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  1. 1. ideas 13 & RetroGames 14 s children we played games, many of them traditional, that were more than just fun. These games were designed to imbue us with logical thinking skills, strategy-building skills, basic math skills and more. While we learnt sportsmanship, we simultaneously developedsensory skills, improved our motor skills, and learnt to be alert. Thesegames sometimes involved chants or songs that remain forever etched inour memory. Here is a sampling of some games, which young children aresure to enjoy. Postman, Postman England A group of children sit down and form a circle. One child, however, is the post man, and stands behind this circle. She goes around the circle, swiftlyKeechu keechu and noiselessly dropping a handkerchief behind a child, eventambalam as the other children are singing:Kerala I sent a letter to my father On the way I dropped itA great game that is played on the beach or by the river The postman came and picked it upbank. Two children play this game. They face each other And put it in his pocketwith a mound of mud or sand between them. Looking onlyat each other’s faces, one child hides a small object like Once the handkerchief is dropped, the particular childa shell or stone somewhere in the mound saying Keechu behind whom it is dropped, should sense it, get up andkeechu tambalam, kiya mutti tambalam, machu machu chase the postman around the circle and catch her. Iftambalam, mayya mayya tambalam. she fails to realize that the handkerchief is right behindThe other child has to correctly find the spot where the her, and the postman completes a round, she is ‘out’ andobject is hidden by placing his clasped hands, palms down she becomes the next postman. If she spots the kerchiefover the area where he thinks the object is. The child but nevertheless fails to catch the escaping postman,that has hidden the object then uncovers the rest of the who manages to sit in the vacant spot left by her, she isarea to reveal if the guess was right or not. ‘out’ and becomes the next postman.
  2. 2. ideasBalance withnonchalance AG R FO S E 6+ 25 toBalance is an important physical quality. This exercisewill help your child maintain a 27good balance:ASK your child to walk in a straightline on the floor, one foot in front of the other.PLACE a book on his head, tell him to look straightahead, and walk normally.TELL him to stand on one leg with his hands spreadapart. Time how long he can stay without swaying.Ask him if he feels a difference between the right andleft sides of his body. Tell him to try this with his eyesclosed and observe how his perception changes. FOR AGES Connect 10+ with the core The deep abdominal musculature and connected muscles are the primary posture builders, strength and power generators and energy enhancers. It FOR S pays to know how to keep them active. AGE Tell your child to: INHALE deeply and as he slowly Foster Posture 8+ exhales, tell him to gently contract the musculature beneath the navel. He will A good posture is dependent on the vertebral column’s strength immediately feel the spinal alignment and mobility. This activity will help your child adopt a good posture. changing and the set of his shoulders Tell her to: altering. Let him stay focused in this GET on to the floor in a crawling position. Ask her to inhale and position for a few seconds. look up, while making a valley with the lower back. Ask her to TELL him to extend this while sitting, exhale and simultaneously tuck chin to the chest and arch the lower standing or lying down and while doing back, into the shape of a hill. routine activities like watching TV LET her round her shoulders so that the distance between her or walking. shoulder blades increases. Then ask her to draw them back, pulling them close together.
  3. 3. 33 idea History Mystery istory can be made fun and interesting if your child is going to be involved in practical activities relating to the subject and ‘life’ is breathed into it. FOR S AGE 8+ Me, Myself & My m 1978 Family SIVAM UMA History is also about you, b 1952 b 1958 not just kings and queens. m 1977 Have you ever wondered NATHAN about the lives of your great b 1950 - d 2006 USHA grandmothers and fathers, b 1957 and did it become too late to retrieve significant information about them? Surely you would want m 2006 your child to be aware m 2000 PRIYA of his roots. He will RAJIV KUNAL ASHA VINOD be interested too,b 1980 b 1979 b 1979 b 1984 particularly if he is told b 1982 that he got his green eyes from a paternal grandaunt and that he had NISHANTH me NAVYA the same mannerisms as MANAV b 2003 his maternal grandfather! It b 2009 b 2007 will motivate your child to draw a family tree when he is told that a remote uncle in the family was an adventurer and had a shade of notoriety attached to him! So inspire him to draw one, and learn more about the family. Depending on his age, you can either help him with this exercise, or ask him to do it by himself.
