20 tips to celebrate a safe and happy Diwali with kids

 Diwali diyas, crackers, puja

Diwali is one of the biggest and most celebrated festivals across India and the world. The preparations start many weeks in advance with decluttering and cleaning of the house. People get their houses spic and span in anticipation of Goddess Lakshmi to visit their homes during this auspicious occasion. It is a festival of eating, lights and joy. It is also a festival with most number of accidents. It is important to take certain steps, especially as parents to ensure a happy and bright Diwali for us and for the world.

Diwali is synonymous with crackers, lights, diyas, new clothes and sweets. Here are some tips to ensure a safe Diwali for us and our children.

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Separation Anxiety in an Older Kid

My daughter Aanya has been a very settled child right from the time she was a baby. She has been friendly, outgoing and mixes easily with people. She has always loved meeting new people and would never cry for us if someone took her away. She is the happiest child in her playgroup and didn’t cry even on the first day of school. In short she never showed any signs of separation anxiety much to my relief and sometimes disappointment (*doesn’t my baby love me enough*).

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5 Best TV shows that you can let your Toddlers watch

Are there any good TV shows for toddlers?

TV shows for toddlers


Entertaining and educational TV shows for toddlers


TV shows for toddlers – Yes, this one is a post about the dreaded idiot box. As a young, first-time mom, I am always concerned about anything that my child is exposed to. One of the necessary evils of our generation is the television. I know there are few who can manage without it and one must look for creative and fun activities for children, but it is an essential part of most people’s daily lives. In such a scenario, how does one limit or ban TV viewing for our children.

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Make a Rakhi with your Child

India is a country of colors and festivals. There is hardly a month in the year when we do not have an important festival. Rakhi or Rakshabandhan is just round the corner. Rakshabandhan is a very special festival for me, being an only sister to two brothers, it holds fond memories of childhood. And even if the three of us stay in different corners of the world now, I still ensure my rakhi reaches them well in time.

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6 Tips to help Child Adjust to PreSchool/ Home to Preschool transition

6 tips for easy Home to Preschool Transition

First day at pre-school


Starting school is a very big milestone for a child and parents. Most kids start preschool or playgroup when they are between 2 to 4 years old. Preschool offers many benefits, but it can be daunting for the little one to leave the safety and familiarity of home and join a new establishment full of strangers. Parents might also be anxious whether the child is ready for playschool or not. Here we discuss a few steps you can take to make it easier for yourself and your child to adjust to the new school.

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Creative Popsicle Flash Cards to teach alphabet to pre-schoolers

Flash cards are a common and effective way of introducing new stuff to toddlers. Aanya has started school and they are getting introduced to Alphabet these days. Even though I introduced her to letters much earlier and she can recite her ABCs and recognize many of the letters, it is still fun for her. We made some really cute flash cards for her and thought of sharing those here.

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When your Child Gets Sick: How to Deal with Common Childhood Illnesses

As parents, it’s our duty and instinct to worry about our children, but when dealing with childhood illness, it can be difficult not to panic. We all know that children get sick a lot, particularly when they start going to school, but did you know our children’s immune systems actually continue to develop right up until their teens? This means they are more susceptible than adults, to any form of illness, from a common cold to viruses, like chicken pox or typhoid. Providing your child has access to the right vaccinations, however, means you won’t have to fret too much about serious problems.

Sick Child


It is important to understand that a natural part of growing up is to experience some childhood infections, in order for the body to build its own defences. This way, your child will be less prone to diseases as an adult. But how do you know when to take care of your child yourself, and when to seek out medical advice or treatment? Here is some guidance on how to monitor childhood illnesses and a few preventative measures you can take as a family.


How to deal with colds and mild infections

It’s unfortunately a fact of life that children will contract one or more of the most common viral and bacterial illnesses at some point in their young lives. The trick is learning to recognise these illnesses, and understanding that – in some cases – caring for your child at home really is the best thing you can do. Here are some of the most frequent childhood complaints:

Common cold – a virus with symptoms that include: a running nose, ear infection, sore throat, blocked sinuses, and coughing.

