2 Quiet Time Activities for Preschoolers

Parents and teachers of preschoolers are well aware of the fact that the terms ‘preschoolers’ and ‘relaxation’ have nothing in common and can’t go together. Neither do those little tykes relax for a minute, nor do they let their exhausted parents catch a shut eye any time of the day. What’s more, if and when they do relax, it’s always right in the middle of the day when the parents’ are right in the midst of their chores and can’t afford to rest.

Not many know (neither did I) that August 15 was National Relaxation Day; a simple excuse to take a deep breath, put your feet up and just relax (or at least make an attempt to). Made me think up of a couple of hands-on activities apart from the usual online games to try and keep your hyperactive preschooler gainfully occupied for a while. Here you go.

Fidget spinners

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Hand” by Devolk is licensed under CC by 2.0

As of May 2017, each one of the top 10 best-selling toys on a leading e-commerce website was something that could be held in the hand, spun or simply fidgeted around with. And now, small, colorful, ball-bearing devices called fidget spinners seem to have taken the world by storm quite suddenly. Originally meant to act as an antidote for nervousness or an outlet for fidgety people to keep their hands and mind temporarily occupied, these spinners have become popular with kids as well. Why? Well, they are funky to look at, can be spun around, pressed or rattled in various ways and makes sounds at times. Kids get to keep both their hands occupied with the toy and it manages to hold their attention, if only for a short while at least.

Though some schools are already considering banning the toy since it is a ‘disruptive distraction’ of sorts, the pluses and minuses of using it aren’t evident since there hasn’t been specific scientific research on the subject yet. Why it could work for you? Well, young kids have a lot of energy which needs to be let out. Talk of killing two birds with one stone – kids will hopefully keep busy fidgeting, while you could get a breather of sorts.

Play dough

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Children” by elkimmelito is licensed under CC by 2.0

I came across this quote somewhere and it rings very true – Kindergarten kids are like little tubs of play dough; open up the lids, add a pinch of imagination and just watch what they become! Perhaps that’s why preschoolers and kindergarten kids love to get their hands messy with this material that can be molded into so many different shapes, sizes and creatures.

Play dough is the perfect example of tactile learning; as kids squeeze and squash, poke through with a blunt plastic knife or pat and roll the dough into a flat shape, all these activities help in the building up of fine motor skills in young minds and improve hand-eye coordination as well. There is no right or wrong way to play with play dough – this open ended toy has endless possibilities and can keep preschoolers happily squishing and squashing for hours at a time!

Do you have any quiet time activities that keep your preschooler busy? Our readers would love to know about more fun activities that your kids enjoy.


4 Fun April Fool’s Day Tricks to Play on Your Preschooler

When it comes to your preschoolers, April Fool’s Day should be all about happiness, silliness and lots of fun. And with a couple of simple ideas, it can be pretty easy to do so too. Here are four fun trick ideas you can try out on your little one this April 1.

Lots & lots of balloons!

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Balloons” by Pexels is licensed under CC by 2.0

This needs to be done while your preschooler is fast asleep in her room. Simply blow up a whole lot of balloons once she has gone to bed, and usher them all into her room so that the floor, carpet, table, chair – everything but her bed is filled up with bright, colorful balloons. Helium balloons could be a good choice for this too. Just make sure you are there in her room to capture her expression of awe and wonder once she opens her eyes.

Frozen breakfast or Sunny-side-up eggs?

If your kid’s usual breakfast is a bowl of cereal, this idea could be a good one. A bowl of cereal and milk needs to be frozen overnight in the freezer and ultimately placed in front of your child on the dining table as usual (Make sure you add a little bit of fresh milk on the frozen stuff before putting it in front of him). Several unsuccessful attempts at digging into the unusual breakfast are bound to follow. However, in case your kids like to have eggs for breakfast, here’s another idea you can try out. Add a dash of yoghurt to a flat bowl and top it up with half a peeled peach (round side on the top). Sunny-side-up eggs, anyone?!

Upside down & Inside out!

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Pocket” by congerdesign is licensed under CC by 2.0

This one is perfect to leave your kids all puzzled. Turn everything you can upside down – photo frames on the mantelpiece, plates and cups on the kitchen shelves, the pen stand on her study table, her favorite soft toys (they could be positioned to stand on their heads), the toothbrush stand in the bathroom, the tablet which she uses to play her online games face down, the pillows arranged at the foot end of the bed; her socks and t-shirts could be turned inside out and folded neatly in piles in the way it generally is stored, and the like. After a few confused looks and some figuring out, it can be a fun task to go about setting everything the right way again.

Eating your way backwards

Given a choice, who wouldn’t like to have dessert first, at the beginning of the meal? Well, just for a day, actually do it. Have the apple pie and ice cream or chocolate pudding first to begin with, followed by the lasagna and sandwiches and finally the grilled chicken (which was initially supposed to be the appetizer) to wind up. Needless to say, there’ll be a lot of happy faces (including yours!) at the dinner table on April Fool’s day.

Any other ideas to add to this list?

Fun January Activities for Preschoolers

Okay, so the New Year is upon us and we’re more than halfway through January already. Most of us have probably already given up on our New Year resolutions too. Down in the doldrums? Well, apparently, it’s not all your fault. January 17 is (officially) celebrated as ‘Ditch New Year Resolutions Day’. So there.

Well, talking about days to celebrate in January, I ran a search and found some pretty fascinating results. Here’s how you can find several excuses to make January one of the most enjoyable months of the year, both for you and your little ones. Talk about beginning the New Year with a bang!

‘We didn’t realize we were making memories. We just knew we were having fun.’


Pooh” by Wetmount is licensed under CC by 2.0

Come January 18 and cartoon lovers the world over celebrate ‘National Winnie the Pooh day’. Celebrated author A.A. Milne’s birthday falls on this day. My daughter absolutely adores her lovable Pooh bear, so much so that she’s been sleeping with a cuddly, stuffed toy version of it from as far back as I can remember! How to celebrate the occasion? Well, add a bit of honey to every meal to make it sweeter; Pooh loves honey. The more adventurous ones can whip up a honey-sweetened dessert or two (read: scrumptious honey cupcakes). Read aloud Winnie the Pooh stories to your preschooler from colorful story books. Or else, if you don’t already have one, buy a Winnie the Pooh soft toy for your home. It sure adds color and cheer to the room!

‘Winter – you’ll miss it when it’s gone.’

No one knows how and why this day came into being, but January 22 has its own name – ‘Come in from the Cold Day. I feel there are both pros and cons of the winter with the pros far outweighing the cons; the only con being it’s difficult to go out of the front door. Apart from that, it’s all pros – hot chocolate at any time of the day and night is acceptable, the best feeling in the world is snuggling in front of the fireplace with your favorite book or in my kids’ case, with their favorite virtual games on the tablet, and the aromas of hot sauces simmering on the stove accompanied with chicken lasagna, sausages and apple pie. A win-win situation for kids and adults alike!

‘It’s always the small pieces that make the big picture.’


Puzzle” by LeoNeoBoy is licensed under CC by 2.0

Puzzles are for everyone, irrespective of age. Right from basic jigsaw puzzles for young children to their advanced versions for adults, putting together a jigsaw puzzle can be an engrossing activity. What’s more, the earlier kids get into the habit of solving jigsaw puzzles, the better. From developing hand-eye coordination at a young age to fine-tuning their fine as well as gross motor skills, from getting to recognize basic shapes and colors to learning how to be patient while solving a problem, a jigsaw puzzle does wonders to young, inquisitive minds. Not into jigsaw puzzles yourself? Try your hand at crossword puzzles in the newspaper instead, or number Sudoku puzzles. Oh, and we’re talking about puzzles here since January 29 is designated as National Puzzle Day.

