Jun 29, 2008

Creativity is about finding your own unique strengths

We live in a competitive world. Competition is going to increase ten times more when your child grows up.


Parents of today demand too much from a child. Right from the time your child takes birth, comparisons begin from health to looks to his weight and so on. Later, it extends to his abilities in academics and extracurricular activities.

While comparison in the good sense of the word can bring in motivation to improve, it can also bring in a sense of meaningless jealousy and a lack of confidence in the child.

Every child is different. Every child has his unique strengths. Every child is born with a purpose. Our children are like a bouquet of flowers. Each flower has its own place. Each flower has a role to play as part of the decoration.




As parents we need to look out for their unique strengths and recognize their distinct abilities for them to achieve success. Just because you love painting does not mean your child has to be a painter. He could do very well as a drummer. Every individual is creative and creativity is unique to every individual.

Nurturing your child's unique strengths and finding out the space where your child's creative genius is exposed the most is what can help him stand out from the rest of the crowd.

Jun 28, 2008

Stimulating Activities for your 9 to 12 month old

Where Is??
Sit down with your baby and look at pictures together. Find a picture of someone in your family. Talk about the picture by naming the person in it. Say the name again and ask the baby to point to the person in the picture.

Now cover up the picture with your hand and ask your baby to find the person. Continue playing with another picture. Your baby might surprise you by how much he understands.



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Where's the Baby?
Find several pictures of a baby and hide them in different places. Choose places that are familiar to your baby - in the toy box or under a plate, etc. Say," Lets go find the baby."

Ask different questions, "Is it in the sink?" "Is it on the chair?" Finally ask the question, "Is it in the toy box??"When your baby finds the picture, praise him and clap your hands. You can play this game with pictures of family members and friends. _________________________________________________

Wash the Toy
Wet washcloths are wonderful fun things for babies. The texture feels good all over his body and especially on his face. Play peekaboo with a washcloth when giving him a bath.

Tuck a small toy in washcloth and let your baby put his fingers in the folds to find the toy. Give your baby the washcloths and let him wash your face.
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Hope you enjoy playing the games with your child. :)

Stimulating Activities for your 6 to 9 month old

Where is the Sound?
Auditory awareness is something that comes with age and experience. Playing games to heighten your baby's hearing awareness will help to wire her brain. Take a wind up musical toy and put it out of ur baby's sight. Wind it up and ask her, "Where is the music?" When she turns to the sound, praise her generously.

Repeat this game in different parts of the room. If your baby is crawling, you can hide the music under a pillow or elsewhere so she can crawl to the music.

Take her out. Let her listen to the rustling leaves, the chatter of children, the chirping birds, or the noisy waves.


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Whoops
Sit your baby on the floor or in a chair facing you. Take a towel and put over your face. Say the words "PEEKABOO" as you take the towel off and show your face to your baby. This game usually brings forth loads of laughter and the more you do it, the funnier it becomes.

Try putting the towel on ur baby 's head and pull it off. Try putting the towel on his head and see if he will pull it off. Remember to say "peekaboo" each time you take off the towel.

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Peas and Carrots
Babies enjoy eating with their fingers. In fact, its an important step in developing small motor skills. When babies can pick up food and put it in their mouth, they have a strong feeling of power and control that makes them feel wonderful.

Put some cooked peas and carrots on the table in front of ur baby. Sing the following song to the tune of "Frere Jacques":

Peas and carrots, peas and carrots
Here there are, here there are
Put them in your mouth,
Put them in your mouth,
Yum yum yum yum yum yum

Guide the little fingers to the peas and carrots and then to her mouth. She will probably want to feed you too!
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Gurgle Gurgle Squish
This is a good game to play outside with a baby pool or a large container of water. Put some sponge in the water and show your baby how to squeeze water out of the sponge. Squeeze the water on your hands, your arms and other parts of ur body.

Now give your baby some plastic cups and show her how to squeeze the water into the cups. This games will occupy your baby for a long time and its great for developing small motor skills. Play the game by saying silly words as you squeeze. Here are a few ideas:
Swish, Gurgle, Squish, Oo Oo Oo
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Lets Climb
There is no avoiding it! Your baby will begin to climb on everything in sight. Why not help her along and develop her large motor muscles?

