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 waste. We 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.
For 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?
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
This November come explore and learn about nature together with your child at our next experiential book crafting workshop in natural settings using all natural materials. Learn about different trees that grow in your city and how they grow, plants as living beings, as fountains of creativity, value of greens and more.
Fathers, grandparents, and anyone else who feels connected to mother earth should come along, we promise you a learning and bonding experience like never before.
Workshop 1: Nov 13, 2016 – Leisure Valley Park, Gurgaon
“The nature walk was a very good learning and joyful experience . My child loved the bookcrafting idea and was eager to do it every day at home. Surprisingly, she also developed interest in watering the plants daily.”
This Gandhi Jayanti join us for our first workshop where you will get hands on experience of creating a book with your child and an opportunity to explore and learn together. Besides learning about Gandhi’s chakra, your child will understand the relationship between ancient (slow animals) and modern (fast vehicles) means of transport and concept of zebra crossing, traffic lights, and more. You and your child will walk back home with new set of concepts, words, books, friends, and more importantly, a new type of bonding. In the end, you can enjoy some sweets and savouries and discuss your favourite reading/learning experiences or challenges with other parents.
Workshop 1: 2nd Oct 2016, Exotica Condominiums, Gurgaon
“The first workshop on ‘Transport Tales’ was a great experience for me and my 4 year old son. It actually gave me ideas about how to explain time and direction to him.”
Those of us who believe that our little children can learn language by listening to rhymes on television, mobile phones, or ipads, need to rethink again. In her TED talk “The Linguistic Genius of Babies” Dr. Kuhl, who has been internationally recognized for her research on early language and brain development, emphasises that nurturing interactions with caregivers is more valuable to babies’ early language development than interfacing with technology.
Based on a research study, Kuhl states that young babies cannot learn language from television or other screens and it is necessary for babies to have lots of face-to-face interaction to learn how to talk. Kuhl’s team exposed 9 month old American babies to Mandarin in various forms of in-person interactions with native Mandarin speakers vs. audiovisual or audio recordings of these speakers. They looked at the impact of this exposure on the babies’ ability to make Mandarin phonetic contrasts at 10-12 months of age. While twelve laboratory visits featuring in-person interactions with the native Mandarin speakers were sufficient to teach American and Taiwanese babies to distinguish the Mandarin sounds, the same number of lab visits featuring the audiovisual or audio recordings made no impact.
“Learning to read helps children learn to put ideas into logical order. On the other hand staring at screen puts their brains into suspended animation,”says Sue Palmer a renowned child psychologist, who predicted how dangerous technology can be for little children in her book Toxic Childhood 10 years ago.
In a recent article she not only talks about the harmful impact of technology on overall development of little children, but also how they are missing out on key life skills by becoming slaves to technology.
“It’s not just what children get up to onscreen that affects their overall development. It’s what screens displace – all the activities they’re not doing in the real world. Today’s children have far fewer opportunities for what I call ‘real play’. They are no longer learning through first-hand experiences how to be human and are much less likely to play or socialise outdoors or with others.
Some say children need to use technology because that’s the way the world is going. But there’s no need to give little children high-tech devices. Modern technology develops at a phenomenal rate – any IT skills that children learn before the age of seven will be long past their sell-by date by the time they reach their teens. But self-confidence, emotional resilience, creative thinking, social skills and the capacity for focused thought will stand them in good stead whatever the future brings.”