How to encourage your child to play? 

Remember those golden ol days? The days when the parks were filled with kids running and playing around. There were so many games to play. Time was never enough for them. Bright and shiny sun, breezy air and kids jumping and hopping around made it such a cherished time of the day. Then technology happened. Mobiles, tablets started to demand more and more of our time. It not only isolated the human race from each other by encouraging virtual¬†socializing over actual socialising but also took away a vital part in the form of physical activity from today’s young generation.

Children as we all know have boundless energy levels. Exercise is one way in which children release this energy and gain both physiological and psychological benefits. However, the leisure activity landscape has changed dramatically with the emergence of technology with time attributed to physical activity suffering.

Nowadays kids spend an average six to eight hours on Internet. Most parents won’t be surprised by this. Even those who want to limit their kids’ Internet usage know how tough it is to compete with a glowing touchscreen.

The result?

Researchers at the University of South Australia recently concluded that children around the world are less aerobically fit than their parents were as kids, taking on average 90 seconds longer to run a mile than kids did 30 years ago. Only half of the children in the United States meet the currently recommended standard of minimum 60 minutes of daily vigorous physical activity daily according to the Committee on Physical Activity. This lack of general fitness and strength can lead to increased risk of obesity and pose various health consequences.

Practicing sports ensures a regular routine of physical activity, providing health benefits and optimizing children’s development. Regular exercising helps in strengthening bones and muscles, reduces sleeping problems and provides a sense of overall well-being. Team work, improved self-esteem and social skills are some of the many psychological benefits. It also motivates them to excel academically by teaching them the benefits if goal setting and practice.

Above mentioned benefits are good to hear but how to encourage kids to play sports, you say?

First and foremost, choose the right activity for your kid. They are used to installing and uninstalling games with a tap, can change a dozen videos in a minute if it doesn’t interest them. If the physical activity doesn’t seem like fun to them, they will be bored and wouldn’t be able to focus on it long enough.
Make them try various activities to find out where their interest lies. Some of the examples are:

For preschoolers, throwing and kicking a ball or riding a bike with training wheels helps them develop their motor skills.

For school age kids, you can engage them in biking, hiking, swimming or games like baseball and basketball.

For teenagers, you can go for skateboarding or martial arts classes.

Another important thing to know is the fitness personality of your child. There are mainly 3 types of fitness personality which we will help you in choosing the right activity for your child.

They can be the athlete type who loves being active and has athletic abilities. You can enroll him or her in the local basketball or football team.

The other type is casual athlete who is interested in being active but isn’t a star player and thus risks getting discouraged. He or she can be encouraged to take up activities like jogging or swimming.

The third type is the non athlete with no interest in sports and physical activities whatsoever. The non athlete type needs more encouragement than the others but a positive attitude towards them can help them find a sports or activity they can fall in love with. Cycling, golf or even dancing can be a good form of physical activity for them.

Whatever the type, help them find an activity they love to do. Parents should remember to always encourage their kids. Children look up to their parents for inspiration. Be active yourself and make it a part of your family routine. And soon it will be absolutely normal for your child to maintain an active and healthy life too.

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7 Mantras to keep my home clean

My profile description tells you I am a full time mom and a freelance writer. What it doesn’t tell you is that I am an expert procrastinator. I am by nature lazy and messy( I would rather spend my time stalking Ryan Reynolds on his instagram account than wash the Mount Everest of dishes piling up in my kitchen sink). But I am also someone who wants to show a clean and presentable house if anyone arrives unannounced in my apartment. And living in a building with lots of friendly neighbours, such occasions are many.

So over a period of time, I have developed a set of steps I take every day to make sure my house looks presentable while leaving me some time for feeding my forever hungry kids, writing blogs and articles, not to forget the ryan reynolds stalking thing. So read on to find my 7 mantras to keep my home clean…

 

1. Make your bed

Make your bed everyday. I know, I know… You have heard this umpteen times to make your bed first thing in the morning. That’s because it’s one of the steps which everyone disregards the most. A single act of making your bed in the morning makes the bedroom look clean. Nobody likes the look of crumpled duvets and ruffled pillows. Making the bed provides an immaculate look to the whole bedroom.

 
2. Wash as you go

As I said above, dishes are always piling up in my kitchen. My one mantra to make my kitchen look good and smell fresh is to wash it as you go. Trust me, washing 4-5 dishes every two hours or so is far easier than washing a ton of dishes at the end of the day. And the kitchen will always look clean. Plus, I just can’t bear the smell of dirty dishes. I also make it a point to wash dinner dishes before going to sleep. That way, I wake up to tidy kitchen and it motivates me to keep it that way.

