Wednesday, January 22, 2020

New Year Resolutions

We are in the last month of 2019, another year is going to end. Very soon we will be welcoming 2020. As the New Year is approaching many of us retrospect and make goals for the next year. How was 2019 for you ? Do you make resolutions for the year and abide by them? 

What are New Year Resolutions ?
According to Wikipedia, " A New Year Resolution is a tradition most common in the western hemisphere, but also found in the European hemisphere in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behaviour to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life. "

I like to set target and goals for myself. It motivates me to do better if I am able to achieve something. I have been making New Year Resolutions since I was a child. But then my resolutions used to be very simple, study properly and get good marks. But now  definitely my perspective towards life has changed and so have my resolutions. 
 
How to make goals which are achievable:

Make a list of your goals. This can be your family, career, finances, health. 

Break the big goals into smaller goals.Smaller goals are easily achievable. 

Make them visible. Write your Goals somewhere where you can easily see them. This will be a constant reminder for you to achieve them.

Adjust your goals periodically. While you are in the process of accomplishing your goals, take some time re - evaluate your goals. are you able to accomplish them in the given time frame ? Allow yourself some flexibility to achieve your goals.

Make your goals measurable. For eg if your target is to lose weight, make it qunatifiable as to how many kgs you want to lose.

Be realistic with your goals. Ask yourself whether you have everything to complete your goal - knowledge , skill, time , resources.

Set priorities. This means if you have 5 goals to complete , prioritise which goal do you want to achieve first.

Keep a track of your progress. Writing in a notebook is a great way to keep a track of your progress.

Celebrate small accomplishments. Once you achieve small goals, celebrate your success. This will motivate you to do better.




How to plan activities for your child ?




I am often asked how I plan activities for T. He is 3.5 years old now and I am doing small activities with him from the time he was a baby. Till the age of one it was more of sensory play and stacking toys. After that I started with more structured activities. 


While planning activities, one should remember that a kid's attention span is not much. For eg. Attention span for a one year old is maximum 5 minutes. After your child turns one , plan one activity a day, be it colour sorting or stacking or blocks. Along with that you can read to them, give them pull along toys, etc to play with.


As they grow older the activities vary and the attention span of the children increase too. Like I said, my son is 3.5 years old now. When he in a mood, he can sit and do various activities for 30-40 minutes at a stretch. When he doesn't want to do, he doesn't sit for 2 minutes also.

How do I plan activities for him:


💓I try and make him do at least 4-5 small activities in a day

💓I plan a number activity, like matching or circling the right number or a DIY activity.

💓Similarly for alphabets, I give him alphabet matching, matching the object with the correct alphabet.

💓Pattern tracing:
He cannot write alphabets or numbers yet. So I give him some pre writing skills activities to do.

💓Puzzles/ blocks : . I don't force him to play with puzzles or blocks or do painting. He has different blocks and various puzzles. I have put these within his reach so whatever he feels like playing with, he takes and he plays .

💓Painting : T likes to paint. So some days we do some random painting. Other days , we do some finger, hand , vegetable painting too.

💓Sensory Activities: kids love sensory activities. Make it fun according to their age. If the child is 2-3 years old. Hide alphabets, numbers, objects and let them find.

Always remember, never make any activity as if it's a punishment. Make it fun and interesting for him. U don't have to buy expensive toys or games for your kids. Make the maximum use of what you have and trust me your kids will have fun and will learn a lot of skills.


You don't have to finish what you have planned in one go. Let the child take his own time. He might do one activity before taking a nap and the other other one maybe after he plays outdoors. Don't stress . Start with simple activities. Once your child is used to a certain routine, he will definitely sit for a longer time and will do more activities.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Booky Boo - Review Post 2


This post is by my friend Meera Nair.

A personalized book for your Kid!




We got our bookyboo personalized book as a birthday return gift from our dear friends' daughter's birthday party.



We instantly fell in love with this book since the main characters of the book is my son and his best friend.He got connected with the story pretty fast and we might have read it to him hundreds of times.



