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Sustainable Living in Early Learning - Part III - Say No to Plastics

A couple of weeks back, we had shared a blog post with focus on reduce, reuse and recycle. There we had shown a picture of a common sight in many cities - a towering landfill, stinking because of mixing different types of waste. One portion of that waste is plastic waste, which creates major problems because of the following:1. It is non-biodegradable. That means it cannot be broken down by living organisms 2. Put a little differently, it is poison for living things. It cannot get absorbed or digested in their bodies, and by that same logic, if consumed, it does not come out of their bodies
These pictures are pretty common sights these days, and not just in India anymore, though the magnitude may be higher here. One finds animals on the streets foraging for food in waste generated by us, the food often left in plastics. These plastics often end up in the stomachs of these animals, who do not know what they are consuming. A lot of our plastic waste ends up in water bodies, and ultimately …

Sustainable Living in Early Learning - Part II - Hi Kids!

Hi kids!We normally chat with your parents, but today I thought we should chat directly. All of you who can read this yourselves go to schools, and probably hear this from your teachers as well. We need to take care of our surroundings, and help Mother Earth heal. Today, I am going to share simple things you can do at home and when you are out to help with this process.I would also like you to share things you already do to keep your surroundings clean, and also going to ask you to assume responsibility at home - makes sure your parents do the right thing too. It's time to become their teachers. Won't that be fun? :)SIMPLE TIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE LIVINGWhen you are the last one to leave a room, remember to switch off lights/fans/ACsIf you see lights/fans/AC switched on in an empty room, switch them off. Remind your family members to follow this practice too. We should not waste these precious resourcesWater shortage is very real, we must save water in whatever way we canTurn on …

Sustainable Living in Early Learning - Part I

In the last six months or so, most of us haven't stepped out of our homes, or at the very least, minimized our outings. The children definitely have been mostly inside their homes. But go back before that time period, and one of the memories we all carry - and this is probably true of all major metros, it is definitely true of Gurgaon - is the sight of the gigantic, hill sized, and stinking landfills right in the middle of the city. In Gurgaon, this is true of a very popular area for hanging out otherwise - a prime location to visit, the experience marred by the sights and smells. 
Naturally, we are ourselves to blame for this state of affairs. We have spent the last few generations living as opulent a lifestyle as our means could afford, often purchasing things which we did not need, and generally unmindful of the damage we have been inflicting on our planet.The last six months have given us all a lot of time to think things and reprioritize. We have begun to understand what is re…

Toddler Milestones and Language Development

Some research says that distinguishing sounds happens as early as the fetus stage - that is why it is common practice to speak to your baby even while they are in your womb. Even when a baby is born, they react to sounds, are able to follow their favourite people's voice, and as they start growing up are able to react to WHAT you are speaking. This is part of development of receptive language abilities.This is also why it is often said thatThought is faster than speechThis is because, while a child is able to comprehend what they are hearing, they begin to express themselves verbally only around 11 months of age at the earliest. And do not worry, for some kids it happens earlier, for some kids it may take some time. Language development is a process, and our experience with our toddlers in creche, in preschool, and even in online preschool classes has taught us a lot, and we would like to share some tips on thatLANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT - SOME TIPS* Encourage your child to speak* Give …

Role of an Educator in a Toddler's Life and Vice-Versa

I had started Morning Glorie as a preschool and daycare in Gurgaon way back in 2011 with my mother. TBH, we did not have any idea of the nitty gritty of how the industry worked. I did not even have kids of my own. The only thing we knew was that we loved having kids around, and we wanted to support young parents in their journey - with a soft spot for especially helping young moms go back to work.We started, we grew, we stumbled along the way, and we learnt.Now, with 9+ years as a caregiver-educator, I have come a long long way. Interacting with children in the age group of 3 months to 12 years has given me a lot to learn, a lot of perspective, a lot of patience, and an insight into the beautiful bond which a child shares with their educator. 
May I add, this is a two-way street. My own observations and learning - from my interaction with the children, as well as feedback from their parents?The Educator has to take the First StepFor a child coming to daycare for the first time (and thi…

