Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Only Mamma had to do ........bwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Tejas in a conciliatory tone- dekho, humko bhi choti laga hai. to kaun band aid lagaega? Tum hi na lagayega? (I have also got hurt. So who will put a band aid for me? you only will put )
Ojas proceeds to put a bandage on Tejas' non existent bruise and they sleep happily for that night atleast!
Monday, November 29, 2010
This week since I was travelling, I couldn't read them to the kids.
This morning scene-
Me- Which library book is yours?
Tejas- Hum read nahin kiyaa hai. read karna thaa..
I was most tempted to say - read them in school.
But, it so happened that we speed read the books before leaving to school.
We really do not let schooling interfere with education!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
From a mother of 9 month old twins who cried buckets when her baby fell off the bed (seriously, and that seems to be like something so minor especially when Tejas had the presence of mind to raise his head as he fell!)...today I have learnt to tackle a nose bleeding without dialling the doctor!
So Ojas, my poor baby has scored so many badges of honour within a short span of 2 months.
The boy who almost always prefers to ride pillion with Tejas on the cycle got his leg inside the spokes of the cycle during our Kodaikanal trip in October and ended up with a wound that is still not gone. Moral of the story- Let Ojas ride cycle with Tejas not his Dad.
Closer home, right before his birthday, he stumbled on a wayward stool and landed bump on his head earning a huge ball shaped swelling that lasted until the birthday.
And as his wound and bump was on the road to healing, he burnt himself. The Steam inhaler threw a jet of hot water straight on his chest and he has a huge eight shaped burn scar. A week of dressing and the wound has healed but the scar remains. He carries it like a badge of honour. But the brave boy that he is, the moment he came back from the hospital, he rushed out to play.
But his take home from the entire incident is - Mamma why did you cry when I got hurt? And he doesn't hesitate to relate this to all and sundry.
Ultimately he ended up stumbling and getting a huge rectangle wound on his legs.
Yesterday he was running- running as usual in the complex play area. A boy's foot came in the way and he fell face flat down. He came home crying and holding his nose. The nose was red and bruised reddish and his nosie came all bloody...
Sigh......I might just start greying now...
And well, while we are on the subject of hurts and wounds, all Mamma of 5 year olds- did you do the DPT, OPV booster shots?
We did last week- Tejas gave a few mighty kicks to the doctor and hit me too, Ojas cried and cried both for Tejas and himself and well, they did get icecreams at the end of it all so all is well even though both of them keep showing everyone the spot where the needle had pricked and use it as an excuse if they do not want to get up and fetch stuff for themselves .
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
This is a series of well known folk tales set in different states of India - like the Monkey & croc story is set in andhra and the monkey & croc talk in very Andhra style hindi. It does tend to stereotype but then, that is the fun of it. I see Ojas & Tejas emulating the way the various characters in various state settings speak. I think it is all about getting comfortable with stereotyping even.
Well, what I like about it is that the stories of each state are set in the backdrop of the art form of that state- Madhubani of Bihar, Rajasthani painting of Rajasthan etc.
The program comes during "lunch time"on holidays or after breakfast on holidays- well which means I do not know but these are the usual times I have caught it on TV.
I wish there was a book or DVD of it. Would surely be a treasure
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
My first response was "yay! what fun. Now we all can play happily for ever".
The kids were intrigued, eager and what not and were begging to play games like chess and other non understandable games instead of the simple ludo, snake ladder.
Well I complied and notice how the focus shifts to "I". No one else (read The Husband) is really willing to break head over board games.
I would have backed out too but their is a larger plan here. The faster they learn to play, the faster they learn to occupy themselves with the games keeping each other busy.
So here's the status so far.
Tic - Tac - Toe
A nice large board with noughts and crosses in plastic.
They can honestly beat me in the game provided they are using the cross and provided I am being a little dumb. Tejas can play the game for as long as I can ask him to but Ojas plays only until he has conquered it. I find it is quite a simple and easy game to engage kids and it ends fast so no boredom here.
Click here for a mathematical tic tac toe with an extremely dumb computer who doesn't make a line even when the opportunity is presented. and anothe rone in which you can configure the number of squares in the board
Snake & Ladder
They do have some idea of the game- up the ladder, down the snake they keep reciting but they love getting bitten by the snake and climb down the ladder after climbing them. Naturally, we live on ground floor so that is years of training to come down if they ever go climbing up the staircase.
