Importance of Comic Books for Children

Importance of Comic Books reading for Children. Powerful benefits of reading comic books.

Comic books have existed in our world for over 80 years. But the last fifteen years have particularly witnessed how comic books have taken over cinemas, toys, clothing. Some even prefer comic character-inspired names for their pets. A whole culture has developed around these imaginaries over the top stories.

Comic books are art, art that is designed in the best way to help children learn and grow; visual stories in them have a stronger and staying influence. The ultimate simultaneous integration of visual and verbal communication in comic books assists in developing visual thinking skills and nurtures curiosity in children. 

Yes, comic books are ‘entertaining’, but ‘not just entertaining’; their benefits go infinity and beyond. Let us explore the positive aspects of comic books and their importance for children with this blog.

  • Welcome your kids to the world of reading!

In today’s time, television, mobile phones, and video games dominate children’s senses. Because of this, a lot of children miss out on the captivating beauty of reading. They don’t find reading as vibrant as the gadgets’ world. Comic books can offer a powerful solution to this problem. Mixing vibrancy and reading, they provide a very entertaining Segway for introducing children to reading. Once they start getting interested in reading, they will grow exponentially. Don’t be shocked if one day, your child starts to skim through hundreds of books as fast as “The Flash”. 

Reading Comic Books is important for Children as it helps them grow exponentially.

In the formative years of your kids, you might have taught them by using picture books. Comic books are an extension of picture books. Comic books, through their pictures, give the word a visual representation. They are visual stories.

The books that are not considered literature can teach verbs, adjectives, punctuations, and other parts of speech to the kids in a much easily conceivable format.

  • Improve inferential thinking and become a detective!

The world of a comic book is immersive. Kids can read and build their world and also get better at problem-solving. Have you heard of “The Batman” effect?

Studies suggest that children engaging in pretend play while performing mundane or difficult tasks can have enhanced focus and better attention span. While they role-play Batman or any fictional character, they tend to engage longer and be more focused. They tend to mirror the qualities they admire in their favourite characters and take steps towards building perseverance. The Batman effect also helps kids improve their decision-making skills when they imagine themselves in different scenarios and approach the task at hand by self-distancing.

Reading Comic Books is important for Children. It helps improve inferential thinking in children.

In comic books, unpredictability and magic exist. Plus, the whole comic creation process has several stages of development, from conception to completion. In the comic creation process, first, the story ideation, plot development, and scripting happens. Once the script is ready, it goes through the Art Production stage, which again has a few sub-stages of development and then the final editing, re-editing, printing, marketing, and distribution, happens. You might be wondering why I am talking about the comic creation process here! It’s because children get a chance to look at the finest art in their hands and figure out hidden details about the story, which helps a child improve their inferential thinking and their capability to depend on their intuition. So, don’t let your child miss upon the fine benefits of reading comic books mindfully.

  • Become righteous and save the world!
Benefits of reading comic books to children can be life-altering. It can encourage children to become righteous as a Superman and save the world.

A lot of comic books come with high moral values. These values exist in their characters and the story and are not taught like moral science lessons. Children get to use their own reasoning to make sense of these values, which strengthens the personality they build in life. Maybe your child can get inspired by the righteousness of “Superman” and bring a better change to this world. 

  • Fly in and out of beautiful imaginations!
The powerful benefits of reading comic books to children are many. It helps children become more creative.

Comic books usually follow nonlinear storytelling, which means that the stories in comic books take months through years to finish. With such a huge time frame, children can make up their own stories using their imagination to fill the gaps. The more they read these stories, the more ideas they come up with. And the more ideas they come up with, the more creative they become. One day you might even see your child writing the story for the next “Avengers“. 

  • Expanding memory, enhancing powers!
The empowering benefits of reading comic books to children are many. Reading Comic Books help children enhance their memory, and expand their imaginations.

The human brain registers more when there are more sources of information. Each shape, frame, colour, layout serves as an individual source. Comic books have multiple colours and various layouts that design the environment and its characters. When texts/words get added to these, the cherry meets the cake. Children get to see many such sources, and with time they begin to link real-world information to the shapes, colours, frames in comic books. Who knows, your child could develop a memory like “The Thinker” and come up with mind-boggling innovations. 

  • Not all heroes fly!
The powerful benefits of reading comic books to children are many. It helps enhance children's perspectives and introduce them to new concepts about the world!

Comic books don’t just mean superheroes. Superheroes comics became a lot more famous due to the grandiose they have. A lot of other comics like “Owly” and “All’s Faire in Middle School” deal with friendships, social issues, family, etc. exist. These different types of comics can enhance children’s perspectives and introduce them to new concepts about the world. 

Some other great comics that you can offer your children are “Teen Titans” by Art Baltazar and Franco Aurelian and “Chi’s Sweet Home” by Konami Kanata.

Comic books will continue to influence and change the world. Their impact in the last decade has seen the formation of new communities, connections, and friendships. They are much more than being a source of entertainment; they are a catalyst for harmony.         

When you see your child reading a comic, do not think they are wasting their time. Reassure yourself that your child is taking a fun approach to growing and learning. And make sure to give them the best comic books available!

And as always, I say ‘Introduce your Child to Diverse Genres’. When a child reads books of various genres, she or he can maintain a balance between fiction and reality and prevent the onset of “anti-social” behaviour. Introducing diverse genres is our simple solution for those who maintain this critical concern towards reading. 

Enjoy the sweet treat of comic books with your children sometimes and raise happy, self-confident readers!

How to Read to an Overactive Child?

7 ways to develop the reading habit in overactive children

Some children are just more active, enthusiastic, and bouncy than average. They are spirited like an intense ball of energy. Unfortunately, the high amount of energy these children have gets in their own way, hindering their ability to accomplish things. It is challenging for an overactive child to complete tasks that demand patience and alertness. Reading is one such activity that requires a calm mind and attention. But by harnessing the child’s high energy in a positive, mindful manner, they can become an avid reader, incredibly creative and productive.

Who is an overactive child?

A child who possesses more energy than most children of their age is considered an overactive child. The unique characteristics of an overactive child are as follows:

  • The child is a ball of energy.

The child has excess energy that makes her or him fidget. Due to this high level of energy, she or he has low concentration levels. The child gets distracted easily and is unable to complete the task at hand.  

  • The child has a wandering mind.

As the concentration span is shorter, the child tends to get lost in her or his thoughts. As a consequence, she or he has weak listening skills.

Some of the unique characteristics of overactive children: they are ball of energy, they have wandering mind, they are over-enthusiastic, have high emotional range.
  • The child is over-enthusiastic.

As an overactive child contains high energy, she or he is impulsive, zealous and likes to do everything faster.

  • The child has a higher emotional range.

An overactive child experiences a higher range of emotions in a shorter time than other children. She or he goes through sadness, worry, restlessness, happiness, and excitement in a small amount of time. 

7 ways to Read to overactive children

If your child is (indeed) overactive, you can conduct constructive reading sessions with your child by following these tips:

  1. Reading sessions conducted after outdoor activity.
Conducting reading sessions after outdoor activities helps an overactive child stimulate the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin that are crucial for impulse control, learning, focus, and attention

A simple walk amidst nature or an hour-long swimming session will help to burn out the excess energy in your child’s body. Moreover, physical activities stimulate the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin that are crucial for impulse control, learning, focus, and attention. You can also make reading a part of the morning and night-time ritual when the child is feeling all relaxed.

2. Create a warm and welcoming book nook!

A warm ambience and a welcoming book corner is also one of the ways to develop the reading habit in kids

Ambience plays a significant role in setting up the mood. Therefore, create a reading environment for your child which is devoid of distractions. Place different books, stationery and indoor plants in the reading corner to make it inviting. Design the corner in a way that it radiates warmth. Or maybe build a reading tent in the designated space with lots of couch pillows (Eric Carle’s pillows, Book Nook pillows) for relaxing reading session/s. 

The key is to create a warm and welcoming space with limited distractions possible. The space got to be inviting for the child and parent (both).

3. Play some soothing music in the background!

Play soothing music in the background can help an overactive child focus and developing the habit of reading becomes easy.

Instrumental music lowers energy levels and regulates emotions. Exposing your child to such music can help her or him to calm down. Your child might associate reading with music and consider them as pleasant activities that go hand in hand.

