Chalking the change in handwash!!!


We have so often heard ‘Practise makes perfect’. That’s a saying most of us live by and also try to inculcate in our kids as we know that an action when repeated multiple times gets etched into our memories…more so becomes muscle memory. This is true for any habit.

One of the key habits which we teach our children from the time they are infants is the habit of washing their hands- after using the toilet, before eating meals, after playing and so on.


But getting children to make it a part of their routine is not easy. I personally have availed of multiple routes to inculcate the habit in my son. Some play-way methods that I adopted with my son were:

  • Created a story around germs and how they are like demons and can be harmful to us
  • Stocked up colourful and color-changing handwash liquids to make hand washing a fun-filled affair
  • Associated rewards with handwashing – giving sticker stars to being marked positive on his behaviour chart at home
  • Prepared worksheets around the benefits of handwashing and coloring sheets for the same as well


In the urban areas, we are aware of the benefits of handwashing and do multiple things to inculcate the behaviour in our children. In the relatively remote areas the awareness about the criticality of handwashing prior to meals is quite poor. The parents are unaware themselves leading to a ripple effect on the children. I find this to be true even among my maid’s kids.


Even at school in the remote areas, the children at best use only water to wash their hands before meals which leads to a whole range of diseases they are exposed to. Additionally the children mostly use chalk to write whose remnants are mostly left behind as well and doesn’t get washed off completely.


The challenge of increasing awareness of handwashing has led Savlon to a simple yet ingenious idea – introducing soap in the chalk that the children use to write on their slates!!! So when they wash their hands even with plain water before meals, the soap in the chalk lathers up leading to a handwash scenario. This short-term campaign can be a successful way to bring about a behaviour change and inculcate hand washing as habit.


You can watch the video about the lovely initiative on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVWUlWEfJ1k

#SavlonSwasthIndia

Summer 2016 – Magical time spent at HK!!

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Summer holidays are THE time of the year which is spent doing a lot of activities and the main attraction is our annual holiday J

This year we selected Hong Kong mainly because my son, Amogh just turned 5 and we thought it was the right age for him to enjoy Disneyland J

So we set aside 10 days to cover HK, Macau and Disneyland (2 days exclusively for Disneyland J)

We did pack in a lot in each day but also incorporated some leisure days to relax as well. Following is the itinerary we followed which worked really well for us:

  1. Day 1: We landed in the morning around 9:30 am at HK. We ventured out in the evening to The Peak. We reached the Peak by the tram, visited Madame Tussauds and the 3D Museum all located in the same building. Also the same building houses a 360 degree view of HK. These were easily covered in 3-4 hours comfortably. 3D museum is a recent addition and was a relatively new concept. Madame Tussauds doesn’t house as many Asian celebrities as its London and Singapore counterparts.
  2. Day 2: We explored Ocean park. It is a large area and needs time to cover. Its great for kids. It houses the Giant Panda, Penguins and many many more animals. There are designated feeding time for the various animals which if interested you can explore. The biggest attraction for us was the Dolphin show. That was the cherry on the cake for us J
  3. Day 3: We headed off to Macau in the ferry. Excellent ride. We checked into 4 Seasons hotel and explored the city. We visited the Ruins of St Paul’s, Museum of Macau (which is right next to the ruins), the Grand Prix museum (me being a diehard F1 fan – esp Schumi’s) and the wine museum (which was in the same building as the Grand Prix museum). We limited our sightseeing to these places. In the evening we attended Franz Harrary’s magic show which was worth every penny spent. We were lucky that Franz was present in person himself to conduct the show!! J

A special note on 4 Seasons Hotel. Their service was awesome. They provided a Spiderman toothbrush and paste, special blue color slippers and small seating stool and bath robe for my son. These were small things but delighters for us and my son. A Happy child = A Happy Holiday J

