This week we are going to talk about colours.Baby N is 15 months now and I thought it is the right time to make him learn colours.He has been good at sensorial, practical, fine motor skills but language is his weak area.It will take us a while and I guess patience is all I need along with all the beautiful colours in life.
To make him learn the colours I have started with the primary colours
Initially from this week onwards it will be colour of the week and slowly once he starts recognising the primary colours we will move on to the secondary colours, with two colours a week.I will be discussing the secondary colours in another blog post once I start working on it.As of now we are concentrating on the primary colours.
Colours can be very confusing for toddlers, first they should be able to differentiate different colours and later on recognising the colour can be taught.For example keep two different things of same colour and tell your baby that
‘This car is red’
‘The apple is red’
Try to use car is read instead of red car, it will make them differentiate and not confuse the colour with a specific object.
Lets discuss the three phases of learning
Introducing colours one at a time is the best way to make a toddler learn colours without much of confusion.You can start introduction, the way I am doing it by introducing a tray or else just tell the colour one at a time.For example when the baby is playing point towards all the red toys he has.
It will take a while for young toddlers to actually sort objects on the basis of colours.But eventually with daily exposure they would be able to differentiate one colour from another when they see an object with different colours.Sorting is the second stage of learning colours.There are tons of activities that can be done with toddlers once they have started differentiating one colour from another.
Take the available toys like blocks, balls,cars and take out the primary coloured ones.Keep three basket and label them by marking or covering them with the three different colours with one colour each basket.Keep the objects like cars, blocks,balls in front of the baby and start sorting by yourself and prompt the baby to follow.Once the baby learns or understand the game let them do it on their own.Initially there will be a lot of mixing but try correcting them by using positive comments like “I Think it will go in this basket” “this matches with this basket” instead of using “No” or ‘that’s wrong’.
Identifying the colours
Once the baby is able to do the sorting on their own the third stage of colour learning can be introduced.Identifying the colour on prompt.
Lay the primary colours and ask the baby to point out the colour you have asked.For example keep red, blue and yellow cars and ask him to give you or point the yellow car.
Secondary colours apart from the primary colours can be introduced depending on the speed of learning of the toddler.
How are we doing it?
We have a colour tray introduced in our daily montessori tray activity, and every week depending on the colour of the week, I will be keeping different objects of same colours in the tray.Once the baby will pick up the stuff I will tell that “The Rattler/car/blocks is red”.
Once the colour of the week is selected we will look around for the objects in our surrounding of the same colour for a whole week.For example “the sofa/curtain/t-shirt is red.
So what’s your colour of the week? ours is red have a look at our tray of the week
While enjoying and relaxing during my pregnancy it never crossed my mind that the arrival of baby will bring in so much of stress.I was under the impression that the moment my bundle of joy arrives my life will be eventful and filled with joy.It did become eventful and full of joy but with lot of stress.The stress which would have almost taken me over if I would have not taken care of the Baby Blues I was experiencing after the baby’s arrival.
There were few things I did to cope with the stress that helped me get over the depression I was experiencing
Take out Time for yourself
Yes you have to! Just take out time How ? when the baby sleeps or when he/she is being taken care by someone else.I use to take out time while he would be sleeping or when my husband or mother would take him.I would just go to another room or may be to the wash room watch something on the net or read something to divert my mind .Watching videos on Youtube helped me a lot.
Sleep while the baby sleep
One of the major reason of stress after delivery is not getting enough sleep or rest.The best way to catch up with sleep is to sleep when the baby sleeps.Initially I avoided sleeping in the day time as I used to get irritated if my sleep was disturbed.Eventually I realised that it is going to be like this and I adjusted with the routine of my baby.Catching up with my sleep made me more cheerful and I used to be less cranky in the night.You read it right.
Take help from others
Asking for help will not make us an unsuccessful mother or neither will it burden others.I usually shy away from asking help as I think it might just bother them.But believe me people around you are there to help, their state of mind is much better than yours as they aren’t dealing with a new born.The thing that might be stressful for you might be fun for them.For example taking care of the baby for few hours.
Believe in yourself
When we can bring such a beautiful thing to this earth then we certainly can take care of it.Being a mother for the first time, I wanted assurance in every thing that I did for the baby.Never realising that stressing over small things were doing more harm then help.I decided to have faith in my motherly instinct with little bit of advice from others.This way I learned how not to stress over petty things.
