Summer holidays : How to boost creativity in children?

This summer: how to boost creativity in children? 

#Learning , #creativity, #education, #parenting  

As summer approaches every parent worries on how to keep school age kids busy in holidays. Summer holidays for kids should be spent learning new craft, new sport, new music, and sometimes getting bored too. 

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” – Albert Einstein

Children by birth are Imaginative and inquisitive. The important thing for parents is to answer their questions and let the curiosity grow. A child has lots of creative thoughts and ideas, which they should learn to express either through speech or pretend play or through art, sports or music. This is very helpful in relationships building and situation handling. 

Imagination and creativity can be encouraged in kids by parents, teachers in early years of learning through:

-Some of the activities are learning fun and enhance creativity too. Also it is important to keep help kids with activities that make learning fun such as 
-Matching list of words with images
-Word search
-Crossword puzzle
-Word scramble activities 

Learning is fun with this kayak maze! Be sure to check out Education.com for more learning resources.
Education.com is a great resource for all kind of learning aids for kids of all ages  

- DIY- do it yourself, this is the best tool available today to make kids understand and also help them use their creativity as they make .Building blocks, Drawing, painting, craft ,clay modeling are the great way to boost imagination , Don't worry for the mess kids make as they play, it is worth it! 

-Role Plays of various favorite characters, like doctor, policeman, and teacher are learning with fun. Kids are very good mimics, so what they observe and see they can role play with mush more ease than adults 

-Listening Music, learning and making music is one of the best ways to stir kid’s minds. 

-Exposure -taking kids places, like museum, parks, historic places, helps them understand various aspects of learning with ease

-Story books- Other than tried and tested fairy tales being the best for imagination. Real life stories are a great way to help child understand people, situations and responses. Child should also be encouraged to make their own stories 

- Drama/ theater - enacting a scene of kids favorite story/ movie along with input from kid is a fun way of enhancing both creativity and communication skills

- Question, Questions & Questions - These are the best means of understanding and gauging child curiosity, how well  we handle these further encourages the child  
Creativity goes a long way in deciding what kids make and what they make of their life as well. 

Educating the mind

Learning/ Education 

"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all"

                                                                                                      -     Aristotle


                                                                                                                            -Spell and Charm 

How are best childhood memories made


Childhood memories / Love nature

Childhood memories are best made on summer afternoon... catching butterflies, jumping on puddles, collecting wildflowers, climbing trees in short "enjoying nature"

#Childhood memories 

Childhood memories
Enjoy Nature

Do you remember your the best childhood memories you had? 

                                                                                                                            -Spell and Charm 

What is parenting today

Parents are child's first teachers 

Parenting is taking out a moment each and every day in between hectic juggling with work, home responsibilities to teach our kids patience, hard work, planning and above all love, kindness and respect for all. 

#Parenting today

#Parents are teachers too

                                                                                                              -Spell and Charm



“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action."                     - Mother Teresa



                                                                                 -Spell and Charm

Motivational quote

How to motivate mind and body?

When you feel you are tired and cannot row your boat ....be still...let the heart motivate mind and body                                                                                          - spell and charm

#Motivational quote 

Nature is beautiful and knowledge is endless

Nature is beautiful and Knowledge is endless

There on  mountains melting white
…...touching frosted pines that STAND TALL in the snow

There as Thumbelina cuddled in a moss carpet
….Gliding on silver ferns and HOPING to reach home

Like a  pony with wind in her mane
....the KINDNESS in her eyes, eyes full of LOVE for green of pastures…

I am still here watching sunsets
Do you know sun spills orange everywhere
.........I feel blessed for this blissful sight 


Earth Day


If you want golden mornings….

Green sunny days ….

Orange evenings…

Silver starry nights…..

Plant Trees- Love Earth

                                                                           -Spell and Charm

Health benefits of dates for kids

Do you give dates for good health to your kids?

These days dates are very common, cheaply available dry fruits. Dates are quite convenient and can be stored easily as they are nuts, these can be easily cut, diced, chipped, grated on any of the sweet dish you prepare. 

Since last few days climate in Bangalore is highly unpredictable and a little chilly. I am depending heavily on warm food to keep everyone in family healthy. One of my favorite ingredients is dates (though it comes after my first favorite things like ginger, black pepper…etc…etc). But dates are more important as they are good for kids and taste yummy. So I use it in lot of dishes with oats, in cake or for garnishing any sweet dish (laddoo or barfi). I prefer it most in spicy raisins & dates chutney. It is spicy and tangy, and just heavenly. One of these days I will post a recipe for same too.  

