Clean Roads, Bullet Trains, and Cherry Blossoms – The Diary that allowed me to have rare creative & constructive conversations with my son

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My son’s 5th birthday was approaching and I was looking to buy him something special, different from the regular cars and toys that children usually get as gifts, most of which don’t even keep them engaged for more than a day or two. When I got to know about the Travel Diary by LitJoys just a day before his birthday, I had a feeling he would love it as he is a very curious and creative child, and has been exposed to trivia about other countries of the world through his school, our own travels and the many sports that he watches occasionally with his dad. I bought the one on Japan as his last international trip was to Japan and I thought that would make it easier to get him initiated. Also, I was keen to see how he creatively expressed his observations of the country.

On the morning of his birthday, we woke him up with our room nicely decorated and the Travel Diary nicely gift-wrapped. I still remember the cute smile on his face and the expression of joy on unwrapping it! He was thrilled to see the Travel Diary on his favourite country – Japan! Ever since, we’ve been using it as a medium to have some joyfully creative and informative conversations while putting together a beautiful memoir of our Japan trip, albeit a year after the actual travel 🙂

I have no qualms in admitting that while he played with most of his birthday gifts only once or twice, he has been working on his his Travel Diary with me almost every day since the last two weeks. In fact he is enjoying it more than riding the battery operated Jeep, a gift that he chose on his own. There were days when he would ask “can we do page no. 6?” as soon as he woke up in the morning and there were days when he would try to buy more time before bedtime to work on it. So much so, that finally I had to negotiate two time slots with him in a day, given that I also have to attend to my 5 month old baby!

What my son loves the most about the Travel Diary is the craft work. I think he finds it immensely fascinating! Each and every page that we create is HIS expression. There is no template that forces him to think or present his thoughts in a certain way, and I think that’s something that excites children the most. Also, through LitJoy’s Travel Diary we both get a chance to relive our travel memories and have some very interesting conversations, which we probably missed while we were there last year! It gives him an opportunity to ask all sort of interesting questions and discuss larger life concepts (why is monkey in a cage in a zoo and not on the trees?). Finally, what comes out as the output is his own interpretation of his travel experience – from the Mount Fuji he visited in the super fast bullet train to the extremely clean roads he walked on, while observing the breathtaking cherry blossom flowers.

As for me, I love the fact that it provides me an opportunity to have those constructive and creative conversations with my child, which are so rare in our faced paced lives! I also liked the additional knowledge I gained while making the diary. I did not know that the national bird of Japan is the Green Pheasant and looks like the Peacock of India. I instantly Googled it to get to know more about it. The beauty of making the diary is that it provides a very engaging medium to all of us to spend time together as a family. I cannot delegate this to anyone else, except my own husband maybe, and that’s something that I am very happy about 🙂

– Priyanka Jaitly, mother of a 5 year old son

Orange – The Colour of Indian Summer

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Orange is a colour that usually one associates with fall colours that we do not have the privilege of viewing in India. But for me and my little one it has become the colour that brings joy to our hot Indian Summer as we rediscover our love for nature while admiring the beautiful orange flowers of Gulmohar trees lining up the streets and parks of our city and get inspired to redesign the nature book on our favourite tree.

Growing up in Delhi surviving the peak summer month of June has always been hard. The soaring temperatures make it next to impossible to step out during the day and even the evenings are more often than not spent in the pools or indoors. To avoid feeling of being trapped and generally depression that sets in the mood, most people have started escaping the city for longer periods of time.

But one fine day when my son brought home the bright orange flower that had fallen from a Gulmohar tree in the park, I could not help appreciating the beauty of Indian Summer. Suddenly all childhood memories of admiring the tree, which stood only 3 feet distance from my bedroom window, every summer when it starts blooming with bright orange flowers came flashing back. Looking at my son’s curiosity for the same tree, I was inspired to redesign the nature book on my favourite tree.

Despite the relentless heat, every evening we went to the park to count and collect some fallen leaves and flowers of the tree. We pasted a picture of the tree on the cover page of the book and adorned it with its flowers & leaves, sticks, and stones – all collected from the park. While the son enjoyed pasting alternate dals (orange and brown), sprinkling and blowing the orange saw dust while writing the name of the tree was as a lot more fun.

