CauseAChatter · Uncategorized

25 Ways To Teach Little Hands How To Conserve Mother Nature – Nature Conservation Day

Mother Earth has blessed humankind with abundant resources and we did our best to overuse and misuse it to the extent that all of it is either polluted or being scarce. World Conservation Day is celebrated internationally on 28th July to spread awareness and remind us about the best practices to protect natural resources.

Conservation of nature is very crucial as scientists have been tirelessly warning us about the mass extinctions in the near future. We need to bring major changes in our lifestyles and adapt to sustainable living. Involving our kids is also very imperative as they are our future and the ones who will be responsible for a better tomorrow.

Wondering how you can get your kids involved in loving and preserving nature? Here are some practices that you can introduce to your child that can be easily followed while making a huge difference.

Image courtesy manu schwendener from Unsplash.com

1.Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth.

2. Take a bath instead of a shower.

3. Take only half a glass of water instead of wasting it.

4. Turn off the lights, fans and charger switches when not in use.

Image courtesy Ishan @seefromthesky from Unsplash.com

5. Cut down on the use of plastic bags, cups and straws.

6. Carry lunch in a lunchbox.

7. Use metal bottles for water.

8. Carry your own water bottle when stepping out.

Image courtesy Jonathan Kemper from Unsplash.com

9. Reuse vegetable scraps, fruit peels and egg shells and make compost.

10. Save aside vegetable scraps for broth while helping in the kitchen.

11. Self-serve food so that can be finished to avoid wastage.

12. Help in sorting garbage mindfully.

13. Donate old toys, books and clothes to orphanages.

14. Enjoy pre-loved books and toys. `

15. Waste less paper and reusing old books and printed pages for writing.

16. Go old style and being happy with toys shaped out of wood, clay and old clothes.

17. Avoid littering when stepping out.

Image courtesy John Cameron from Unsplash.com

18. Use rechargeable batteries for toys.

19. Avoid loud music to limit noise pollution.

Image courtesy Anna Earl from Unsplash.com

20. Water the plants in their home garden daily.

21. Grow some veggies and herbs in the home garden.

22. Care for local flora and fauna.

23. Plant trees around on every occasion and especially on their birthdays.

Image courtesy Katt Yukawa from Unsplash.com

24. Donate from pocket money to environmental and wildlife organizations.

25. Spread awareness with friends.

We all have to make a commitment to ourselves to become more cautious to preserve and conserve nature. It will benefit us as well as our future generations to achieve sustainable development.

Conservation is a cause that has no end. There is no point at which we will say our work is finished”- Rachel Carson

Image courtesy AZ quotes

This post is part of Blogchatter‘s campaign CauseAChatter.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla and sponsored by Queen’s Brigade.

Collaborations · Parenting

Why Online Tuitions Are Better Than Offline Tuitions?

Every parent wishes the best for their child. We Indian parents take this up a notch, especially when it comes to education. We want our kids to give their best in their academics and score good marks. Along with the regular schooling and extracurricular activities, most of us also enroll kids into private tuitions.

Tuitions are also an ideal way for working parents to make sure their children get the extra attention they need in studies. Tuition centers support a student at a very intense and personal level.

But with constant waves of pandemic hitting mankind over and over again, kids are unable to attend even schools properly. If the alternative to schools are online schools, the alternative to offline tuitions are online tuitions.

Online Tuitions are Better than Offline Tuitions

Online tuitions are better than offline tuitions due to the following factors:

1. Efficiency in learning: While offline tuitions are all about learning only what is in the textbooks, online learning delivers lessons through interactive videos, games, real-life examples, PDFs and even podcasts for higher classes. These online learning materials offer a personalized mode of education. Kids become more knowledgeable about the world outside the textbooks.

2. Suits every child’s unique needs: Every child being unique has their own special abilities when it comes to learning. Some are visual learners while others prefer audio. Some concentrate better when alone, while others thrive in group studies. Online tuitions can be modified according to every child’s need to create a perfect learning environment for them.

3. Time and place flexibility: Kids don’t have to carry heavy bags to go to tuition in the online mode. They can learn from the comfort of their homes. The lectures can even be recorded for children to revise while doing self-study.

4. Quality of education: In offline tuitions, it is difficult to find best teachers near you. But, in online tuitions you can take classes from the best teacher across the country.

The best example of an online tuition featuring all these benefits is BYJU’S Classes, which is a comprehensive online tutoring program. BYJU’S provides live individual classes for students from grade 4 to 10. The classes are well-scheduled, based on the convenience of kids.

Image from http://www.byjus.com

The teachers at BYJU’S make use of live visual aids and cutting-edge technology to make learning more engaging and fun. They also have live doubt resolution feature, wherein a mentor stays online during the class and answers any doubts a student can have.