  4. 4. 35 idea Tech omputers and the digital world fascinate children. The Internet is teeming with websites catering to your child’s areas of interest. If your child loves movies and is curious about filmmaking, help her get to Tonic started with the basics of editing with Windows Movie 39 Maker. You can also download ebooks onto your iPad, Kindle or other digital devices for easy access to your child’s favourite books. Have fun visiting the sites.Narration based on everything under the sun like history, science, health, machine, people and places. www.storynory.com - This is an online treasure-troveof free audio stories beautifully read by professional Spaceactors. Original stories, poems, fairytales, myths and http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forkids/kidsclub/flash/histories-you will find them all here. Children of all ages index.html - If your 6- to 12-year-old child is fascinated bywill soon be hooked on to these stories. space and astronauts, this is a site that provides reliable www.kidslearntoblog.com - Blogging is a great way information on space-related topics, as well as games,for children to express their ideas and get involved in web quests, and even chats with NASA experts. This sitewriting. This site is a wonderful resource that provides is maintained by the US space agency that sends peoplethe latest information on Internet security and safe into outer space.blogging for children below13 years of age.It teaches children the best ways to blog Programmingand improve their writing skills. It also http://scratch.mit.edu/ - This is an engagingprovides links to free blogging sites for site for budding programmers. Scratch is achildren that support and encourage programming language that allows childrenlearning. to create their own interactive stories, www.storyjumper.com - Children animations, games, music, and art -of all ages can script and illustrate and share them onstories, fairy tales or create treasure the web.maps and calendars on this site. In While engaging in this process,short, imagination is the limit. They the children will learn importantcan publish their stories on the site mathematical and computationaland read stories written by other ideas, learn to think creatively, reasonchildren. The site also teaches systematically, and work collaboratively.your children how to write a story. It is intended especially for 8- to 16-year-olds, butExploration younger children can work on Scratch projects with their parents or older siblings. http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/ - The siteis teeming with activities involving animals, science,crafts and pets for children 6 to 14 years of age. GamingFor the tiny tots, parents can visit http://kidsblogs. www.lumosity.com - This site has been designednationalgeographic.com/littlekids/ and help the little ones to ‘improve your brain health and performance’ withnavigate the site. many interactive games like puzzles, logical thinking programmes, and memory-building games. It is a http://kids.discovery.com/ - Discovery Channel’s membership-based site, suitable for teens and adults.website involves children 6 to 12 years of age inactivities ranging from puzzles to quizzes and games (INPUTS: CurioKidz)
  5. 5. 50 idea Matho’magic oes your child fear Math? Games, kits and puzzles help children think logically, explore the underlying facts and extend these concepts - all in anenjoyable manner. FORTic-tac-toe for math maniacs S AGE 6-8ODD OR EVEN MAKE 15We can play this game using 0s and 1s. Each The players take turns placingplayer chooses to place either a ‘0’ or a ‘1’ in the numbers 1 to 9 in each of theeach square. The players takes turns placing squares. The first player to obtain 5 3 7 5 3their chosen digit in the squares. Before the the sum of 15 using 3 numbers eitherstart of each game, decide if the winning sum horizontally, vertically or diagonally 1is odd or even. The first player to achieve it is the winner.either horizontally or vertically or diagonally isthe winner. OTHER VARIATIONSExample: Odd 1 1 The same tic-tac-toe can be played 4 by changing the rules of the game. 0 0 Use the numbers from 1 to 9 to form mathematical equations either 1 0 1 horizontally, vertically or diagonally 9 5 to win the game. Even Example: 1+3=4 and 4-1=3 1 This game helps the child practice basic addition and subtraction. 1 The same game can be extended by choosing a higher 0 0 1 range of numbers and by using multiplication and division facts.Alternatively, use digits 1-9 to form odd oreven combinations.
  6. 6. 53 ideas 54 & Nurture Nature I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay on till sun down; for going out, I found was really going in. JOHN MUIRBottle GardenDon’t throw away the plastic bottles you have at home.They can serve as pots to keep in your balcony. Make acoin size hole in the middle of each bottle. Fill the bottleswith manure and mud mixed in equal proportions (youcan get organic fertilizers from any nursery). Fill theholes by pushing in the seeds of the vegetables you like -tomato, lady’s finger or brinjal. Water mildly, every day.Your child will be surprised to see plants growing out ofthe little holes. In three weeks, you will have your ownvegetable source.To feed a family of 4, you will need at least 12such bottles. Leaf Art TAKE a walk in your FOR neighbourhood. AGES OBSERVE the sizes, shapes and 2-4 colours of the leaves around you. COLLECT leaves of different For the shapes and colours. Place the little ones, leaves between 2 sheets of paper g ies in usin the obvious and weigh them down between The fun l FOR – spades, fun lies in heavy books to dry them out. the tools re AGES snippers a watering the rakes and demand. 7+ CREATE your own leaf art and plants. use it to make crafts like cards always in and book marks.
