Friday, May 22, 2009

Shy Kids? Follow Kidsfreesouls tips...

Parenting shy kids is often a block to overcome. Quite often parents stumble to say "My son is shy" or "He's the shy one in the family" - This can backfire. People would often tag his as a shy one and treat him differently and reinforce his fear that something is wrong with him. Professional Football player and broadcaster Merlin Olsen almost gave up high school football because primary school classmates had labelled him "clumsy'. He felt so shy that he was reluctant to join in games. Olsen's parents urged him to reject the labels and stand up for himself. One day, out of his annoyance, Olsen taught a child a lesson who teased him and after this incident, it was wonders that he came out of shyness. Schoolmates didn't bully him anymore. It is here that one needs to be sympathetic and not critical to a child's shy feelings. Boost the child's ego. Such shy kids do have a poor self image and need special help dealing with rejection. Praise his strengths and brush off his weaknesses.

Here are some Kidsfreesouls tips to help to shrug off the 'shy blues' :

1. Build Confidence : Shyness robs a child many opportunities. Build the confidence. Praise his strengths and encourage him when he is a loser. Your motivation always counts.

2. Boost the Ego: Don't let the child down. Every child lives with self esteem. Boost his ego and inspire him at every step. A shy child often back away. Instead, motivate him by saying, "Yes, you did it last time, You can do it now'

3. Teach art of conversation: Shy child often lack communication. Maybe, not. However, encouraging to talk with topics of interest may trigger innerself and they may engage in conversation to opine their views. Some children who do not speak are presumed as 'shy nature' whereas in real sense, they need to communicate, discuss, debate with others. This will help to shrug off 'shy blues.'

4. Family bonds: A family bonded together makes a big difference. Let there be closeness and a unity in the family. Often the kids are keen observers and whatever they see and hear, reflects on their attitude. A stressed child is hurt out of love for the parents if there is even a slight bickering or fight between them. This may turn to his withdrawal and signals of introvert attitude and turn him to be 'silent' or 'shy' out of hurt feelings and lack of confidence.

5. Teach social skills: A simple 'Hi or Hello' - a wishing here and there, on occasions and even being open to thoughts. Simply let the kids engage for a while even when your friends are around instead of shooing them off to their room. Do not ever tell them, "Go to your room" while you try to teach them manners. Help them to be courteous to say, Hi and talk to the guest for some time before they leave you alone. Nobody likes to be 'unwanted.'

6. Engage in Activities: If you find your child shying away or rather slow to communication, engage in activities that calls for debating, group activities, etc. Kinds vibe well together while they work, play or choose for creative activities like coloring, music, sports, playing computer games, etc. Children love Activities of their interest which keep them live and going.

7. Ask for help at school: Shyness often shows itself at school. Talk to your child's teacher. Inform her of special interests about which the child may be questioned and so gradually, the teacher can encourage him to take courage to answer more questions spontaneously.

Many times, parents often get stressed with children esp. in vacations when they constantly get bored playing indoors. Call in playmates into your home instead of sending him out saying "Go to Bins House to play" . Throw parties like 'archie reading', 'cartoon watching', 'singing hour' - support with their favorite simple things to eat like wafers, biscuits and cookies, sandwiches and soft drinks. Children will love this and so will your child.

It's patience that is all the way needed by a parent or a teacher to tackle with the issue of shyness. It's understanding, patience to support and patience not to demand results. Loving way makes wonders and kids can be pulled out of his shyness, just by 'Tender Loving Care'.

Keep the Faith!

- ilaxi patel
Kids Newspaper

Like this Article? Also read 'Overcoming Stage Fright' Build Confidence Attitude

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Google 'Doodle' Vote for kids

Google doodles are the special "dressed-up" logos that Google run on their homepage for holidays and other events, and Doodle 4 Google is an opportunity for one child to have his/her artwork displayed on their homepage as a doodle for hundreds of millions of people to see. This year's Google Doodle's theme was "What I Wish for the World," and tap into not only children's creativity but also what they want their future to look like.

The Google 'Doodle 4 Google' competition had been for the US and this year, approximately 400 Doodles were chosen. You can find the List of the State finalists and the creations here. You can help Google to select National Finalist from 40 regional winners. Your Vote Counts! Voting begins from May 11 to 18th. Winners will appear on 21st May 2009. Just click to the Student grades and Vote for the Best. Click to the Doodles and amazing Ideas from children. World Peace, Spread Literacy, Save Energy, Be Friendly nations, Stop War, Recycle the future, healthy world, etc are the messages through Doodles.

