5 Summer essentials to protect your kiddos from UV & bugs!!!!

Finally, the summer is officially in that means a lot of sun, and park time for your kiddos!!

Disclaimer – I earn no commission or anything from below recommendations, this article purely shares what we use and what works for us.

In search of getting ready for summer, little did w3 knew that sunscreen is not only what you need for summer to protect your little one from harmful UV rays.

Below is our list of 5 summer essentials to protect Siya from harmful rays and bugs

Sunglasses to match style

We love the My First Sunglasses as you can see they are stylish, cool, lightweight and most importantly protect Siya’s eyes from harmful rays. Siya goes everywhere with them and sometimes even makes her baby and mommy wear them ūüėĚ.

Go to sunscreen

As parents, we always want things that are natural, safe and effective for our kiddos!! We want to protect them from the harsh sunrays but in doing so don’t want to introduce more chemicals in their system. My favorite sunscreen for Siya is Thinksport Kid’s safe sunscreen¬†because its natural, non-toxic sunscreen, and easy to apply. It‚Äôs top-rated by the Environmental Working Group and is free of biologically harmful chemicals, including avobenzone, oxybenzone, paraben, phthalate, paba and 1,4 dioxane, or UV chemical absorbers.

 Hat to rescue

Don‚Äôt count on sunscreen to provide complete protection from the sun. Wearing hat is a simple and effective strategy for reducing ultraviolet radiation to the face, head and neck.¬†We have bought some stylish and cost effective hats from Amazon and not only they add an swagger to Siya’s style but also protect from harmful rays when she is out in the park enjoying her bird watching sessions.

Nutrient-rich bug spray

Bug spray, bug bands, bug bombs and there are many more to protect you little one from ticks and bugs. They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So wanted to buy a bug spray that was enriched with botanical extracts and sulfate-free and I came across Zoe Organic Inspect Repellent. This not only keeps Siya safe from bug bites but also gives her an extra dose of nutrient-rich hydration.

Remedy for sunburn & tan

Kids will play out in the sun and will get tan or sunburnt even after you put all the sunscreen. There is a century old recipe that generations in my family have used (especially to combat effects of hot Indian summer) that acts as a great solution for minor sunburns and tan.

  • Take a bowl and mix a
    • Table spoon of coconut oil – Natural moisturizer,
    • A¬†spoon of room temperature yogurt – Natural coolant,
    • A¬†pinch of¬†turmeric – Natural Anti-Inflammatory
    • 2 spoons of chick pea flour (if you don’t have it you can also use oatmeal powder – dry crush your steel cut or rolled oats) – Natural tan remove
    • Few drops of¬†rose water (optional)¬†– Natural anti-inflammatory and reduces
  • Mix all of this together¬†to a cream consistency. Apply this mixture on your baby and leave if for 5-10 mins and wash it off.

This mixture is also part of Siya’s daily bath routine as it acts as a natural cleanser and limits the usage of soap

I hope this has given you few new ideas for your family this season…making it a little more bearable and lot of more. Leave a comment and share your kids summer essential list, if you need other recommendation happy to share what we use.

Play-based & Singapore Math to learn numbers

Growing up math for us was more abstract and never concrete left alone fun.¬†We daily deal with pairs of shoes, eyes and ears not abstract “twos.”¬† Then why learn math is such a¬†notional way.

Little did W3 knew that baby begins learning math the moment she starts exploring the world. By the time a child is toddler they can begin reciting numbers, but skip some of them. They also start understanding the concept of “more”; very often I hear Siya saying “mooore,” or “daadum, (to give me¬†loosely in¬†sanskrit).” Children are using early math skills throughout their daily routines and activities. These skills come really handy in when they go to school and also in building the analytical side of their brains.

So I thought, why not make it fun if Math is such an important and everyday skill. As part of my love for Singapore Math (See my article on it – Singapore Math with Pattern Recognition to the Sunday-Funday rescue!!)¬†and Siya’s love for her stacking toys/flash cards this weeks Sunday-Funday activity was counting numbers using concepts of singapore math in a play-based learning environment.

We did two activities that were focused on visual identification of number and counting using her favorite stackable toy.

Activity 1

picWe bought some simple number flashcards with picture, Amazon Number Flashcards, however you can make some at home too with your kids. We picked out flashcards from one through ten. We did both picture recognition including number counting. Siya knew some of these pictures so introducing numbers and counting out loud helped.

Activity 2

A famous quote by Zig Ziglar,¬†‚ÄúRepetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment,‚Ä̬†really fits well with toddler learning too including using various¬†multisensory mediums.¬†I incorporated stacking ring by Melissa & Doug (you can use other¬†stacking toys too)¬†in making Siya¬†learn numbers.

Initially, I use to say all the numbers and then after few repeats I started asking Siya; 1 and then she would say 2 and then every other alternate number. Siya still is learning and says alternate numbers however, 6, 8, 9 and 10 are her favorite ones. As those are the ones she says in a sequence (See attached video).

We had a great weekend, learning numbers using different mediums. Leave your thoughts or comment below and let us know how you spent your weekend and how do you teach your kids Math.

Additional number activities you can do with your older kids

Explore home number

Teach them the address and key phone numbers starting with home and 911. Share with kids that every house has unique numbers and walk them through your neighborhood how numbers are in series.

Sort by sizes

Take different day-to-day objects such as cereals, different sizes of balls, marbles, etc. Then ask your child to sort it from large to small, ask him to see which ones can fit in a cup or not.

Make them chef

Children as young as 15 months can help out with cooking, have them help you measure, stir, mix while counting different ingredients.

Learn with technology

Youtube has over 50+ number songs and countless in different languages. Sing songs that have a ring or rhyme to it and have the kids point out to different numbers and make them count too.

“HONEY” come blow & taste your beebubbles!!

These days Siya has been learning about insects in her “Art and Farm” and offlate has been a huge fan of bubbles, keeps calling them “bu, bu.” Obviously, who does not like bubbles!! especially when summer is just round the corner and you see some amazing bubble shows in the park. However, as an environment¬†conscious and safe product favoring parent,¬†I am always worried about store bought bubbles as they are infused with chemicals and glycerin.

So for this Sunday-Funday activity we decided to make homemade bubbles with a twist; I wanted to continue her insect learning with bubbles making. Little did w3 knew that you can actually make homemade bubbles without glycerin. The receipe we came up was super simple and made with easy to find ingredients at home- Secret ingredient was HONEY.

Disclaimer РThis article does not tell you to drink or taste your bubble solutions. However, if accidently a small quanity is tasted or applied to skin is not harmful. In no circumtances adults or children should try or taste the bubbles as it is not safe to do so.

Activity 1

We read the “Alphabets with Bumble Bee,” book by Kristina Corona. What I loved about it was it incorporated the life¬†and different elements of Bee through Alphabets. Siya kept pointing at the Bee, when I was reading to her, while she was sitting¬†in my lap, a huge accomplishment!! (you know what I mean when you are a parent of an active 16 month old child)

Activity 2

After spending some time learning our ABC in form of Bees, we started making our homemade beebubbles.

Ingredients you need

bee 3

 

8 cups filtered water

1 cup of Dr Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap (You can also use Dawn blue soap!!)

2/3 cup honey

 

Beebubble making

Siya loves to help around in the kitchen (I think I have next Rachele Ray in making!!), especially mixing things on the stove.

First, we took a big pan and added water and heated till it was lukewarm. Second, we got it off heat and then added the honey and stired it till it was completely dissolved (Siya, loved doing this part of the activity!!). Thirdly, very slowly, I added the dish soap so I didnt create too much foam (this is the key step to a good bubble solution,). Finally, I lightly stired it to make sure everything was mixed well, and VO LA!! the beebubble for ready. We let it still for a while (3-4 hrs) before we used the solution.

bee oneSiya, had a blast getting showered with bubbles with her friends and as a parent I was not worried about unnecessary chemicals touching her. This Sunday-Funday activity was a great start to the summer as we learnt about bees in a fun and interactive way.