They love to cheat- place the dice in such a way that they can climb the ladder if they so wish.
and sometimes they play with their individual dice- simultaneously, like a race.
If they would stop placing the dice on 6, they could atleast play. They are more focused on getting a 6 and taking all the pieces out rather than actually playing. We will get there I am sure.
A friend used to have this wooden board with perforations for pinning the pieces on the board. I used to love that. It was more satisfying to pin the pieces as we jump across rather than the flimsy plastic ones that are provided now. We have just started playing with not much of success. But then, it is only 16 days since we got the board.
Click here for an addictive chinese checker
This is the most challenging one more because I am quite basic in my understanding of the game.
I found this neat site that explains most of the theory and have good game examples for a person who is looking at just basic understanding.
What I am doing with the kids is explaining what each piece does and how each piece moves. Which are the 4 most important squares - and why they are in the centre- very much like their playground which is in the centre of the building. I have explained that the objective is to reach the other person's house as quickly as possible and if anyone is coming to their house they have to catch them. We have named the pieces and discussed how each piece moves and where each piece sits.
Yesterday we played a game with only pawns and we gained pieces as the pawns reached the other side.
I do not know how much they are going to understand but I am just fuelling the interest that was shown. If necessary coaches can teach but for now, I am not making it regimental.
I love word games. But scrabble is one game I have never played when I was younger. So anyway, I took this lovely scrabble for kids out for inaugaration and I found it had two sides- one with pre made grid and one has to just make the words as per the grid. The reverse side is a normal scrabble. We started fine but as soon as I got up to do something else, the kids had emptied the rack and filled up all the tiles and completed the grid. We turned the board and did the regular scrabble making words with kids selecting the tiles from the rack as per what words they wished to make. Well, House Rules!
Monday, November 15, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
There are two helping hands in my building complex- Ramesh, Murugan
Dadda told the kids the story of Lord Ganesh and his brother Murugan on Ganesh Chaturthi day
Recently the kids were recalling the story.
So they were discussing.
Ganesh God and his brother who is called Ramesh....
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Well some of his work so far- they are not original ideas but he will get there one day I am sure.
Thanks to the original artists for the lovely ideas - these are just adorning my home- not serving commercial purpose- so there's the disclaimer.
The artist at work
My favourite- dedicated to me! Adorns the bedroom wall- if you ask who this is- the kids say Mamma!
The walls- painted with butterflies- stencilled on using cutouts. The cross stitch castle is my submission for craft in class 7and a lady
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
I ask them to quickly select one each.
First height of Budhoopan
- both come with same titles
After much convincing, I gave them one of the books to exchange- that itself was difficult as none was willing to give "their" book for exchanging
Second height of Budhoopan
they come back with a title that they already have at home
Me- why did you get the same one that you have at home
Ojas- because one page is torn off
Ojas pulls my pillow from under my head as his pillow has fallen to the floor.
Half asleep, I pull it back.
Ojas sits up, wrestles the pillow from under my head and sleeps on it.
Promptly he shifts his head to rest on my arm and the pillow is unused by either of us
Monday, November 08, 2010
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
And failed miserably.
They were very clear that they wanted a Ben 10 party only.
So push came to shove and I had to comply.
So here are the details of the Ben 10 party on a budget!!!
First of all, I had to aquaint myself with the Ben 10 character. I always assumed 10 is a number with some significance in the cartoon but it is simply derived from Ben Tennyson so there ended the matter of why we should or should not celebrate a Ben 10 party at the age of 5!
I went through Wiki sites and did lots of google searches to aquaint myself with the character and plot. I extracted characters that I would use to build games around. I made a huge list of possible Ben 10 theme games, borrowing from various sites/ blogs and ideating on my own. In the end I eliminated games that required too much logistic preparation like Ben 10 poster coloring relay race or were slightly unsafe like "Upchuck"- the character who has huge digestive capacity- I wanted the kids to compete to eat alien slime - green jelly or simply green/ yellow candies or maybe drink some green juice. But I discarded the idea ultimately.
Ben 10 "Collaterals"
A 5 kg Ben 10 cake to feed a 90 strong alien force, with supposedly alien figures (grrr not) positioned in strategic corners. We had candles with figure 5, Happy Birthday letters and the magical relighting candle for luck!
For once the menfolk out-ideated the women folk - they created a cool poster of Ojas & Tejas on a Ben10 body- courtsey design team of the husband's office. I tried hard to put green & yellow balloons only but a few other colors were also sneaked past!