4. Direct your child’s excess energy into activities accompanying reading!

To develop the reading habit in an overactive child Kinesthetic learning has proven to be the best form of learning for an overactive child.

Kinesthetic learning is the best form of learning for an overactive child. If your child starts fidgeting and they are losing interest, engage them in activities like 

  • Enacting a character from the book. 
  • Raise their curiosity by asking them to predict the story. 
  • Make props or portraits or bookmarks of the characters and utilize them during the reading sessions to enhance the reading experience. 

This way, you gain your child’s undivided attention to the reading session as you convert the passive act of reading to an active act of role-playing.

5. Begin with the easy stuff!

To develop the reading habit in overactive children begin with easy and short books! It encourages a feeling of accomplishment and boosts your child's confidence.

Always begin with easy and short books. Since an overactive child struggles with focusing on a larger span, she or he will feel motivated to have completed the book. It encourages a feeling of accomplishment and boosts your child’s confidence. Once the reading habit is in place, gradually move to books of higher level. 

6. Chapter books over picture books

How to read to an overactive child? Prefer chapter books over picture books

Being mindful in the book selection is crucial. Chapter books with more words work better over the picture books. Children who have difficulty focusing find it challenging to sit down still with a book and read. So, let them BE, let them wiggle and bounce the extra energy out, and you keep reading. Remember, they are still listening while bouncing around; they still hear the words.

7. Be patient with your child.

How to read to an Overactive child

It is easy to get frustrated and annoyed by a spirited child’s energy. In most cases, the first reading attempt is a failure. Practice patience when you read to your child. Do not hesitate to read the same book twice or thrice, multiple times. Remember to see an overactive child’s energy as a positive thing and embrace them just as they are. I genuinely have a soft spot for overactive children. 

Consider these tips as a few ideas to formulate a customised reading plan for your overactive child. Children who have difficulty focusing find it challenging to sit down still with a book and read. So let them BE sometimes, let them wiggle and bounce the energy out and remember they are still listening while bouncing around. And don’t forget to compliment your child on having completed a reading session successfully. Encourage interactive reading sessions with your child and help her/him participate with enthusiasm and vigour. Through these efforts, you would raise an inquisitive reader in no time.

I wish you a beautiful bonding time while reading to your child and rooting for you dear parent that all your reading sessions happen with ease!

Read. Raise. Rise.

#readraiserise

How to Develop Reading Habits in Children?

5 ways to develop reading habits in children

“The world belongs to those who read.” -Rick Holland

Reading habits are encouraged across all cultures and age groups. Through reading, a person can master skills and qualities that act as essential assets for a lifetime. Developing a reading habit from an early age is therefore crucial for the overall development of a child. A child undertakes an activity only when it answers an inner need or fulfils a purpose. So, to successfully raise a child as an inquisitive reader, focus on their area of interest. Making reading child-led and helping them develop a positive, mindful relationship with BOOKS is the key.

Why is reading from an early age important?

It is easier to establish new habits at a young age. When a person starts reading in her formative years, it becomes an indispensable part of her existence. The benefits of encouraging reading from a young age are:

  • It enhances imaginative and creative abilities.

Fiction and fantasy books introduce the child to a world that differs from reality. This new world acts as a stimulant and improves the child’s imagination and creativity. 

  • It develops emotional faculties. 

An author’s work always contains a range of emotions. A child feels a connection with the characters of the book and becomes sensitive to such emotional variations. 

  • It improves communication skills. 

As a reader, the child is exposed to a myriad of emotions and situations. Consequently, the child’s comprehension skills and self-expressions improve.

  • It widens perspective.

Books contain infinite information. When exposed to this sea of information, a child learns to view things from multiple angles and develops a curious nature.

How to develop reading habits in children?

To develop your children’s interest in reading, introduce it in the guise of a game or as a ceremonial ritual. Just as a game is played according to rules, and rituals are performed with a sense of purpose and ceremony. Similarly, setting the grounds for healthy reading habits can be done in the following five ways:

  1. Design a space dedicated to reading!
How to develop reading habits in children? Answer 1: Design a space dedicated to reading

This space can be in the corner of your child’s bedroom or even the living room. Decorate this space with a bookshelf and posters of famous book characters. Make this space inviting for your child by placing colourful cushions, beautiful lights, and a comfortable couch. Most importantly, make this a read-only zone with no distractions. You can also make reading a part of the morning and night-time ritual when the child is feeling relaxed. If possible, make books easily accessible all around the house.

How to develop reading habits in children? A dedicated space for reading is really helpful

Psst! And I am close to executing what Dr Seuss says “Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.”

2. Let your child pick the book!

How to develop reading habits in children? Answer 2- Keep it child-led. Let your child pick the book!

Visit bookstores with your child and let her or him choose the books. This way, the child will feel a sense of independence. The child will also relate the book picking activity to a fun event and look forward to it every time. Get your child enrolled in reading groups and libraries; get her/him a library card. Many cities have lucrative options of doorstep libraries, too; they deliver the books home as per the reader’s reading list requirements and furnish new book sets on a monthly or quarterly basis. Explore it in your cities! If you want to know one in Delhi/NCR, let me know in the comment section below.

3. Be an active participant while reading a book!

How to develop reading habits in children? Answer 3- Parents be an active participant while reading a book to your child.

Make reading a book thrilling by reading aloud, enacting roles, making storyboards, and using different voices and facial expressions for characters. Maybe sing along the rhyming sentences! My little one, Pratham, prefers me being a rapper to Dr Seuss’ books. I can’t forget Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss! It’s fun, though! 

Gift a picture dictionary or flashcards to your child and use them during the reading session. This way, the child will grasp things faster. The experience will also become more enjoyable. Once the child finishes a book, inquire about her or his favourite part, the things she or he disliked, and what would she or he like to read next.

4. Introduce your child to diverse genres!

How to develop reading habits in children? Answer 4- Introduce books of diverse genres, it really helps.

Encourage your child to read fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, poetry, prose, comic books, and historical or geographical books. At times, the child gets too absorbed into the magical world opened by a fictional or fantasy book. The new world may detach a child from her or his reality and lead to isolation and loneliness. When a child reads books of various genres, she or he can maintain a balance between fiction and reality and prevent the onset of “anti-social” behavior. Introducing diverse genres is our simple solution for those who maintain this critical concern towards reading. 

 However, in my personal opinion, your sky can be pink; who can or should have a say over that? And seeing things differently liberates you, gives you the chance to explore and decide on them for yourselves, not make you aloof! 

5. Be the pillar of support for your child!

How to develop reading habits in children? Answer 5- Be the pillar of support for your children, appreciate and motivate them

Every child is unique. Therefore, each child has a different reading pace, reading choice, and intellectual prowess. But if your child is struggling, identify the problem and provide a solution as soon as possible. Not having a strong foundation of phonics and a good understanding of words and letters is one of the common reasons. A child might have a slow reading pace or may have trouble with the vocabulary of the book. Re-assure your child of her or his capabilities and help her or him overcome the obstacles. 

What do children overcome through reading?

  • Insomnia
  • Fear of public speaking
  • Fluency

Many children develop reading habits but are unable to sustain them. They lose interest in reading due to many reasons.

  • An increase in the difficulty level is the most common one.
  • As they grow up, they prioritize other activities.

To maintain the reading habit in your child,

  • Keep a literacy-rich environment
  • Parents can also keep book reading as their ‘Me-time’ practice. The family can together have a reading time.
  • Don’t forget to compliment your child on finishing a book, emphasize the importance of reading as they grow up, and
  • Keep the ritual of reading aloud to children even when they become independent readers. 

Now, I’d take your leave by these parting words…

HELP THE CHILDREN TO MAKE THEIR READING A PASSION BECAUSE THEY ARE THE ADULTS OF THE FUTURE GENERATION. AND THERE’S NO SUBSTITUTE AS POWERFUL AS READING!

And enjoy the sweet treat of reading with your children and happy parenting! 😊

When and How to Introduce Books to Children?

When and How to Introduce Books to Children?

“Just hearing the word ‘book’ makes me sleepy. Reading is such a non-exciting and boring activity to do, sitting in one place like a dead person, cut-off from the world around you. Absolutely disgusting!” – said a non-reader.