Try this out with your kids!! and share your thoughts with us. Share with us, how your kids started their summer or or do you have your own homemade bubble receipe.

Part 2 – Choose the right care for your family!!

Part 1 talked about what care is right for you and as you saw; Nanny-care was the right choice for our family. This part of the article talks about our 3-step selection process that helps to choose from the option one gets within the care of choice.

Part 2 Р3-step selection process

Step 1 РGathering the initial pool

We started gathering a list of candidates using the following sources and created a list of potential applicants:

  • Care.com
  • Facebook mom networks
  • Agencies in NYC – Rudra agency, Campus caregivers, Abigail Madison
  • Word of mouth

If you are choosing alternative care options then start your search with google and facebook mom networks.

Step 2 РVetting the pool

Step A Р Initial screening

Initial screening.pngWe got an overwhelming number of applicants (200+) and it was definitely impossible to interview all these candidates. To make our lives would be¬†a little sane and¬†to expedite the initial screening process we¬†created the initial screening checklist. This helped us to¬†reduce our initial applicant¬†pool by 1/2 and now we were left with 100+ applicants.¬†Still a very daunting task but better than before.¬†We started calling the applicants and after¬†interviewing around 20 applicants we started seeing a trend based on experience and education level of a¬†nanny that wouldn’t meet our “Must Have” criteria. This helped us to eliminate another 50% of our applicant¬†pool.

Step B РIn-house interview РFirst round (1-2 hr)

We invited around 40 candidates to interview in-person; there were days when we had over 6 interviews (questions for this interview are available in the Additional resource section). We were again¬†quickly able to identify trends in types of nannies that wouldn’t work for our family; examples the ones that didn’t enjoy going outdoors, personal hygiene/etiquette or had their own method to madness and were not willing to change/listen. We narrowed down our pool to 10¬†candidates and asked them to share their references (2 min) and come back for a¬†second round¬†interview.

Step C –¬†In-house interview – Second round (1 day)

Prior to the second round interviews we called the references for our candidates and asked them very specific questions such as:

  • What did you like and not like about the nanny?
  • How was here work ethic and provide examples?
  • What was her philosophy in child development & discipline?
  • Why did/was leaving your job?
  • Was she flexible in her schedule and how many sick days did she take?

Post our reference conversation we decided not to invite 2 candidate as their philosophy around child development & flexibility in schedule didn’t work for us.

Main purpose of this round¬†was to observe the candidate’s interaction with Siya and us for a day. We looked at things such as:

  • Was she attentive to Siya’s needs and listen/follow our guidance and cues?
  • Was she an active participant in feeding and¬†playing with Siya?
  • What did she bring from her experience in developing Siya?
  • Was she pleasant did she have proper hygiene for herself and Siya?

The crucial piece of this round is your & your child’s¬†INTUITION; what does your gutt say? Based on this we actually eliminated 3¬†candidates because neither Siya (she didn’t go to them) nor us felt warm and fuzzy though they were pleasant and met our criteria.

Step D РIn-house РFinal Round (1 week)

We invited 5 nannies back for a week long trial and use this opportunity to not only share with her our expectations and see her in action but also build a bond with Siya. Our experience in this round was both eye-opening and fun because we could see how for 3 nannies after day 2 we knew it wouldn’t work for us but¬†for others it just felt like family.

Step 3 РSeal the deal

Midway through our week long test if we liked a nanny we told her that we were potentially interested and we re-visited the salary, salary for overtime, transportation, vacation, taxes and wok permit requirements.

Finally, when all our trials were done, we drafted a contract for our top choice and had our nanny review it and once agreed, we both signed it.

