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Top 5 BOARD games which children (and adults) enjoy

As a child if you have enjoyed playing board games with family and friends, you probably have had your fair share of

Board Gamesing board games with friends or family, correct?

Have you ever wondered what these board games can actually teach players? You would be surprised if you knew the kind of skills and learning that board games can build in you.

Most board games will teach you skills such as waiting for turns, communicating, sharing, bonding and even caring at times! (the way sometimes parents let the little ones have the big win!)

Board games stimulate the brain and while playing them one tends to

  • Analyze, critically reason and apply logic.
  • Anticipate outcomes.
  • Learn from experience.
  • Participate competitively.
  • Improve concentration.

 

Statutory Warning: You end up having way too much FUN and board games are extremely addictive!

Concepts such as  colour and number recognition, counting, hand-eye co-ordination, building vocabulary etc. are also some of the skills that board games helps one to pick up.

Plenty of board games are available in the market for different age groups. Here are some of the most popular ones-

Chess – A game in which the parameters are changed often and one needs to be alert and plan moves. The game is known to stimulate the brain. Some skills which are sharpened by playing this interesting board game are – problem solving skills, planning, memory. Don’t forget to wear your thinking cap while playing this one!

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Monopoly- This game helps to teach money management skills. Players understand about diversifying their portfolio and also sharpen their negotiation skills. Perfect for your budding Warren Buffet!

Scrabble – Another fun game well enjoyed by players of all ages – Helps to hone language skills and build vocabulary.

Jenga-Anyone will be able to enjoy manipulating this tower of blocks! This popular game promotes hand-eye co-ordination, strategy and most importantly patience!

Boggle – A game which encourages children to pick up spellings and vocabulary. Play it…possibly you may find it mind boggling?!

There are also a host of other fun games for little ones to enjoy – chutes and ladders, Chinese checkers, Ludo etc. So keep that one or two hours a week free for playing these fun games and bonding with your child.

 

How you can make the little ones smile!

While playing with your children, remember you are also teaching them a lot of life skills – playing fairly, following rules, no cheating are some basic rules parents need to follow, in order to set an example to children. Also kids tend to put their heart and soul into the game and take it seriously. Make them understand the importance of participation and guide them and make them think of ways in which they can plan their win. For really small kids, go ahead and allow them to win a few times, the look of happiness on their face is priceless!

 

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Parenting styles and beyond

If you have watched the movie “Parental Guidance”, you will remember how parenting styles can differ between adults and between generations too.

Try listening to conversations between children, you will often hear them discussing parents and their different parenting styles. (If parents can discuss children with their friends, do not forget that it can happen the other way round too. And possibly what you hear may not often be particularly flattering since children say it as they see it!)

If you google, you will probably find styles of parenting such as authoritative, permissive, uninvolved, authoritarian etc. As a parent, I often wonder –

  • Do parents always stick to a particular parenting style, based on their personality?
  • Is it really possible to classify parents into parenting style categories?
  • If any parent were to read up on a particular style and apply it, does it guarantee similar results?
  • What about the parenting style of the spouse? Is it of any significance?

If you have read upto this now, maybe the following will also make sense to you –

  • What about situations? Isn’t that a dynamic variable?
  • What about ‘the child’- the very focus of this entire written matter?

Oh yes, so the above two are basic variables in any parenting journey. Imagine the possible permutations and combinations with only these two variables!

I remember a parent who read up so much on parenting styles and trying to figure out what kind of parent she was, losing her peace of mind because she was unable to deal with her little one using any of the styles!

Now, consider this situation:

Scene : My friend’s twelve year old son Sanjay had come home a month back with a lot of ‘C’ grades in his report card. She confided about how she felt guilty about the situation and how her approach did not work. So what had she done?

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She had immediately grounded him, put away all gadgets, prohibited playtime and tried to force him to study. The result? Sanjay became defiant and waited for opportunities to sneak out his gadgets from their hiding place.

Her spouse decided to try a different approach. He did restrict gadgets, playtime etc. but also made it a point to daily sit with Sanjay for at least half an hour and work on weak areas. He made him understand the importance of good education and hard work and also rewarded Sanjay’s good efforts. Most importantly eventually Sanjay confided in him about some troubles at school which he was unsure how to handle. My friend and her spouse realized that in their busy work schedules, they had almost neglected the emotional health of their only son.

By being more involved in their child’s life, they understood how to deal with the situation.

So in this case, the spouse’s approach worked better and so…there was peace at home!

Parenting BlogAnother friend of mine who is a parent of twins, always believes – the solution lies in tweaking the parenting style to situations and expected behavior of child.

Possibly the best way to know if your style is successful is…to check if both you and your child are happy with the solution and if the expected outcome from child is achieved.

So readers, imagine you are faced with the following situations, how would you deal with them? Do write your thoughts to us in the comments section.

  • You and your 5 year old son visit the supermarket and your son throws a temper tantrum to buy his favourite candy, toy and books for him and does not allow you to do your own shopping.
  • Your little girl, all of 8 years old wants to wear lipstick and nail polish, like the girls she sees in Advertisements and TV.

(Image credits – Edwin Kats)

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The Growing ‘Gaming’ world

Reema, any idea how I can transfer these photos from my phone to my laptop? I lost my data cable! And I need to submit them at office tomorrow” I was frantic on the phone, talking to my sister.

Give it to me mom, it will be copied by evening, don’t worry”, chimed in my 9 year old son from the hall.

Hmmm…are you sure? I don’t want to lose them forever, you know ..and I need to show them to the client tomorrow.”