“Indeed. Reading a book can put one to sleep. It is bland and anti-social an activity to do. Rather awful!”- replied a reader.

Puzzled by the above lines? (Though you will have a tough time finding any reader with that opinion but, for a while, just take it as said.)  

Both the reader and the non-reader shared the same opinion, but they still sound different, and one out of them sounds better, right? There is no magic behind it, but the edge of ‘vocabulary’ and ‘self-expression’ that one has. Both said the same thing, but the way of expression was different. It is just that the ‘reader’ has a better way of communicating her views than a non-reader. This highlights the significant benefit of book reading, and that is enriched vocabulary and exceptional self-expression.

Benefits of Reading Books to Children is that it helps in enriching the vocabulary and helping in enhancing self-expression

That’s the magic of reading! It helps us improve in many ways than we tend to count, pretty much like homoeopathy- working naturally in the background, on the fundamental belief that with a little boost, the body can heal (learn a lot- in the case of books) on its own!

There are terms like sincere, nerd, and studious, which are usually used to describe inquisitive people, eager to find answers for their questions, caringly passionate about what they do or how they do. But the whole narrative around the same has changed since the last two decades, as the world has witnessed the greatest of innovations, art, and entertainment coming from people who had a few qualities in common.

There are endless benefits of reading books to children

Earlier, these things were considered anti-social, but people are now beginning to realize that these qualities are crucial for learning and development. They believe that nothing is wrong to be like this when one is spending that time productively reading and learning. Other benefits, such as improvement in one’s knowledge base, development of critical thinking, boost in one’s confidence level while putting mind and time in reading and exploring, have brought a significant shift in perception.

There are endless benefits of reading books to children

Book reading is a promising hard skill to have. And like any other skill, it cannot be mastered in a day. For children, reading is one of the important skills to have to be successful in life. Making ‘book reading’ a ritual is essential because it stimulates the imaginative and creative sensory of the child’s brain because there are no visuals to manipulate the narrative to the content they are consuming. The greatest merit all children enjoy is ‘curiosity’. They are new to everything and keen on discovering, learning, and engaging with anything new; they don’t hesitate to skim through the books, take a pause to glance at the pictures, ask questions that stand out to them.

Benefits of reading books to children

Also, children don’t have any preconceived notion about anything; this is also why they grasp things quickly and retain them for a long time. You tell kids Santa Claus is real, they will believe it, you tell them ‘XYZ’ is wrong, they will believe it, you tell them reading a book will help you they will believe it. There will definitely be follow-up questions, but they have these questions because they are trying ‘to understand’. These questions are helping their brain to develop a sensory perception.

Introducing children to book reading can be tricky because they have a short attention span, and they keep steering from one thing or activity to another really fast. Sometimes the book or story is not over, and they would unwaveringly be unwilling to join you through the story till the end. And that’s OK! Keep it child-led, even when it comes to the book selection; however, guide them with age-appropriate books.

So, it becomes vital that reading is inculcated in a way that doesn’t look enforced on them. Because if it does, there is no chance in hell they will do it. Plus, they don’t know anything like adherence, so parents’ mindfulness in making the reading experience enjoyable and meaningful plays a vital role. We are helping them develop a positive relationship with BOOKS.

Now, when to introduce books to children?

Parents can begin reading books to the little ones when they are as young as 3 to 5 months’ infants. Because their receptive senses are active by this age, they can respond and recognize the sound, touch, and objects around them. Reading to them will make them alert; their attention would mainly be on the narrator’s face and her gestures or on the vibrant colours, and patterns in the book. 

Keep a place just for books. The books can be about anything; the goal here is to let the toddlers become aware of what a book is. When the infants are 9 to 10 months young, by now, they hold things with a better grip, walk towards things that intrigue them, sit and explore them. There is no chance, an infant to find something new at the corner of the room and not approach it. They will pick it up, or sit on it, chew, or tear the pages while trying to flip them; they will try every possible way to get to know ‘the book’– the introduction of what a book is- done, perfectly done to a toddler by herself!

Introduce the books to children when they are as young as 3 to 5 months' infants

Children 1- or 2-years young are learning to communicate. They surely understand what is said to them; maybe they can’t reply as they don’t know any words yet or have just begun joining two words to respond. Surprisingly, studies have shown that people who are bilingual or multilingual have command over different languages because they had a bilingual or multilingual family or environment that led a child to pick up different languages naturally rather than taking classes to learn the languages. Children have brain fresh as a clean slate absorbing anything and everything, which means their brain efficiency and receptive ability, is high. It must be channeled into use wisely, ideally by reading books and stories to them, talking to them about things they like and dislike. Don’t worry whether they understand everything or not, but as long as parent-children both are having a fun time together, that’s more than enough to set the ground for grooming. And the process of making sense of things is already in function, so stay calm and enjoy the reading treat together.

Once the children are 5 or 6 years or above, they probably by now have learned to do lots of activities independently, such as walking, eating, communicating; some may even have begun reading on their own. At this age, book reading can be made even more engaging. Help them predict the story by asking them to describe the book cover and the pictures between the pages. Involve them also in reading the book a sentence or two in between, keep the fingers running on the words while reading as they’ll learn how ‘the words and sentences’ are read, spelt, and pronounced. Conduct small plays to make the story come alive, create storyboards, ask questions, allow them to narrate the stories, ask them ‘what-if’ questions. And don’t forget to ask their views on the book. All of this would spark interest and enable them to ‘choose and decide’ books themselves eventually and not just tag along with everyone’s likes and dislikes.

To inculcate the habit of reading in children build it with patience and practice

The whole idea is to not let the hustle die and make book reading an everyday ceremonial ritual to ensure the child remains inquisitive, imaginative and curious explorers growing up. Book reading can be lethargic when the mind is not into it. And scientifically, it is said that some things to become a muscle memory or doing something without giving much attention to it, at first requires conscious, constant practice. In other words, when you are young and have just learned how to walk, from getting up to taking a step and navigating the path, everything is consciously done. But when an adult, you don’t give much thought before walking because the mind is aware and well trained to perform the task. It happened because the intrinsic motivation to get better at taking every step of the way was there as a child.

Don't let the hustle of reading in children die

The childhood period- introducing books as early as 3-5 months young- is the best time to start instilling the relationship with books and inculcating the habit of reading, done with a sense of ceremony and purpose. It is basically gaining so much at no fear of losing anything. Yes, finding an intent on the internet is easier and convenient. But it narrows the scope of getting more information in abundance. And being fond of books doesn’t have to be to boycott the technology; it is to completely be aware of it and enjoy it, but still not give up on one of a human’s old friends, a book.

Benefits of reading books to children that they are peaceful, enriching companions

Books are a lot more sorted than the internet. And peaceful, and enriching, and feels a lot more personal. As Mark Haddon said, “Reading is a conversation. All books talk. But a good book listens as well”. And it can be everything to ask for, sometimes. So, don’t let your child miss such a great thing—a book.

Enjoy the sweet treat of reading with your little one and help her make book reading a part of practice! Happy parenting while reading!

An Important STEM Challenge for Kids Dominoes Challenge- Full of Life Lessons

STEM challenge- Dominoes challenge for Kids

Today, my little one, Pratham, came to me with an unusual request; he had chanced upon a stirring challenge from one of his favourite kids’ shows. With a glowing face, dilated pupils, and frequent blinking eyes, he asked, ‘Mommm, should I attempt a Dominoes chain challenge?’.

I said, “Wait a minute, why ‘SHOULD’ baby? Please go ahead if you are feeling excited to try one. Never resist your creative talents!”

Beware of the 'Should' questions of kids! Don't let the 'should' questions define your experience and display of your creative expressions and aptitudes!

The next few paragraphs are for parents and caregivers who connect to the experiential and instinctual way of parenting. If you want to delve right into the dominoes challenge, you can skip the following three paragraphs, but we would love it if you stay!

I would want to say it out loud to each of you reading this, don’t let the ‘should’ questions define your experience and display of your creative expressions and aptitudes! Unfortunately, we are so conditioned to limit ourselves with the ‘should(s)’ that we hinder our accomplishment of ‘would’. 

