THE JOURNEY OF LEARNING :MADE ENRICHING BY SKOLA TOYS

“As you set out for Ithaka hope your road is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery… Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you’re destined for. But don’t hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you’re old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way”-

Excerpts from C. P. Cavafy’s poem – Ithaka
The poem written with Odysseus in mind is so true of life where we set out to reach a status in life, but what becomes more important are the things we have gained in our quest to get there. Similarly, when children set out to learn a certain “something” it’s not the final outcome of leaning but the process of getting that particular result that matters.  
For example How a little child goes about learning to add 2 numbers, for instance. Yes, of course 2+3=5, but how did the child get there.

  
1. Did we give them the answer helpfully and smilingly without asking him/her to find the answers by themselves?

2. Did they just hear the answer once, and immediately register it to memory?

3. Did they see it in a book and write it down 5 times, so it became a fact?
4. Did they learn to count first, practice it for a couple of months counting anything and everything they came across. Did they then count 2 and 3, put it together and arrive at the answers making many mistakes along the way and learning from them?

Each route created a different type of learner, and certainly the last group of learners would emerge wisest and most confident, just because their journey has been most meaningful and enriching, gaining something at each step of the way, while they made mistakes that is also when they learnt something new.mistakes are integral part of learning.

For young children, completing a task is never a priority infact they find happiness in doing an activity not completing it.Their focus is always on enjoying the process of activity rather than completion or the outcome.
Learning always happen when children take up a task or activity voluntarily.so as a facilitator our job is to provide them with the right tools and the result will be a enriching process of learning, which will be fun as they find answers at each stage with all excitement and enjoyment.
Just like each of us have a different journeys running simultaneously all teaching us something different, so also at any point in time, the child is not on one particular journey alone. The child maybe at a point where she/he is
• Learning to read 3 letter words

• Becoming familiar with the sequence of numbers

• Starting to use 2 hands for some activities
• Becoming aware of cause and effect

Every child is unique in the way they start and move through these journeys. Learning is never a single occurrence, learning even one single concept involves a series of steps.

  
   Every Skola journey takes children systematically through a series of experiences that are incrementally challenging enabling them to discover and learn something new at each stage. Every stage is facilitated by a toy playing with which will allow children to challenge themselves in an interesting way.
An example of a learning journey is:

  

 Visit www.skola.toys to understand children’s learning journeys and view toys that facilitate incremental learning.
Enable our future generations to play, explore and discover through “Learning Journeys designed as Play “

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TOYS : BEST FRIENDS AND THE BEST TEACHERS 

 This topic is very close to my heart and I have been planning to write about it since a long time and finally today was able to pen down at length.
The importance of toys in the life of children is something which can never be replaced by anything.The first friend or the favourite object they have for the first time is always a toy.
So let’s discuss the importance of toys in early learning , how today’s market has been diluted with non environment friendly options and in the end I would be discussing about the solution.

  

Importance of toys 



Toys play a vital role in early years of mental and physical development of a child,not only do they provide the vent to drain the energy but also helps in honing few basic skills which play a major role in future or in the later stage ,for example concentration.listed below are few of the major benefits toys offer

Cognitive development and creativity

  



Children are in constant quest of learning since birth and hence the toys provide the opportunity for them to think explore and relate it with real life.when an infant start playing or reacting to a rattler or starts getting attracted towards contrasting colours that is when they start their journey of curiosity . A toddler playing with a wooden horse and recognising a real one in the field is nothing but the imagination which comes to action while playing and relating things in real life.creativity is another one such benefit of playing with toys and helps in cognitive development.

Physical development and motor skills 

  



Physical development at an early age is at the fastest rate and hence the early stage of infancy and toddlerhood is when physical and motor skill can be developed.motor coordination helps in problem solving and also helps brain and hand coordination as well as eyes and hand coordination.Both gross and fine motor skills are important and needs to be developed at an early stage.Toys are the best way to hone these skills.

Social and emotional skills 

  

Another important aspect of growing up years is social and emotional development.when a child involves in pretend play they learn how to become social even if they play alone.sharing and multiple player toys helps them in developing social skills.Babies and toddlers goes through a lot of emotional ups and down where they are unable to express their feelings. Toys are the best medium to make them express what they feel and also through play they learn how to express themselves and their unexpressed emotions.