Take cushions and pillows and pile them on the floor. Put your baby in front of the pillows and she will have a wonderful time. Take a favourite toy and put it on top of one of the pillows. This will entice her even more.

That's our daughter climbing on a pillow when she was 7 months old.


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Stimulate Your 3 to 6 Month Old Newborn

Who is that baby?
Sit in front of a mirror with ur baby in your lap. Say, "who is that baby?" Wave your baby's hands and say "Hi Baby!"Say, "Where is the baby's foot?" Wave ur baby's foot and say, "Hi Foot."Continue asking questions and moving different parts of your baby's body. Shake heads, wave bye-bye, clap hands etc.
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Where's my baby?
This is a game that strengthens the back and neck. Lie on ur back and put ur baby on your tummy. With your hands firmly around his chest, raise him in the air and up to your face.

Say the following and do the actions: Where's my baby? There he is. (lift him up to ur face) Where's my baby? (bring him back to ur tummy) There he is. (Bring him back to ur face) Where's my baby? (bring him back down on ur tummy) Up high, high, high! (bring ur baby up high over ur face)
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Talking TogetherAt this age babies often make lots of sounds. Mimic the sounds ur baby makes. those simple sounds will later turn into words. Take the words that your baby makes, such as "ba ba" or "ma ma" and turn them into sentences. "Ba Ba says the sheep", "Ma ma loves you".

Penelope Leach, a child development expert, says, "Your child may say hundreds of different sounds throughout the day but if u clap and applaud wen he says, 'ma ma' or 'da da', he will keep repeating those sounds because it makes you happy.

"The more you repeat your baby's sounds, the more he will be encouraged to make more sounds. This is truly the beginning of a conversation.
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Roll OlympicsHelping your baby roll over from his tummy to his back will develop chest and arm muscles. This is a fun game to play while encouraging your baby to roll over. Put your baby on his tummy on a soft and flat surface. Carpeted floors and the middle of beds are good for this game.

Hold a teddy bear in front of his face and do antics with the bear. You might say the following poem as u make the teddy move around:

Teddy bear, teddy bear turn around.(turn teddy around)
Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Touch the ground!(make teddy fall down)

When u know that your baby is watching the teddy, move it to the side so that your baby's eyes moves and hopefully his body will follow it!
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Activities to stimulate your newborn

Want to spend time with your newborn and play with him, but wondering what to do? Here are a few games from Jackie Silberg's book, 125 Brain Games for Babies, that will help you play with your newborn to 1 year old child.

FROM BIRTH TO 3 MONTHS

The Blowing Game
This game helps an infant become aware of the different parts of the body. Blow gently on your baby's palm. As u blow, say the following words in a singsong chant: Here are (the baby's name) palms. Then kiss ur baby's palm. Blow on other parts of the body. Most babies like gentle blowing on their elbows, fingers, neck, cheek and toes but not on their nose.

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Where Did it Go??
Hold a brightly coloured scarf in front of your baby. Slowly move it around and talk about how bright it is. ("its yellow/red/blue/whatever.") When u are sure that your baby is looking at the scarf, slowly move it to one side. Keep moving it back and forth to encourage her to follow it with her eyes. Play this game often. U r helping ur baby's brain capacity grow!_____________________________________________________

Bicycle
Put ur bb on his back and move his legs like he is riding a bicycle. NEVER FORCE UR BB LEGS. If she resists, try something else..Sing songs. Try to make up a simple song. Here's an idea that can be sung to the tune of Row Row Ur Boat.
Ride, ride ride ur bike,
Up and down the street.
Happily, happily, happily happily
This is such a treat.
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Diaper Songs
Singing to ur baby while u change a diaper is a lovely way to communicate and bond with ur little one. Smile while u are singing. Sing any song u know or sing the following to the tune of "London Bridge":
Change a diaper, jus like dis,
Jus like this, jus like this.
Change a diaper,
Jus like this, Clean clean baby!
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Share your experiences after playing these games.

Jun 26, 2008

Contest: Shadow Art Challenge

Interesting photo set of work from Tim Noble and Sue Webster, piles of trash that form amazing shadow art... Pictured here: Dirty White Trash [With Gulls], 1998 six months' worth of the artists' rubbish.