If today just casually I would have replied to his eager ‘should’ question with a ‘yes or no’, he would have had his first limiting acknowledgement coming from me, and eventually, he might have ingrained several ‘Should’ experiences that might limit his potential, which as a parent, I would not want him to experience. Asking for permission is one thing, but seeking validation for multi-dimensional experiences and risking not following our ideas and wants because of limits set in the mind or society is not something we got to pass on to our younger ones.

There was a realization in this for me too! As I choose to give my child a conscious parenting experience, why would I be casual in my responses and remarks, and why not deliberately co-create positively! The way I would not limit my dreams and desires, why would I fetter his dreams, aspirations, and desires that way.

Now, going back to my experience of the day…

When I asked him what the dominoes challenge is, he looked around here and there, a bit puzzled for a couple of minutes and then brought his Legos to explain what the challenge looks like.

To explain to you further, Pratham doesn’t have a dominoes deck at home as of now, and to illustrate the challenge as a demo to me, he avidly found a creative way out and utilized his Lego bricks, the rectangular ones (2X4 variants), to make a dominoes’ contraption/chain. Voila, the Dominoes chain was right in front of me!

I, as an ardent reader, did not stop there. I further tried digging up on the subject by reading on the Internet about the Dominoes Challenge. So, here I am to sort you up about ‘Domino Chain Reaction: an important STEM Challenge for Kids’ and its significance in creating an exponential learning curve for kids, which in turn teaches essential life skills.

Now, what Are Dominoes challenge and the theory behind it?

Have you ever heard of the phrase “fall over like a row of dominoes”? It traces back to the Cold War years, and the first person to propose ‘The Domino theory’ was President Harry S Truman. He introduced it to justify sending military aid to countries that asked for it. However, the analogy was made popular by President Dwight Eisenhower.

The domino theory or the domino chain reaction refers to a series of equally placed (rectangular tiles) dominoes toppling over when the first one is knocked. What happens is, when the first domino in the chain or series is pushed, it topples over the second, then the third up until the last one going over very quickly with a profound influence. One by one, all of them fall over due to kinetic energy.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) aims to improve education by teaching children basic life-changing skills like problem-solving, time management, coping with failures, thriving skills, and many more. The Dominoes STEM challenge refers to Lego towers (each Lego 2×4) placed the same way dominoes are. The legos are supposed to increase in size as they go on, so the demonstration of transferring kinetic energy can be seen clearly.

You also get readily available dominoes decks- wooden, plastic, glass, or marble; colourful or black & white ones- in the market.

Benefits of Dominoes chain STEM challenge: 

Benefits of the Dominoes Challenge- 1) It helps in fine motor development in children,
2) It helps exercise concentration muscles well,
3) It helps display best creative expression,
4) It helps understand the spatial dimensions needed to make curves and spirals.

Dominoes challenge helps in:

  • fine motor development in children,
  • helps exercise concentration muscles well,
  • display best creative expression,
  • understand the spatial dimensions needed to make curves and spirals.

As mentioned above, the Dominoes STEM challenge teaches values that can be used later in life, so it would be better if the above STEM challenge is encouraged from a young age.

Here’s a list of 9 life lessons that the Dominoes Chain STEM challenge is helpful in. Picture this- if the child is working on a Dominoes challenge with siblings or parents or friends. What are the lessons they’ll pick up on?

Life lessons from Dominoes STEM challenge- Patience, Commitment, Concentration

1) Patience

Patience is always a desired virtue in any career field. 

Building and placing dominoes (or legos) is a repetitive process that involves a lot of time and patience of a person making one. Sometimes, it takes several attempts to build the anticipated domino chains. However, the art of putting each of them in the desired position perfects patience skills.

2) Commitment

Making domino chains is a process that might take a very long time, depending on the final output size, factoring in the number of failed attempts that may happen.

Dedicating so much time and energy can be exhausting, but the spirit of commitment goes a long way in the world.

3) Concentration

The dominoes (or legos) demand being placed perfectly behind each other. One small mistake can mess everything up. Thus, concentration is an indispensable skill to have when it comes to making a Domino Chain Reaction.

It is essential to be focused on whatever you are doing, even later in life. Short attention spans are unhealthy and can be unattractive in future relationships, work, or otherwise.

Life lessons from Dominoes STEM challenge- Communications, Planning, Organizing skills

4) Communication

This particular challenge teaches the most fundamental values of communicating with your peers if she/he is playing in a group. Without verbal communication, the whole model can go haywire and result in no achievements at all.

Communicating with your peers is one of the essential skills to have in the real world. Lack of this skill can lead to disruption in personal and work relationships.

5) Planning and Organising Skills

The whole base of this challenge lies in planning and development. If the model is planned wrong, the whole experiment can fail. Hence, planning and organizing everything is the basis of the Domino STEM Challenge.

Organizing is one of the extra talents looked for in the corporate world. This talent can also help in your daily life planning, and make you more focused on your goals.

Life lessons from Dominoes STEM challenge- Trust and Forgiveness

6) Trust

Different children working on different model sections means that they have to trust each other in the making process.

Trust is the basis of all relationships in your personal life. Without trust, you wouldn’t be close to anyone, and it might also lead to various mental illnesses.

7) Forgiveness

A lot of crashes and collisions take place in challenges like these. If the child is playing with siblings, parents, or friends, she/he gets to understand that being angry at the one who made the unintentional mistake or crash is not good. Mistakes can happen with anyone, and that forgiveness is necessary for such situations.

Everyone makes mistakes, but everyone doesn’t forgive. Forgiving is considered one of the most important virtue. Having it is the most helpful attitude of living a compassionate life for oneself and others.

Life lessons from Dominoes STEM challenge- Anticipation and Excitement and Creativity

8) Anticipation and Excitement

The excitement and fun of the building process teach kids to enjoy the process while anticipating the best results in the end.

Similarly, enjoying the process is the most crucial part of a big project or goal in the real world. Work without enjoyment makes the project lifeless and results in an unstatisfying output. 

9) Creativity

Making models and design ideas sparks creativity and lead to creative thinking in toddlers, pre-schoolers, or high school kids. They imagine and produce designs in their head first when an idea strikes.

Creativity is a life-changing skill that can increase passion and love for certain things while expanding imagination and encouraging thinking. Moreover, it is an everlasting skill that makes you happy.

Here are a few variants** that the kids of Preschool to High school can enjoy with the right amount of challenge mixed with age appropriateness:

Variant -1 for Dominoes Challenge that the kids of Preschool to High school goers can enjoy with the right amount of challenge mixed with age appropriateness
Variant -2 for Dominoes Challenge that the kids of Preschool to High school goers can enjoy with the right amount of challenge mixed with age appropriateness

**- sourced from the Internet

The Domino Chain STEM Challenge definitely got to be taken up by the children of the modern age. So utilize the Lego bricks (2X4 variant) or buy the readily available decks to make your child develop into a well-rounded being!

I trust that I have explained to you everything about the Dominoes Chain STEM challenge in today’s post and if you have any questions about it, drop me a message in the comment section below, and I’d be more than happy to assist you with it.

Thank you for reading, and happy parenting!

Classic Childhood Games That Teach Important Life Skills

Classic Childhood Games That Teach Important Life Skills

“Opportunities of learning are everywhere, even while playing games!”

The three primary activities that form a part of early childhood experiences unless the formal education starts are- Playing, Eating and Sleeping- the only three mindful affairs at least the 90s born can remember, isn’t it!

Play is the leading form of learning, and games are the natural need for children. We all know that games (whether traditional or contemporary) positively influence the upbringing and growth of each individual. And if you as a parent, also trust that play can raise and help a child thrive in unimaginable ways, you’ll easily relate that as childhood is the budding age for growth and learning, playing games can lay the ground for children to learn essential life skills in play-way spirits; whether it is for learning human relations skills, pre-academic skills, healthy humour or it is moral, emotional, physical and mental development in children.

For this simple reason, we as parents want to pass on our favourite childhood games to our offspring. The added benefits of learning through play are many. Read** on to discover how each game finely and secretly models real-world situations and helps children learn how to live and act naturally.

**Our excitement ended up making this blog a long one. If you, too, are excited and can’t wait to try one of these classics, you can enjoy the list of games and the benefits of each game via the creatives we have made with extra effort!

Here are some of the classic childhood games that teach children essential life skills in play-way spirits :

  1. Musical Chairs

 5 people. 4 chairs. Always one chair less than the people playing. As soon as the music stops, everyone rushes to get their seats. Who will be left out?

Musical Chairs: Classic Childhood Games That Teach Important Life Skills

Musical Chairs is one of the only games that teach children how to talk their way out of arguments. It teaches how to deal with the frustration of failure. Sharpening a child’s auditory skills is another perk. This game works on being happy for others and cheering them on from the sidelines. This game teaches a child how to be a cheerleader not only for others but also for oneself. 

Moreover, musical chairs can be played by all age groups.

2. Name, Place, Animal, Thing!

 A multiplayer paper-pen game. As the name of this game goes, all you need to do is make four columns on a paper and label the columns Name, Place, Animal, Thing. One of the player commands ‘Start’ and whoever completes the list first commands ‘Stop’. Now, who gets all the four columns (correctly) filled with the instructed letter of the alphabet in a row? 

Name, Place, Animal, Thing! - Classic Childhood Games That Teach Important Life Skills

Playing this with your child can have surprising results and definitely increase her concentration levels. Teaching phonics becomes easy; introducing ‘Noun’ to a 5-year young child feels effortless too. Other perks of this game are: vocabulary development for sure happens, but more amazingly, geography and map reading happens too. Eagerness to learn and memorise names of cities, towns to quickly fill the row with correct feeds also ensues, independent thinking, time management, and spelling advancement… all can happen leisurely in play-way spirit. 

3. Hide and Seek 

 A multiplayer game. 1 finder. Who will be caught first?

Hide and Seek is a game of rational thinking and patience. The finder has to think and memorise all the spots where the people could hide. At the same time, the hiders have to look for the best places to hide quietly, without making a sound. Patiently waiting is also an essential part of this game. 

Hide and Seek: Classic Childhood Games That Teach Important Life Skills

 In real life hostage situations, the hide and seek game can be re-enacted. This game definitely makes to the list of games that prepare a child to determine and manage undesirable situations.

4. Dumb Charades

 A multiplayer game, which can even be played among 2-3 people if the family is a nuclear one. 

No materials required. All you do is hum a song or enact a folktale/story you’ve just heard/read together or act out a portion from the documentary series on Netflix you and your family may have watched together. Ask the participants to name the song, or story or documentary! It’s a lot of fun. 

Dumb Charades: Classic Childhood Games That Teach Important Life Skills

The benefits of this game are many; to list a few, here we go. It helps in listening skills, concentration and memory, audio processing of a child, and mindfulness practices. 

5. Indoor Hopscotch 

A multiplayer game. You can make a Hopscotch board with masking tape on the floor. And then be ready to hop, jump and balance with your little one!

With variations like hopping on the even/odd numbers
or the count down 10 to 1,
or adding numbers and jumping on the resultant number
makes learning numbers fun

How about alphabet hopscotch for letter recognition?

Indoor Hopscotch: Classic Childhood Games That Teach Important Life Skills

Hoping, jumping, and balancing on one foot helps develop good gross motor muscles and provides exercise that children (and we!) need staying indoors. 

Psst! Gross motor movements keep everybody sane! Not only can Hopscotch keep the child physically strengthened, but also can help them learn numbers and letter recognition on a hop. It also supports decision making, positive relationship, self-regulation, patience and turn-taking skills.

6. Monopoly

28 properties. 3-8 players. Two dice. 1 board. Who will be the richest in the end?

Monopoly: Classic Childhood Games That Teach Important Life Skills

Monopoly (also known as a Business Game) is a contemporary game based on strategy and tactical skills, which helps a child with financial literacy, the most important in building 21st-century life skills. It is never early for a child to have financial skills and budgeting knowledge. It sharpens the mind of the young ones and teaches them monetary control. The feeling of being organised and having complete control of your assets is what Monopoly promotes.

 Currently, Monopoly has 1144 versions, fictional and real editions included. It is a must-have game.

7. Table Tennis

2 people. 1 table. 1 ball. Who will miss the shot first?

Table Tennis: Classic Childhood Games That Teach Important Life Skills

Table Tennis is an Olympic sport practised in schools and colleges, too. This indoor sport mainly focuses on hand-to-eye coordination and impulses. Being cautious and focusing on the ball are some of the other perks that later can be used. It helps fasten your impulses and to withdraw from the jump-away-from-the-ball-coming-towards-you impulse that people generally have.

Playing this with your child can have surprising results and definitely increase his concentration levels.

8. Rock! Paper! Scissors! 

A simple and interesting hand game usually played between two individuals in which the participants simultaneously outstretches one of the three shapes- rock (a closed fist), paper (a flat hand), scissors (we all know how! Victory sign with index and middle finger making a ‘V’ shape). The possible outcomes are only two: a draw or one of the participant wins.

Rock Paper Scissors: Classic Childhood Games That Teach Important Life Skills

This simple game helps in consciousness, concentration and control of the mind, identifying patterns and predicting the future behaviour of the player. For adults, this game can be 5 minutes’ de-stressor between work intervals.

9. Football

11 people in 2 teams each. 2 goal nets. 1 ball. Who will land a goal first?

 Football is one of the leading sports worldwide, which is making parents put their child into this rapidly growing field. Teamwork and sportsmanship are two of the main reasons why football makes it to this list. 

Football: Classic Childhood Games That Teach Important Life Skills

The intricate art of hand-to-leg coordination and anticipating your teammate’s move at any given time makes the players alert 24/7. Not only does it physically strengthen the child, but it also makes her learn how to play and dribble a ball to perfection.

10. A – Z Gratitude Game (our featured and most talked-about game)

Gratitude journaling and mindfulness practices help everyone sail well and bounce back, especially when the going gets tough. 

So, here’s a little about the game. Read the full blog here.

Name an object or a toy that begins with each letter of the English Alphabet: Starting from A till Z, ask the child to look around for all the toys, favourite and not so favourite objects/things/items present in and around the house. Sort of treasure hunt!

A - Z Gratitude Game: Classic Childhood Games That Teach Important Life Skills

A – Z Gratitude Game’ helps your child look for his long unattended toys, re-connect with the things she/he has, feel grateful for the things he already has. This game also aids in vocabulary development in young children.

Conclusion

Children are at home during the pandemic, and a child’s mental health is more important than academics at the moment, is what I feel. And what better than learning in play-way spirits for children can happen because we know learning opportunities are everywhere, even while playing games!

While many of the above games teach patience, perseverance, self-regulation and turn-taking, some games from the above list also teach about other facets of real-life secretly. And most of the games mentioned above can have variations and extensions and can be made age-appropriate.

Virtues and morals are essential for social skills development, helping a person act duly according to the situation. Aside from reading moral stories, these games form an integral part of the learning process, assisting children bond with peers and adults in a better way at the same time teaching them life skills.

Mentally and physically strengthening our young ones is one of the first steps to parenting. Inculcating values for life in children in their early life stages helps them later in life.

Pandemic has come as a gift of time when it comes to spending priceless bonding time with family members. Bonding over playtime is an activity that all age groups enjoy. So, why not make the most of this time to cherish it forever and re-experience the childhood days with children in a whole new episode.

So jet-set-go, grab a pen and paper, note down the games you can plan with your child next time they ask you to play, unless it is an outdoor game ‘Football’, if you have a spacious backyard, then why wait, go ahead!

Help them learn and grow into well-rounded human beings.

Thank you for reading, and have a happy, playful parenting!

Top 10 Open-Ended Toys that Promote Creativity and Learning

What are open ended toys and what are the top ten open ended toys that promote creativity and learning in Kids

The world is ever-changing, and we all want our kids to be physically and mentally equipped and trained to navigate through the changes easily and effortlessly. If you, too, wonder how to inculcate these in your kids, make them better at handling various issues, and improve their problem-solving skills, open-ended plays are a must. As a parent, our mindful investment in toys that inspire open-ended plays is vital. 

Now, 

What are open-ended toys?

