Mar 31, 2009

Drawing of the Day

DD has developed a sudden love for drawing. She loves making different pictures and showing it to Mummy. Most of the drawings did not make sense till lately. Does this look like a BIRD to you? If yes, then she sees what we see..., and if not she sees, what we don't see. :D She says its the OWL.

The Wings of Imagination

It is so wonderful to live in a world full of imagination. A child sees this world in his own light. He can think beyond what appears to his eyes and can connect to other non-exisitng images. But, we adults choose to stop living in this imaginary world and prefer reality instead.

Simple things that go unnoticed to the adult eyes, things that we take for granted, look so interesting to a child's innocent eyes.

Here is an example.

Yesterday we went for dinner outside. While my daughter was seated on her highchair she suddenly started making noises of 'Zoom Zoom Zoom'.

Then she pointed out that she had just seen an aeroplane. Look at the image below to spot her aeroplane.

Jamie Paolinetti quotes, "Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless."

I am reminded of the song by R. Kelly that I used to love singing once.
Listen to the song here

It goes something like this:

I believe I can fly...
I believe I can touch the sky...
I think about it every night and day...
Spread my wings and fly away...
I believe I can soar...
I see me running through that open door...
I believe I can fly.

Mar 19, 2009

Second Art Attempt

DD has been playing all day. She is enjoying her one week school holiday to the core. She ran into the room where I was sitting, singing some nursery rhyme and drew this dolphin. I was working when she called me to show it. Before she could erase it, I thought of capturing it for my memory lane. Atfer a while she drew the snake. She continued scribbling and drawing for about half an hour telling me what she had drawn everytime she finished. Her snake and dolphin look roughly the same but not a bad attempt.

Mar 17, 2009

Is your child right handed or left handed?

Have you ever wondered whether your child's dominant side is the right side or the left side, i.e. which side of his brain controls his actions.
There is a reason why I have been debating on this issue. I have lately been wondering whether my two year old daughter 'Ru' is left handed or right handed. Lots of friends have previously asked me the question, "Is she left handed?" while interacting with her. I had never really thought about it seriously till now. I have started looking at whether she is really left handed or right handed.

We have always seen that she has a strong left hand. But, her right hand is also strong enough. Hence, I taught her to hold the pencil/crayon with the right hand and also to cut with the right hand.

I have been wondering if it was wrong to teach her to hold the pencil on the right hand (i.e. if she is left handed). I do not want to force it on her.

I am confused. I searched the net on left and righthandedness. Here are some tests to check out if your child is left handed or right handed.
Some more tests

Here is my analysis of her left or right handedness after doing the tests.

She picks up spoon, box, bag from the floor or chair with left hand.
She holds the bat in her left hand while playing to hit the ball.
She throws the ball with her left hand when playing catching the ball.

She opens a jar with her right hand
Holds out her right hand to take a biscuit (but picks up a crumb from the floor with left).

She can hold the spoon with both hands and eat.
She writes with the right (as taught by me but can also use her left hand)
She uses the right hand for cutting (as taught by me)
She combs hair holding the comb with both hands.
She picks up a glass of water with both hands (So unable to test which hand is stronger)

She stamps with right foot.
She kicks sometimes with her right and sometimes with her left foot.
Climbing stairs with right foot first. Climbing down with left foot first.

Which eye is used by your subject to look through a tube? Left eye

My conclusion: Since she can use both hands, I think she is mixedhanded. I think a few more months down the line, it will be more clear whether she is right handed, lefthanded, mixedhanded or ambidextrous. Do share your views to help me sort out the issue.