Can u make interesting shadows too? If yes, just create it, click a snap, give it a caption and post it to yaggyaseni@gmail.com and if its good enough it will be put up on this blog for display.

Shadows can be loads of fun...

An inevitable part of us that follows us around whatever day it may be, wherever we may be, and whichever phase of life we may be in is our very own shadow.

It can grow long. It can become short and tiny. It can even make different shapes.

Just hold out a flashlight and try out various shapes that your hand/hands can make.

Can u make a bird?

Can u make a barking dog?

Can you make a hungry dog now?

How about a deer?

Shadows are also used for performing arts like in plays and dance performances.

Creative activity for children: Shadow Art

Tape white paper onto the wall. Children work with partners. One child "poses" while the partner traces his shadow. You can shine the flashlight to create a shadow print. Trace their outline shadows. You can also let them sit in a chair and trace the outline of their heads/hands.

Allow them to experiment with what their shadow can do before you do the drawing activity.
If time and interest allow, the children like to color in the outline of their shadow, draw facial features, clothes, etc. Be sure to have each child write his name by his picture.

Now, glue them onto Popsicle sticks to make shadow puppets. The shadow puppets can be now showed up on the wall and the kids can make up shadow shows (like puppet shows) and have fun making them bigger and smaller.

Remember to have someone trace your shadow too!

Did u have fun with shadows?

Jun 21, 2008

Seeing even in the dark!

We are born with all five senses. But sometimes, we take our senses for granted so much so that we tend to ignore them in our lives. Ask a blind man how a remote feels like and he will give you a much more vivid description of it than you.

Getting your child to experience the sense of touch can become fun if you play the blindfold.

Collect a variety of textures from your house from the rough utensil scrubber, wood, cotton, toothbrush, silk cloth etc. Put everything in a box.

Blindfold your child and let him pick up everything one by one. Ask him to guess what he is holding in his hand. This can not only be a lot of fun but also an eyeopener for you all.

Jun 20, 2008

Reveal the artist within your child!

Here's a chance to showcase your child's talent whether its art, creative photography, a craft work, a self-written poem, a short video clip link to his/her music/song/dance/recitation performance...or anything 'CREATIVE' that you have admired a lot.

Give your child's entry a caption and a short description (if possible) along with your child's name and age at the time of the creation.

Send your creative entries by the end of each month, so the selected entries can be published by the 15th of the next month in the Creativity Unleashed (By Juniors) segment of the blog. Send your entries to yaggyaseni@gmail.com

Baby Names

Here are a few baby names that caught my attention:
(in alphabetic order)

Boys
Arihant=Lord Shiva's name

Atishay
Apratim
Adrik
Arunav
Aarav
or Arav (Sanskrit) means melodious / good sound / music.
Aabir
Aalap = Musical
Anay=one of Lord Vishnu's names. It means - "One who needs no leader"
Ayaan= Gift of God
Chittesh = Ruler Of Mind
Daiwik=Godly
Kshitij=Horizon
Krtin = A Sanskrit word having 14 meanings: Active, Skillful, Expert, Clever, Pure, Pious, Satisfied, Happy, Successful, Lucky, Wise, Learned, Virtuous, Blessed
Laksh=Aim
Nishith = Night
Nirbhik = fearless
Nitant
Pareen

Rehan
Rishav
Raunav = One who embodies grace and charm, i.e. handsome.
Reyansh='part of sun ray'
Sayan/Shayan
Srinjoy
Shaukhin

Srijan = Creation
Shaunak =Wise
Sanshray =Aim
Stritij
Sarthak
Saksham

Umang
Vyom
Vedant

Vikhyaat


Girls
Aadya-The beginning
Arista= It is a Greeco Sanskrit name - means "The Best" in Greek. It is another name of Goddess Durga in Sanskrit.
Also means - the bestower of health n happiness.

Archisha=Ray of Light
Ashna= Friend or Beloved
Iniya=Sweet (in Tamil)
Ishi=Goddess Durga
Prarthana =Prayer

Sanika=Flute
Samara=Guarded/protected by God

Surbhi=Fragrance
Srishti=Creativity
Timila= one of the panch vadya(musical instrument) in sanskrit

Tilika="auspicious".
Do share interesting names that you have heard.

