Fun weekend at Muscat Kids Club

When it comes to outing N loves and prefers parks over anything, and we take him to play zones as occasional treats.The play zone has lot of noise and too much light which obviously being a Montessori  family we have consciously kept a distance with.

So recently we were invited by Nagma, The founder of Muscat Kids Club to come and experience the Kids club which is located at Al Mansab,Muscat.I have been following their Instagram account since their inception and I had an idea of the play area.But I was not sure if N would enjoy being there.

Finally we visited them and to my surprise N’s didn’t need his normal warm up session.Yes he needs a warm up session where I encourage him to interact with people or explore a new place.The Muscat Kids Club ambience is really inviting.It invites the little ones to play, explore and have fun.A peaceful play area with loads of physical activities and pretend play.

The place has a large play area in one side and a lounge with pantry on the other side.The play area has a ball pit, a trampoline , a free play area where seating arrangement is there for the little ones to pick puzzles, blocks or books and sit and enjoy.A pretend play market, dressing table and kitchen set for messy play they have a sand pit and easel boards for scribbling.Has slides and swings and other activities.

The place is beautifully decorated by craft done by its founder Nagma,that adds to the beauty and ambience of the place.

The play area has been designed keeping in mind that the child can choose whatever he wishes to play with.Its an open ended play zone where the child can choose from various options.The whole area is carpeted and hence child can be left to roam free and explore without the tension of them getting hurt.

So now the real test was if N would enjoy being there?

N took a round of the whole area and wanted to play with the sand which is pretty obvious as messy play is his favourite.

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Open ended play – we all know how open ended play benefits and are super fun. Imagine a Play area which is open ended !! Yes we visited an open ended play area @muscatkidsclub thank you so much for inviting us. . I think N has got his kind of play zone. Where he can run free , make mess do whatever and yes he cooked there too 🙈🙈🙈. I told you he was free to do anything 😂😂. . I am so glad to have discovered a place like @muscatkidsclub. . Check them out for the fun events they organise almost every week. . Stay tuned as a detailed blog post about our experience is coming soon. . . #openendedplay #playzone #messyplay #playdate #montessori #montessorikids #learning #sensorial #craft #christmas #instapost #littlestoriesofmylife #childhoodunplugged #letthembelittle #fun #instafun #muscat #muscatmums #muscatbloggers #muscatlife #muscatdaily #momsofinstagram #toddlersofinstagram #toddlerfun #momswithcameras #momblogger #indianmomblogger #rattlebabblebattle

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After sometime while I was clicking few pics of the whole play area he started exploring the other activities.He was very much comfortable and at ease while exploring.I wanted him to enjoy the slides and ball pit but then he chose the dressing activity.After playing with the action figurines and cars he scribbled for sometime at the easel board.

And finally he landed to his favourite pretend play ‘cooking’ he bought few fruits from the market (pretend play) and started cooking after sometime got the kinetic sand from the sand pit for cooking.Kids can be so innovative with play that we can only realise when we let them free to explore.

He enjoyed it so much that even after almost 2 hours when we asked if we can go home he didn’t want to leave that place.he wanted to do more cooking and he was bribing his papa with tea so that we would stay there for some more time.

And all this while when N was busy with play and I was busy chatting with Nagma and clicking pics with occasional nudge to N if he was done and we can make a move guess what papa was doing? He was chilling in the lounge area which is specially made for the parents or anyone who accompanies the kids to the club.While kids enjoy their uninterrupted play at the play area, parents can sip coffee enjoy the free wifi ,watch TV or may be catch up with some sleep.

Overall our experience with Muscat Kids club was really nice and the way N liked the place we will definitely visit the place pretty often.

I highly recommend this place to parents in Muscat as the charges are pretty nominal and their membership fee is also very less for a month.They come up with different activities and workshop almost every week.To stay updated not her activities and workshop you can like their Facebook page Facebook-Muscat Kids Club or follow them on Instagram Muscat Kids Club Instagram account

 

 

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Five Card Board Craft you should do with your toddler this Christmas

So after snow we wanted to do some decorations and get Christmas ready.If you have not checked the snow recipe yet I highly recommend you check that Christmas Activity : DIY Play snow

Usually every year we decorate a small tree as a part of our Christmas decorations but this year I wanted it to be little more as I have a little helper.And wanted to keep it easy enough for N so that he would enjoy it.

