My Child Eva – Full of life: 2014

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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

A Smiley Theme Birthday Celebration

"Smile and the world will smile with you."

"See a big smile on your child's face by giving her a smiley face :) on hand."

Eva

Wow, yet another year has passed, and Eva also turned 3 years old (on 11th November 2014). Sometimes we think that why does time passes so quickly. We wish we could stop time, so that we could enjoy every single precious movement of Eva’s childhood.

We wanted to make something special for Eva’s birthday. She likes smiley faces too much and asks me to make smiley on her Chapati, Dhokla, Idli and other food items. Many times she asks to draw smiley on her hand, usually when she had not received it from her class teacher for telling rhymes or story in the classroom. So Looking at her charm we decided to go for a smiley theme based celebration and decorated cake, ribbons, balloons and gifts every small thing which is possible with a smiley face.

I woken up Eva by giving her a smiley face birthday card in the morning and gave her a new toothbrush with a smiley face. Then I gave her a smiley face lunch box with smiley Dhokla in it. I dressed up her for school with smiley stickers on her hair pin and sandals also. She was extremely  happy with all these.

Card_lunchbox

She brought chocolates for her teachers and classmates to school. It was five kids’ birthday in the preschool and all came with chocolates. So, all the kids had made a lot of fun in the preschool. Eva got a birthday card with from her preschool.

Before Eva came from school, we had decorated our home with a smiley theme as we decided earlier. We made smiley faces using paper plates and draw smiles on balloons. We had also used small smiley stickers for decoration on ribbons and birthday banner. She entered in the hall with a big smile on her face. When she was busy watching the decoration, we gifted her a pink color cycle to fulfill her little wish. It was her dreamed cycle.

Eva_cycleLaddu is one of the Eva’s favorite sweet. So that, her grandmother made laddu in lunch to double her joy.

For the celebration time, I had prepared dry fruit cake decorated with a smiley face for Eva during her nap in the noon. We decorated a center table with all smiley faced items. During the celebration, Eva had concentrated only over cake. Eva loves this cake so much, and she won't stop eating it.

Birthday_celebrationThere are lots of theme related games for kids, but as we planned this celebration within our family members only, we didn’t organize games. It was a little theme based party. We observed Eva very happy throughout the day and all the time there was a cute little smile stick on her face with a plenty of smiles around. Thanks so much and have a “smiley” day!

Friday, 5 December 2014

Delicious dry fruit cake

Dry fruit cake

A delicious dry fruit cake is a healthy cake with no sugar, no flavor, no eggs, no artificial food color and no flour. It is prepared on a gas stove. It is such a luxurious cake with full of dry fruits. My inspiration for this cake belongs to my little Princess Eva. I made a cake with a smiley face for her smiley themed birthday party.

Ingredients:

500 gm dates
15 piece dry figs
1-½ cup cashew nuts
1-½ cup grated dry coconut
½ cup pistachios
10-12 saffron strands
2 tbsp ghee/butter
½ tbsp milk
M&M's chocolate and black raisins for decoration

Method:

  • Cut the dates and dried figs together.
  • Mix saffron strands and milk in a small bowl.
  • Heat 1 tbsp ghee/butter in an open pan and add chopped dates and dried figs.
  • Soak it on medium heat for 5 minutes only.
  • Remove from the fire and make a crunchy but not smooth paste with a potato masher and put it away for a few minutes.
  • Grind cashew nuts, dried coconut and pistachios and put them different bowls.
  • Pour saffron milk into a ⅓ cup cashew nut powder and make a smooth dough.
  • Mix dried coconut powder, pistachios and remaining cashew nut powder. Pour ghee/butter to make a smooth nut dough.
  • Now divide the dates and fig paste into two portions. Shape each into a round ball. Flatten a little.
  • Now take two plastic papers and grease it with ghee/butter. Put one flatten ball between greased plastic papers and roll out into a circle like a paratha.
  • Now remove an upper plastic paper. Use any lid of the round shaped steel container to make a similar sized circle. Put this circle shaped paratha of dates and fig on a serving plate to make a lower layer of cake. Remove the other plastic paper.
  • Now for the second layer, make a circle shaped paratha from a nut dough and put it on the first layer on serving plate.
  • Same way prepares third layer using a flatten ball of dates and figs.
  • Now make a smiley face layer from a saffron mixed cashew nut dough. Put on the center of cake.
  • Use black raisin for eyes and cut a dried fig for a smiley.
  • Decorate a smiley border with M&m's chocolate and a cake border with cashew nuts.
Benefits of Dry Fruit cake
  • Healthy cake for children and diabetes patients.
  • Egg-less cake with no sugar and no flour.
  • Improves overall health and best for winter season.
  • Delicious cake without chocolate, cream and food color.
  • It contains essential fats, nutrients and a wide range of vitamins as A, C, E, K, b6, B12.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Shapes with stones