Language development 

  

Toys help in developing language skills, they add so much to the building vocabulary of the babies and toddlers.A child’s language skills are developed when they come across new objects and toys provide the avenue where they learn about new things and develop their language skills.

Sensorial development 

  

I have already talked about the importance of sensorial activities in past , when a child touches the toys they develop the sense of touch and feel soft , rough etc.

Importance of toys in today’s context and problem with today’s market 

  

When now we have already discussed the importance of toys let me throw some light on importance of toys in today’s context. Now when the families are small and spending capacity has increased we often face the problem of keeping our little ones busy and find refugee in gadgets or battery operated toys.while there is no harm in screen time in moderation beyond 18 months of age and few battery operated toys in your child’s collection but totally relying on these for play is not advisable.over exposure to battery operated toys also hamper the creativity of a child.

  
Today the market is flooded with cheap plastic and battery operated toys everywhere, I would not deny the fact that those plastic toys and at that price are not tempting enough.But these toys attract a very low span of attention for babies.So eventually we end up buying more and more and slowly kids lose interest in toys altogether.Another disadvantage of these plastic toys is they are extremely bright and colourful and over stimulating whereas toys should be soothing and welcoming.

So what is the solution ?



Needless to mention the effect these battery and plastic toys have on our environment. When as a parent all we want to do is leave a better place for our next generation.so the least we can do is by consciously making an effort to abstain from buying plastic toys altogether or to limit our plastic purchases and replace plastic with wood.

  
Yes wooden toys are more attractive ,educational, welcoming, soothing and on the top environment friendly.They are much sturdier than plastic toys and lasts for generations and hence can be passed on generations altogether.And if your plans are not that futuristic as mine then those can be used as decorative pieces in kids room once they outgrow as wooden toys are so beautiful and finished .

A wooden toy brand which promises a solution 



As you all know I follow Montessori and I constantly search for the best brands for wooden toys who manufacture finished toys using the best quality of wood.one of such brand that I have come across is Skola toys.

Skola
toys is a brand which manufactures high quality wooden toys for children between the age of 1-8 yrs and makes learning fun by covering the various aspects of education like language,cognitive,sensorial development.The best part about this brand is they have a wide range of toys and mostly open ended.open ended toys helps children use their imagination and prompts them to be more creative. 

Why I think skola toys can be your child’s best friend and best teacher 



One look at the toys and you can tell that these are made by the finest artisan and craftsmen.the research team behind definitely puts in a lot of effort and research before designing a toy. They have a collection of Montessori toys which you would not find easily in India.

To read more about this wonderful connection of toys with kids click the link below and check what Udita (famously known as zuzu’s mom) has to say 

Early Learning toys and kids :The whole cosmic connection

Capsicum Kadi- A recipe from the left over in the fridge

Last weekend we went to the turtle reserve and stayed there for a day,Since we planned this in advance I didn’t do any grocery shopping in the end of the week as our plan was to be out and about for atleast 4 days.But then due to some reasons we had to cut it short.

When we came back we were not in a mood to have our food ordered and wanted to have something cooked at home.When I opened the fridge all I could see was some capsicum and bell peppers almost cut into halves as  it was used for the noodles I prepared recently, some curd on the verge of expiry and some mint leaves apart from full stock of tomatoes and chillies.I thought of being experimental and tried this dish.

Capsicum Curry : Side dish for two

Prep time -15 mins

Ingredients 

Curd (1 cup )

Besan (Gram flour)(2 Table spoon)

Capsicum and bell pepper cut into small pieces

Chillies (2)

Onion (half )

Garlic (2 cloves )

Prepration

Mix the besan with curd and add some turmeric and salt to it.Keep aside.

Heat the pan and add some oil

Add some mustard and when it sputters add the onion

When the onion is slightly brown add the garlic finely chopped.

Add some curry leaves and chillies,

Add the capsicum and bell pepper.cover and cook for 5-6 mins.

Slowly start adding the curd mix kept aside in high flame ,stir continuously.

Once the whole mix comes to a boil, put it in sim for another 6-7 mins till the time you get the desired thickness of curry.

I tried this with chapatis and hence made it little thick.The more you boil more thicker it gets.If you wish to have this with rice you can add some water to curd.Boiling is important for the taste.

I am a big fan of Kadi and love curd dishes. And any dish with curd in it can never fail.

Do you experiment ? Or use the left overs to make some new dish ?