Mommying BabyT

Mommy T's adventures; bringing up Baby T

Month: October 2017

Event alert: Krazy Kids Karnival

As a child I remember, how the festive season would mean a lot of exhibitions being held in Mumbai. We made it a point to visit the fests every year with my mom and dad and cousins. I also remember being awed by the colourful wares on show, live displays for kitchen equipment and the variety of food stalls. However, all this was catered for grown-ups. And my eyes yearned to see things for myself. But I would only be disappointed not to find too many things on offer to excite my childlike mind. But today the scene is very different. Kids, kids and kids are the only focus of this exciting event coming up in Mumbai this October. Its even called Krazy Kids Karnival.

 

 

The Krazy Kids Karnival is 2-day long carnival for kids aged 0-15 years, spread over 2 acres of fun space. It is going to be held in Mumbai on 4th and 5th of November’17 at City Park, Bandra Kurla Complex.  Hurray for the weekend and a central location like BKC. From workshops to live shows, fun rides to activity zones Krazy Kids Karnival promises it all. And to satiate your taste buds they will have on offer lip-smacking food and delicious desserts. Thinking of shopping for Diwali gifts for your kids and other children, then look no further as the Krazy Kids Karnival also will have loads of toys and gifts. And not just for the lil one, but there’s going to be loads of shopping for you too.

Just about everything for the little one and your family too, all under one roof! With 125+ exhibitors, 50+ games, 25+ workshops and 15+ live shows DIWALI has been set sparkling by the Krazy Kids Karnival. [Read more about the event details here: KKK Events]

If you are wondering if this event is right for your child’s age group then here is a list of the various types of exhibitors who will be present at the event.

I personally feel kids of all ages and their families will benefit from visiting Krazy Kids Karnival and experiencing the stalls by the participating brands.

Entry for the Krazy Kids Karnival is a nominal Rs. 200 and you can buy tickets from BookMyShow.

For more information visit the Krazy Kids Karnival website or their Facebook page – KKK on Facebook.

What I am super excited about is that the mom’s community I am part of – JAMMS (Journey about Mast Moms) is the community partner for Krazy Kids Karnival. JAMM’s is a no-nonsense & complete Momsense support group for social networking amongst Mumbai / New Mumbai based mothers. We connect online + offline!

JAMMS is a vital part of my daily life. It is a network of moms, by moms and for moms based in Mumbai. I begin my day by catching updates from the various subgroups I am part of – Toddlers, Bloggers, Human Resource Professionals and my local suburb groups. There is so much to learn from each other and there is no stronger bond than that of motherhood.

Do join the JAMMS network on the below social media:

JAMMS on FACEBOOK
JAMMS on TWITTER
JAMMS on INSTAGRAM
#jammsnetwork

 

A Sailor went to sea sea sea: Learning about sea creatures

Babies and children’s minds are like sponges. The more you place them in suitable or conducive environments the more they learn and absorb. Look how cheekily I used the pun of a sponge on a blog post about sea creatures, but hey it is so apt here. With #babyT I did see how early exposure to flash cards helped him develop a rich vocabulary even before he turned 1.  He also enjoys reading books along with us and has picked up a lot of words and concepts from them. However, as he approaches 2, I saw how his appetite for learning was not getting satiated with just books or flashcards. He was asking for more stimulation and for learning to appeal to all his senses. Learning by touch and “doing” seemed to be the order of the day.

I am not the mother who plans out her child’s daily activities, much as I would like to. I am simply not that creative enough nor “crafty.” However, I did realise the need for structured play and learning as babyT was growing. He was no longer content with just being handed a toy or sat in front of the TV.

Structured play, or “play with a purpose,” is any activity that offers your preschooler a specific learning objective. It could be learning a certain life skill like teaching the months of the year or working on important physical abilities such as gross and fine motor skills.
(Source: verywell.com) 

He wanted to be guided through it and explained so as to make sense of what he was seeing. I used this insight to set up a learning environment for him to teach him all about sea creatures. This set of sea creature activity aimed to involve most of his senses and also included some amount of formal learning using books and similar resources.

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Here’s what our sea creatures activity included:

  1. Sensory Tub
  2. Sand play
  3. Seashell colour sorting
  4. Books & flashcards
  5. Stickers
  6. Wooden magnetic fishing board
  7. Rhymes & songs
Sensory tub

This was by far the star of the show. This was also pretty simple to fix up once I had all the ingredients at home. I filled up a tub with water beads and added tons of water (filtered, potable water) and left this concoction overnight. The next morning just before our play I added accessories in the form of plastic models of sea creatures, little rocks and stones, colourful shells, some twigs and leaves for seaweed, and ICE CUBES just for some textural fun.