Talk it out
It helped me get out of the stress up to a large extent.Anything that was bothering me I would just talk about it.Sometimes crying helped too,I would just let the thing bothering me inside come out by crying in front of my loved ones.Although now those have become funny anecdotes and will be told to my son once he grows up.
Post partum is the phase when females are prone to depression.The best way to prevent it is my recognising the early signs.It is important to take care of yourself and be happy even if the stress is not letting you to.I hope my tips will help the new mothers out there get away from the stress and enjoy motherhood to the fullest.
So we have been working on the shelf on a regular basis now and N has started enjoying these shelfs a lot.He has been keeping himself busy on his own as well.This week I thought of discussing our Montessori shelf.
We keep four trays in our shelf
1.Practical Life Tray
4.Fine Motor Activity Tray
Practical Life Tray
This week on this tray we have introduced scooping to N.Although he does more of mess and less of scooping.But still the first day wasn’t that bad he actually scooped and transferred the dal from one bowl to another.Now since it has been few days he has started scooping and then throwing it all around.Practical life activity is keeping me busy.
For the sensorial activity I have introduced N to a puzzle board.He simply tries to fit in the right animal to the right size on the board.This was little difficult for N but he has been doing shape sorting pretty well and learnt this in no time.He quickly matches the giraffe now and hippo takes the longest time to be matched.
Four animals per week for the language tray.Currently N is getting familiar with Lion,Tiger,Elephant and giraffe.First I take out the animal from the tray naming them and keep it on the floor.Then I let N take out animals one by one and keep it on the floor while I name them in the order he picks up.He has become familiar with lion and giraffe and picks them on instructing but still needs time to perfect it.
Fine Motor Activity
Coin slot box stands as our all time favourite .N is bit of an expert in pushing the caps through the slot to the box and then reopening the box and redoing it all over again.
N loved all these trays this week and has been pretty busy.Our activity area turns into a mess once he is done with all the activities, but the best part is he sits through all the activities and tries to finish the tray that he starts.
Keep watching this space every week for more activities.
As the temperature dips nothing is more satisfying than a bowl of soup in the evening.With a toddler in the house it has become a routine for us to have soup as evening snack.The best part is its healthy, keeps the tummy full till dinner time and it keeps the fight with cold strong by boosting the immunity in this cough and cold prone weather.
Here are five recipes we alternate the whole week and is loved by my hyper fussy N.
Chicken Soup- Immunity Booster
Boneless chicken pieces
One medium onion chopped
2-3 garlic cloves chopped
Salt and pepper
In a pressure cooker add some butter saute the onion and garlic till slightly brown, add the chicken pieces.You can add vegetable stock or chicken stock instead of water but I prefer water while boiling.Keep it till three whistles in medium flame.
Once the cooker lid opens take the content in a blender and blender it to a fine puree.The consistency will depend on your child’s taste.My baby loves thick soup so I remove the excess water if any.
In a pan add the blended soup, add some fresh cream/cheese and salt and pepper.If your baby is less than one year old then avoid salt and pepper.
Serve it warm but make sure it is not hot for the baby.
Carrot Soup- Good for eyes and overall balanced diet for the day.
One carrot(medium size)
2-3 garlic clove
Salt and pepper
Cut the onion, carrot, tomatoes and add it in the pressure cooker along with peeled garlic cloves.Add 2-3 cups of water and pressure cook till 2-3 whistles in medium flame.Once the cooker lid opens, blend the mixture in a blender
take a pan add some butter and add the blended soup.Add some cheese, salt and peeper.
Your yummy carrot tomatino soup is ready.
Pumpkin Soup- If he hates eating it let him drink it
Peel and cut pumpkin into cubes
Salt and pepper
Take a pan add some butter and add the onion and pumpkin cubes saute till the pumpkin cubes are tender.Add 2-3 cups of water and bring it to boil.Try to mash the pumpkin in the pan and once it is mixed with the water.Switch the gas off and blend the mixture.
Add fresh cream and blended mixture in a pan along with salt and pepper.
Lentil Soup- Easiest way to feed dal to toddlers
Boil moong dal in a pressure cooker with water.
Add some salt ,turmeric while boiling the dal.