We own the book "Jungle bungle" and it's beautifully crafted and illustrated to catch the little ones attention. The story involves Mickey, Minnie and Goofy and other animal characters too.




As a bonus to the story line, this book has some counting and sticker activities too. What else you need to make a toddler happy!!!




It's perfect for birthday parties. You have more options for the theme and stories, Frozen adventure, space troopers, finding north to name some. You can personalize it according to your guest list. The best part is that you can add a personalized note to the book with your kid's picture on it! We treasurer this book and my son always picks up this book to read it to him!



As bookyboo team says because the kid is the hero in the book they never get tired of reading it over and over again! This is hands down my favorite personalized gift for my reader son!!!

And don't forget to use the special discount code PARTY15 when you buy from BookyBoo. The coupon code is valid till March 31st 2020. 



Meera is a mom to a toddler boy who loves reading books and doing lovely activities. Follow her on instagram to know more about this mom and son duo. Her instagram handle is @being.meera

Booky Boo - Review - Post 1

This post is written by my friend Vineetha .

My daughter loves her books. We started reading to her at a very young age. So when her first birthday came we knew exactly what to get as party favors. After cake that’s the most important part the kids look forward to. They patiently wait for the party to be over and get hold of their gifts. So for Nivi’s first birthday we wanted something unique and special. As I started planning the party, I searched instagram to find unique books and one of the mom blogger recommended BookyBoo, and oh boy what a find it was. A personalized book store, who can customize each and every book according to our need. 




This is the first time I am working with personalized books. So obviously I was nervous about it, But Bookyboo kept me at ease. What l liked the most was how easy the entire process was. Each book was customized to include birthday kid and a friend as characters. I could even select specific avatar for each one.  You sent all the details and they work their magic to weave our details into the story.  

Another thing that need special mention is the quality of the books. Anyone who has kids know how easily they can  tear papers but bookyboo uses glossy thick papers which can withstand heavy usage. Even after a year and a toddler handling it our books are intact with very less damage. 

For our gifts we chose the following 3 books from the party favor collections. 



















We chose this book for our younger kids as felt it will appeal
them better. Our heroes are helping Minnie and Mickey search
for Pluto. Filled with beautiful illustrations, fun activities and 
our heroes meet many animals on their way! And to appeal our 
reluctant readers they have some stickers too. Definitely this 
one is a kid pleaser!





 















For kids who love space or rockets or astronauts, this book is
a perfect gift. In this exciting adventure, our heroes are on a 
mission to save the Earth. To find a solution for Earth's excess 
waste, they suit up and are off to other galaxy.
Will they be able to find a solution and how will they come 
back?

It’s a fun read for sure. Along the journey they 
learn about solar system, space, moon, galaxy etc. 























We felt this book was ideal for casual readers who love 
to read about travel and new places. Our heroes on a hot 
air ballon lands at a new place and meets a seal who needs 
help to reach his home. How our heroes help the seal, their
 journey to north pole, the friends they met forms the rest of 
the story. One of the fun activity in the book is to design
 own flag, currency, slogan for your own country. This was a 
hit among our kids. 

Everyone appreciated the books but the best compliment
 I got was from my friend’s daughter. She told me she always 
wanted a book where she is the hero who saves the world.
And this was the perfect book. I think that,s the beauty of
the personalized books. You get to create something special
something unique. Truly a one-of-a kind keepsake. 


And don't forget to use the special discount code PARTY15 
when you buy from BookyBoo. The coupon code is valid till 
March 31st 2020. 
Happy Reading Everyone! You will definitely enjoy these
 personalized books. 



Vineetha is a mom to a toddler who loves to share their daily life and motherhood journey 
one picture at a time. She shares daily activities with her daughter,the books they read and 
also pens downnher travel diaries. You can follow her on Instagram. Her instagram handle
 is @vineethap



Saturday, January 11, 2020

The Swap : Book Review



Book Name :   The Swap
Author         :   Shuma Raha
Publisher      :  Harpercollinson
Genre            Fiction / Romance


Lately I have read quite a few articles on couples swapping on the internet and in magazines. When I came across this book and read the blurb, I definitely was interested in reading this book. 



