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Gopi Krishna in the pool

Water and Ameya (my little one) are made for each other. Every time he enters the water in his bath-tub or the complex swimming pool, I have a hard time getting him out! And then, didn’t I just write what all moms face with their kids in this scenario? 🙂

So today I will tell you about this incident in the swimming pool last week. We (Ameya, my hubby and I) had a family time in the adults pool area. After an hour or so we took him to the kiddie pool. At first he was not happy to be there but started enjoying in a bit. This was because all the little girls (all elder to him) in the pool came to play with him in the kiddie pool!!


It was a delight to see him play with them. They took care of him and ensured that he didn’t slip or fall. It was like there were small Gopis with a little Krishna in the pool (from Indian mythology)!


Seeing them together, I couldn’t resist and took some pictures and thought of sharing them with you all.

Needless to say, when I tried to get him out of the kiddie pool at the end of another hour he was very unhappy and didn’t want to leave, protesting in his way saying he wanted to stay back in the water! 🙂

This time in the pool surely tired him out so much that after a wash and a snack, Ameya fell asleep for a good 2 hours.

And he was still talking about his time in the pool and the girls while I put him to bed that night! A boy after all I smiled. 😉


The Gift of Green

Its all about conditioning. You are what you are because of the the conditioning at home- to  a large extent. A lot of what you were exposed to in your childhood remains with you. Just think of all the good things you were introduced to as a child and as you grew up how these little nothings grew on you and stayed with you, as a habit.

So just imagine the impact children this generation will have on growing up, if you give them the gift of green. Catch them young, and inculcate green habits today, and secure a beautiful world for them. Teach them to love, nurture and appreciate. Here are my top 5 green things to do with your child –

1. Put together a garden kit with a little pot, a small shovel, a few soaked  bean sprouts and soil. Get them to plant the sprouts in the soil. teach them to water every day. And watch with wonder, the amazement in their eyes when they see the sprouts sprout!

2. Give a weekly prize for saving paper.

3. Encourage them to use a slate for practicing their alphabets.

4. Teach them not to waste. Not with a scolding, with a story may be? (Remember, your mom scolded you for wasting, but it had little impact on you 🙂 )

5. Recycle your toys – donate them, pass them over to friend’s kids, exchange toys your child is bored of with other kids’ toys. Am sure mothers will be more than willing to do this instead of making weekly/fortnightly shopping rounds at toy shops.

5. And last but most certainly not the least, buy them eco-friendly toys.

These are little things, but remember these things will amount to big changes in future.

Stay green!

Contributed by The Ketchup Girl

How important are toys for your child

How many times have you ended up buying the most expensive toys for your little munchkins only to find them more interested in a broken pencil, a steel spoon, a stray piece of paper? Plenty of times, yah?

The fact is that kids play by themselves with whatever objects they find around them. For all you know your toddler finds a little block of red wood, the most fascinating thing he has ever encountered, or your fingers for that matter. Wiggle them a little and watch your wee baby’s eyes widen and face break into the happiest chuckle.

Toys are mere facilitators. Doesn’t mean they have no role and are a waste of money. Heh, not at all. On the contrary, what I am driving at is the importance of child initiated play and the role toys have in it. Observe your little one and you’ll see them invent a whole lot of games by themselves. When they do that you should  introduce toys to aid the process. Toys can be great stimulators and help in enhancing your child’s all round development – motor skills, cognitive skills etc. To give you a quick example- remember how your kid dragged that pillow all over the house? May be if you introduced toys like  a train with a string/ a dog with a leash/a wooden horse/a cart etc, it will have the intended effect on your child’s mind. What you did only just furthered your child’s creativity. My girl, cuts her toy cake once, everyday. I gave her that one, when she turned two and had just enjoyed cutting her second birthday cake. With that toy cake, its a little unimaginable the kind of stuff she churns out- birthday parties, tea parties, quick snack for her ‘hungry baby’ and a few days back, she had me buy it from her ‘bakery’.

Having said that, please bear in mind, to introduce age appropriate toys and more importantly not to over stimulate them. There is not point in dumping toys of all shapes and sizes and giving them little room to discover each toy at a time.

We know you love your kid and want to give the world and nothing less. But may be you should re-consider your strategy of buying the entire store at a go! Like clothes, children out grow toys too. And when you introduce too many toys at a time, it might just result in the opposite- instead of engaging them, your child might just get plain bored, or as it happens often, stick to one toy leaving behind a mound of toys you affectionately bought for him last evening!

So, it might be a good idea to introduce one/few toys at a time, depending on the stage your child is in. Ensure the toy you are introducing are non-toxic, colourful , age appropriate and stimulating. And like we have harped earlier on this blog- recycle them! Children do not understand the meaning of new/old. Its in our head :).