  7. 7. idea64 R FO S AG E Papier Mache + Balloon Puppet 10 Make fun heads and prop them onto sticks or umbrella frames to make large puppet characters YOU WILL NEED Medium sized balloons, Twine/rubber bands, Old newspapers, Water, Fevicol or Maida paste, Poster paints, Jute rope HOW TO SOAK torn bits of newspaper in water. BLOW a balloon to maximum capacity. Secure with a piece of twine or rubber band. Remove a bit of soaked newspaper from the water and smear with fevicol. PASTE it on the balloon. Keep pasting in this manner till the entire surface is covered leaving a small gap at the secured end of the balloon. Let the pasted balloon dry completely in the sun. ADD more such layers over a period of 2-3 days allowing each layer to dry completely. Deflate the balloon and remove it from the papier mache shell. PAINT a face on the shell. For the hair, attach painted jute rope strings to the head using cellotape. TO USE AS A PUPPET INSERT a sturdy stick or an umbrella frame in the hole in the head. FOLD a dupatta into two and using a small portion of the folded end at the top, make a knot around the stick and shell to secure the head. The dupatta now hangs like a gown around the stick, but with an opening or slit. Instead of knotting, you could also pin or stitch the dupatta. BEFORE a performance, insert one hand under the flowing dupatta to hold the stick. This hand should not be visible to the audience. THRUST the other hand through the dupatta slit and make hand movements/gestures. Your moving hand has become the puppet character’s hand and acts out a role.
  8. 8. ideas 65 & Designer Forum 66 f your child loves to design her own clothes and accessories and ‘imprint’ her stamp on them, here are some ideas to trigger her thinking.Pasta Necklace FOR AGESFor once, this pasta is not for eating.Help your little designer fashion her own 6+necklace with pasta!YOU WILL NEEDPasta (Tube), Food Colouring, Zipped bag or pouch, Astring, Scissors FORHOW TO AGESASK your child to select the pasta that she wants forthe necklace. T-Shirt Pillow 8+TELL her to decide what colours she wants to use. Your children will love to cuddle up with this pillow.Divide the pasta accordingly and place in separate ziplocked bags.IN each bag, have her add 3 to 4 drops of the desired YOU WILL NEED An old T-shirt, Cotton filling, Needle and Threadfood colouring.HAVE her seal the bags and shake them well so that the HOW TOpasta is uniformly coloured. Next, have her add a few TURN the T-shirt inside out.drops of vinegar to each bag. Shake the bags well. LET them sew the bottom of the T-shirt. NOW open the bags and leave the pasta to dry NOW tell them to sew the arm holes in the same manner. completely. THEN, turn the shirt back, right side out. HAVE her measure and NOW, ask them to stuff the shirt, from the opening at cut the desired length of the collar of the T-shirt, with cotton. Once it has been string. She can pass the stuffed properly, they can sew the collar. string through the pastas in a pattern and finally The T-shirt pillow is now ready! tie the two ends of the string together. The pasta necklace is ready to wear!
  9. 9. 71 Li’l Chef ideas & 72C hildren love to eat their own creations. Why not allow them to blend their own smoothies or make fun-shaped sandwiches, or decorate those cookies?Involve them in tasks that they are able to handle and don’tworry too much about the mess.Make-your-own-FRUIT SALADPEEL and cut a variety of fruits such as strawberry, kiwi, banana,mango, apple and orange. Display in individual attractivecontainers.PLACE a variety of toppings such as flavouredyoghurt, condensed milk, jams, chocolate sauce,raisins or nuts in small bowls.EACH child can be given an individual bowl andtoothpicks to choose her fruits and toppings andcustomize her fruit salad. Or have your childcreate her own yummy fruit salad and serve thewhole family. Traffic Light-Butterfly-Bunny COOKIES (makes 20 small cookies) MIX together150g flour, 75g butter at room temperature, 75g sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla essence. Mix in very little milk (1 to 2tsp) if needed, to hold the dough together. ROLL out and use cookie cutters to cut out different shapes of dough. BUTTER a baking tray and place the cut-out shapes on it. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 14 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. GET creative and decorate with Gems, candies or nuts by using a paste of 10g butter at room temperature and 20g icing sugar.
