Friday, March 17, 2023

How to teach numbers and colors with DIY clay numbers

If you are looking for a creative and educational activity for little ones, then this one is worth making or should I say baking:) Toddlers learn by touch and feel sensory activities. Instead of buying plastic toys, let's make eco-friendly educational toys at home. These clay numbers are smooth to the touch and feel.  It is a fun activity to make numbers with and for kids. 

You can teach both numbers and colors with these.

To make these you will need the following:

  • Oven-baked Terracotta clay. I bought it from Amazon.
  • Number-shaped cookie cutters. 
  • Acrylics or any child-friendly colors.

Procedure :
  • I rolled the clay with my son with a rolling pin. 
  • We used the cookie cutter to cut the numbers. He pressed the cutters in the clay. Together we pulled the numbers out and placed them on the parchment paper.
  • I baked them according to the instructions on the package. 
  • Once they have cooled down, he colored them in different colors.

How to use these to teach numbers and colors:

  • Introduce the clay numbers and let the child play with them. The objective is to get the child used to see the numbers. By touching them, they will get a feel of the shape and curves of each number.
  • Start by placing the numbers in the correct sequence. Make this a game in which the child has to put the numbers in the correct series.
  •  Talk about the numbers and colors while playing with them. 
  •  Ask them to find a number from the bunch. 
  • Trace the outline with the clay numbers. 
  • Make double-digit numbers.
  • Fix a magnet behind the numbers and stick them on the fridge to play with them.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

women's day decoration with white flowers

If you want to make your home more lively and cheerful, fresh flowers are the easiest way to do so. 

Although I prefer colorful flowers, this time I tried something different. This all-white flower arrangement has such a peaceful, calming, and serene feeling to it. 

 Happy International women's day!!

Friday, March 3, 2023

Sunshine corner

 Winter is the time when we appreciate the sunshine. Tired of sweating, and sweltering heat in summer when autumn comes we start to anticipate winter. I always say I want to feel so cold that I will long for summer. We all like something when that item is scarce. It becomes special and desirable. It's human nature. When this corner in my living room lit up with sunshine, it looked magical. I imagined my plants gleefully soaking in all the sunshine they can get. Store it, save it and use the nutrients later when needed. I did the same. I saved these memories to view them when it gets too gloomy during winter.

I imagined my plants gleefully soaking in all the sunshine they can get. Store it, save it and use the nutrients later when needed. I did the same. I saved these memories to view them when it gets too gloomy during winter.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Festivals of the world : Fasching


Fasching and Karneval are traditional celebrations in German-speaking countries. This fun-filled festival includes fun parades and carnivals. Hundreds of people gather around the streets to watch the parade. There are elaborate and extravagant floats. The marchers and enthusiastic people wear bright and colorful costumes to the carnival. The most popular costumes are clowns, witches, animals, and wizards. The carnival has game stalls. Food and drinks stalls serve traditional german food like “ FaschingsKrapfen”, a German doughnut filled with jam jelly, bratwurst, pretzel, and Gluhwein.

Fasching has been celebrated in February since the Middle ages. It has a religious significance to it. Today in most countries, it is celebrated for fun and enjoyment.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

How to make candle holders from old glass bottles

 Do you have lots of leftover glass jars from pasta sauce, pickles, jams, or baby food bottles? Instead of throwing them in the recycling, how about reusing them. 

Reusing is a better alternative to recycling. Reusing gives a new life to the jars. It does not utilize any energy needed to recycle the product and thus, saves pollution. If we have a choice between reusing and recycling, we should choose to reuse.

Glass jars can be reused by using them as containers. Instead of buying plastic containers, use old bottles as containers. Glass jars can keep the food fresh longer than plastic containers. Glass is nonporous and hence no bacteria or insects can get inside. It does not get stained and yellow with use. The food stays fresh and tastes better. The clear glass makes it easy to see what's inside. In case you want to show off what's inside, it also makes a perfect choice. Easy to see, easy to find. 

Other than containers, glass bottles can be used as flower vases. We can use them to hold tissue papers or cutlery. The list is as big as your imagination. Today, I am sharing with you a project I did with glass jars. I have many small jams and honey jars at home. They are small so cannot use them as a container or flower vase, but these are the perfect size to use as candle holders.

