Category Archives: Festivals & Holidays

Diwali Craft : Paper Plate Rangoli idea for kids

Diwali is one of the most important and colorful of the Indian festivals. It is a festival of joy , splendor , brightness and happiness. No matter which part of the world we live , Diwali is celebrated with great enthusiasm by Indians .
During Diwali , people decorate their floors with Rangoli . This patterns are generally made with white powder or rice flour ,chalk, colored sand or flowers . The traditional Rangoli making is tough outdoors because the weather is chilly at this time of the year especially for us on east coast of United States . Keeping all this in mind , I wanted to create something that is colorful , not a lot of mess while making and easy for kids to understand . That’s when I came up this idea of Paper plate Rangoli , it can be made well in advance and reused every year too.
I think in this generation we need to be creative in making our festivals special and fun for kids. One such attempt is our
Diwali Craft : Paper Plate Rangoli idea for kids
Materials Needed :
Paper plate
IKEA Mala Fluorescent/glitter paints
Color Sharpies
Instructions :
Use a pencil to draw any Rangoli design on Paper Plate.
Once you are happy with your design , use Ikea paints to make outlines .
It’ll take few hours for the paint to dry .
After the paint dries , use color sharpies to fill in the spaces .
Now go ahead and add Rhinestones randomly or symmetrically wherever the design requires.
The beautiful and colorful Paper plate Rangoli is now a perfect Diwali décor !
Adding an extension to this activity is to arrange flowers around the paper plate Rangoli making it more elegant and colorful.
Lessons learnt : Rangoli making using paper plate , paints and decorating with flowers needs creativity and thought process .
Drawing Rangoli designs helps them learn the concept of symmetry. They color symmetrical, so that both sides of the design are same colors .
Last but not least ..Learn about rich Indian culture and the history of Rangolis .

This post is part of the annual Diwali for Kids blog hop from Multicultural Kid Blogs! See the posts below for great ideas on celebrating Diwali with children. You can find even more ideas from last year’s series and on our Diwali Pinterest board:

Maple and Marigold on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Celebrating Diwali in Canada
Weaving Ideas: Paper Plate Rangoli Idea for Kids
ArtsyCraftsyMom: Accordion Fold Paper Diya Craft
Maple and Marigold: Rustic Indian Peda with Roasted Pistachios
Creative World of Varya: Diwali Inspired Ideas for Kids
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Rangoli with Glass Marbles
My Little Moppet: 20 Tips to Organize a Diwali Party for Kids
All Done Monkey: Diwali Books for Kids
Growing Up Gupta: 7 Amazing Multicultural Diwali Gift Ideas
Kidzlens: DIY Bandanwar
The Educators’ Spin On It: Making Flower Rangoli with Kids

Diwali for Kids | Multicultural Kid Blogs
#mkbkids #Diwali

Tips and Products to help you get through the season #12daysofparenting

Welcome to my third post for the #12daysofparenting Christmas blog hop which features over 60 bloggers and I’m very happy to be a part of it . #12daysofparenting is a series of blog posts on tips and tricks to survive the holidays with little ones ,as well as some great giveaways.
” On the eleventh day of Parenting – Products to help you get through the season” is today’s topic for #12daysofparenting. I’ve shared my Tips and Products to help you get through the season and you can also hop over to My Thoughts on Things blog post to see her favorite products.

Gift wrap station : I call it gift wrapping station ,where I have all the things I need to wrap a gift . Rolls of gift wrapping paper , hole punch , glue stick ,tape, scissors, stamps , ribbons, tissue paper, washi tape , tags and not to forget the pretty bows . All the things in one place makes holiday present wrapping easy and quick.

Ready to make Craft kits : I shop for 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 especially for a party , 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.

Receipts Box : Most of us shop a lot during the holiday season . I usually Clip all the receipts together and store it in a drawer for easy access . If you need to return or exchange anything , simply open the receipt box and find the right receipt in seconds .

Homemade Snacks : Homemade Snacks are the best but they may seem like the last thing you have time for .I make dry Indian savory snacks in bulk and store it. They come handy during the busy holidays and also while travelling .Some of our favorite tasty treats are Rice Murukkus ,Boondi , Chudwa and spiced nuts .Make them ahead of time and store it in air tight containers to relish during the festive time.

Candles : Candles are great for table setting during the holidays .They make you feel all cozy inside. I love candles during special occasions and my favorite is Bath and Body Works Eucalyptus Spearmint scented candle. It makes your house smell so good.