The Google 'Doodle 4 Google' Competition is an inspiration for all children all over the world and get them surf all the participant's Doodles. Especially, the messages that go well with the Doodles. It's amazing to see Ideas that can click and children can be so creative just with the motivation.

If you are a Teacher or a Parent, Get kids to write or paint and pin up the Doodles in your School/home/club paste boards. Even you can send to Kidsfreesouls to add to Paste Board section.

Btw, here is Chief Google Doodler Dennis Hwang drawing away the Doodles...It's fun to watch! Also here's last year's Awards for Doodles

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Edward Lear's Limericks & How to write Poetry!

Edward Lear, an English writer and artist, became famous for his humorous poems for children. Born in London on May 12 1812, Lear's first book of poems, "A Book of Nonsense" (1846) ranks as a masterpiece of children's literature. His best known "The owl and the Pussy-cat" became a classic too.

That old man of Melrose
Who walked on tip of his toes
But they said it ain't pleasant
To see u at present
You stupid old man of Melrose

Well, Limericks is a form of humorous verse. It takes it's name from the city of Limerick, Ireland. No one knows how or where the form originated. It became known after Edward Lear made the form popular with his first "A Book of Nonsense (1846). The Limerick is a poem of five lines, with strong beat and rough anapaestic rhythm (i.e. de-de-DUMM). It is written in Poulter's measure, a Folk Metre that consists of 13 beats. The first two lines rhyme with the fifth, the third line rhymes with the fourth.

Parents often come to me and request that their kids learn to write poetry - Just because their poetry need to be selected and they have to recite at a Recitation competition or get it printed in the school magazine.

Learning to write poetry in two to four sessions is not a miracle. Kidsfreesouls suggest Poetry Soup Ideas and here's some simple steps:

1. Build Vocabulary - two-three-four-five-six letter words - Be familiar with words and just words
2. Rhyme words - Find all rhyming words and make a list
3. Select topics from Poetry Soup - Write on school, hobby, animals, etc.
4. Say some Tongue Twisters - To get familiar with rhyming words with pleasure when you say "Betty bought some butter, but the butter was bitter, so betty bought some better butter, to make the bitter butter, better."
5. Let imagination swirl - Write down all your great ideas.

Now, when I talk of Rhymes, words rhyming together give a musical chime of sound and this is the reason why rhyme is so much used. I am fond of rhyming words and I think, Internal rhymes also add music. For eg.

"The Ice was here and the Ice was there,
The Ice was all around;
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a sound!"

Vowel and Consonant sound words like long open vowels and soft consonants like l, m, n, v, w, z, etc produce sweet, soft, soothing music. Alliteration is yet another way to add zing to poetry. Repetition of words and phrases in poetry not only emphasize the meaning but often give musical effect to the poem.

For eg. "In ever climbing up a climbing wave" (Tennyson) or "The western tide crept up along the sand, And o'er and o'er the sand, And round and round the sand" (Kingsley)
Another thing I observed while writing Poetry. Poets have three ways of making us see mental pictures as we let our Imagination soar higher to pen down:

1. By Description : Describing a scene, character, real or ideal, in words. Eg. Henry Longfellow's 'Rain in Summer' (Search in Google Here)
2. By Figures of Speech : Such as simple, metaphor and personification. Compare one thing with another.
3. By Picturesque way : A poet can call up for a picturesque image with descriptive words like, eg. "All in a hot and copper sky, The bloody sun, at noon" (Coleridge)

Imagination and Emotions - two things to blend for an appeal. And which other poetry can go best than 'Daffodils' by William Wordsworth (Search in Google Here) - It touches the heart as we recite to end up,

"...They flash upon that inward eye, Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils."

Well, here is Edward Lear's Profile (Born on 12th May) and Limericks by Edward Lear.Also find Poetry Learning Pages and My Poetry here. Also Josie Whitehead and even Artie Knapp's poetry on kidsfreesouls pages. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Rabindranath Tagore!

Watch the video - nicely done!

