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Wisdom Vine

5 Foods that have Hidden Sugar

People might consider candies or sweets as food with sugars. But, there are many foods that people would consider “healthy” that may actually have a lot of added or hidden sugar in them. Consumption of excess sugars is unhealthy in many ways. So, it’s important to be aware of foods that have high sugar content.

Granola Bars

We usually associate protein bars with ‘health foods.’ These bars though have many sweeteners like corn syrup or brown sugar, that are high in calorific value. These bars are often tagged as low-fat health food, despite being high in both calories and sugar. If you are someone who cannot resist a granola bar, try choosing the ones with less added sugar or maybe try making one at home! It can also be used as a topping for fruit or yoghurt. Just keep an eye on the total sugars in the bar!

Breakfast Cereal

Many breakfast cereals like corn flakes’ or ‘chocolate cereals’ have as much as 10-20 grams of hidden sugar per cup. Always read the label before you buy breakfast cereal. Go for the ones that are high in fiber and don’t have added sugar. As breakfast cereals are consumed daily in many homes, it’s important to go through the ‘nutrition facts’ panel so you know what you’re getting. Also, remember that the total amount of sugars recommended for children will be lower than adults- so keep an eye on those portions.

Energy Drinks

Energy drinks are meant to hydrate and energize the body in a short period. Due to this reason, they have sugars of which we aren’t aware of. Drinks like Redbull, Monster do serve the purpose if we talk about ‘quick-energy.’, but aren’t great for our body in the long run.  

Ready-to-eat foods

Instant upma, poha and other ready-to-eat food items have added sugar because of which they could be classified as ‘not-so-healthy.’ Sugars and salts help preserve the food longer – which is why they’re present in generous proportions in most ready-to-eat foods. Try cooking at home whenever possible so you know what you are consuming. Again, checking the labels before making any purchase is the right approach for all consumables. 

Canned fruits and juices

Sugar acts as a preservative and hence is added to canned fruits and juices to prevent spoilage. Canned fruits and juices also lack the nutrients that fresh fruits and juices provide. So we’d say that you include fresh fruits and juices in your meals rather than the canned ones. Opt for brands that don’t have too much added sugar. When selecting juices, read the label to see if it says “100% fruit juice” or if it is juices made from pulp/ concentrate with added sugars and water, along with preservatives. 

Children’s Health Drinks

That yummy chocolate-flavoured powder we’re mixing in our child’s milk, to make it more palatable, we think it’s a win-win right? Our children love it, plus it’s got all those added vitamins to boot! Well, there’s one more ‘added’ thing in them that you probably didn’t expect. Added sugars. Yes, a lot of health drinks available in the market have a lot of added sugars. This makes them appealing to our children. It’s time we took a good hard look at the labels and see just how much added sugars your ‘health’ mix has. A healthier option might just be to offer them a home-made banana or strawberry shake. 

Flavoured milk/ Yoghurt

It’s the same as the health drinks – we think we’re offering our children a healthier alternative. But, while the milk and yogurt by themselves are great for your children, the moment we add the flavours, there might be sugars added to sweeten the drink up. Again- you might find it a healthier alternative to serving your yogurt up with fresh fruit, raisins and nuts. 

Anything consumed in excess is not healthy! Keeping a check on what we are consuming helps. Especially in this day and age when we tend to be overly dependent on readymade sauces, spreads, and juices. . It’s always better to t be aware of the daily sugar intake of the family. . Freshly cooked meals do go a long way in being conscious of what’s going onto the family’s plates. But if that’s difficult, look around for the healthy options – by making sure to check the nutritional information and ingredients of the products we buy.  

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Lido Bytes

Improving your Child’s Mental Math ability

For children, being aware of math tricks in order to perform quick calculations is a must. It is something that children should be encouraged to learn from a young age. The ability to do mental math is a great way to save time while solving lengthy word problems or even solving general math questions! Let’s look at some of the ways that can help brush up your child’s mental math abilities!

