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Make your Child’s summer exciting with Summer Camps

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Summer camps are quite popular for Indian families seeking a wholesome experience for their kids. These are immense fun, opportune for learning, great for overall health and enhance a child’s personality in totality.

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Nature Time:

Summer camps let your child’s explore the outdoors; learn more about flora and fauna and the diverse wildlife. Set in rustic environs, kids get a taste of nomadic life, far removed from the ‘instant digital age’. Scientific studies prove the multiple benefits of being close to nature – increased immunity, sharper senses, physical flexibility, mental awareness, emotional happiness and also time to introspect on the big picture of life.

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Nurturing Independence:

The duration of summer camps differs with the organization or group you’re associating with and can be anywhere from 10 days to 3 weeks to a month or more. This means children set up their own tents, cook their own meals with local produce without fancy gadgets or equipment, make their beds and have to learn to look after themselves. Supervisors and camp leaders are usually present, however a child is taught to use his wits and build willpower to survive in all weather conditions and adapt to different environments.

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Learning & Exploring:

Expect your child to come back with loads of new skills, hobbies and a diverse range of interests. Summer camps are a storehouse of activity with a lot of happening to keep your child engaged. From creative pursuits to athletic ones, a child can participate in everything from dance to art workshops, learn martial art forms, go trekking, sailing, experiment with new cooking recipes, and even discover his acting/singing/performing potential.  There’s never a dull moment and usually a child is encouraged to be actively involved in a variety of events to give him a wholesome experience.

 

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Social Network:

Feeling homesick on a summer camp is natural but you need not worry as your child will soon be part of a group. From sharing space with someone who’s his own age, to being around kids with varied personalities – expect your kid to find his own voice. Summer camp supervisors and leaders usually pair up like-minded kids to ensure safety and enjoyment. A mix of kids with different strengths and weaknesses is a good idea so they can support each other and be more emotionally balanced. Introverts and shy kids gain from such an arrangement as being part of a smaller and intimate circle helps them open up and express their inner self without hesitation. Expect your child to come back with lots of memories peppered with laughter, fights, silliness, gossip and unlimited fun.

Is summer camp part of your child’s vacay this year? What do you think of such experiences? Share your views with us and get featured on the blog.

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Summer Diet for Kids

Keep your child refreshed and belly full with these simple diet ideas for the sweltering summers in India!

Keep it Light

 Light meals are easier to digest for kids during the summers than heavy meals laden with oil, cheese or butter. Simple recipes with rice, whole wheat rotis, idlis, dosas, oats, poha, upma and other sprout based broths, whole grains, beans, lentils are great options. You could also just serve homemade soups with veggies for any time of day as these are filling and nutritious at the same time. For sandwiches and rolls, choose whole wheat, multigrain, brown, oats bread over white bread as the former options keep the gut clean as they are low on yeast and gluten.  Avoid meats as these are complex carbs, fats and proteins for a child’s digestive system to breakdown in the heat, eat eggs sparingly in case non-veg is part of your child’s usual diet.

 

Juice Up

 Being hydrated is key to good health in the hot and humid climate that India is prone to at least during the summers. So increase your child’s fluid intake with freshly blended juices, smoothies, and milkshakes to keep them refreshed and high on energy. Avoid packaged beverages and colas as these contain artificial sweeteners, salts, preservatives which can be detrimental to a child’s delicate immune system in the long run. Lemonade, sweet lime, watermelon juice, or even a glass of ORS (Oral Rehydration Salts) containing electrolytes are ideal for all growing kids in the summer.  Coconut water and its inner kernel is naturally cooling and high in B complex vitamins which help kids remain hydrated while building their bone and muscle health. Nothing beats the goodness of water, so ensure your child is carrying his sippy cup or bottle with them at all times, and avoid sharing the bottle to keep oral allergies and infections at bay.

 

Snack-time

 Every kid loves chips, pizzas, biscuits, chocolates, toffees and just consumes them without any thought especially while they are vacationing and busy at play during the summers. These contain a host of artificial flavors, preservatives, salts and sweeteners which can lead to unhealthy addictions, eating patterns and obesity in later life. Try replacing these with homemade chips, baked goodies, flavored popcorn, homemade sweets in ghee with chocolate and other fresh fruit extracts instead. Seeds and nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios soaked in honey are great source of protein, manganese, omega 3 fatty acids and other healthy fat sources. 2-3 servings of seasonal fruits like mangoes, oranges, muskmelon, papaya, watermelon, apples in the summers are recommended as these are rich in Vitamin C. AHA’s and other water soluble vitamins which are necessary to keep your child’s skin and hair healthy. Warm and cold salads with cucumber, cabbage, carrot, beets, corn, sprouts, broccoli and lettuce are a wholesome meal by themselves are rich in multiple Vitamins A, B, K along with iron, calcium and other minerals.

Cool as Ice

Summers are incomplete without licking on an ice-cream cone! Children love the cool, melt-in-your-mouth sensation and the explosion of flavors that ice-creams bring. Waffles, baked cones and scoops made from soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk and fruit extracts are healthier as than those refrigerated for months and made from cow’s milk. These can be consumed by adults who are lactose intolerant as well and are a great source of calcium apart from being so indulgent. Slush’s, candy cones, cold coffees and homemade sundaes are beneficial for health than those available in packets outside, especially if you’re unsure of the ice/water quality.