  10. 10. The table below matches your answers with a particular parenting style. Circle the answer you have selected for each question. The column with the most circled answers reflects your dominant parenting style.Question No. Authoritarian Authoritative Indulgent Neglectful 1. a c b d You may find that you are somewhere in 2. c b a d between. Or you may congratulate yourself as 3. a c b d you find your style is authoritative. If you find 4. c d a b yourself to be an indulgent or authoritarian 5. a c b d parent, there is no need to panic. 6. d c b a There are many instances where non- 7. c d b a authoritative parents have reared well-adjusted 8. b d a c and happy children. Again, the temperament of 9. b c a d a child may also be a factor in influencing your 10. a d b c parenting style. 11. b d c a Think about what kind of adults you want your 12. c b d a children to become, and make suitable changes 13. b c a d to your style after you have considered all 14. a c d b these factors.WHAT THE STYLES MEANAuthoritarian Authoritative (or • Do well at school and social skills and highAuthoritarian parents expect Democratic/Balanced) are happy self-esteem. However, suchtheir children to follow strict This is the gold standard • Are kind and responsible children may get involved inrules as they believe in strong of parenting. Authoritative • Become independent- risky behaviour and do notdiscipline. Channels for parents lay down the rules thinking adults hold themselves accountablenegotiations are blocked, or ‘guidelines’ and do so in a • Are confident & cooperative for their behaviour.and if the children break democratic fashion, keepingrules, harsh punishments are in mind their children’s Indulgent (or Permissive) Neglectfulmeted out. viewpoints. They also tell Parents who favour this style Parents who adopt this style children the reasons behind love their children so much are uncommunicative andThis style of parenting does such rules. Such parents are that they cannot say ‘no’ to unresponsive to the needsnot take into account the affectionate and engaged, anything that their children of their children. While theyviews and wishes of the and responsive to the needs want. They are unable to set ensure that their childrenschildren, and unwanted of their children. But when boundaries and believe in basic survival needs likechild behaviour is severely the situation demands, they having a friendly relationship food, shelter and educationpunished. Such parents would will be strict and adopt a no- with their children. They can are met, they are not muchsay things like, “Because I nonsense approach. also be unpredictable and attached to the parentingsay so,” “Because I am your inconsistent in their behaviour experience and abdicateMom”, or “Because I am Such parents will say, “Fine, towards their children. discipline.your Dad.”It is believed that let us think through this”,while children of authoritarian “Let us find more acceptable Parents will say,“We are best According to researchers,parents often perform well solutions”, or “May be we friends” or “I am not her children of such parentsacademically, they are at risk should talk about it and then father but her best friend.” may experience problems inof becoming adults with poor decide.” Children of such cognition, emotional skills,social skills and low parents usually: Children of such indulgent attachment, and socialself-esteem. • Are assertive parents often have better skills.
  11. 11. ideas86 Looney Tunes to 88 M usic produces a kind of pleasure which humannature cannot do without.”CONFUCIUS Make yourIntroduce your child to music.It can be informal and as ownsimple as humming a tuneor listening to the sounds of Jalnature. Let him create his own FOR FOR Strawmusic using these ideas. AGES AGESWord FOR Flute 8+ Tarang 4+ AGESand 6+ Press and flatten one end of a Jal Tarang is a classical instrument straw. Cut diagonally with scissors which creates music by using waterTunes on both sides of the flat end to form in china bowls. Here’s how you canHave you a pencil point. This will be the reed make your own Jal Tarang!noticed that certain words that vibrates to create sound. Blowhave a mood of their own? hard from the other end to hear Take 6 to 10 bowls of the same sizeSing each word in the pitches music. TIP: If needed, shorten the and shape, made of porcelain orthat bring out its character. straw size, and flatten it some more. glass. Fill the bowls with water atExperiment! different levels. Take two pencils Experiment! and strike the rims of the bowlsTry singing the word ANGRY ina really loud voice with a high AS you blow, keep cutting the straw to make different musical notes.even pitch. Sing happy starting ha to shorten it. Observe the change Hear the notes emanating from thewith a low pitch and taking ppy in pitch. different bowls, and mix and matchto a high pitch. Try sorry to create an interesting tune. FOLD the straw and snip out a tinystarting with a medium pitch portion at the folded end to makeand taking it to a really low a hole. The hole will help producepitch. a different sound when your childString together 5 such words blows into the straw. Cut out morewhich convey different moods holes along the straw. Open andto you and sing them in close the holes while blowing to hearappropriate pitches. different notes. (COURTESY: Arvindguptatoys.com)