Humour

Advertisement in a shop says: Guitar for sale...cheap...........no strings attached.

Sign in a bar: "Those ......drinking to forget........ please pay in advance."

Add your jokes.

Jun 19, 2008

Self-made gifts & cards

Gone are the days when rainy days meant paperboats sailing on streams of rainwater. Children love sitting infront of the television hooked to their own cartoons and video games. Unless we make an effort to channelize their attention to something more interesting, they will grow up to be dull fat couch potatoes of tomorrow. Engage your child by participating in an activity together. So, how about encouraging your little one to create something for Dad on Father's Day rather than buying the regular Hallmark cards. It could be anything from a card, a card holder to a penholder for dad. Self-made cards and gifts from your loved ones could be much more valuable than the prettiest and costliest of gifts. Don't forget to shower loads of appreciation while recieving the gifts. Appreciation is the best way in boosting creativity. A clap, a pat on the back, or a few words of praise can inspire them or crush their creative spirit forever. Here's a sketch I gifted my twin brother and sis-in-law when my nephew was about to be born. I was so delighted with the kind of response they showed.
This was a surprise video made for my younger brother and his love, and shown at thier wedding reception...they sure were surprised and enjoyed every bit of it!


video

Has your child gifted you something that he/she made by himself/herself? What was your reaction? Have you made something and gifted to your loved ones?

Contest - Give a Caption

Give an appropriate caption for this photograph!

Building Bridges Between Two Unrelated Ideas!

Two unrelated objects or scenes can be joined together to create a meaning. It is the way one builds associations that brings creative harmony.

Here is a video that brings the thought across:


video

Jun 18, 2008

Times when you can let her be...

Provide an environment that allows the child to explore and play without undue restraints.

After having written the earlier post, my daughter wanted to teach me to practise what I preached. To let them play, let them create mess once in a while.

I remembered what I had just written and kept my cool when i caught her redhanded in this state. (lol)


Jun 16, 2008

It's all about Perspectives!

YOUR CHILD IS MORE CREATIVE THAN YOU!

Believe it or not! It is true.

You call a spade, a spade! Your child doesn’t. She will dig out ten different things that a spade can do besides what it is known to do.

She does not have any predisposed judgments about things. She does not analyze. She does not search for logic. She does not look for the output. She just thinks the way she wants to think.

We need to think like a child and reverse the assumptions that are taken for granted.

“If my child sits facing the rear of her car, why do we assume that she is the one who is backwards, and not the car itself?”



A child questions things that we don’t. A child looks at things differently.

A ball has rolled out of your child’s reach while she was playing on the bed.
What will you do? You will reach for the ball. Right?

What will your child do? She will just pull the bedcover so it comes closer to her.

We need to accept unusual ideas from children by suspending judgment of children's divergent problem-solving.


Instead of nipping the creative bud right in the beginning by snapping at her, you can can accept it and encourage it to keep the spirit of thinking differently alive in your child (if possible).

Sure, it will need a little more understanding, a little more clearing of mess ups, a little more curbing your urge to smack her on the back and tell her to follow the ordinary norms that you are used to. But, that also doesn't mean letting her do whatever she pleases creating havoc in the house. A balance between the two; by giving her freedom to explore and experiment at times and setting the rules for other times, is what I find is ideal for both the parent and the child.

Gradually, you can extend this creative problem-solving bent of mind to various problems that naturally occur in everyday life.

Have you or your child solved any problems that occured in your day-to-day life creatively? Do you think disorder breeds creativity?

Jun 12, 2008

Storytime

[I] Making a story

Every child loves listening to stories. But creating one's own story can be very exciting and thought provoking. You can take turns in telling one line of the story.You can make it interesting and amusing by bringing in different surprising leaps in the story so that your child has to connect to your piece of the story and build it further.

The story need not have any logic or make any particular sense.