So, if you are on the lookout for the best online tuition for your kids, do check out BYJU’S Classes.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla and sponsored by Queen’s Brigade.

Parenting

8 Secrets To Get Your Child Through A Grumpy Day (Revealed By A Child)

There are days when your child is the best in the world but then there are days where nothing in the world can calm them down. They have had a bad day at school or an argument with a friend or it’s just not a good day when they woke up. Your parental instincts want to fix all the worries right away and make it all rainbows and sunshine again but all you get is a tantrum or an argument and a big “NO” for everything that you offer. You are annoyed and so is your child right back at you.

So how do we make sure they get to the other side where there is happiness again. Even I face these kinda days and it’s no cakewalk. Now the solutions mentioned here are tried and tested and work like a charm and you know why??!! Because these solutions were given by my child herself.

During the so called perfect days and happy times, I ended up asking my daughter what things make her happy? What things cheer her up?

That’s how I know these will work their magic and get her up and about soon.

1. An animated movie with popcorn
How bad the situation is, depending on that I bring out this big gun. It’s the master of all and it definitely works. Come on, even you would cheer up after a good movie with some crunchy popcorn.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

2. Music and Dance
Nothing that some peppy music and cheesy steps can’t fix. Our favourites for these are birdie dance, Macarena, Rigga digga dong song, Sid’s shuffle continental drift.

3. Rainbow rice
Some rainbow colored rice, pots and pans to pour, spoons to scoop and dolls and animals to play with, and all that stress starts going away.

4. Playdough
I usually ask my child to get involved while making the homemade playdough and ask her what colors she would choose. Involving her right from the start does make a difference. Kneading the dough does have a calming effect. Do try!!

Photo by Julietta Watson from Unsplash

5. If you jump in muddy puddles, you must wear your boots
Now who wouldn’t want to enjoy it like Peppa pig and it’s the right season for it too. Take advantage of the pouring rains and let them out in the balcony once in a while. You won’t believe how well it works.

Photo from Google

6. Bath and toys
Eira enjoys her younger brother’s bath toys too. Ducks, boats and some cups for pouring activity. She even takes her swimming glasses along and has a good time. Washes away all the stress.

7. Books and some hot cocoa

You definitely have an idea what is your child’s favourite when it comes to books. Place them in front of your kid alongwith a cup of hot cocoa and let them work their charm. A graphic novel can be a great choice to get those giggles.

Photo from Google

8. Doodling

Last but not the least. Let them draw, dab, paint and splash some colors onto their blues to get rid of them. Including glitter and stickers work amazingly.

Grumpy days are definitely rough and having some tricks in your pocket would help make a huge difference in fixing your child’s day. The best part is all these can be done right in the comfort of your home where they feel the coziest and safe.

What’s your go-to charm for your child’s grumpy day?

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla and sponsored by Queen’s Brigade.

Parenting

Monsoon, Kids & Ayurveda with Dr. Varalakshmi Yanamandra

Ancient India believed and followed Ayurveda in their daily routine for thousands of years. When it comes to Ayurveda, it is all about maintaining a healthy lifestyle with wholesome foods and exercises like yoga and meditation. But with changing times and modernization, people have forgotten what it means to have wholesome seasonal foods and their benefits. What effects do our late nights and late mornings have on us? What eating junk food often does to our body?

I got in touch with Dr. Varalakshmi, who is an internationally reputed Ayurvedic Doctor. She is the current director of AyurWellness and Pain Centre in the United Kingdom. She teaches Ayurveda to many people through her online webinars and is also a faculty at Prana Academy since March 2020. She was a formal faculty at Europe Ayurveda Academy till 2019. Having suffered from severe hormonal and gut problems during her teenage and healed through Ayurveda, it became her mission to spread the word and teach women Ayurvedic practices for healing their bodies & lives. 

Healthy Ayurveda Practices For Kids By Dr. Varalakshmi Yanamandra

When I came across Varalakshmi, she was such a delight to talk to and shared alot of information that I did not have any idea on. One thing led to another and I asked to her incredible knowledge on my blog.

The changing weather and coming monsoon season effects us alot. Cold, cough and flu is right around the corner and kids suffer the most because of them. Being a Mom always gets me worried for my children and so I asked Varalakshmi about the same.

What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda, the ancient science of life, is not merely a system of medicine, but it concentrates on all aspects of life. One of the fundamental concepts of Ayurveda is called the Pancha Mahabhoota theory.

Image courtesy Google

At the subatomic level, all the living organisms are composed of five elements of nature: Air, Ether, Fire, Water & Earth. They exist in the form of three fundamental functional units inside our body called doshas: Vata, Pitta & Kapha. 

