Unique activities to keep children engaged in Christmas vacation #GuestPost

If the winter cold wasn’t sending chills down your spine – maybe the fact that the kids are going to be home soon for winter holidays, will! December is synonymous with Christmas season and holiday time, isn’t it? It always so nice to relax and not having to get up early on wintry mornings!  The only damper on a perfect holiday spirit can be your child whining – I’m Bored!

So, fret not mommies! Here is a list of awesome and unique Christmas activities that will keep your kiddos engaged during the Christmas vacations! Some Christmas themed and some general for a healthy mix!

Interview a grandparent

A nice activity for teenagers, though even a 10 or an 11 year old could do it. Dada, dadi, nana, nani – are usually so lonely – but so full of memories of their yesteryear’s. And who loves a good story more than kids?

It’s a win win! Get your child to record or note down an interview with any grandparent or even an uncle or aunt about their childhood and “unka jamana”. It’s an eye opener for children as they learn how people managed without so many comforts that we enjoy today.

Once it’s done you can “publish” it on your blog (if you have one) or on a paper and circulate among family and friends. And don’t forget to add some photos! That’ll be another activity to keep them busy – help grandpa or grandma look for the old photos!

Christmas Camping

Who’d want to go out camping in this cold weather, right? So just set up a play tent inside the house! It’ll be great if the colors are red and green – but not necessary. Let the kiddos use it as a Christmas holiday fort or castle for games and pretend play. They could even do a fancy dress up activity like a knight defending his fort. Or who knows – they may just want to curl up in it with a book! A mother can hope, no?

Bored Jar

I guess this should be the first activity you can make them do! Make a bored jar so that they can use it throughout the holidays! Let your children learn to entertain and occupy themselves, instead of you sitting and planning out activities. Take a jar and stick on notes and ask your kiddos to write whichever activities they like doing and put them all together in a jar. The next time you hear the words “I’m Bored” you know what to pull out! Add as many art and craft activities as you can into the jar.

Make a bored jar so that they can use it throughout the holidays.

Bored Jar Image Credit

Secret Santa

Why should only mommy and daddy play Santa with the gifts? Put chits with all your names and let each family member create little surprises or get gifts for others over the entire holiday period. You can then do a big reveal on Christmas Eve to see who was who’s Secret Santa.

Magazine Scavenger Hunt

While kids love and enjoy a good treasure or scavenger hunt, winters is a time everyone wants to curl up. So give them a bunch of old magazines and a long, long list  of pictures you “need” cut out from the magazine. Add things like 2 pictures of red cars, a man and woman wearing glasses, someone wearing a red tie or a red dress. Or you could even slip in a picture of Santa or an elf and add that to the list. Let them curl up in bed and get busy. Have a small reward ready for them if they manage to complete the list.

Make a Paper Christmas Tree

Not exactly unique – but what would Christmas be without a tree- you tell me? If you’re short on space or don’t want an actual tree you can have a simple yet unique take on the X-mas tree like the mom in the picture has done! Eazzy Peazzy! I think this would keep the kids occupied for a good couple of hours, no?

What activities do you plan for your kids during the holidays? How do you handle your children when they say I’m bored during Christmas holidays? Share below!

f you’re short on space or don’t want an actual tree you can have a simple yet unique take on the X-mas tree

Christmas Tree Image Credit

Author Bio

Anjana Bhartia is a mommy blogger at MommyRepublic.in 

Are we raising a generation of escapists and cowards? My reason to start #LearnNotEducate

A bright student kills herself when court passes directive supporting National level entrance exams for medical

Every hour one student commits suicide in India

The most shocking was the Rayan International murder, where a XI standard student murdered a small child just to postpone his exam and parent teacher meet!

What have we come to? Is it easier for children to be murderers than face an exam or Parent Teacher Meet? Is your personal life, so immaterial that you prefer giving it up than standing up and finding second chances? Have we made our future generation so weak and a coward? If this is the coming generation how are they going to face the many challenges that life throws at them?

Questions like these and many more were hounding me since I read that article and it made me wonder if we have messed up our kids future in the name of ‘no pressure childhood’

We seem to be swinging like a pendulum – from too much pressure to absolutely no pressure. Is this really a workable solution?

Child’s Exposure

The current system of no exams, no punishment, no negative words and no failing, though established with good intentions seem to be working adversely. No exams mean the child has no idea of how well he is doing. No Negative remarks mean the parents have no idea if they need to help their child in a certain subject. I certainly don’t support corporal punishments or failing a child, but regular feedback good or bad is essential for the child to develop. Introducing vocational courses in school level and a possible option of making that a field of study from high school itself might help in easing the pressure. The child will be exposed to a variety of field of education apart from the traditional 8-9 subjects taught in school.

Parental Responsibility

We can’t just sit back and say “We have been paying enough fees to the school so the responsibility lies with the school to educate my child” We are paying for quality education, but if the child needs extra support in certain subjects we need to help. Not every child will be a topper, we need to accept that and let them blossom at their pace. A child might have talents in other areas – be it dance, singing, elocution, sports or craft. As parents it is our duty to let them explore and help them be the best version of themselves in whichever field that interests them. Not expecting the child to be an all-rounder and ensuring that he/she gets enough time and exposure to follow their passion might help in creating world-class sportsmen, musicians and toastmasters.

Everyone need not be a Doctor or an Engineer

This has been amply proven in the past few years, when many engineers have turned authors or musicians. I am not saying a child will figure it out when he is a kid, but as parents if the child chooses a different profession than the main-stream careers, we need to be supportive of them. Saturation of  a few traditional course is not only going to create intense competition in that field but will also inhibit a child. Dignity of labor should be ingrained right from childhood. An environmentalist or a pet-trainer is an equally respectable profession as an engineer or a doctor for the simple reason that we need them and they help a society function, just like any other profession.

World is their oyster

Instead of everyone running in the same rat-race, lets help our children blossom. See the international curriculum where there is equal focus on learning vocational and non-vocational courses. We need a change in mindset and a strong belief that talent and intelligence is not limited to bookish knowledge and 99% marks. As seen in the past – World Leaders, Entrepreneurs and even Sportsmen haven’t scored an A in the exams but have been an A-lister in life!

If you know someone who is following a satisfying alternative career or you are doing one, do fill the form below. My goal with #LearnNotEducate is to showcase to the children and their parents that passionate people can create amazing lives – a bad result is not the end of the world.

 

Staying in touch, in the age of nuclear families – A #ThankyouNote

You don’t choose a family, you are born with it! I am not talking about choosing a husband, I am talking about the family that you are born in. Nowadays with nuclear families, we don’t get enough time to know our own first cousins, let alone an extended family! So how do we keep that warmth intact?

I have a pretty decent number of uncles and aunts on both sides of my family, but I was born in a nuclear family as dad had to migrate for his work. So we were too far away from the immediate relatives of both sides of the family. We could only meet them in summer vacations, and that too was usually only 10 days at each place, but I share a great bond with my first cousins and I guess a lot of its credit goes to my parents and uncles and aunts.

A Thankyou Note to family

 

Travel

My parents made sure that we went to our granny’s place every summer. My aunts and uncles co-ordinated their visit to ensure that we kids could meet each other every summer. Now that I am a mom of two, I truly understand the effort that went into ensuring a truly memorable vacation for us. We are talking of an era before the advent of What’s app and mobiles!

Letters

We were introduced to letter writing at a young age. The real romance and beauty of long letters were presented to us, by our parents, who themselves wrote such letters to their parents and families. The blue inland letters carried every detail that an 8 year old could think of – the small mischief, the big tiff, the greatest secret and the occasional salty tears. This tradition continued long after the advent of mobiles. We still have those letters and reading them, still equally sentimental.

Family Albums

Our favourite time-pass was pulling out old family albums and enjoying the entertaining narration that mum gave. This introduced us to a lot of extended family. Even today nothing can beat the flipping of large albums on a sultry afternoon with entertaining tit-bits of information that go with it.

Visiting relatives

I made horrible faces, if I had to visit some long lost cousin of my parents but I had no choice then! It was a rule that we will visit relatives as a family and my parents ensured that it wasn’t more than an hour if we were meeting for the first time. This ensured that I meet a lot of relatives. I love observing people and this was the perfect occasion.

Thanks to the efforts put in by my parents and uncles and aunts, we have a gang of cousins who continue being in touch using the modern communication mediums that we have at our disposal. I truly hope to give a similar environment to my children. A communicating and engaging family is a pillar of strength when life hits you hard.

Linking up with Tina and Amrita for the #AThankYouNote contest all through the month

A DAY OF FUN THAT WAS THE PUNE PREGNANCY FIESTA


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The moment a baby’s arrival is announced, the entire family gears up to help the new parents. There are a lot of advises and conflicting views on every aspect. This at times can be overwhelming for the new parents-to-be. With busy work schedules, long waits at doctor’s and multiples opinions on social channels it is difficult to find answers. Keeping this in mind, Cloudnine organized Pune’s Biggest Pregnancy Fiesta.

Cloudnine, recently organized a Pregnancy Fiesta at their Kalyaninagar center in Pune. I went in expecting a typical session, but was in for a surprise. Along with a lot of interactive sessions with doctors, they also had some fun games for parents to be. All possible information about pregnancy and aftercare was available under one roof.

 

About CloudNine Hospitals

Cloudnine is India’s leading chain of maternity hospitals where a baby is delivered every 30 minutes and more than 1000 babies are born in a month. Cloudnine hospitals believe that a child is life’s greatest gift and pregnancy is one of the magical experiences that nature can offer.

Some facts that set Cloudnine apart

50,000 births across India

19 facilities in

6 cities – Bengaluru, Chennai, Gurugram, Pune, Mumbai and Chandigarh

Best care in maternity services

Comprehensive care in high-risk pregnancy care, gynecology, pediatrics, 24*7 neonatal care,fertility and foetal medicines.

Baby Ready Programs like Prenatal Workshop, an award winning Management of Baby Affairs program, Pre & Post natal Fitness & Nutrition Sessions, Lactation Counselling and Baby Shower

The #PunePregnancyFiesta organized by Cloudnine was a combination of fun and informative sessions by renowned doctors that helped bust a lot of myths around pregnancy. There were talks by doctors that focused on the whole journey of pregnancy.

What to expect when expecting – by Dr. Manjari Kulkarni

Dr. Manjari Kulkarni is a well-known gynecologist in Pune. She touched upon various symptoms and problems that a woman faces during her pregnancy and how they should be addressed. A few interesting and useful tips that she shared were

  • In the first trimester a woman might feel terribly nauseous, have acne, acidity or have no symptoms at all, both are normal and that unnecessary stress should not be placed on the symptoms. Staying hydrated and eating in small quantities should be followed.
  • Limit the intake of caffeine. One cup of coffee is fine, however it should not be dark coffee.
  • Gradual weight gain helps in reducing stretch marks. The skin is losing moisture, hence use good moisturizer or oil.
  • Follow a good exercise regime and keep yourself fit. Eat healthy diet, do light exercises all through the pregnancy and prepare yourself physically and mentally for labor. You need strength to push the baby.
  • We try for normal deliveries, however if due to whatever reasons the delivery is c-section, that should not be a cause for worry. A healthy baby and mother are most important.
  • Avoid sitting for long hours, walk as much as possible. If you have a sedentary work profile, take breaks and do some walking or light stretchingDr. Manjari Kulkarni