As for me I suddenly realised why I grew up to fall in love with the colour orange as it adorned the walls of my house and reflected in many of my personal belongings from shoes to handbags. For the first time, I also took notice that the orange flower of the Gulmohar has a white streaked petal in the middle, which made me appreciate its beauty a tad bit more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GP for Giant Panda , Golden Parakeet and Gurgaon Police – The Scrabble of Words

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It was Day 1 of son’s pre school summer holidays after coming back from vacation. I had not even finished unpacking and he started to pull curtains of the living room out of boredom. I had decided to not enroll him in any summer camp for reasons more than one. So I took him to my work drawer and made him select an animal and bird from the list of photographs from my latest Travel Diaries workshop. It was the Golden Parakeet and the Giant Panda that caught his fancy.

The initial intent was to only draw the bird and the animal and do some painting along with the flags of country they belong to. When I realised the names share the same alphabets G & P, I thought it was an excellent opportunity to also teach him some new alphabets. All the more because it aligned with my philosophy of not learning alphabets in a sequential order, the first two alphabets he learned were M for Mumma and E for Ekta.

Inspired by the designs of my books, we brought out some bindis and dals to craft the alphabets to help him further enhance his fine motors skills, but also ensure alphabet recognition.  It took him 5 days to complete them bit by bit, a true test of patience both for him and me. But at the end when he learnt to say new words that are not a part of his usual vocabulary – P for Parakeet, G for Giant and started recognising and pointing these letters in numbers plates of cars and sign boards, the effort seemed worth it. I was also happy to hear a new slogan GP GP as I was bored of listening to ABCDEFG…song over and over again.

The greatest joy though came when we coined the word guessing game starting with initials of our new slogan, GP for Grand Parents, GP for Gurgaon Police! And just like that he learned two new concepts, the city we live in and the folks who discipline our city. But I could not think of any other phrase that has GP as its initials. And suddenly all the memories of playing Scrabble as a child came flashing back.

The son is not even 3 yet, but I am very inspired to buy the game and play with him. It may help him further with alphabet recognition or learn new words and concepts, but more importantly, will be another joyful way of spending time together as it brings back cherished childhood memories.

 

 

Travel Diary

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“Travel Diary is so well thought of and engaging. I just loved the way it opened kids minds and piqued their curiosity. It is a good mix of  ‘getting our hands messy’ and learning done in an absolute fun way. In the blaze of banal (and highly commercial and very similar) activity boxes in the market, this product truly stands out. Can’t wait to order some more for the summer.” – Himani Bahuguna, mother of a 3 year old daughter

I love the fact that Travel Diary provides me an opportunity to have those constructive and creative conversations with my child, which are so rare in our faced paced lives! What my son loves the most about the Travel Diary is the craft work. I think he finds it immensely fascinating! Each and every page that we create is HIS expression. There is no template that forces him to think or present his thoughts in a certain way. The beauty of it is that it provides a very engaging medium to all of us to spend time together as a family. I cannot delegate the making of the Diary to anyone else, except my own husband maybe, and that’s something that I am very happy about 🙂            – Priyanka Jaitly, mother of a 5 year old son

Book InsideTravel Diary is an interactive personalised story co-created by your little one and you on travel to a particular country. Designed in the shape of a circle (signifying the spherical earth) and opening out in four directions (N,S,E,W) like a flower, your child and you will learn about national (bird, animal, monument, flower) and cultural (food, music, sport, souvenir, currency) symbols of a particular country while co-creating the travel diary. Your child will also learn concepts linked to the travel theme (e.g., continents, modes of transport) and countries (e.g., flag colours, shape of country) while making the diary using materials in a variety of colours and textures.

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Priyanka diary

As your child discerns the shape of a circle in a number of everyday things (coins, bindis, straws, bhindi, buttons) while creating this diary, his/her visual perceptual skills will be enhanced. Fine motor skills of younger children will also be further developed while making the alphabets with bindis, whereas older children will get an opportunity to enhance their creative writing skills while expressing their perception of their travel experience.

