Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Colors, Shapes, Alphabets & Numbers

I was thinking about how, as if by magic, our children grasp the concepts of colors, alphabets, numbers, shapes etc. at such a young age.

For instance, our daughter who will be 2.5 years old in August is able to sing the whole ABCD song, rattle off numbers from 1 to 14, and identify some of the shapes. She is able to recognize alphabets and relate them to objects: for example 'g' for grapes, but she is not able to say the alphabet when asked at random. She has some trouble identifying colors as well. Maybe she is still too young for this.

We do the same things most parents would do: read to her daily; let her watch educational shows on TV; sing nursery rhyme songs along with her whenever she feels like singing, and help her identify and say numbers and colors when there is an opportunity.

I was just curious in general, apart from the above tried and tested methods of helping our child learn, if any parents have come up with unique and novel ways in which to help their children learn to read and recognize alphabets, numbers, colors, shapes, etc.?

We would like you to share them with all the readers so we can make this whole process much more fun than it already is for us and our children.


Friday, July 25, 2008

UV protection for Kids

I just read this article as I was browsing the web that I wanted to share with others. Please view http://www.nj.com/news/gloucester/local/index.ssf?/base/news-10/121540572624740.xml&coll=8.

The article talks about how our children always need UV protection when they are outdoors in the sun. I took note since we have been going to the beach during this summer, as our daughter loves the water. Its a little scary how most of the time we don't think of these things, taking a lot of things for granted.

I thought this article would be useful for everyone with kids.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Your kids may help you solve problems!

Have you ever faced a difficult situation that you could not overcome with all your might of logic?

Try bouncing the problem off to a kid, to see her rattle off what to do, one idea after another. If you point out flaws in their schemes, they will point out an alternate way, more often than not.

The basic reason is children believe their world has zero limit to possibilities.

Of course, you may not be able to always apply their ideas directly to problem situations. But, you can surely tweak your way around with their ideas.

In case you have any such episode to share fizz-kidz, we are all ears and eyes!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dealing with your child's stubborn tantrums

I found the following article on the web as I was reading up on suggestions on how to manage your child's temper tantrums. Please view www.heptune.com/tantrum.html.

My wife and I experienced this once while shopping at Target. In hindsight, I think my daughter was just really hungry. And, she wanted a whole box of goldfish honey graham crackers, and wouldn't settle for anything less. She started crying at the top of her voice and would not stop.

I tried to reason with her, but to no avail. In the process, I almost lost my temper. At the end, it took me about 15 minutes to calm her and get her to agree (don't ask me how) that she wouldn't finish the whole box at one go!

Coming back to the article, it has some useful tips, although I won't say I will try all that the author Brenna E. Lorenz has written, on my daughter.

I would like you to read the article. Also, I would love to hear from you: What do you do to calm your child when she displays temper tantrums?


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sesame Place, Langhorne, PA

A couple of weeks ago on a Saturday we had been to Sesame Place (http://www.sesameplace.com/sesame/pa/index.aspx), a theme park based on the popular characters of the TV show Sesame Street such as Elmo, Big Bird, Ernie, Cookie Monster, Zoe, etc. My niece and her husband, and their 3 year old son joined us.

The park is filled with rides and activities that one can enjoy in a ‘dry’ setting and a 'water' setting. The activities are also categorized by children's age and there are some attractions that very young children cant participate in. We booked a two-day ticket since there were just too many things to do, and also based on the fact that the difference between a one-day ticket and a two-day ticket is just around 5 bucks. There are several coupons to be found online, as well as one-day discounts through AAA if you are a member.

Park timings are from 10 am to 8pm. The park is open from May through October, and apart from the daily attractions and rides/shows there are other special events that are organized.
Children can also have breakfast or lunch with the characters, but these cost an additional amount of money. Lockers and strollers can be rented if you want at an additional cost. We passed on all of this.

We reached there around 11.30 am and the park was already very crowded. We were famished, and had lunch outside the park, as carrying one's own food to have inside the park is not allowed. What is allowed inside are snacks, fruits, kids' stuff etc., and a cooler which should be of a particular size.

