Sunday, May 29, 2016

I Spy Printables! (Practical Mondays #15)

When you’ve run out of options and have already “spied” of all the furniture, toys, doors & windows in the house, all types of trucks and minivans in the road, and all the posters and doctors equipment while waiting for your turn, here are some I Spy Sheets you could use! 

Not just spy, but count the items and write the number at the bottom too.

Just Click & Print:

 Alphabets  |   Words  |   Shapes  |  Summer  

The Practical Mom: I Spy Printables! (Practical Mondays #15)


Here are my picks from previous Practical Mondays

 (Head over to find out the story behind this quirky name!) 

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The Practical Mom: I Spy Printables! (Practical Mondays #15)

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Should we diss our Children’s Instincts in favour of Parental Judgement? (Practical Mondays #14)

I had registered my son for a weeks’ vacation Bible Study at church, although he wasn’t comfortable going to Sunday School and I was pretty sure he wouldn’t be comfortable with this either. I simply hoped “something” might have changed, perhaps the teacher, classroom, children or general vibe? It was like trying out a vegetable children don’t like,  but love after a coupla months!

But nothing had changed. It was the same classroom, same setting and my son *hated* it. He refused to stay there. I even waited outside for about 15 minutes to see whether he eventually gets comfortable but that was not the case. They were moving from the classroom to outdoors and he walked out howling loudly. 

But during those 15 minutes, while I was chatting with other mommies and volunteers outside, I was told that I *must* leave him and that if I “gave in”, he was “being the boss”. 

I simply laughed it off saying “oh you know, kids!!”

Was it anything to do with obeying or being the boss? I didn’t think so. We are taking about a kid who has loved going to school since he was 1.5 years old. If he completely refused to stay back in another classroom setting, there must’ve been some primal instinct screaming inside him to do so. There must be *something* that had put him off, even though it was a ‘safe’ environment from a parent’s point of view.

I made my apologies and took him back. When we were alone, I had a little chat with him before driving away. 

"Why didn’t you want to stay? Did you not like the children? Did you not like Ms XYZ? Do you not like Ms ABC? Do you not like the classroom?" Repeat. I wanted to know *what* was bugging him. I still couldn’t put a finger on it in spite of his answers, because although 4 year olds can talk, they can’t always express themselves well.

But just because I didn’t understand, didn’t mean I didn’t accept. 

It’s the same reason I didn’t force him to hug people when he was little. If he didn’t want to I would be ready with the exasperated “oh, Kids!!” expression which is a MUCH more suitable option than forcing him against his instinct. 

It takes me back to something that happened a few years back.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Super Easy Map Activity (for Facetime with grandparents!) (Practical Mondays #13)

            “How's is the weather today in Santiago?”

            *my son runs to go get my phone, and checks the weather app*

            “It’s 16 degrees and cloudy today!”

An excellent practise for numbers! This mandatory question is accompanied by many other thoroughly boring & mundane ones like what did you have for breakfast? What did you do in school yesterday? What did you draw this week? While I personally would die of boredom having regular conversations with a 4 year old on facetime, my parents' level of consistency & enthusiasm cannot be faked!

Quality time spent with the Grands every Saturday morning is precious (for us too- we get to roll in the beds for a bit longer!) so here’s an activity I’d recently introduced that can actually be played via FaceTime!

Material Required: A dry erase type map, glued to the wall + dry erase markers, in as many colors as possible

Play it! Keep your device facing the map. Say a name of a country aloud and your kid goes colors it on the map!

Benefits: Not just the world around us, but sounding out words too.

Caveat: Be careful of certain dark colors such as RED, that are a bit difficult to wipe off completely! Since our map’s still blushing red, this color is off limits!   

Tip: For big countries such as Russia, we’ve switched to only stripes & dots - saves the grand effort of erasing! 

The Practical Mom: Super Easy Map Activity (for Facetime with grandparents!) (Practical Mondays #13)

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Art Studio Diaries: 10 Chapters (Practical Mondays #12)

I had an Art Studio, that conducted 8 sessions in the summer of 2015. It was something very close to my heart and made me extremely happy. But before I could start it full time, we moved countries. I don't know when will I be able to pursue it next, but here are my memories from it. 

Why Should Kids Paint?

Because paint needs to be poured & spilt.. 

The Practical Mom: Art Studio Diaries

The Practical Mom: Art Studio Diaries

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Yarn Toy Car Tracks (Practical Mondays #11)

A toy car track is an extremely loose concept. You can make simple ones, multilayered ones, and many times you don’t even need em since they’re all in the imagination. The worse ones are the ones taped on the ground. I made an elaborate one in my previous house and left it on for a week or two. I swear my maid was the sweetest person ever who would scrape off bit by bit every day to finally get rid of it after a whole week! 

I’m steering clear of tape. However great the quality!

But in case you’re looking for Super-Easy, Not-Messy, Use & Throw one, use yarn! We use some some from time to time and love it! They can be made by kids themselves *and* cleaned up them too!

The Practical Mom: Yarn Toy Car Tracks (Practical Mondays #11)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Quiz: Are you Smarter than your Preschooler? (Practical Mondays #10)

            There’s a whole country named CHAD?

            Huh! lemme google it 

            Oh. it is. Amongst the 25 largest in the world that too.

            Is it new? cuz I don’t remember marking my maps with it in my geography class. 

            No it’s not. It has been there long before even my grandfather was born.

That’s a sample conversation that takes place in my brain every few nights. Every time we pull out a new book or new activity.

Did you know that many fish have a bag of air called a swim bladder which works like an armband. When the fish fill the bladder with air, they float high in the water and when they let the air out, they float lower down. Did you know that sharks don’t have em? So they *have* to keep swimming and if they don’t, they're so heavy that they sink like stones! 

Fascinating ha? I’m somewhere in between fascinated and dumbstruck. Dumbstruck by my own dumbness. These are PRESCHOOLER level books, for God’s sake! Books meant for little 4 and 5 year olds. And I have been walking around for 35 years without knowing this stuff? 

So every evening after my 4 year old brushes his teeth, changes into his PJs and snuggles with me in warm blankets to read, I wonder whether I’m doing it for myself. 

Are you in the same boat as me? Are you smarter than your preschooler?

Take this super quick 5 question quiz to find out! (Teachers…shhh, resist the urge to show off!)

What color are Flamingoes?

They’re grey! They get their pink color from the shrimp & algae they eat. No shrimp? No pink!

When ancient Egyptians prepared mummies, did they remove the heart or the brains?

The brains! Since they were considered useless while the heart was super important! The dead travelled to another part of the world where they needed their bodies- so duh! why would they need their brains?!

Which fish carry their eggs in their mouths till they hatch?

Tilapia! And I wonder how many end up being swallowed when the fish got hungry. Honey, would you please pick up some eggs for breakfast…oh, never mind. 

What is “Prehistoric”?

Prehistoric means the period before men started writing & recording history. Like when the dinosaurs were around. Because they couldn’t be bothered about writing. or recording. or reading books to their preschoolers.

What is the difference between Crocodiles & Alligators?

Crocodiles have more pointed snouts and a large tooth sticking up on each side when they close their mouths. There Sheldon, now I know.

How many did you get right? & what your score means:

5 - Looks like you are a teacher. Couldn’t help showing off, could you?
4 - Looks like you’re an actual preschooler. Darling, this test was for your parents. Go get them.
3 - Sigh, looks like you cheated! Was that really necessary?
2 - Congratulations, you’ve been reading to your child every night!
1 - Congratulations! You’re a lucky guesser! 
0 - Congratulations! We’re in the same boat! Pls email me your contact details, we should be life long friends!