Mar 16, 2009

Ru's First Art Attempt @2years 1month old

Look for the similarity between a 2 year old's drawing and a Noble Prize Laureate's drawing. A drawing of a two year old that is simple enough to be ordinary yet unusual enough to be an eyeopener.
This is DD's first drawing that has any recognizable shape whatsoever. She said she had drawn 'Baba' i.e. Daddy. Daddy was quite impressed and said that its called 'minimalistic drawing'. With only a few strokes you can give your drawing some meaning. Daddy remembered one of Rabindranath Tagore's famous Paintings,
Portrait of a Lady

Watch the painting to see the similarity. What would you say, except...'Great expectations!!!'...Hahaha... :)

Mar 15, 2009

The Love for Reading and the Joy of having Books

Both Mom and Dad have always been book lovers since childhood. Mum hardly gets time for reading nowadays. Inculcating the reading habit has come naturally to DD. She has seen us buying books, reading books, taking care of books, stacking books, discussing books and also sometimes debating over topics from books and arguing about 'buying more than needed' books.

Recently, we bought a bookcase to be able to handle the overwhelming love for books. Tip: Children learn by imitation. So, pick up your books now.

Since she was a baby, DD loved books. She can literally say when she grows up that that she could EAT, SLEEP and READ books. She had started with nibbling cloth books and then graduated to nibbling small board books, to 'touch and feel' books, puppet books, pop out books, flashcard pop out books, sliding ABC and 123 books. Its amazing to see the wonderful variety of books written for children today. Tip: Children who are spoken to and read to frequently have larger vocabularies and develop into better readers.

Recollecting an incident when she was just 7 months old. We had attended a preview at Shichida and decided to enrol her. We came home with the brochure and a small story book.

I put DD to sleep and sat reading the book beside her only to be woken by a nudge and find a half eaten book with all the sides and corners gone.

I was astonished, and partly scared that she would fall ill. That was her first interaction with a real BOOK. Fortunately, DD loves reading books as much as we love reading books to her. So, it is money well spent and quite satisfying to see her enjoy books.

She has her own little library of books. It is at her height so that she can easily reach out for them whenever she needs them and put them back too when reading is over. There was a time when she would just take out the books and stack them on the floor or on the bed not bothering about what is inside.

Daddy would wonder why she did that. Mummy would explain that its her developmental milestone at that point of time. They love stacking. That seems a long time back.

Tip: To inculcate the habit of reading, first of all, let the books be easily accessible to your child.

Today, I replaced many of her hard bound board books with a fresh set of thinner paper books. She has learnt to handle paper books. (Again, reiterates the fact in Mummy's mind that our little baby is growing up.)

Now, she loves flipping the paper of the book and looking at the pictures and pointing out the letters to us. Tip: If you are well versed with her reading developmental stage, you need to keep upgrading it with time and her level of progression.

We read to her whenever she is in the mood, (which she is most of the time - I am sure it'll be quite the opposite when she starts with serious academic books :D ) She brings her books to me or at times prefers to read alone. She loves listening to the stories and then repeating the story again by flipping the pages. Tip: Story time is more of a spontaneous activity at our home rather than a fixed time in the night.

A few months back, she used to love reading the story of Goldilocks, Papa Bear, Mumma Bear and 'Baby' Bear over and over again. Now, she has graduated to many more new stories like the Greedy Dog, The Lion and the Mouse, Cinderella, and some newer story books. Tip: If your toddler wants to hear the same story over and over again, let them enjoy the comfort of the same story while you build their vocabulary by adding in new words or pointing at the written words while saying the story.
I would like to specially mention here
They are an amazing collection that every beginning reader should have. These books are graded on the reading level of the child. So, the parents can buy accordingly. She just loves to see what PAT is doing in one of Dr. Seuss' books. PAT sitting on CAT or PAT sitting on the HAT, PAT sitting on BAT, ALL are SMALL, while ALL are TALL. ALL dancing on the WALL. ALL FALL. She also loves Ladybird's Peter and Jane collection too. She will open the book and point at Peter and Jane and fish and tree and also the written words but she doesn't know to read yet.