I kept the craft very basic and easy because more than beautiful and finished decorations it should be easy for a two year old.And very importantly I wanted it to be a best out of waste project.So that instead of buying a fake plastic tree we can use the waste and be eco friendly.

So lets get started


Materials required

Carton/Cardboard

knife

Glue

Googly eyes

some decorative sequence or stars

pom pom

Colours (acrylic/water any colour would do)

Empty toilet/ kitchen towel roll

Double sided tape

 

Ginger Bread Man 


Take an empty carton and cut it in the shape of ginger bread man.


Paste the eyes

Apply glue all over or

And decorate it with applying glue on the sequence, stars or any decorative item you come across the stationery store.


Tip- Apply some glue but let your toddler apply glue stick on the decorative items again.Glue stick wasn’t that effective on the sticking part hence applying glue (fevicol all over is advised)

 

Rudolf The reindeer


Put your hands on the card board and draw your hands, cut it with the help of knife.Your hands are the horns  of reindeer.

Paint both the horns and the toilet roll brown in colour or else you can leave colouring as toilet roll and cardboard both are brown in colour.


Paste the eyes

Use a double sided tape to stick the horns and

Use a red pom pom stick it with double sided tape.

Your Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer is ready


 

Wreath


Cut the cardboard in a circle I have used a plate to draw the circle as I don’t have a compass.Waiting for N to grow to bring back my school time memories of compass and Protractor.Gosh ! I have even forgotten the names of my geometry instruments. Anyways,Make a bigger circle and draw a smaller circle inside it. Cut it to get the base of the wreath.


Again apply the glue all over and let the toddler stick the pom pom all over it.N enjoyed sticking pom pom and when he was bored which honestly was just towards the end I did the finishing.

 

Star


No matter what I do I find it difficult to draw a star , so I simply draw two over lapping triangle to get my star.Did the same here and mad the cut in the centre to give it a more starry appearance.

Colour it with any colour of your choice.


Decorate it with sequence.

 

Christmas Tree

So this one is our first Christmas tree of this season yes we have planned few more and hopefully we would be able to do it.


Cut the cardboard in the shape of a Christmas tree and colour it green.Let your toddler colour it you can give the last coat to make it presentable.

Cut few shapes like circle, crescent ,triangle as decoration for the tree and a star for the top.


Draw the shapes on the tree and cut the shapes from a different piece of cardboard.Stick velcro with glue gun.


N loves this tree and this is his shapes tree.

 


While doing the craft you can tell the various stories associated with it and about Christmas and the joy of giving.


 

Christmas Activity : DIY Play snow 

December is a month which is full of celebrations, winters make it even more special.And making a snow man from snow is the best thing but wait we don’t have snow here in Oman or rather had we been in Delhi getting a booking done for Shimla in december is next to impossible.So does that mean Little N will miss out on making snow man and his childhood winter memories will have no snow man in it? Well No he is going to have  better memories with snow man and will have no chilly hands too.

Do It Yourself is the word …Yes we make snow at home.

Materials Required

Googly eyes

Few decorative items

Pipe cleaner or ribbon

Snow Recipe

Two cups Cornstarch

1/2 cup  edible oil (I have used Coconut oil)

Prepration

In a bowl mix the corn starch with oil till the time it bind like snow.Take more cups if you wish to make a bigger snowman.We were able to make a small one but considering the fun factor I would suggest take some more.N was happy with his snow man so for us quantity was not an issue.

Set Up

In a tray or activity table put the whole snow mix and keep the items for decorations. Don’t forget to use a mat for easy cleaning.

Let the little one explore the texture, show them how to make balls and break it.Do it again and again and let them enjoy the snow for a while.After that show them how to make a snow man.

One small ball for face

one bigger ball for body.

Put the pipe cleaner as muffler

Put the eyes and if you can find a nose better (I couldn’t or rather I simply forgot about the nose of snowman)

And our seasons first snowfall snow man 😉

N was in love with the texture and making and breaking balls kept him busy for quite sometime.And we are sure doing this activity again but we are running out of corn starch already ;).Time to go and buy heaps of cornstarch and let it snow here in desert what say ?

 

 

How to Start Early with Early Learning

As I have mentioned in my posts earlier I started with early learning  when N was almost one and regret not starting it earlier but when I look back and see his videos and pics I realise I was on it since he was born.Yes absolutely without even a single iota of knowledge about early learning ,N was into early learning from the day one or may be before in my tummy while he was kicking he was learning something new.

A new born is born with the natural ability to learn and needs no push to do so.As a parent we only act as facilitator and care provider.So lets get started with early learning in early phase of infant life first.

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MONTESSORI MONDAY . Let's talk about how to start early . We started on our structured learning at around 12 months but before that we were more into unstructured learning and never knew those were helping in development and learning too ⠀⠀ . Few of the activities that can be done with infants are listed below . 👉🏻 Tummy time . 👉🏻 Black and white books for infants . 👉🏻Board and touch and feel books . 👉🏻 gym . 👉🏻mobile (hanging for crib) . 👉🏻Peek-a- boo . 👉🏻Loads and loads of skin to skin with caregiver (mother and father) . 👉🏻talk talk talk they love it . 👉🏻finger puppets and stories . 👉🏻Rattlers- prefer the wooden ones . 👉🏻mirror – we had a baby Einstein mirror book we still love that. . ⠀⠀ #montessori #montessorimonday #montessoriathome #montessorikids #montessorimom #montessorilife #indianmontessorihomes #montessoritoddler #montessoriparent #montessoriblogger #montessoriblog #indianmomblogger #muscatbloggers #indianmomtessorimum #momblogger #followme #followforfollow #like4like #instapost #instagood #instadaily #momofinstagram #earlylearning #earlylearning101 #learningisfun #handsonmama

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Tummy Time

Yes it starts from here and parent has a major role in providing the environment. A safe tummy time under adult supervision is a great time to learn for infants.They learn how to keep their head up for longer time and make their neck strong enough to hold the head.

Black and white books

So the fact is to stimulate them and not over simulate; babies love black and white and colours can be over stimulating.So give them some black and white book for the motivation to lift the head while tummy time.

Gym

I bought a simple gym and started from the second month  although the weather was cold and layer of clothing was a major factor but still the gym was stimulating enough for body movements.

In fact more than gym my son was  interested in moving fingers in front of his face.He will move his hands and legs with excitement when I would twinkle my fingers in front of him.

Mobile

(Hanging for the crib )

I never used a crib during the initial months it was only after my son was 5 months old that I invested in a cot.But still we got few hanging and I used to used that in his play area.

Peek-a-boo

One of the most popular and a game which 100% brings those giggles on the tiny lips.We played a lot of peek-a-boo and till now it is my sons favourite.

Skin to skin contact with care giver

A skin to skin does wonders in soothing what it has to do with early learning well!! Attachment with the care giver parents in general is very important and emotional bonding when established can give a long term emotional stability and sense of security . This is important for the emotional well being.

Massage

For first few months I was too scared to do Massage of my baby and hence the act was outsourced.But eventually I realised I am losing out on bonding time with my baby and I took over. Apart from many benefits it helps in forming a routine and hence better sleep.

Talk Talk Talk

Babies they love listening to your voice as they recognise your voice from the womb.They start differentiating voices from an early age.Hence language development starts way ahead from what we can imagine.Talk normally and avoid making baby voice with mushy talks all the time  (I know that irresistible but still ).These little talks will aid a lot in language development in future.

Finger Puppets

Invest in some finger puppets or best just DIY. Tell them stories and talk more.

Rattlers

Invest in some good wooden rattlers ,babies first learn to move their head towards sound and then after sometime to grab the object and rattlers are best for that.

Mirror

Put a mirror near the floor bed or simply show them the mirror during tummy time.Babies they love watching their reflection in the mirror .We had baby eisenstein mirror me book and N use to love it.Now we use this book to make funny faces.

So these were few pointers on starting with early learning at infant stage and my next post in the How to start early will be on babies from 6-12 months.

 

Guide To Start  Knife with Toddlers ft Little Fingers at Work’s Toddler Knife


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When lil N was almost 18 months old we wanted to introduce him to knife and hone his knife skills.But unfortunately my search for toddler Knife fetched no results online.I tried few stores here is oman but never got what I was looking for.So I started with the plastic knife which comes with every cooker in our Indian household.

In case you are wondering what was the hurry and why on this earth do I want my toddler to learn knife skills at such a young age.Give this whole article a sound read, many will not agree many would be convinced but the idea of writing this particular article is to educate my reader on early life skills.

Why Knife at Such a young age ?

Knife skills is one of the practical life skills of montessori approach and is recommended after 18 months only when babies develop a better fine motor skills and a better control over the movement of their body parts.

A toddler is inquisitive and developing many life skills at this stage.Observe a toddler in a pretend play and you will get to know how their observation skill works.You will be surprised to see how they copy you and observe your movement and activities.

Preparing your own food is a basic life skill and to raise an Independent individual which is the primary aim of montessori, introducing a toddler to knife early helps rather than making them realise that they are incapable of doing it.

Just like introducing the glassware to toddlers makes them aware of the fact that it needs to be handled gently and with care  similarly introducing knife makes them aware of the fact that it needs caution.

How to start with Knife 

12-18 months– A butter knife or a plastic cake knife (which I was using and still use).

It will give them a better control and coordination to cut things.You can start with pretend play sets like the pic below as well.

If you choose a butter /plastic knife start with soft fruits like banana, ripe papaya, watermelon ensure that you peel and give it to them for cutting.

18 months plus – A toddler knife like the one shown in the pic below

As I have already mentioned I was searching for a knife but couldn’t find anything fortunately I came across a reviewer requirement by Little Fingers At Work while I was in India,wherein they wanted  moms to review their toddler knife and  send across honest feedback to them.

Its been almost a month we have been using this knife almost every other day to make fruit salad.N shows a lot of interest in kitchen and he eats his fruit salad with more delight and satisfaction.

How to use it 

Start with keeping the cutting board at one side to make them learn that chopping needs only one hand till the time they get a control over the knife.

Give soft fruits like banana, pears; food like paneer,eggs which they can comfortably chop with one hand.

The knife is blunt enough not to hurt those little fingers but you know toddlers they go a little bit extra with chopping and you would want them to hit the knife on the other hand hence a conscious effort of using one hand only.

Once they are used to the fact of chopping with one hand give them the chopping board while they are with you in the kitchen in front like you do cutting or on the high chair.

Once they are old enough to understand how to cut and not chop give them fruits like  banana to teach them how to hold and cut.Like give them a banana hold it at one end and start cutting from the other end.(we have not reached this stage and hence will be updating more once we start doing it )

Progression

The next progression could be a nylon knife or a wavy chopper with handle like the real knife we use.These knifes are little sharper and can cut harder fruits and vegetables also.And should be introduced once the toddler has learnt to hold and cut cautiously.(We are yet to reach this stage and hence more updates or a detailed blog post will be posted once we hone these skills and progress.)

About Little Fingers at work Toddler Knife

Pros

A blunt steel sheet with a wooden grip handle.

Blunt enough for young toddlers

wooden grip handle gives a better grip and control.

Good for chopping soft food items.

An excellent knife to start with knife skills.

Cons 

The edges are pointed, which may require extra caution if the toddler doesn’t have a good control.This is the only drawback with this knife.And as the knife was sent across for feedback for improvement I conveyed the same to the team and it has been noted by them.

Cooking or helping in the kitchen not only helps the toddler to become independent but also gives them a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment which they strive for.And introducing knife skills makes them more confident and cautious.

Some points to keep in mind while introducing knife to toddlers

Adult supervision is a must

Keep the knife out of reach of toddler

Test yourself first by cutting the fruit you offer child to cut.This will give  you an idea if child can cut it comfortably.