To put it in a nutshell, January is much more than just about making and keeping resolutions – it’s about friendly, cuddly, honey-loving bears which give you a whole lot of good advice from time to time; it’s about sugar and spice and everything hot and nice in the wintry weather; it’s about spending quality time together as a family poring over a jigsaw puzzle with the crackling sound from the fireplace that keeps you warm. Have a wonderful start to the New Year!

Pirate-themed Birthday Party Ideas for Preschoolers

What could preschoolers and pirates have in common? Well, actually nothing, except perhaps for the fact that both the terms begin with the letter ‘p’. And so we had thought. But when my little one got an invitation to a pirate-themed birthday party from one of his friends in the neighborhood last week, there was a flurry of activity at home; me and the little tyke’s mum were all excited in dressing up our young little pirate, for a start.


Pirate” by ArtsyBee is licensed under CC by 2.0

And that’s how I decided to gather a couple of ideas which may come in handy if you’re planning a pirate-themed birthday party for your kids anytime in the future (trust me, it can turn out to be pretty exciting, as we eventually found out in the above mentioned case). Here goes.

The right pirate costume

First and foremost, your little one needs to be dressed like a pirate for it to be a fun affair. Get your hands on any old white t-shirt which is a tad too big for him, cut off the sleeves and bottom in a ragged zig-zag fashion and let your preschooler unleash his or her artistic skills on it – the end result? The gaudier the better; hence, bright stripes in colors such as blue or red work best (got the idea from the pirate costumes in these pet games which I enjoy playing). An absolute essential is the black patch for the eye. It can easily be made out of a piece of lightweight cardboard painted black and secured using elastic behind the head.

Musical chairs aka ‘islands’

No points for guessing what this game is all about. It’s the same as our traditional musical chairs except for one simple fact – there are no chairs. Instead, you could cut out haphazardly random shaped pieces of cardboard (big enough for a child to sit on) and scatter them on the floor, in no particular order or row. The only thing that needs to be taken into account is that the number of ‘islands’ should at any point of time be one less than the total number of children playing the game. The music is turned on, the kids are made to run around – or better still, prance around the room – and once it stops, they need to ‘assert their supremacy’ over a particular island by sitting on it. The person found sitting on the last island at the end is declared the ‘Ultimate Pirate of All’!

Find the buried treasure


Chest” by OpenClipart-Vectors is licensed under CC by 2.0

This one is fun when there is a relatively large group of kids involved. Divide them into two teams. You need to get two boxes filled with sand ready, in which you have buried fun ‘treasure’ – their favorite small superhero action figures, colorful pieces of lego, dinky cars and the like. Let each team be in charge of one sandbox and provide them with a plastic bucket and shovel set. Let them dig for all they are worth within a particular frame of time and fill in their buckets with the ‘found treasures’. The team which has collected the maximum booty at the end of the stipulated time period wins.

Talking of pirates, did you know that September 19 was ‘International Talk like a Pirate Day’? Well then… “Ahoy matey! Heave ho! Walk the plank ye scallywag!” 😀

3 Fun Birthday Party Game Ideas for Preschoolers

Back when I was a kid, I remember we really used to look forward to attending birthday parties of our friends in the neighborhood. Lots of games, good food and a gala atmosphere were the reasons. Same is the case with my kids these days; try as I might they refuse to venture out to play in the evenings thanks to these online games they love playing, but they would anytime be ready to dress up and head out for a party, and come back laden with return gifts, balloons and other goodies!


Birthday Party” by Wokandapix is licensed under CC by 2.0

Here are three fun birthday party game ideas that can be a big hit especially if your child is as young as a preschooler.

Pass the Parcel

The first and most obvious choice for any birthday party, Pass the Parcel is a game we ourselves used to play back when we were kids. Generally ‘the gift’ for the winner of the game is wrapped in lots of layers of wrapping paper, each having a task written on it. Music is played and the parcel is handed from person to person. The child on whom the music stops has to unwrap the topmost layer and perform the activity mentioned on it – such as mimic a clown, sing your favorite song, do a little jig and so on. But for preschoolers, here’s what you can do to make it a win-win situation for each child; make every kid a winner by naming a gift on each layer instead of an activity. The gifts need not be elaborate – a pencil bag, a fancy pen holder, a Pokemon goodie – all these would do. Just make sure the parcel does not stop on the same kid twice, or else he’ll end up claiming more than one gift!