Stones are the attractive things for the children of any age. They like to collect the stones of different shapes, size and colors. Pebbles can be used in many ways like, decorations for indoor gardens or masterpieces to be shown throughout the home, also for forming kids learning activity with fun.

Stones are easily available and almost zero or no cost. It helps the kids to open closed eyes for creativity and make them busy with different learning activities.
Searching Stones
Eva also likes to play with stones very much. She likes to throw it into the pit or in water. During Diwali vacation, we went to kid’s sand pit playing area, where I had asked her to collect various stones from sand. After some time she came back with collected stones of different colors. And then, I helped her to categorize it into different colors like black, white and orange. We had also collected few small shells from the sand.
Filter stones
Then I had drawn different shapes using chalk and asked her to arrange the pebbles on it. She had started to put the white stones on line and create the shape with pebbles. She knows the basic shapes like triangle, square, line, circle, semicircle, star and heart. So, she asked me to draw the shapes one by one and she put the pebbles on it.
Creating shapes
 Shape making with stone is a fine motor activity for preschool kids. It helps for better grip to hold pencils or crayons using a thumb and two fingers. This activity kept Eva busy for a long time. I would urge you to take a serious note that, activity should done under parental supervision to avoid the risk of swallow small pebbles.
Shapes with stones

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Play doh fun on Ganesha Celebration

Lord Ganesha, the elephant faced god worshiped in all houses and loved by all. The kids are all time big fans of Ganesha and always like all items such as clothes, bags, bottles, rakhi, toys etc. printed with Ganesha. Kids also like the festival Ganesh Chaturthi and make lots of fun during the 10 days of the Ganapati.

I had told Eva a story of Ganesha and she had watched videos and movie of Ganesha on iPad before beginning of the festival. She was very much excited and looking forward to how we celebrate it.

Nowadays, most of the people like to celebrate the festivals in an Eco-friendly way. After all, it’s a better way for an environment. During the 10 days of the festival we did many of Ganesha  activities. We celebrated the Ganapati in our society and organized events like talent show for children and elders, musical night, open exhibition of various things like art & craft, games, food, clothes and so on. Eva enjoyed it thoroughly with her friends Freya and Ahaan.
Fun with friends on Ganesha
We had prepared Laddu and celebrate the Ganesh Chaturthi at our home with Ganesh aarti like “Jay Ganesh Jay Ganesh” and “Morya Re Bappa Morya Re”. Eva loves eating laddu and it is among one of her favourite dishes, for Eva celebrating Ganesh could be the another reason for eating too many laddus :).

Eva told me to help her in making Ganesha from play doh. Then we made an Eco-friendly Ganesha Idol in different styles and also made mouse, laddu plate, rangoli and flower pots for platform decoration from play doh. It’s really a nice idea to create an Eco-friendly Ganesha using play doh who all celebrate individually at home.
Ganesha from Play doh

Ganesha with cake and laddu

Eco-friendly Ganesha from Play doh

Rangoli for Ganesha platform decoration
I believe forming such activities doubles the joy of celebration for kids, also they get a chance to know the origins of Ganesha, the importance of the festivals in our life and the way we celebrate it.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Inspiring Idli - A delicious south indian food

Idli - South indian Food
Kids can be fussy feeders or a picky eater, and as pertained mom we try everything to make even just a bite into them. Thankfully, Eva has been a good eater from beginning and enjoy foods because I feed her all types of intellectual nourishment from her toddler years/time.

