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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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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17 Fun Activities to Keep Toddlers Busy

beach

Toddlers are busy bodies and their attention spans are short. They get bored easily and keeping them busy can be a challenge. Buying loads of expensive toys is not the answer. Instead a bit of imagination and time can go a long distance.

Here we enlist some easy to-do activities which will keep the tots busy and make them learn something in the process.

 

Indoor Activities

Music

Music  is a great way to keep kids busy. And introducing them early to music helps inculcate a lifelong interest. Play rhymes, instrumental or any other kind of music that your baby enjoys. Your baby will soon learn to enjoy it and it may become her favourite pastime.

Dance Party

Extension of listening to music is dancing. Kids love to dance and playing their favourite music and having a dance party for the two of you or even their friends will become popular pastime.

Blowing Bubbles

This is an inexpensive and popular pastime for toddlers. If your kid is not able to manage, you should blow the bubbles and let her catch them.

Reading

Reading together can be great fun and teach your child number of things. You young tots get books with a lots of pictures and help them recognize those. E.g. Show them picture of fan in the book and then show the fan on the ceiling or show a pic of clock and then show the clock on the wall.

Head, shoulder, knees and toes.

Make a game out of naming the body parts. It is fun way to teach them the names of body parts.

Count your fingers and toes

Great way to teach them counting.

Singing Rhymes together

Toddlers love rhymes and singing them with you will make it all the more fun.

Play doh

Play is great, creative way for toddlers to express themselves. You could also give them atta(flour dough) and add turmeric and other edible things to color them. Here you have safe and organic play doh ready.

Stringing beads

Give your toddler large wooden beads to string. It will keep her busy for ages.

Doodling

Get a magnetic doodle board which will satisfy your tot’s urge to scribble and save your wall and other spaces from getting marks as well.

Pots and Pans

Give some safe plastic or steel pots and pans to your toddler and it will become a favourite. Measuring cups, plastic idli pans, colanders etc. can be great fun. Non-breakable cups are also fun.

shishutoys

 

Building blocks

Another fun, creative way to keep your toddlers busy. Buy large size blocks which are age-appropriate for your kid to negate the risk of  choking.

 

Outdoor Activities

Go to a park

Outdoors are fun. Most kids love outdoors and parents must make time to take them out to a park or play area every evening or as often as possible. Kids get to meet other kids outdoors which also develops their social and interpersonal skills.

Nature Walk

Take the toddler out for a nature walk. Show her dogs, cats, trees, butterflies or anything else that you see.

Walking up and down the stairs

Walking up and down the stairs can be good fun for toddlers and can keep them busy for hours. Ensure that you are around when your toddler is playing on the stairs. If you have stairs inside the house, you may put safety gates after second or third stair.

Play on the swings

Swings are a favourite of children. Sea-saws and slides can entertain any child for a long time.

Gardening

If you have a garden, let your child help water the plants, plant seeds etc. You may also plant some plants in pots.

Collect leaves and flowers

Go for a walk and collect different kinds of leaves and flowers that you may notice. Help your child in drying these and then preserving them to create a herbarium. This will be a prized possession of -your child for years to come.

How to Choose Toys for Infants

 

Babies win everyone’s hearts and it is a joy to buy stuff for them especially toys for your own kids or others. Toys play an important role in development of children. Variety on offer these days is mind boggling and one is spoilt for choice when buying toys for infants. But how do you choose which are right for your child?

 

 How to choose right toys for baby?

 

It is however important to keep few things in mind while shopping for toys for babies. Here, we look at few important points to remember when buying toys for an infant :

  • Buy toys which recommended for infants. When buying, you will see manufacturer’s instructions that a particular toy is safe for 1-3 months or 3-6 months or 6months+, 3 years+ etc. It is important to take notice of these as giving toys meant for older children to infants can be hazardous. Also, toys infants will not be able to comprehend how to play with toys meant for older kids which defeats the purpose.
  • Do not buy toy with small parts. These can be choking hazard and may also be too much for baby to handle leading to frustration.
  • When buying for a newborn, look for toys that make noise, soft toys, cloth balls or blocks. Look for toys in bold primary colors. Rattles and cot mobiles are great for newborns.
  • Ensure that the toys are from a good company and safe for infants. Babies put toys in mouth, so ensure toys are washable and are made of BPA free plastic.
  • When buying wooden toys, look for nails, chipped corners etc. They can be hazardous. Ensure that paint used is nontoxic and safe for babies.
  • Do not buy toys with long strings or ribbons as baby may get entangled in them.
  • Look for toys which will grow with your baby, so that you can use them for a long time and get the best value for money.
  • Look for toys which spark curiosity and call for action rather than just looking cute.
  • Choose toys which will encourage and help in developing hand-eye coordination as well as motor skills. E.g. Shape sorters, stacking rings, nesting cups are great toys for babies and toddlers.
  • Ask other parents for feedback when buying toys. They may tell you their experience with those toys and also guide you the best place to buy them from.
  • Check out internet for review on toys and recalls if any. At times, toys are deemed unsafe in some countries but are still available elsewhere. Look for the reasons of recall and choose to buy carefully.

 

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Vasanti is a mom to a 1 and 1/2 year old boy. Her son, Anshu, is now in that wonderful stage , toddlerhood. His personality is changing each day and so are his interests. One big expense for Vasanti is toys for him. She has realized that Anshu does not like playing with a toy for more than a day or two. There might be a couple of favorites but most get relegated to whatever when he goes in search of newer and greener pastures.

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