Rabindranath Tagore, born on 7th May, 1861 had paid tribute to Shakespeare's power to communicate with Indians in a short, simple, lyrical poem. Published in Bengali beside Tagore's English translation by the Oxfort University Press in 1916. The Translation is:

When you arose, world poet, from behind the unseen
England found you within her horizon
And embraced you; took you to be her own,
Hers alone, she kissed your shining brow,
Clasped you a while within her sylvan arms, dandled
You were hidden in her mist-mantle
In flower covered dewy green meadows
Where fairies played.
As yet the isle's groves
Were not awake to hymn the poet-sun's true reckoning
You left the horizon lap and through centuries ascended
To that zenith for which you were intended
Your radiant throne at the centre of heaven,
Illuminating all minds; Her how, after an aeon
The palm groves on the shores of the Indian Ocean
Rustle their fronds and murmur their paean.

You can find Tagore pages here with the National Anthem, words and music score with download. Also Gitanjali Extracts, poems by Rabindraji and his profile. Rabindranath Tagore was awarded Nobel Prize in 1913 for Gitanjali.

You can find the best poem on Children here:

On the seashore of endless worlds
children meet. The infinite sky is
motionless overhead and the restless
water is boisterous. On the seashore
of endless worlds the children meet
with shouts and dances. - More here.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Tips to Set right Mood Swings of Kids - summer activities

The book ‘Keep your brain alive’ by Lawrence Katz says that the routine living dulls our minds and hence, Creative expression gives brains a workout, activating new circuits in our gray matter. It builds in courage while attempting new things, shrugging off routine and trying something we’re not already good at.

Kids too, often fail to respond to parents in what they are not good at. Due to lack of confidence, many children shrug off the idea for indulging into a Reading activity. Though parents like the idea of a Library, I often found reluctance in making the child join a 'Reading Class.' Most of the adults look for books like Harry Potter, Enid Blyton or Nancy Drew. However, the fact remains that the child need to cultivate reading habit and learn to read the easier fairy tales' books.

Kids normally hang on to activities they feel ease at. Mostly common is Drawing & coloring. Dancing, playing, computing, singing etc. are other activities that draw their attention. Their patience wane within minutes as kids are unable to stick to a particular activity for a long time. And it so happens, children often swing off their moods. They want to 'do this' and 'do that' as parents keep on pressurizing them to join an activity. They even hook to binge eating, get irritated and behave weird.

It is here to follow the simple Kidsfreesouls Tips and check their moods before plunging to activity selections for them as they are sure to change their moods and switch over activities too!

Be Positive – Kids simply need to smile away the bad blues. Find what they like the best and let them engage in these activities. Do not force. Just leave them with options to choose their most loved pass time. Be it cartoon watching, reading or drawing and coloring. They are going to learn something from this too.

Keep in touch with Nature - Most of the urban living parents have stopped seeing Nature. Let the child explore - Sun, moon and the stars. Take them for excursions or let them enjoy nature even at home. Go to the terrace and show stars, go to the open fields and let them run and play. May is the month of Flowers - Take them to gardens and let them be free.

Let there be Good Food - Mood swings are often fuelled by neurotransmitters in the brain that are turned on and off by the food we eat or we don’t. Hence, serve food that do not make the kids go 'cranky' - Give nutritious helpings and avoid the five whites - sugar, white flour, milk, salt and rice. Fill the platter with more fruits and water especially in summer.

Be Happy: Listen to good music to keep you in good spirits. Relax those brain cells with soft, melodious, meditative music. Listening to Rock and heavy metal blurs the mind cells.

Pinpoint the problem: Chat not argue or discuss. Sometimes, kids like to be treated with respect. They do not like to be commanded. If they fail to choose an activity inspite of your telling him to do, do not argue. Instead, talk over. Find out the reason and what they have to say. Their say is more important as they are the ones who have to indulge in a summer activity. Give them options and sort for reason why an activity is good for them.

Go for walks: Most of the important decisions are made while 'Walking' as mind is relaxed and at peace. Go for walks together - morning or evening. Kids are more happier when on move. Mood swings disappear as laziness sulks away.

Well, most of the adults need to conquer anxiety. Turn anxiety to energy and stop comparisons or herd mentality. Because a child is good at Guitar playing, it is not necessary your child should be playing Guitar. He can excel in Keyboards. Stick to own beliefs and limitations of the child.
Here's the May Month Calendar and Projects. Make a choice and let the kids indulge in their chosen activity from the list. You can print your own Calendar from the Printables of DLTK's Free Custom Calendars. Also find more Crafty Ideas to sit with kids and take prints. Enjoy.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Search for keywords 'free printables' 'creativity and kids' 'fairy tales', projects for kids', 'drawing and coloring sheets for kids', 'music for kids', 'books for children', 'children's library' in kidsfreesouls Search here