The Food on a String Game

Similar to the doughnut game I mentioned in a post a couple of days ago (read more about it here), just suspend doughnuts or apples or marshmallows or popcorn balls or even cotton candy (though this one will get the kids a bit messy!) on a string. Tie the kids’ hands loosely with a ribbon behind their backs; you could either divide them into two teams or allow them to play individually as well. This one is best played outdoors in the garden and is guaranteed to bring a few laughs.

Musical Chairs

Another one of those tried-and-tested birthday party games that has not lost its sheen even though we’ve been playing it from time immemorial is the classic Musical Chairs. All you’ve got to do to prepare for the game is to select music that has a nice, peppy beat to it, get hold of a number of chairs that are light in weight so that they can be shifted here and there easily (the number of chairs should be one less than the total number of kids playing the game) and think up of a prize for the winner. You could either set up the chairs in a circular formation facing outwards or else if there is ample space – for instance, if you’re playing outdoors – set them up in a straight line with alternate chairs facing in the same direction (this one is more fun as it leads to a mad scramble to sit once the music stops).

 Party on!

4 Enjoyable Summer Learning Activities

It’s that time of the year again when learning and school and classes and homework all take a backseat and the kids are at their hyperactive best. In such times, here are four enjoyable summer learning activities that can help your little ones keep in touch with learning throughout the holidays.

You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a good book.


Portrayal” by PublicDomainPictures is licensed under CC by 2.0

Researchers have found that a mere ten minutes reading time on a daily basis can do wonders for kids’ reading skills. You could begin with a short story time session before bed, with a colorful picture story book for young kids. Try making it interactive and engaging while reading the story out loud and it’ll be something your kids will look forward to every day.

We’re having a picnic & we would love for you to come. So put on some sunscreen & let’s have some fun.

The young generation today does not go out to play outdoors like we used to back in our childhood days. Let’s try changing it for the better. Head out for a picnic on a sunny day, armed with bats, balls, Frisbees and kites. Talk about nature while you are at it and turn it into a science lesson – why is the sun so hot? What makes the leaves and grass green? How do larvae grow into butterflies?

Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.

True that. Try keeping a pet at home if you don’t already have one. Entrust your kids with the work of caring for them, which is a full-time job, instead of simply sitting indoors and playing pet games like these on their tablet to while away time on a holiday. What’s more, apart from learning to be responsible, children will learn life lessons from their pets. Dogs, the loyal companions that they are, love to play and prance around; hence the kids will always be up and about on their toes, fit and healthy. Cats love to have fun with toys as well – kids can help in clearing the clutter their pet cat creates and keep their room neat and clean.

Kids playing sports should be about learning the game they’re playing and having fun doing it.

The benefits of learning an outdoor game or a sport are innumerable – children learn how to work together in a team, what sportsmanship actually means on the field, hand-eye coordination and the like. While unstructured free play is a good way to begin with toddlers, older children would do well learning something akin to karate (keeps limbs and body agile apart from being a useful tool for self-defense), swimming (helps maintain a healthy heart and lungs) or even soccer (increases bone strength with all the sprinting involved). The idea is to have fun and spend time sweating it out with teammates.

Once these activities are a part of your kids’ summer holiday routine, they will be so busy that the summer will be over before you know it!

Happy National Doughnut Day

You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy doughnuts. And that’s kind of the same thing.


Donuts” by gsmphone is licensed under CC by 2.0

Folks, a very Happy National Doughnut Day to you! Today, that is the first Friday of June, has come to be dedicated to this extremely popular and scrumptious fried cake made of sweetened dough – an ideal snack small enough to be eaten on the go or for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. And yes, the doughnut is a special favorite of young kids.