Next up was a session

Exercising when expecting – Dr. Archana Kankal

Dr. Archana gave a practical approach to pregnancy and exercising. She emphasized on the fact that pregnancy is a natural process hence the most important thing to do is be normal. In the first trimester, exercises which does not involve jumping or jogging can be done, if all things are normal. A few takeaways from her session

  • Walking is a form of exercise that one can do all through the pregnancy.
  • Exercising should be done consistently and regularly, don’t exert yourself.
  • If all things are normal, then normal speed treadmill, cycling and swimming can be done
  • Safest time to exercise is the second trimester
  • Avoid standing for long hours as that leads to swelling in feet
  • If you are suffering from swelling in feet or varicose veins keep pillows under your feet while sleeping, exercise by keeping your feet at 45 degrees.

This was followed by an interesting session where the in-house nutritionist Shivani Bavalekar busted some myths about pregnancy and nutrition.

Myths revolving nutrition in pregnancy – Shivani Bavalekar

When a woman is pregnant she is asked to eat or avoid certain foods. It was another interesting session by Shivani Bavalekar, where she busted these common myths and explained the reasoning behind eating such foods. Myths like eating saffron daily or drinking coconut water daily will give baby a fair complexion were busted. She explained that as these foods helped in one way or the other to improve symptoms in first trimester, the myths got percolated. Eating saffron and drinking coconut water in moderation will certainly help in pregnancy but it has nothing to do with baby’s complexion.

There were a few more sessions about Johnson&Johnson baby care range and Life Cell for Stem Cell preservation which gave a detailed account about the need of these services and how they will help the new born and their family.

 

 

There were a few fun games that the expectant parents enjoyed and had a delightful Saturday. A photo booth and some fun props let the soon to be parents have some fun before the big day. The best part was that many would be parents won a lot of prizes ranging from vouchers to free deliveries! The smiles on their faces were the true success of the event.

Are all Dad’s Superheroes?

I came across this interesting prompt on Dr.Amrita and DeepaGandhi’s blog asking ‘Do you think all dads are superheroes?’ and it got me thinking, isn’t it true? All normal and sensible men are superheroes in their own right!

Think back to your dad’s, don’t you hold a special place for them in your hearts? I do! For me, my dad gave me the best childhood that I could have asked for. So was he a superhero? Yes! When as a grown-up I realize the trials that my parents must have faced in my growing up years, they certainly are superheroes to me.

Now coming to the other Dad in my life i.e My kiddo’s father. Is he a superhero? I bet he is! When I was expecting, I was a bit fazed with the changes that were happening within me and around me. I wondered if I would be able to manage the responsibility. Frankly, I was blissfully unaware of the all-nighters, feeding struggles, teething issues and the never ending list of challenges that will be thrown my way. It was the same for my husband. However, I realize now, that as I was fazed about the impending motherhood, he was about the impending fatherhood. But from day one, he assured me that we were in this together and he has supported me all along.

All dad's are superheroes

Being a responsible father is no mean task

A responsible father is born the day, a baby is born. The moment he holds the tiny baby, he realizes that now on everything will revolve around this bundle of joy. Be it his career choices, his hobbies or even his television watching habits, everything changes. A father undergoes many changes, just as a mother, but it is seldom talked about.

It’s always baby first

If he is the sole breadwinner in the family, then his economics always revolve around his children and family. He might hate his job, but he won’t just leave it as that would put his family in distress. I have seen many fathers choosing their career paths based on the welfare of their children. Buying something for self will take a backseat and will happen only once all his children’s needs are fulfilled. They might travel far away from homes and live there for long spells, if it offers a good life to their family, all the while pining for dear ones.
All this and more makes Dad’s special. Are they superheroes? I haven’t seen one, but I am sure if there was a superhero, he would closely resemble these many heroes that we encounter in our daily life.

HEALTHWEALTHBRIDGE

I am writing this post for  #Mondaymommymoments or #MMM