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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Brushing Teeth For Kids - Dental Hygiene - How to Make a Teeth Model or Denture at Home

 Continuing with our homeschooling projects, in this post, I am sharing about Oral Hygiene and importance of brushing.

Encourage and help children to create a model or denture of teeth. Only the lower jaw should be enough.

Once the model is set, try to add a few sample cavities and food items model.

Just have a general discussion with the children around teeth, cavities, reason for cavities, ways of preventing them, how to brush etc.

Children are sure going to enjoy the activity and learn better as they visualize the details.

Here is our video for the activity.

 We created the model of teeth with Legos at home (we did not have a pink one for mouth, so we used some water colors for it as that could be washed off later). Below are other items that can be used for making the model:


Small paper cups


Used bottle caps

Corn kernels

The beauty of learning which is lead by children themselves is that it stays with them longer and they grasp more than we teach them via textbooks and lectures.

Do let us know if you try this at home. Also, it would be awesome to get any new ideas for the model – that would be beneficial for others also.

 Thanks for reading and happy learning.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Koki’s Song by Ruskin Bond

The Blurb:

Ruskin Bond had his first short story published when he had just left school. Two years later, his first novel, The Room on the Roof, was accepted by a London publisher. On the ship that brought him home to India he met a twelve-year-old girl called Koki, who shared her chocolates with him, having heard that he did not have money for chocolates. He did not see Koki again, but she turns up in his stories from time to time. She doesn't grow old. She is twelve-year-old Koki forever. And if you live close to nature, to flowers, trees, birds and mountain streams, you will remain young, like Koki and Somi. "Over the years, I have written hundreds of stories. And whenever I write a story about children and the creatures of the forest, the years slip away and I am a boy again," says Ruskin Bond.

How The Kids Liked The Book:

This book was read by my elder son and listened to by my younger one. Obviously both had their own reactions to the same.

The elder one loved almost everything about the book. I was surprised that he noticed all the tiny bits of details about nature in the story. He also realized that the book had a lot of new words for him - I was such a proud parent when he took it positively instead of cribbing about not being able to grasp such difficult words. For the first time, he mentioned about the texture of pages and the illustrations too - he loved all of it.

The younger one obviously decided to ignore all the words his elder brother could not understand and was just enjoyed the story. He did mention that he felt that the boy must be so lucky to live in that beautiful p

lace and just had to sit and play music!!! He also noticed that the kiddos shared their things and was quick to mention the same.

Here is the review in kiddo's own words!!! Please show him some love and keep his confidence levels up...

How Did I Like The Book:

I loved the book too! I had no reason to not like it as my children loved it. I also had a smile all through the little story and was day dreaming about all the beautiful vacations we have had. Ruskin Bond's books have this effect of amazement on me. Every time I read him I am left speechless about how such simple language and concepts can do all the wonders in the world.

If someone has a book lover child in the family, I would surely recommend to give it a try for it's raw and breezy story.

The book and other books from Ruskin Bond can be brought from amazon using below links:



I may get a small commission if you purchase using them - WITHOUT YOU BEING CHARGED AN EXTRA PENNY.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

How to Be a Writer by Ruskin Bond

Ruskin Bond I am sure does not need an introduction to either children or adults. Even if someone has not read his books, they definitely know a lot about him and the recognition he has got for his work.

Now, this book - "How To Be A Writer" is again a children book which is really short and sweet written in a very casual tone. When we say a children book, it has a lot of cute little illustrations on each page and obviously easy to read language.

Ruskin Bond begins the book by talking about his own thoughts or feeling being a writer himself. He tells why or how 'HE - Ruskin Bond' became a writer. He then continues to give basic guidance about what it takes to become an author, how to write, what to write and what's in store when one decides to be a writer. 

Since the book is targeted for children, it obviously does not give any detailed steps or problems one gets into while his or her journey to hold that dream book in own hands. But, what the author does tell about is where and how to find inspirations from. For example, my own kids have narrated countless stories after we turn off the lights and decide to tell one last story before sleep. Their stories are mostly derived from what they have read recently or have been talking/hearing about recently - but they do end up with some interesting stuff. Many times they tell their own version of the story they just read. Similarly, the author tells that one can find a story or a character anywhere - even in their dreams. 

Best line from the book I found:

"There is no retirement age for writers!"

I would not talk about the tips the author has offered as it's a short book along with pictures and talking a lot about it would end up in spoilers. One tip I loved the most is that we should be setting up or writing in a place we are familiar with. That can obviously be modified as per the story.

