

  • “Harry Potter” Series
  • “Elf” (2003)
  • “The Polar Express” (2004)
  • “Miracle on 34th Street” (1994)
  • “A Christmas Carol” (2009)
  • “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2000)
  • “Home Alone” (1990)
  • “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946)

Have fun!

child development, games

10 fun indoor games and activities for kids

via 10 fun indoor games and activities for kids

10 fun indoor games and activities for kids

Children play not only for fun, but it also helps them to develop their individuality and recognize the world. During autumn or winter when it’s rainy, snowy outside adults had to entertain kids through indoor activities. We’ve put together a list of 10 enjoyable indoor game ideas to do with kids at home.

1. Freeze Dance

Kindergarten

Choose some of your kids’ favorite tunes and turn up the volume. Ask them to dance until the music stops. When it does, they have to freeze in whatever position they find themselves in – even if they have one leg up. To make the game more challenging, ask the kids to freeze in specific poses: animals, shapes, letters or do 10 jumping jacks during the start of the next round and then rejoin the dance. Toddlers in particular love this game.

2. Balance beam

d0aa78a2a4449e108dc508ecd7830559We all know how much kids love walking in straight lines every chance they get. Turn on some music, and one at a time the kids can take their turn walking one-foot-over-the-other across the straight line of tape. Make the game more challenging by having the kids walk backwards or balance with one foot on the line.

3. Pen and pencil games

740x3362

Here are a few pen and pencil games that you can play at home with children.

  • Tic-tac-toe is a paper-and-pencil game for two players, X and O, who take turns marking the spaces in a 3×3 grid. The player who succeeds in placing three of their marks in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row wins the game.
  • Join the dots: Make a 6×6 square of dots on a page. Take turns to join dots with a line. You can join only two dots at a time. If your line completes a box, you put your initial inside it. The person with the highest number of boxes wins. Once the child gets the hang of the game, move to a bigger square.

4. Hot Potato

hot-potato-game-1

This game will have everyone giggling. Ask the kids to sit on the floor in a circle. Turn on some tunes and have them pass the potato (a bean bag or soft ball) around the circle as fast as they can. When the music stops, the player holding the potato leaves the circle. Keep going until only one player is left and wins the game.

5. Obstacle course

20151018_string01

Create a furniture course in your apartment or take chalk and make a course outside. Add in specific mental or physical challenges to keep them guessing.

Example:

  • Crawl under or over a row of chairs.
  • Crawl under a string stretched between two chair legs.
  • Jump into and out of a Hula-Hoop five times.
  • Walk on a balance board.
  • Throw a beanbag into a laundry basket.
  • Run while balancing a beanbag on your head.
  • Do a ring toss.
  • Ride a tricycle along a predetermined route.
  • Somersault from one point to another.
  • Do a handstand.
  • Skip in place while reciting a jump rope rhyme.

6. Balloon ball

shining-design-kid-party-game-ideas-50-easy-birthday-games-for-kids-no-stress-planning

There are endless ways to play with balloons indoors.

  • Balloon Hockey: Make a hockey stick using the full instructions found here. Set up two goals on opposite sides of the room and have each child try to get the balloon into their goal by hitting it with their hockey stick. Pick a number of goals to reach or set a timer and see who gets the most points in that time frame to determine a winner.
  • Baloon Ping Pong: Securely tape the stick to the back of the paper plate to form a racket. Blow up the balloon and put a tape line on the ground to serve as a net. To play a formal game, let your kids hit the balloon back and forth across the “net.” They may only hit it one time to get it across and if they miss or the balloon touches the ground, the other person scores a point. The first person to score 15 points wins. To play for fun, just let them hit the ball back and forth with their rackets — no score keeping necessary.
  • Balloon Catch: Blow up one balloon per player. Each player tosses his or her balloon in the air and then must catch it in the mouth of their funnel, and then toss it in air again and catch it again, all without using their free hand. Each catch is worth 1 point. If the player uses their free hand or the balloon touches the ground, they start over at zero. The first player to get to 10 — or 20 or 100 — wins! The game may be modified to be easier for younger players. For instance, they get a certain amount of touches before losing their points or they can use both hands.

7.  Bake or decorate

cooking-with-kids-1

Kids love spending time with parents in the kitchen. Think simple techniques, short ingredient lists and satisfying dishes that children will be proud to eat—because they’re the head chef. Bake without losing your sanity or buy pre-made frosting (and even cupcakes) and set up a cupcake decorating station with whatever candies, nuts, and sprinkles you have on hand.

8. Puzzles

GettyImages-138710378web-56f9e4f25f9b582986706ea3

When you cannot step out, pick up a few puzzles that you can work on all day.

