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6 QUICK & EASY DIYs TO DO WITH YOUR CHILD

With all of us staying indoors due to the pandemic, it’s natural for kids to get bored and fidgety. And mums know that there’s nothing children dislike more than boredom! To keep boredom at bay, we’ve curated a list of DIY (do-it-yourself) projects that will keep not just your children, but the entire family engaged! DIY projects instill confidence in children and help them learn valuable skills that are useful in real life. Doing these projects together with the family is a great way to bond with your kids and have fun at the same time. Here are 6 projects you and your child can do together:

1. Marble Art

Materials Required: Nail paint, scrap paper, toothpicks/craft sticks

Method: Make sure you work in a well-ventilated room as the fumes are strong. Pour room temperature water into a pan and ensure that there is enough water for the paper to be submerged in. Put on disposable gloves so that the nail paint won’t stain your hands. Choose nail paints that would go well together and mix easily. Quickly pour your colours into the water starting from lighter colours to darker colours.  Take a toothpick, quickly swirl the colours around and quickly dunk your paper into the water and pull it out.

2. Stone Painting 

Materials: Poster colours, paintbrushes, small-sized stones, water for mixing paints

Method: In case you’ve some smooth pebbles from your old trips to beaches or river stones, paint them. Try painting flowers, ladybugs, smileys, whatever the heart desires! You can then use them to decorate your flower pots to create your very own rock garden.

3. Recycled Tin Can Windsocks

Materials: Any clean recycled can, acrylic colours, paintbrushes, glue, assorted ribbons, embellishments like glitter, sparkles, gemstones, sequins

Method: Start by painting the can. Be careful to make sure you’ve smoothened any sharp edges before letting your child take over. Let your child decide the colours. Stick colourful ribbons to the bottom rim of the can, by using glue. Paste sequins all over the tin can. You can also attach a ribbon at the top to hang the can and watch the ribbons sway colourfully in the wind. These recycled can windsocks would make a great addition to your balcony!

4. Button Art Tree

Materials: Colourful buttons, paints, paintbrushes, blank canvas

Method: Paint a tree trunk on the canvas. Instead of painting leaves, start sticking buttons on top. Make sure that buttons are differently sized and coloured to make the tree look attractive. 

5. DIY Slime

Materials: Contact-lens solution or borax, glue, shaving cream, foaming hand wash

Method: Mix a ratio of 2 parts glue to 1 part shaving cream together.

Add 10-12 pumps of foam hand soap and 2 spoons of your activator — a mixture of water and Borax or contact lens solution. Mix and knead the slime. Add more activator for a smoother and fluffier consistency. 

6. Clay Necklace

Materials: Clay (different colours), thumb pin/ needle, ribbon/ coloured thread

Method: Start by making small balls of clay. Use differently coloured colours to make the clay balls look vibrant. Use a thumb pin to make small holes in them. Gently, insert the ribbon through these holes. Once the clay is dried up, your necklace is ready!

These DIYs are sure to keep children busy and happy. Try them and watch how creative your children become!  

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6 REFRESHING DRINKS FOR CHILDREN TO BEAT THE HEAT

The sun is blazing and the temperatures are soaring. Staying hydrated is important, especially during summers. Fluid intake is vital to regulate body temperature, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep joints lubricated. Children need to up their hydration game during summers, to relieve fatigue and increase energy. When their water intake is optimum, not only do they feel more energised, they also sleep better and think better, as the body is free from toxins. 

But it can be tough to ensure that children are drinking adequate fluids, with just water. To make sure they’re drinking enough fluids, you could include a variety of summer drinks in their diets. We’ve got 6 nutritious summer drinks for you to try out in your kitchen. These fun recipes are easy enough to involve the children in the kitchen. 

1) THE CLASSIC LEMONADE 

No matter how many new drinks come up, nothing can beat the good old lemonade. This recipe takes all of ten minutes to prepare and can be stocked up in your fridge for a week. 

Ingredients: 1 cup white, granulated sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup)

                    1 cup water (for the simple syrup)

                    1 cup lemon juice

                    2 to 3 cups cold water (to dilute)

Method: In a  saucepan, add the sugar along with one cup of water. Stir to dissolve the sugar completely and remove the saucepan from heat. Juice your lemons. Add the juice along with the sugar syrup to a pitcher. Pour 2- 3 cups of water to this and taste. Add more water if you want the lemonade to be more diluted. Adjust sugar levels, as per your taste. 

2) AGUA FRESCA 

This summer special is extremely versatile and can be made from a variety of fruits. 

Ingredients: 2 cups of cold pineapple chunks

                    2 cups of cold strawberries 

                    8 cups of water

                    ¼ cup of sugar blend

Method: Easiest recipe ever, pour all the ingredients into a blender and get mixing. Once the ingredients are blended, pour the juice into glasses. You can even sieve the juice to remove the foam. 

3) CHERRY LIME SODA

This is a hit with children and delivers high on taste. 

Ingredients: 2 oz of frozen cherries (thawed)

                    1 cup of fresh lime juice

                    1 cup of sugar (granulated) 

                    4 cups of water

Method: Blend cherries and the lime juice into a fine mix. Low boil the cherry- lime mixture with a cup of water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir constantly to avoid lumps. Strain it and refrigerate. Add three more cups of water and serve it over ice.

4) WATERMELON SMOOTHIE

Smoothies are the easiest way to include vegetables and fruits in your child’s diet. They’re quick to make and rich in nutrients. 

Ingredients: 3 cups of seedless watermelon, cut into cubes and frozen. 

                    1 cup milk

                    1/2 cup  yogurt

                    3 tablespoons maple syrup

                    2 sprigs mint, garnish

Method: Place 3 cups of frozen watermelon cubes in a blender. Top the fruit with milk, yogurt, and maple syrup. Blend until smooth. Garnish it with mint and serve chilled. 

5) STRAWBERRY MILKSHAKE

The ultimate indulgence that never goes out of fashion, strawberry milkshakes are here to stay in your kitchens. 

Ingredients: 1/2 pound fresh strawberries

                    1 tablespoon sugar

                    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

                    1 pint vanilla ice cream

                    1/2 cup milk

Method: Cut the tops off the strawberries and slice them into small pieces.In a medium bowl, combine the sliced strawberries, sugar, and vanilla extract and stir to combine well. Set aside and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes. Place the strawberries with ice cream, and milk in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into large glasses and serve chilled. 

6) PEANUT BUTTER SMOOTHIE

Packed with protein, this peanut butter smoothie is sure to keep energy levels up.

            Ingredients:  2 bananas, broken into chunks

                                 2 cups milk ½ cup peanut butter

                                 2 tablespoons honey

                                 2 cups ice cubes

Method: Place bananas, milk, peanut butter, honey, and ice cubes in a blender; blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Voila, your peanut butter smoothie is ready! 

Do you have any recipe ideas for summer? Let us know in the comments!

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5 WAYS TO COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY WITH YOUR PRE-TEEN

There are many hard things in life and one of them is talking to your pre-teen or adolescent.  Parents with pre-teens and teenagers at home will know exactly what I’m talking about. Hormonal changes are real and boy, do they affect the way pre-teens communicate with their parents. Sometimes, the most genuine questions asked in good interest trigger an explosive response from your child simply because of the way the particular question has been asked. Words matter a lot when communicating and in case of communicating with a pre-teen, they carry more value than you know! 

Pre-teens struggle with a myriad of emotions and navigating through them is hard, with the dynamic changes the world brings today. A strong relationship with their parents provides them the much needed anchoring and support they need in their lives. The key lies in being around them without being overly assertive. Here are five ways in which you can make your everyday communication with your child better:

  • Steer clear of asking them how their day was. This turns them off especially when they’ve had a hard day. Moreover, this question is too predictable for them and they already know what answer to give you, which defeats the purpose of honest communication. Ask open-ended questions and keep the conversation centred around their interests. 
  • Don’t multitask. They hate it as much as we do when somebody is on their phone or isn’t wholeheartedly invested in the communication. 
  • Don’t give standard responses: Bullying and competition between peers gets way more vicious as teenage approaches. Pre-teens often hide such incidents from their parents fearing their involvement and retaliation. If your child comes to you with such instances, don’t give them the standard response of ‘don’t pick fights’ or ‘you should ask them to leave you alone.’ Instead, ask your child what they’d like to do and what kind of guidance they want from you and then offer advice and a safety plan to comfort them.  
  • Sarcasm is best avoided. Hormonal changes are massive in pre-teens and they have a hard time regulating their emotions. Don’t label your child as ‘difficult’ or ‘sensitive’ on the basis of their emotional outbursts. Respect where your child is coming from. Sarcasm and taunts don’t work; they only end up making children more defensive.   
  • Remind them about consequences: Pre-teens and teenagers are impulsive creatures. They often may not know the reasons behind their actions and prodding them with questions only makes it worse. If they make the wrong decision, gently point out the consequences of that decision and ask them what they would do next time.

If you know any other tips on effectively communicating with pre-teens and teenagers, do share them in the comments with our readers.