Managing your Kids emotions after a mistake

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Mistakes are part and parcel of life and it is sometimes unavoidable. We are not raising ‘Perfect Kids’, we are here to empower them with essential life skills to support  them in bouncing back when faced with a  negative situation- Help them live their best life! STOP nagging, constantly pointing out mistakes and bringing up past mistakes.

My oldest has entered a phase where he messes up and gets frustrated with himself, to the point he sulks in a corner for an extended period. How do we use good judgment in a situation and help our kids get past these situations? Here are a few tips I have learned with time and experience. Now, these tips work best with kids who are 5 years and above. For my youngest it’s "TIME OUT", i am still figuring that one out (LOL!!).

An Example from my 7 year old boy’s experience : “MOM, I suck at football, I was annoyed and i kicked the temporary goal post down when i was playing with friends”

 1. Get the facts out. “Can you describe to me what happened and what led to you feeling this way?  “My friends laughed when I  could not pass and kick with the right techniques, it made me angry, Now they will not want to play with me ever” (my boy’s response)

It is important that we teach them the difference betweenfacts and feelings.  So my response is :

You suck at football is your perception and feeling. I’ve seen you play and i think you are fabulous. You may want to get further coaching to get better at it and we can discuss and look into that ( he is going through a feeling of shame and anger at this point and i am trying to get to the root of that).

Did your friends mention to you that they will never play with you? “NO” (My sons response) . “Then again it’s your perception, hence you feel that way about them. Shake it off and on the weekend you can go back to play with them”. (mom’s response)

Address these feelings and perception withAffirmation/positive reinforcement and see how best you can help the child get better at a skill.

2. Address the mistake and help them identify  a wrong behavior. Kicking the goal post down was a reaction to that feeling of anger and do you think that was the right thing to do ? “NO” (my son’s response). “Ok that is an unacceptable behavior! great you recognize that so in the future you will be mindful not to be destructive”. (mom’s response)

3.  Address the feeling. Can you describe to me what exactly is the feeling that was  going through you when you destroyed the goal post? and what is going on now? Does it hurt in your tummy or you feel sick, you feel like punching… What are you going to do about these feelings in the future?  Hear them out.

Allow them to come up with a plan or guide them with options. My options : You should apologize for kicking the goal post down.It would be a great idea to talk to your friends and let them know that you feelings are hurt when they laugh at you . You may want dad and mom to have a word with them.

4. Address consequences.  There are always consequences for bad attitude and behaviors. Discuss with kids what are the consequences to expect the next time around the mistake is repeated.

 5.Teach them a life lesson and reassure them.  Teach them how to manage emotions. Let them know, the next time you go through these emotions walk away, think through it and have a talk with your friends and family about your feelings. Let kids know there is always a learning to take away from every mistake. Discuss the learning from this present mistake.

Love unconditionally!!! Never withhold love from your child just because he/she makes mistakes. Remember we all do and we all deserve to be loved no matter what!

 

How do parents manage emotions of their kids after they have messed up? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please comment on the box below. Looking  forward to learning from you.

A children's charity to support

 

A real life story of my friend Sara and why celebrating her 30th with strangers was the best decision.

Sara Pashaei a Dubai based PR manager and a dear friend shares with me how a trip to Kenya changed her world and how it translated to her setting up a fundraiser to provide scholarship funding for primary school students in Nairobi, Kenya.  Sara tells me, her volunteer trip to Kenya had been booked with the intention to teach the children of Bright Star Montessori Learning Center. And no doubt about it, there was a whole curriculum of teaching, from morning till late-afternoon, but early on throughout her journey it became evident that she was the one to leave with the biggest lesson of them all. A lesson so important, no classroom practice could ever come close to its core. A life-long teaching of love, life, laughter and gratitude. And this is why celebrating her 30th birthday with strangers was the best decision she has ever made. 

In this city we work so hard and it calls for spoiling ourselves with fashionable clothing, fine dining, exotic vacations and more. I am not against the idea of splurging occasionally to enjoy the life that passes you by so quickly--but what would happen if you choose to spoil a less fortunate instead? Giving your time, money and resources is highly rewarding and improves another life. Taking into consideration the scale of poverty and need, we might wonder; will my pocket change make a significant difference? You don't have to feature on the world rich list to make a difference.  Small contributions pooled together ends up bringing about significant impact.

This is one charity you should know about and support

Which Charity ? 

The Bright Star Montessori Learning Center, Nairobi, Kenya supports orphans and children of  single parents with basic and educational needs. However the center faces challenges and lacks adequate support to meet the ever increasing needs of the kids at hand. Sara's  fundraiser seeks to provide scholarship funding to primary school students at  this learning center.

What is an amount i could look at donating?

A contribution as little as Aed 60 could pay for one child's food, tuition, school resources and uniform for an entire month.