Picture puzzles, but these won’t keep you busy for long unless there are more than 25 pieces in it.
A picture puzzle book can be a great idea, given that you can work on one puzzle after another to keep the child engaged.
Word puzzles are a great option if you want to improve your child’s vocabulary.
3D puzzles toys are good for younger children.

9. Pillow fight—’nuff said.

761699b00fc2c4c89e4301f9c656efed

A pillow fight is a common game mostly played by young children (but also by teens and adults) in which they engage in mock physical conflict, using pillows as weapons.

10. Treasure hunt

Pirate-box

Kids love finding hidden objects — especially when there’s a prize at the end. Simply write your clues on some slips of paper — get creative. Place the first clue somewhere easy to find, like inside your child’s snack or cereal bowl. Then leave as many clues as you like around the house, making a trail to the final clue. Instead of a prize, the treasure hunt can lead to various coins around the house. This way the kids get to collect all the coins and put them in their piggy banks in the end.

Have fun!

healthy food

The Best Ways to Promote Good Eating Habits for Toddlers

Healthy-Eating-Kids-e1465942777208

Have you ever found yourself agreeing to the “Terrible Two” concept? Maybe, you are facing such a terrible phase in your parenting life where your toddler just keeps on running around, chatting until your energy drops, making a mess on the table during meal times, or refusing to eat what you offer her. The toddler stage is really one of the most trying times of your parenting journey because it is when your child would explore more of her surroundings.

Since your child would be extremely active during this stage, you will have to nourish her with the age-appropriate meals and snacks. However, you also have to start training her on the right eating habits that she must remember until she grows up.

Here are the best ways to promote good eating habits for your toddler:

  1. Let the greens and the colorful fruits be a constant.

CR-Health-Inlinehero-kids-healthy-food-0618

Do you know that you can actually train your child’s taste buds? Yup, that is exactly right! Why do you think Korean kids become easily trained to eat their local staple, kimchi? That’s particularly because the culinary tradition of a family affects the taste preference of the child.

If you want your child to be healthy, then you will have to keep the greens and the colorful fruits as a constant part of your dining table. Even when they seem to be refusing the vegetables and fruits at first, do you think that they would still be able to reject them when they’re already hungry? I don’t think so.

  1. Practice your creative culinary skills.

If you want your meals to be more exciting, there are cool ways to incorporate veggies and fruits in kiddie meals without being noticeable. You can add mashed carrots in a spaghetti sauce or a mashed broccoli in chicken nuggets. Expand your culinary creativity to make meal time for kids as health and as exciting as possible.

  1. Set a mealtime routine.

 proud-girl-at-table

Your child has to understand that meal times are not done randomly. You may definitely explain it to her verbally, but it would be more effective and practical to simply follow a mealtime routine. It is ideal if you could set all meal times together as a family. But if your schedules do not permit, then you could at least set breakfast and dinner together.

  1. Understand and respond to your child’s hunger cues.

You surely do not want your child to be hungry just because she has to wait for the exact mealtime. Learn to know your child’s hunger cues. Observe her facial expressions, body actions, and verbal phrases before and after she eats. This way, you can start to gain understanding of her hunger cues.

It is also important not to force your child to finish eating her meals when her tummy is already full. The practice of forcibly letting your child to eat can be traumatic to your toddler. Your child has to be excited about food and never fearful of mealtimes.

  1. Give your toddler her own set of utensils.

18097_1_1200pxGiving your child her own set of utensils can make her become aware of the importance of utensils in eating. At first, she will be messy and clumsy, but you will need to be patient in teaching her how to use the spoon and fork. She may be wanting to eat with her hands, but gradually train her with the use of utensils.

  1. Check her milk intake.

Milk is definitely important for your toddler’s growth. However, you have to know that your child has to get most of her nutrients from real food. If your child drinks milk for more than three times a day and you notice that she barely wants to eat during mealtimes, then there could be something wrong with that practice. Limit her milk intake so that she could start appreciating what’s on your dining table.


how to effectively breastfeed babiesGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu

 

child development, games

10 fun indoor games and activities for kids

Children play not only for fun, but it also helps them to develop their individuality and recognize the world. During autumn or winter when it’s rainy, snowy outside adults had to entertain kids through indoor activities. We’ve put together a list of 10 enjoyable indoor game ideas to do with kids at home.

1. Freeze Dance

Kindergarten

Choose some of your kids’ favorite tunes and turn up the volume. Ask them to dance until the music stops. When it does, they have to freeze in whatever position they find themselves in – even if they have one leg up. To make the game more challenging, ask the kids to freeze in specific poses: animals, shapes, letters or do 10 jumping jacks during the start of the next round and then rejoin the dance. Toddlers in particular love this game.