The books end with some light on the publishing too. Be warned that it's not a guide to get published. It's just a moral booster about why it takes time to get published and be ready for the rejections. I think as a child, this information is sufficient. Children need not know more than that and other technical/logical steps should be left for parents to carry forward. 

The book ends with an amazing postcard which I am still figuring out what to do with. I obviously don't want to loose it and keep with me forever. I might post it to our own home addressed to my elder son. I think he would like it as he has not received a letter ever (thanks to the current digital kids!). Oh! as I type this and look at the postcard, I noticed that it says "Dear Mr. Bond,"! So I would try to give the book to kiddo and see if he agrees to send a note to the author. That means I would have to part with this. No worries! The kiddo would send his first real letter in this way. Thanks to the team for this!

Adults might find the book quite monotonous and repetitive explanation of all the quotes and advice scattered all over internet. But then the team is targeting an innocent mind and they did a good job in that. I think this is a must read for any child who aspire to write a book someday. It would definitely boost the child's confidence and guide him/her to the right path. Simple language makes it a self read book for children. 

Ideally a children book but it is a very basic stepping stone for budding writers. It's a ageless book which can be placed right there on the workstation with any page opened.

If you decide to buy this book, you may go ahead and do the same via below link on amazon:

Note: I may get a small commission if you purchase using them - WITHOUT YOU BEING CHARGED AN EXTRA PENNY.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Theme Reveal - A to Z Challenge 2021

 Hola dear reader!

It's been a long time since I posted something - feels like ages. It is because of this reason, I thought that it would be good idea to participate again the "April A to Z Challenge". I have done it before and I completed it only once. I know this does not looks very promising. But still - I am back with this. Here are the themes/posts I have choosen before (I have 2 blogs and a website)):

Amita's Pen






2019 - Books and Reading

Coming back to the theme for this year. For 2021, I would be sharing "Our Favorite Children Books"

I tried a similar theme in 2015, but did not complete. This time, I would try to do it a little differently. I would seek my kiddos help - they are their books. So, I would post about 26 books that the kiddos love. Sounds pretty simple? Well, I am going to find out very soon. I cannot promise that it's going to be in alphabetical order.

I would have to really look in all the cupboards and collect their books so that they can have a look and decide which one's they like the most.

Honestly, every book they read - it becomes their new favorite. So, I am pretty sure they would find it really difficult to choose just 26 books.

Fingers crossed. Wish me luck.

Yes, I am trying to participate on my other blog too - Hop on to read about their themes:

Quotes - Motherhood

Learned and Shared - well, it's a little professional blog, so I am not posting a theme reveal post there, but I would try and put up as many posts over there too. Follow the link if you are interested in technical stuff...

With all this on plate, April 2021 is going to be one busy busy month. Wish me luck readers!

Are you participating in April A to Z Challenge? Have you chosen a theme? Remember, theme is absolutely not required! Do let me know in comments section. I would love to read about as many as I could.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Twelve Years A Slave by Solomon Northup

Imagine you are living your life as usual with a family to come home to and work that you look forward to. The future seems bright and suddenly one day you wake up as a slave. You try to get out of that nightmare, but the harder you try, the more the reality hits right on your face. That's exactly Solomon Northup experienced, and his misery lasted for whole big 12 years before he was finally rescued.

Based on a true story, this book is a memoir of those twelve years spent by the author. Born a free man in New York, Solomon Northup was lured to Washington, D.C., in 1841 with the promise of fast money, then drugged and beaten and sold into slavery.

While we sit in our cozy beds and curl up with a book - this book; we feel terrified and extremely sorry for the misery they must have gone through. It is that moment of truth we must realize and thank the generations before us for making us come to a world where we can raise our voice - where we do not need to prove that we are free!

The story is heart wrenching and keep the reader on its toes. The best part is that is unexaggerated - the author has very clearly stated bad ad bad and good as good. Yes, a slave he was - but he was glad to be a slave to a good human at heart.

Then, there is a short story inside about a mother and her two children. The lines below left me sore in throat. I was speechless. This violation of innocence is the worst part about child trafficking. Poor little souls have no idea wat they have been tricked or forced into. All they want is love and that warm hug from their family. I always have goosebumps thinking of the sudden and cruel realities of evil being thrown upon them. I am sure I cannot even imagine a child earning to obey out of fear when just hours or days before everyone was at his or her service.

"The lad was a sprightly child, that answered to the name of Randall. Most of the time he was playing about the yard, but occasionally would cry, calling for his mother, and wondering when she would come. His mother’s absence seemed to be the great and only grief in his little heart. He was too young to realize his condition, and when the memory of his mother was not in his mind, he amused us with his pleasant pranks."