How can i donate?

Donate on the charity website : CLICK HERE

What other ways can i support?

Share the cause on social media to raise awareness and pave way for friends and family to contribute.

Should we expose children to superheros

Do we expose children to Superhero's or not? There are conflicting views on this. Superhero-play, especially with little boys is inevitable. Totally banning them could lead to aggression in the long haul. In our household we have decided to introduce positive values as we guide and cheer on our adventurous little souls while they save the world from destruction and fight evil. I live with three superhero's, seven years and younger who go by distinguished names AB, Nicky and Merav. My youngest struts around creating webs at home in his blue and red Spidy costume (His latest birthday gift). He has hardly watched a spider man movie, but feels the part of a superhero. My oldest and middle child absolutely love their light saber battles. They have fostered deep friendship engaging in action-hero play and testing their physical limit. While my kids categorically love imitating larger than life characters, I do not take it lightly  that I am responsible to guide and advise them against trying out dangerous feats like jumping off buildings and walking into raging fire.

As my children enjoy this wave, I harness this passion through teachable moments and intentional discussions to introduce them to some real life superhero's like Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Abraham Lincoln . Surprisingly the lil munchkins are curious to learn and all ears. I also prepare them to understand that a real life superhero can be some one ordinary with no special powers like their parents, teachers or next door neighbors.

Tips to foster healthy superhero play:

1. Explain to kids the difference between fantasy superhero's and real life heros

2. Help kids understand where to draw the lines when it comes to action play. Never to cross over to aggression and hostile language.

3. Allow them to enjoy an age appropriate superhero cartoon, but train them to stay grounded and not get lost in an imaginary world forever.

4. Show them the ropes to pick the good traits  like generosity, compassion, community help and chivalry from superhero's.

5. Enlighten them on life-skills: how to use power wisely while they learn to negotiate and cooperate, Identify right from wrong and fair from unfair.

 

As parents let's be a guiding force as kids' imagination soar up up and away!

Insight Into education in Dubai.

What ? The School Show 

When ? 29th and 30th April  2016

Timings ? 09:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Where? Dubai International Marine Club located next to Barasti 

Cost? It's FREE

The School Show is a new addition to the Dubai Nursery Show which has been running for the last three years. Its a bi-annual event taking place in April and then returning in October each year. The event is aimed at parents who are looking for information on nurseries and schools and it aims to take the stress out of decision making for parents weighing up options on curricular.  Parents can engage with teaching professionals and admissions staff from some of Dubai's top education  providers. The decision on which school to send your kids is one of the biggest financial and cultural decision parents can make. The School Show exists to support you and your family in that journey and offers the first education panel discussion with senior educators to answer your questions. Visitors are encouraged to pre-register to attend this free event online with a chance to enter the draw to win a prizes worth AED 3,500!

Entrance is free.

For more information about The School Show visit www.theschoolshow.ae 

Top 5 kid-friendly places to inculcate reading in Dubai

I have been giving much thought to inculcating active reading habits in my kids. This skill is really a gift that you can give your child. His Highness Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid, vice president of UAE and Ruler of Dubai has initiated a nationwide campaign via the hashtag #ReadingYear, to encourage reading among the young and with a hope to brainstorm ideas to encourage the same. His Highness Sheik Mohammed tweeted “Our aim is to develop a long-term strategy which makes reading a part of the culture, identity and life of our generations.“We look forward to the contribution of everyone who holds the UAE dear via the hashtag #ReadingYear, even if it is with just one idea". My idea is to start with every home in the UAE, to raise awareness, to cultivate the habit, and to spread the vision.

My top 5 findings

1. Public Library on Al Mankool road allows you to walk in and browse a book for free. They have a dedicated children's sections with a variety of English and Arabic books on offer.

Address and Contact  : Public Library on Al Mankool, Al Mankool Road, Dubai, 043277779

2. Dubai is a paradise for foodies, but not all spaces are child-friendly with kids amenities and children's menus.BookMunch a quaint cafe in Al Wasl square, offers a thought and tum provoking setting for a date with your young ones. With tables set up between the bookshelves, with the best collection for kids to fiction and best sellers, this is a perfect setting for story telling and book reading sessions paired with scrumptious food (flag to remember, some items are priced steep on the menu). Kids have a choice to curl up in a chair and enjoy a mouthwatering french toast or lay down on the rug under a book tent, making their reading time fun and entertaining. This is an enriching place to visit with the whole family and designed for kids. Whats amazing about this cafe that feeds the body and mind is the fact that it encourages and points young ones to a direction to discover the nearly lost art of reading books, while they enjoy their yummies. My boys absolutely love this place.

Address and Contact  : Book Munch Cafe, Wasl Square, Al Safa Dubai
042759066

 

3. Bookworm right off Jumeirah Beach road is a delightful space for young ones to dive into an adventure filled with story telling, puppet shows and young writers competitions.

Address and Contact  : Book worm, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah, Dubai, 043945770

4. If you are looking for literary budget finds for your little ones and  you have a way about the art of haggling,BookWorld is just the right place to head to. This treasure trove of pre-loved books, filled with books from floor to ceiling is tucked away in Satwa. It is not your perfect vision of an organized space, but is filled with interesting finds, for both young and old avid readers. 

Address and Contact  : Book World, shop# 5 and 6-10/4, Al Bada, Satwa, Dubai  04 3491914

5. Around the corner of my home i discovered Mellow Yellow which boasts of a library cafe scene. They do have a dedicated reading corner with shelves of books, however i must add that it is not a sprawling selection for kids to dive into. You could bring your own or just settle for the selection here as the setting is perfect for family and kids to unwind over a cuppa and a good read

Address and Contact  :  Mellow Yellow, Up Town Mirdif Mall, Mirdif

Active play on the rise in U.A.E

"Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.” -Friedrich Froebel

My 3 year old is tickled pink when i play 'one little piggy' with his ten little fingers. My 4 year old is pleased as punch when he indulges in pretend play as a superhero, he conquers bad guys and exerts his control on the world vicariously. As for my 7 year old kicking ball with his dad is special, it seems the ball is an out of the ordinary object.

Is play just entertainment or is there more to it?

Play makes a child whole. Research indicates play enables a child to imagine, create, explore and is an excellent tool in early learning and future success.

The Global Play Index analysis the extend of time children between age 2-12 years yield in play as well as their playing patterns. Fun City Play Index proposes to indicate if children in the selected regions have a favorable balance between play and alternate activities. The Index aspires to bring about increased awareness and promotes a healthy balance of active play as well as passive play for children.  In 2015, the Global children's play Index included Australia, UK, Singapore and Sweden to gauge GCC's position when compared to other developed countries. Based on the online survey and questionnaire conducted by YouGov market researchers, globally UAE ranks third in 9-12 age group and fourth in the 2-5 and 6-8 age group and is also the leading country in the region that promotes play routines among children.

From left : Scott Booth- Research Director and Head of Travel, Tourism & Leisure YouGov ME, Aamnah Husain- Qualified Psychologist and Parenting Expert, Sneha Cherian- Founder, Cocoon to Butterfly Parenting Blog and Community, Silvio Liedtke -Chief Operating Officer of Landmark Group Leisure.


I have 3 important questions for parents to ponder on?

  • Do you actively participate with your child in play?
  • How often does your child play?
  • what is your child's favorite game or play activity?

Legoland Dubai launches Annual Pass

What? Legoland Dubai launches Annual Pass 

When? Released on 22nd Feb 2016

Where? www.legoland.ae

Awesome awaits!

I am the greatest fan of Lego and i believe Lego should be in every child's toy collection. In a digital age of x-box and ipads, these durable, strong interlocking bricks remains one of the most popular toys and has thrived despite all odds. Lego symbolizes a creative expression and makes ideas come to life.

I have great news for Dubai families and kids. The regions largest integrated theme park destination, Legoland Dubai is set to open in October 2016. The Annual pass for the Legoland  Main park and Water Park is released. Yay!!

What does Legoland feature -

  • 68.8 acre Legoland Park
  • More than 15,000 Lego model structures made from over 60 million lego bricks
  • 40 interactive rides, shows and attraction
  •  Lego city
  • Adventure
  • Lego Kingdom
  • Create
  • Lego Factory
  • Magical Miniland

What is the cost of the Annual Pass?

Aed 995 per person for a full year's unlimited access to both Legoland Waterpark or 765 for the main park.


Annual pass privileges :

  • Annual Pass for adults and children aged 3 yrs and older
  • 12 months unlimited admission to Legoland Dubai and LegoLand Water park
  • 10% discount on dining and retail park
  • 10% discount on general admission tickets to all Dubai Park and Resort theme parks and ticked shows
  • special seasonal offers only for pass members

Kids Fest at Global Village

What? Kids Fest

When? 1- 22 February, 2016

Where? Global Village

Cost? The events are free of charge and included in the price of admission to Global Village ( 15 AED. Free for children under 3)

Dubai is a city that is overflowing with kid-friendly spaces designed to cultivate a sense of wonder and excitement. As a mom who loves exploring the city for fun and entertaining destinations for kids, i have discovered that there are plenty dotted around the city for a hefty cost, however you can hardly buy kids activities, without breaking the bank. Recently my little boy tribe and i were invited to experience the newest addition to Global Village ; Kids Fest. I love Kids Fest for many reasons but at the top it is desperately affordable for all that it offers. 

Are you looking for a super fun family thing to do on a budget? Head to Kids Fest at Global village, for an evening packed with zestful activities.

  • My kids enjoyed the Globo bouncy castle along with face painting and balloon bending. The little dudes were also thrilled on meeting and getting pictures with the famous characters of the Smurfs at the Roman Amphitheater. 
  • The popular Globo has his live shows throughout the day. 
  • One of the standout attractions of the evening was the hit acrobatic show ‘Circus Circus’, they delivered stunning moves, songs and dance. 
  • To ensure as much active participation from youngsters as possible, the ‘Global Show Academy’ hosts 30-minute show, four times a day in the Roman Amphitheater where kids can practice their moves and if they are doing a great job, the kids might even get a chance to be on the main cultural stage in front of an audience.   

 

Why its a hotspot: All of the above interesting activities is included in the entry ticket to Global Village.

 

Photographed by Samuel Joy for SignetRing

The World’s First Signature Homeopathy Clinic opens in Dubai

As a child i used to suffer from recurrent colds, allergies and breathing difficulty. The thought of running from doctors to hospitals and living on antibiotics was just painful, leave alone swallowing those giant pebbles and nasty suspensions. Then to my relief, my parents discovered the world of homeopathy which worked like a miracle and boosted my immunity. The mildly sweet pills (Happy pills as i would call it) were a treat and the easy to dispense suspensions were not considered a nightmare after this discovery.  The amazing part being, it worked well both on a  physical and psychological level for me. It was welcome news to hear about the latest gem in health care to hit Dubai, 'The World’s First State-of-the-Art Signature Homeopathy Clinic', conceptualized by Dr. Mukesh Batra himself, Founder and Chairman of Dr. Batra’s Group of Companies. It was a pleasure to witness the opening ceremony amidst great fanfare. The clinic was officially inaugurated by Her Highness Sheikha Majd Saud Al-Qassimi Vice-President of  Women’s Union Association in the presence of Dr. Mukesh Batra, Dr. Akshay Batra, dignitaries and eminent members of the society on 11th January 2016 at their location in Al Wasl, Dubai.

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Left to right: 1 Her Highness Sheikha Majd Saud Al-Qassimi Vice-President of Women’s Union Association and 2 Dr. Mukesh Batra, Founder Chairman, Dr. Batra's® Healthcare Group.

 

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Left to right: 1 Dr. Akshay Batra, Managing Director of Dr. Batra's® Healthcare Group, 2 Her Highness Sheikha Majd Saud Al-Qassimi Vice-President of Women’s Union Association 3 Dr. Mukesh Batra, Founder & Chairman of Dr. Batra's® Healthcare Group and 4 Kartik Bhatt, International CEO of Dr. Batra's® Healthcare Group

 

The highlight for me was to experience upon arrival the clinics signature healthy refreshments and the state-of-the art diagnostic examination rooms. It offers the luxuries of a plush resort, reflecting a relaxed atmosphere, personalized service and attention to detail. Hence, I would describe this as your High-heeled sophisticated wellness escape for long term health-transformation.

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Sneha Rebecca Cherian Founder and Editor of Cocoon to Butterfly and Dr. Akshay Batra, Managing Director of Dr. Batra's® Healthcare Group.

 

One-on-one interview with Dr. Akshay Batra, a leading homeopathy expert, India's first Trichologist from The Trichological Society of London and Managing Director of Dr. Batra's® Healthcare Group,

Sneha Rebecca: Why should anyone turn to  Homeopathic treatments?

Dr.Akshay BatraHomeopathic treatment is growing in popularity, it does not treat superficially but looks at improving overall health, wellness, physical and psychological condition of a person. Homeopathic treatments are non-toxic, safe and harmless. They are cost effective too.

Sneha Rebecca: skeptics state, Homeopathy is a misconception and there are a myriad of myths associated. Many claim it just works on a phycological level which discredits this science. What is your response to this?

Dr.Akshay Batra: I will use only one scenario to prove this theory wrong. A child who is 4 or 5 who is unlikely to be influenced on a psychological level and unable to process feelings mentally unlike adults, gets cured by homeopathic treatment. A huge percentage of children respond to this form of treatment for varied diseases and health concerns. If this is proven statistics how can you justify the statement it is a myth and works only on a physiological level.

Sneha Rebecca: Many say Homeopathy is not for acute conditions and serious illness and you do not see immediate effects and recovery with these treatments. What is your thoughts on this.

Dr.Akshay Batra: I will address the effects of the medicine first. Majority of patients and families turn to homeopathy as a last resort when all else has failed, hence it is working at a level which needs time propionate to the severity of the condition. Homeopathy is curative and has proved to combat and prevent many serious conditions of illness, hence it is not only for common colds and teething issues but proven effective to cure Asthma, Osteoarthritis, Cervical Spondylitis, Depression, Hair loss etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Santa Claus is coming to town

Join Santa for an afternoon of family-fun with French children’s fashion store Petit Bateau, Mall of the Emirates new extension this holiday season. ITS ALL FOR FREE!! Ho Ho Ho!!!santa With a fully decorated Christmas tree and fun activities for the little ones throughout the afternoon such as writing their own letter to Santa; Petit Bateau is inviting families in Dubai to visit the new store at Mall of the Emirates from 4:00pm until 8:00pm on Friday 18th December – and a free goodie bag to take home at the end of your visit.

