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Category: Child Care

October 27, 2022 by The BusyBee 24 Comments

How art activities can benefit children

The benefits of painting activities are just innumerable. These activities can promote holistic development in children as painting has many social, emotional, physical and intellectual benefits.

The main reason why painting activities are not getting their due as one of the BEST afterschool activities for children is because some of the benefits of painting such as practicing control over holding pencil, promoting creativity are obvious while a majority of them like enhancing emotional stability, promoting communication skill etc are hidden. Let us look into the major benefits of painting activities.We hope that this list will bring about a positive change in the perception of parents.

1. Fine motor Control

When children use tools like brushes, knife etc to paint, they are giving exercise to their hands, wrists and fingers. This is important for learning to hold pencils and pens when they write and also turning the pages of books when they read.

2. Hand-Eye Coordination

It involves using information taken in through the eyes to guide both fine & gross motor activities.Using paint brushes and other painting tools will promote this.

3. Gross motor control

Yes, you read it right.Painting on large surfaces like large sheet of paper or a large wall provide good exercise for their large muscles.On a lighter note,running around to change and clean the brush will promote gross motor skills.

4. Visual discrimination

It involves the ability to detect differences in what you are seeing and ability to classify objects, symbols, or shapes. Painting activity may be used in several ways to support kids’ visual discrimination development, for example, copying a picture that is set right next to them into their own painting, completing partly-painted pictures, finger painting shapes or other images, painting within an outlined boundary on paper surfaces. This will ultimately help them in solving puzzles like finding the difference between two pictures, copying whatever is written on board into their notebook etc.

5. Spatial sense

This is the ability to visualize shapes in the mind’s eye. This sense will help a child to write everything with in a line or with in a box. These skills are ultimately required for a child to work in the field of engineering, architecture etc in future.

6. Enhance creativity

Children love to use colours. Colours can seem to be messy for a parent but if children are left to use colour as per their will it can work wonders for their overall growth. Children are not much worried about the outcome of their work. Ideally it should be so. A child left to colour on his free will can surprise you with his masterpiece.

7. Emotional Stability

Painting activities can have a calming effect on children. Children often do not know the words for expressing what they are feeling. Painting offers them a way to express their feelings through lines, colours and other symbols.

8. Appreciation of art

It is valuable to teach children to understand and appreciate art in any form. Appreciating art work of famous artists will promote children to get inspired, become curious and ultimately develop their own style in future.

9. Planning

Before any art work the child will have to plan what colours are required, what tools are required, which colour combinations will be the best. All this planning will ultimately help him in future.

10. Concentration

Painting activities requires a child to focus on whatever he is doing. Over the period of time he will understand that if he does not focus on his work the outcome may not be that great. It promotes patience also. Studies have also shown that in children with attention deficit painting activities when done regularly can increase their attention span.

11. Experiencing art

Painting lets a child to express ideas, convey emotions, explore colours, learn the process of painting and finally experience the pleasant or not so pleasant outcome .

12. Communication skills

Painting can be a good ay to start good conversations. For example, What colours they have used and why? Believe me, their response can really surprise you.

The benefits of painting are innumerable. We have designed a canvas painting kit as we believe that children should be exposed to different painting mediums from a very young age. You can buy the Artwist Canvas painting kit here

Unlike the 80’s or 90’s there is a marked change in attitude of people towards art education. The policies of the government like including art education in the curriculum and remodeling the textbooks in such a way that art is incorporated in learning of alphabets, numbers and basic concepts has really played a major role in changing the attitude towards art. But still there is an alarming number of people who believe that art education is a waste of time. We hope that ,this blog will play a role in changing this perception.

August 8, 2022 by The BusyBee 19 Comments

How Hobbies promote Holistic development

“A Hobby a Day, Keeps the Doldrums Away”

Hobbies indeed are one of the best ways to spend the spare time.When it comes to children, hobbies are one of the best ways to promote holistic development in them. To know more about holistic development, you can read our blog here. Let me list out a few awesome hobbies which are very interesting and can work wonders for the overall development of children.

1. Bird Watching

Birdwatching is a wonderful low-cost hobby for people of all ages!The only thing you will need is a binocular.For a starter you can get your child to observe the birds he sees in his backyard.It is an excellent hobby because it requires children to observe,identify and memorise birds.To take it a level higher the child can be asked to keep a log of his observations either as drawing or as a written observation.It promotes cognitive skill,sensory skill and boosts overall confidence of the child.