An ideal game for the young preschoolers on this ‘doughnuty’ day could be this: Simply tie a length of rope between two trees that are adjacent and yet at a fairly small distance from each other. Get hold of as many doughnuts as kids and string them on the rope with the help of ribbons, such that they are left dangling at a height just out of the kids’ reach. The game is pretty simple – the kids have got to eat an entire doughnut, but without using their hands. It’s obvious that if there’s a delicious-looking golden brown doughnut topped with still-melting cheese or a gooey chocolatey one, it’ll not be long before it disappears. And the mess that follows will have the kids in raptures, no doubt.

By the way, legend has it that this item of confectionery was originally invented by a mother and son aboard a ship, when they were hungry. Thank God for that! 😀

3 Fun Family Bonding Activities for Valentine’s Day

Did you know that on February 14 every year, more than 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged all around the world, making this the second most popular card-sending occasion after Christmas? That’s a pretty significant number! And luckily enough, this year the Feast of Saint Valentine (as it is sometimes also referred to), falls on a weekend. What better way to spend some quality and fun time with family, and celebrate the festival of love with those for whom you care the most?

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Heart, Card, Pastels, Figure” by kaboompics is licensed under CC by 2.0

Here are some sure shot ideas for having a good time the coming weekend.

Bake something special together

I once came across the following definition of ‘kitchen’ and loved it: ‘A kitchen is a gathering place for friends and family; a place where memories are homemade and seasoned with love.’ You could try your hand at baking heart shaped valentine cupcakes together with your kids (here’s the recipe video). Or you could whip up delicious desserts with fruits and whipped cream (we all love heaps of whipped cream and bananas). The time you spend bonding in the kitchen – all the while creating a mess- is a special and beautiful time. The best part about it is that all age groups can get to be a part of the process of cooking, even kids as young as preschool.

Play online games together as a family

A study was recently conducted by Goldsmiths University and gaming company PopCap, which involved a total of 3250 parents and grandparents altogether. Their research was mainly focused on ‘casual gaming’ of sorts, thanks to the smartphones and tablets which have become a part and parcel of our (and our children’s) everyday lives. One of the findings of the study was that a third of the guardians involved played computer and virtual games with their kids on a daily basis and considered it to be quality time, claiming that it had strengthened the bond between them and their children. Why not try doing something similar this Valentine’s Day? Your kids would probably love it more than anything else.

Revisit old family memories together

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Books, Book, Old Books, Read” by cocoparisienne is licensed under CC by 2.0

This is the best way to end the day and make it special. In the evening, put on an old video of your kids as toddlers, or simply hunt down and re-open those dusty old photograph books stored right at the back of your closet. Even going through birthday party videos of your kids can be taking a happy and nostalgic trip down memory lane. You’ll surely end up recollecting so many of their pranks from back then when you leaf through those pages.

“Having someone to love is Family.

Having somewhere to go is Home.

Having both is a Blessing.”

No wonder, the best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is with your loved ones around you at home!

The Big Gift Box

Christmas Present Wrapped in Gold and Silver

Don’t we all adore being gifted by our loved ones? And when it comes to kindergarteners or preschoolers and gifts, they are the most over-excited of the lot! Here’s a fun gifting game to play with the little tykes (especially when there are more than 10 of them involved) that is bound to result in squeals of laughter and lots of merriment.

All you need is a really big cardboard box; as in each of the kids should be able to fit inside it individually. Just before you begin the game, ask the kids to guess what could be inside the well-wrapped up box. They’ll have fun imagining stuff – computers, bicycles, televisions or helicopters! Then you can lift it up and show them that it’s empty.

The game is actually all about letting one child be blindfolded and then choosing one of the others to hide within the box. Once the blindfold is removed, the child in question needs to guess who is missing from the group. The others can even give hints as to who might be within the box. Needless to say, the kids will love the hiding part in this game more than the guessing part!