It is an excellent project to be done with little children. All you need is acrylic colors and decoration accessories like string, sequins, or beads. We painted the jars in bright colors. We used red, blue, orange, yellow, green, and purple. Paint it from all sides. When they are still wet, press sequins and glitter to embellish them. They adhere to the paint when they are wet. If not, dry the jars and then glue them on the jars. We tied a golden string around them. 

What I like is that when a child paints, the brush strokes are rough. They are not smooth and perfect like adults would paint. That's what makes them look prettier.

Last but important is that when you reuse the bottles, always remember you are inspiring others to do the same. The little eyes are watching you. Inspiring people and spreading the importance of recycling, reusing, and reducing is done by action, not words.


Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Books for potty training


Potty training is an important milestone in a child’s life. Daytime and nighttime potty training are two totally different issues. Children learn to stay dry during the daytime faster and it is easier compared to nighttime. In this post, I will write only about daytime training in this article.

Children should be potty trained before joining a nursery. Many schools have this as a mandatory policy. Around the age of 3 or 4, most children stop wearing diapers. Occasional accidents might happen but they soon learn to hold it. It takes around 3 days to train a child. In my case, It was possible because I was with my child the whole day. That’s how I was able to manage the timing. I would like to share some tips which worked for me and believe will help others as well who are in similar situations.

You will need books. Not self-help books for parents but books for toddlers and preschoolers. You might be wondering what potty training has to do with books. Believe me, books have been a big part of training.

It sounds funny when I say this but for a child or even an adult, to sit still on the pot for more than 2 minutes is boring and daunting. While training they have to do this every hour. They will cry, throw a tantrum and resist. To avoid this, you have to keep them busy and find ways to entertain them. I feel taking a toy to the toilet is unhygienic. I am not suggesting taking a book inside either.

It goes without saying that books take the reader or listener to another world. It takes the mind off any problem or difficult situation. And it is the best solution to pass time.

This is what I did to keep my child busy and patient while training. I sat on a stool outside the toilet and read him his favorite books. I read them animatedly to keep him interested. I had kept some books aside just for this purpose. I didn’t read those to him any other time during the week except during potty training. Anytime I thought he is losing patience, I would say “Do you what happens next?” Or “ Let me read you another book?” Talking about books is another way to change the topic.

Every hour I took him inside and read his books. I asked him questions about the story or we just talked about random things. After 3 days, I increased the time duration between two visits. It worked very well.

If you are thinking, why not watch youtube videos to keep the child busy? My answer is that watching videos or playing video games, takes away too much attention. The child will completely forget why he sitting there in the first place.

Additionally, buy a potty ring with your child’s favorite character on it. We had a ‘Thomas and friends’ themed potty ring. In the beginning, boys also sit on the ring for peeing. The new underwears also have to be of the child’s favorite character for encouragement.

Tell each other before going to the toilet. This way they will start telling you when they have the urge. A new house rule is to be introduced which is going to the toilet before going out of the house.

Also, washing hands properly has to be taught. What will help is: A bubbly soap, a rhythm to sing when washing hands, a cute little towel, and a step stool to reach the sink.

There are several cute toilet training books for toddlers. It is good to read some of these to encourage them.

The essentials of potty training are a Tiolet ring, wet wipes, toilet paper, new underwear, bubbly soap, small step stool for reaching the sink. We had bought everything with his favorite book character on them.

The right time to start potty training is when you have time and patience. Every child has a different personality. The time taken to learn any skill will be either longer or shorter. Please don’t compare them with other children or come under pressure to train the child when you are not ready.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Three kings Day


On the 6th of January, many European countries celebrate Épiphanie, also known as Three Kings Day. Épiphanie is celebrated after the 12th day of Christmas on January 6th. It is the day when three wise men visited baby Jesus and brought him gifts. The gifts included gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Three kings’ cake is made to honor them.

The three kings cake is known by different names in European countries. In France, the delicious ‘Galettes des Rois’ is a tart made of puff pastry and almond cream filling. In Switzerland, sweet and fluffy “Dreikönigskuchen” is made with puff pastry, fruits, and raisins. In Spain, a doughnut-shaped “Roscón de Reyes” is baked with crystallized sugar.

A small lucky porcelain charm is baked inside the tart. A gold paper crown is placed over it. Whoever finds the lucky charm gets to wear the crown and be the king or queen of the day.

Illustration and text by Purnima.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

How to make a Ice bowl : Fossil science + decor

Avaneesh and I have been exploring the fossils topic. I love to do projects with my son which are fun + art + educational. A child can learn so much if there is some fun activity involved in it.  My son loves science experiments. It was a very hot day when we started this project. Two things I believe any child likes is playing in water or with ice. Our afternoons are spent on the balcony with ice - breaking with toy hammer or watching them melt. So one day when playing with ice cubes I was thinking if I would do something more interesting..  So came the idea of making a bowl!!

We plucked some flowers from our little garden. First we took a larger bowl (salad bowl) and kept a smaller one in it. Some pebbles went in the smaller bowl to keep it down. We poured water in bigger one just enough water taking care not to overflow the water. He placed the flowers in the water. I carried it carefully to the fridge avoiding to spill it and create a puddle in the house. 

We had one of those refrigerators which are divided into two parts. One is the freezer and other is the fridge section.  I placed it on the lower rack so that he can see it. When I was a kid I wquld check the fridge n times when my mom would be making icecream. Avaneesh checked the freezer several times just like that. He soon lost interest as it took time for the water to fridge. I kept the reveal time for next day. 

Next day in afternoon we took it to our balcony table. We set it out in the sun to melt on the sides. Soon we were able to remove both bowls. It looked so glorious with the summer sun fell on it. It looked like a glass bowl.  

It would make perfect to keep strawberries or berries for dessert. For those early spring days when it is not too hot or cold, just perfect for having a drink and enjoy the strawberries. 

In our case, it was like finding treasure from the bowl. Soon the bowl was broken and crushed with a toy hammer. All flowers were 'rescued' and the remaining parts were left to melt. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Minion craft - Minion mask diy

Sunny boy and I were talking about masks.. We had made a spider man mask some days back ...Sunny boy does not wear it at all.. So when asked why , he said he would rather like a minion mask. Ok.. So I thought about a moment.. Ok I said lets make it !!
I measured his head and then cut the head part. To make eyes I folded the mask and cut out two circles for eyes. Then I cut two larger circles and two sides of strap. Three pieces for hair as well.
Sunny boy painted all the parts and glued it together.
After it was dry I glued a ribbon on the sides. This mask is a big hit with him. He loves it!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Minion Craft with recycled can

We love Minions!!! Recently we have been doing many Minion crafts. This one is made with a big  size recycled can. All you need is paper, a big box to be recycled, poster colors , glue and scissors. Optional is felt for eyes and hands.
I cut out all the parts from a thick sheet of paper. First sunny boy (3) covered the can with plain paper which he colored yellow with poster paint. Next he painted and glued the clothes. The parts of specs are made separately. The eyes are made of felt. For the specs I had cut the strap and the circles...over which we glued the felt eyes. The arms were painted and then rolled up. We glued hands made from felt in it. The smile is made of scrap felt which sunny boy thought looks like a smile!! Oh yes almost forgot the beret.. We put the lid on and then glued a pompom over it!!! Hooray the minion is done!!!
Sunny boy had lot of fun doing this craft and he is very proud of his creation!!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Color mixing chart for little artists

Sunny boy likes to paint so he is always asking which color is formed by mixing x and y colors!! So I did an activity to make a color chart. This activity helps in understanding combinations and permutations , how the value/ shade of the color changes when either white or black OR lighter or darker shades of colors are mixed...different quantity of colors can result in different shades. 

I believe the easiest way for a child to understand and learn something is through practical example/experiment or demonstration. If the activity is fun filled then even better!!

 I started by telling him that it is like a science experiment ..We will add colors and find out what the resulting color is. Then we will note it down in a chart ..This way we will know and remember the combinations.. 

This made him very excited.. I gave him the colors one by one, he mixed and we noted it down.. I have taped this chart in his room ...He remembers all the combinations and if he does not then it is always on the wall to check!!