Yesterday I was preparing idli and Eva was playing with play dough and creating different shapes. In between Eva came in the kitchen and asked me that what am I preparing to eat? I had replied her that mamma making idli for you. She inspired me to make idli in different shapes. So, I set out an idea of making “Inspiring Idli” for Eva. I have used play dough cutters for different shapes and make a smiley face with the help of idli mould. I’d urge to properly clean cutters with warm water before using it, one can always use another shape making cutters provided they are clean enough.

Inspiring idli recipe

What you need:

Rice : 3 full cups
Urad dal : 1 full cup
Oil : 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
A pinch of cooking soda
idli mould
black Kismis(raisins)
beetroot : chopped in long thin sliced for smiley face

Cooking Instructions
  • Soak urad dal and rice in hot water separately for 5 to 6 hours.
  • Grind rice and urad dal till fine and flossy paste.
  • Mix both batter and set them for 3 to 4 hours.
  • Add salt in batter and put a pinch of cooking soda on batter and pour hot oil on soda.
  • Pour batter into idli mould and steam.
  • Bring them out and cut into different shapes like star, circle, heart with play dough mould.
  • For making smiley face, first pour batter into mould and decorate with kismiss for eyes and beetroot slice for smileys like in the picture and steams.
Benefits of Inspiring Idli:
  • It inspires a child to eat due to different shapes.
  • It is a healthy food for kids and easy to cook.
  • Idlis are a big source of carbohydrates and proteins.
  • The fermentation process increases the bioavailability of proteins and enhances the vitamin B content of the food.
  • As it is steamed, fat content is low and it is easily digestible.
  • Use of dal and rice in idli is a good combination as the amino acids in them complement each other.
  • Idlis contain no fat, no saturated fat and no cholesterol.







Monday, 25 August 2014

Eva’s First Day Out - A Garden Visit

It was the one summer Sunday and sweltering heat during the day. It’s wonderful to be out in the evening to get cool fresh air and hence we planned for going outside, where Eva can feel cool and enjoy the outside. We wanted to go to some place like, the garden with a lake or fountain nearby our home.

This was Eva’s first outing with mamma papa in the garden. Eva was only 7 months old. She had barely begun to sit without support and walk by holding our fingers. It was really pleasing and memorable time spent in this garden. Eva became happy when we had allowed her to freely play on the grass.
Eva
Eva was busy in observing trees, flowers, lake, birds, squirrel and other children playing with a ball, jumping rope, badminton rackets and frisbee in the garden. We had taken plenty of photos of her first outing, here are few of them.
Eva with Mamma Papa

Eva with Papa
Eva sitting on papa’s shoulders. It was the best moment for both.




Monday, 7 July 2014

Mother’s Day Celebration at Preschool

“Mother is the name for god in the lips and hearts of little children".
Mother's Day Card
Mother's Day Card
Handprint on Mother's Day card
Hand print on Mother's Day card
Eva’s school had planned for celebrating mothers day on 27th June 2014. To make it joyful, memorable and special we made this card as a Mother's Day activity on previous evening only. First time Eva painted with color brush and print her hand for Mamma. During the celebration, she has shown it to her class teacher with full of excitement.

Preschool authority had planned celebration in a way, where all kid’s mom had to arrive to school after an hour of school starts.

I cannot express in words how all the kids were glad to see their moms entered into the classroom. When Eva saw me there, she quickly stands up on her seat and cheered “mamma” with full of happiness.