Toys that the kids of different age groups can play with in numerous ways, invested in for long hours, are open-ended toys. These toys allow them to think for themselves, act out real-life scenarios and express their creativity in multiple ways. Anyone at any age can play with open-ended toys: babies, early toddlers, pre-schoolers and beyond.

Why to choose open ended toys for kids

In simple words, toys that inspire open-ended plays are open-ended toys. Open-ended toys are 90% child and 10% toy based, giving plenty of room for inputs to come from the child. The concept ‘Less is more’ can be best explained with open-ended toys. 

Here are ten open-ended toys that promote creativity and learning 🔽

  1. Legos
Open ended toy for kids- Lego

Legos have been around for years. One can build almost anything with legos, from models of skyscrapers to robots, by rearranging them in the shapes that one desires. This helps give life to the user’s imagination. Legos come in various shapes and colours too.

2. Letter Blocks or Magnetic Letters

Open ended toys for kids- Letter Blocks and Magnetic Letters

Letter blocks are not only useful in teaching children about word formations and new vocabulary but also offer a fun way to express what’s on their mind. They can get creative with new words or leave funny messages to each other with them. Magnetic letters can be rearranged on the fridge door every day to teach kids a new word per day.

3. Doll house

open ended toys for kids- Doll House

Who doesn’t love a doll house? They come with a variety of dolls, furniture and an empty house. These give children the freedom to rearrange the dolls and furniture according to their whims and fancies. Also, there is no instruction pamphlet instructing the users as to what furniture goes where. A tea party with Barbie and her friends on a Monday can turn into a quiet dinner with iron man and the avengers on a Tuesday. 

4. Paints

Open ended toys for kids- paints

Out of the different items available for kids in the market, this age-old art supply is the most versatile one. From painting on paper to painting pottery and even fabrics, it can be used to decorate and enhance almost anything. Painting offers a lot of opportunities for one to express their creativity and allows for a huge scope of imagination. Children can learn about different types of colours and their mixing with each other to give secondary colours.

5. White Board

open ended toys for kids- WhiteBoard

Almost anybody can use this play item. It is used to draw or write whatever one wishes. It can be used to play Pictionary and other games. It is a great means of teaching and learning simultaneously. You can casually draw or scribble new ideas on it, with the perks of being able to erase it later and use it to express something new. 

6. Play Dough

Open ended toys for kids- Playdough

Do you want an inexpensive and easy relaxing activity for your hands after a long day? Playdough is the answer. Playdough is loved by people of all ages. Much like legos, playdough allows the user to bring to life almost anything they can imagine. Playing with playdough has proven to improve fine motor senses in young children. So they can be used as an exercise to build and strengthen these senses as well.

7. Binoculars or Telescope

Open ended toys for kids- Binoculars or Telescopes

These devices can be used in multiple ways. They make way for a person’s inquisitiveness to grow in different directions. They are great tools to learn about one’s surroundings. Children can enjoy not just the thrill it offers but also learn new things with the help of it.

8. Tents

Open ended toys for kids- Tent and Tent house

Tents come with multiple poles, attachments and soft satin tent cloths. Most of them are convertible and can be used to accommodate 1, 2, 3 or 4 people. Tents can be used outdoors and indoors too. Are you planning a lakeside camping trip or narrating bedtime stories in your room when it is raining outdoors? Go for it as people of different age groups can enjoy it.

9. Kinetic sand

Open ended toys for kids- Sand and Kinetic Sand

Similar to clay dough, kinetic sand allows the user to knead it as they like. It gives the children the feel of playing with sand on a beach. Most children living in cities have not experienced playing with sand. Kinetic sand offers them this opportunity and, at the same time, doesn’t create a mess in their vicinity.

10. Balls

Open ended toys for Kids- Balls

Balls are probably one of the most common yet versatile toys used in various sports activities. The best of all, you can play with it in more than a hundred ways. Kids love it and it comes in various sizes and colours. Plus, you can find it easily in any store. The development of basic actions- throw, kick, roll, aim, catch and strategizing all happens with a dose of unmatched fun.

Benefits of open-ended toys:

  1. All the above toys not only offer ways to enhance one’s creativity and imagination skills, but they also offer more than one way to express it. 
  2. Open-ended toys keep the kids occupied for long hours, away from the screen- it is something which almost every parent wants.
  3. If you struggle in getting your kid to play independently, open-ended toys help encourage independent play. 
  4. Kids learn to keep themselves entertained with open-ended toys.
  5. Open-ended toys help in improving a child’s problem-solving skills.  
  6. Open-ended toys help stretch cognitive skills in children.
  7. They also aid self-regulation.
Benefits of Open ended toys and open plays are many

Open-ended toys can be affordable depending upon the choice, whether wooden or plastic or elastic ones. Wooden open-ended toys usually last for a very long time but are generally expensive.

Wooden Vs Plastic Toys:

At our place, we care for sustainable toys, and we believe in mindful investments in toys. So, our preferences are usually the open-ended wooden ones over the plastic toys when choosing between the above two types. And as per our experience and learnings, the wooden ones are the real open-ended toys. Wooden open-ended toys are a little expensive, but they are usually one-time investment which lasts long. But because children outgrow a toy very quickly, so the inclination towards plastic toy purchase feels attractive.

But if the objective or purpose is clear in toy selection for kids, then open-ended toys require only a one-time investment, especially for first-time parents. And in my opinion, kids do not really need too many toys to keep themselves entertained. If we as parents bring toys to nurture their creative and imaginative skills, then even a stick in hand can become a toy- a magic wand or a sword or a cricket bat.

Do we need expensive open-ended toys?

My answer to the above is ‘No’.

As parents, we get enticed seeing high-end colourful toys, dome climbers, and expensive hot wheelsets on Instagram, but frankly speaking, kids do not need expensive open-ended toys.

But there are three things we do not compromise our investments on for our little one, first is BOOKS, second is Lego sets, thirdly cars.

Lego sets are something we’ve intuitively felt guided towards; also, his Lego classes needed the initial investments, so are his collections. Fondness for cars, he has inherited from his grandfather and father. You can read about his love for cars at the blog A to Z Gratitude game‘. We have a declutter charity-based practice in place for ‘CARS’ and toys, so the investment in cars reminds us of the bigger purpose it serves us with.

Having said that, I nowhere disregard anyone’s interest in expensive toys. And we too have commercialized toys, expensive electronic toys at home, but they have either been gifted by friends and family members on birthdays or festivals or passed on to my little one from his elder cousins. We have pre-loved open-ended toys too.

Our emphasis is teaching our little one basic life skills, instilling the attitude of gratitude for things he has and fostering an environment where he gets plenty of room to think and create imaginative plays independently.

Let us know what open-ended toys connect with you for your little ones. Also, let us know which part of the blog resonated with you the most. If you found it helpful, share it with your family members and friends. 

Thank you for reading! Happy parenting!

11 Powerful Reasons to Make Audio Stories a Part of your Family and Kids’ Life

The medium via which information is passed down to the younger generation has been fairly consistent throughout time, i.e., spoken word. Telling children stories is not only a bonding moment but also an opportunity to teach them the nuances of life and life skills. With that said, little ones tend to have much more energy and, of course, time than adults. So, it can sometimes get a bit challenging to manage time. This is where Audio stories come in.

What are Audio Stories?

Audio stories, or as you may have heard, Audio Books, is a captivating way of telling stories. The narrator, using a combination of music and effective narrating skills, captures the attention of the child to educate and entertain them simultaneously. Despite what you may think, Audio stories isn’t a new trend. Audio stories have been around since the 1930s, but it has gained mainstream appeal only since the advent of the internet. 

11 Powerful Reasons to Make Audio Stories a Part of your Family and kids’ Life:

Reason 1: Listening to audio stories with your little ones on, say a playdate, can not only keep them entertained but also create memories they and you will remember fondly.

Reason 2: Sometimes, we adults can get a bit off the track in life. Listening to audio stories intended for kids provides us with some nostalgia and, perhaps, learn from the “moral of the story” alongside the young ones. An individual is, after all, never too old to learn.

Reason 3: Research has shown that audio stories can help us deal with anxiety and stress. Listening to the mixture of soothing music and the calming voice of the narrator can help subside whatever chaos we might be facing temporarily. 