Which are some of the things you enjoy and serve to your kids during the summers? Share your views with us and get featured on the blog.

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Hobby Ideas for your Child during Holidays

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Hobbies add interesting dimensions to our personality. An art form, a craft, or a new creative activity boosts intelligence and also relieves stress. Holidays are the perfect time for kids to explore something new, Simba Toys shares fresh ideas.

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Designing Handmade Jewelry 

 Every girl loves to accessorize and wear cute trinkets. Simba Art & Fun set provides all the essentials needed for girls to create their own fashionable bracelets, necklaces, earrings and more. Putting together beads, crystals, and charms in a self-visualized design help the child think-out-of-box. It’s great for the imagination and also helps the kid develop her individual taste. Handmade jewelry is also a great gifting option and for best friends to match and wear – just for fun!

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Mosaics, Paintings, Sketching & more

 We all doodle at some point and it’s a great stress reliever. Pictures speak a thousand words and often what we draw gives insight to our moods, feelings, and psychological states. Creating mosaics with embellishments, painting natural scenes, portraits or just free-styling is great therapy and also enhances the child’s visual, tactile and color recognition ability. These can be framed and used as décor around the house.

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Creating knick-knacks for Home

 During the holidays, kids can be taught how to recycle old stuff into art. Old glass bottles, boxes, vases can be beautified with sequins, paints, beads and crystal work. Re-decorated bottles can also be used for keeping gardening plants, fresh flowers in the living room or just install fairy lights into them and use them as corner lights for your spaces. Crochet creations, table cloths with handwork, bags from old tees or denim are some of the ways kids can create knick-knacks for home and for themselves.

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  Quilling & Clay Crafts

Quilling is a paper art and requires loads of patience. Being so versatile, it’s great for creating small art installations, jewelry and intricate details for just about anything. Clay crafts also offer variety since they are so malleable by nature. Children can use different kinds of clay to create daily objects, figures, symbols and even use some to design decorative pots, frames, and lots more.

Which hobbies your child enjoys the most? What are some of his holiday ideas? Share your story with us and you could get featured on the blog.

 

 

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Pros of Getting Creative, Arty & Crafty

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Being able to create something is a gift. Children seek inspiration in the simplest of things and make them beautiful by giving their ideas and perceptions a form through colors, shapes and textures.

Discovering art & craft forms is more than just a past-time. It has multi-fold benefits, Simba tells you more.

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See the World Through Different Eyes

Arts & crafts push boundaries of what already exists in a particular form. Children have their own unique vision which is untouched by norms. A tree need not be green and brown it can also be pink and white, the sky can be purple, swans blue, crows yellow and so on. A blank canvas gives them a chance to bring out a never-before-seen angle to things, just what the world needs sometimes. Fresh eyes to see what’s around us and experiment with the mundane.

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Boost Senses, Growth & Intelligence

Neuroscience has confirmed that children who are creative are better at problem-solving, lateral thinking and also have very sharp senses. Regularly painting or creating something boosts their overall growth – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. It enhances their personality and gives a well-rounded boost to their overall development. Creative kids often take up professions in later life that will nurture and explore this talent they have such as fashion designing, jewelry designing, interior designing, architecture and more.

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Natural way to De-stress

Creating is a no-mind task.  The logical mind takes a backseat while a child is involved in painting, coloring, stitching, building or any other arty activity. Join your child in this process and feel your stress reduce. Many studies also dub this as ‘meditation’ as the mind is completely relaxed and people often report feeling calm and centered. Just scribbling, doodling, decorating a vase or beautifying a picture can help a tired child feel rejuvenated after a busy day at school.

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Interesting Dimension to Personality

Being creative is an interesting dimension for any child. It brings out his/her individual perspective and also the ability to think out-of-the-box. This is an added trait especially for kids who love the limelight or are team leaders as it makes them confident and well-equipped for dealing with any kind of crisis with ease. They also have a happy-go-lucky attitude as they can gel with different people and adapt easily to new environments.

Which creative activities does your child enjoy? How does art & craft help him in real life? Share your story and get featured on the blog.

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Fun ideas for a vacation at home!

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Sometimes families can’t travel during vacations because of prior commitment, work demands or other responsibilities. In fact, family vacations spent at home can be loads of fun. It gives you quality time to bond, laugh, create memories and do something new every time with your favorite people.

Here are some simple ways to double your happiness, if you’re home for the holidays:

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Plan Picnics

Go back to nature and spend some time outdoors. Pack a picnic with your child’s favorite foods & drinks and sit on the nearby beach or park. Take in the fresh ambiance; join in your child’s enthusiasm for rides. If you’re at the beach, make sand castles and create stories through sand art.  Watching the sunset together adds to the dreaminess of your experience.

