Monday, October 25, 2010

Witch stories - Explore Halloween's Day Page on

31st October is marked as Halloween's Day. The image of Witches roaming the skies with broomsticks and fear of ghosts and spirits haunt the children. However, Halloween is so much fun for children in UK, US and most parts of Northern Europe.

As you surf the page of Halloween (Mystifying myths), this mention of Witch reminds me of the story of Rupunzel. The Witch snatched away the first born child 'Rupunzel' and locked her in a big tower. Whenever the witch said, 'Rupunzel, Rupunzel, let your hair down', Rupunzel let her long golden hair down from the tower and the witch climbed up to talk to her. Later a Prince came and heard the witch. He immitated and Rupunzel let her hair down. Both of them meet and the witch did come to know about this. She brutally cut Rupunzel's hair and next time, when the Prince came, he found the witch with Rupunzel who threw him down and later, ran away with Rupunzel. Fortunately, the Prince finds her in the end and the witch dies.

I just helped two children read this story at the Sports Club Library. They had stacked too many books but when asked, both replied that they did not read any book! While encouraging them, I narrated the story showing pictures and yes, the kids read the book thoroughly after hearing the story.

Well, I guess, we need to encourage kids for reading and what other time could be - right now? Collect all books that have characters as 'witch' - Rupunzel, Black Beauty, Red Riding Hood and so on....Children love to read them and Halloween is the time to get them read books with witch characters, get halloween costumes and let it be a halloween party with red color treats and decorations.

Follow the Halloween's day Page and Encourage Reading Page on Kidsfreesouls.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

e bike lanes - concerns for safety

Some time ago, I read about bikers who gather on Sundays and even joined the walkathon with bikes! Morning exercise on open wide roads is fine but for those who are already using bikes, ask them and we know 'Traffic is a big issue and biking on roads is dangerous' - Agree? I do. I use to go for my daily bike rides when I realized the cross roads always gave me panic with the rushing AMTS buses and fast pacing cars - people overtaking from wrong way and scooterists/motor cyclists driving like a rowing, swinging boat ! All pushed me, a cyclist away to get down many a times and save my soul. I ended up using my society lanes for biking every day but this too gave me panics as cars rushed in from all lanes with great speed! Now, where do I find the bike lanes?

Safety is indeed a concern. Special cycling lanes are no more like they use to be earlier as our roads are almost tailored for one in all vehicles. Drive as you like it. Here's a question that concerns safety - Some cities—New York, Los Angeles, Seattle—make available maps of bicycle routes. The inclusion of bike routes on Google Maps has also been a boon to cyclists across the country looking for the safest and most direct routes. I wonder, when we can find such Bicycle routes in Gujarat and India?

Here's this week's Environment Questions:

Are there efforts to increase bike lanes and paths around the nation? I’d like to be able to bike more instead of drive, but I’m concerned about safety. - John Shields, Minneapolis, MN

“Around the U.S. new bike lanes and paths are all the rage, helping cash-strapped cities simultaneously green operations and trim budgets (adding bike lanes is far less costly than building new roads). Some studies have even shown that bike trails help improve nearby home values.

¿Hay alguna manera de utilizar la energía en la caca de mis perros? Tengo tres perros y mucho estiércol y querría deshacerme de esto en una manera más “verde.” - Mary C., Wallace, ID
(Is there a way to utilize the energy in my dogs’ poop? I have three dogs and lots of poop and would like to dispose of it in a “greener” manner. - Mary C., Wallace, )

“Matthew Mazzotta, armado con una beca de $4.000 del Instituto de Tecnología de Massachusetts (MIT) creó el sistema ingenioso de convertidor de caca Park Spark que utiliza caca de perro para alimentar un farol a gas que ilumina un rincón del Pacific Street Dog Park en Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Read the Question and Answers - In English In Spanish

Sometimes, as teachers, we find it difficult to explain to children on why use less vehicles and go more cycling and walking. Their arguments on road safety and their first hand information on happennings on road even give us second thoughts, How can we promote cycling? Urban living has its own gains and pains - We can only teach our children to be safe and adopt transportation for them to go to school that checks their safety.

A new program on Road safety is lately being introduced in schools by the Traffic Police - A concern, the Taffic staff needs to understand the rules first, isn't it?

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Monday, October 11, 2010

Festival of overcoming spiritual obstacle:Navratri

Festival of Music and Dance, Navratri is nine days celebration with tenth day as Dussehra being celebrated for victory of Good over evil. Based on mythological tales, the celebrations continue with a meaning to overcome three undesirable obstacles in spiritual path. Read more on this festival in Kidsfreesouls Culture pages.

- Happy Navratri

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for kids

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Green Investing - Learning about Investments that help environment

Ecological crisis is exploding. Socio economic inequality, economic catastrophe and environment hazards boom, not only America but world over. There has been a growing concern over consumer demands regarding green solutions. Amidst continuous struggle to restore environment, green solutions find way to progressive world and Green Investing focus on Investing with values. Socially Responsible Investing has found way and we find, refusal to own stocks in tobacco, alcohol, gambling, weapons or nuclear energy companies. Community awareness pave its way to greener investing keeping in mind the future and the hazards that pose a threat.

You can find more in the book and explore the Environment Column at with more Green Questions and Answers that tickle the mind. This week's questions (In English and Spanish) are:

What are some good resources out there for learning about investments that help the environment?- Rob Johnson, Sherman Oaks, CA

Is it now feasible to provide all of a home’s energy needs—including air conditioning—with solar power alone? If so, why hasn’t solar caught on more, particularly in U.S. “Sun Belt” states from southern California east to Florida? - Tim Douglas, Burlington, VT

Read more on Kidsfreesouls - Environment Pages. If you have any Question related to Environment, do send in your concerns.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids


Saturday, October 02, 2010

Mahatma's Ideology on Education

Born on 2nd October, 1869, Mahatma Gandhi’s Ideology on Education has ever been so inspiring as he placed importance on Observation skills. He said, "A student means one who has hunger for knowledge. True knowledge is first and foremost to know own self. To attain this, one must know literature, history, geography, mathematics and so on. A real student will pursue to learn more at every stage and dedicate himself to attain knowledge which is an unending process. One has to develop habits of observation. One would not, then, always need a multitude of teachers or rather, would look upon the world as one’s teacher and accept everything in it which is good." Gandhiji inspired the inner spirit of the nation too - all with his spirit of truth and non violence. He left us the legacy of ahimsa, love and tolerance. Today, we salute the personality and pay our respects as even the nation. Gandhiji has emphasized social awareness amongst children and follow the path of truth and do what is good and honest. Click here for Gandhiji's profile and Gandhi Quiz from his book 'My Experiments of Life'. Gandhiji's page on Kidsfreesouls has ever been the highest surfed pages through Google Search and as I keep more contents posted on this, stay tuned.

- Gandhiji's Profile & more Information

Gandhiji followed Bhagwad Gita though on Religion, he said, "Even as a tree has a single trunk but many branches and leaves, there is one religion and that is "Religion of Humanity" There can be many faiths but the essence of all religions is one, only their approaches are different."

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids