Why Messy Play is the Best Play

Whenever I post about sensorial activities the most common question that is asked by moms is How do you clean the mess ? Well honestly I have my tricks and tips for minimising my work of cleaning but I never minimise on the mess my baby can create and play with.

Childhood is all about experience and there is no better way to experience than touch.Touch and mess create a sense of happiness.Let me take the example of La Tomatina Festival in Spain and Holi in India.Both the festivals are messy and fun.Messy play excites the brain and the feeling is of enjoyment,fun and happiness.

Apart from happiness there are various other benefits of messy play

 

Creativity

There are no guidelines for messy play and hence you can see your little one creating their own version of mess.

Exploratory

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_4687.jpg

Messy play is the best way to explore as its open ended and unstructured.

Language 

Children learn to be more expressive while they involve in messy activities apart from learning the various terms related to play like gooey, sticky,etc.

Physical Development 

They learn to have more control over their body while they explore.It is the best way to hone gross and fine motor skills.

Social Skills 

When playing in a group they learn how to play which involves so much of touch but without hurting or pushing.Messy plays helps them be more social and enjoy the company.

Still wondering how to start with messy play check this out Sensorial Activity -Edible Slime (Free Play)

Still feel like you can’t deal with the mess try these tips

  • Let your baby play with water just plain water.
  • Make the bath time messy play time.
  • Let them explore the messy stuff on their high chair
  • Make some edible messy play with banana,avacado,papaya. Just mash these fruits and give it to them to explore.
  • Boil some extra noodles while you make it and let your baby have some messy fun with those extra noodles.
  • While kneading the dough give some flour and water to your toddler as well.
  • Let them jump on muddy puddles.
  • While visiting park let them run bare feet on the grass and the mud.

And while you involve in these messy activities do not forget to click pictures and make those childhood memories the messier the merrier.

 

Colour Themed Montessori Activities

Nirvaan can recognise the four primary colours and has started calling few as well like buuuuu, geeeen and I am yet to catch the words he uses for red and yellow some weird rhyming words.As he can differentiate and recognise the colours the activities we did last week was more of sorting.If you are wondering how to introduce colours to your toddlers you should give this a read before going forward

MONTESSORI SERIES- HOW TO START WITH COLOURS

Now that the introduction phase is over and Nirvaan very well recognises all the four primary colours, sorting came pretty easy for him but attention span for sorting activity remained very low initially and I realised it has to be more fun and different then just one activity.Here are few of the different activities we tried and he enjoyed doing.It helped me in his toy rotation as well as same toy was used for different colour activities.

Colour Tray 


This one is a DIY ,I buy these yogurt cups for Nirvaan and it comes in a tray.These trays we have used for many activities.This time I have simply pasted the foam sheets with double sided tape for colour sorting.

Blocks Train


Got these blocks train from a local toy shop and this so far has been the favourite activity none of the other sorting game has kept Nirvaan busy for this long.He does colour sorting by making the train by stacking the same coloured blocks together  and then loves to play with the blocks or simply plays with the train.Hence some Independent unassisted play makes this my top favourite sorting  activity as well.

Matching Utensils Activity


Matching the toy kitchen utensils with the same coloured lid.It was something I thought he would not be interested in doing but he did it in just few seconds and did it again as well.An easy activity with already existing toys.

Stacking Activity


I have combined two of his existing toys for this activity,I have taken the stacking stand from his wooden circus stack and those rings are the blocks.

Simple activity for colour sorting and stacking both.

Mega Sorting 


I have mixed all his primary coloured blocks in a box and have used the felt sheets for sorting as shown in the picture.This activity was fun for him as he loved so many blocks in a single box and played with the blocks before sorting.Even after sorting he was busy with those blocks in the box.

Hope you guys liked these activities . These are few of the activities that we have done in our learning colour series will be posting more on this soon .

Would love to know if you have some new ideas for colour activities please drop your ideas in the comment below and stay tuned for more of this series.

 

 

 

How to make Play Dough at home

So after  Slime I really wanted to make play dough at home because I seriously can’t let my baby play with the one available in the market.The curiosity level at this stage knows no boundaries and I don’t ever want those play dough to end up in my baby’s digestive system ever.

Apart from being completely non toxic and edible the quantity also is more when we make it at home plus its super cheap and stays in the fridge for good 15-20 days as compared to the market ones which usually dries up in one use.

Here is the recipe

Ingredients 


All purpose flour (one cup)

salt (1/4 cup)

water (as desired for softness)

Food colour

How to 

First take little water and mix the salt to dissolve it completely once the salt is dissolved in water add it to the flour and mix it properly. After mixing he salt & water add few drops of food colour into the flour mix it and start adding water to knead the dough.

Softness of the dough will depend on the kneading so I suggest kneading properly.

It can be stored in an air tight jar or zip pouch in the refrigerator for almost 20 days.

My experience 

Kids get bored very easily and to keep them engaged overtime coming up with new ideas is practically impossible and it is good for them to get bored, As boredom is mother of creativity. As a parent our job is to provide them the right environment and keeping themselves busy should be their job.

Open ended plays like play dough requires very less involvement from parents end and keep them busy for hours together. Nuture their imagination and can be very satisfying as well.


If you are introducing to an one year old I suggest you let them explore on their own rather then teaching them to make figures out of the play dough.Give them the shape cuter etc but let them explore on their own.

Check out how Nirvaan had fun with his home made play dough

My Parenting Mantra-Let me wear his tiny Shoes

Welcome aboard this blog train – My Parenting Mantra. We have some awesome bloggers who are going to drive it for over a month. We promise to bring you some enriching contents that will add to your own parenting experience

First of all a big thanks to Charu who blogs at The Momsagas for introducing me.Meet all our Mom bloggers who are a part of this Blog Train Here

Let me wear his tiny shoes

Before I start with my parenting mantra let me tell you something I never thought I would be the parent I am today.I had a complete different outlook towards parenting when I was not a parent.I never liked kids!! Yes you read it right.I never had the patience to deal with them their unending curosity was something I used to find as irritating.

“One tight slap” was something I thought was answer to all when it come to kids.I am the youngest and needless to say was/is the most pampered child of the family.I have troubled my parents in most innovative way possible.I have even asked my mother why did she take all that and why I was not slapped; as I would beat my baby blue black if he/she behaves like that.

Fast Forward-Today I am mother to a 20 months old boy and I am total opposite of what I thought I would be.I practice Gentle and mindful Parenting, again you read it right.He is my teacher he teaches me in every way possible; how I have to raise him.

He is his best guide.

Throwing my shoes off to wear his- A new me was born with him

Well my parenting started with a very painful experience of breastfeeding.I had sore nipples from the very next day I started feeding my baby.The pain was so unbearable at one point I though of giving up but the mother in me refused  to give up and asked me to be in my baby’s position and imagine how difficult it must be for him to feed when he is not able to latch properly and since that day I have been following the same principle of parenting in every situation whenever I think of giving up and be the parent I thought I would be before I became a mother.

Wearing his shoes no matter how tight it feels- To Understand his emotions 


Ever wondered what goes inside that little brain which is processing every thing at the speed of rocket and yet not able to express as they lack so many emotions and words which we as an adult have an access to.

Imagine there is a spark and you blow it thinking it will be put off by blowing totally unaware of the fact that blowing can result in fire.This is what happens when the babies have a melt down or they throw a tantrum.They are over stimulated.When there is a fire you can’t control the fire by pouring petrol you need to pour water to control that fire.As a parent our job is to control that over stimulated state and help them get control of their emotions and get back to normal.But  most of the time we fail to understand it and in turn act  by hitting  them ,shouting at them for mis behaving.

I stay calm and hug him and make him understand that it is perfectly all right to vent his frustration out. Attimes it becomes so difficult to handle my own temper as I run out of patience but then I remember I have to wear his shoes no matter how uncomfortable it feels.

Wearing his shoes literally -To have fun like a child

Every night before sleeping I think of what all we can play and the next morning I get up all excited to play new games, new activities together.I never try to teach him in fact we learn it together.

Even he wears my shoes- My acts will define his personality


As a parent I have a huge responsibility of raising a baby into a mindful adult.That can only happen when I am mindful of my acts.Kids idolise their parents as role model.As a parent what I do will always be right for him.And hence I need to be a mindful adult to raise my child as one.

We both love taking rides on daddy’s shoes-Without his support nothing would have been possible


I can’t talk about my parenting mantra without him.He has been the biggest strength and most importantly dealt with  temper tantrums, mood swings, bad behaviour of both of us  mindfully with a smile without an iota of anger.

Hope you enjoyed reading my Parenting Mantra don’t forget to leave your comments below as I would love to read your views and Mantra too.

See what our next blogger mom Anchal who blogs at The Mum Story says about her Parenting Mantra.

 

Dental Hygiene -How to make your toddler brush

So the last time I wrote about dental hygiene(Dental Hygiene for babies- When to start and how!!) was when I was dealing with a baby and this time I am dealing with a toddler.

A simple thing like brushing  teeth can be a reason for great misery atleast for parents.I have seen a whole episode of meltdown because I asked someone to brush his teeth.

When we started with the real brush it was all fun, my baby was 13 months and had a fixed routine of getting up and sitting on his high chair while I combed his hair and brushed his teeth.Before that I use to wash his teeth and gums with washcloth.It went on well for few days then he started snatching the brush from my hand.Attimes he would try to brush on his own which was fine with me and most of the time throw it away.It went on for quite sometime and then I realised I need to break the monotony.

I tried different fun ways to teach him how to brush and today he waits for his brushing time.

Let them watch 

So the first mistake I realised  was making him brush sitting or for that matter not in the proper place.I started taking him to the washroom while me and my husband brushed our teeth.Initially he use to stand there and ask for brush and cry for our brush if we handed him over his own.So we bought a brush for him our size off course.After few days he wanted his brush.

ToothPaste in not important Brushing is 

All of us make this mistake I did as well,I would stress on using toothpaste and hence he got a feeling of something being forced into his mouth.I stopped giving him toothpaste for sometime to make him comfortable with brush and introduced the paste again when he was comfortable with toothbrush.

Make Brushing fun

This may sound silly but me and my husband use to sing and dance while brushing.That made him feel he is missing out on something and to join us he would take his brush and shake his bum.

Brush Brush Brush your teeth, every morning every night is his favourite.

Role Play

Make everything brush their teeth in the house, my sons makes his doll brush his teeth every morning now.We have a brush for the doll similar to what he has.

Give them Options/Freedom

This is very important let them choose keep few brushes and let them choose.Most of the time they end up making their favourite.Sometimes when even after making so much effort and even after making it as a habit my son doesn’t feel like brushing I let him be.Forcing will make him hate it which I don’t want to.

Make the area accessible

Let them brush their teeth where everyone in the family does.We bought a stool for him to stand and he comfortably reaches the wash basin for brushing and yes some fun with the running water is a daily activity.

Show them how to 

Instead of taking their hand and making them brush, show them how to.Children are curious and they try to imitate.Take advantage and show them how you do it.

Switch Brushing Buddies 

This was so far the most effective in making him brush.I stay with my son the whole day so brushing was taken over by his father and this is something they look upto now.They both sing and brush together.Once he gets bored I will takeover again.Hopefully he would not get bored ever.

Just like any other thing with babies brushing requires lot of patience from the parents end.When we make it a routine it becomes boring add some spice to it and let them enjoy and you will see the difference.

Wishing you guys happy Gums and teeth and Dental Hygiene is important always remember that.

Watch this video and see how my little one loves brushing now

​​

Sensorial Activity -Edible Slime (Free Play)

This time for our weekend activity we chose a messy  play as summer leaves us with no option but to stay indoors and what better than a messy indoor play.

A sensorial activity with toddler means lot of exploration and hence the stuff might just end up in their mouth.I am still not comfortable with the slime available in the market and decided to make a non toxic edible slime, so that even if the slime ends up in the mouth I won’t go berserk.

Slime Recipe

Corn starch-1 cup

Water-1/2 cup

Food colour (optional )

Mix cornstarch with water till you get the gooey consistency.Adding food colour is optional but to make it more attractive it is advisable.

Cornstarch has the property to bind when mixed with water into solid but the moment it is dropped down it drips as liquid and again solidifies.

It can be a fun solid-liquid science experiment for older kids.

Nirvaan initially was not  able to pick it up and play as it was solidifying hence added little more water to make it more gooey for him to play easily.


He used everything to lift it tong, spoon,fork.

Applied on his body as cream.

Had fun pouring solid as liquid.


Mixed it and messed around for almost an hour or may be more.

He was not ready to leave it and I had to finally lift him so that he could take a shower and I am pretty sure he would have enjoyed for another hour if left.

Watch him enjoy

Slimey messy fun 🤗 . Slime made from just three ingredients .✅cornstarch .✅water .✅Food colour . The happiness and hours of fun was worth the mess . It was a stress free messy fun for mama too . ✅Used a high chair ✅Before bath time ✅A seperate tray was used ✅No clothes . When making slime is so easy then why not have some fun .. Try it and join the slime fever don't forget to tag me will love to see your messy slimey fun pics . #slime #slimerecipe #slimefortoddlers #nontoxicslime #messyplay #messyfun #toddlers #toddlerfun #toddlerlife #keepingtoddlersbusy #summerdays #summerfun #indoorfun #momlife #mommy #mom #expatmom #expatlife #muscatmums #muscatbloggers #parents #parentingblogger #indianmomblogger #indianmontessorimum #sensorial #blog #rattlebabblebattle

A post shared by Priyadarshani Panda/MomBlogger (@rattlebabblebattle) on

To make it easy for me to clean the mess

1.I have used the high chair for him to play as that would limit his area.

2.Used a separate tray instead of using the high chair tray.

3.The activity was timed right before the shower time.

4.The high chair was placed right outside the bathroom.its really hot here so balcony or open space was not an option for us.

5.No clothes were on not even an apron to save me from the washing and removing food colour stains from clothes if any.

Hope this activity and my tips for a less messier activity would help you try this out.And if it does don’t forget to share it with us.

 

 

Raising A Reader- Books on Farm Animals

So the last week was all about farm animals in our Montessori Shelf trays Farm Animal Themed Montessori Activities and also the books we picked were all about farm animals to make our experience better and easier.

We unknowingly have a decent collection of books on farm and farm animals.I never realised till the time I searched the book basket for more books.

Along with all the activities we did last week we read a lot about farm animals too and tried to atleast touch all books we have and made few favourites.

Starting with the favourites

Usborne Farmyard Series Noisy Animals 


This is a big board book and attracts the attention instantly with bigger illustrations.The illustration is colourful and attractive.This is a great book for learning the sounds animals make.

This book been one of our favourite as Nirvaan loves pointing out at the animals and makes the sound while pointing them.The last page has all the animals and he loves matching the figurines by keeping the figurines over the picture of the respective animal.

This book is musical but since we borrowed it from the library it doesn’t have the musical part anymore.

Old MacDonald had a farm (Igloo Books )


This one is a musical book and has the rhyme and various animal sound. Nirvaan loves pressing the button to hear the sound animals make and enjoys a lot.He finds it funny though.

Helps in learning about the farm animals and the sound they make.

Farm Animal-Touch and Feel (Sterling Publication India)


This one probably is the first book we got about farm animals and is still one of our favourite.The very fact of it being a touch and feel book has made it top the list.This one is a real inexpensive book by an Indian publishing house.The book has a small write up about the animals in few words in every page along with the touch and feel animal on the other page.A medium sized easy to hold book with bright images.

When I go to the farm (Parragon Books)


More than a farm book it has been our bedtime book.A nice book for the little ones to point out the animals while reading and finding the pig which is hiding in every page is something Nirvaan looks up for.Overall a simple book which tells about the basic characteristic of the farm animals like pigs like to play in the mud in their pen etc.

Who am I ? Series book (Duck & Cow)(Manoj Publications India)


I got three of these books from a roadside hawker just for Rs70 each.The very first page catches the attention and if you ask Nirvaan for his Duck book or the Moo Moo book he would simply bring these to read.

This book tells the basic information about the animal mentioned like ducks like to swim, cow gives us milk etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farm Animal Themed Montessori Activities

So the last week was all about farm animals for us.It was a moo moo, quack quack sort of a week and we enjoyed learning a lot about the farm animals.I dedicated one or two trays per day in our activity shelf to farm animals and did a weekend activity.


Monday 

Farm animal puzzle-This is a wooden farm animal puzzle with almost all the farm animals. Nirvaan enjoys playing it and say baa baa like baba and quack quack like kaka.

Watch him doing this puzzle here


Tuesday


Flash Cards– We used the flash cards to match the animals.You can download the flash cards here Farm Animals Printables-For Toddlers (12-18 Months)

He loves this one I am yet to stick velcro but he loves matching it so much even without it.watch him do this matching activity and trying to be perfect in his own way .


Wednesday 


Flash card matched with the animals figurines.another fun activity ,there can be little confusion once it comes to figurines but its all fun.

Watch him match

Thursday


Lacing-We tried lacing rabbit, which we found was little difficult and hence didn’t force him much to do it.Here he is trying his hands on lacing.


Friday 

Singing and dancing on the rhyme “old mac Donald had a farm”.Well this is something we do every day but this time with all the moves.As I was the one dancing and singing so no video for this one.

Weekend Activity



Made a farm and had some fun free play feeding the animals ,transporting them in tractor.

Weekend activities are for father son quality time,I only make video from the back while they both enjoy playing and spend some quality time together.
I have used his existing toys to create this farm.

The hut is from his Noak’s ark

Old Mac Donald and his wife are actually Noak and his wife.

Animal figures from the farm animal set

Duck from his bath set and hen one of his random toy

Tractor is from his construction set.

The carpet is the one we bought for balcony and now is used for his play .
Watch this video and excuse us for the rash driving we did with the tractor while transporting.