📚This is a story about a modern couple, Priya and Akash. They have been married for six years. Priya gets into an extra marital affair with Akash's friend, Dileep. The couple also attends a swing party in order to " spice up their relationship". On the other hand, Dileep's wife comes to know about Priya and Dileep. In order to teach her husband a lesson,she starts an affair with Akash. When the truth unfolds, the two couples agree for a couple Swap! .



📚While reading the book, a lot of questions came to my mind. Is it ethical ? How can you let yourself or your partner do something like this? But this is the reality. This is what is happening in our society today.


📚But did I get bored while reading? No, not at all. The writing style of the author is very crisp. The story is interesting and make la you want to know what will happen next. the cover of the book is very intriguing too.I feel that it should be made into a Bollywood movie. it will definitely do well. It has amotions, romance, suspense and drama.

 Overall an interesting read. Grab your copy now!

Rating 3.5/5

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Steps to select a school for your child




Admitting your child in a school is a huge responsibility. These days so many new schools have come up and it is not easy to choose the "perfect" school for your child. The right school for your child can make all the difference in his or her successful academic career. 


⭐Steps to select a school for your child :

⭐Proximity:

It is always advisable to first start looking at the best available schools closest to your place of residence. This becomes necessary from a safety perspective and to prevent your child from suffering the repeated discomfort of a long journey to and fro from his school every day

⭐ Curriculum:
We have State Board, CBSE, ICSE and international boards ( Cambridge and IB) available for kids these days. Each board is different and you have to select the education board that you want for your child. 

⭐Fees:
Very often parents tend to enrol their children only in the most expensive private/international schools – assuming they are the best, courtesy their exorbitant fees and an impressive array of hi-tech facilities. Instead, you need to focus on whether you are getting full value for the money you are paying in terms of quality, safety, facilities, extra-curricular activities and the assurance that the all-round development of your child is being taken care of in the best way possible.

⭐Academic and extracurricular activities:
Ensuring the school meets the highest standards of excellence in terms of its teachers, teaching methodology, academic curriculum and moral standards should be your biggest priority. Extracurricular activities like outdoor games, team sports, art,craft, dance & drama classes also play a massive part in shaping a child’s overall personality.

⭐Teacher to student ratio:
Would you instead send your child to a school which allows 50 students per class or one that limits the number of students per class to a manageable 30kids?Research has proved that students tend to learn more in smaller classes, have higher grades and also perform better in their examinations and non academic activities.


⭐ Visit the School:
 When you find a school that looks like a good fit for your child, it is a good idea to visit to see classrooms and meet faculty and staff. While you are at the school, you should be allowed to visit with the principal, teachers and other parents to get a good idea of what the expectations are for parent involvement, how faculty and staff relate to students and what the overall learning environment looks like.

⭐Ask questions:
 There are so many questions which need to be answered before you put your child in a school. How much homework is given? How's for does the school deal kids with behaviour issues? Is the Principal open to talk to parents?Ask what ever doubts You have in your mind.

⭐Shortlist :
Shortlist a few schools which meet most of your criteria and apply. These days all schools have an admission process. So you need to apply in a few schools of your choice

⭐ Discipline :


 It is very important for a school to have rules in place and 

have proper discipline.

I hope these steps are helpful for you to select a school for 

your child. Do share your experiences in comments .


Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Books for 1-2 years of age





I strongly believe that the love for reading begins when a child is born. Reading time is also your special time with your child to cuddle, hug feel their warmth. 


When looking for books for children ages 1 and 2 we need to consider their attention span. At this age they aren’t ready to sit down for long periods of time while you read aloud a story. They need books with thick pages, a few words that flow well, are easily memorized and something that resonates with something they might be feeling.

 I always recommend that you buy board books for this age range because 1 year olds are trying to become more independent. They want to help you turn the page. There is nothing worse and demotivating than for a child to try to turn a page and then the whole page rips. 


Little readers like books with moving parts, flaps to lift, bright colors, and things to touch.

I am sharing some of my favourite books for kids 1-2 years of age from T's collection of books.

Disney board books:




Winnie the Pooh is all time favourite character of small kids. .