Toddlers enjoy a variety of books now. Some are based on rhyme and rhythm. Some have interactive stories with refrains, sound effects, or sounds to imitate or enact: Eric Carle's 'From Head to Toe'. Some are based on Cars, Trains and other moving objects: 'Chugga, Chugga Choo Choo' by Kevin Lewis. Some are based on familiar things and situations: 'Bebé Goes Shopping' by Susan Middleton Elya. Some books help with toddler fears and feelings: 1) 'No, David!' by David Shannon, 2) 'Llama Llama Mad at Mama' by Anna Dewdney. There are books that teach your child to follow certain rules and virtues. Then, there are lift the flap books like 'Dear Zoo' by Rod Campbell and sing-along books like 'If You're Happy and You Know It' by Jane Cabrera or Nursery Rhyme books like 'Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree' by Eileen Christelow besides other conceptual books on counting, opposites, colours, alphabets and fun concepts.

Another important to discuss here is 'attention span'. A typical toddler has very very less attention span. So, they will read a book for a few seconds or a few minutes and then close the book and again come back to it after a while. Tip: Do not fret if your child does that too. It is quite normal. Slowly their attention span will increase.
She also enjoys 'quiet reading times' at home just as she has at her school. She will sit with her book in her lap, open it and say, "One Day" if telling me a story. The first picture will be the subject of her story. Say, Teddy Bear....Then she will get engrossed in the pictures and keep flipping and uttering the words"And then" ..'teddy bear'.....'dog'...."And then"....."And then".....till "I finished reading the book" comes. I would like to quote James Bryce here, 'The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it'.

Nowadays, DD has started to discuss what she is reading with me, another developmental milestone in reading. It is said, "TV. If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they'll have with twenty-six. Open your child's imagination. Open a book.

Do your children love reading books? How often do you buy books? What books would you recommend for a 2 - 2.5 year old?

Mar 13, 2009

Painting without Paint

My little one was introduced to 'Magic Painting' today. It's something I had loved doing as a child. I wanted to pass on the fun activity to her.

I dipped the brush in water and held the brush in her hand to make a stroke on the paper. She was so amazed to see the brush create colours after being dipped in water. She had real fun with it. Watch her enjoying her first magic brush painting (without paint).
Everything was going on fine. And Mummy was quite pleased with the success of the venture.
And then,
within a few minutes,
a CATASTROPHE happened.
And things got out of control.
She got over excited.
She wanted to pour the whole of the water from the glass on to the page.
The more the water, the more the colours, Right?
We had a little tug of war with the glass of water.
The END: A glass of water in my hands, tears in her eyes and a semi-flooded paper.
Once the water dried on the page and her eyes,
she blinked and looked at the colours on the page.
That's her first experience of what a brush & a magicpainting book can do.
Create Magic!
Or rather create droplets everywhere
On eyes, on the floor and on paper. :D
Perhaps, some day she will learn how to use the brush to express her creativity.
Here is my little painter who has decided to paint her world
(fortunately without) colours. LOL.

Mar 10, 2009

The Name Game

Its an interesting coincidence, that Agnes tagged me immediately after I posted about the meaning of my daughter's name in the earlier post. Thanks you Agnes for the tag.
It must have been quite easy for you with the letter A. But, I being Yaggya, will have to whack my brains out for the Y's.

1. Copy to your own blog, erase my answers, enter yours, and tag 20 (if you have 20 in your list).
2. Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real...nothing made up! If the person before you had the same first initial, you must use different answers. You cannot use any word twice and you can't use your name for the boy/girl name question.

1. What is your name? Yaggya
2. A four letter word: Year
3. A boy's name: Yogesh.
4. A girl's name: Yashvi
5. An occupation: Youth worker
6. A colour: Yellow
7. Something you wear: Yu (Precious jade)
8. A food: Yoghurt
9. Something found in the bathroom: Yo-yo
10. A place: Yugoslavia
11. A reason for being late: Yelling at my naughty baby
12. Something you shout: Yahoooooooo!!
13. A movie title: You've got mail
14. Something you drink: Yin Martini
15. A musical group: Yes band
16. A street name: Yam Road
17. A type of car: Yamaha
18. A song title: You fill up my senses...
19. A verb: Yawn :D

Yo!!! Yesssssss, i did it finally.