Use technology to your advantage!

With countless apps to learn maths from, app or game-based learning is a great way to improve your child’s mental math abilities. Apps like ‘Mental Math Practice’ or ‘Mental Math,’ on the playstore are a great way to hone your child’s mental math ability. Educational games are a great way to keep your child engaged and at the same time, improve their thinking skills.

Encourage your child to read math books

Math books for children like ‘Vedic Maths or Mental Mathematics on Flipkart are some great books that will help in your child’s math-learning journey. There are books available online with easy-to-learn tips and tricks for maths that could come in very handy for problem-solving. Apart from the regular curriculum followed in schools, introducing children to such useful books is a great way to enhance their mental math skills.

Calculate without the calculator

With smartphones and calculators readily available, children rarely calculate anything mentally. One of the best ways to sharpen math skills is by making use of number tricks and hacks that would help in calculations. Aim to use calculators only when absolutely necessary. Isn’t that what the purpose of ‘mental maths’ is, ultimately? To put our brains to work and look for answers!

Play memory improving games

Games like ‘Sudoku’ or ‘Sum Square’ are great for children to boost their memory and concentration level. Sudoku is known to improve memory and analytical thinking – memory and logic work side-by-side while we solve it. That’s a skill needed for doing mental math too. Besides such memory games, there are also some useful mental-math tricks that can be used while solving problems.

Practice! Practice!

Remember, ‘practice makes–perfect!’ The key is to develop ‘number curiosity’ in your child’s mind so they don’t dread doing maths. The more they practice solving problems, the better they will learn. Math is all about practice and patience – the more you solve, the more you learn. With practice, mental maths becomes second nature until they find it easier to do it all mentally than to use pen and paper or even the calculator! 

Mental maths is a great tool to have in your arsenal when you appear for competitive exams like olympiads or even entrance exams in later stages. It helps in completing your paper not just accurately, but on time – and that’s a skill that everyone could do with! 

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Wisdom Vine

What is Journaling and how can it help?

Some call it diary writing, some call it journaling. As parents, it’s important to know who journaling can help your child in expressing their emotions or collecting their thoughts in a journal. There are a lot of benefits to journaling and here’s how it can help your little ones!

It improves writing & communication skills

Expressing our thoughts on paper helps us to improve our writing and communication. The earlier children learn to start journaling, the better they get at writing effectively. Simply put, writing more helps us write better. Getting into the habit of regular journaling helps children in improving their communication skills as well. It helps with accurate syntax, sentence formation and flow. 

Sparks Creativity

Journaling is a great way to pen down your thoughts and ideas on paper. Encourage children to chronicle anything from their day at school or the changes they like to see or make around themselves or even about their experience during a recent family vacation. The key is to ask them questions that would spark creativity and encourage them to write down their answers on paper. Writing paves way to being more open-minded and takes one’s imagination to a different level.

It leads to better emotional health

The ability to write about your thoughts and emotions is a great skill to possess. It leads to improved emotional well-being of both children and adults. Journaling helps you describe your feelings and is a good coping mechanism for the hard times an individual might be going through. It can also prove to be a safe outlet for all the negative thoughts or emotions that are swirling around in a child’s head. Writing just about anything is a great stress-buster and helps in maintaining our emotional balance.

Set & Achieve your goals

Writing down our goals and aspirations in a journal is a good way to think and plan ahead. Get children to write down what they hope to achieve that week, that month and that year. The journal starts to work like a progress-tracker where children can keep a tab on their growth in whatever they choose to write about. They could write about something as simple as ‘Hobbies I want to pursue’ or ‘What are the new things I learnt about XYZ.’ Journaling with the purpose of tracking achievements can help children maintain positivity in their lives and build on their self esteem, when they see how much they’ve achieved. 

Boosts your memory

Your brain is likely to remember everything you have written down in your journal. Reading old entries in your journal can trigger memories of events and experiences you might have forgotten. In simple words, writing something down is a great way to recall it in the future. Studies have revealed that people who journaled at night had a better memory-recall of events and experiences than the ones who journaled during the day.

Whatever the reason your children might have to start Journaling, it is important that we respect their privacy. Let journaling be the space where they can write without judgement, think without policing. It is a way for children to process the information around them. Trust that they will come to you if something is really bothering them, but allow them to work through it first. Journaling can help children at any age. In fact, it’s never too late to start – you might want to consider keeping a journal yourself! 

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Wisdom Vine

6 Must-Read Science Books for Your Young Scientist

So, your child is a science geek! That’s amazing – they’re going to change the world someday! But do you also find them giving you a really tough time when you ask them to read? We can understand – after all, why would they want to spend time in the world of witches, wizards and demi-Gods when they could be spent exploring the wonderful mysteries of the Universe. But what if we could scour the universe for science books that your science-mad child will love? Wouldn’t that be amazing?… We’re going to give a go! 

1. Rube Goldberg’s Simple Normal Humdrum School Day – Jennifer George, Ed Steckley (illustrator)

Ages 5-7

If Rube’s inventions are any indication, “normal” means something very different in the Goldberg household. For Rube, up is down, in is out, and the simplest path to accomplishing an everyday task―like brushing his teeth or getting dressed―is a humorously complicated one. Follow Rube as he sets out on a typical school day, overcomplicating each and every step from the time he wakes up in the morning until the time he goes to bed at night.   This book features fourteen inventions, each depicting an interactive sequence whose purpose is to help Rube accomplish mundane daily tasks: a simple way to get ready for school, to make breakfast, to do his homework, and so much more.

2. Animal Architects: Amazing Animals Who Build Their Homes – Julio Antonio Blasco  (Author), Daniel Nassar (Author)

Ages 7-11

From gladiator frogs to chimpanzees, learn about how animals all over the world build their homes. Each spread contains a beautiful, colourful illustration of each animal and its home, plus a unique fold-out information panel, with stats and a simple architectural diagram showcasing the creation of the ‘architect’.

3. Kate the Chemist Series – Kate Biberdorf

Ages 8-11

The Kate the Chemist fiction series features a 10-year-old Kate the Chemist who, along with her friends and little brother Liam, solves problems in her community with the help of science! This series shows children that science truly is everywhere. One of the many great science books out there for children!

4. Super Cool Tech by DK

Ages 8-12

Following on from the original multi-million seller How Cool Stuff Works, this cutting-edge visual guide for children comes packed with top-notch technology for state-of-the-art buildings, record-breaking transport, mind-blowing entertainment devices, and advanced Artificial Intelligence. What’s more, this jam-packed book even looks into fantastic future technologies, including teleportation and invisibility cloaks.

5. Wrinkle in time – Madeleine L’Engle

Age 9-11

A Wrinkle in Time is the story of Meg Murry, a high-school-aged girl who is transported on an adventure through time and space with her younger brother Charles Wallace and her friend Calvin O’Keefe to rescue her father, a gifted scientist, from the evil forces that hold him prisoner on another planet.

6. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Young Reader’s Edition)- William Kamkwamba  (Author), Bryan Mealer  (Author), Anna Hymas (Illustrator)

Ages 10+

A terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba’s tiny village in Malawi. His family lost all of the season’s crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family’s life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William’s windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land.

Retold for a younger audience, this exciting memoir shows how, even in a desperate situation, one boy’s brilliant idea can light up the world. 

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Wisdom Vine

Your Body Language is revealing your deepest secrets!

Communication has got to do with a lot more than the words we speak. And one of the most important non-verbal clues is body language. There are a few non-verbal communication cues that we cannot control but they say a lot about what a person is trying to convey. So let’s jump in to see how you can use body language to create the right impression.

Handshakes

A firm handshake conveys a sign of confidence. A handshake is one of the first impressions we get of someone. A nice, firm handshake implies that a person is confident and outgoing. A limp handshake could imply the exact opposite of this. If you drop out your hand too quickly, it could be taken as a sign of shyness. Mind you, we’re saying firm, not bone-crushing! You don’t want to leave the other person in pain and confused about why you want to hurt them. Remember, a handshake and the first impression go hand-in-hand, literally.

Crossing your arms

Talking to someone with arms crossed could give out a sign of being a closed person, someone who’s not open to communication. Others may also take it as a sign of you being anxious or lacking confidence. Let your arms fall to your side when you are conversing. This will give people the impression of you being more approachable and open to communication. At times, a ‘cross-arm’ cue could also convey arrogance or overconfidence. Always better to have your arms by your side, or on your lap, if you’re sitting, instead!

Posture

A person’s posture can tell a lot about their personality and how they feel about something. An open posture, that is, keeping the trunk of the body open coveys friendliness and an ‘open-to-talk’ attitude. A closed posture, where a person tries to hide the trunk of their body either by crossing their arms or a slumped posture may convey hostility or a ‘not keen to talk’ attitude. Posture also has to do with how you sit, stand and walk. Sitting slouched over signifies dejection, or a lack in confidence. SItting sprawled out might be misconstrued as arrogance in a formal situation. Standing with your shoulders thrown back isn’t just great for your spine- it’s great body language too. 

Eye Contact

When we try to avoid eye contact while speaking, we tend to come across as shy or under confident. It’s an important non-verbal cue of communication that says a lot about an individual’s personality. Always maintaining eye contact while speaking is the key to come across as friendly and a confident individual. It also conveys that a person is attentive and focused while communicating. It’s a  vital non-verbal cue.

Tapping your feet while sitting

If you do this often, people might think of you as someone who is impatient or someone who is nervous. This, in turn, might make others uncomfortable while talking to you – they may think you are preoccupied or are inattentive to the person in front of you. The best way to avoid this is by simply being aware of the times you tend to do it. Shifting your position to a more comfortable or moving your feet slightly might help you curb this habit. 

Smile

This might seem like a rather obvious one- but you’d be surprised by the number of times we forget to employ this rather simple tool. Smile often, smile while making eye contact and smile whole heartedly. It reflects positivity and happiness- both qualities that people love to have around them. 

Body language often gives out signals of our thought process or frame of mind, that we may not realise we’re giving out. . Sticking to the right non-verbal cues will help you communicate better and make others want to talk to you. Remember, your body language can speak volumes about you – even if you don’t utter a single word!

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Wisdom Vine

Stress eating – What is it and how to avoid it

Do your children start munching on food when they feel worried about something or because of something that is bothering them? Don’t worry, they are not alone. Stress is a common trigger for many children and adults that leads to ‘emotional eating.’ Children and adults turn to ‘comfort foods’ whenever they are burdened because of circumstances. Stress eating can lead to unhealthy dietary habits, apart from taking a toll on your mental health. It is easy to say we need to “avoid stress” so we don’t stress eat, but we know that’s not always possible. But there are ways to reduce the chances of you or your child reaching for that bar of chocolate. 

Identify the stressors

It’s important to identify and understand the stressors that lead to stress eating. These are the emotional triggers that make you want to eat without actually feeling hungry. Once parents recognize these stressors, they can take the necessary steps to reduce the stressors in the first place. Try to provide healthier alternatives when children stress eat. For example, doing yoga or exercise when children are stressed. Interact with your children and make sure they know they can come to you when they are going through a difficult time.

Avoid rewarding children with food

Rewarding your child with candies or chocolates from an early age will make them habituated to using food as a stress-buster in the future. Instead, try rewarding them with a book, an activity  or something that would keep them happily engaged like a musical instrument/craft item. This also breaks the correlation of feeling rewarded every time you have an unhealthy snack. 

Pick up a sport!

Studies have shown that children who lead an active lifestyle are able to handle stress better. The best way to ensure this is by picking up a sport they like, and taking the time out to pursue it together. Being involved in sports is a great way to keep stress at bay. You are also role-modeling an active lifestyle for them to follow, while having a whole lot of fun! Even if you can’t actively pursue it with them, weekend games are a great way to bond. Besides, when they see their parents make an effort at an activity that they might not be great at, it encourages them to try out new activities without the fear of failure! That’s a further reduction of stress levels, right there. 

Keep a track of what children eat

Keeping a track of your child’s eating habits will help them realize when and why they eat. This could help to limit food cravings arising due to emotional factors. The more your children are aware of their eating habits, the better it will be for them to avoid stress-eating. Making them follow an ‘eating schedule’ could help in ensuring they stick to a weekly routine for eating. You might initially need to follow this schedule with them – but gradually they will be able to self-regulate, when they settle into the new schedule. 

Find ways to overcome boredom

Sometimes it’s not the stress, but the sheer lack of activity or something to do that leads to bingeing. Isn’t that what we ourselves are guilty of doing sometimes – Reaching for that bag of chips or popcorn while binge-watching the latest series on the television? . Pick up a hobby together or an activity they like. Children tend to eat more when they are bored and eventually this becomes a habit. The best way to avoid this is by keeping a check on these habits from an early age in their lives!

Like we said at the outset – we cannot completely eliminate stress from our lives, but we can regulate how we and our children react to it. Habits are hard to break – but with a bit of encouragement and a whole lot of love, we can guide our children to be able to deal with life’s stresses without reaching for that last piece of chocolate cake in the fridge – unless it’s your birthday! Then you absolutely must have the last piece of chocolate cake in the fridge!

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Wisdom Vine

Internet Safety for Children

The internet has changed the way we live our lives. It has opened a whole new world of opportunities for us – and with almost 3 million users, it has emerged as the single, most important means of communication. However, as with all things, ‘With great power comes great responsibility’. The internet also has a side that is unpleasant and sometimes even dangerous- and it becomes increasingly important to protect our children from these and ensure internet safety.

The dangers of unsafe internet usage

If you thought it was tough to keep children off the internet before COVID-19, it’s almost impossible now. Between school assignments, playdates, online classes and meetings, our children’s social lives are increasingly being dominated by the internet. According to the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), 66 million Internet users in the country are in the age bracket of 5 to 11 years. Even if they do not have their own device, they have access to the internet. Internet safety is a growing concern amongst young users. Here are some of the threats* that parents should be aware of when they are online:

Contact with undesirable people, including:

Predators — for example, in social media messages or gaming lobby chat rooms.

Cyberbullies — children can be targeted by online bullies, including real-life ones.

Phishing scammers — they trick your child out of sensitive info about themselves or you.

Inappropriate content, such as:

Sexually explicit content — notably pornographic images and video.

Violent or graphic content — such as gore or acts of assault.

Obscene or age-inappropriate content — like foul language or drug and alcohol use.

Downloads of pirated materials — including music or video files.

Computer security issues:

Drive-by downloads — whereby simply visiting a website can result in malicious programs being automatically installed on your child’s computer.

Malware infections — can give other people access to your child’s computer. May appear in peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing programs, web links, attachments and more.

Unwanted advertising, pop-ups, and adware programs — often automatically installed when freeware or shareware programs are downloaded. These can also carry spyware.

(*source: https://www.kaspersky.co.in/)

How to keep your children safe online

Your children may be internet pros who could teach you a thing or two. But it is always better to make sure that you are around them, especially if they are navigating through a website for the first time. There are some basic tips you can follow as a family:

  1. Make sure websites are secure: Every website address starts with the letters “HTTP.” You know a site is secure when you see “HTTPS.” That means the website itself is taking measures to keep users and their information secure while they use the site.
  2. Keep everything updated: this is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your browsing is safe – companies are constantly updating their software and firmware to make sure your data is protected from viruses and malware. Security patches keep you safe from the latest threats. 
  3. For younger children, ensure that the place where they access the net is in a common access area – like the living room or study. That way, they always have you around in case something unwanted pops up. 
  4. Set up and establish rules for the family – in consultation with the children. This could include anything from the time spent on the internet, or playing games or times and places where devices are off-limits (for example mealtimes). Each family works differently with a different set of challenges, so set up rules that work for you as a family. 
  5. Bookmark your children’s favourite sites for easy access – it’s safer for children to access the site via the pages you’ve bookmarked as well. 
  6. Spend time with children talking them through safe internet practices.
For young children (below 7 years of age)

5- 7 year-olds are generally very trusting and are eager to learn more. They want to be able to show their newly acquired reading and numeracy skills and will tend to love conversations. These are wonderful traits to have and while these shouldn’t be curbed, there are certain predictions we need to take. 

  1. Always sit with your children when they are online, especially if they want to navigate the site themselves. For example, if they want to click on a link or a notification that shows up, or are drawn to advertisements that play in between the videos. 
  2. Use a child-friendly search engine like kiddle, or content providers like ABC Kids, CBeebies, YouTube Kids or KIDOZ.
  3. Disable pop-ups in your browser, so they don’t see any unpleasant images by accident. You can also use ad-blocking software. 
  4. Check that the games they play are age-appropriate. You can check the age-rating of any game or show here: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/reviews
  5. Check privacy settings on all devices that your child is handling. Ensure that the location services are off when they are on it. 
  6. Your payments and payment portals need to be password-protected, so your child cannot make in-app purchases by accident. 

Always talk to your child through what is safe and unsafe internet behaviour, so they will understand how to behave online, even in your absence. 

For children from ages 8- 12
  1. Set out rules for what your children can and cannot do online. Take them through the rules- and revisit them every six months to tweak them, remove some rules or add new ones. 
  2. Be the online role model for your children. Children at this age will only take a rule seriously if they see you modelling that behaviour. 
  3. Teach children about the importance of keeping personal details private. This includes names, birthdays, addresses, photographs,  places of work, names of schools, details about members of their family, their daily schedule (for eg: what time they go to play every day, or where) or anything that could reveal a personal detail about them. 
  4. While playing games, make sure the chat feature is disabled, or that your child is able to block a particular chat or player. While the game itself may be age-appropriate, there is no way of knowing who’s chatting to your child from the other side of the screen. Remind your child not to share names or personal details on games. 
  5. Ask your child to check with you before downloading a new app or game. You should check if parental controls and app permissions are okay. It is important to explain to children why certain games may be unsafe, even if “all their friends are playing it”.
  6. Set your searches to ‘safe searches on’. Ensure that pop-ups blockers are still enabled. If they want to disable it on any sight, they should ask you first. 
  7. Keep lines of communication open. Talk to your child beforehand about what is appropriate and inappropriate internet behaviour and what to do if they face cyberbullying or an unsafe conversation. Don’t wait for something untoward to happen before you have this conversation. 
  8. The basic rule at this age should always be – don’t share or say anything that you would be uncomfortable sharing with an absolute stranger in real life. 
For teens

This is the trickiest age for parents to monitor internet usage. Teenagers are at an age where they think – and probably do know more than us about us. But they are still children and discussions on safety and being a responsible netizen is essential to have.

Cyberbullying, sexting, pornography and identity theft are all on the rise, and it is essential to talk your teen through safe behaviours. 

  1. Set up ground rules – outline what you expect of them, and what is inappropriate. Make sure your teen is involved in these decisions, and give them your rationale behind the rules. Explain that once something is up online, it stays there forever, however much they may want to erase it. 
  2. If your teenagers have their own devices, make sure they know how to keep it updated. Have an antivirus programme running and to know that they should visit only trusted sites.
  3. Social media – this is often the place where parents and teens have the biggest difference of opinion. But it’s important that you are aware of their social media activity. Make sure your child accepts friend requests on social media only from people they know. Ensure they know about privacy settings and that their information, photos and feed aren’t visible to the public. 
  4. Make sure they’re not using a public wifi network when accessing their accounts. This is especially tempting for teens who seem to feel the need to be connected 24/7. 
  5. Talk to your teen through a what-if scenario. Make sure they know what to do in case they think they’ve been hacked, or if they want to report inappropriate content, or face cyberbullying. If you’ve been talking to them from an early age, they will most likely be quite responsible when they go online as teens.

The internet is here to stay

The internet is a powerful tool if used well and its influence is only set to grow. It is unreasonable and impractical to ask children to go completely offline until they are adults. It also means missing out on information that is vital to their education in this day and age. The idea is not to instil fear but to equip children with the skill and knowledge for them to be able to navigate safely through the online world – Just like one would, in the real world!

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Math-magic! Quick Multiplication Tips for Children

The jump from addition and subtraction to multiplication could turn out to be a challenge for children who are just starting out with it. However, there are a few tips ways by which parents and teachers can ensure that children grasp the concept of  multiplication without dreading numbers! 

Make use of pictures or materials to introduce the concept

Try and make use of anything lying around – pencils, balls, coins or pictures. Just about anything! Children learn faster when they are taught using some sort of pictorial representation or regular materials. Before explaining the ‘bookish ‘concepts, it’s advisable to make them understand what multiplication is, using simple, everyday objects. Things like x number of coins in each hand  is equal to x times two coins together. This is a great teaching method to make the transition from ‘+,’’ -’ to ‘x’ in their learning journey

Relate multiplication to addition

It goes without saying that children will better relate to addition while learning multiplication. The more we simplify concepts for them, the better their level of understanding. For example, 2×3 can be explained to them as 2+2+2 (that’s why we use the words, three times two). Once they interpret the meaning of multiplying, they’ll sail through the other concepts. After all, multiplication is repeated addition, isn’t it?

Use the multiplication table, starting with the “easy” numbers

Gradually, when children grasp the concept of multiplication, or repeated addition, introduce them to multiplication tables. Begin with the easy numbers like 2 or 3. While they learn their tables, be there to explain why 2×3 is 6 or why 3×3 is 9. Remember, it is all about strengthening their math fundamentals. Keep a multiplication table handy which children can refer to and try to make learning as much fun as you can! Reward them with stickers or stars when they get their tables right. 

Show how commutative property makes things simpler. 

Explaining children that any numbers can be multiplied in any order plays a crucial role in clearing any doubts they might have. Teach them how multiplication is commutative, just like addition. 2×5 is the same as 5×2. The more comfortable children are with numbers, the better they will be on the uptake. When they understand the commutative property effectively, it will only encourage them to go a step further. And again, you can make use of visual aids to explain this concept!

Try multiplication games

Game-based learning turns out to be effective almost every time. With multiple apps to download from, multiplication can be made a lot easier through the help of learning games. Some of the games you can search for are ‘Times Tables’ and ‘Math Blaster.’ Learning through games will keep children engaged and make learning an adventure of sorts.

Break memorization down into simpler steps

Once children start learning the multiplication table, explain to them the use of multiplication in our daily lives. Follow a step-by-step approach and gradually increase the difficulty level. The right approach with the right encouragement will do wonders for children. Give them enough time to practice a concept before you move on to the next. Once children are comfortable with memorizing the multiplication of smaller numbers, move on to bigger numbers. Don’t try to rush them onto the next number until they are completely familiar with the previous numbers.

By making use of these simple and effective strategies, you can ensure that multiplication isn’t so daunting for your children. Allow for a few mistakes to be made initially – it’s all part of strengthening their maths skills. Keep practicing and praising their efforts and you’ll notice how your child’s love for mathematics multiples!