The story could look something like this:

Child: There was a lion.
Adult: He was old and weak.
Child: One day he was very hungry.
Adult: So, he took the bus to the town to 'Pizza Hut' (Instead of saying, he hunted an animal, add elements to turn the direction of the story every time its your turn to make it a funny game.)
Child: But Pizza Hut was closed.
Adult: So, he called his friend, the elephant and asked him to come over.
(Soon your child will learn how to change the direction of the story without going the conventional way).
Child: But the elephant was too sleepy.

[II]: What's the ending?

Tell your baby a story and stop before the ending and ask him/her to complete it. Once you have heard his/her part of the ending, ask him/her that if Mummy/Daddy had to write the same story what type of ending would it be?

This will help him/her to think of alternative endings to the same set story.

Get hooked to story making!

Jun 9, 2008

Stimulate Your Newborn Baby...



Your precious little bundle of joy is born. You are delighted to see her tiny body. You sit by the crib admiring her fingers and toes. Your newborn is eager to learn more about the world around her. She watches your face, especially mom's and tries to recognize the voice she had been hearing so long.

Talk to her while calling her name. Ensure eye-to-eye contact. Touch her.

See if there is any reaction. Soon, she will understand and start responding. Your face and voice will soon give comfort to your baby and she will feel the warmth of happiness and love with you near her.
Make interesting sounds and see if she is turning her head to look at that direction.

The baby is born with a billion nerve cells, all of which are not connected. It is important to stimulate the brain for the connections to form or they will just grow old and die.

The best way to kickstart your baby's development is to breastfeed your baby. Research has shown that not only does it bring forth a healthy start for your baby but also improves your baby's IQ levels.

Babies are born with reflexes. If you gently touch or stroke a baby's cheek, she will turn her head towards the cheek you have touched and the mouth to that side, ready to eat. This is called the rooting reflex. By the time they're 3 weeks old, babies will turn toward the breast or bottle not just out of a reflex, but because they've learned that it's a source of food.

Babies spend their first few months of life sleeping most of the time.

Gradually their sleeping hours will reduce and they will start becoming more playful and alert, and watchful of their environment. It is important to know these wakeful times when the baby is ready to play.

You may want to introduce a few toys that appeal to his senses of touch, sound, and sight like
  • rattles
  • textured toys
  • musical toys
  • unbreakable crib mirrors
  • play gyms - This was Daddy's first gift to our baby :)
Contrasting colours stimulate a baby's vision. Try toys and mobiles with contrasting colours and patterns.

Encourage your newborn to learn and play.

Put on soothing music, and hold your baby, gently swaying to the tune.

Sing a soft, sweet lullaby to your baby, no matter how bad your voice is. Your baby will not judge you. The familiarity of the sound and the words will bring a soothing effect and help her become calm during fussy times or will help her drift to sleep. You can also put on some soft music when you dont feel like singing.

Smile and soon your baby will start smiling at you. That's the loveliest moment when they first start smiling.

Stick out your tongue, blink, make expressions and see if she imitates you or not.

Take an attractive toy and move it round her eyes. take it Up and Down, and sideways and make a shape and watch her eyeballs follow the toy.

To reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) babies are advised to sleep on their backs and to be put on their tummies as soon as they are awake under parental supervision.

Talk to your baby as much as you can and soon she will start cooing back to you.


Babies love a particular high pitch and frequency that comes naturally to most parents. They love a repetition of a few syllables like 'Mama' and 'Papa' which are easier for them to understand.
How do/did you play with your newborn baby? Share your experiences too... Would love hearing from you.

Jun 7, 2008

Stimulate your foetus - 3 (concl.)

Vision

At the time of birth, vision is focussed from 8 to 12 inches, the distance between a mother's face when feeding at the breast.

Testing eyesight within the womb is difficult. But premature babies at 31-32 weeks g.a possess visual focus and can usually do horizontal and vertical tracking.


By the end of 40 weeks g.a., babies develop proper eyesight with acuity and contrast sensitivity, refraction and accommodation, spacial vision, binocular function, distance and depth perception, color vision, and sensitivity to flicker and motion patterns.

In the uterus, the eyelid remains closed until about the 26th week. The fetus is sensitive to light, responding to light with heart rate accelerations to projections of light on the abdomen. This can even serve as a test of well-being before birth.