Salt : heard it right .. Salt is my favorite product during the holidays or any event at home. Salt is for those stressful days , When you’re more active than usual. When your feet are tired and sore . Have you ever tried Soaking your feet in warm salt water ? It is feels like heaven … Not only a great stress reliever but also makes you calmer and more relaxed . It also works like magic in cleaning the feet.

Honey , Ginger and lemon : Keeping healthy during holidays is very difficult , I say with personal experience of having flu during one Christmas and believe me, it was bad. One home cold and flu remedy that works for my family is Honey , grated ginger and lemon drink. If you want to know more about it read here .Not to forget , eating a steaming bowl of soup can help clear the stuffy nose .

How can I forget my Fleece Blankie ..It keeps me warm and cozy while watching Christmassy movies and playing board games with my son.

There are so many things to help you get through the season. Some of the products I mentioned above are not brand specific. I think ,its good that you can still use these tips and find a similar product in your city/country .

What do you think of my tips ? Hop on over to Having A Baby And Living At Home blog for her tips to survive the holidays and also gain more entries to the grand prize draw. UK Residents only .
Full terms and conditions can be found here on #12daysofparenting
Todays great giveaway sponsor is Snoozeshade who have offered a Snoozeshade Original.
To enter Competition : Simply enter using the form below and use the code word : House

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More Christmas Traditions to explore :
* Our Family Christmas Traditions #12daysofparenting
* Waiting for Santa a new experience
* Making Clay Christmas Tree
* Christmas Fun with family
* Christmas tree art projects for kids
* Preschool Class Christmas goody bags
* Easy Christmas Cards for kids to make

Christmas Cards and Ornaments Kids can make #12daysofparenting

This is my second post for the #12daysofparenting Christmas blog hop which features over 60 bloggers and I’m very excited to be a part of it .#12daysofparenting is a series of blog posts on tips and tricks to survive the holidays with little ones ,as well as some great giveaways. If you are hopping over from Glossy Tots, hello and Welcome to my blog.

” On the fifth day of Parenting – A Christmas Craft ” is today’s topic for #12daysofparenting.
Christmas is all about celebrating togetherness .To be with the people you like and to do what you like the most .It could be shopping , wrapping ,baking or my favorite crafting . Every year for Christmas we make cards and ornaments. Handmade things are always special gifts. My son joins me in making the cards for his teachers and friends. I try to keep it as simple as possible ,so he can help or make his own .

Holiday Handmade Cards

Christmas Cards and Ornaments Kids can make

Woohoo! It’s been a crafttastic week for us .We made two cards and ornaments, which I’ll be sharing in detail below .
First let’s look at the Cards. The first card we made is Star Bright Tree and the second one is Holly berry Christmas .
Materials Needed to make Cards:
Cardstock (Plain white and red )
Shiny Green Foil Cardstock for tree
Pencil and Color Markers
Star and gifts Stickers
The Holly Berry card is very simple to make , draw leaves using green marker and then glue red sequins as berries .
Pls take a look the picture for Step by step instructions for Star Bright Card .
Teacher Gift Idea – Handmade cards are great gifts especially for Teachers. We made these cards for my son’s class room teacher , 5 special subject teachers ,the principle and school nurse .
Handmade Christmas cards

Now let’s see How to make Glitter Glue Ornaments
These ornaments are super easy to make and you’ll need only three materials to make them .My husband was thrilled to see once they were done . He didn’t believe that only glitter and glue can make such beautiful ornaments .
Materials needed :
White Glue
Glitter in various colors
Wax paper
String ( optional)
Using the tip of a glue bottle to draw any of your favorite Christmas shape .Like we drew a Christmas tree and Ginger bread man for example .
Then sprinkle glitter all over the glue . Make sure you add a lot to cover the entire shape .
Let it dry for a day , then gently peel the wax paper from the back .
Kids go crazy when it peels off clean magical !
Yay ..I have step by step pictorial instructions for making Glitter Glue Christmas Tree and Ginger Bread Man Ornaments.
Glitter Glue Ornaments
Add a string and hang it on your tree or windowsill . Both ways they look beautiful and sparkly . They make a great holiday decor !
My efforts is to keep holidays simple and at the same time make it special . These ideas are inexpensive and easy enough for kids to make.What do you like to do ..baking , wrapping or crafting ? let me know what you think of our handmade cards and ornaments ?

Hop on over to Mummies Waiting blog for more 12 days of parenting tips and to gain more entries to the grand prize draw.UK Residents only .
Full terms and conditions can be found here on #12daysofparenting
Todays Sponsor is Sand Art Pictures
To enter Competition : Simply enter using the form below and use the code word Nadolig Llawen
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Have a Happy Holiday Season ! See you soon !
More Christmas Traditions to explore :
* Our Family Christmas Traditions #12daysofparenting
* Waiting for Santa a new experience
* Making Clay Christmas Tree
* Christmas Fun with family
* Christmas tree art projects for kids
* Preschool Class Christmas goody bags
* Easy Christmas Cards for kids to make

Our Family Christmas Traditions #12daysofparenting

This is my very first post for the #12daysofparenting Christmas blog hop which features over 60 bloggers and I’m very excited to be a small part of it .#12daysofparenting is a series of blog posts on tips and tricks to survive the holidays with little ones ,as well as some great giveaways. If you are hopping over from Having a Baby and Living at home blog post , hello and Welcome to my blog.

12 days of parenting logo

” On the fourth day of Parenting -Our Family Traditions” is today’s topic for #12daysofparenting.
I have few childhood memories of celebrating Christmas in India but it was only after coming to United states , I started understanding more about the holiday and its traditions. We’re a Indian Family who love celebrations. We celebrate Christmas with same enthusiasm as Diwali or any Indian festival .
Our family christmas traditions collage Our Family Christmas traditions

Decorating house : We decorate our house both inside and out . We finish our outdoor lights decoration early , for our festival Diwali popularly known as Festival of Lights, comes way before Christmas. So outside is pretty much done except for adding little Christmas details .
Decorating Christmas Tree : Decorating the tree …who doesn’t love it ? One of my personal favorite tradition is buying a Christmas ornament for every important milestone in life .I have a ornament for my first Christmas with my hubby (2004) ,our baby to recently when we bought a house.
Popcorn necklaces for tree : Every year on Christmas Eve , My niece and son join me to make Popcorn garlands for decorating on tree . I usually make more popcorn because We tend to eat a lot but we also sing and tell stories while making the garlands . If you want to know more about it read here .
Holiday Arts and crafts : We are a artsy craftsy family who love spending time together making fun crafts. My niece and son enjoy making Christmas cards and tags for teachers and friends.
Watching Movies : Throughout the holiday season we watch Christmas movies .Beautiful, heart touching, family movies showing the love and true spirit of Christmas.
Yay..Cozy House + Movies = Family time.
Family Moments : Having a family close by is a blessing .Love Spending time with my sister’s family on Christmas eve and Christmas.Opening presents in PJ’s , eating delicious cookies my sister baked and watching my niece and son play together are best moments of Christmas.
Toys for Tots: Few years back , me and my husband started a giveback project . Every year we donate couple of toys to Toys for Tots Organisation. This year ,my seven year old helped me in choosing the toys to be donated.Glad to see him learn the importance of doing so along the process. After all, Giving back to those in need embodies the true spirit of the holiday season.

Hop on over to The Lawless Gang blog for more 12 days of parenting tips and to gain more entries to the grand prize draw.UK Residents only .
Full terms and conditions can be found here
#12daysofparenting Giveaway T&C and Information.
Competition :-Todays Sponsor is Bambini & Me .They are offering a sleep bag.
Simply enter using the form below and use the code word Dinner
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stay in tune for some awesome Christmas crafts tomorrow .Have a happy Holiday season !
More Christmas Traditions to explore :
* Waiting for Santa a new experience
* Making Clay Christmas Tree
* Christmas Fun with family
* Christmas tree art projects for kids
* Preschool Class Christmas goody bags
* Easy Christmas Cards for kids to make

Easy DIY Father’s Day Decorative Magnet Gift

DIY Father's day Custom  Magnet Gift
I wanted to make something easy for Father’s day , so my six year old can get involved. A simple DIY project reusing the Flexi Magnets.
Father'sday gift idea materials

Materials Required :
Flexi Magnet (used oval but anyshape is fine )
Foam stickers ( letters )
Foam sheet ( Used sticky back )

Instructions :
Handmade Foam Magnet gift
Cut a foam sheet to the size of the flexi magnet .
Peel and stick it to the Magnet.
Father's Day  Handmade gift
Now take the foam letters “DAD” and glue them .Decorate the way you like it .

Note : Flexi Magnets are popular promotional items used by companies. They come in different shapes and sizes.