Colour and shape recognition :



This is the age when the child starts to be aware of his surroundings. There should definitely be colour and shape books in your collection of books.

Dr. Suess :




These books are always a keep sake. You can get lovely books on the weather, five senses and numerous other subjects.

Animal, insects, Vehicles books:





Kids love big illustrations. Buy them books on any of the above and they will love them.


Classic Books like Spot, Llama Llama Red Pajama, All the world , Little blue tractor, Eric Carle's books are like a treasure.


Number and Alphabet books:
When your child is about 1.9 years old you can start introducing numbers and alphabet to him you get beautiful theme based books.

Which is your child's favourite book? Do share in comments

Introducing alphabets to toddlers




Wondering how to introduce alphabets to your little one? Most children tend to recognise a few letters by the time they are two years old. As a mom, it can be very stressful to teach alphabets your child.

Here's how you can get your little one Learn Alphabets :

Play the Alphabet song :


That's how you also learnt your alphabet. Play the A,B,C, D,E rhyme and sing along with your child. Repetition definitely helps in learning. 

Get him interested :



Toddlers get distracted very easily. To make him interested, you need to get his attention. You can buy 3-4 alphabet books with big pictures , Alphabet puzzles and alphabet flash cards. Colourful books and flash cards will definitely get his attention.

Go slow:





Don't rush . Remember there are 26 letters. Upper case and lower case make - 52 letters. It takes time. Repeat and revise before going on to the next alphabet.

Alphabet sounds:





Get him acquainted with the sound of each alphabet so that he picks the shape and sound of the alphabet at the same time. This will help him recall better, so always say out alphabets loud and repeat it several times for him to recognise and learn the letter.

Alphabet recognition activities:





Pick up any book ,an alphabet chart, or just point out at the billboards, and help him identify the alphabets. And when he gets them right, reward him by clapping or a small candy. Definitely this will help him learn fast.

Make it fun:


You can do numerous alphabet activities with your child and make learning a fun process. You can do matching activities, cut and paste the Alphabet, sensory play, play dough alphabets, alphabet tree, alphabet train ,etc.Use your creativity and keep him hooked.

Don't fret if your child is taking time to learn the Alphabets. All kids take their time.Be patient and consistent. 
Hope these tips are helpful for you. Share in comments how did you make your child learn alphabets.

The Sinners - Book Review

Book Review 



I love fast paced thriller and mystery books. I am glad to say that I wasn't disappointed at all after reading this book. 

Description :
This book shows the inside of the corporate life and how one can stoop to any level to be on the top or to bring the other person down and shame him! The protagonist, Vikram Oberoi is a Vice President of one of the leading tech companies big India. He has a beautiful wife but has many side flings in the side. He doesn't care about anyone. But loses two major contracts for his company and one sex scandal dooms his personal life as well. He is found dead in his penthouse. Who is behind the sinister conspiracy that destroyed Vikram Oberoi, the philandering India Head of NexGen? Rivals within and outside the firm? One of his many jilted lovers or the miffed wife? A mysterious conspirator laying out honey traps to sabotage his plans? Did he commit suicide or was he murdered? The Sinners is a fast-paced thriller with a shocking twist that unravels against the backdrop of corporate warfare, illicit relationships and ruthless seduction games.

To know more , read the book !

Review :
I loved the cover of the book. It is very intriguing.  The book is fast paced, with a lot of interesting twists and turns. It is like watching a movie. It has romance, suspense, drama and action. The writing style of the author is simple and the language is crisp. 
I really enjoyed reading this book and would recommend to everyone who loves thriller and mystery books.

About the Author
Sourabh Mukherjee has written two psychological thriller novels and three short story collections appreciated by readers, critics and the media. His books have been adapted into audio books and considered for screen adaptations. He works in a senior leadership position in a global technology firm. He speaks frequently in technology conferences in India and abroad, and has authored a popular book on emerging technologies.


Along came a Spyder - Book Review

 Book Review Book Name : Along came a Spyder Author          : Apeksha Rao Format          : Paperback Publisher   : Tree Shade Books Pages ...