  1. Day 4: We started the day with Shrekfast which is a breakfast buffet + interaction with characters from Shrek, Madagascar, How to Train my Dragon and Kung Fu Panda. It was an absolute treat and surprise for my son. We enjoyed too. The breakfast spread was good and most of the menu was themed around the various characters. Then we explored the Venetian hotel cum mall which houses almost all the big brands and then enjoyed the Gondola ride in the mini Venice they have set up J. In the evening we attended the Dancing Water show. It was a brilliant show – a treat to the eyes and such brilliant performances!! We were lucky to get 1st row seats which ensured we were splashed with water during some parts of the show!! That was a delight given the heat!! J Also it allowed the actors to interact with us during the show
  2. Day 5: We returned to HK via ferry but unfortunately it was raining and hence the ride was very choppy!! We relaxed that evening!
  3. Day 6: This was a relaxed day. We purposely avoided too much sight seeing over the weekend to avoid crowds. In the evening we ventured out to the Space Museum which had an interesting space related 3D show which kids enjoyed! We experienced heavy rainfalls and got stuck in them too!! We availed of the MTR as well to commute faster and get a local flavor! Then we visited the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade for the renowned music and light show in the night. But frankly, the music and light show wasn’t really that great. We ate dinner at Saravana Bhavan but the food again wasn’t as great as in its Indian restaurants.
  4. Day 7: Another relaxed day. We went out with my friend to have breakfast at Starbucks. Then we proceeded to Stanley market, did some shopping at the local market, had lunch at Pizza Express and then back home J
  5. Day 8: We proceeded to Lantau island which houses the Big Buddha and Disneyland. We checked into the Hollywood Hotel. We availed of the Disneyland train to reach the cable car for Bug Buddha. The train is really pretty because it has Mickey ears on the coaches and all different Mickey characters within. It has a lounge seating which is also lovely. The cable car ride was lovely. We took a crystal cabin one way (which has a transparent floor J). We ate at the Hollywood hotel. All the meals at Hollywood Hotel and Disneyland Hotel are themed around the Mickey characters J. Kids are given special cutlery and plates and bowls which is really awesome!
  6. Day 9: We availed of “Breakfast with Chef Mickey” which entailed breakfast and photo session with Mickey in a chef’s coat and cap J Soooper cute J Then we proceeded to our 1st day at the Disneyland park. We had a lovely time with all areas well designated and characters interspersed across to spread out the crowd as well. As we went on a weekday, the crowd was relatively less. So our max waiting time at the rides was around 20 mins which is very low. As we had planned 2 days at Disneyland Park, we were able to cover all the areas leisurely without any hurry. We watched the Lion King show which was spectacular!! The quality of international performers is outstanding!!
  7. Day 10: We availed of the breakfast at Disneyland Hotel which entailed the presence of some more characters – Minnie, Goofy, Pluto. Then to our final day at the Disneyland Park. We also saw the customary parade at 3:30 PM in which the visitors are also encouraged to participate and Amogh did too J. We also availed of the Disneyland train around the park. There was a show called “Mickey and the Wondrous Book” which was spectacular on so many counts!! Beautiful visuals, 3D impact and a showcase of all of Disney’s stories!!! Creative way of showcasing their properties!

We left Disneyland Park with a heavy heart. As my husband rightly said “There is a sadness felt when leaving the Disneyland Park which is not felt for any other park”. Am looking to the addition of “Iron Man” game by end of this year

Our experience with Disneyland was awesome but if only their hotel staff was more congenial and happy when interacting with visitors the experience could be way more superior. After all they are the first in line visitors come in contact with.

  1. Day 11: We took a flight back to India!!

 

The trip was brilliant and we have made awesome memories during this trip!

If you plan to travel to HK some things you need to keep in mind:

  • If you are a vegetarian, food might be a concern for you unless you are staying in a big hotel with varieties of veg and non veg foods. Some local restaurants do heed your request to make a dish veg by not adding the meat
  • HK is expensive so use the Klook app to get good discounts on entry tickets to various places
  • The Disneyland hotels offer good room + park entry rates
  • The city is very well connected by its public transport system. So do make use of the same to save money and also get to interact with the locals

Do let me know of interesting places you have visited and even your experience in HK if you have visited the same!!