BabyT was surprised when he entered his playroom and saw the sensory tub laid out on the stay dry mat we usually use for all our activities. After taking all the sights in he then ventured to dip his hands and explore the sensory tub and all its contents.

He indulged in splashing about in the watery mess, squeezing the squishy water beads and holding the cold ice cubes in his palm until they were too cold for his tiny hands. He then began fishing the sea creatures, saying their name out loud and then placing them on the mat outside. He used his beach kit to play with the water beads and poured them about in the tub, sieving them and watching the water drops trickle down and the beads remain in the sand sifter.

He was a bit intrigued about the twigs, leaves and stones he found during one of his exploratory missions in the sensory tub. And I reminded him of the corals and rocks and seaweed that he saw in one of our books on the sea. (See below)

Eventually, he sat down inside the sensory and kicked about, thus getting a top to toe sense of the water beads and the sea creatures in it. He even proclaimed that he was Sailor Sammy, a character from his favourite book “Boats Sail Away” BabyT did get a lot of water beads down his shirt and inside his diaper but nothing that a warm bath after our play couldn’t clean.

Sand Play

BabyT has been on 2 beach holidays already and has played in the sand. So he understands the concept of sand but I wanted to create a linkage between the sea and sand. I bought him this kinetic sand play kit off Amazon. Kinetic sand behaves in a very peculiar manner, but it is so soft and soothing on the skin.

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BabyT and I both spent a lot of time running our hands through the sand and he even eventually began stomping on it and kicking it about too. The kit also comes with a few moulds which can be used to make animal shapes out of. Good for fine motor development and identifying how shapes can be formed.

Seashells Colour Sorting

Ever since babyT indulged in a sorting activity months ago where I asked him to match flash cards and animal shapes, he has been hooked to sorting of any sort. Kids, I tell you! So I just have to say the word sorting and he throws away whatever he is doing and runs to me. I should use this for positive discipline sometime maybe.

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For the sea creature activity, I also bought these colourful seashells. They are actually intended to use as decor in indoor aquariums or pots. We used our set of stacking rings as colour coordinated jars to sort the shells into.

This activity is great for learning colours and hand-eye coordination.

Books & Flashcards

Our favourite part. BabyT loves books and makes sense of the world around majorly through books. Ask him what his favourite toy in his playroom is and he will say “Book” 

These were some of the books babyT loved to learn about words and images to do with the sea and sea creatures.

Our love for flashcards is also proven over and over again. Before I begin any activity or new learning for babyT I do run a search for flashcards in the theme. I loved these flashcards which I got from Amazon. They are simple and give a realistic image of what the sea creature looks like.

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I use flashcards to supplement learning & vocabulary. For example, I used the oyster card (as shown above) to tell him how oysters make pearls and I showed him my pearl necklace. He was overjoyed to feel and touch them and know that they were made by a creature living in the sea.

Read more about our love for Flashcards here & here.

Stickers

I hate stickers. There I said it! I hate them because kids (and adults) love peeling them off eventually and then they leave ugly marks on wherever they had been stuck.

But then someone on my Instagram introduced me to reusable stickers. (By now you must know that anything reusable piques my interest) So I got these reusable stickers by Melissa & Doug for babyT. It came as a booklet with multiple scenarios and sticker sheets. This one with the ocean in the backdrop was perfect for our Sea Creature Activity.

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All the sea creatures that you see here are the stickers. I peeled a tiny bit of the corner from the sticker sheet and let babyT peel the rest of it off and then stick it on the ocean base. At first, he stuck all the creatures one on top of another. I didn’t stop or interrupt him. But I did peel a few big stickers like the shark and stuck it up higher on the sheet. That gave him the idea to spread the rest of the stickers across the base.

He has since removed and stuck the sea creatures back several times. This is one sticker sheet that I loved too.

Wooden Magnetic Fishing Game

I love wooden toys. I have said this many times. And when a toy exists in wood form, there is no surprise that I will grab it and add it to our collection.