Of course I won’t lose them mom!” said Varun indignantly. With that he proceeded to download some software onto my laptop and within the next one hour successfully transferred the photos to it, while I sheepishly acknowledged it with a ‘Thanks’.

Let’s face it- children have a fantastic way with technology. Give them a smart phone or a gadget and watch them figure out its usage and tell you about it. Happens a lot doesn’t it?

As much as we have to acknowledge the booming influence of technology in almost every feature in our lives, parents are also aware of the thin boundaries that stands between its advantages and disadvantages. However the worries about the harms of it must not affect its effective advantages.

Do check the links given below –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Rmetdzrxjw&index=2&list=PLhdwy3ASoEfmyW03rHxEFnNsHcbAMo9yh

https://www.data.gov/education/games-for-learning-summit-expanding-the-conversation-between-educators-and-game-designers/

Yes, a lot of games are available, which has educational benefits. Monitoring ‘screen time’ is probably the most effective way to capitalize on these benefits. Here are some interesting games which are quite popular in the International scenario and well enjoyed by children. Of course, these are only suggestions and we would encourage you to research, explore and be convinced, before recommending them to your child.

GamingMinecraft : Children get a chance to recreate architecture in this game. The game helps to build a variety of skills in children such as exploration, building and even survival skills.

Turtle Academy – Another fun game where children get to learn LOGO programming through fun games. https://turtleacademy.com/

Scratch (https://scratch.mit.edu/)– It is a free programming language and online community where children can create own interactive stories, games and animations.

Also do check this link http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31804&articlexml=FUN-ACTIVITY-SITES-FOR-KIDS-16042016020068 for some fun activity sites for kids!

Summer vacations present wonderful moments for parent child bonding. Exposing children to a variety of games and activities at a young age, helps them understand their own interests and will certainly help them nourish a hobby. Monitored usage of technology as a tool, wherever appropriate, will ensure that children understand the utility of it. Do write to us and share with us any other technology-enabled games which you have found to have good educational value- we would love to hear from you!

Exploring the world of books

Books throw open entire new worlds to readers, they are the perfect tools that add wings to the imagination and..they keep the mind engaged. There is a lot to be gained by reading books, definitely!Here is a list of some of the best reads for children, by different authors, across age groups. We hope you and your child will read and relish these popular books during this summer. Children have their own ideas of best books, naturally! Each child has their personal favourites, which they never mind reading over and over again. Do mention them in the survey link provided.Also , how about encouraging your child to write his/her short review of the books they read and …..don’t forget to post those in the comments section of this blog.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle                                     

UNTD1Where’s Spot? By Eric Hill

The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss

Winnie the Pooh by A A Milne

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Charlotte’s Web by E B White

Malory Towers Series by Enid Blyton

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

St.Clare’s series by Enid Blyton                                                                                             

The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith KerrUNTD2

Grimm’s Fairy Tales by The Brothers Grimm

Harry Potter series by J.K.Rowling

The Paddington series by Michael Bond

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Anderson

The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Geronimo Stilton books series

We hope you took the survey on ‘Reading Habits’ . If not, please click https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6GWMLD5 to participate in the survey! Do share your thoughts and recommendations with us.Happy Summer Reading!

Planning an ‘Examination Diet’? Here are some tips for you!

 
Imagine a comfortable study atmosphere – books, stationery, timetables etc. What could possibly be a well deserved add on to this atmosphere – FOOD? Without a second thought, yes!! (Try remembering those childhood days again).

FFT1It is quite true isn’t it? As examinations approach, most parents find children asking for snacks and snack breaks- a lot more often than on regular days, of course! It is, but completely natural. Well, parents generally are extremely understanding of a student’s state of mind and they also know that planning their special snacks is probably the best forms of support they could show, more so during exams. Ask any mom!

 

Here are some tips and ideas to help you plan your child’s ‘examination diet’ as your child juggles with Mathematics, Science, English and the rest!

  • Help them avoid outside food & water. Whatever is their favourite ‘outside food’, try replicating it at home. Nourishing home cooked meals are recommended for exam time.
  • Give them lots of water- the days are getting hotter isn’t it! Staying hydrated is important.
  • Fresh fruit…and more fresh fruit Bananas, apples, watermelons, anything which your little one likes.
  • Child giving trouble in having fresh fruit? How about a delicious, yummilicious smooooothie? Sounds good right? The good news is – there is nothing to prevent anyone making the perfect smoothie using a variety of fruits and there is nothing to prevent you also from enjoying a glass of it with your child. Apple, banana, strawberry- take your pick, innovate if you like and ta-dah enjoy the smoothie with your child. Don’t forget – it has the goodness of fruits AND milk!FFT2
  • Fresh fruit juices are also good options – kill the heat with some fresh lime, orange –the choices are unlimited. Coconut water is another good option.
  • Plan the regular meals as usual – do curb a bit on the spice though.
  • Stock up on their favourite chips and other savouries – small portions of it can be given during their snack breaks, alternating with the juices and smoothies.
  • Healthy food is of course, one way of ensuring your child is healthy during examinations. Also do ensure he/she get sufficient hours of sleep too. This is true especially during exam days.
  • Do take care of your child’s emotional health too. It may be possible that your child may not be feeling too confident after giving a particular exam. If he/she shares the thought with you…do encourage them to give their best for the rest of the exams. Scolding them or being harsh may weaken their confidence for the rest of the exams.

 

Well….in the end it is always the extra touch of love and affection that you add while flavouring your child’s snacks that makes all the difference. It is the very same ingredient that motivates and keeps every child happy! Cheers to parents and little ones… All the best!