Now it’s time for the celebration and activity, all the moms have to represent their recipes as a gift for children. I had prepared “Delightful Khatta Dhokla” with different shapes. It is the mouthwatering recipe for the children and attractive shapes makes it fun to eat.
Celebration at Eurokids
Celebration at Eurokids



Delightful Khatta Dhokla - mouthwatering recipe

Khatta Dhokla is a traditional recipe of the Gujarat. To cook this soft and spongy cake, you have to decide a day in advance because of the fermentation of batter to get the desired sourness. This Dhokla is served with garlic chutney(paste) and groundnut oil. Specially, I have made it in attractive shapes for my princess Eva as a gift on Mother’s Day.
Delightful Khatta Dhokla

Khatta Dhokla Recipe

Ingredients

Rice : 3 full cups
Chana Dal(chickpea splits) : 1 full cup
Oil : 2 tbsp
1/4 tbsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp coriander cumin seed powder
1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves chopped
Enough sour curd/buttermilk and warm water for batter.
A pinch of cooking soda/fruit salt
Salt to taste
Garlic Chutney(grind lasun, red chilly powder, coriander cumin seed powder and salt)
Black Kismis(raisins) for eyes on smiley face
Beetroot : chopped in long thin sliced for smiley face

Cooking Instruction
  • Mix rice and chana dal for grinding.
  • Add warm water and sour curd/buttermilk to make a smooth batter.
  • Add salt to taste and turmeric powder to the yellow colored batter and put it 6-7 hours or overnight for fermentation in a warm place.
  • The batter should not be watery or too thick, its consistency should be like idli batter.
  • Add  coriander cumin seed powder, 1 tbsp garlic chutney and 1 tbsp chopped coriander into the batter.
  • Heat the 1 tbsp oil and fruit salt till it mix and pour into the batter and stir in one direction. You will notice that its size is increased because of the bubbles on the batter surface.
  • Pour 2-3 glass water at bottom of the steamer and heat it over medium flame.(tip: If your steamer is aluminium steamer, then put 1-2 lemon slices into it. It becomes easy to clean the bottom of steamer.)
  • Grease the steamer plates with oil and pour the batter into it till a thin layer create.
  • Sprinkle chopped coriander and garlic chutney on plate and put it into steamer and cover with lid.
  • Steam it for 10-12 minutes over a fast flame. After 10-12 minutes, open the steamer lid and insert a knife to check that it is ready or not. If a knife comes out clean, then it is ready otherwise not.
  • Put aside for 1 minute and cut it into small pieces.
  • Serve hot dhokla with garlic chutney, green chutney or sauce.
  • For making mouthwatering recipe, first pour batter into mold and decorate with kismiss for eyes and beet-root slice for smileys like in the picture and use a different mold for different shapes like a butterfly, teddy bear etc. Then put it into the steamer.
Benefits of delightful khatta dhokla:

  • Dhokla can be eaten for breakfast, as a main course, as a side dish or as a snack.
  • It inspires children to eat due to different forms.
  • It is a healthy food for kids.
  • The fermentation process increases the bioavailability of proteins and enhances the vitamin B content of the food.
  • As it is steamed, fat content is low and it is easily digestible.
  • A combination of dal and rice is a good source of the the amino acids.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Fun on Father's Day

It was the third Father’s Day for both Eva and Venus. This one was more memorable and pleasurable than the previous 2 years. At early morning Eva had wished her papa by saying “Happy Father’s Day” and got papa’s blessings. Eva didn’t want to let Venus go to the gym alone and hence both went together downstairs where she played outside in the garden and kept calling her papa after every few minutes outside from the gymnasium.
Eva with Papa
 At the evening time, we went for a picnic to celebrate the Father’s day at Sundarvan. There Eva had enjoyed puppet show, snake show and watching various birds.
Puppet show
Indeed, a Dad is the first love of every daughter and he is everything of her world. Venus gifted Eva on last two Father’s day, but this time Eva had gifted her papa. She had painted on T-shirt for papa.
Gift for Papa
Memories from Eva’s first Father’s day, when Venus gifted a small swing to her. She likes it too much and she wishes that papa swings her at every morning and evening time.
Gift for Eva

Sunday, 8 June 2014

First Day of Preschool

11 December 2013 (11-12-13), A very special day for Eva, her first day in preschool. Completely new experience and first steps towards the outer world.