I would like to pass it on to the following:

Caroline (A kiss of an angel) , *(Joyce) The Chiah Family , Jessie Ling (Hijack Queen) , Sue (Little People) , Ping (Our Life Story) , Christene (allthingspurple) , Vivianz (Vivian, Sze & Naomi) , Oyl (Popeye's family) , Chinneeq (De'Play) , 3lilangels (Growing Fun Wth My 3 Lil Angels) , *Ryan's Mum (Etcetera~Etcetera , *Mumsgather (Mothering Times) , Everyday Healy (Everyday Healy) , Rebecca (A New Journey Start) , Lazymama (My Little Sunshine) , Sweets (A little drop of heaven) , *Mum of Denisha & Darien (Little Darlings) , *Craft Mama (The Little Craft Box) , Mel (Every Little Wonder)

Baby Name and Meaning

What is the meaning of my daughter's name: RUHANI

The word ‘Ruhani’ or ‘Roohani’ is derived from the Arabic word ‘Rooh’ or our inner self or soul or ‘Atma’ in Hindi.

Most of us are aware of our body, of the thoughts passing through our mind, and of the world around us. This is called body or physical consciousness. But human beings are more than the body and mind. Our true self is the soul, a conscious entity that inhabits the body.

The soul is the part that enlivens the human body. When the soul leaves the body at the time of death, the body dies. But the soul is immortal. The body exhausts itself whereas its spiritual aspects are always in the everlasting state. We continue to exist even after the demise of our mortal frame. Fortunately, we do not have to wait until our physical end to know our soul.

Spiritual consciousness means becoming aware of the soul and God within us. God is called by many names in various cultures, languages, and religions, but is one and the same and can be found within us. Its essence is eternal, all-consciousness, all love, all peace, and all bliss. Within the soul is wisdom, or self-enlightenment, a love more fulfilling than any in the outer world, a strength and power that can help us overcome any fear, and a connectedness and oneness that knits all life together.

Scientists try to reach truth by exploring materialistic realities, whereas spiritualists attain this truth by exploring spiritual existence. One who adopts this spiritual or inward journey to the cosmic world elevates himself/herself.

It is a path of positive mysticism in which we remain in the world, in our own society, culture, and family and, to the best of our abilities, fulfill our duties and responsibilities but keep developing spiritually.

This is done by attaining the state of spiritual knowledge and by imbibing ‘the spirit of self enlightenment’ through constant self-introspection or in other words by being ‘Ruhani’.

‘Ruhani’ thus means ‘The Spirit of Self-Enlightenment’. It is also associated to the following meanings: ‘True spirit’ / ‘Blissful Soul’ / ‘Spiritual Being’.

Is imagination more powerful than knowledge?

ABCD is the starting point of formal education. I have been singing the ABCD song to her since she was a baby. She is 2 years old now. I am glad that she recognizes the letters of the alphabet though she does get confused at times.
This is my first attempt to capture her singing the ABCD song.

While she fishes out all the alphabets, her subconscious fingers are busy with something else. Its her imagination at work again. She is making a fishing rod. Remember I posted about this a few posts back. This time its a straw and a cloth peg. It is interesting to see how children can make such connections in their day to day life.

Last time it was the rope hanging from the xylophone rod and a peg. 

Mar 9, 2009

Activities for your Toddler

Here is an activity I learnt from one of my fellow bloggers (Thanks for it). I thought the idea was very cute and simple. So, I decided to have some craft fun with my toddler.

Making Pop - up cards

1. Take a blank sheet of paper and fold it in half. (Preferably take a comparatively hard sheet of paper)

2. On the folded paper, make two marks like this. Ask your son/daughter to cut the same using plastic scissors. If he/she cannot do it, you may help.

3. It will look something like this.
4. Just push open the cut sheet inside.
5. You can ask your child to paste a cut out of whatever interests him/her. Alternatively, you can use it to teach numbers or alphabets. This is what she made.
4. She is too busy admiring the flowers. :)

My Terrible two's temperaments

Its about managing temparaments. The terrible two's phase is on. It is a phase that every toddler goes through. And so is mine.
Here are a few examples.
1. DD got down from the high chair the other day and wanted to lie down on the floor. She doesn't want to drink milk. All mummies who have gone through this exhausting, frustrating and annoying phase, please advise. She doesn't want to eat any food. Everytime there is food infront of her she will throw such tantrums.