Reason 4: One of the most enjoyable aspects of listening to a story is the discussion that follows upon its end. Listening to an audio story together and then expressing your thoughts and feelings about the chapter/story can be quite a delight.

Reason 5: The way a narrator of an audio story speaks is not only calm and soothing but also highly expressive. These narrators are professionals that have oratory skills much more advanced than an average joe. Children pick up on these professionals’ patterns of speech and invariably improve their oratory skills. 

Reason 6: Some children enjoy reading while some may despise it. For the latter, audio stories are a highly effective alternative. Children who are reluctant to read can simply enjoy listening to a book and gain all the knowledge from it. On the flip side, if they have the book in hand or on a device, they should try and read it alongside the narrator. Doing this will not only build up interest but also improve their fluency and help them be efficient readers.

Reason 7: If you, the parent/guardian, are an avid reader, you would naturally want your children to appreciate the wonderful world of literature as well. However, as discussed, it can sometimes be a bit tough getting kids to read. So, you can introduce them to this world via audio stories. And sometimes kids follow their parents, so GO ON, parents continue reading books! A reason which is a trade-off!

Reason 8: One of the biggest challenges for parents today is the increase in their children’s screen time. Audio stories are an excellent alternative. Instead of spending time on phones or laptops, children can spend their time listening to these stories entertaining and passively educating themselves.

Reason 9: Listening to audio stories is an activity that most individuals can enjoy no matter the age. Adults and children can together enjoy these stories and spend some quality family time together. You will be surprised by how entertaining stories intended for kids can be. Especially if you see how much the young ones are enjoying them. 

Reason 10: The advantages of audio stories are numerous, but the most important one, in my opinion, is its ability to help with language comprehension. A child may be reluctant to read because they may lack comprehension of the language, suffer from a small vocabulary, or lack fluency; everything audio stories have shown to help with. 

Reason 11: An audio story helps with the growth of your child’s visualizing and listening skills. Being a good listener helps one learn and empathize with others. The ability to visualize makes the events of a story much more engaging. 

Where can you encourage your kids to listen to audio stories?

Well, well well, audio stories for kids at ‘Storyland™’ by ‘She Narrates’! These are for free! You can access several audio stories on ‘She Narrates’ for free! The stories at ‘Storyland’ have been curated by a team of professionals for educational as well as entertainment purposes. The editing team has done a fantastic job of incorporating sound effects relevant to each story and using background music to fill in any gaps. The narrator has an immaculate way of speaking, perfectly suited for kids. For informative and entertaining audio stories, visit ‘She Narrates’.

Make a ‘Ritual’ out of audio stories!

This is my favorite part when it comes to audio stories. One audio story can make way for a variety of engaging activities for the child, and what I like to call, even a ‘family bonding activity’!  Stories at Storyland are purposely kept short, simple, and narrated in a way that is aimed at boosting a child’s imagination.


Try this weekend activity powered by Storyland by She Narrates:
1. Pick an audio story of your choice and listen to it with your little one on a Saturday night.

2. Try engaging in a discussion aimed at the moral of the story.

3. On Sunday, sit together and try recalling the story, and using that to draw/color/plan puppet plays with the characters in the story, and let your child’s imagination go wild! (If you need help, you can take inspiration from our innocently artistic audio stories’ thumbnails!)

4. This time go the other way round! Before your little one is spoiled by his/her grandparents with a new story, this time let them narrate the audio story or the moral lesson they listened to and learned the day before! 

This is our audio story ritual! If there are more fun activities you can help us with, we will be excited to hear!

Furthermore, we are all ears to your feedback and open to customizing audio stories at ‘Storyland’ by She Narrates for you, so do share your experiences in the comment section below. Also, let us know what you would like your kids to listen to, any age group that you want us to prioritize, let us know. ☺

Happy listening and as always happy parenting!

Why is it Important to Develop a Schedule for Children?

Why is it Important to Develop a Schedule for kids?

“Sow the seeds of adaptability early on, so as the little ones grow up, they can design their lives simply and easily, on their own.”Pallavi Prakash Kumar.

Having a schedule for oneself is an important aspect of life. Unsolicited advice like this feels annoying, isn’t it! But they are true and wise. In terms of personal health or career-wise, we all know that following a routine is rewarding or having a structure in place helps us feel sorted to a large extent. The same is applicable for children.

The difference between schedule and routine is also covered in the later part of the blog, so read it till the end. And if you want to know my son’s schedule, one that we’ve been following during the ongoing pandemic, check them out; it is towards the end of this blog.

Now, why is it important to develop a schedule for children?

Children are just like adults in certain aspects, one of which is our shared fear of the unknown. Not knowing what to do next can be pretty stressful. Having a schedule takes away that stress to an extent and instead provides one with something to look forward to.

So, developing a schedule for a child is perhaps one of the most important responsibilities of a parent. OR raising a child who follows a routine is one of the major contributions a parent can make in a child’s developing stage.

Schools also follow a routine, however, school is an environment that is beyond our control. There are many variables in there. Teachers, other students, whatnot. Inside one’s own home, there is a better sense of control for customization and planning. Here, we can help our child develop a schedule as per how she/he wants or based upon our understanding.

So, here are some of the reasons why keeping a consistent schedule is important for children:

1. Decreases stress and anxiety: 

Why develop the habit of following a  Schedule in kids?
It helps in decreasing stress and anxiety by bringing in familiarity

Studies have shown that we are amidst an epidemic of anxiety which, as the sound of that might lead you to believe, isn’t the ideal situation. To help our children deal with the stressors of life, we must help them develop a schedule. A routine will provide the child with a sense of freedom as she/he will no longer worry about what is to come; they already know. There is comfort in familiarity and thus, that comfort helps to tackle stress and anxiety.

2. Builds a sense of independence:

Why develop the habit of following a schedule in kids?
It helps build a sense of independence by brining in the feeling of accomplishment

If a child has a routine and we reward them for sticking to it, they will develop a sense of independence by following it. If they know “Homework at 4 pm” or “Breakfast at 8 am”, they will try to accomplish those tasks and this will build up their confidence and independence. It may seem like a little thing to adults but for a child, waking up on time and being at the table when asked to be is an accomplishment that they will be proud of themselves for. We must celebrate every little thing our children accomplish or achieve.

3. Develops healthy habits for a good lifestyle:

Why develop the habit of following a schedule in kids?
It helps develop healthy habits for a good lifestyle

Children learn and adapt much faster than we do. If we try to include healthy and constructive habits into their routine, they will potentially adopt these habits for the rest of their life. Eating a meal on time, working out, yoga, cleaning their room etc. got to be a part of their everyday routine, meditation too.

4. Evokes comfort and familiarity amidst the chaos:

Why develop the habit of following a schedule in kids?
It helps evoke comfort and familiarity amid chaos

No family is perfect. If unfortunately, a family is going through a tough time, a schedule can help provide the child with a sense of comfort and familiarity. Despite the turmoil that the child may face, following a routine will provide her/him with some stability.

Having a structure to your day gives a sense of control in times of unpredictability and uncertainty.

5. Helps them understand the concept of “Work and Win”:

Why develop the habit of following a schedule in kids?
It helps make a kid understand the concept of 'Work and Win' and makes the surprises even more fun!

One of the tougher challenges of parenthood are not spoiling our children. A routine, wherein they are rewarded for following it through, will teach them the basic concept of “You must work to reap the rewards”. Moreover, it makes the surprises even more fun! Guess how?

One of the biggest benefits of having your child follow their schedule is, ironically, when they do not. The happiness your child may experience when instead of her/him having to clean their room, you have let the child go for free play or have some minutes of screen time. And one of the benefits I feel is not pointed out more often. This point might seem to contradict this entire article. However, our end goal is to provide our children with the best possible childhood. One that prepares them for the future, yes, but also a childhood full of memories they can look back upon fondly. Finding the right balance is the key!

Where to start?

As I wrote above, there is no better place to start building our child’s schedule than our home. We can start with basic things like having them make their bed, having breakfast with the family, etc. If our child can follow these, we can slowly build up and add more complex and tougher tasks to their schedule. If we build a schedule for them that includes fun activities as well, they will be much more inclined to stick to it.

Remember, our aim should always be to help the child, not control. Parenthood is a journey, not a race. Take things easy and step-by-step.