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Immune Boosting Power Foods

children As we welcome winter, it comes accompanied by the uninvited guest, ' the nasty Influenza virus'. Children are more prone to its attack than adults. Preventive measure such as washings hands and avoiding contact with the virus is certainly a good idea, however the key to a healthy child is a healthy immune system.

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Reem Abdallah, Dietician, Health Factory, offers my readers  tips to promote healthy eating at home which in turn promotes positive immune function. Reem advises parents to visit the local grocery store and choose a variety of ingredients that aids in keeping your child's immune system running strong. Of these the main ingredients are:

 

yogurt

citrusBerriesbroccolliSpinachfish

Children's Day with Petie Bateau @ NO COST!

  Celebrate International Children’s Day on 20th November at any Petit Bateau store in the UAE, indulging in family-friendly activities including sand art, t-shirt painting and a chance to win prizes. All activities are free of cost!!

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Children are a source of warmth, love and joy to every household. Celebrating every child is meaningful. Do we need to have a special day set aside to celebrate children? Why not! It gives organisations and governments, the opportunity to talk about and prove protection and respect for children and enables communities to intervene and impact children's welfare. It's another day and another opportunity to create fond memories and to bring families closer.

In honor of celebrating children's rights around the world, Petit Bateau stores hosts a day of fun and festivities for families to enjoy special moments with their little wonders. Be sure to visit one of the Petit Bateau store's @ The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates or Yas Mall and enjoy with your little sparks!!

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Let the giggles explode

   

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Shake your sillies, play games, and indulge in funny movies with your kids.

A team of French scientists has discovered that using humor appears to help toddlers learn new tasks, reports a new study in the journal Cognition and Emotion. Building on the knowledge that making older children laugh can enhance many aspects of cognition, Rana Esseily and her colleagues designed an experiment to see whether using humor could also have an effect on the ability of infants to learn.

Each of the 18-month-olds selected to participate in the final part of the study observed an adult using a tool to grab an out-of-reach toy. In one group the adult simply played with the toy after retrieving it; but in the other group, the adult threw the toy immediately on the floor, which made half the children in that group laugh.

When Esseily and her colleagues studied their data, they found that the children who laughed at the antics of the adults were able to repeat the action themselves more successfully than those who didn’t laugh, as well as those who were included in the ‘humorless’ control group.

Parents such as myself, about to embark on the un-funny business of toilet training might want to keep laughing – no matter what!!

Tips for balanced snacking

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I had the privileged to meet and interview, Barni Nutritionist Hala Barghout, at an event hosted by Barni early this year. Hala believes in committing to family meal times and making them enjoyable. As a parent one of the best gifts you can give your children is a strong nutritional start. With school season in full swing, every mothers biggest challenge is to put together a creative and healthy snack box amidst all the hustle and bustle prior to sending kids off to school. When kids are back from school, preparing a meal that they will actually eat is another mammoth task. As a mom of 3 boys( 2 in school), i keep my eyes open for any tips i can find to make meal times more enjoyable to prepare, and enjoyable for my picky-eaters to savor.

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     Nutritionist Hala Barghout and i, at an event hosted by Barni Snacks, promoting healthy eating and balanced diet for kids.

Below are some child friendly pointers by Hala, for  ensuring a well-balanced diet for your child, thereby contributing to their overall growth.

  • Mix and match

Serve baby carrots, cucumber or other raw veggies with fat-free ranch dressing or hummus. Dip cracker sticks or fresh fruit pieces in labneh. Or, keep a portion of fruits in the mid meal snack daily with peanut butter to allure your child to eat fruits.

  • Broaden the menu

Offer out-of-the-usual fare, such as pineapples, cranberries, red or yellow peppers, or roasted peanuts, almonds or Mediterranean nuts that are freely available in the local supermarkets. Whole grain pretzels and tortillas provide energy and stamina for your little ones.

  • Revisit breakfast

Serve breakfast foods — such as scrambled eggs and a whole-grain toast — as alternative snacks for kids in the afternoon.

  • Sweeten it up

Healthy snacks for children don't have to be bland or tasteless. To satisfy your child's sweet tooth, offer fat-free pudding, pancakes or frozen yogurt. Make smoothies with skimmed milk, yogurt, and fresh fruits.

  • Creativity is key

Use a cookie cutter to make shapes out of cheese slices, whole-grain bread similar to the attractive shape of their endeared Barni Bear.  Make fruit kebabs or show your child how to eat diced fruit with chopsticks or toothpicks. Make a tower out of whole-grain crackers, spell words with pretzel sticks, or make funny faces on a plate using different types of fruits.

Hala says, “Above all, remember that food diversity and moderation are the keys to sensible and well balanced diet. Smart nutritional choices during childhood can reinforce lifelong healthy eating habits and it helps kids grow up to their full potential. So it’s important to start young to reap good results in the future.” A HEALTHY OUTSIDE STARTS FROM THE INSIDE.

Hello School

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My little boy had spent the 3 years learning from me and our family values. The moment had arrived where he starts his school adventure in unchartered territory. We walked through the gates of his school as he gripped my pinky finger so tight, it could break off and as he clung to me like a leech, I could almost feel my blood sucked out. I leaned down to my 3-year-old as I swept his hair across his angel face, building his self-confidence as i set him up for a good start. It was a feeling of Deja Vous. I have been in this spot not too long ago with my oldest and learned that this journey has allowed him to grow wings, yet the jitters chased me. Whether a veteran or a rookie this is a difficult  and mixed emotion as a parent to get to grips with. But this time around I felt I was readier than my first experience, hence I was able to mentally prepare my little one in advance and limit his and my potential for tears. The first day went smooth and drama-free and was an enjoyable one.

A few things I did at home to prepare my child were:

  • I discussed my happy memories of school and got my oldest to discuss his and the exciting part of making new friends
  • I discussed his anxieties and encouraged him with stories of how his older brother overcame his challenges.
  • I read story books and enjoyed putting together board puzzles with my boy
  • I used pretend play by making school time look fun and exciting. The both of us took turns in being teacher and student.
  • I involved my boy in the shopping process of picking his school essentials and planning his snack.
  • Established a bedtime routine in advance so he would wake up fresh and well rested to meet his crucial day

The one thing I did not do(I wish I did) was check on my boy’s medical and dental records to make sure they were up to date, so I would be rest assured that he did not have concerns that we will have to treat in the busy academic period. As I waved a goodbye and flung a desperate flying kiss, I knew I had released him to grow some roots and sprout some wings.

When did your little bundle start school? Was the first day rough? How did you cope and how did you prepare them? I’d love to hear your experience and any advice that could be shared.

 

 

 

Cooking up Memories

It’s always worth it to create memories alongside teaching a new skill to your kids. This summer has been the most amazing bonding experience for me. I have discovered cooking and baking with kids is wonderfully rewarding. OK, it can be a grimy affair and a date with boisterous…but the joy of watching your kids take pride in what they made and to see them have fun while loving the art of whipping, mixing and decorating is a warm fuzzy mommy feeling. So let’s don on the aprons and cook up some memories. Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

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A Zoo-tiful day at Al Tamimi's Hero Petting Farm

bunny Cocoon to Butterfly kids kicked off their summer break in Dubai, by visiting the regions largest indoor edutainment venue in Modhesh World, Dubai. The highlight of their visit was petting and feeding the most beloved animals at Al Tamimi Stables Animal Care Hero Petting Farm . It was indeed a real fun and unique experience! The lil love-bugs got all soppy as they fed and stroked the animals. The area featured rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, ducklings, tortoises, baby goats as well as a parakeet, iguana and ball python snake. Children are constantly learning from their environment and this visit demonstrated how children got to practice development skills and social competencies such as caring, justice and empathy in a relatively short animal interaction time.

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Our lil hero’s also learned about the environment in a fun and interactive way with Al Tamimi’s pot planting Green Hero activity. At their activity, the children were given the opportunity to explore and care for plant life. They got to take home the plant they potted, which gives them the opportunity to watch it grow over time.

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At the AL Tamimi pottery painting area, the lil-wiggles got to unleash their creative side. The area featured a selection of paint and ceramics which included mugs, egg-holders, bowls, cupcakes and much more to choose from. Our wiz-kids let their creative spirit take over while designing their masterpiece, which they brought back home.  The area also features a gift shop where wooden toys and animal gifts are available for purchase as a keepsake.

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children in this era live in a virtual world. They have few opportunities for contact with the natural world and to explore the free-range outdoor and creative play. Places such as Al Tamimi’s petting farm, Green Hero activity, and Pottery painting gives children the opportunity to reclaim the magic and the joy of exploring their natural world and animal planet.

If your kids enjoy these activities and you would like to inculcate in them the thrill of watching a bird, stroking a bunny, finding a turtle and feeding a goat, then head to this location.