2. DD has been sleeping in her own bed since 18 months old. Last week, she was suffering from very high fever. So, I decided to sleep with her to check on her fever from time to time. At 4.30 am in the night, with 102 degree temperature, she decided that she didn't want to sleep on the bed but on a mattress that's on the floor. When lots of coaxing and requesting failed, I decided to enact as if I had fallen asleep on the bed. After a while, she tapped me and said, 'Mumma, I want up bed'. I just smiled and tucked her beside me.

3. She has started telling me, "Mumma, I want pink dress every time i change her". But, I doubt she knows the colour pink, so she doesnt argue whatever colour i put on her.
4. She used to love listening to me sing. Now, as soon as I start singing she says, "Stop!" She wants to sing instead. But, if i show any appreciation for her song by nodding my head or even looking at her, she will again say 'Stop!' and stop singing.
5. 'No' is her most favourite word. Every question will be answered with a 'No'. She has recently mastered saying, "I dont know". So, inspite of her knowing all her alphabets she will just say, "I dont know". A stern look and she will show you the alphabet.
Its funny how children at this stage suddenly become so difficult and start having opinions on just about everything.
Does it get better or worser with time? I wonder...

Mar 5, 2009

What is Creativity?

Often the word 'Creativity' has knocked our doors and we wonder exactly "what is creativity?" Is it about the courage to "Look out of the box?"

There is always another way of looking at things. You may be amazed to see what an object can reveal once you look at it from another angle. It is about looking at it from different perspectives. The bird's eye view of a garden can be very different than the eye view of an ant in that garden.

Creativity lies in being able to observe those little things that are not easily evident to the eye. We have often heard the phrase, "Is the glass half full or half empty?"

For example, when we stop looking at an object as an object and wonder if anything else could be done with the object, that is when we are trying to be original, or think creatively. An object can be used for a number of things at the same time. It can be quite funny to think of the number of uses of an object besides the one it is generally used for. It can be a very fun game that you can play with your older child. I've never really played this game with her. But she surprised us today.

DD loves playing her xylophone and sometimes manages to bring out some pleasing notes out of it. (Sometimes only). ;) The xylophone was gifted to her on her birthday by a close friend of mine. The over usage of the xylophone has led to the cord getting snapped off the main xylophone.

DD showed me what the xylophone rod is now. Wondering what?

"Look Fish!" she said holding up the rod which is now a fishing rod. She has put one of the cloth pegs on it.
Do you play any interesting game to cultivate creative thinking? Think of 10 uses of a spoon besides being used for eating.
Here I begin the game...
1. It can be used for playing mini-golf/hockey.
2. It can be used for scraping off things.
3. It can be used as a hand for a clock.
Put on your thinking caps and write down some more creative ideas.

Learn 3D shapes creatively

Education can lose all its charm if it remains confided to the textbooks. Education is finding meanings of learnings of textual matter in real life.
My daughter loves the Shapes song in Richard Scarry's Best Learning Songs Video Ever CD
The song goes something like this.

Shapes Shapes all around, so many shapes in busy town.
If you look then you can find, lots of shapes of many kind.

This she keeps singing continuously. I had forgotten to blog about this small incident I remembered again today. One of our relatives had come to our house about 2 months back. I served a piece of cake. My daughter (who stays far away from food, when it comes to eating) looked at it and said in an excited voice, "Mumma, Look, Triangle" I was so impressed. She had learnt the circle shape long back. She would show me the rubber band and say 'Circle'.

My just turned 5 year old second DD got a message written in her diary by her teacher saying she had spoken about the pyramid while they introduced the topic of 3D shapes. She said "Mummies stay in Pyramids and Pyramids are in Egypt".