It was relatively easy to make up her mind and prepare her for school in the early cold morning because there were few reasons behind it. First, she had visited the school earlier and liked the surroundings and especially aquarium. Another, she wasn’t alone and going with her close friends Ahaan and Freya.

Eva woke up early in the morning on the first day of school. She had a glass of milk, finished in a few minutes otherwise she usually takes a lot more time than today. She was too much excited and said, my school with the rabbit mascot. I had taken few photographs before going to school.
Ready for Preschool

The school's principal gave us permission to stay with Eva in her classroom for two days. So, I, Jindal (Freya's mom) and Kinjal (Ahaan's mom) stayed there with the kids. I don’t want to miss the opportunity to tell you that it was an amazing experience for all moms as well.School principal took us to the classroom and introduced to the class teacher and other children.

Then after class was started.In between, we stepped outside the classroom and observe how they react without us. By that time, all had started yelling aloud. Their teachers gave them toys, puzzles and crayons. So, they stopped crying and play with toys. Eva was playing with jigsaw puzzle of fruits and animals. After a few minutes we entered into the classroom, they ran towards us and again started yelling.
Eva in Preschool Classroom
Then they had taken breakfast and get outside in the play area, where Eva liked to jump on trampolines and a seat on the seesaw. Freya and Ahaan liked to ride a car.
Playing at Preschool
After a few minutes, we again settled down into the classroom for rhyme time. They have enjoyed rhymes like "Five little monkeys jumping on the bed" and "Dhobi aaya, dhobi aaya". At last, mam had given them chalks to scribble on a chalkboard. Eva had taken a chalk and seated in my lap because she felt that mom will leave me alone in the school.

At the end of school we came at home. In such a way, they had spent their first day of school with full of excitement and lots of ups and down. During the school time, they saw one another's face and started crying many times. So, we can call it a "happy crying day".
Eva with Freya

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

A Sacred Visit


Fun with Lemon
Eva (9 months old) playing with lemon at temple during our visit on 15th august 2012.

This was Eva's first ever visit to Sidsar, she liked this place too much since she was free to play with pebbles. Sidsar is very peaceful and sacred place, also is closed to our heart. We had measured her weight using sweet like sugar for god blessings (believes).

Good memories to cherish a lifetime.
Measuring her weight


Sunday, 18 May 2014

Seek-N-Put (Alphabet matching game)

Preschoolers love the alphabets and like to create interesting activities with letters. Almost, all children usually find letters from newspapers, or any advertisement, bags, cars, toys, clothes, shop banners etc. Many times Eva uses her tiny fingers to show the alphabet letters from building names, T-shirt, boxes, bottles, food packets and tells mamma, G for giraffe, E for elephant and so on.

It’s a fact that, learning with fun makes the experience of learning well, and hence here we are playing a game of seeking and putting alphabet letters. It’s a great activity to recognize the alphabet and match with the same letters. Eva has interlocking foam mat cards of alphabets, she received this gift from my auntie.
Alphabet Train & Tower
Every time she used to play with alphabet cards, either make a tower or train using it. At the end, you can find them laying everywhere in the drawing room. In order to revamp and start learning with fun, I set out an idea of playing a game with the avail of these cards.
Sorting cards accrding to crayon color
First of all I put five different colored crayons (in this case matching with cards) on top. Now I ask Eva to find and put the card with matching color against the crayons. By doing  this, she categorized them and makes different rows as colored on it (as displayed in the above picture).

To play this one can prepare the cards on different colored cardboard or get some foam mat cards jigsaw game.
Jigsaw cubes

Side by side, we have got a puzzle game consist of several blocks. Each cube has six different types of pictures, including alphabet letter, relevant image (e.g. M for Mango in above picture) , colors, patterns, numbers and counting numbers image (e.g. eight strawberries in above picture). Eva was gifted this puzzle game from her friend Khanak on her birthday.

Here we are playing alphabet match, we are matching letter on a box with the same letter on the foam mat card.
Finding letters

I ask Eva to match the letter written on a box with cards and put it on the card which has same letter. She identifies the alphabet letters with an image and arrange it on card smartly.

Here we also get a chance to educate kids the difference between short and tall. After explaining, Eva starts recognizing the short and the tall line of cards easily.
Cubes on Cards
The Seek-N-Put game keeps kids busy with alphabets and aid in learning skills like recognition, color screening and short vs. tall difference. The beauty of this game is that, it doesn’t require costly toys/stuffs and you can also use other alternatives of the alphabet as well.



Sunday, 11 May 2014

Opting Best Preschool

Eva is growing and completed 2 years now. Obtaining the best school for a kid is the greatest concern for parents and hence gradually we have decided to do some background work and research to grow a basic idea about preschool. To begin with, we have started looking for preschools in internet area nearby to place we live.

A twosome of weeks later, we have visited many preschools and got reviews from friends and relatives about schools. Its three to four months left in taking a decision of school because the preschool is the first and greatest step in our child's life.

We wanted to get hold of three admissions together for Eva and her friends Ahaan and Freya. Every evening we all parents used to meet and discuss that what all the things really counts, we need to keep in mind for preschool admission.

Before finalizing we had kept a few things in mind like, sight of the school environment, teachers, classmates, and distance from school to home, homework, fee structure, amount of toys & games, audio & visual activities, field trips and various other matters.

Finally, we decided to go for Euro Kids, because it nearest to our home and match almost all criteria we were looking for.

Eva was so much excited about her school since she wasn’t alone and had a company of her friends. We had taught lots of things to Eva to getting ready for it, so that she can adjust herself in the school surroundings and do basic things on her own. Some other important things we kept in mind were…
  • Does she sense potty and react accordingly?
  • Does she able to manage basic needs like, tying shoes, handle bags and books, self-feeding with spoon?
  • Whether she interacts easily with other children or not?
  • Is she ready to take instructions other than us?
Based on our experience, I would like to share a few things to keep in mind before taking a decision of preschool for your child.

  • Preschool environment and the design of preschool classrooms should be attractive enough for kids, so that they should start liking at first sight.
  • School and classroom walls should be designed with storytelling pictures, if school has a small aquarium or such interesting other things then it would be an added advantage.
  • Try to get the complete information about teaching methodology. It should be diversified enough with books, games (outdoor & indoor), activities, audio-visual class and field trip.
  • The library should be well arranged with books and at an appropriate height/location so that a child can easily manage.
  • Distance between school and home should not be far away so that little child experiences to journey long back and forth, especially whilst returning home back when kid may be exhausted.
  • School timing and activities should be well managed so that kid will not be bored.
  • School playground, classrooms and washrooms should be cleaned and aired enough.
  • Has school management taken complete safety and security measurements?
  • Most Most Importantly, The teacher-child ratio of classroom as recommended by NAEYC. (2-and 3-year-olds are in groups of no more than 18, with at least two teachers (excluding 2-3 helpers/maids). For 3- to 4-year-olds, the organization recommends groups of 20 or fewer, again with at least two teachers).
  • Get the detailed information about fee structure, schedule and payment method/procedure.
  • Observe the interaction and behavior of teacher with the kids.
  • Last but not the least, do NOT forget to bring your child along with you whilst visiting different schools. Upon returning home, you will have a chance to ask for the attractions of a particular school and may be able to find the reasons behind liking it.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

My Child's (Eva) 2nd Birthday

This is my maiden entry in the blog universe. I have written for my little child Eva. She is now 2 years old. I have told about her birthday celebrations and she has attended 3 to 4 birthday parties, but each and every time she told happy to you. I told about her last birthday party and the welcome party on her born date I.e. 11-11-2011. So, on this birthday she was very much excited. We have decorated our house with balloons and ribbons during her sleeping time. When she was awake and saw the decoration, she cheered and said happy birthday to you....

She had enjoyed her birthday very much and eat lots of cakes. After cutting the cake, no attention on anything, instead of eating cake. Generally, children have attraction of gifts but Eva has attraction of cake. Eva and ahaan (Eva's friend) both born on the same date. She had gifted him a drum because she called him dholumama. Then both played with drum and enjoyed lots.
Eva
Eva's birthday celebration