How outdoor physical activities influence a toddler’s life…

“Toddler” word mainly derived from the phrase “to toddle”, which means to walk restlessly. They are not designed to sit idle at one place. These are the most interesting years for your toddler because in this phase toddlers began to recognize themselves as a separate individual from their parents and try to explore the world on their own.

Toddler age is the best times for the children where they learn to develop their emotional, social and cognitive skills. It is important to channelize these restlessness and agility into a meaningful physical activity that can help them to grow fit and active throughout the day.The only best thing you can do for your kid is to give them the space to explore.

According to the physical activity guidelines, in one day a toddler should be involved into these below activities:
• Do 30 minutes of structured physical activities that is planned and directed by an adult. These includes age appropriate games like playing with balls, riding vehicles, musical chairs, climbing stairs etc.
• Do 60 minutes of unstructured physical activities that is a free play which includes playing in park, hopping, climbing on a ladder, playing board games or puzzles, craft activities etc.

Remember that a toddler should not be inactive more than 1 hour in a day except sleeping. Personally, my little boy is highly active and loves to play both indoors and outdoors. When he was in his 6 months, I started to take him for daily strolling at least for 30 minutes. Later it became a habit of playing outside for 1 hour doing different kind of activities like playing in play area, running, playing in the swings and slides and many more.Now that he has learned the basics, he has been able to play independently with balls, riding his tri-cycle, playing hide and seek (obviously under adult supervision).

Importance of exercise in toddler’s life

Experienced by own life and inspired by my husband’s sport life, one thing I got to know that kids those who are active at young age tends to stay active throughout their lives. As parents, we all want our child to be active and healthy lifelong. So, taking few steps to push your child to do necessary physical activity would help them while they grow big. No one wants their child to be lazy, especially couch potatoes or lotus eaters.

Now, let’s talk about the contribution of exercise towards a toddler’s life:

  • Exercise will keep your child active throughout the day which helps in improving the strength and skill of skeletal muscles which then leads to better competence and co- ordination skills.
  • Exercise helps in decreasing anxiety and depression among children (same goes for adults also).
  • Staying fit helps in improving self esteem and reduce the risk of serious challenges such as obesity, blood pressure, etc.
  • Exercises helps to maintain a healthy weight and gives a better sleeping which is very much necessary for a toddler to stay fresh.
  • Exercise also improves the academic performances as the mind becomes sharper and more focused.

Steps to introduce exercise in your toddler’s life style

Good habits are as addictive as bad habits, but much more rewarding. Creating a habit requires a lot of effort and if it is the case with the toddler then indeed it need a hell lots of energy and perseverance. I have noted down few tips which will help you plan better:

  1. Step outside: The first tip to start exercise is to step outside of your house. As I said, I started to take my baby outside when he was 6 months and that really helped me a lot and now he got ready easily at his regular timing to play outside.So, mommies push yourself a little bit because kids do what they see.Make sure of not giving up on yourself.
  2. Include fitness into your day: You can have a mini walk to get a fitness fix or simply tumble, dance, groove or have some general movement. Come on guys, these are not so difficult to turn on the music and have some dance moves. The fun part is your baby can be your dance partner (this is my favorite exercise for my little boy as we enjoyed a lot while dancing together).
  3. Curb the lotus eater lifestyle: No one likes their baby to get into couch potato lifestyle as it will only affect child’s health negatively. So, reducing the screen time is necessary. Limiting TV time in younger age will help establish healthy habits down the road. Choose that type of video that encourage your toddler to get up and dance or move along with the characters (choose videos which your baby and you both likes).
  4. Get in the team spirit: An active parent raises an active child and its true. Get in the team spirit and give your child the opportunity to explore the world. Include yourself in your child’s play time and involve them into your daily works. The more a child get into multiple things, the more he learns about life.
  5. Connect the children in the neighborhood: This one is great and simple way to involve your child in outdoor games. Find the friends for him and you won’t need to do give much effort to engage them in physical activities (of course you need to be part of them and not glued to your mobile).

So, we never know what future will bring to these tiny little guys, but we can certainly make sure they lead a healthy and happy life. And as we know, children will learn to explore when they are given necessary support and the opportunity to do so. As per the famous writer James Sallis “The best predictor of pre-school children’s physical activity is simply being outdoors….”.

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Importance of attending Parent Teacher Meeting (PTM)of your toddler in the pre-school…

It is through play that children organize and make sense of the world. Preschool is a learning system that offers childhood education through different type of games or plays. Preschool provides a foundation for learning both socially and academically that will help your child succeed in elementary school.

School life is the one of the most important part of any child’s future and preschool is the beginning phase of a child’s school life. So, this is the time to create a strong root towards a healthy and peaceful schooling. However, please note that school is not the only place for him to learn. There is a famous saying, “a child educated only at school is an uneducated child.” So only the teacher is not responsible for your child’s bright future, but as a parent, you must shoulder that responsibility and play a major role in his or her life. As per Mahatma Gandhi, every home is a university and the parents are the only teachers of that university.

Please remember that education is a shared commitment between dedicated teachers, motivated students and enthusiastic parents. Parents can bring best in a child, if they have a good relationship with school and teachers.Teachers are the only who recognize the ability or talent what the child owns. So, to maintain a good relationship with teachers, it is important to attend parent teachers’ conferences or meetings. You may soon discover hidden talent your child has, which you never know without attending the meetings.

Attending PTM for your child

I know many of you would be thinking what is so important about parent teacher meetings in playschool or preschool…? Afterall, its just a playschool and our children do hardly anything now… But trust me, this is worth spending time. They are so small and are needed to be handled with utmost care. Everything these little guys are doing is itself is a milestone and gaining important little things which will lead them towards their future.

Don’t you want to know what and how your little one is doing in playschool and how they are responding with their outer world? If yes, you are in a right place as in today’s blog I am going to share my experience on my 1st parent teacher meeting of my toddler’s playschool.

What to keep in mind during PTM
As a still learning mama, I learned a lot of thing and will never stop learning that life gives in its each single phase of my toddler’s journey. Here goes the thing that I had done and believed that should be done by every parent during PTM:

  1. Be on time (never forget first impression is last long).
  2. You should follow a respectful communication with teachers.
  3. Don’t follow others. Prepare your own questions as every child is different.
  4. Ask for explanation if you are not able to understand anything.
  5. Convey your regards to teachers for meeting with you.

My set of question for teacher

  1. Can my child understand and able to follow rules and instructions: If your child is in playschool, then he is in an age to understand certain language or even body language. To know more about this development about him, it was an important thing for me to ask this question like is he obeying rules or paying attention or taking interest on activities, etc.
  2. Are there any issues in child’s development according to his age: As a teacher in playschool, they deal with different child of same age group, so they can better observe or notice any critical developmental issues in your child.Don’t hesitate to ask this question because it is better to know earlier which will help in sorting out the problem and start working for better result.
  3. How child is interacting with the teacher and other staff members: These includes how he ask for help if he wants some, what is he doing if he is sad or hurt, are his behaviors friendly or unfriendly.
  4. Discussing the concern if you have any: In my case there was a small incident with my baby which had happened, and I wanted to discuss with the teachers to get their version. I realized that if you discuss these issues upfront, the teachers would also be careful and would know that you are a serious parent.
  5. What are my strength and weaknesses: in this part you will be able to know in which are the things your child loves to do and where he is not giving his best? These are the things you should know about your child and these things will help you in shaping your child’s future. Never take these things lightly.

Now comes to the critical part. Is your child facing problems in socializing?Don’t worry If your child is having some difficulties in socializing. You can follow below steps while attending PTM and help your child tackle this problem.

  1. Be open minded: No child is perfect,and we also can’t expect. As a parent, no one wants to listen the shortcomings of their child. Everyone wants to hear good things about their child. But be open minded and have patience because it will give opportunity to understand the issues, more deeply.
  2. List specific incident: If there are any problem in socializing in classrooms for your child then ask for specifics, exactly what is he doing. You may even request for video clips to understand by yourself.
  3. Other specifics: if there are any events happening in your home like: a death in family, shifting one place to another, disturbance in the family, etc. then let the teachers know about it because it also creates a great impact on child’s behavior. Remember a healthy child grows in a healthy environment.
  4. Create a plan: After all these discussions, the question arises what is the next step? How can you help your child back to his self? The help of teachers means a lot in a situation like this. The best way to of communication with the teachers is to speak on a regular basis and request for special PTM on more frequent basis.

For a child’s academic and nonacademic performance both parents and teachers need to work together,so they can give children the roots to grow and wings to fly. Both home and schools play most important part on any child’s life and healthy linking between them would do wonders for your little one. Remember that connecting Home and School makes us a great community of learners!!!

I hope this blog will help parents of preschooler to some extent. If you love reading it, then share it in your social media sites.

Trying to get rid of pregnancy belly fat? Tips from my personal diary…

A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on…!!!Carrying a baby for 9 months in your womb is a true miracle and god chose only women to be the medium of his creating this world. The journey is called as pregnancy and the lady is awarded with the most affectionate word “MOTHER”.

Pregnancy is a beautiful phase because it gives a woman the joy and fulfilment which comes from bringing a new life into the world. When a woman gets pregnant, her body goes through a lot of changes. Physical changes, emotional changes which leaves a lasting impact on a woman’s life and alter her perspective. But we all would certainly agree that pregnancy is a blessing and being pregnant is the most beautiful feeling ever for a woman.