A little note for understanding here: a routine is based on the flow of activities and is a step in the direction of having a schedule, i.e., carrying out activities in a time-defined manner. As we grow, we learn more about our way of working and what ways work for us, taking us closer to where we desire to be.

The basic idea behind this blog has been to encourage you to start building a routine for your child that brings in familiarity, clarity, and a sense and practice of discipline.

Sow the seeds of adaptability early on, so as they grow, they can design their own routine!

I am enclosing Pratham, my 5-year old’s (at-home) routine, our joint effort in bringing back balance in our Covid-affected life! And, we are still learning!

Here's my son, Pratham's Daily Routine in covid- affected life

Thank you for reading & happy Parenting!

Resolving Parenting Challenges amidst Covid [Toddlers’ Edition]

Challenges parents are facing amid Covid, resolving parenting challenges

The shift coronavirus pandemic has brought into the lives of everyone, to the families, and the style of parenting is sudden but worth meditating over. We have been thrust into a new way of living. Many of us have not experienced such a situation before. Navigating through the sudden shift is challenging and overwhelming. This is a time of tremendous loss and change too.

In any event, the development of the child never stops. The development of a child keeps happening, so it matters, and the early stages of childhood development are crucial for them to flourish as adults. Parents and caregivers are facing difficulties to keep up with the change and adapt to new ways. Children, as well as parents, are not able to do basic outdoor activities such as educational trips, family vacations, camping, etc. This, too, is increasing stress, and conflicts at home, besides adapting to the new way of living. 

So, the question comes ‘How to comfort small children amidst Covid?‘. Read the blog from start to finish, if you have a small child at home aged 2-8 years.

Mental and Emotional Trauma-

Resolving parenting challenges amid Covid with the language of love and comfort

Parents find themselves in a difficult situation explaining what’s happening in the world to their children. Small children, especially toddlers, are always curious and, while they are in their developing age, ask questions about anything and everything. It is important to answer their questions and handle the situation mindfully. Parents must groom the child as per her/his development stage**. Explaining something to a three-year-old is different from explaining something to a teenager, we all know. Small children, especially, toddlers leap back and forth between reality and their imagination. They make sense of the world with ‘Why-What-How’ questions.

With that said, talking about the adversity of any situation might take a toll on a child’s mental and emotional health.

  • It is advised to create a covid-free zone with less negative energy when toddlers or small children are around.
  • It’s imperative to limit their exposure to watching or listening to the news.

It can be challenging to explain the loss of a family member to a toddler. Parents need to use the language of love and comfort. Accepting death as a natural process takes time for adults, and it’s almost impossible to expect it from a small child.

Sense of Discontinuity

Resolving parenting challenges amid Covid with routine and schedules for kids

Adaption is a human super-power. But, it’s a long process. Parents’ worries are natural on the discontinuation small children are facing in their routine, hence in their mental growth. “But we can tell ourselves that we’ve heading towards a renewed parenting style, and at present, things are ever-changing”, a perspective that I remind myself to keep going positively. 

Toddlers are used to a routine that they like to follow- a sense of regularity is what keeps them mentally healthy. They have meals at a certain time. They have preschool activities, coloring time, outdoor time, reading time. These routines are difficult to hold on to due to various reasons. There might be a sick person at home. The toddler itself might be sick. Parents or caregivers might be stuck at work. This does create irregularity and uncertainty among toddlers, leaving them confused.

In such a situation,

  • Parents must make their children follow a routine, a new one. Introducing a new routine will make them ready to adapt to change at a very young age.
  • Surprise is needed, too, so the irregularities and uncertainties can be explained as a change in the plan to them and for us to keep going buoyantly. Please avoid using this perspective as an excuse and try keeping up with the routine or schedule as much as possible.

If you want to have a look at our son, 5-year-young-child, Pratham’s routine that we’re following, check it out here.

Small children, especially toddlers, thrive on regularity and knowing what to expect. Little things like getting them out of their pyjamas and getting dressed for the day would help a kid feel productive and excited.

  • Parents need to schedule their time and find ways to make connections as a family.
  • Parents taking turns with child’s activities and chores so that each one is getting enough time for themselves.

Work-From-Home as a Challenge

Resolving parenting challenges amid Covid by planning out a night before

Working from home is challenging, which parents are facing during the pandemic. Toddlers, being at a growing age, ask for a lot of attention. It isn’t easy to manage work and kids simultaneously unless there’s a helping hand.

So, it becomes important to make sure that the children know their parents’ work schedule and be reminded timely. They might create a disturbance that leads to unproductivity. So, family members coming together as a team is needed in such situations. 

Here’s what I do

  • Plan out my day a night before,
  • put things and activities in time chunks (exercise time, meditation time, meal preparation time, mealtime, activity time, reading time, etc.)
  • And share it with my partner in advance. This is how I plan myself regularly or otherwise; you may give this a try too.

Planning a night before is helpful and has been emphasized largely by Marie Forleo

Remember, basic tasks are to be done first and foremost, especially when we are in unpredictable and uncertain times like covid-19, and try accomplishing the basic and important ones in the first half of the day.

Taking care of a Sick Child

Resolving parenting challenges amid Covid with Nutritious wholesome meals and balanced diet

Treating mild symptoms of Covid in children is the same as treating any other respiratory virus such as a cold or flu.

  • It requires a lot of rest and intake of fluids to regain energy.
  • Other than prescribed medicines, it’s important to use other support systems.
  • A humidifier in the bedroom is helpful, especially if the child has nasal congestion and cough. (recommended by Dr Rakesh Malhotra, Malhotra Clinics, Dwarka-4, New Delhi)
  • Kids over 12 months of age can be fed honey (only if they are not allergic to it) which is good for their throat.
  • Dressing a kid appropriately, so they don’t feel too cold or too warm, is helpful.

Post-Covid Treatment

Post-recovery Covid tip

It’s important to keep in mind that it will take time for things to get back to normal, or we coming to new terms of adaptations. Even after Covid, a toddler would require proper care and attention.

  • Their diet is the most important aspect. It must include green leafy vegetables, high protein food, and vitamin C-rich goodness.
  • Keeping up with the intake of fluids and staying hydrated in the recovery period is important too. 

 After nutrition comes hygiene, a child’s sanitation is important.

  • Precautions like washing hands regularly, face masks, sanitize if water not available, and social distancing have to be taught to them so that they feel comfortable when going out resumes.

Here’s Post- Covid recovery tip from Dr Sweta Bajaj (Dental Surgeon and Lactation Consultant), something which goes overlooked:

  • Change the toothbrush, tongue cleaner, dental floss and other oral hygiene products as these can continue to harbour the virus, so it is better to discard them and get new ones. 🙏 

Last Words-  

On top of everything, creating a sense of normalcy around toddlers is the need of the hour. It is crucial to make them sense positivity. They must feel safe and heard as their families surround them. 

Try and shield your four walls from negative thoughts and suffering that’s around. This is not to say that we should stop being empathetic; in fact, this might be the right time to introduce the feeling of empathy to your little one with the tiny contributions you can make. But the need of the hour to survive and thrive is to develop the right positive environment at your home, like a complete ‘ecosystem’ in itself. The need is to re-align your priorities and re-design your little world!

Dear Parents, your contribution in allowing your comforting and nourishing thoughts for yourself and your child matters. It is safe to feel safe!

Sending you loads of best wishes and healing energies! 

**Four Stages of Cognitive Development in children as outlined by Jean Piaget’s theory:

  • Stage 1: Sensorimotor stage: birth to 2 years- A child is learning about the world through their movements, sensations, and manipulating objects. They are extremely egocentric.
  • Stage 2: Preoperational stage: ages 2 to 7- A child begins to think through symbols, answers from people around them. They are egocentric and struggle to view things from other’s perspectives. 
  • Stage 3: Concrete operational stage: ages 7 to 11- A child is becoming aware of external feelings and emotions other than their own, beginning to think logically about concrete events, building inductive logic, less egocentric.
  • Stage 4: Formal operational stage: ages 12 and up- A child is ready to use logic to solve problems and start building deductive logic.

Note: All children have different rates of development. For any concerns about a developmental milestone, talk to your child’s paediatrician. In many cases, early intervention and treatment help in better outcomes.