2. Balance beam

d0aa78a2a4449e108dc508ecd7830559We all know how much kids love walking in straight lines every chance they get. Turn on some music, and one at a time the kids can take their turn walking one-foot-over-the-other across the straight line of tape. Make the game more challenging by having the kids walk backwards or balance with one foot on the line.

3. Pen and pencil games

740x3362

Here are a few pen and pencil games that you can play at home with children.

  • Tic-tac-toe is a paper-and-pencil game for two players, X and O, who take turns marking the spaces in a 3×3 grid. The player who succeeds in placing three of their marks in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row wins the game.
  • Join the dots: Make a 6×6 square of dots on a page. Take turns to join dots with a line. You can join only two dots at a time. If your line completes a box, you put your initial inside it. The person with the highest number of boxes wins. Once the child gets the hang of the game, move to a bigger square.

4. Hot Potato

hot-potato-game-1

This game will have everyone giggling. Ask the kids to sit on the floor in a circle. Turn on some tunes and have them pass the potato (a bean bag or soft ball) around the circle as fast as they can. When the music stops, the player holding the potato leaves the circle. Keep going until only one player is left and wins the game.

5. Obstacle course

20151018_string01

Create a furniture course in your apartment or take chalk and make a course outside. Add in specific mental or physical challenges to keep them guessing.

Example:

  • Crawl under or over a row of chairs.
  • Crawl under a string stretched between two chair legs.
  • Jump into and out of a Hula-Hoop five times.
  • Walk on a balance board.
  • Throw a beanbag into a laundry basket.
  • Run while balancing a beanbag on your head.
  • Do a ring toss.
  • Ride a tricycle along a predetermined route.
  • Somersault from one point to another.
  • Do a handstand.
  • Skip in place while reciting a jump rope rhyme.

6. Balloon ball

shining-design-kid-party-game-ideas-50-easy-birthday-games-for-kids-no-stress-planning

There are endless ways to play with balloons indoors.

  • Balloon Hockey: Make a hockey stick using the full instructions found here. Set up two goals on opposite sides of the room and have each child try to get the balloon into their goal by hitting it with their hockey stick. Pick a number of goals to reach or set a timer and see who gets the most points in that time frame to determine a winner.
  • Baloon Ping Pong: Securely tape the stick to the back of the paper plate to form a racket. Blow up the balloon and put a tape line on the ground to serve as a net. To play a formal game, let your kids hit the balloon back and forth across the “net.” They may only hit it one time to get it across and if they miss or the balloon touches the ground, the other person scores a point. The first person to score 15 points wins. To play for fun, just let them hit the ball back and forth with their rackets — no score keeping necessary.
  • Balloon Catch: Blow up one balloon per player. Each player tosses his or her balloon in the air and then must catch it in the mouth of their funnel, and then toss it in air again and catch it again, all without using their free hand. Each catch is worth 1 point. If the player uses their free hand or the balloon touches the ground, they start over at zero. The first player to get to 10 — or 20 or 100 — wins! The game may be modified to be easier for younger players. For instance, they get a certain amount of touches before losing their points or they can use both hands.

7.  Bake or decorate

cooking-with-kids-1

Kids love spending time with parents in the kitchen. Think simple techniques, short ingredient lists and satisfying dishes that children will be proud to eat—because they’re the head chef. Bake without losing your sanity or buy pre-made frosting (and even cupcakes) and set up a cupcake decorating station with whatever candies, nuts, and sprinkles you have on hand.

8. Puzzles

GettyImages-138710378web-56f9e4f25f9b582986706ea3

When you cannot step out, pick up a few puzzles that you can work on all day.

Picture puzzles, but these won’t keep you busy for long unless there are more than 25 pieces in it.
A picture puzzle book can be a great idea, given that you can work on one puzzle after another to keep the child engaged.
Word puzzles are a great option if you want to improve your child’s vocabulary.
3D puzzles toys are good for younger children.

9. Pillow fight—’nuff said.

761699b00fc2c4c89e4301f9c656efed

A pillow fight is a common game mostly played by young children (but also by teens and adults) in which they engage in mock physical conflict, using pillows as weapons.

10. Treasure hunt

Pirate-box

Kids love finding hidden objects — especially when there’s a prize at the end. Simply write your clues on some slips of paper — get creative. Place the first clue somewhere easy to find, like inside your child’s snack or cereal bowl. Then leave as many clues as you like around the house, making a trail to the final clue. Instead of a prize, the treasure hunt can lead to various coins around the house. This way the kids get to collect all the coins and put them in their piggy banks in the end.

Have fun!