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Spend time Indoors

 If it’s too sunny outside, you could also just spend time indoors. Play board games that challenge your child’s wit. Watch films or cartoons, especially old ones that belong to your childhood and share interesting anecdotes of the generations gone by. Sing, dance, play dumb charades, its creative and so much fun if you’re off tune. Browse through family albums and get them together, get nostalgic as you look back at your times together as a family. Vacations are also a great time to de-clutter the old, worn-out or unwanted, help your kid clean his/her cupboard and re-evaluate what he/she needs.

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Spend Time Outdoors

 Evenings outdoors, whether in summer and winter are both equally exciting. They give kids a chance to be active, exercise and explore new surroundings and also just BE one with nature. Football, badminton, running, skipping, cycling, skating, climbing trees…the options for outdoor fun are just endless.

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Plan Get-togethers

 Vacations give you ample time to spend with your extended family, uncles, aunts, cousins and all the relatives you haven’t seen for long. Invite them over so you can have some family fun and share moments of togetherness. Your child can also know your family tree and deeper connections. If your child is missing his close friends, you could also plan play dates for him/her where the neighborhood or school kids can mingle together.

Which are your favorite ways to spend vacations at home? Share your story with us and get featured on the blog.

 

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Tips for Traveling with Toddlers

family vacay Family trips are a lot of fun with many moments of togetherness & love. Traveling with infants & toddlers can be quite stressful since little children are sensitive to the changing environment and can easily get discomforted and cranky. Here are a few simple tips from Simba to help you balance & manage your kid while make the most of your vacay!

 

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Bag it Right  

Keep a lot of clothes handy – versatile pieces like shorts, tees, tanks, pants and more which can be easily mixed and matched. These help keep the child fresh & well-dressed even if you can’t wash their clothing.  Carry a portable first aid with medicines, band-aids, thermometer to keep a check on your child’s health. Also pack lots of napkins to keep your child fresh, hats to keep him protected from harsh elements like sunlight or chills, sunscreen for skin protection, diapers for frequent changes and a quick dry mattress to keep him comfortable while sleeping without messing the bedding. Keeping your child’s favorite toy or plaything will reassure & comfort him/her in unfamiliar surroundings.

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Diet Discretion

Vacations become times of indulgence with gorging on oily, sweet, spicy & rich delicacies. Be mindful about what you are feeding your child, keep it simple & light. Consuming fruits from the local markets which are readily available is a good idea. Small meals are also easy to digest for kids. Avoid oily foods, salty chips, and packaged goods as they are laden with preservatives which can be detrimental on health. While traveling during summers, ensure your child is well-hydrated. It’s recommended to keep your child’s personal bottle or sippy cup separate to keep mouth & other oral allergies and infections at bay.

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Staying Cool & Calm

It can get very daunting to take care of your child while you’re sightseeing or just relaxing. Be patient and keep a cool head while your child adapts to the new environment.  Kids can get cranky with slight discomfort or at a new place, check what might be the causes, it could be hunger, thirst or the environment.   Children usually gesture excitedly if they see something new or appealing and also babble or speak in their unique language to express what they are feeling. Enjoy these moments of their innocence and watch them adapt gradually.

Which are the best moments about family vacations? Which are some of the difficulties you face as a parent? Share your story with us and get featured on the blog.

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Summer Tips for Kids

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For kids, summer means fun, friends and a break from all the school routines. It’s a time when children just want to play and enjoy themselves. Here are some simple tips from Simba to help your kid make the most of summers.

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Cool & Comfy Clothing  

Playing outside in sunlight will naturally make your child sweat. Loose and lightweight clothing helps them enjoy all their physical activities like running, cycling etc. more comfortably and also keep infections at bay. Shorts, capris, tees, tanks are versatile for both boys and girls.

Cotton clothes are recommended for their breathability, sweat absorbency and skin-friendliness. Caps and scarves keep your child’s head & scalp covered from harmful UV rays and dust. Wearing sneakers, kitos and flip-flops are ideal footwear options for children in the summers as they allow ease of movement, boost blood circulation and reduce tiredness.

 

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Fresh Foods

Children want to indulge in their favourite snacks and treats during their vacations which may or may not be great for their health. Juices, smoothies, home-made sundaes, ice-creams, slushies are wiser options as compared to ice-golas, aerated drinks and packaged beverages available outside.

Eating fruit, small homemade meals, salads, sprouts, oats, poha, popcorn, baked goodies like chips, biscuits & light cakes are easier for kids to digest in the summer than rich and oily recipes. Make sure your kid carries a water bottle with him/her always as nothing can replace water’s goodness for overall well-being.

 

Safety Tips

Kids lose track of time when they are having fun. Limit your child’s time outdoors to prevent sunstroke. Instruct them to keep a water bottle handy and keep sipping regularly to remain hydrated. Make sure your kid is wearing sunscreen with at least 15SPF to protect their tender skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays, as recommended by the doctor. Kids are so spontaneous and playful and at times can even get carried away by the freedom of holidays. Just make sure your kids are playing with friends in close proximity to home where you can easily check on them.

Let your kids just BE and join him/her in these innocent whimsies. Share your childhood stories and re-live your times too. Write to us and get featured on the blog!