  12. 12. 92 Giving Tree ideas to 96 hen children volunteer, they get to see how they can actually make a difference. It fosters in them a sense of gratitude for who they are and for what they have. Volunteering makes children more responsible - itteaches them about sharing and caring, hard work and dedication, skills they willneed as adults.WAYS TO VOLUNTEER differently-abled children who may feel intimidated by yourFunds for a cause children. This will also make your childrenEncourage your children to set aside a more responsivepart of their pocket money each month for to the needs ofa worthy cause. Instead of birthday gifts, differently-abled children.have friends and family gift money for a Lend a handcharity selected by the child. After a fewmonths, take out the lump sum and driveyour children to the charity of their choice. Another way to volunteer would beLet them donate the money for causes to teach younger children. Yourclose to them - it could be to an orphanage, 14-year-old son may want to helpa home for the elderly or an organisation the 8- and 10-year-olds in thethat takes care of wounded stray animals. apartment block with their studies. Or he may want toAdopt a furry read the Ramayana to his grandmother in the evenings.friend If your security person or theNewspapers often carry ads from help at home has young childrenorganizations putting up stray pups and who need help with studies,kittens for adoption. If your six-year-old check with your children if theychild has been hankering for a furry friend would like to lend a helping hand.for quite a while, take her to the animalshelter and allow her to adopt a stray pup. SharencareThe pup gets a home, your child gets a Find out about environmentalfriend for life! programmes nearby where your child can volunteer.Friends indeed Ensure that he is keenFriendships spring from the most unlikely on volunteering; theplaces. Your child can be a buddy to spirit of volunteeringan underprivileged child, mentor a slow is lost if you forcelearner or spend valuable time with a your child todifferently-abled child. It is important to spend time in suchsensitize your children to the needs of activities.
  13. 13. 11 ideas Water FOR AGE 8+ Whirlie S & YOU WILL NEED Sturdy plastic cup, Hole punch or 12 scissors, String (3 to 4 feet long) HOW TO HAVE your child punch two holes under the rim on opposite sides of the cup. THEN he should lace the string through theMarble Coaster holes and tie the ends together so that the string forms a handle. THEN he should fill the cup half wayYOU WILL NEED with water and take the cup outsideFoam pipe insulation (the one having 3/4-inch diameter works best), where it is okay to splash.Scissors, Masking tape, 1 Marble, Paper (optional) HE should wrap the string handle securely around the hand. He shouldHOW TO hang his arm down in such a way thatHELP the child, only if needed, to cut the foam pipe insulation there is six inches of space between thelengthwise from the middle. The child will have two long strips, or cup and the ground.tracks, for his marble game. HE should swing the cup back and forth, takingTAPE the two tracks together to double the length of the original larger and larger swings every time. Then, heinsulation. Be careful before you allow the masking tape to be used should try swinging his arm and the cup in aon furniture and walls. Tape can pull paint off the wall or the finish circle over his head withoutoff a table. slowing down.LET the child set up his marble coaster using the pipe and tape. HE should try to slow downEncourage him to think about his design. How does it start? Can he without splashing.design a loop or a corkscrew? How many turns does it have? TIPHAVE him test each new curve or loop to see if the marble stays SCIENCE BEHIND If heon the track before he tapes it down. If necessary, he can make THIS masters thetunnels with paper taped over the top of the track. He can repeat When you spin the water- movement,this step as many times as needed. filled cup in a circle, the waterNOW he is ready to tape down the track, release his marble and you create centripetal will not fallwatch it go! force. When you spin off the cup! the cup fast enough, you He can trySCIENCE BEHIND THIS create something called doing theThe higher he starts the marble coaster, the more potential or centrifugal force, which same thingstored energy the marble will have. If the marble slows halfway up overcomes gravity. That is with a bucketa loop or hill, he may need to adjust the loop size or hill height to why the water does not spill of water.keep the marble going. The start of the track can be raised to give out when the cup is upside In summer,the marble more energy or to make the loop smaller. If the marble down. Centrifugal force is getting wetfalls off the curves or other places, change the angle and tilt of the natural tendency of a should not bethe track. moving object to continue to a problem!(SOURCE: Tech Museum of Innovation, California) move in a straight line.