Isn't it interesting to know that at 20 weeks g.a., twins in uterus have no trouble locating each other and touching faces or holding hands!

In conclusion, providing a stimulating environment for your unborn baby is worthwhile for his development. However, it is important to note that since the fetus sleeps almost 22 hours a day, he/she would prefer a quiet environment rather than constant loud classical music or Shakesperean poetry.

Happy pregnancy!

Stimulate your foetus - 2

Tasting & Smelling
Taste structures deveop at 14 weeks g.a. Latest research has shown that they have a definite preference for a few tastes by the time they are born. At the fetus stage, swallowing increases with sweet tastes and decreases with sour or bitter tastes.
The nose develops between 11 and 15 weeks. Many chemical compounds cross the placenta to join the amniotic fluid so the fetus gets an exposure to different tastes and odors.
There is a relationship of postnatal behaviour with the associations built over the nine months within the womb.
Listening and Hearing
The human ear begins to function properly around the start of the third trimester of pregnancy. It is several weeks later, however, near the seventh month of pregnancy before the ear is mature enough to respond to sounds that are not very loud.
Inspite of the barriers created by the amniotic fluid, embryonic membranes, uterus, and the maternal abdomen, fetuses can hear maternal speech and remember something of what is heard after they are born.
Does't that make you feel good, suddenly? He/She is listening to all that you are trying to say and trying to recognize your voice.
Studies show that an infant is able to recognize the voice of his/her mother from the voice of other unknown people after birth.
Talk to your baby as much as you can. If possible address him/her by a name or nickname.
Sing songs or hum whenever you like. Listen to soothing music to soothe your baby too.
If you read a rhythmic story to your fetus in the last weeks of pregnancy, chances are your newborn will recognize the story even if someone else reads it.
A newborn can discriminate between spoken languages, for example French vs. English, as long as their native language is one of them.
Be aware of the fact that your baby would like you to stay away from excessive noisy or stressful environments. So, avoid shouting at each other; instead ask your hubby to tell your unborn baby all things he has planned for him/her once the baby grows up. :)

Jun 6, 2008

Stimulate your foetus - 1


Ever wondered about the mysterious world of the unborn? Creativity Begins Right in the Womb


The voyage into the womb has become possible with the advancement of embryology and fetal studies. What was unimaginable before is now not only being viewed and monitored through intrauterine photography, ultrasound imaging, the scanning electron microscope, and other new technologies but also being experimented with to see confirmed benefits in a newborn.


The human brain is a complex network of neurons. Neurologists believe that stimulating the brain will make the cells functional while they respond to the stimulus from outside. Else, they will just wither and die.


Hence stimulating the unborn and also the newborn can bring about a huge difference in the development of a child.

The Sense of Touch

Touch is the first sense through which communication and interaction of the fetus with the outside world begins. The skin is made of a complex network of cells, that are sensitive to heat, cold, pressure and pain.

So, here's my piece of advice: Touch the pregnant belly as often as possible showing how much you love your to-be-born baby. He sure will get the message.


The Fetus in Motion

The first sign of life is signified by the beating of the heartbeat three weeks after conception.
This rhythmic activity continues while all the parts keep developing.


Then the fetus bodies jump into action with stretching and rotational movements of the head, arms and legs. Hand to head, hand to face, hand to mouth movements, mouth opening, closing, and swallowing are all present at 10 weeks.


Breathing movements and jaw movements begin. Hands are busy interacting with other parts of the body and with the umbilical cord.

So, when the mother laughs or coughs, the fetus can be felt moving after a few seconds.

Blogging - A New Journey Begins


Vrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrroooooooom! There goes....my blog.

Blogging is a platform for writers to express their views about life. This is my first post. So, let me not scare you all away with my weird blabber.

But then to start off a creative process, one needs to press the creative button on one's remote control. Ya, everyone's got the button. And your child has it too.

Just PRESS the right buttons. And off you will go to a world where you see what no one else sees, you say 'wow' to things that remain unnoticed to others and others say 'wow' to things that you happen to notice.

We as parents want our child to be able to feel the joy of finding that creative button within him/her.

Welcome to the hard work, the frustrations, the trials and tribulations and finally the little happy milestones that go behind parenting a creative kiddy.