When you are pregnant, no doubt, you must be overjoyed, but at the same time, you will be stressed too because of all these changes into your body. It comes with lot of pain, itchy tummy, sleepless nights, mood swings, stretch marks, morning sickness and many more.

Once the baby comes to your arm, you forget all those emotional and physical pains you went through. However, within few days you start to worry about your physical changes (mostly your belly fat) more importantly. Particularly a rise in estrogen level during pregnancy can lead to gain weight on breasts, belly and thighs. Weight gain consists of baby placenta, breast tissue, more blood, amniotic fluid, uterus enlargement and extra fat stores.

You can’t wait to come back to your shapes and wear all your favorite dresses you have precisely kept in your wardrobes with a lot of hope to wear them someday. Though with time you slowly reduce most of the fats of your body, but one thing will not leave easily i.e. excess belly fat, if it is not taken care of (personally, I had issues of excess belly fat but later I managed to take care of that problem).

Even after 3 months of delivery, people started asking me,” are you pregnant again?’’,”why are you not losing your belly fat?”, “you can’t lose it now and it will remain like this”,” you can’t be fit in your clothes anymore” BLAH BLAH BLAH……….Ladies, ignore these comments if you are getting any…… you can always lose your belly fat and be back in your shape again (as I am happy to be back in my old jeans and clothes). But take note, the first 2 to 3 months after delivery, are the most important time in shedding extra belly fat and to speed up the process.

My journey to lose belly fat

Initially, I ignored all the comments because that time I had no second thoughts other than my baby and it must be happening to all new mothers. You must be too much occupied to feed baby in every 2 hours, make him sleep, changing the diapers, entertain him while crying, etc. etc., and the list goes on….

Finally, after 6 months, slowly I started to realize that my belly is popping up like a balloon and I can’t get in any of my favorite dresses. It took me more time than it usually takes to reduce belly fat (because I had made a mistake by not starting in the initial days after my delivery). So, my suggestions to all, that if you want to get back in shape start exercising from 2 to 3 months after giving birth, provided if you are fit enough and totally recovered from delivery.

And now, my mission of losing pregnancy belly fat had started. Below are my personal tips which I followed religiously and obviously succeed. They are:

  • Doing baby’s chore yourself: if you are alone, far away from your home without any support, then it will definitely work for you. Do your baby’s work yourself and trust me this is the best exercise to reduce pregnancy weight and fat. Feeding him, making him sleep, taking him for a walk, cooking and cleaning for baby, singing and dancing with baby. Everything helps me a lot for reducing my weight. These activities not only help you do physical exercise, this will also give you some lifetime memories.
  • Breast feeding: It certainly helps in reducing mother’s weight & fat, who gain weight within the recommended range. Breast feeding reduces the size of uterus, hence get rid of pregnancy fat by as early as six months after delivery (I always preferred this one not only because it is recommended by doctors but also it creates very strong bonds with your baby).
  • Belly wraps: I used to ignore when my mother told me about it that it’s a traditional method and earlier women ties sarees around their belly to reduce the fat. But trust me, it’s a very good thing and my doctor also suggested it (though not saree but now different belly wraps are available in market). Then, I tried belly wraps almost for 7-8 months as it helps in tucking abs & speeding the process of shrinking uterus back to its original size and guess what??? It seriously worked for me (ordered tummy tucker from Amazon).
  • Exercise: For me going to gym is a difficult task. So, I started doing exercise for at least 30 minutes in home itself (that’s my little one’s nap time). You can do crunches / Sit-Up or you can also use Tummy trimmer for regular exercise.

These 4 things I tried to follow religiously, and I am now back to my normal shape with a 26’’ waist. These simple steps could be followed by any women who can’t make time for herself with all these responsibilities on them. There are other ways also to reduce belly fat apart from above tips like:

  • Reduce sugar intake: Avoiding added sugar and refined carbs.
  • Exercise: resistance training, weight training and core strengthening exercises will help. Also you can try 30 minutes of cardio at least 3 times a week.
  • Meditation: practicing meditation and yoga helps in reducing stress and belly fats effectively.
  • Drink water: stay hydrated as it will make you feel fuller so that you will eat fewer calories thus achieving your goal will be easy. If you have constipation problem, then drinking enough water is the right medicine and it’s in budget. 
  • Proper diet: try to eat foods high in fiber and healthy proteins because body uses more energy to digest it, which results in burning more calories, than other types of food.
  • Body massage: Take full body massage by professional masseur targeting the area you want to reduce (most preferable tips by women and who don’t want a good massage).
  • Take rest: Finally, my last tip is to take rest ladies!!!!! Whenever you got time, if not for a longer period of time, but a quick, short power nap. Over exhaustion does not help reducing belly fat but drained out all the energy out of you.

I hope these tips will help all the new mothers, who want to be back in shape and gain their confidence again. It will take time, but night is still young……. Let’s hope for good result.

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