Add few drops of lemon juice and serve with ghee/butter.
Potato Mixed veg soup-Greatness of potatoes with healthy veggies
salt and pepper
Cut all the vegetables into cube and pressure cook it adding water.Once the vegetables are boiled blend them in a blender.
Take a pan add some butter, add the mixture with some salt and pepper.
Your potato veggie soup is ready.
All these soups are loved by my baby ,although half way through he takes it without much of effort but after half the bowl is finished I have to make effort to make him have the whole soup.But till date he has finished it without much ado.
Why I make soups at home ?
I was not someone who would try out soup recipes and wanted to introduce the ones available in the market.But knowing the stabilisers and preservatives being added I dropped the idea.I tried the chicken soup first and N simply loved it.Then on I have been confident and started experimenting with his tastes.So far I have been successful .Soups till date are helping us have a balanced diet as I add the veggies which he doesn’t like in his Khichdi.
Experimenting with taste is the key
Experiment with fresh cream, cheese, butter and then stick to what your baby likes the most with a change once a week or two.
I will be updating new recipes after we try it and is loved by us.If you have any recipe which is loved by your baby do share in the comment box below.
As a parent of a young toddler the urge to splurge on toys is at the peak currently for me and my husband .Going out and coming back without buying anything for the little one seems like adultery to both of us.I know this happens with all of us specially when its your first but somewhere I realised that he will never realise the importance of things been bought for him out of love.And we will end up nurturing a brat eventually, with his unending demands .
So I decided to change my style a little and introduce budget and things that can be recycled for his daily montessori activities.This way I can answer my urge to buy stuff for him by buying knick knacks which can be converted to montessori daily activities.And he will not get into a habit of getting a toys every time we go out .
So lets get started on
STACKING AND NESTING
This is one of the favourite activities of toddlers and is excellent for hand and eye coordination.Although stacking cubes comes really cheap in the market too but change is always good.so instead of going for different stacking cubes from market, I have reused the ice cream cups for stacking.
COIN SLOT BOX
If you wish to see how to do it click hereMontessori Toy Series-Coin Slot Box
I have simply used the caps of the bottles we throw away as coin and a plastic pop corn container as the slot box.
MUFFIN TRAY AND BALLS
Putting the balls in the muffin tray is another fun activity for toddlers.Here I have substituted the balls with potatoes, onion, lemon and whatever is available in the fridge.This way I keep my baby busy while cooking and make him learn vegetables.You can use a egg crate if you don’t have a muffin tray.
PAPER TOWEL ROLL TRACK
Talking through the paper towel roll is one of my sons favourite activities.He doesn’t talk but babbles through it.
Stick the rolls to the wall in a way that the things fall into the tray kept below it.I have used cars, small blocks. It doesn’t stay for long on the way usually it is pulled by my son in no time.You can use ping pong balls or pom pom for this drop activity.
BALL SLOT BOX
Just like coin slot box I have DIYed this one using a cardboard box.Its really easy and keeps the baby busy for a while.Busy time is propotional to number of balls.
Choose a box of medium size and make holes for the balls to pass throw.Make holes on at least three sides.So that the baby can put balls from different sides.I have covered it with a wrapping paper to make it more attractive.
I have realised that doing montessori on a budget is far more interesting as you can be more creative and offer different stuff to your child for learning without a pinch to your pocket.
Stay tuned for more on budget Montessori.
While I was pregnant I often wondered if I would be able to bond with the baby.This happens with all of us I guess especially with people like me.I was never really the kid loving types; in fact my husband used to be the charmer and kids are fond of him.I have always kept safe distance from kids.Things changed after I became a mother.
All the ways listed below are tried and tested.It will not only make your bond stronger with the baby but also help you understand your baby better.
If you are unable to do this while at the hospital try this the first thing at home.It is important for both the parents to have skin to skin contact with the baby to form a life time bond.The warmth of your skin will calm the baby and the touch of the baby’s skin is just heavenly.
The new born are short-sighted make sure you stay close while you talk to them and make an eye to eye contact with the new-born.
Breastfeeding is so far the best way to bond with the new born.It is best to breastfeed with skin to skin contact as much as possible.If you are unable to breastfeed and are feeding your baby formula then ensure that you feed the baby keeping him as close as possible to your breasts.
I know this is something which is to be avoided till baby’s first birthday, but try to buy a cot with adjustments.this will ensure that your baby sleeps by your side and also is at a safer distance to avoid SIDS (Sudden infant death syndrome).
Honestly this is something which will come naturally as babies are very demanding and they need you almost all the time.Baby wearing not only enables you to do the chores at home and otherwise ;but also forms a strong bond between the baby and the wearer.
It is very important to be in a good mood to bond with the baby.And if you are tired then chances of you getting irritated increases.This makes all the above mentioned ideas difficult to implement.A strong bond between baby and mother requires a happy mother.
Lastly a new-born can be very demanding and it may seem like a daunting task to keep up with the demand but remember every successful love story has thorns before you enjoy the bed of roses.
Image credits-baby wearing
Babies are natural learner even if we don’t make an effort as a parent ,the babies will learn from their surrounding and by imitating elders.Montessori is nothing but a way to help the little curious minds answer their curiosity with lots of creativity and play.
“Play is the work of the child” -Maria Montessori
So how do you start a play based early learning for your child?
Follow your child – Yes its as simple as that, let your child take a lead.I will take my example and explain how to start.
Nirvaan started walking a day after his first birthday and started showing the interest in imitating the things I would do ;for example he would not let me mop the floor as he would cry and take the mop from me.I used to get frustrated and thought it is next to impossible to clean my house while he is around; totally unaware of the fact that he was trying to learn, how to do it.I stopped mopping while he would be awake and started doing it while he slept.Incidentally we bought a new mop and I mopped while he was awake; to my surprise he got the old one and started doing it.That is when I realised how fast the child learns from his surrounding.He is 14 months now and mops the floor in his own way everyday.Although it takes double the time for me now but that is worth the learning he is receiving.
Give your child the independence that is required to learn new skills
- If the child is learning to crawl give enough space to the child to explore.
- If you have a young toddler involve him in your day to day activities.
As a parent your role is to provide the right environment and the child will learn through that environment freely without any pressure of performance.
Understand and accept the pace with which the child is learning.It is important to accept the fact that every child is different and has their own speed of learning.Respect that and let the child learn on his/her own pace.
Always correcting the child is not right.Creativity is doing things differently.Your child might not be doing things the right way but definitely can do it in a different way give them the Independence and show them the way not the right way.
Set up the play area initially with the things that attracts your child’s attention and involves his interest like I started with mopping and play cooking.Gradually move to other sensory toys like stacking etc.
Let your child see and observe how to do things like washing dishes, stacking cubes.
Appreciate the effort made by the child.Being a motivator you can develop the confidence in the child which is required for the overall development.
Make efforts towards making your child independent from young age by encouraging them to eat by themselves, doing their chores by themselves.
The idea of montessori is to make a better individual .I am glad to have inculcate such a learning based style of parenting in our lives.
The umbilical cord is the passage through which the baby receives all the nutrition in the womb.The cord is connected to placenta of the mother.After delivery it is cut off through a painless process ,which leaves a stump on the baby’s navel.This stump falls off on it’s own somewhere between 7-21 days after birth.
But the umbilical stump needs a lot of care, so that it doesn’t lead to infection.Here are few tips to take care of the stump and prevent infection
- Sponge Bath –avoid giving your baby tub bath, as exposing the stump area to water for long may lead to infections, hence it is advisable to give only sponge bath till the stump falls off and gets dry.
- Avoid Onesies and rompers-The stump area should not be covered, as it may lead to rubbing .Dress your baby with loose clothes and avoid clothes that cover the whole body like onesies.
- Don’t touch the stump and also advice the same to people paying a visit to the baby.
- Use Diapers which are designed for newborns or else cut diaper if it touches the stump area.
- Clean the area near the stump using a damp cotton.Make sure you pat the area dry after cleaning.
- After the stump falls off it takes sometime for the navel to get dry completely. Follow the above mentioned precautions till it is completely dry.
- Contact your doctor in case you see pus around the stump or baby cries while cleaning the surrounding area of stump.
Once the stump falls off and the area is completely dry your baby can enjoy the tub bath and wear the cute onesies .
Hope these precautions will help you take care of the new-born, but it is always advisable to take your doctors suggestion and tips for care of Umbilical cord stump.