 

Engaged Kids = Happy and Free Moms!!

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As the summer holidays approach, all mothers start scouting for summer camps and a plethora of classes to keep their kids engaged. This is of course to keep their hyperactivity in check. But more so I sometimes wonder if it is not to relieve ourselves of the time required to be spent with them. Do we ever ask ourselves – is this what our kids want?

Summer holidays are the time for kids to have fun, without any specific routine, visit grandparents (if not in the same city), enjoy a lot of free play which they otherwise are unable to do.

Above all, this is also the time you get to have those conversations and spend quality time with your kids which is impossible on regular working days. And it really isn’t as cumbersome as it seems :). You can have as much fun as your kid.

Some ideas which I am putting to use this summer vacation are (in addition to the annual holiday):

  1. Regular playdates with  friends (at the park or someone’s house)- this keeps the kids engaged with their friends and also helps us mommies catch up. So its a win-win situation for all.
  2. Visit places of interest – museums, parks in different parts of the city. These places are generally out of bounds on school days owing to the schedules of the child. This will broaden their horizons and yours too!
  3. Picnic at the beach – Nothing better in summers than to reach the beach early morning with a picnic basket and spend 2-3 hours before the sun is at its peak. It provides a lot of opportunities for free play. If other kids and parents can join- nothing like it! The more the merrier!! And its rejuvenating for us as well!!
  4. Farm visit – Today’s children hardly understand the concept of a farm. So some of us mothers have arranged a farm visit during a weekend. Its a learning+fun opportunity fir kids and an awesome way for us parents to have fun as well!!
  5. Visit grandparents  – My parents live in Kolkata. So in the summers around 10-15 days are spent there. Its great for the kids to interact with their grandparents and learn new things from them and we too get some time to relax as a payoff 🙂
  6. At home – worksheets are not as boring as they sound! Include cut-paste activities, reading and writing, painting (allow them to get messy) – these pique their interest. Also games are a lovely way to interact with your kids while having fun and also improve their attention span :). Else, just relax with their favorite movie enjoyed with a big box of popcorn 🙂

There are learnings embedded in all these activities which are more important life skills and cannot be taught in any classroom. These also help you spend quality time with kids which is a dire need currently.

Even for working women, some of the above can be put into action if not all!

Let children be children and enjoy their summer holidays as we did without the pressure of summer camps, mid brain activation classes etc. Lets rediscover our childhood through them

Do let me know how you are planning to spend your child’s summer vacation 🙂

 

Kids – let them choose their own life path!

Whenever I meet parents, grandparents, they of course talk highly about their kids and grandkids but also seem to have similar selfish expectations – “Woh bada hoke hamara khayal rakhega”, “Woh hamare khandaan ka waris hai”.

Whenever I hear this, a wave of sadness and anger overpowers me. Why do we treat our kids like some Fixed deposit or a Money back policy?

Didn’t we have kids because we wanted to create a bundle of joy with the person we love? A beautiful child to relive our childhood with? Correct me if I am wrong.

If that is the reason why we brought our kids into the world, why do we have such expectations from them, making them feel that they owe us anything? They don’t. It was our decision to bring them into this world and not theirs.

Can’t we treat them as individuals who can look forward to their life and build it in the manner they want without any tensions of our selfish expectations?

Can’t we be pillars of support and strength for them without any selfish expectations except of a great future for them!!

Let’s be selfless parents as we are meant to be!!

 

A loving and doting mom like all the moms out there! 🙂

The Jungle Book

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We were very excitedly waiting for The Jungle Book movie to release…and luckily it released today, on my husband’s birthday…so we saw the 1st show at 9 am…English 3D
What an awesome movie….brilliant animation and lip syncing of the animals…and Mowgli has done such a great job ☺☺
Its definitely worth watching with the kids…the interlaced humor adds a beauty to the script. But as in the comic I was expecting the cute girl at the end leading Mowgli to the man village which finally wasnt depicted

But nevertheless definitely watch it in the theatres in 3D.
Now to watch the Hindi 3D version ☺☺