All posts by Aparna

Simple ways to enjoy Holidays with Family while managing a business

This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own !
 
There are so many ways to enjoy the holidays with your kids! Of course, there is celebration after celebration at school – from plays, feasts, and parties, they will never end up bored there, but what about when you get home? While on Thanksgiving and Christmas break, it is easy to sit your kids in front of the television, but it is more important to take time to spend with them and fill your day with some fun and educational activities and crafts! It shouldn’t be hard to come up with ideas because there are so many of them out there on the internet and my blog too ! Here are some of my favorite ways to get kids off the couch and involved with holiday activities .

Simple ways to enjoy Holidays with Family while managing a business

Decorate
This is a great, fun way to start the holidays off and it will take up a lot of time. Turn some music on, pull out your decorations, and get started! A great way to make this last longer is by adding in some fun details. You can make crafts (more on this in a minute), make a Christmas music playlist, decorate the Christmas tree, make snacks, and to end the night, you could even turn on a Christmas movie (yes, I know this list is supposed to get kids off the couch, but everyone needs a Christmas movie once and awhile!).

 
Cook and Bake Together
Plan out your Thanksgiving and Christmas menus and let the kids help you cook! Since we are a vegetarians,  I love this vegetarian Thanksgiving menu and the great part about it is that there is so much to choose from and some of it can be done ahead of time, it teaches your kids cooking skills and you will be stress-free on Thanksgiving day – it’s really a win-win!
Every year we bake cookies as a family at my sisters home. Baking cookies is another great way to bond with kids while they learn to measure and mix the flours. After baking a batch of cookies , we have a decorating station with sprinkles, colored sugar and some simple icing in different colors for piping .

 
Make Crafts
There are so many Thanksgiving and Christmas crafts available out there – just check Pinterest for inspiration! Some of my favorite ideas for Thanksgiving are making a Thankful tree, creating a footprint turkey, making fall slime, and disguise turkey school project. For Christmas, I love the idea of making Cards , ornaments, and popcorn garlands for Christmas tree. You can check my blog for tips to get through holiday season , Christmas traditionsChristmas gifts ! Sometimes I even buy Readymade Craft kits that are easy to make with simple instructions. I try to stock up a variety of craft kits that my son can make without any help .During the holidays , when Iam busy cooking , I find these kits very helpful. My favorite places to shop for these crafts kits are any craft stores or Target . If you love shopping online, then Oriental Trading is the one I recommend.

Volunteer
In my opinion, Volunteering is extremely important for kids to learn about because it teaches them not only about giving back, but also shows them that there are a lot of people out there that are not as fortunate as they are.
We as family have volunteered at local Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and at the Bethesda Mission to serve food to the homeless .This is a great way to teach kids about hard work, love, and the power of helping.
According to parents.com, The benefits are enormous. Volunteering teaches even toddlers and preschoolers about compassion, empathy, tolerance, gratitude, and community responsibility. Look in your area and see what programs are available to help out – they are always looking for help! You could even make a family decision on where you are going to volunteer. Parents.com has a list of 10 ways that you can volunteer, on their website to get you started.

My son removing leaves from large cauliflowers at Central Pennsylvania Food bank .
 
Indoor Play Place or Outdoor playground
Okay, this is always a given during a holiday break. The playground will have so many kids available to play with your kids and it gets them exercise! If you are in need of a short break to get some work done, the playground or a indoor playplace is where to head! A lot of places now have wifi, so you can get a few tasks done. Every year we make a trip to the mall play place and also Macy’s store, they have a big red letterbox where you can drop a letter to Santa.For each letter collected in stores through Christmas Eve, Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million, to help grant wishes for children battling serious illnesses.

Speaking of work, I know how hard it is to get things done when the holidays are close and school is out – it seems like you can never get anything done! Don’t be afraid to do what you need to do, in order to spend the much needed time with your kids. Managing a website is hard work during the holidays and I can never do it all. That’s why this year, I was considering finding help. There are many ways to get help with your work. For example, Local SEO NJ agency, NJ SEO, helps website owners rank their websites on search engines. This is essential for those wanting to run a successful business or blog. NJ SEO is the number one marketing agency in New Jersey. They offer services like social media marketing, website design, link building and content, organic long term SEO, and more. This family-run, veteran owned company led by Matt Anton and Dan Anton. Matt runs the New Jersey branch of NJ SEO and was the former marketing manager for Liberty Travel, managing a 250k budget each month. With Matt and Dan’s skilled combined, along with their team of 27 individuals, you are guaranteed to get the best experience possible.

Matt and his daughter

This step to hire someone to work this holiday will help me spend quality time with family . What are your favorite family holiday activities ? Share your valuable thoughts on family holiday fun while managing a Business or blog .

Let’s Celebrate Holi Art project and Book Review

As you all know we love books so when i got an opportunity to review this book ” Lets celebrate Holi! ”
I was very happy ,as it would be perfect for my 8 year old to learn more about the Festival and Hindu culture.

I remember the day we got this book in mail, my son came excited looking at the colorful cover , he said its beautiful & colorful just like the Holi Festival .This awesome book is written by Ajanta and Vivek and it tells us about the cultural elements of Holi as it is celebrated in India.


Going through the pages , I was sure it’s a fun story for kids but little did I know that it had lots of interesting facts about the festival.Some of the important elements covered in this book are :
The Story of Holi – The Brave Prahlad
The night before Holi – Holika Dahan
Holi – how to celebrate and meaning
Holi food – Gujia & Thandai
Holi around India – Holi King (Ahmedabad), Thabal Chongba (Manipur) and Hola Mohalla (Punjab)

Let’s celebrate Holi art project for kids and Book Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The book begins with story of Maya ,Neel and their pet squirrel, Chintu from Chicago who visit their cousin Ameya in India to celebrate Holi . We can easily relate to these central characters in the book , I see glimpses of myself playing holi with my siblings and friends.The language is simple and easy read for young kids to understand.