By the time we actually got going inside the park, it got real hot. At specific places in the park are "refreshing zones", where at the press of a button there is a spray of cold air and water. A word of advice: lot of sun block lotion, lot of water, sunglasses and a cap are a must. Also in order to escape the heat it is worth it getting into the water based activities to cool off a little bit. I was in bad shape for a while as i forgot to take my cap, and i didn't want to venture into the water as i had my costly camera equipment with me. Bummer! will make sure the next time we go there, I leave my camera behind.

The 3 of us rode on the new "Sunny Day Carousel" ride
before it was time for the first "Round the Block Parade" at 2 pm. The parade was a real treat for both children and adults alike, as there are a lot of performers who along with the main characters dance along with music in the background, and put on a great show for everyone. They have the parade twice during the day, at 2 pm and at 7pm.

After this we went for Big Bird's beach party show
with all main characters decide to go out to the beach. The show was conducted very well by all the characters and the girls who manage the show. A few people from the audience were very sporting to come on stage and dance along.

We rode on Elmo's "Flyin' Fish"
which is a like a merry go round, only it can go up and down vertically with your control as you are going round at a very decent speed. That was a great experience and all 3 of us really enjoyed it. The only other ride that we 3 took was Big Bird's Balloon race. Apart from this my daughter and my wife had great time in a couple of the water attractions - Little Bird's Birdbath and Little Bird Rapids, both catering to my daughter's age. All this while i sat in the hot sun caring for my camera and roasting away.

While i waited in the line (yes there are long lines for almost everything) to collect pictures of my daughter with Big Bird and her favorite Elmo, she made sure that she had fun at the Silly Sand Slide, Monster Maze and Cookie Mountain.

By this time it was almost 7.15 pm and we started to make our way back. I am happy that we have another day's pass left to go back and try to get into all the other attractions there (there are just too many). Even two days aren't enough to go through all the attractions. The park is a great way to spend time with family, but it would be better if you had a chance to do it during a weekday so there wont be so much crowd, which means not waiting much in the line for all the rides. I think having a Passport membership would be well worth it as you can keep coming back throughout the time the park is open if you happen to live around the area and its just a couple of hours drive.

Well worth it and would recommend this as one of the favorite spots for all parents with children up until the time they enjoy Elmo and his gang!

I am sharing some of the pics that i took through the day. Enjoy!
-- Sriram


Waiting patiently for the parade

Here they come!

There he is - Elmo!

Here are the performers putting on a great show

Zoe and Elmo at the dance floor

Baby Bear


Cookie Monster




Count von Count


Elmo again


Big Bird Float

Dance till you drop!


Sesame Street

Big Bird's Beach Party

Shakin some!

Now that's what we are talkin about!

Blast Off

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hello Again

Hi Everyone,

First of all let me apologize to all those who may have attempted to peep into the blog from time to time.

The absence of any writing on the blog in the last month and a half doesn’t at all mean that we have solved all the perplexing questions we face while raising our daughter. Nooo!!, in fact as anyone can imagine, there are new ones and recurring old ones that we thought we had solved. Well, more about that later.

As mentioned earlier, the family and I had been on a 3 week vacation to India, our homeland. We had a really enjoyable time there. Thankfully all three of us (my wife, daughter and I) kept good health during this time.

I enjoyed it especially because we could again be with our families for one, but also because of the fact that we took our daughter to all the parks and beaches that I used to visit when I was a kid, and new ones as well.

My daughter and her two cousin brothers, both elder to her in age, had a ball and I could see their influence grow on her as time went by.

She became more open with people rather than being shy, started speaking more words and some sentences that we could understand, started becoming more independent and stubborn in her behavior which is always a challenge as a parent to handle, and fearless as far as trying to swim (scary thought!).

We got back from India during the first week of June. Things have been a bit busy and combined with some laziness on our part has resulted in no blog updates.

A couple of weeks ago we had been to Lake Welch Beach (http://nysparks.state.ny.us/parks/info.asp?parkID=74) at the Harriman State Park (http://nysparks.state.ny.us/parks/info.asp?parkId=143) in NY. It’s the largest man made beach in that park, and although very crowded, was a good place to be on a hot summer day. Entry per vehicle is $7. I would request readers who may be aware of good beaches to recommend them in the blog, that way we can be aware of more places to take our kids to during summer.

We also visited Sesame Place last weekend. I shall be writing on that and posting in the near future with some nice pictures that I took while we were there.

Till then,