USA . Canada . Brazil . Peru . Iceland . Russia . Holland . Tanzania . South Africa . Vietnam . Japan . China. Thailand . Turkey . Australia

Age Group: 3.5 to 8 years Price: INR 899 + shipping

Shipping in Delhi-NCR and other cities of India. Place an order for your copy here. For further queries, please drop us an email at litjoys@gmail.com.

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Lit-Creations

Lit-Creations are customised and personalised interactive stories co-created by your little ones and you or their older siblings using everyday and/or natural materials that help you learn and make beautiful memories together.

Each child can select a different topic linked to the theme and experience the joy of weaving a story around their own self /character. Different creative interactions (from craft to painting) built into the same story will engage your child for a longer period of time and help in fostering their creativity from a very young age. Touch, view, and feel of a variety of colours and textures while creating the story will provide a rich multi-sensorial experience and aid the cognitive development of your child.

Designed on the principles of learning through repetition, these creations will not only help your child better understand and retain different concepts linked to a particular theme, but also other basic concepts of alphabets, numbers, words, colours, and directions. Ideas shared in the creation can also be easily implemented outside of it, to reinforce the learning and extend to other areas. The content is designed in a way that even parents too get to learn something new along with their children.

Creating these stories bit by bit, page by page, will keep your child engaged for weeks together and provide you an alternate way of being a part of the learning experience of your child on a regular basis, besides reading to them. You will also be able to build a true appreciation for books among your lit joys (little children) as they enjoy reading more about the topics they have explored.

Travel Diary 

Travel Diaries

FINAL FB INVITE

This summer before you take off or plan your next holiday to explore another country, come and bond as a family, learn about national and cultural symbols of 18 different countries across the world, and build a travel story of your own to enrich the holiday experience in a Lit – Bonding family experiential learning workshop.

Each child will experience a travel story, build his/her own Travel Diary on a particular country and get to make new friends along the journey along with their parents, through a combination of group games and individual creative activities during the workshop. Your child and you can continue to create the Travel Diary at home during summer break to enrich the learning process.

USA . Canada. Mexico. Brazil . Peru. Iceland . Russia . Holland . Tanzania . Morocco . South Africa . Vietnam . Japan . China. Thailand. Turkey . Australia . New Zealand

Workshop 1: May 14th, 2017, Exotica Condominiums, Gurgaon

“This was our second workshop with Litjoys and was truly fantastic as well.
My 3 year old and I had a great time. We love to travel with our toddler and want her to appreciate and marvel at the world around u and wanted her to experience the diversity around us. Starting from the diverse group for the workshop, kids of various ages and parents from different walks of life to the diverse animals and birds of different countries! This workshop achieved just that, helped her appreciate the diverse countries, their culture, the flora and fauna and even the difference in climate through fun and engaging activities!”

 

Blue Spiders & Yellow Cobwebs

20161005_184204 (1)I was visiting my sister in the States and it was just one of those days when the children had gone berserk. TV, the quintessential baby sitter/soother, was denied to them. To punish us, as it were, they soon laid the backyard-and each other-to wasteWe didn’t know how to save the plants, tables and chairs along with everything in the yard from complete destruction. And then, we saw chalks. All at once, the ground came alive with stories about pink crocodiles wearing braces, blue spiders, and yellow cobwebs. And then, hopscotch! We drew awfully crooked lines on the floor. But oh! how the kids played the game in utter excitement. Together, involved in the buzz. 

Hop scotch part 2For the adults, (parents and grandparents) a long-forgotten part of childhood had come bustling back. As for the kids, they had never known this game, busy as they are with trips to the park, riding kiddie cars or mini quads, and worse, videos (educational as they may be). All those rules, the hopping and jumping with one leg, throwing the stone in the right rectangle and identifying the right number, missing the mark, thrilled the little darlings. In between it all, someone’s sprinklers came on and of course, created puddles. How could the tots resist jumping in them?

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All in a short while, we managed to turn screaming banshees into human children who were squealing with delight and enthusiasm. For a change, the adults hadn’t been bystanders watching the kids play; they had become part of the gang, enjoying just as much. Clearly, the charms of a bygone era engulfed us all and left us feeling bonded in an experience full of fun, laughter, and learning.  

– Dr. Nidhi Sharma, mother of a 2.5 year old daughter