It was not only the child, the plea and wails of the mother too - which obviously fell on deaf ears and blind eyes. I could not help but cry my heart out on those pages.

"Life is dear to every living thing; the worm that crawls upon the ground will struggle for it."

The book is full of lines and phrases I went back and reread to confirm if I comprehended it correctly. This was such an eyeopener and realization of sad realities and bitter truth. We are sitting in the comfort of our house and wonder if we are doing too much work or too little! Imagine a slave who is forced to do some work which he is constantly dreading upon to not to be in less amount than the day before and at the same time praying that it's not more too - for that would set the new standard right then and there.

Below are some lines so aptly describe the reason of being someone so cruel ad stonehearted. As we say - it's not a person who is wrong it's the education and environment around him/her that's to blame:

"It is not the fault of the slaveholder that he is cruel, so much as it is the fault of the system under which he lives. He cannot withstand the influence of habit and associations that surround him. Taught from earliest childhood, by all that he sees and hears, that the rod is for the slave’s back, he will not be apt to change his opinions in mature years."

While the author was rescued and became free, I could not help but wonder about the fate of his fellow mates specially those who were the slaves of some cruel men!


I picked up the free copy from Amazon classics. The book is currently in public domain and can be easily read free of cost. If once does wish to go ahead and buy it – it’s a great book to add to that bookshelf as-well.

IF you wish to add “Twelve Years A Slave by Solomon Northup” to your bookshelf, visit the links below to purchase the book from Amazon. Below are some links. Alternatively, go to the Amazon search results and pick the publisher or price you are comfortable with:


Note: I may get a small commission if you purchase using them - WITHOUT YOU BEING CHARGED AN EXTRA PENNY.

Monday, August 17, 2020

to you, with love by Shravya Bhinder

The Blurb: Right from their childhood, Sahil and Arya have been very different from each other. While Sahil is careless, carefree, 'new money' and 'the brat', Arya is too sensitive, reserved, shy and not easy to talk to. And that is probably what attracts Sahil to her. Slowly and very delicately their story progresses, and in comes love and things begin to take on a golden hue.

However, soon their life begins to unravel. Sahil learns why Arya is so private when the most damning truth about her life is revealed. And as soon as they cross that bridge and move on, another cruel blow threatens to tear them apart.

It's now about a life beyond life, and about a love somewhere among the stars . . .

How Did I Like The Book:

A love story after so long! I am a sucker for romance books and ‘to you, with love by Shravya Bhinder’ gave a much-needed refresher I need to get back to reading. 

It is a cliché love story which we all pretend to detest yet enjoy it to our heart. These are the stories we relate to the most.

 What I liked:

1.    Easy read - It was an easy to finish book. The author chose not so fancy language and writing style.

2.    Notes - Yes, yet again the use of little love notes made me fall for the book.

3.    Ending - second half of the last chapter was the one I liked the most. 

 What I did not like:

1.    Predictable - the story line and incidents were too predictable. I did not mind them, but some unexpected turn of events would have added the icing on the cake.

2.    Use of phrases like, I would not want to share the personal details, I would come to it latter etc. They could just have been avoided.

3.    Spelling mistake - Page 120 - “I lifted the back rimmed glasses off her face...”

 There were not many lines I felt like noting down. Here is one. 

 It’s a book for someone who wants a small break and can be enjoyed over a cup of coffee.

Would I recommend it to a friend? Hmm... maybe not. 

But that does not mean that I did not like it. I did enjoy reading it. It made me smile and cry once or twice. It’s an average love story and is worth a try.

IF you wish to add to you, with love by Shravya Bhinder to your bookshelf, visit the links below to purchase the book from Amazon.


Note: I may get a small commission if you purchase using them - WITHOUT YOU BEING CHARGED AN EXTRA PENNY.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Homeschooling Activity For Kids - Move Like An Animal

Homeschooling is the in term these days and parents are bound to work on it willingly and unwillingly. For us, it has turned out to a time we do various activities at home (mostly assigned by school only) for fun learning.

 Here, I would be writing about one such activity which looks very simple and just for fun, but has it's own set of educative value.

 All we need for this activity to do is an enthusiastic child, paper and pen/sketch pen/pencil. Here it goes.

1. Cut the paper into small pieces/chits.

2. Draw an animal and write the action to be followed. Below are some samples, but any animal and it’s activity which seems easy to imitate can be written:

a.    Slither like a snake

b.    Chomp like an alligator

c.    Swing like a monkey

d.    Stretch like a Giraff

e.    Roll like a pig

f.    Roar like a lion

g.    Hop like a bunny

h.    Leap like a frog

i.      Chew like a cow,etc

     3. Fold the chits.


Child/player will pick one chit then he/she will name the animal and read the sentence (parents can help the learners – this would be needed only once or twice after that they would remember it with animal image). Then child does the action written in the chit Repeat until all animals in the chits are done.