2. Philately

It is one of the oldest hobbies & isrightly known as the King of all Hobbies as its value offerings are innumerable. Philately or Stamp Collection is not only recreational but it also increases the knowledge and wisdom of children. Stamps come in multiple designs, colours, shapes, themes, and dimensions.It promotes cognitive skill,aesthetic skill and overall general knowledge of the child.

3. Gardening

There is no better hobby which can promote physical activity in children.Digging,watering of plants etc. not only provides physical activity but also helps in strengthening of hands.It will also help in making the child aware about various plants and healthy food.There can be no better accomplishment for a child than to own a lovely garden.You can also promote creativity in children by setting up flower beds and vegetables in anaesthetic manner.Gardening as a hobby promotes aesthetic sense,sensory skill,motor skills and overall happiness of the child.

4. Astronomy

Astronomy is a fascinating hobby and it can be introduction to several practical technologies. Astronomy is an outdoor nature hobby, so the best way to begin is to go out into the night and learn the starry names and patterns overhead.Initially you can start off with unaided eye and then progress to using binoculars and telescopes.Now a days there are many mobile apps which will assist in imaging the various celestial bodies.It promotes cognitive skill,general knowledge and promotes curiosity in children.

5. Photography

(Photos courtesy Kabir Sharma. You can see his wonderful collection of photos in his Instagram handle here )

Photography as a hobby adds so much to the life of children.Unknowingly they will learn to appreciate nature,they will know so much about people while recording their videos and photos.Photography promotes creativity and socioemotional skills in children. As children grow up, photography can lead to a lot of travelling and meeting new people which itself can be a very enriching experience.

6. Baking

Baking is an excellent hobby as it introduces kids to basic life skill.It also enhances reading skills which in turn enriches oral vocabulary. Measuring the ingredients, setting the temperature of oven -all these activities will definitely help kids to get better in mathematics. Not to forget, they get to learn a lot of Math too. So,baking as a whole promotes cognitive skills, literary skills,motor skills and self-confidence.

7. Reading

It is one of the commonest hobby children list out when asked what their hobby is. Pursuing reading skill has many benefitslike enriched vocabulary, high imagination power, better general awareness to name a few.Today a Reader,Tomorrow a Leader.This quote sums up the benefits of reading well.

8. Knitting

Knitting is a very soothing and relaxing hobby. It can promote creativity in children. It can also promote motor skills,hand eye coordination,promotes concentration.

There are many hobbies like

  • Learning new language
  • Journaling
  • Scrapbooking
  • Playing musical instruments
  • Writing letters to pen friends,family
  • Learn calligraphy

 which children can pursue as per their interest.As adults,we can help children to choose a hobby which suits them.This is how you can do that.

  • Children tend to imitate parents.So, you can generate interest in children by setting a personal example. You can make the child a part of your own hobby and thus generate curiosity.
  • Visits to museum,art galleries,collector’s studio,plays,concerts will broaden the horizon of children and thus motivate children to pick up some hobby.
  • Never rush or force your child into hobbies. Children should be given a free will to pursue hobby in the way they want.
  • Motivate children to have patience else they won’t be able to pursue a hobby for long.

Benefits of Pursuing Hobbies

  • It promotes holistic development in children.

Any activity which promotes overall development of children should not be left out. Parents should grab the opportunity.

  • It will help children to keep themselves out of low value activities like uncontrolled watching of TV,browsing of social media etc.
  • It acts as a stress buster.
  • Nurture creativity
  • Help face challenges
  • Improve general awareness
  • Teach time management
  • Build social skills
  • Contribute to emotional health.

 Ralph Lauren Emerson had rightly said,

“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life”.

So, What are you waiting for,Motivate your child to pick up a hobby and add variety and flavour tolife

July 9, 2022 by The BusyBee 43 Comments

Holistic (Whole- istic) development-What is it?

A lot is being written about holistic development these days. With NEP 2020 being discussed in media even a layman is familiar with the word.But after innumerable interactions with parents at various forums and in various cities we have unfortunately understood that people haven’t got the real gist of it. Real gist ,in the sense, “Why holistic development is important”.

Imagine you have called few of your friends for dinner at your place. You put your entire energy into the planning and making of the main course. You forgot about the snacks to be served .You hadn’t planned how to engage the kids who were invited. So, there was utter chaos when all the guests came. Even though the main course was extraordinarily good what will be your feeling after the guests left. Will you be happy or angry at yourself for not having planned the entire dinner well.Holistic development of a child is also similar.

Paying attention to development of just academic aspect will seriously hamper the social development,motor development,aesthetic development of the child.

These skills do develop automatically,say for example,the child will learn to run automatically,there is no need to teach him but for a child to reach to his full potential of running he has to be given extra training.Holistic development is just that…For a child to reach his full potential he should be given some extra training.

Also ,imagine you have fell down and hurt yourself .You are writhing in pain.In that condition you are told to write an article about something.Will you be able to do it properly.Unless you provide a conducive environment of the child to learn,explore and imbibe he won’t be able to gain any knowledge.

Holistic development is the social, emotional, physical, mental, and intellectual growth of a person. Taking a holistic approach to education means focusing on all aspects of a child’s growth, not just their academic advancements. Most importantly, it’s about establishing the child’s overall wellbeing. Without well being a child won’t be able to learn properly.

To effectively practice holistic development a parent should be aware about the age appropriate milestones. You can read our blog on milestones here for reference.

Holistic development includes

  • Socio-emotional skills
  • Motor skills which includes both gross motor and fine motor skills
  • Literacy skills which includes communication skills too.
  • Cognitive skills
  • Sensory skill

Socio-emotional skill

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It involves the development of a child’s emotional wellbeing, identity, independence, cooperation and interaction skills.

 IT IS THE BASIS OF ALL OTHER LEARNING BECAUSE ONCE CHILDREN HAVE CONFIDENCE, THEY FEEL EMPOWERED TO LEARN ANYTHING. 

Promoting social-emotional development:-

  • Children like to mimic their parents . So be a role model for them
  • Establish warm and caring relationships with children .
  • Help children understand all the different emotions. Also make them understand that all emotions are acceptable, including negative feelings.
  • Encourage children’s participation by giving them small responsibilities like putting their toy back after playing .
  • Offer encouragement and reinforcement for appropriate behaviors.

Fine motor skill

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Fine motor skills are those skills which involve the use of small muscles of fingers,toes and feet.These muscles control the dexterity of hands and fingers.Hand –eyecoordination, gripping and cutting are a few of them.

FINE MOTOR SKILL BUILDS THE FOUNDATION FOR WRITING AND DRAWING

 Promoting fine motor skills:-

  • Provide a wide range of drawing supplies like crayons, water colours, markers etc.
  • Beading and stringing activities
  • Cutting practice using child-safe scissors
  • Toys like puzzles, blocks and play dough
  • Sticker activities.

You can buy our Fine motor kit 1 & 2 here

Gross motor skill 

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Gross motor skills involve the use of large muscles and body parts, like the arms and legs. Running, jumping, balancing and dancing are some examples of gross motor skills in action.

GROSS MOTOR SKILL IS USUALLY THE FIRST SKILL THAT STARTS DEVELOPING IN CHILDREN.

Promoting Gross motor skills:-

  • Play music and encourage children to dance, clap, stomp their feet and play percussions on their bodies.
  • Provide ample outdoor play time.

Cognitive skill 

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Cognitive skills refers to a child’s ability to pay attention, think,memorise and learn new things.

COGNITIVE SKILL DEALS WITH NUMBERS,COUNTING,SHAPES,SIZE,ESTIMATION,TIME,MONEY,SORTING,GROUPING

Promoting Cognitive skills:-

  • Play board games which require memorising and strategising.
  • Memorising rhymes
  • Asking open ended questions
  • Play card games and puzzles.
  • Give approximation and estimation exercises 
  • Playing sorting of shapes,colours ,sizes etc

You can buy our Scholar bee early learning workbook 1early learning workbook 2early learning workbook 3.

Aesthetic sense 

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Aesthetic sense refers to a set of values relating to appreciation of nature & beauty

AESTHETIC SENSE DEVELOPS EARLIER AND EASIER IN KIDS WHO HAVE AESTHETICALLY PROFICIENT PARENTS.