Conflict in Parenting Approaches and Impact on Your Child

The thing with working with kids and interacting with parents - be it in creche with smaller babies, preschool with toddlers, after school care with older kids, or even now, in our online preschool classes - is that we get to discuss many parenting challenges. Many of them have a common thread irrespective of the age of the child.One such issue which many parents face is Conflict in Parenting ApproachesThis isn't necessarily a broad issue which is present all the time, though it could be, in which case you need to sit down and discuss to reach a common ground. Sometimes, it can just be small, specific instances. A few examples -
1. Your child asking for an expensive toy, to get it for them or not 2. Your child refusing to eat food, one of you insists on them finishing it, the other feels like leniency is the way to go 3. When your child is throwing a tantrum, one of you disciplines them, the other tries to protect them from the disciplining
These are just a few simple examples of what …

Conventional vs Experiential Learning for Toddlers

There is often a lot of debate on which style of learning is good for children. 
1. Conventional learning 2. Experiential learning 3. Balanced approach to learning
There are different schools who follow different approaches, parents subscribe to different ideologies, children take differently to the different approaches. Let us first attempt to understand how the three ideologies work. Conventional LearningThis is the style of learning which most of us have grown up with, and has been the accepted method of learning since long. More academic in nature, the idea has been to introduce concepts theoretically, and learning and executing theoretical problems in the classroom.  The argument in favour of this approach is that especially in a country like ours, where a better lifestyle is fought for through competitive examinations, a conventional style of learning is crucial to ensure success later on. Experiential LearningThis form of learning has picked up pace in recent years. It focuses on learn…

Understanding your toddler's development needs during Covid Crisis

I was speaking with a couple of friends the other day. They have a 3 year old who does his preschool classes online, and had some concerns.

1. The activities in the classes seem too rushed - each activity was only 5-7 minutes in duration
2. Their child wasn't doing the writing activities in class and they couldn't get him to do it even otherwise, which was leading them to lose patience at times
3. Due to juggling household and professional commitments they were not able to spend time with their child, and when they were with him, they were trying to get him to do the classroom activities
4. Their child was getting cranky at times
Understanding a child's perspective Impact of the Pandemic and lockdownThe pandemic hasn't been easy on any of us. As adults we are able to rationalize a lot of things. The children are not. A toddler under 4 years of age is probably unable to articulate what they are feeling. It is up to us as adults to understand what they are going through
1. Mo…

Do you feel like your child is a fussy eater?

A child's nutritional needs are very important. As parents and caregivers, we need to ensure that the right set of nutrients are available in a child's meals. These broadly fall under the same heads as what an adult needs in terms of the food groups, with a few minor variations - the number of calories, protein and calcium intake for growth, and so on. Most of the young parents would probably have a diet chart given by their pediatrician, and most of them are able to follow it reasonably well.

However, we do sometimes get a different set of queries in this regard - 1. My child is not eating enough 2. My child does not like to eat healthy food

Let's take this up point by point.
My Child is Not Eating EnoughMedical research says that for the most part, barring any serious medical condition, children do not go hungry. When they say they are full, they have eaten all they can, and when they are hungry, they ask for food.

The more important thing to note is their energy levels - if t…

Musings of a Pioneer: Playschool Learning for Toddlers (Part 2)

…Till we were struck by a miniscule virus – the Covid 19.
It is important for the child to continue to have the additional support in their most important brain development phase – the two to four-year-old age bracket – when the brain develops rapidly to almost 80 percent of a fully developed brain.
It is important for the child to have external support to develop cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and motor skills.
It is important for the toddler to be exposed to a peer group and caregivers other than parents, whom they could observe and imitate for holistic development to happen.
It is important for the child to be in a more conducive environment at school where they could indulge in their favourite pastimes in a non-judgemental atmosphere.
It is also important for the child to continue to have an environment where they can interact socially with their peer group.
This environment is now being denied to the children of this age bracket of two to four years. Many young parents have…