Image courtesy Google

These three doshas are like DNA present in each of us but in a different ratio like some might have more VATA and less of the other two doshas and so on. A person’s physical, emotional and mental characteristics depend upon the unique dosha combination or Prakruthi. 

There is a theory which states that we are one with the universe and a part of nature. Hence, factors like diet, lifestyle, and the environment we live in, influences the Tridoshas and lead to illnesses. 

Hence, our first step to lead a healthy life is to honor the subtle changes of nature by following & adapting our diet as per the movements of Sun & Moon. 

What is Dinacharya?
Dinacharya includes simple everyday practices aimed at improving the health and well-being of a person. Having a good routine helps our nervous system to feel safe and helps to handle any stress better. Diet, lifestyle, and sleep are the main factors that keep children in tune with their biological clock. Besides proper diet, it is good to create a routine for sleep. 

Waking up early in the morning helps your child be active throughout the day and keeps in tune with the circadian rhythm. Build a habit of using the bathroom first thing in the morning. Cleaning the tongue along with brushing teeth is essential to maintain oral hygiene. Following with bath can keep your child healthy. 

Good sleep is essential for all growing children. Encourage reading a book or prayer before bed. Avoid screens atleast two hours before bedtime.  

Which Dinacharya practices can kids follow in their routine?
Gargling with warm water, nasal drops with ghee or oils, ear drops, body massage with oil, meditation, exercise or playtime and maintaining a journal are some healthy practices for children.

Gargling with warm water, nasal drops with ghee or oils, ear drops, body massage with oil, meditation, exercise or playtime and maintaining a journal are some healthy practices for children.

Why is gut health important?
The gut/ Gastrointestinal tract plays an important role in the overall health of a person. It starts at the mouth and ends at the rectum and hosts trillions of bacteria which influence several functions including our digestion, metabolism, happiness, and even our immunity. 

Long before gut health became a hot topic, Ayurveda described Agni as the epitome of health. Agni which translates to fire is a unique concept in Ayurveda. Having a balanced Agni is the key to our Digestion, nutrition, assimilation, immunity, emotions, and strength. Agni is present in every part of the body and is responsible for transformation. 

What are probiotics and why are they important?
Our Gut is filled with trillions of bacteria which play a huge role in maintaining our health and well-being. These bacteria inside our gut are called the microbiome. These bacteria are working on the clock to protect our gut from bad bacteria and help with functions like digestion, immunity, and much more. 

Probiotics are the food or supplements that contain this live bacteria which we can consume. Incorporating good probiotics in the diet is a great way to enhance gut health. 

What are the best probiotics for kids?
Ayurveda considers Takra/buttermilk as one of the best probiotics. Takra is made by churning curd and diluting it with 1/4 th water by adding good spices like jeera and dhaniya. Instead of using curd which can often cause congestion in kids, Takra is a good alternative that is easier to digest and helps with common digestive woes. Teaching kids to end their meal with buttermilk is an easy way to incorporate it into their diet. 

Other natural probiotics include sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi. Sauerkraut is pickled cabbage with salt for a certain period of time. Vegetables like carrot, beetroot can also be added to make your own recipe of sauerkraut as per your taste. I love adding fennel and turmeric to my sauerkraut. Keep a ratio of 75% cabbage to 25% other veggies and flavors. 

Kefir is also easier to make at home just by adding kefir grains to cow milk or goat milk. It tastes a bit sour than yogurt but is considered more nutrient and good. 

What kinds of food should children have according to Ayurveda?
As per Ayurveda, childhood is a Kapha dominant phase, and hence balanced diet that is not too heavy or ultra-processed is good. We aim to feed kids a wholesome and dosha balancing diet. For the same, following some basic guidelines while preparing a meal for children is the key.

✓ Favor Pungent, bitter, and astringent tasting foods keep Kapha in balance.

✓ Find an alternative for the ultra-processed foods which are healthy yet liked by children replacing chocolate with homemade sweets using jaggery. Make meals attractive by using colorful vegetables and fruits such as pomegranate, sweet berries, melons, etc.

✓ Encourage more seasonal & local fruit and vegetables more than exotic ones. Avoid ultra-processed foods like frozen meals, instant pizza, canned food, carbonated drinks and, swap these with homemade items like baked sweet potato, homemade crackers.

✓ Include grounding foods like cow’s milk, ghee, yogurt, rice, whole grains, jaggery and honey, whole seeds and nuts, pulses and legumes and, green leafy vegetables like spinach.

✓ Add a small number of spices like ginger, turmeric, and pepper as it helps in digestion and metabolism.