Here is our DIY video for the same. I did the cutting if chits, writing and drawing. The kiddos helped me color the same. Elder siblings can be asked to the parts of cutting, drawing and writing. It would give them a lot of confidence and that sense of responsibility.

Do watch till end to see the enthusiasm and big smiles on kiddos faces. We have the chits saved and it’s a go to game anytime anyday.


Child/player will pick one chit then he/she will name the animal and read the sentence (parents can help the learners – this would be needed only once or twice after that they would remember it with animal image). Then child does the action written in the chit Repeat until all animals in the chits are done.

Here is our DIY video for the same. I did the cutting if chits, writing and drawing. The kiddos helped me color the same. Elder siblings can be asked to the parts of cutting, drawing and writing. It would give them a lot of confidence and that sense of responsibility.

Do watch till end to see the enthusiasm and big smiles on kiddos faces. We have the chits saved and it’s a go to game anytime any-day.

This is a simple and fun activity which helps the children develop their listening skills, teaches them to follow instructions and enhances their vocabulary in early years.

Playing this fun game brings a lot of laughter into the house and makes the sibling and friendship bond stronger.

As the children move and jump sound, they get to exercise their tiny bodies.

Do let us know if you decide to try it out. We would love to her out how it went...

Monday, April 27, 2020

Milk Teeth by Amrita Mahale

I saw the "Milk Teeth" by Amrita Mahale at one of the counter on duty free at airport. Like a common citizen, thought of checking the cost at amazon before buying, saw it free on amazon and tapped buy now! Yes, that's how this book entered my Kindle.

Almost all the reviews I read said that it's a true story of Mumbai, of the people of Bombay. Honestly, That put me off initially. But thankfully I kept my hold and went ahead with the reading.

I am not a Mumbaikar. I am a Delihite by birth, education and living. But does that mean I do not relate to most of the book? I mean, there have been communal riots in Delhi also, so dreaded bomb blasts, middle class values, morals, all of it. Mumbai has locals, Delhi has have the blue line and DTC buses I have hanged to the doors of, sandwiched between sweaty people and I I dare say, molested in manners I would not like my parents to know ever. The brutal truth and fact that I and my friends and families have looked for that one sign of religion and faith before boarding an auto-riksha or taking a deep breath realizing later on cannot be denied. I have watched some jungles of Delhi turning into high-rise set of buildings which in turn are a new hub of robbers/crimes of all sorts just as jungles were thanks to the so called privacy of societies and barren roads adjacent to those boundaries. I have watched my own parents grow old in front of myself, saving every penny to pay my school fee, to buy that Maruti 800, to get their daughter married and of-course investing all they had into a brand new structure we call reconstructed home. I have witnessed the moral values of middle class and so called upper middle class families taking flips with every stage of life and it's turns. I have seen love and romances of every form blossoming, getting rotten and many many times pretending to be long forgotten right in front of my eyes and my circle.

So yes, I could relate it all very well with "Milk Teeth" by Amrita Mahale.

The writing style of Amrita Mahale - not too difficult to make one pick a dictionary every now and then, yet not too easy to let it sink in by just skimming through is really appreciated.
I loved the little childhood fights, teenage romance which took and evolved over time and still not making the plot to a love story.
There were a few lines which made way to my notes and thus make a nice re-read.

Is there anything I did not like about the book?
Yes, I hope the writer had managed to keep me hooked right from the beginning. It took me a while and a small push to not turn to skim reading or even worst, quitting in between. Had it been gathered my attention a little earlier, that one star could  have been here.

To make a summary, I can say that Milk Teeth is the story of every Indian born in mid 1980's. The novel very subtly depicts hushed hypocrisy of Indian Middle class families and their morals which are crashing like a piece of glass making them see their own multiple faces. It's not a great story, But it's worth a read and the author Amrita Mahale has been very successful in making a mark with her debut writing.

Would I recommend it to a friend? Yes I would to a friend who is mood for some Indian and not too heavy read.

IF you wish to add Milk Teeth by Amrita Mahale to your bookshelf, visit the links below to purchase the book from Amazon.


Note: I may get a small commission if you purchase using them - WITHOUT YOU BEING CHARGED AN EXTRA PENNY.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak

About the Author:
The introduction to Elif Shafak on both her GoodReads profile and own website goes like - "Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist and the most widely read female author in Turkey. She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published seventeen books. Elif's work has been translated into fifty languages!"
Head on to the links to let the author speak for her-self.

The Blurb Says:
Peri, a wealthy Turkish housewife, is on her way to a dinner party at a seaside mansion in Istanbul when a beggar snatches her handbag. As she wrestles to get it back, a photograph falls to the ground - an old Polaroid of three young women and their university professor. A relic from a past - and a love - Peri had tried desperately to forget.

The photograph takes Peri back to Oxford University, as an eighteen-year-old sent abroad for the first time: to her dazzling, rebellious professor and his life-changing course on God, to her home with her two best friends, Shirin and Mona and their arguments about Islam and femininity and, finally, to the scandal that tore them all apart

How I felt about "Three Daughters of Eve"
Although I started this book sometime in December 2019, "Three Daughters of Eve" by Elf Shafak turns out to be my first read for the year 2020. This was my first read from Elif Shafak. I did not love the book, but I did like it a lot.

What I liked:
1. Easy Read: The book talk about some sensitive issues like god and politics. Despite of them, it felt like an easy book to read and follow through. Bonus - In case the reader is not too interested in the detailed accounts of these topics, they can be easily skimmed through without really loosing or skipping any event or plot.
2. Seamless Oscillation between two time zones: The story go to and fro between two eras with almost every chapter. The writing style made me wanting to read the current chapter quickly and explore the other era.

What I did not like:
The title itself says that it's a story of three women, but sadly, it revolved around Peri majorly and only touched upon the other three. I would have loved to read more about the 'baby in the mist', three friends and their bonding.

My favorite part of the book was the chapter - "Notebook'. I actually sat down a while and pondered upon it for a few moments before moving forward. These were the pages I would love to read again and again.
Then there was "The Hospital" - which left me angry and shocked. T read it with my eyes wide open and disbelief. Initially I could not decide my emotions! It's just beyond words to express...
Another instance which made me smile was a "Christmas Tree" decorated with Islamic items and devotees. An innocent child did that so that she could make her mother happy about the celebrations from another religion.

Would I refer it to  a friend?
Yes! I can refer it to someone looking for easy and light read with the cautionary warning of a few sections. This was my first read from the author - Elif Shafak and it definitely made me curious enough to read more of her work.

Visit the links below to purchase the book from Amazon. The paperback version is currently under "Amazon Associates Program Excluded Products" which means the affiliate link to the same is not available. But you can always visit the links below and then switch to your desired format :)


Note: I may get a small commission if you purchase using the link above - WITHOUT YOU BEING CHARGED AN EXTRA PENNY.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Jenga Blocks Game: How to Play and Benefits

Jenga is a popular game which can be played anywhere any time with minimum 2 players. The standard game set consists a set of 54 wooden blocks. The blocks are stacked in sets of three making the tower eighteen blocks high. Each new layers must be rotated 90 degrees along the horizontal axis from the one below it.

Each player takes turn to remove a single block from the tower placing it back on the top. As a thumb rule, the block must not be removed from lowest and highest level of the tower. The players must only use one hand at a time to remove the block and re-stabilizing any block or tower in the middle of the game is not allowed.
The game continues till the tower falls. The last player to remove and place a block successfully wins the game.

Jenga is a fun game which can be played by any age group. When we play it at home with the kids, we make the rules slightly easier allowing them to use both hands and re-arranging the tower in between

Here is a video where the little munchkins are playing Jenga.

Benefits of playing Jenga:

Improved Decision-Making Skills
The player gets to decide which block to take off ensuring that the tower remains steady. Jenga blocks helps it’s players to decide and reap it’s consequences.

Increased Patience Level
Quick or unplanned move has high chances of making the tower topple. The player must be slow and steady while removing the blocks to maintain the balance. Also, there are high chances that the other player takes off the same block you had your eye on for the next move. But then, you can’t do anything about it except move and make another smart move.

Teaches to Plan Ahead
While the player needs to only work about his or her turn to make a move efficiently enough to keep the tower standing, sub-consciously, the players want their tower to stand tall and high. Also, as mentioned in the point above, while the player is taking it’s turn, next players is already deciding it’s next block to be moved. Thus, planning ahead is a crucial part of Jenga game.

Helps to Balance Hand Eye Coordination
Jenga not only requires to take the block off, making sure that the

Induces Fine Motor Skills
All the capabilities described above when combined and learned together form a strong base for amazing motor skills in both adults and kids.

The market is full of different variations of Jenga with colorful blocks. We have the basic version which can be brought from the link below:

Note: I may get a small commission if you purchase using the link above - WITHOUT YOU BEING CHARGED AN EXTRA PENNY.