Kids involvement : Ashrith digged for the letters D and A from the big bag of Foam letters. Next he peeled all the letters and pasted them where and when directed . He enjoyed making this Decorative Magnet gift for his dad.

DIY Father's Day Decorative Magnet Gift
Beautiful Handmade gift is ready for Dad’s office. We made it two days back but didn’t post about it bcos my hubby is the first one to read all my Posts .What can I say ..He is a Awesome Dad ! Wishing him and all the lovely Fathers out there a Very Happy Father’s Day !

Ugadi Craft for Kids : Glitter Mango

Ugadi Glitter Mango art for kids
Ugadi ..Telugu New year according to the lunar calendar followed in Andhra Pradesh, India.
The moment, we talk about this festival , the first thing that comes to our mind is Ugadi Pachadi .It is made of Tamarind, neem, jaggery and raw mango pieces.
Teaching Kids about Ugadi Pachadi
The festival marks the beginning of mango season. Indians enjoy Raw Mango with a pinch of salt and also add in various dishes.
Raw Mango relished

Excited to share,festive experience with Ashrith, teaching him about Ugadi Festival and Mango. We spoke about raw mango, its color, texture and taste.Teaching kids about raw Mango
After tasting the raw mango for the first time ,he said “It’s sour Mom!” …Hmm ..Yes son,it is sour like a lemon, after a second he said ,”No it is more sour than a lemon.” I agree with him ..Raw mangoes are definitely Sour but really awesome to eat. YUM!
My five year old had a experience to put his taste buds to test and he did great.Love teaching kids about traditions through play and one such attempt is this Mango art.
Now ,lets see step to step pictorial Mango Art for kids
Materials Needed:
White paper
Green paint
Green glitter
Mango drawing for Ugadi
Draw a mango on a white piece of paper. If you are not comfortable sketching , you can print mango coloring pages here.
Mango Painting for Ugadi
Paint the mango with greens. Younger kids can paint a single shade of green and older kids can try different shades of green with a tint of red and browns. Let the imaginations soar!
Add glitter when the paint is still wet. Later,outline the mango with a glitter glue pen or tube.
Mango Art for Kids

Ashrith enjoyed painting mango and the fun was a chance to explore glitter.Some tips for glitter choices.In this project, I have two types glitter, one is tiny dots glitter sprinkled and other is glitter glue.Like most Moms,not a big fan of glitter,Scared of mess, you can always use glitter glue. Glitter glue comes in tubes and pens.Glitter glue pens are easy to use even for younger kids. In this project , we used glitter tube but it was hard for Ashrith . So, I recommend Crayola glitter glue pens for kids.
Art for kids  Glitter Mango

Thanks to Lakshmi Kala for sending in some awesome pics of Mangoes and Ugadi Pachadi . Lakshmi Kala is an aspiring Professional photographer from Hyderabad , India and you can see her works here

Green glitter Mangoes are ready to relish ..LOL…I mean virtually. Do you love Mango and our Mango art? Love to hear your thoughts , Please comment below. If you enjoyed this post, like it and share it !
Happy Ugadi and wishing everyone a wonderful year !!

Valentines Treat bags with Souvenirs from India

Valentines Treat Bags with Souvenirs from IndiaYesterday ,Ashrith’s  friends in school received our special  Valentine goody bags .The wait is over , it’s reveal time … Yes ..the surprise Goody bags special Valentines treat bags .. I was talking all these days.

Two months back , On our trip to India, we bought souvenirs for Ashrith’s  classmates. His class has twenty four kids including Ashrith . I wanted anything small due to the luggage problem. The idea was to look  for something Indian ….like local handicrafts . Going shopping around the town looking for stuff was not possible.We stayed only  for  4 weeks and that’s awfully less. So, went straight to Lepakshi …the Best place to shop for souvenirs in Hyderabad.

After looking around the store , I picked Etikoppaka Toys for the class.

Lepakshi Toys  Souvenirs of IndiaEtikoppaka toys are tiny wooden toys made by artisans in Visakhapatnam dt, Andhra Pradesh, South India. Lacquer colors are used on soft Ankudu wood to make distinctive art pieces. I bought a toy top and a beautiful Peacock.

Souvenir of India:  Etikoppaka Toy Top

I chose a toy top coz any 5 year old will love to play with a top.

National bird of India Peacock Souvenir

Beautiful peacock …bcoz its National bird of India. What better way to share about our country .