We tried a cool art project to go with book inspired by the beautiful illustrations in it.
Whenever we talk about Holi , the first thing that’s comes to our mind is playing with colors and that’s what we’ll be doing here.
Materials Needed:
Coffee Filters ( you can use Paper towel too)
Liquid Water colors
Ice Cube Tray
Pipette
Black sharpie or pen
Wax Paper
Tray
Instructions :

Pour liquid Watercolors in ice cube tray.
Set up everything like shown in the picture above .


Kids Trace outlines of characters from the book or draw their own characters using a marker.


This is how it looks after making images .Coffee filters are white just like holi clothes in the story .


Now they can use pipette to suck the water colors and squeeze out drop by drop.We used same pipette but if you have toddlers or preschoolers you can use one pippette per color.


Keep adding drops to cover the characters just like people in real Holi colors !

Let’s celebrate Holi is available on Amazon and is recommended for ages 3-7 .To know more about this book visit their website

What did my little one think ?

He absolutely loved and enjoyed the book especially the Prahlad story .
He said ” Mom , the illustrations are bright , colorful and eye popping and I like Q’s and A’s at the end of the book .Chintu the squirrel is my favorite character !
I have to mention this , he said the book based art we made using pipette to drop watercolors on story characters was totally fun like playing Holi with them .Love how Holi Festival is celebrated in various ways throughout India with same spirit and enthusiasm .

Have you ever played Holi ? Whether you’ve actually witnessed playing holi or just heard about it , this book will transport you to a colorful world !

( Disclaimer : As a Multicultural Kids Blogger , I was sent this book in return for my honest review . All thoughts and opinions are my own )

Fluttering Butterflies Mobile craft  – A Butterfly is Patient 

Whooo hooo ! The spring weather seems to get better , can’t wait for more sunlight , chirping birds , long nature walks and fluttering Butterflies .
Today ,I’m sharing one of our favorite nature book  ” A Butterfly is Patient ” by Dianna Hutts Ashton .

It is a beautiful , informational kid’s book about butterflies and its life cycle . The book has colorful pictures with cursive writing describing each quality of a butterfly with complete life cycle. The book also mentions about various varieties of butterflies and migration which quickly grabs the attention of any elementary age kids . We created Fluttering Butterflies Mobile craft to go along with the book , inspired by its amazing illustrations .
 Fluttering Butterflies Mobile craft  – A  Butterfly is Patient
Materials Needed :
Sticks /Twigs
White acrylic paint
Color and Metallic Acrylic paints
Brushes ( sponge brushes and regular brushes)
Paper plates
White cardstock
Butterfly punch ( optional )
Color Sharpies
Gem/Jewel embellishments
Satin Ribbons
Hole Punch
Instructions :

Collecting Twigs on a nature walk is first step to start this craft activity  . It is super easy to find and collect twigs if you visit  any of the State parks or local parks .
Clean the twigs under running water for a while to clear any mud or dirt and then wipe it dry with a towel .
Now it’s time to paint ! Add a coat of white acrylic paint and if you still see the dark bark color , add another coat of white paint . We used sponge brushes to add white paint to the twigs.
Once the white paint dries , Create patterns , add stripes or any design of your choice using different acrylic colors . We used Metallic acrylics like gold and silver for a lovely shimmering look .
While the twigs are drying , we can start making Butterflies. You can either cut your own butterflies out of white cardstock or use a butterfly punch or buy readymade cardboard butterfly die cuts.
 I was lucky ..this step got a little simpler because I had these precut white cardboard butterfly die cuts which were supposed to be perfume testers in a pharmacy store .
Once you are ready with your white butterflies, use  Sharpie Markers to color and design it in your own style . We made identical wings meaning the same design and colors on both sides of each butterfly to look similar when it swings and flutters .
Decorate them with gem stones and embellishments to create a pop up beveled look .
Add a hole punch to the butterflies and add  Satin Ribbon to them , tie and secure .
Add a long Ribbon to each end of the twig and secure it as a wall hanging . Now , It’s time to hang each butterfly onto your twig . When all the butterflies are secured on the twig ,hang them in your room and watch them flutter !
 Fluttering Butterflies Mobile is looking pretty and colorful just like the illustrations in the book. Kids enjoyed making these and were excited to hang them in their bedrooms .
Quick Tips : Taking extra care is very much needed as  acrylics paints are not washable , we did all the painting  in our garage . Spread some sheets or table covers for kids to sit because painting will get them messy .
* The project can be done in parts spending few minutes everyday or can be done in couple of hours in a day .
* Kids wanted to use metallic golds and silver so we have those on the list as well but you can always customize . Maybe , adding a little glitter doesn’t harm..though we didn’t get do it but lot of creative ideas to explore as long as kids are entertained. This craft can be a cool spring project or even a summer project when kids are at home .
Extension to this activity : Take the kids to a butterfly Garden  and watch and observe fluttering  butterflies   .  We stay close to Hershey , so we enjoy the Hershey Butterfly Atrium at Hershey Gardens  . There are 500 – 600 butterflies from around the world in a tropical setting that features colorful plants and a soothing water

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Looking for more book based craft ideas ?
Me and my fellow bloggers have it all covered for you .I’m linking this craft up to the National Reading Month Challenge! Please visit and take a look at the other book-related crafts and activities to get your kids excited about reading because “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”- Joseph Addison !