 

  • Where: Al Tamimi stables, Modhesh World, Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
  • Date: July 9th to August 29th 2015
  • Day and Time: 9 am to midnight from Saturday to Wednesday and 9 am to 1 am on Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Price: Each activity priced at AED 20 per person
  • More Information: https://www.facebook.com/AlTamimiStables
  • Contact: +971 50 554 9915/ getintouch@tamimistables.com

 

 

*photo credit: N03/5994991505">Rabbit via photopin (license)

An Escape to Atlantis 'Family Fun Factory'

IMG_6608I speak on behalf of every child. What’s not to love about an arcade and gaming zone! The dazzling lights and resonance invites you to escape to a world of nonstop action and thrill. Whether a ball drops into a hole or the wheel spins to hit a jackpot, they all add to the challenge of testing your skills and anticipating a big score. Atlantis hotel has your kids covered with its newest attraction this summer. ‘The Family Fun Factory’ is an indoor entertainment destination packed with arcade games, face painting, redemption zones, gifts, and arts and crafts. Last week Cocoon to Butterfly kids enjoyed an evening of amusement at ‘The Family Fun Factory’. What we loved most about this venue is that there are no additional charges for games, beyond the admission fee. No more queuing up to recharge cards for games and loading up coins to use in machines. It is not a particularly large space but is a venue guaranteed to offer unlimited gaming fun at one fixed price. We thought the price was more than fair for all they had to offer. My older competitive boy and his BFF battled it out for a top score with the interactive games. A range of rides and games offered for pre-school buddies thrilled the younger ones in our group. A favorite for the group was the redemption games where the kids and adults won tickets, which we exchanged for exciting gifts. The staff was approachable and friendly. The boys were incredibly fascinated by the cool tattoos they got to select and don. They also enjoyed the leisure of time and space they got to get creative with the arts and crafts on offer. The mascots, Princess Oceana and Finn the Dolphin paid a visit creating fond memories for our little champs

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I have often said that I have an excitement hungry kids bone or two in my body, and this is most likely one of the times it’s taken me over. In all honesty as much as the kids could not have had enough of the gaming experience, I could not have had enough. I was found chasing the redemption games for the sheer thrill of collecting reels of tickets. I have learned that rumors of the death of arcade games have been an exaggerated tale. With venues such as these, it’s easy to see why arcades have stood the test of time.

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Features:

  • Video Arcade Zone (where kids can log up high scores and defy their match)
  • Redemption Zone (30 skill based games offering kid’s the chance to sweep tickets for top scores that can be exchanged for fun prizes)
  • Novelty Zone (offering youngsters unlimited play with a chance to win prizes in reward for those with the skill)
  • Midway & Carnival Zone (challenge one another with games such as water blasting targets to accumulate against the clock)
  • Kiddie Ride Zone (range of sit on rides for younger kids)
  • Sport-Zone (play unlimited games such as Air Hockey and Sonic Basketball)
  • Snack shop (you can purchase a variety of munchies, light snacks and refreshments)
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Face painting

 Location:

Silk Ballroom, Atlantis Conference Center

Dates:

July 9th –August 23rd, 2015

Timings:

Daily 3pm to 10pm

Entrance Fee:

AED 75 per child (16 and under) for in-house guests.

AED 100 for external guests, including one free adult.

Contact: 04 426 2000

For more information Visit: www.atlantisthepalm.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagination sets sail with Kidzania

IMG_5947IMG_5942 'Cocoon to Butterfly' kids had the privilege of being welcomed to the simulated mini-world of Kidzania at Dubai Mall, where they lived their dreams out through interactive role-play.

This edutainment venue is a city scaled down to children’s size. It mirrors the working of a real world, complete with services and facilities from; banks, hospital, police stations, fire station, shopping area, eatery, radio station and more.

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The experience for the kids started with an airport style check in counter, where each child was issued a boarding pass and bank cheque for 50 kidZos (local currency of Kidzania). They entered through the departure gate and exchanged their cheque for kidZos at a local bank following which they set out to find a career. The kids were advised that the kidZos could be used to buy goods and services or even save in their bank account in KidZania, which provides them with an ATM card. They could earn and collect more kidZos by working in an establishment.

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Each child got to adorn uniforms which reflect the nature of their chosen career. Roles included working as a cashier in a supermarket, RJ in a radio station, piloting a commercial airline, dentist, firefighter, police and much more. Most activities are aimed at 4-14-year-olds, yet my 3-year-old found enough activities to keep him busy. I noticed toddlers are not left out as a dedicated Urbano’s Residence, which features rooms and specially designed activities awaited them. Each activity was age appropriate and could accommodate small groups of 6 to 8 kids in safe surroundings. I was at complete ease and reassured of safety as each child was made to wear an electronic bracelet for tracking purpose.