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I bought this wooden magnetic fishing game from Little Fingers at Work. The fishing stick has a magnet embedded on one end and the little fish have a screw in their mouths which sticks to the magnet. BabyT did not quite understand the concept of fishing but he loved pulling the fish high up and out of the board.

Songs & Rhymes

Up until babyT was a year old or slightly more we avoided any form of screen time. However, as he got older and more active it was difficult for me to get things done and mind him too. It was then that we began slowly introducing screen time. We only do rhymes and songs (without any special effects) on the casting device. And whenever we do play anything on the telly for him I do make sure someone, mostly me, is around to explain things to him and help him make sense of what he sees. It’s never a one-way street. This helps immensely in gaining positively from screen time.

So coming back to the point I was trying to make – any learning activity is incomplete without the accompanying songs and dance and fanfare. And this is how we discovered babyT’s favourite, most obsessed over rhyme “Baby Shark Doo Doo” (facepalm, sometimes I regret screen time. lol) I am not going down this rabbit hole alone, here’s me trying to put this song into your head now. 😀

Catchy right?

And then there was this song too. A personal favourite. I love it for its gentle rhythm.

Jokes apart, babyT did learn about the baby shark family and all the creatures that live under the sea. Like I mentioned earlier too, I made sure I sat with them the first few times (or a 100) we watched these 2 rhymes and helped him identify the sea creatures and objects in the backdrop too.

This helped close the circle on all the learning around the sea creature activity. Sensory tub, books and flash cards all tied together into a visual for him with the rhymes and videos.

For now, we have packed away most of the sea creature activity resources, save some books and the rhymes of course. Did you know the baby shark family has also adopted Tara shark and Nana and Nani shark into their clan? Sigh. That’s the level of obsession. It’s cute though.

Hope you are inspired to try some of these activities for your children. Which one do you think they would most enjoy?

Book love: Beans on Toast

Beans on toast!!! One of my favourite breakfast staples and now one of our favourite books. I bought this book only because it was about beans on toast. I paid little attention to the words or sentence or age it was suitable for. And when it arrived I realised it was just perfect for our family.

I love a big Sunday breakfast, which includes – lots of eggs, sausages, bacon (if I can remember to shop for it in time for Sunday.), roast tomatoes & veggies. However after a baby arrived in our lives, big breakfasts were a distant memory for us. But whenever we do manage to wake early on a Sunday or have all the ingredients on hand, a big breakfast is most definitely on the menu.

This Sunday we planned and laid out a feast just so that babyT gets a first-hand experience of one of his favourite books – Beans on Toast: The story of Baked Beans.

This book lays out the journey of beans on toast – right from farm to table and all the transformations it undergoes. (Scroll gallery to see some of the pages in here.) Reading this book for the first time was a complete a-ha moment for babyT like suddenly it all made sense to him why we shop at the supermarket and where some of the food comes from?

BabyT even insisted on me giving him some French beans which he opened to remove the seeds and then physically transported the seeds from page to page – from the truck to the boiling cauldron to the shelf to the shopping basket. Like the whole process made sense to him.

And then yesterday for Sunday brekkie we had “Beans on Toast.” Amidst all his mmmm’s and wow’s I could hear my lil heart do a yayy. Yet another beans on toast lover had been created.

What are some of your favourite books about food? Would love to have your book recommendations.

Junior’s Fashion Week, Mumbai – an evening to remember

The last Saturday of September saw close to 140 mini models take over the ramp at Junior’s Fashion Week which was held at Grand Hyatt, Mumbai. Selected kids were taken through a workshop to teach them the basics of the ramp. The mini models then sashayed down the ramp to the exquisite Autumn Winter collection by the showcasing brands. From little 4 year old’s who toddled down the ramp to older children turning and twirling, the event was a sight that had us gasping at the poise, elegance and confidence and composure of the little superstars.

Pre-event workshop

The children who were going to be walking the ramp underwent a workshop a day before the actual showcase at Junior’s Fashion Week. The team of 140 children were divided into 3 batches and allocated to each of the showcasing brands. Each batch was welcomed by the team at Junior’s Fashion Week Mumbai and first fed a sumptuous meal full of foods they like and love to eat – pizzas, French fries, cupcakes, noodles & pasta were some of the items on offer. The children seemed to thoroughly enjoy these and felt super pampered.