May be, we can help you?

Contributed by The Ketchup Girl

Bed-Time Stories

Do you read to your lil one? Chances are that you do. But have you ever indulged in creating your own stories from your mini-champ’s everyday life and narrated back to them? Being an every night bed-time ritual, I’ll tell you, its one of the most fun filled bonding exercise with the tots. Besides, it gives them so much dough for imagination that soon, you’ll find them adding to the stories you tell them. My 4 year old and I don’t just tell each other stories- we build them together. I tell her a sentence and she adds another and together we make a hilarious, and sometimes stories with ‘morals’. Well, I am not one for preachy stories, especially the ones that instills fear in them. But the stories we make, are stuff that should indeed get published :D. (Now, that’s only a proud mother boasting :D)

Thought I’ll share a few fun things to do that makes for great bedtime conversations with your buttercup :-)!

1. Pick up an incident from that day – a fun, naughty, happy incident. Pick an incident that might have had a great impression on him/her. For example a play-time tiff, a birthday party she enjoyed etc.

2. Use the same story line with an ending that will make her happy. Its important that they sleep with happy thoughts. The happier the story ending, the better it is. Create happy images- a pink fairy with a soft pillow was sleeping with her favourite little friend ..

3. Sprinkle your story with big words. Big, complicated words amaze them. Even if they do not understand at first, it registers in their mind and with repeated use it makes sense to them.

4. Be funny. Make sounds. Twist your face. Widen your eyes. Use your hands.

5. Egg them with questions. Like, so do you think the thief escaped or got caught? Trust me, you’ll be amazed at their imagination and the outcomes they want from the story. My little one never lets the thief get caught by the police. Its always her dad that does the job! 😀

6. Create characters that inspire them- give them a name. Not a character from TV  or books. A character that you and your child create together.

Try this and watch your tot stump you with his/her absolutely resplendent imagination!

Wishing you happy times ahead with your bundles of joy!

Contributed by The Ketchup Girl

Recycle your toys …

Did you know that more than 40 million toys were thrown away last year?

And of that 40 million, 13 million toys ended up in the dustbin?

The numbers are quite incredible aren’t they? I was pretty shocked when I read them especially since I am in the toy rental space! I now realize that I have to do something about this because if toy buyers aren’t recycling their children’s toys then I can’t sell toys/Rentoys with a clear conscience.

And so this initiative was born!

So How do I Recycle toys?

When our children receive ‘new’ toys they are a source of endless fun and amusement. They’re faces light up at the prospect of something new to play with. Children don’t really care whether they’re brand new or not, they’re new to them and that’s all that matters to them.

When your child outgrows his or her toys they can then be turned into ‘new’ toys for other children who will again see them as a source of endless fun.

Instead of throwing away unbroken toys you can donate them to a good cause. You can also get your children involved by asking them to sort out what toys they don’t play with. Then come to a decision together about donating the toys. This can create the perfect chance for discussion on the environment and recycling as well as helping good causes.

Here’s what you can do – has tied up with an NGO which is a non-profit organization that has been set up with the aim of providing toys to all children.

Our aim in this is –

• To ensure that children from under privileged backgrounds receive toys as well

• To sensitize and advocate amongst individuals from all sections of society the need and importance of the right to play and the right to leisure for all children.

Send me an email at and we will have the toys collected from your home for this cause!

A Book Review – Spiritual Parenting By Gopika Kapoor

Here’s a very interesting book that I read recently called “Spiritual Parenting” by Gopika Kapoor.

A child is truly life’s greatest miracle; raising a child on the other hand is possibly life’s greatest challenge. This coming from a mother of a baby all of 8months old! 🙂

Gopika Kapoor, the writer is herself a mother of twins and she shares with you what she has experienced as a parent and also the experiences of other parents that she observed.   From managing your toddler’s tantrums to advice on how to keep your little one’s birthday party fun – not just for you but for your child as well, and from suggestions on positive discipline to ideas on how to connect with your child, she provides not just solutions, but also useful tips on the common problems that every parent encounters in bringing up a Baby.

From conception to early childhood, Spiritual Parenting takes one through this journey. Combining spirituality with tried-and-tested advice, it offers really simple but effective strategies on how to bring up your children in this mad mad world that we live in – and most importantly how to keep your sanity through this all.

I think what’s important is also the fact that she not just focuses on the child but also on the parents, it is also about how to be happy parents. In her book she also shows us how to tackle the difficulties we face – both physical and emotional as parenting adults – starting from post-partum depression, sleeplessness, strains on spousal relationships, and much more.

Spiritual Parenting is truly a must read for all parents.  Do read this book and hopefully it will show you how life’s greatest challenge is also life’s greatest joys!

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