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Kidzania is not a fantasy world, but best described as a ‘World of its own’. It boasts of it's very own currency called ‘kidZos’, informal greeting called ‘Kai’, ‘Zanks’ substituted for thanks and activities supervised by a team of 300 multi-cultural professionals called ‘Zupervisors’. The 'B-KidZanian' loyalty program allows kids to get naturalized into KidZania Residents and receive the benefits during each visit. With 50 ‘establishments’ (local and international brands represented within) and 90 different roles to choose, kids learn real life skills and money management in the process of pretend-play.

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All in all, Kidzania provides the perfect experiential learning platform with a creative concept that allows kids to don roles they dream about. It was a pleasure to watch the kids soak up the awe-inspiring experience.

As the mercury rises and school break runs on full throttle, are you looking for options for your kids to be cooled off and entertained? I am not referring to kids staying cooped up in the house and digitally wired up. Are you seeking activities that are fun, unique and educational? Kidzania offers precisely that.  To make the best of Kidzania and other kids entertainment venues this season, I recommend purchasing the 'Dubai Summer Pass'.

  • The Dubai Summer Pass - Save AED 190!
  • Was AED 440, now AED 250

The pass entitles guests to visit the following attractions from the 23rd July-5th September

  • Kidzania1x child ticket (adults are Free)
  • Reel Cinemas2 x standard ticket for adults or children
  • Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo1 x ticket for an adult or child
  • The SEGA Republic1 x ticket for an adult or child + receive 100 credits to use
  • Dubai Ice Rink1 x ticket for an adult or child

Passes are available for purchase online at www.dubaisummerpass.com and at each attraction in Dubai mall. Visit the KidZania Dubai website for more details. 

 

 

 

 

Wire World Adventure Park hits town

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Little known facts about me: I am born with a zest for life. I was the girl who jumped off a plane at 10,000 feet tandem-falling from the sky, on a skydiving expedition. I was the one who stepped off the edge and bungee dived into thin air at the Niagara Falls area. I loved the thrill of abseiling down Tamarind falls in Mauritius. I have experienced the electrifying bolt of what letting go of inhibitions, and taking a leap offers. As a mom, I intend to raise kids who conquer their fears and strive at achieving the impossible. I want to cultivate the adventure gene in our kids, to get in on the action and accumulate experiences and not possessions. When ‘Cocoon to Butterfly’ was invited to Dubai Sports World venue at the Dubai World Trade Center to experience Wire World Adventure Park, I was quick to grab the opportunity, to experience the unusual and the exciting. The Park features a mobile rope course, with a variety of fun bridges and crossings for kids to navigate in a series of elevated challenges. It also features a three platform bungee trampoline – which can also be used as a kite-surf simulator - for kids and adults.

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Safety comes first and there are no compromises with that golden rule. The lil adventure tribe got fitted with their harnesses and helmets (complete with lanyard and safety clips) and walked through the rules before they set off on their course. They started out with the rope course, which boasts a series of eight obstacles on a meandering, 1.80-metre-high wooden platform installed and secured on a two-metre-high pole base. My little Abhishek is a fearless junkie, and as soon as he got locked in on the line, he took off. The other kids followed. To my surprise the ones who were battling the fear of heights faced them head on and displayed confidence as they inched closer towards taming their fears.

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The little superheroes moved on to try the Bungee Trampoline. With bungee cords and ropes, the traditional trampoline transforms  to give participants a gravity-defying experience. It was exhilarating to watch my oldest spring into air and experience the whip through his hair doing back-flips, looking like Spiderman on a mission.The crew assisting the kids was professional, friendly and helped all the kids soar sky-high, making it super exciting. This attraction is for participants who weigh between 15 to 99 kilos. So I thought to myself why should boys have all the fun, I would do this in a heartbeat. I am no less feminine because I love bouncing off a trampoline or throwing myself down heights. Hence, I gave the vertical experience a go. It was exciting to experience the sheer thrill of weightlessness.

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I wish however there were more obstacles and challenges to tackle to keep my kids going through the day. My wish is just about to come true as I was given a brief on the 2,322 square meter, Wire World Park, in Meydan, which is scheduled to open later this year. It boasts of 70 obstacles, zip lines and rope swings set across trees and rocks.

With summer in full swing, and kids on school break, are you a mommy in Dubai brainstorming to find exciting summer activities to keep your little ones entertained? This place is totally Child-tastic!! Guaranteed to have your kids stoked this summer. Feed your kids excitement and spark their sense of adventure at Wire World Adventure Park, in the regions largest indoor sports venue. The 22,000m², fully air-conditioned venue in DWTC also offers  Summer Camps and academy classes for sports.

For more information visit :  www.dubaisportsworld.ae 

Location: Dubai Sports World, Sheikh Saeed Hall, Dubai World Trade Centre

Timings: 11.00 am-10.00pm

Mobile Course: AED 3O per Person (for 2 rounds)

Bungee Trampoline: AED 35 per person (for a 5 minute session)

Combined Ticket (Mobile course+ Bungee Trampoline): AED 50 per person