The Planned Gifts
To set the mood, Ben10 gifts were bought - Ben 10 toys, lunch boxes, water bottles, stickers, crayons, color books from Nana, Nani, Mausi, Mamu
Green & Yellow T shirts to wear to schoolAfter a morning of cake cutting
Ben 10 alien force T shirts, caps and watch for the games time before cake cuttingBlack Ben 10 T shirts for the cake cutting and the dinner partyBen 10 Themed Games
The spoils of war
Ben 10 toys - bubble, rubik cube, phone were the stakes for the games, along with a few candy bags thrown in. The original Ben 10 merchandise are expensive- I found a lovely lot of Ben 10 stickered toys that served the purpose for the theme party.
Breaking the Ice- A Ben 10 Badge was frozen in an ice cube. The kids had to melt the ice cubes using water in the tub provided and free the badge. The badge served dual purpose- a nice keepsake and also a tactful party invitee identification.
Items needed for the game- a small plastic disposable cub, the badge/small toy.
Procedure- Freeze half a cup of ice. Free the ice from the cup, place the badge (wrapped in the plastic pouch it came with) in the cup, pour half a cup of water and place the ice on top. The water is at the bottom, badge tends to float to the surface, the ice on top prevents the badge from coming to surface and floats on top. Freeze the cup again. The ice above and the water below traps the badge in the centre else the badge will float to the top and the fun is lost.
Before starting the game I asked the kids lots of questions. What is ice made of, how do you melt ice and other such scientific questions. Well, maybe I phrased the question wrongly- but when I asked what does ice contain- Ojas & Tejas answered "badge" loudly even though they had promised they will say it has nothing as it is a surprise. I conducted this game first before the ice melted and also so that all kids could have their badges to wear. I kept a towel on hand to immediately wipe the ice cold little hands.
(Mummy) Unwrap- A Mummy character turns up in one of the Ben 10 episodes. I used that to build an idea for a game. Wrapped Ben 10 bubbles in newspapers and threw them around. Kids had to run around and find their "gift" and "unwrap" them.
It was fun to see them quickly tear the wrapping and then exclaim to each other- look I found a bubble, then another one says- me too! The bubbles served dual purpose too- it was a nice toy to take back since kids in upto 5 years age group are more interested in toys than food. And also- it was a distraction break when games for older kids were being conducted. We needed to just tell them- now all of you should blow bubbles and we peacefully conducted games for other age group.Crash Site Clean up- was the original idea- to create an Alien crash site, fill it with junk along with Ben 10 mobiles, cubes & bubbles and wrap them in green paper (alien theme) and ask the kids to clean up the site. Well, logistics & time famine was a problem and I was not sure the alien crash site would look like a space ship crash site at all so in the end, we just hid the "finds" around the play area- behind cars, in the garden, in a helmet and all and asked the kids to look for such green wrapped stuff.
Hoopy Loopy- We arranged Ben 10 cubes, bubbles, toffee bags on the ground and gave them a ring to target at a gift. The gifts were anyway given on the second chance as they could not really target them right4 Arm Ben 10 Relay- Kids had to do the traditional lemon and spoon race in pairs. Instead of lemon I used a bouncy ball. It was fun seeing kids chase the ball that would bounce away everytime they tried to do a test step or two. Wild Vine- is a character that can lengthen itself. I used this idea and superimposed it on a corporate team game I have heard about. Divided the kids into 2 groups and instructed them to try and make the longer chain using themselves and any other object they could get their hands on- within a given time frame of 1-1.5 minutes. So it is not only team work but also strategy- you need to ask for dupattas from various aunties, remove your shoes/ jacket even, pick up bats, cycles, leaves and all. I appointed the husband and neighbour to assist each team in strategising. I liked the dead palm leaf of one team and the way they held a one leg up pose to increase the length and the final clincher from the other team- an auto happened to come and park right next to Ojas and the husband just instructed Ojas to touch the auto to attach it to their chain. Toffee bags were distributed as gifts. Return Gifts
Ben 10 toys- car, truck, phone, plane, remote car, remote boat for the younger kids. A pretty bead bracelet with a dry flower trapped within a square shaped plastic casing for the older girls and a whacky hound tooth shaped green plastic pendant with an insect trapped within for the older boys.
Notice how Donut has stuck to the black and green theme
With the family