Raising A Reader-My Story

Honestly I never planned or thought of raising a reader, but the first board book I bought filled me with so much of happiness that all I wanted was to hoard books for my little one.Those cute little books with such bright colour and texture where a delight to flip.And hence started our journey towards the world of books.

While growing up I saw my elder sister glued to books.She would even read while having dinner at times and when asked would say she is about to reach the climax and can leave the food but not the book.Her love for books was never ending and so was her collection starting from famous fives to mills and boons to classics.I never bought a single book honestly it was all her collection.

I remember my father reading stories every night before we use to sleep from the famous Chandamama or Panchatantra.It was those bedtime stories which compelled me to read and love reading initially.When my father would not read to us, me and my brother would take turns to read stories and we always asked for more when my father read those to us.And would doze off to sleep even before the story finished.

I grew up in the era when subscriptions meant magazine for mothers and comics for us.I grew up reading Cha Cha Chaudhary ,Pinky,Archies,Tin Tin before I graduated to Nancy Drew and famous five.Mills and Boons came much later for me.

It was during my holidays after my Xth board when I read a book by an Indian author and fell in love with the style of writing and realised how much I feel connected.Reading became my hobby and my imagination took me to places I have never been.Throughout my college and MBA I used my library card for course books right before examination rest part of the year it was all about exploring different genre.

As I mentioned earlier I never planned to raise a reader I just bought books at different stages and eventually fell for raising a reader.As a parent all I want is the best for my baby and the habit of reading is the best I can do for him.I want him to see the world in a wider sense, when we read it opens so many perspective and widens our thinking process more than intelligent reading makes us smart.

I am waiting for my son to grow up so that we both can go to the oxford book store at Barakhambha road, New Delhi where I have so many fond memories of reading dates with my besties, we loved smelling those books and loved flipping thorough sipping the coffee we could afford occasionally from our pocket money and paying in turns for each other on every visit.We sat there and made our bucket list of books and saved money to buy those.

So as I take you forward with our journey of #raisingareader I wanted to share the story behind my love for books.Watch this space for more on Raising a reader.

Posting a video of my tiny reader in action…

 

Rainbow Rice-Sensorial Activity

The last week was all about colours in our Montessori Trays , so to end the week I planned a rainbow themed activity for Nirvaan.I had Rainbow rice in my mind since long but somehow wanted to introduce this to the sensorial activity when he would be able to differentiate colours.This was the right time as he can do sorting colour wise now.


Making Rainbow rice is very easy and it took hardly 15 mins for me to make primary coloured rainbow rice.

Ingredients required:

1.Rice (4 cups for four colours)

2.Vinegar

3.Food colour (I took the primary colours-Red,Green,Yellow,Blue)

4.Mixing bowl and some newspaper to dry the coloured rice.

Method:

To one cup of rice add one table spoon of vinegar and few drops of food colour.

Mix it well and let it dry.

How we enjoyed with the Rainbow Rice

Since it was weekend and he spends time with his father the most I wanted both of them to enjoy their day and hence they both did this activity together.I wanted Nirvaan to have fun and make the coloured rice rainbow on his own and believe me toddlers are great at mixing stuff without instructions and help.

I gave one colour at a time with few blocks of same colour for a free play and soon he wanted all and mixed them.


I think almost for half and hour he was busy pouring the rice in different container.

Then came pouring with funnel and his juicer was of the right size with handle.He scooped poured in the funnel used almost all kinds of spoons available in his kitchen.


 

He even took the rice to cook in his kitchen,I never knew he notices so much and knows that rice is meant for cooking.


 

His activity table was finally used for some more pouring and throwing of the rainbow rice.

 

He did some practical activity by using brush and pan to pick the spilled rice. I tried clicking pictures but my phone memory ran out and I went to transfer the pictures and videos to the laptop and He was busy for good 1 and half hour just repeating pouring spilling the rice on the mat picking it with pan and brush.

Watch the video to checkout how the activity went 

And some more fun and free play 


The quantity of rice may seem less here because I have just made four colours and will be doing many activities and introducing new colours to our rainbow rice.After the play was over I stored the rice for future Play.

 

Many mom ask me rather tell me that cleaning is a task hence they avoid such activities so here are my tips for easier cleaning after messy play

1.Retrict the play area

2.Use a mat so that cleaning would mean only cleaning the mat

3.Make your baby wear clothes that  you won’t regret getting spoiled.

4.Make cleaning a part of play ,initially with younger toddlers it might seem like it doubles your task but eventually they learn and start doing it and enjoy cleaning as well.

Hope these tips and play idea will make your activities with kids more interesting and hassle free.