 

3. Invest in storage boxes

Storage boxes or baskets with lid on them are your friend if you have kids who are constantly scattering every item you own out there in the living room. Investment in different sizes of storage boxes comes handy at times like these. Great for dumping everything sundry if a friend is coming up for an impromptu visit. If you are short on space, invest in furniture peices that have hidden storage in them.

 
4. One load a day

I make it a point to wash atleast one load of laundry each day. Easy to clean, easy to dry and easy to fold and keep ’em back in cupboard, this method has helped me retain my sanity even when I have half of my closet waiting to be washed in the laundry.

 
5. Vaccum cleaning

I prefer to vacuum clean my home every night. It’s a damage control thing. My kids won’t be able to mess it up a lot as it’s almost their bedtime and I wake up to a clean and dusted home every morning.

 
6. Home for everything

Another nightly ritual of mine is to keep every item, scattered here and there by my kids, back to its original place. It goes a long way in making the home look orderly the next day.

 

7. Fragrant home

I regularly buy candles of my favourite scents to keep my home smelling fresh. I specially love the French vanilla flavour. You should definitely consider buying some. And keep them in your living room, bedrooms and even bathrooms. It will make your home smell delicious and lovely.

So these are my seven mantras which I follow without fail. If you have any other tips for a clean and fresh home, do let me know in the comments section. Till then, have a good day.

Baking, My Love

Around an year ago, I got fascinated with baking. I used to watch video after video on YouTube, bookmarked recipes on my browser, checked food blogs and what not.

The only honest-to-God problem between me and my new crush was not owning an oven. So I started cutting short my expenses a lil bit and saved up enough to buy a brand new oven all the while fantasising about me being in the kitchen, baking cookies to perfection or taking out a freshly made pizza with loads and loads of cheese. Finally the day arrived when I bought an oven. My husband and I took great care in removing the packaging. And there it was! In all its glory, shiny and beautiful. All of my fantasies had indeed come true and the baker inside me took off in full swing.

In the very first month, I had made cookies, pizza, bread, cake rusk, tea biscuits, cake and what not. You name it and I had baked it.

As I baked more and more, I realised that baking isn’t a crush at all but I had indeed fallen in love. Head over heels. The wafting smell of cookies in my kitchen worked like an aphrodisiac for me. And when I took that first bite from the freshly baked right-out-of-the-oven brownies…Heaven!!

And not just me. My little imps couldn’t wait to get their hands on my baked ‘with love’ goodies. Half of my baked stuff used to fly off right from the cooling rack and thus throwing away any plans I had to make a week’s supply of healthy homemade snacks for my kids from the window.

But I didn’t mind. It gave me an excuse to have another tryst with my oven with another recipe.

It’s not like I haven’t had my fair share of baking disasters. I have, over the period of time, overbaked and burnt my cookies, threw an underbaked cake I was making for my daughter’s B’day in the dustbin (I had a foresight to make it 3 days prior to the party so luckily I was able to make another cake right on time). I even messed up an easy peasy baked potato recipe.

So I can safely say that my relationship with baking has seen its highs and lows but our love was triumphant in the end. And it’s getting stronger every day.

Any regrets you ask? Oh yes! Why hadn’t I started earlier. I wasted so much time in thinking I wasn’t skilled enough for baking and that it’s a high maintenance relationship. How wrong I had been?

So baking, my love, this is for you. May our love continues to grow. From now till eternity. Cheers!

A New Beginning

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

This quote has always inspired me whenever I am in doubt about my existence, my future or about life in general. It gives me renewed hope that no matter how difficult the presents seems to be, I can take one tiny step and start my journey all over again to something better.

For some time now, my life seemed stuck somewhere and I was feeling suffocated. I wanted to change my life. I wanted to do it with every fibre of my being. But no matter what I did, I always used to come back to right where I started.

Then a day rose. Just like any other day. Quite ordinary actually. But it gave me immense hope and I decided that I will follow a passion of mine long forgotten. A dream that seemed so distant that I let it go.

I decided to write again. I decided to write about anything and everything that fascinated me. Stories, poems, songs lyrics, recipes, whether it’s a post on parenting or my review of a latest television series. I will write. And I will continue to write. Because writing was something that helped me escape from the shackles of stasis along with my other love, reading.

So here I am, in the big wide world of Internet, trying to tell you my story. Are you ready?