Influenza (flu) – a virus which is most serious for young children and presents symptoms that are similar to a cold, but it lasts longer and requires several days of bed rest.

Strep throat – tell-tale symptoms of this bacterial infection are a high fever, combined with an extremely sore throat. You child may refuse to eat or drink.

Croup – characterised by a ‘barking cough’, usually experienced by children under 6 years old.

Stomach flu – a highly contagious virus that causes diarrhoea and vomiting.

Generally, most fevers, the flu and ear infections cannot be healed with antibiotics, and must be allowed to clear up on their own. Some colds can take up to two weeks to leave your child’s system. Give your child plenty of fluids and let them rest for a few days.


Child medications – such as over-the-counter nasal decongestants and throat tablets for colds – can be soothing, but often disguise symptoms and do not help to clear them up. Suitable painkillers – like paracetamol or ibuprofen – can also be bought from your pharmacy and may be soothing too. Always check the label or ask your pharmacist for advice on the quantity you should give your child, as this varies with your child’s age and weight.

Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish a harmless virus from a more serious infection, so be sure to consult a doctor if your child’s symptoms change, worsen, or do not disappear.


Signs you should take your child to the doctor

There are of course some occasions when immediate medical assistance should be sought. Phoning for an ambulance in busy urban areas is not always the quickest solution for getting to the emergency department, so see if you can get to the nearest hospital another way. Any of the following symptoms may be warning signs of something serious:


·         A fever over 38.5 degrees

·         Breathing problems

·         A persistent headache

·         Severe diarrhoea or vomiting, especially if containing blood

·         Prolonged drowsiness or a stiff neck

·         A persistent rash, in particular one that does not disappear if you roll an empty glass over the surface


It’s important to observe your child’s behaviour to determine how serious their condition is. High fevers, for example, are not always cause for concern, if they are short-lived, or if the child is still playing and acting normally.


Some helpful preventative measures for your family’s health


Getting sick is unavoidable for families, but there are a few ways to keep the germs at bay and reduce the risk of illnesses recurring in your household:


Clean Water. Make sure your child is drinking plenty of clean water that has been purified, especially in the hot summer months. Natural liquids, such as coconut water and lemon juice are also good for long-term hydration, as well as being nutritious.


Healthy food. Prevent food- and water-borne viruses, like cholera, entering your home by avoiding fruit and vegetables bought from the roadside. Reduce the amount of spice you add to your child’s meals, as this may also aggravate young digestive systems. Provide a balanced diet based on fresh ingredients and a healthy amount of fibre.


Sanitation. Ensure your child is following proper hygiene rules: washing hands after using the toilet and before they sit down to eat. Be especially vigilant about this if you hear of a virus at school, or if another family member is ill.


The most important piece of advice is not to panic! Most Indian parenting styles do not focus on trying to protect children from everything that life throws at them; they emphasise allowing children’s bodies to develop naturally. Though this means you might have to get used to dealing with a few sick days along the way, if you’re armed with a good awareness of childhood illnesses and a sensible approach to their treatment, you won’t have to rush for the phone every time you hear your child sneeze!

This is a guest post by SurfExcel team.


Make your own Toy Aquarium for kids


craft aquarium

My little girl is enamored with aquariums. She can watch fishes swim for hours. Once we could not enter a restaurant for a long time even though there was place available, because they had a large aquarium in the waiting area. She finally relented after much cajoling but dinner was interspersed with many breaks to see the fishes.

I have been toying with the idea of building an aquarium for her for some time and yes, I finally did it. I made this while Aanya was taking her nap, so it took me less than a couple hours. Here is a picture process of the same.

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7 tips for parents to get kids to eat less sugar

Child obesity is a big problem worldwide, maybe not so much in India. But more and more incidents of diabetes and hypertension are getting known in kids as young as 13 or 14. This is an alarming situation and most parents want their kids to eat healthy from a young age. But consumerism means they are exposed to advertisements and made to believe that sugary treats are not just tasty but cool. Kids as young as 1 and 2 want to have soda and soft drinks instead of water.There are also kids who have get their cavities filled and even worse, teeth extracted at the age of 3.

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