Valentines Goody Bags with wooden toys

After coming back  to States … we  put everything in the clear favor bags to make cute Valentine treat bags.The bags included a toy top, peacock, candy , a Valentine card, little message we wrote and a card from Lepakshi store telling about Etikoppaka toys.

Souvenirs from India for kids

What do you think about my  Valentines Treat Bags with Souvenirs from India ? BTW ,I am in the 7th heaven…smiling . Why ?   Just , received a message from one of the Parents saying “It is a very unique and thoughtful gift. Thank you so much.”

That’s all for now , will come up with more kindness stories tomorrow  .My blog seems to be lost without your valuable comments and feedback. Write a line or two to show your love. Until then spread some smiles and kindness.


Happy Valentine’s Day 2014 with some Fun food

Wishing all my Readers and Friends… a Happy Valentine’s Day !
I know many people don’t like valentine’s day …due to whatever reason…especially in my Homeland India …a wrong notion of Valentine’s day ..( kind of lovers thing …spoilt youth ..totally western culture….blah..blah ) .My message to people who think like that….pls … it not just about lovers or about people in love but it is about celebrating LOVE ….purely Love. A love…. that can be for anybody !
Love for your friend, dog, neighbor , teacher, family. Cutting the cake and blowing candles is western stuff but we still do it for the joy of our kid. When we have adopted so much western stuff , even things that are not good for us . Then why not Valentine’s day ….the day to celebrate love .
Valentine  Indian fun food
Only on special days , I try making some Fun Food. I made Tomato Upma(Semolina ) Breakfast for my hubby in the shape of heart. Upma heart is made using a cookie cutter bought at Target store, in the Dollar spot …ya just a dollar. I love these cookie cutter and have a collection of them .Next time you are Target , do check them out. I made my son Ashrith a Double decker Heart sandwich with one layer of nutella and one layer strawberry jam but no pic 🙁 …he was excited of course in hurry to eat it . He said” Mom,this so Good !” I am totally bowled with the expression on his face .
These are all my opnions and don’t mean offend anyone. I believe in the saying ” To love and be loved is the great happiness of existence.” – by Sydney Smith
What are your plan for Valentine’s Day ? Stay in tune for another Random Act of Kindness Day .See ya soon.

Recap Valentine’s Day 2013 & Preschool Gift ideas

ValentinesDay celebrations2013

 Last year , I didn’t get to share these valentine moments with you. Here’s what we did !I sent personalised photo cards for teachers , ordered them online .They look great and teachers loved the card .His class teacher said ” Thank you so much for the AWESOME card ! I feel so blessed to have wonderful parents such as yourself that help to make my job a pleasure.” 
So very happy  they liked it and If you want to Order go here

The wonderful heart decorations (table cloth and hearts banner) were bought at the Target store.
First time,trying a Cookie Cake( Walmart) ,it looked awesome but the black icing …..Na …I don’t like it .I scraped out all the icing . There is beautiful pink necklace on the cake …that went into Ashrith’s Dress up Box. The lovely, colorful lollipops went into my box of cake toppers. Ashrith’s dressed in Red Heart Throb t-shirt from Gap store. He is seen dancing and enjoying the cookie cake especially the red icing !!
Easy Preschool Valentine's Day Cards
We gave his Preschool friends two gifts one is a handmade card …..for details how to make it go here.

Preschool Valentines gift

The second gift r these heart bubble bottle tubes . I ordered them online but I guess you may even find them at Walmart and Party city.
If you want to order go here
Note: The stores mentioned are just to help you find similar stuff.

Weather is so good today …feels like Spring is on its way .We are ready for the big game and the commercials…(especially funny ones)
By the way this year ,we are sending store bought cards but we have special gifts for the kids. Can’t tell much details ..still working on it , Come back to see what are the surprise gifts ? Stay in tune to see Ashrith’s project too.
That’s all for now ! Cheeeeeeerioooooo

Sankranthi/Vasant Panchami Festival : 10 Kite Crafts for Kids

Kite flying, a popular sport in India, is associated with Festivals Sankranthi/Pongal and Basant Panchami day. In the months of January and early February , you can see millions of kites take over the sky. Nothing can beat kite flying but little crafts to teach kids, kite making is also fun. I have a collection of different kite crafts to make and try from our fellow bloggers.

10 kite crafts collection for kids

10 Kite crafts for kids from awesome bloggers .

Duct tape Kite

While looking for inspiration to make a kite Craft with my son, found these awesome collection and couldn’t wait sharing with you.I am going to try and make few … How about you? If you are  inspired , do like and share.