Musings of a Pioneer: Playschool Learning for Toddlers (Part 1)

“Stunt, dwarf, or destroy the imagination of a child, and you have taken away their chances of success in life. Imagination transforms the commonplace into the great and creates the new out of the old,” said Lyman Frank Baum, the famous author of children’s books who wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its sequels, more than a century back. I must have been around two years old when my parents decided to send me to a playschool. My mother was a stay-at-home mom – and my younger brother was born a year and a half after me. It must have been tough for her to take care of two boisterous little ones all on her own. I may have been away from home for maybe only three hours in the morning; but it probably gave her  much-needed space to get ready for the battles of the day. What I still remember distinctly from my playschool journey is  a yellow coloured inflatable water pool in which around 10 or so children would gleefully jump for water play. We were a happy lot, without a care in the worl…

Life as the "New Normal" continues

It is a difficult time all round. We have now completed four months since the lockdown was first announced. Most of you continue to juggle between household chores, professional commitments and child care without any third party support. Day cares remain closed, and understandably so, the risk is still too high. Honestly, even if day cares were to be allowed to reopen, it would take a lot of weighing the pros and cons to get to the stage where you would be comfortable in sending your children out of the house.

Parents, lots of strength to you. You are all heroes for managing this.

But things obviously are difficult for children too. For the smaller ones, perhaps this is just the way of life they know. Staying inside the house is all they can remember having ever done. But the slightly older ones are facing their own challenges. And when you share those challenges with us, we can only hope to offer an encouraging word of hope.

A child, when he went out on a drive with his parents, only…

Socializing in the Times of Social Distancing

Man, or to be more gender neutral, the human being, is by nature a social animal. This isn't something which is taught to us, nor is it necessarily the result of extensive interaction on account of the huge numbers which represent our populace, although that might play some part in the whole process. What I am talking about is the fact, that even when we are all grown up, and free to make our own lifestyle choices, a very small percentage of us actually go the hermit route. 

We have a small body of kids who come to our day care and preschool. And most of them have friends there, other humans who are closer to them in age, and who are all going through the same development landmarks. I think the same happens to us as we grow older too. We are much more comfortable in being around other people with whom we have something in common, only we add a level of complexity like matching hobbies, likes and dislikes, political opinions and so on.

However, the last 4-5 weeks have taught us that …

Parenting Tips - EI and Terrific 2s

Parenting is a wonderful journey. It is also one of the biggest learning experiences in life. And while everyone has their own journey, and their own learning curve, it never hurts to draw on from other people's experiences. 

In light of that, we would like to share some parenting tips, based on our own journey and experience, based on various studies, and probably a lot of learning which have been carried through generations before us- instinctive, yet never given a name

1. In today's times of high stress levels and fewer people around kids, being emotionally intelligent is extremely important


What is emotional intelligence?
- Managing your emotions and working your way around them
In the first four years of their lives, maximum brain development takes place, so it is important to get the basics of emotional intelligence in place.
- Each child is different and so is the parenting style
- If your child thinks before reacting- is not impulsive- then you are going in the right directio…

Life in the Times of Coronavirus - Our New Vocabulary

This article came in HT City today, 5 April 2020. It was at least there in the Gurugram version, so I assume it must have been there in the Delhi version too. Not too sure of the national reach. Though of course, most of these terms have international reach, courtesy our wonderful social media, which let’s face it, is probably the major reason for both maintaining our sanity, and at times not. These terms are soon going to be part of our fancy dictionaries, i.e., as soon as publication of dictionaries resumes. Hmm, maybe I should check if the web versions, if they exist already have incorporated these. It’s funny, with the increased use of Google for searching the most basic of things, I have no idea how frequently Oxford or Websters update their lexicons, or whether with everything going digital, they even have a web version of their wonderful dictionaries. I only remember the various ones we had at home or carried to school, all in different sizes. Anyway, I digress. The idea of this…