 

In all the children had about 4 rounds of training on the practice ramp and then underwent a final walk on the day of the workshop. It was amazing to see the transformation from the first walk to the final one. I spotted children in the first round who were conscious, afraid to smile, shoulders drawn in and stooping to some who were walking in a zig-zag pattern. But by practice round number 4, the children were beaming, smiling and walking with a spring in their step. A lot of this had to do with the positivity and cheerfulness of the coordinator Jessica who coached them with a loving hand and a big beaming smile. What I saw was complete proof that the children were in good hands.

D-Day – The Showcases

Sunday, the 1st of October dawned and I woke up with butterflies in my tummy. But not the children. At the hotel, a quick round of hellos and hi-fives and they declared with a little jump that they were super excited about the day. So much to learn from little kids who just live by the moment and don’t worry about being judged or failure.

Once again the kids were treated to a meal with a range of items to fill them up. A few practice sessions and then they were all lined up for their hair, makeup and dressing. The first batch of children was showcasing for Marks & Spencer, London.

In their Autumn Winter 2017 collection, Marks & Spencer, London presented a wide range of creatively designed jumpers and bomber jackets in luscious greens, snug blues and bright yellow hues, making layering for the colder days innovative and trendy. Their sweatshirt hoody with ‘keep warm’ technology has been designed to keep the body comfortable and warm. The thermals are made of BCI cotton ensured minimum irritation to the little ones and the chic storm wear coat with its StormwearTM technology offered the perfect option ensuring the child is comfortable and stylish when the weather turns chilly.

Read more about the Marks & Spencer, London showcase here.

The second batch of kids was showcasing for Allen Solly Junior.

Allen Solly Junior introduced three different looks, namely, ‘Sport the Adventure’, inspired by a military and jungle look, ‘Athleisure’ that included special fabrics trim plays and ‘Party Squad’ that were created specially to cater to special occasions and parties.

You can read more about the Allen Solly showcase here.

And finally, it was the turn of the title sponsor, US Polo Assn.

With its Autumn Winter 2017 collection, US Polo Assn. showcased traditional, preppy and updated looks. The showcased collection offered contemporary elegance, great tradition and a jovial attitude which reflected in the positioning, imagery and experience of US Polo Assn. as a premium brand. Rooted in the brand’s American origin and Polo connection, the collection showcased a vibrant play of bright colours along with reds, blues and whites marking the core presence of the brand highlighted with stars, stripes and dots.

You can read more about the US Polo Assn. showcase here.

#MomBloggersUnited at #JFWMumbai

Mom Bloggers United was chosen as the blogger partner for JFWMumbai and the team of bloggers covering the event were Shubhreet Kaur of Raising Karma as Blogger in Chief and Associate Bloggers Nikita Azad of Being Mamma Bear, Mahak Wadhwani of Baby and Beyond.in and of course me from MommyingbabyT.

It was not only a fun filled time speaking to the little children, seeing their excited faces as they stepped onto the ramp and made their parents in the audience proud, but also made us see up close and personal how much they were benefitting from the event. Children seemed transformed in terms of their confidence and drive to walk the ramp with complete poise and elegance. Some of them even brought in their own elements like that little wave, twirl and a flying kiss and it was so adorable to see them get creative.

What we did not expect to see at the event were children who had issues in terms of image, confidence and acceptance into mainstream society. If someone had not told us we could never have guessed that they were any different from the 140 other kids present there. We even spoke to their families and saw how events like these gave their children a platform to gain self-confidence and the belief that they too were special & could do anything that their hearts and minds could think of.  We saw how JFW was giving them a chance at living a life on par with how any other child was living. We even met families for whom being part of JFW was now a regular thing and they seemed truly indebted and happy to be a part of this community. This for us was an eye-opener and a takeaway which we did not expect to receive. It has certainly made us more aware and sensitive to the myriad challenges and struggles of parenting and how every parent is, in fact, doing their very best for their children. No Judgement at all. It has also inspired us to talk more for such communities and families and it is a plan which we hope Mom Bloggers United will be able to kick off and make a success off.

All in all being at JFW Mumbai was an experience never to forget.

It was a lot of hard work in terms of covering the event live and sending updates to our readers online on social media. We also got a lot of comments from our readers based in other cities and countries who could tune in LIVE. A lot many of you have also expressed interest in enrolling your children for future Junior’s Fashion Week. JFW will be in Delhi and Bangalore soon. If you wish to enrol your children, do visit the official website for JFW here.  Registrations are currently open. Good luck. I am sure your child will certainly enjoy and benefit from the experience.

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