Let me introduce you to Ro; Ro used to be a very a shy kid. He would enter school with his eyes affixed to the ground, never returning any hellos or good mornings that he received from other parents and teachers no matter how much we cajoled him.
He would hide behind me when guests come to our house, sometimes even refusing to come downstairs.
To our surprise this behaviors changed significantly when he did a science project for his class and presented it to the children and teachers (built the model of a volcano and performed the experiment in school). The amount of attention and appreciation he was getting was quite a sight and it has really changed his confidence game. He now enters the school with a wide smile greeting everyone he knows.
Ro is my 6 year old.
Beautiful as motherhood might be, it definitely does come with its fair share of complexity.
I thought 5 years of studying architecture was difficult, I thought pulling all nighters to meet deadlines was difficult, but boy! Was I ever so wrong!
What makes this full time job at home even tougher is having a full time job outside the home, and I am talking about being driven up the wall kinda tough here.
The worst part is that working mothers aren’t easy on themselves; the “forever there guilt” just does not go away!
If this is the case with you the following would come in extremely handy; i.e. if you haven’t been doing it already!
What I am listing here are activities that will ensure quality time and will aid in accelerating and strengthening the learning process at school or otherwise; with a secret trick of how to make it exponentially fun for the little one.
AND At the end of the post you will definitely agree that these are awesome and so am I!! haha!
GARDENING: There are very few things in the world more satisfying than planting a seed with your child, watching it grow and then to finally be able to pick the fruit. Also you get your own kitchen garden in the process. Apart from giving them a sense of achievement this also helps inculcate a feeling of responsibility in children as it is their plant that they have to take care of and ensure its well being so to speak. Kids like to get wet and they like to play with dirt making this THE BEST thing to do with them.
Having said that, you however don’t need to have a lavish garden or a big back yard to be able to do this with your kids; you can start with small potted indoor plants and enjoy the planting experience. Start with something that grows quickly like a sun flower, plus point is that kids get to see the entire process of the stem growing and the bud forming and then the blossoming into a flower.
MY 2 CENTS: A routine is most important. We all do this once in a while but it is important to have a time set to water the plants every single day. Although it is ideal to water the plants in the morning but sadly for working mothers like me getting to school and work on time is a battle enough and any additional activity is not a possibility. What is key is to check the soil, do not water it too much if the soil is still too wet.
Also Ro, was the classroom super star when they were learning about mini beasts. ( I don’t need to tell you why, right?)
BONUS: If you are in Dubai and want to get into gardening, Garden Centre Dubai is the place to go. Everything from indoor to outdoor plants, from seeds to pots and soil. It’s a gardening enthusiast’s heaven. While you are there don’t forget to try the awesome rose leaf café. More details on that here.
IN THE KITCHEN; Ok so this is almost like a Friday morning ritual! Sadly there is no sleeping in late on weekends for us and we wake up super early. As much as I miss my sleep I guess I enjoy spending each extra hour with the kiddies more!
I am never making breakfast alone on the weekends.. I don’t know if I should be grateful for this or if I should curse myself. Because beautiful as it might sound it is definitely accompanied by spilled batter, icing sugar dusted on all possible surfaces and possibly a few accidents with raw eggs on the floor. So gear yourself up! You need to be prepared, mentally and with all cleaning gear in tow… and begin…
Our weekly favorites are French toasts and pan cakes … if you are really interested and really kind to comment below I might even share the recipes I follow 🙂
Other favorites include pizza, brownies and muffins.
Kids love cracking eggs, they love mixing up batter and they love tasting uncooked dough! So this is a very quality early morning that I am talking about here.
MY 2 CENTS: Get the kids to measure out the ingredients… let them be aware of the ounces and milliliters. My son is at the perfect age for this and it really helps reinforce his learning at school.
BONUS: This is where I get most recipes from: Allrecipes.com. easy simple and reliable.
PAINTING: so I am not talking about a scenery or a family picture on an A4. Cute as these might be we need to let the imagination run wild. Its best to have a corner or an area dedicated in the house for arts and crafts activities. If you wish you can cover the entire area with old newspapers in order to save yourself from the trouble of removing the paint stains from the floor. Once you have the area ready, fill the space with ample paint and paper suppliers and let the kids do the rest. Try hand printing, foot printing or vegetable stamping. Be as innovate as possible.
CRAFTS: Make something with the kids. Again the feeling of having built something with their own hands and to be able to hold is unparalleled. Make homemade play dough with them (show me some love and ill share the how to make it 🙂 ) make things with it. Do some simple paper crafts. Like a picture frame or a toy box with an old carton. Decorate it and display like a proud mama !
My 2 cents: When was the last time you sat down, mixed two colors together and painted something? I am not talking about a full blown master piece… paint any flat surface, an old clay pot, make a small drawing and fill it with colors. Try it. It’s cathartic.
BONUS: I always get the painting supplier for kids from Ikea. Its comes as a set with paint brushes of various sizes, which helps in the child learning which size and shape of brush to use for a different areas of his art work, and also a mixing pallet. They are decent size bottles and last long.