 Promoting Aesthetic Sense:-

  • Drawing and Painting activities
  • Take children for nature walk
  • Take children to aesthetically rich environment like museum or exhibitions
  • Ask children to express their experiences through songs
  • Teach children to play instruments
  • Creating new things using clay
  • Craft activities

Sensory skill

asthetic-sence
asthetic-sence-busybee1

Sensory skill refers to the skill of using the senses to explore the world around them. They do this by touching, tasting, smelling, seeing, moving and hearing.

SENSORY SKILL IMPROVES MOTOR SKILLS AND ENHANCES THE OVERALL COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN.

 Promoting Sensory Skill:-

  • Speak to children about different textures.
  • Take children for sensory walk.
  • Playing with different toys like building blocks,coloured rice,pipe cleaners
  • Clay play
  • Messy eating
  • Creating a sensory bin
  • Creating home- made musical instrument
  • Baking together
  • Making your own small garden
  • Playing with sand bin
  • Water play
  • Beading
  • Pom pom sorting

Sensory play can seem to be a little messy but it is the starting point for a lot of new learning .

Literacy skill

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Literacy skill refers to the skills needed for reading and writing.They include awareness of sounds of language,print awareness,vocabulary,spelling and Reading comprehension. 

LITERACY SKILLS IMPROVE AUTOMATICALLY WHEN ALL THE ABOVE MENTIONED SKILLS DEVELOPE IN CHILDREN

Promoting Literacy Skill:-

  • Make reading a habit, For that read books to children
  • Create a print rich environment at home by setting reading nooks at home
  • Learn alphabets through play like making alphabets using clay
  • Singing rhymes
  • Simon says activity to increase vocabulary
  • Let library visits be a part of your life 
  • Pretend play
  • Visual discrimination activities like spot the differences 
  • Story telling 

Literacy skills if developed well in childhood ,it can take the child a long way in his educational journey.

Holistic development is the base for quality education. If this concept is practiced well at home and school real and authentic learning will happen. Just a small change in our approaches can go a long way in providing quality education to children.

You can buy our age appropriate holistically developed boxes for age 3-4 years here, for 4-5 years and 5-6 years Early Learning Kit 1Early Learning Kit 2Early Learning Kit 3.

June 21, 2022 by The BusyBee 231 Comments

Promoting Mindfulness through Yoga in Preschoolers.

Mindfulness is a term which is being used rampantly now and why not. The pandemic has wrecked havoc not only on the physical health of people but it has jeopardized the mental health also. It is not right to blame the pandemic alone for this. Nuclear families,busy schedule of parents,un healthy eating habits all these have added on to the deterioration in mental health.So ,this calls for measures to promote mental health. One word that has picked up momentum lately is MINDFULNESS.

According to Wikipedia, Mindfulness is the practice of purposefully bringing one’s attention in the present moment without evaluation, a skill one develops through meditation or other training. Mindfulness also involves acceptance which means that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them. Yoga is one of the techniques which will help us to practice mindfulness. Does all this sound a bit too irrelevant for preschoolers. This is where we are faltering. The long absence from school, lack of social interaction ,lack of competitivess all this has had a very drastic effect on the mental health of children. To overcome all this,we surely will have to take a few extra measures
like making yoga a part of child’s routine. 

Children by nature lead a very care free life. But joining back school after a long break, moving out of their comfort zone(home) after a long gap….all this can be a bit over whelming for children. This can create anxiety in them .Mindfulness can be a great tool to overcome this anxiety.

How can children practice mindfulness?

 

*Make the child to spend a few minutes in the morning sitting calmly just focusing on the breath. 

Don’t try to ensure that they do it properly.

Benefit

By making child to focus on breath, we are trying to build the concentration power in the child .It also helps the child to be aware about himself .Doing it daily will help to plant the idea of self awareness in the mind of the child.

*Teach the child a few specific Yoga poses which will help the child to nurture balance.

Balance includes both physical balance and emotional balance. Example of one such pose is Tree pose which means standing on one leg. To do a balancing pose child will have to concentrate on his whole body. Once he loses his concentration the balance will be lost. There are many such poses like mountain pose, serpent pose etc which will promote balance.

Benefit

Builds up Concentration in children.It also creates an awareness about balancing emotions in children.

*Make the child to accept self and others the way they are.

When a child is doing yoga, it will take some time for the child to master a particular pose .Also each child may not be doing it exactly the same way the other child is doing. Some children may not be able to do a particular pose altogether while the same child may be able to do another pose better than others.

Benefit

This will promote awareness about themselves and also help the child to accept his strengths and weaknesses. It will also promote an awareness amongst the children that all are not similar. Each of them is different and unique.

*Discuss about emotions with children.

A daily routine of discussing what he felt in school or at play or at home will go a long way in promoting mindfulness .While discussing try to normalize sadness, anger and other negative emotions.

Benefit 

It will make the child aware that like happiness, love etc strong emotions like sadness, anger etc are also very normal. In fact children must experience a variety of emotions to grow up to be well rounded individuals.

*Promoting imagination.

Visualisation of stories is one of the best way to build up imagination in children. For example when we are narrating a story about wild animals ask child to close his eyes and imagine as if he or she is in a jungle. Tell them to narrate what they are imagining.

Benefit

This will give a rich sensory experience to the child .It will promote imagination skills in the child which will ultimately benefit him to innovate and manage his emotions well.

The preschool stage represents a critical period for the development of foundational social emotional and self regulatory abilities. Self regulation refers to the internal mechanism that allows a child to manage their thoughts, behaviours and emotions. Children with stronger self regulation skills are better able to manage stress and socialize with peers and
teachers. Early self regulation is also linked with important long term outcomes in adolescence and adulthood.

Yoga for Humanity is the theme for this year’s International Yoga Day. Lets understand the full essence of this theme and play our role in raising mindful children and ultimately
contribute in the betterment of humanity.

Happy Yoga Day to All !!! Lets Bloom Within

May 19, 2022 by The BusyBee 1 Comment

How to engage preschoolers constructively during summer vacation.

Summer vacation is a much awaited event in every child and every parent’s life. Mangoes, grandparents, hill stations –It’s a cocktail of everything nice. Summer vacations have seen a great transformation when compared to olden times, the most marked one being – high pressure on parents to engage children constructively. Now owing to changing times and development of technology, there is a pressure on parents to device methods to engage children constructively because the distractions available to children are so many.

Summer vacations gives children enough time to relax and make the maximum use of possibilities to explore his/her interest. There are a number of ways you can engage your child like

1. Enrolling for a summer camp.

There is a plethora of summer camps available these days. For preschoolers it gives an opportunity to interact with new people which can be beneficial for his /her socio emotional development.

2. Join a reading club and try to be a part of reading challenge.

If you cannot find a reading challenge in your reading club, organize one yourself. It can be fun

3. Organise a Summer Vacation Bingo Challenge at home

Here we are giving you a comprehensive list of activities you can make your child to do. We have tried to make the list as interesting as possible by giving a right mix of indoor and outdoor activity. You can take a print out of this here and paste it on your fridge wall. Encourage the child to cut down each activity once he or she is done. Believe us….Children love to take challenges.

4. Learn a new skill .

Life skills like cycling,swimming  to name a few, can be learnt during vacations.

5. Watch some good movies .

Good movies can be a great learning experience for children. If you can keep  control on what your child watches during vacation ,the screen time can be used as an effective tool for showing your child different cultures sitting in the comfort of your home. You can see a list of 10 good movies for pre schoolers here.

6.Learning to use a new gadget at home

Teach your child how to use a washing machine.  Making children independent can be beneficial not only for the parent but also for the child also.It increases the confidence and self esteem of the child.

7. Learning a new language

Learning a new language can boost problem solving, critical thinking,  listening skills, memory, concentration and the ability to multi task.

8. Learning  new sport

It not only improves the fitness of your child, it will also help him to uncover his physical potential.

9. Learning a new art form

In this changing world, pursuing any hobby is a must .It will not only help the child to relax but this can be an asset for him in future.Who knows ,if he finds the hobby so interesting he may convert this hobby into a career in future.

10.Learn yoga

Times have changed. Engaging children constructively has become a requirement now as technology has really percolated into our routines so much that it can be detrimental to children if they are not guided properly. Yes, Parenting these days indeed is challenging, but life is fun only when challenges are thrown at you. What Say?

Let us know what you did during this vacation in the comment box below.

February 12, 2022 by The BusyBee 2 Comments

20 Children’s books which every parent must read

No, its not what you are thinking. The heading is not wrong………It is 20 Children’s book every PARENT must read!!!

January 24, 2022 by The BusyBee 141 Comments

Developmental milestones

March 2008, motherhood embraced me.Like any other new mother there was excitement but the excitement was sprinkled with a  sense of anxiety and nervousness.

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