✓ Lastly, be flexible with your child’s choices and acknowledge that it is an exploring age for them.

Explain the importance of following a healthy routine and lifestyle to your children. Give them time to understand and also lead them by example. Remember that parents are the biggest influencers and role models for their kids. Don’t just teach them but adapt them personally too!

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla and sponsored by Queen’s Brigade.

CauseAChatter

10 Art Therapies To Boost Mental Health In Kids

Stress, anger, sadness, and many similar emotions are part of a person’s life. Even a child faces these strong emotions. It’s human tendency to vent out feelings. Yelling, screaming and crying are ways for those emotions to come out but they are not healthy ways for a child. So how can our little ones express these overpowering feelings?

Around the world, many people use art as a form of expression to deal with stress and unhappiness or just to find some peace and calm. For some, art just adds meaning to life. They are able to express more through art than using words. This is known as art therapy. Even many famous artists have poured their feelings and emotions onto paper.

Image courtesy Google

Art therapy is a specialized area of mental health that uses art materials and the creative process to explore emotions, reduce anxiety, increase self-esteem, and resolve other psychological conflicts. It helps people explore self-expression and find new ways to gain some personal insight and develop new coping skills. It can be used by children, adolescents as well as adults just to explore their emotions.

Curious about how art therapy can help your child?? Try out some of the interesting exercises below just to refresh them and nurse their mind, body and soul back to good health.

I worked with my 7-year old child on these art therapies just to pick her mind and also to have some different sort of art activities for her. Since they are all related to expressing feelings, I was curious yo know what she felt.

Draw your emotion

A happy emotion expressed by a child

In this exercise, the focus is on what one is feeling and then to draw or paint it. Excited, emotional, happy, angry, sad, alone, whatever your child feels, let them express it in their own way. Don’t forget, there is no right or wrong way to draw these feelings. It will be their own expression.

Creating emotion color wheel

Emotion Color Wheel
Image courtesy Google
Emotions understood and expressed in the color wheel by a child

Emotion color wheel can help visualize group feelings. A circle is divided into a pie chart with 6 sections and each section represents a specific color which signifies an emotion. One is supposed to draw what they feel for each emotion. If your child is doing this exercise, talk to them about where in their life do they feel those emotions and how strongly.

Send out a balloon into the universe with a message

Image courtesy Hybrid on Unsplash

Get rid of a negative emotion or spread positivity. Ask a child to write or draw their emotion on paper and stick it on a balloon and set it free. One of the most engaging and fun activity that your child will enjoy.

Paint to music

Image courtesy Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash

This is a perfect way to let your creativity flow with response to music. Let the feelings flow and just relax. Provide your child with an easel or just stick a drawing paper on the wall. Provide some paints and brushes. Providing only their favorite colors also works well. Make a playlist starting off with some upbeat music. Pick songs with different tempos and mood and also add some instrumental music. Make sure not to interrupt your child and just sit back and observe.

Mandala art

There is nothing as soothing as Mandala. Many of you already know about it and are using this therapy into daily lives. You can easily find some books on mandala for kids on Amazon and introduce it to your child.

Draw a place where you feel safe

Safe place for a child

Every person has a safe place and so do kids. It can be their Mommy’s cozy lap or Daddy’s strong arms. Ask your child to find what their safe place is and draw, paint, sculpt or craft it.

Draw yourself as an animal

“What animal would you be” imagination by a child

Every child loves animals or I can say at least one of them. If your child was an animal what would it be? Ask them to think about it and then draw it.

Mirror self-portrait

Give your child a mirror and crayons or paints to draw on their reflection on mirror. It is all about making them understand what unique elements make them. They can also redraw the same on paper. Mondrian once rightly said, “The purer the artist’s mirror is, the more true reality reflects in it”.

Draw yourself as a superhero

Superhero imagination of a child

Now who doesn’t like a superhero. Kids have a favorite of their own. Ask them to draw themselves as superhero and what kind of power would they have? This exercise not only makes the child imagine themselves stronger but also that they can help others.

Collage your vision of a perfect day

Image courtesy Pure Julia on Unsplash

What does a perfect day mean for you? What all will it have? Ask your child about it. Cutout some pictures from old books, use some stickers and stick them out together. Your child can even draw. The things that your child chooses can be related to each other or completely unrelated. This exercise is all about happiness.

These exercises are used by Art therapists for children as well as adults to help them explore their emotions and reduce stress and anxiety. These are not just interesting activities but is highly recommended form of therapy for mental wellbeing too.

Pablo Picasso once said “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life”. Let’s make happiness and understanding emotions possible for our children with the beautiful therapy of Art expression.

This post is part of Blogchatter‘s campaign CauseAChatter. 

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla