The Wonderful World Of Books

KIDS
A book is not only a companion but also a source of great knowledge. We might be living in a time where computers and the Internet have become the source and means of people’s entertainment and knowledge, but the wonderful world of books is still alive and well. During the first years of a child’s life, we, as parents, are providing our little ones with lots of different stimuli.

Books are the number one educational tool and children, as little as a few months old, they are fascinated by the colours and textures of a book. Babies might chew, throw or turn a book around but this will be the beginning of a long lasting journey to becoming a successful reader.

Here’s why you should encourage kids to read and how the wonderful world of books helps in shaping up their life:

  • Reading improves a child’s vocabulary and leads to more highly-developed language or social skills. A book provides a child with valuable vocabulary, starting from simple basic words all the way to making sentences and expanding their diction
  • Reading books stimulates and helps kids to create their own world of imagination. While reading the brain translates the descriptions we read of people, places and things into pictures
  • Books help in the development of empathy in kids. Being engrossed in a story stimulates emotions. We identify with the character in the story and hence, one can empathize with the character
  • Children who read do better at school. They do better at all subjects and they do better all the way through school. Different types of books offer children wider knowledge and experience
  • A book can be a great form of entertainment and can replace the Television and computer for a good part of the day. The constant movement, flashing lights and noise which bombard our senses when we’re watching TV, looking at a computer or playing an electronic game are actually quite stressful for our brains. Take some time-out
  • Lastly, the routine of reading a book with your child, at bedtime or at any other time, is emotionally nourishing and creates a long lasting bond. In addition, a parent can give examples of everyday life to the child that relates to the story. In this way, the child can recognize different situations as it grows up, and be better prepared to deal with or understand them

Time, spent with children by the book ‒ reading, telling stories, talking … ‒ is a quality time. Books provide inspiration, thought and reflection. It relaxes the body and calms the mind. Treasure every book you read and read often!

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A Thanksgiving Note!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Instilling a sense of gratitude in kids is very important. Gratitude goes beyond good manners. It is a mindset and a lifestyle. What better way to show gratitude than by saying a simple ‘Thank You”! Studies shows that kids who are grateful towards the smallest of things, reap concrete benefits, including greater life satisfaction and better attitude about school.

Toddlers and preschoolers are by nature self-centered. It is important and tricky to teach them gratitude. Here’s how you can teach your kids to be grateful and find happiness in the smallest of things

  • Kids learn from what they see around them. Be a grateful parent. It goes without saying that we love our kids, and that we’re thankful beyond words for their love, their smiles, their hugs and so much more. It is an invaluable exercise to tell your kids how grateful you are to have them
  • Set a good example by saying “thank you” sincerely and often. The values our kids embrace as they get older aren’t those we nag them into learning, but the ones they see us living out. There are countless opportunities every day for us to model gratitude for our kids — for example, thanking the waitress who serves your food, etc. When our kids see us expressing sincere thanks all the time, they’ll be more inclined to do so as well
  • Most religious traditions emphasize the practice of gratitude through acknowledging blessings and through serving others. Attending regular religious services is one way for kids to gain a sense of gratitude as part of a community. Spirituality and gratitude go hand in hand
  • Keep your eyes open for situations that eloquently illustrate the act of thankfulness. When kids can connect the concept of gratitude to a real-life situation, the lesson we’re teaching will be much more likely to stick
  • When kids complain or gripe, it can be helpful to try to find a response that looks on the brighter side. This instills a positive perspective in your kids and helps them find the silver lining
  • Insist on politeness and respect all around. When we teach our children to treat others with dignity and respect, they’ll be more likely to appreciate the ways in which those folks contribute to and improve their lives. We need to model for our kids the importance of treating everyone with respect
  • Encourage your kids to experience the “joy of giving”! The old saying “it’s better to give than to receive” has stuck around for a reason. It really does feel great to help someone else out
  • Have a moment of thanks each day when everyone shares something they’re thankful for. Whether the list includes a favorite toy, a lesson, or a meeting new people, this daily tradition can help develop a positive frame of mind

Now that we have given you few simple and quick ways to teach your kids to be thankful and see the brighter and positive side of life, as adults it is also our responsibility to show gratitude towards life and people. This thanksgiving be thankful for every breath you take, every food you eat, every new day you wake upto…

A thank you to all our wonderful readers!

Teaching Kids the Value for Money

Money is an essential part of life and it’s never too early to teach your children its value and the importance of saving. This will help them to understand the importance of spending money wisely and sensibly. Three and four-year-olds are starting to develop the cognitive skills necessary to understand basic monetary concepts, such as identifying coins, figuring out how to count change, and matching small amounts of money to items they want to buy. Learning the principles of responsible handling of money should give them many opportunities for advancement when they are older, which is why it is important that, even at a young age, children cultivate a respect for money. Here’s how you can teach them the value for money:

  • As your child learns to count, you can demonstrate the relationship between different values of coins. Also, children like to play games that involve fake currencies and saving and spending. Allow your kids try some of the online games that teach money skills. It’s a good way for them to learn the role of money
  • Get your child a piggy bank. This is a simple action that will teach your child the importance of saving and will instill a sense of responsibility towards handling money. Give them small goals to achieve in a particular time frame. Encourage them to earn the money towards fulfilling their goals
  • Encourage your child to make little money. Earning money is not only educational but empowering for kids. Kids can follow the pretty simple idea of earning pocket-money like, helping elders with their daily chores.
  • Encourage your kids to plan how to spend their savings. It will make them understand that with more savings they can have bigger goals fulfilled
  • Give your children their own allowances when you go shopping. Educate them on sensible spending and explain the priorities when shopping. Remind them that at the end the day, the most important thing is that they can buy what they want because they were able to save money in the piggy banks
  • Familiarize your kids to the bank and open savings accounts in their names. Let them talk to the teller and conduct their business themselves. Make sure they understand the terms and conditions of the account and suggest they commit to depositing regular amounts on a weekly or monthly basis. Having their own bank account will give your children a feeling of achievement which could even motivate them to save more
  • Lastly, kids tend to learn more from what they see around them. Being parents, your attitude toward money, the way you handle it, makes an impression on your children just as surely as your attitude toward other personal matters

We hope that these steps will help you to give your kids a quick understanding about the value and importance of money.

Things You Need To Know If Caught In a Flash Flood

With the irregular heavy rainfall, the possibility of a sudden flood is definitely not unimaginable. Such a sudden flood typically occurring due to heavy rains or is called a Flash Flood. Sometimes there is no warning of flash floods and that is why it is important to know what these are and be prepared before they happen.

Not just adults but children too should be aware of such calamities and understand few quick actions that they too, can take before, during and after a flash flood to stay safe and ensure other’s safety.

Here are a few things you should tell your kids and that can be really helpful during such a crisis:

Before the floods

  • Know about your local relief centres and evacuation routes
  • Keep emergency numbers and important information handy, as well as emergency supplies, kits, first aid items. These may include water, canned food, can opener, battery-operated radio, flashlight and protective clothing
  • Roll up and secure electrical appliances, Television, valuable documents, jewellery, etc
  • It is important to plant trees and shrubs in your compound if you stay in a lowland area. This can control erosion and cut down the speed of the flowing water
  • Keep a keen eye outside and on the weather report so that you can stay prepared
  • Do not step out in the rains. If you are already outside while it is raining it is advisable to get back home as quickly as possible

During floods

  • Flash floods occur in a short span of time. With the onset of a flash flood, be very quick, keep safe and ensure that children and elderly are safe by leaving the house to a higher ground
  • Turn off all electrical appliances and stay away from power points or broken power cables. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet
  • Carry emergency supplies and first aid items. Remember to carry drinking water
  • Do not walk through moving water during flash floods. As little as 6 inches of moving water can make you fall

 

After floods

  • Keep electricity off until the house is cleaned up properly. Check every corners of the house to be sure that the house is free of any water borne insects or snakes
  • Flood water is highly contaminated. Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals
  • Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters

 

Flash flood can disrupt livelihood. Many people and animals become homeless. But this will not ruin our love for monsoon and affect us in a bigger way if we are well aware and well prepared to tackle such a situation. While you train your little ones with some safety tips, here’s a beautiful nursery rhyme that will make their monsoon even merrier.

Road Safety Tips for Kids

As a parent, you may not be aware of the safety concerns of your children on the road until one day when you go to school bus stops, neighbour’s house, or local shops. Suddenly you realise that a wave of vehicles rushing in at you and you are scared to even take the smallest step towards crossing the road. Imagine if you are so scared how your little one will cross that road!

You can’t be around your kids to ensure their safety. The best you can do is to teach them about road safety so that they can take care of themselves when you are not around. Here are few road safety tricks that you should teach your kids to ensure they are careful.

1. Stop and look around

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Tell them never to attempt to cross the road in haste. Crossing the road hastily can only harm them. Ask them to stop and look around for a green signal before crossing the road. Teach them to be cautious and keep checking their left and right until they feel completely safe before crossing the road.

2. Think before you leap

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Teach your kids to think carefully before crossing the road. It is always best to give them the idea about the different traffic signals and the road rules. Remind them not to hurry and must cross the road when the traffic is favourable.

3. Keep your ears open

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Being a good listener will never put you to trouble. Teach them to keep their ears open to vehicles honking. Tell your children to walk straight and also warn them not to listen to music while crossing the road.

4. No Running

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Children have a tendency to run and leave your hands while walking on the road. It is your duty to keep your child calm on the streets. Running while on the road can cause serious damage to your child.

5. Use Zebra Crossing

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A zebra crossing might look little dizzy but your kids should learn its importance. Teach your child to use the Zebra Crossing only while crossing the road. While crossing, you can tell your child to make eye contact with the drivers, to pay full attention to the road, and teach them the importance of doing such things.

6. Road is not a Play Zone

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While your child goes out for playing, always put some restriction. Tell your child not to play near the street or at the parking area. Teach your child not to chase balls and other play stuffs as mistakenly they could land themselves on a traffic stricken road. Instead, they should seek help from elders.

7. Traffic Signals

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The traffic signal is only about three colours – Red, Green and Yellow! These are some of the important colours that your child should be aware. Teach the significance of each colour – red means “stop”, green for “go”, and yellow for “move with caution”.

8. Wear bright colours

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Bright colours always catch attention. You should advise your child to wear bright coloured clothing, even when they go out for bicycling on the streets. Wearing bright garments catch driver’s attention quickly.

9. Use sidewalks

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Teach your child uses pedestrian roads only for walking. If you demonstrate the same to your child they will follow and make it a habit.

10. Think twice

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Tell your child to think twice before crossing the road. Remind them to cross the road when the traffic is favourable and by hurrying, things will only get worse. Think before you leap.

Children before 9 years of age should not be allowed to cross roads on their own because they lack the necessary peripheral vision, hearing and judgement capabilities.Children never hesitate to copy adults. Practice the safest method before your children, for them to learn and grow. By setting a good example, you can ensure your child’s safety outside the school transportation service circle. Be wise!

 

Know About School Lockdown Drill

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A free evolved and developed society comes with a price and we now live in an increasingly violent and dangerous world. Places that were once considered safe havens are a source of potential crisis. Schools are such a place being both vulnerable and symbolic. They house the nation’s future, they symbolise society and the value of education. They are an important component of not only the educational system but also the community at large. We all have a responsibility to protect our schools and everyone there. If a person enters the school campus with the intent of doing harm then the decision and the actions we take in the first minutes can be the difference between life and death for everyone involved. How we react at the first few minutes of the situation can really dictate the next several hours and as well as the distant future. We should educate kids about all safety measures and must impart age appropriate information to them about such incidents.

When it comes to safety in schools today, many schools are not only implementing the fire drills but lock down drills as well. Lockdown drills are also different from evacuation drills. Evacuation drills are designed to prepare students, teachers, administrators, and other people in the school to leave the building quickly and in a pre-planned and organised fashion in the event of danger such as a bomb threat, when conditions outside the building are safer than the conditions inside the building.

School lockdown drills involve teaching children and adults how to barricade themselves in classrooms and hide from an armed and violent intruder. This may be necessary for situations where an evacuation would not be appropriate.

Steps of school Lockdown drills include:

Quietly and quickly enter the nearest classroom whenever there is an announcement about a lockdown emergency. If you are already in a classroom stay put and if you are in the hallway or out of your classroom do not loiter to find your own classroom, instead just walk into any nearest classroom.

Doors to classrooms should be closed and locked by any teacher or a student. Try to close the door without entering the hallway. Do not panic and do not close the door with a loud bang.

Barricade the door quickly with portable furniture. Students should barricade the door from inside by moving classroom furniture like the nearby tables, desks and chairs towards the door. This will create a block for the intruder both physically and mentally. Stack furniture as high as safely possible. Should an intruder get the door opens their vision and paths will limit their desire to enter the room.

Secure the windows and pull down window shades. While the barricade is being put up, another student can just go and close and lock the window to block any view from the outside. Any open window must be closed to prevent any intruder from entering the safe area.

Turn off lights, projectors and monitors in the meanwhile. It is important to know where the light switch is and turn it off immediately without causing any panic.

Stay calm and composed at such moment of crisis. If you panic then you are likely to make a wrong move. Just breathe in and breathe out and stay quiet.

Students should move to the safe area of the classroom without any panic. The place where you hide should be the least visible area of the classroom to any potential outside threat. It is tough to stay quiet and composed in darkness but such an emergency situation demands right actions.

Next, take attendance of the students. Once all the tasks are completed and you are settled down safely inside the classroom one should make a note of all the students who are normally present in the classroom and of those extra students who have entered the room during this emergency.

The red and green sheet is required as an indication. If there is a danger or a threat in the classroom or if you need immediate emergency assistance turn the sheet to the red side and stick it up on the window facing out as your class sign. If your classroom is secured leave your class sign with the green side facing outside.

Never use the phone to make any calls outside. Remain quiet and seated during the lockdown. Do not use the classroom phone unless there is an emergency inside the classroom.

End the Lockdown when you get an all clear signal from the recognisable officials.

Schools these days make it mandatory for students to follow a Lockdown drill. If your school hasn’t performed a lockdown drill yet, we have listed all the safety measures above to help you.  Regardless of whether a lockdown situation occurs because of an intruder, it is important to plan for what happens after the lockdown is initiated.  This is true for schools, and also for hospitals, government and retail locations that have similar plans in place. In order to determine the appropriate course of action and ensure the highest possible level of safety for occupants, first responders require as much information as possible about an emergency. The greater the situational awareness they have, the more effective the response will be. After all, we must hope for the best but prepare for the worst!

Internet Safety Tips

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In today’s generation, the internet takes a forefront when it comes to education, bringing the world together and also at your doorstep. The Internet is a wonderful resource for kids. These days kids who are old enough to swipe a screen can have access to the world through internet. That is why it is important to be aware of what your kids see and hear on the internet, who they talk to and what information they share about themselves online. At times a silly typo could expose your child to very sensitive and inappropriate content on the internet.

Children are learning about technology and using the internet at a younger age than ever. So parents must ensure that their kids are aware of the online dangers. Internet risks can be of different types, cyberbullying, identity theft, etc. Here’s what you need to know and what you can do to ensure internet safety for your child.

It is always advisable to add a filter to your kid’s search on the internet. There are many Internet Service Providers that provide parent-control options to block certain material from coming into a computer and restrict personal information from being sent online. But does this guarantee to keep your kids away from any kind of risks on the internet? Hence, it is very important to be aware of your kid’s activities on the internet and educate them about online risks.

At times as parents, we equip kids with hi-tech gadgets and approve of them for having their own social media account. Remember every social media or game platform have a permissible age. Share an email or social media account with your child so you can monitor messages.

Make sure your kids get access to such websites when they develop their basic understanding of what is right. Set up rules for going online and using a mobile phone. Decide upon the time of day, the length of time that your kids can be online and appropriate areas or sites for them to visit.

Parents should talk to their kids about internet safety and etiquettes. Giving out personal information on the internet is as hazardous as posting pictures on the internet and hence, is a strict no-no. The Internet is a real community of people who are connected by computers, so treat people that you don’t know on the Internet as strangers that you might meet in a street. Do not give out any personal information related to your family, friends or yourself like full names, addresses, telephone or mobile numbers or those of your parents. Other information like the name and location of your school or details of school activities can also identify you to others, whether you are in a chat room, message board or newsgroup.

Tell your kids not to respond any messages that are mean or in any way make them feel uncomfortable. Tell them it’s not their fault if they get a message like that. They should inform their parents right away.

To make this reading crisper and interesting here is a quick checklist of what all things you must make sure while your kids are browsing the internet.

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 Warning signs: Be alert!

Warning signs of a child being targeted by an online predator include spending long hours online, especially at night, phone calls from people you don’t know, or unsolicited gifts arriving in the mail. If your child suddenly turns off the computer when you walk into the room, ask why and monitor computer time more closely. Withdrawal from family life and reluctance to discuss online activities are other signs to watch for.

Taking an active role in your kids’ Internet activities will help ensure that they benefit from the wealth of valuable information it offers without being exposed to any potential dangers.