But for now do read on to know few of many benefits of giving dates to you child:

  • Dates are rich source of protein, fiber and rich in many Vitamins namely A, B and C
  • Dates are packed with lot of energy as they contain sugar
  • Dates ease constipation. 
  • Dates have Iron, magnesium and calcium and are useful in treating anemia.
  • With all the vitamins and minerals dates help in fighting immunity
  • It is warm food and so is ideal for wholesome snack in winters

when giving dates to kids few things to be taken care of are:

-Ensure to always buy properly packed and processed dates
-Wash, wash and wash, these must always be washed before consuming
-Check to eliminate all seeds when giving to kids. Though you get seedless dates also but it is best to check them as well to be very sure for kids.

Building immunity is best way of keeping safe and healthy in changing climate

#building immunity

                                              - Spell and Charm 

How to Make Toddler ready for Kindergarten

make toddler school ready

I Love School

As the little ones grow and look at world with wonder in their eyes. The responsibility of teaching kids worldly manners, compassion and much more rests on shoulder of parents. A toddler of 2 to 2.5 year is most ready for a play school. Initially he may make some fuss but you can be assured kids love making friends and enjoy different activities they learn. Every new activity learned for them gives a sense of accomplishment and builds their confidence for kindergarten. The love for school and learning is laid down in kids mind is early years so kindergarten holds are special place.  

 For kids at toddler stage more that education and books, it is important to learn about things around them, become imaginative and social. 

If you don’t want to send toddler to play school, here are few things which you can teach to your toddler so as to be ready for kindergarten:

  • Teach the child about self, family, home.
  • Teach kid to self-care. Potty training, washing hands, self feeding etc
  • Read interesting story book to your kid with expression – These may be fairy tales or animal books.
  • Do activities for motor skills, like spooning activity, building blocks etc
  • Make a routine for child morning chores time, prayer time, breakfast time,  playing time, story time, snack time etc
  • Once in a while show them a fun children movie pair it with a book
  • Encourage socializing – Take kid out to play with kids his age in park, Plan kids outings, make kid familiar with outside world
  • Make a kids space that is organised, colorful and full of creativity
  • Teach kids sharing
  • Get few Play school books and play with kid matching games, sorting games, counting games, and board games. These help kids develop their mental skills and learn math easily at later stage
  • Teach alphabet, numbers through activity books, songs and other fun methods
  • Teach colors and shapes
  • Teach body parts, days in the week, months
  • maintain a progress report to know weak areas

Mostly teach them expression, communication, self-care and being social. Little bit of learning and bit of art and craft should suffice. These early years are theirs to the enjoy the play time time as well as to have fun while learning.

                                                                               - Spell and Charm

How to Motivate Child and Improve Focus when learning

How to Motivate Child ?How to Improve focus ?  Class and Self-study sessions

Every child is different and so is the way they learn. Education is a process which involves a lot of different activities like listening, communicating, practicing, organizing and involving one’s self at lot of levels. For us it may look easy but for a child it is complex lengthy process which is no fun. Keeping kid motivated is the key here. Here are few tips to keep the child motivated and focused in class and in self-study sessions :

  • Start with setting some basic rules- Instill in child a habit of independence. Let them finish their home-work and activities themselves. Start this in small steps. Make routine for kid’s to follow including learning and play time. Everyday studying routine at same time keep kids disciplined. Ensure to provide kids with a clock so they are not worried about time .Ensure the study room is a quiet place with good amount of sunlight and positive vibes. Avoid doing multitasking in-front of kids. If possible try not to use TV, or internet yourself or by anybody when kids are studying.
  •   Inculcate in kids habit of listening – Keeping kids focused in classroom is not easy. Especially when classes are over 20 minutes and more theoretical than activity based. There are many ways to help children with communications. Learning music and many activities/games based on are helpful with this. Children who listen carefully are able to focus and pay attention in class. 
  • Teach self-learning - Motivate kids to learn time management and encourage self-learning. Make kids understand virtue of minimal monitoring. To start with make a time table for kids every day learning with input from kids. Ensure that all subjects are covered. Motivate kid to study the subjects they don’t like can be made easy and interesting when learning with fun.
  •  Small Sessions – Time kids sessions with break in every 20 minutes. Children tend to develop boredom very easily and their mind drifts over. To avoid this, It is best to keep the study time short, with some time gap in between two sessions. Short break can be used small juice and snack break.
  •    Play time – Ensure to give kids mind time out. When their minds do not play any games or watch TV. They can play in park or go cycling, swimming, anything which helps them relax. Encourage spending time outdoors as it help relax and soothe mind
  •   Help your child become aware of the things that distract her. With time and practice, she’ll get to know what being distracted feels like, and will recognize when her attention is drifting.
  • Encourage group study once in a week- It may not be convenient initially but it really helps develop focus. Enroll your kid in a library or a book reading club of their choice. 
  • Encourage creativity in learning – very kid has their own way of understanding and learning. Encourage kid to find what is best suited to them. As they get more creative with their learning and sharing, Involvement of parents and encouragement plays an important role

Also read my post of extra activities that help kids improve mind concentration here and improve concentration with Brain food here

As we lead a hectic life juggling with home, work and responsibilities, we must take out time to tell kids about lot of patience, hard work, organizing, and planning goes in the doing things. Focus and healthy mind goes hand in hand. Developing focus, motivations and interest is a slow process but patience and perseverance pays.

                Empathize and believe!

-           Spell and Charm 

Are you an over indulgent parent?

Parenting - Raising kids the old way

Parenting is tougher today for parents around the world as kids get more demanding and expectations are high on all ends. Being a parent and living in city,  I felt a gap between how we were brought up and how we are parenting today.

Parents today are overindulgent due to various factors like rise of women, nuclear families, guilt of working mothers, affordability, consumerism etc.As parents we don’t mean to spoil our kids but lot of times out of love we overpraise, overprotect and overindulge

Are you an over indulgent parent?

Parents from any class in society want to provide their kids with anything and everything. But little do they know that showering them with abundance more than children need or can handle has negative effects. Below we will discuss on this kind of over parenting. What is Overindulgence? Where do we draw line between parents love and overindulgence?
Lot of times we ask ourselves how much is enough, enough of canned juice for kids, enough of chocolates, enough of TV etc…How much is enough? What to give and where to put limit? Parents understanding on these trivial matters go a long way in deciding how they raise their kids

Overindulgence is giving to kid more than he needs or he asks. It is one of the dangerous forms of spoiling. How do we know we are doing it?

  •  Time out for kids – when parents are over involved with kids. That is when kid gets all the attention of family at all times. When they are handed toys even before asking, over fed even before hungry and treated super special. When they are over attended to by parents or nanny and rarely spend alone time and time playing with kids of their age. Being Attention holders, never scolded, never disciplined and over-loved are too overindulged

  • Demands and tantrums: Kids are great observers and learners. Kids at toddler stage are known to throw tantrums and make demands. How do you deal with these tantrums and how fulfill the demands defines great deal on raising kids. If you agree to all demands kids make and every tantrum they throw without much thought, the toddler will continue to grow with his tantrums. Exposure to media and high demand of kids need to be tackled very carefully.
  • Care and protection:  Sometimes parents out of care and love do not let kids do thing they can do for themselves. Often parents get used to taking care of kids and forget to teach them to take care of themselves. Small self-care tasks like self-feeding, self-grooming, making their bags ready, cleaning their rooms etc. must be taught to kids. When parents do too much for their children, kids get used to not doing anything on their own. Such kids often face difficulty in adult jobs and taking care of self later in the life
  • Over praising – Often parents over-praise their kids to boost their confidence and sometimes to just keep them happy. Lavish praise makes kid over confident, unrealistic and leads them to believe that they are more special than other kids. Over praising kids every now and then may make them arrogant, too much in love with themselves and so as to say narcissistic.

 Parents should try and be conservative with praises. Rather than agreeing with everything kids say, give it a thought and opine what you think is right. No Parent would want to hurt kids feeling but sometimes thats what you have to do. Or else children grow up with lack of independence and fear of taking responsibility. It is important that kids don’t grow to be self-centered , be realistic and know that life is tough and be prepared for it. It’s is best to be honest with kids and let them find their own potential and drives.

As they say success does not come the easy way!

Also read my post on raising Responsible kids

                                                         - Spell and Charm