Our journey to find the right care has been no shy of a whirlwind and we glad we came out of it with someone we can trust and consider part of our family. I really hope these tips were somewhat helpful! Feel free to email with any questions, your experience finding care for your child or if you just need a friendly parent to commiserate with.

Additional Resources

These are some additional links that talk about different type of cares of your kids and regulations.

Learn Nature’s radical transformation through art!!

Wowow finally some warm weather is here, and we officially feel it is Spring. So this was our inspiration for Sunday Funday activity; where we created a hungry caterpillar with beads that transformed into a beautiful butterfly using our footprint art.

Little did W3 knew that for a caterpillar to turn into a butterfly, it digests itself using enzymes triggered by hormones. Then, sleeping cells (similar to stem cells) grow into the body parts of the future butterfly. What a phenomenal act of nature!! I was always stun by the creation of a baby but this is equally fascinating. So to share this with my 16 month old and to keep her engaged we did 2 mini activities!!

Activity 1 – Reading Book

caterpillar storyWe read the “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” book by Marielle May. What I loved about it was it’s a quick read¬†with lots of¬†cute little pictures (this kept Siya engaged and she she saw some familiar pictures such as “Apple,” she said Ap Ap. Additionally, the author relates this amazing transformation from Caterpillar to Butterfly in a very simple and fun way.

Activity 2- Using art/craft to create the transformation

Supplies you will need

Caterpillar art Butterfly
1 pipe cleaner (we used green) Home-made paint – See “My paint is the yummiest!!¬†” for details
Few wooden beads of different size Craft paper
Scissors
Blank Pen or marker

Activity A РInstructions to make Caterpillar art

  1. Take a green pipe cleaner, folding the last 1/2 inch over in a loop to stop the beads slipping off
  2. Push different color and size beads (get creative, you can use colors of caterpillar- red and green too) and get your little one put few of the beads.
  3. Once done close the other end of the loop and vola!! you have just made a hungry caterpillar!!(Siya was dangling it around showing her proud work :))

Activity B РInstructions to create magical Butterfly art with footprints

This activity is heaven for Siya as she loves her colors and enjoys getting messy with them.

  1. Mix some paint in a flat plate – Make sure the paint consistency is thick for better results.
  2. Put lots of newpaper or old rags before you place your child on a surface thats easy for them to stretch their feet.
  3. Dip their legs in the paint mix or you can also paint the sole of your child’s feet with the color. (This was definitely not a easy task with my little one :P)
  4. Pick up the craft paper and gently press each toe, middle and ball of each foot. Make sure you take the imprint of the left foot on the right side and vice-versa.
  5. Now, repeat the same exercise with the other foot. (our first attempt was not successful, so we tried it again)
  6. Now, use a marker to add antenna and the middle body of the butterfly.

Woow and you have created a beautiful very personal piece of art which you can also use as a Mother’s day present !!

P.S – If you have older kids then just let them paint their own feet with different colors or stand in the paint mix and make the imprint.

cate

We also took pictures and made a card out of it using piccollage.

 

 

 

 

This activity was a lot of fun for us as we did 2 different types of activities using different mediums to learn a lot about caterpillar and its transformation into a butterfly. Now Siya points at her Caterpillar art work and the Butterfly picture when we say where is hungry caterpillar and beautiful butterfly respectively!!

What did you do with you kids this Sunday!! Do you have some fun art activities around this transformation please share them in the comments!!

Part 1 – Choose the right care for your family!!

Recently, couple of readers asked me about my experience finding a childcare for my daughter. So decided to write this article to share our journey and our method to this madness for finding the right care for our Angel; Siya! This article is long so I have broken it down in two sub-articles:

  • Part 1 – Deciding the type of Care

  • Part 2 – 3-step selection process

¬†It’s¬†been¬†a¬†year now¬†and¬†we couldn’t be happier with our choice but I remember the anxiety, the stress and the madness we went through to get our choice of care.

Little did W3 knew that just like anything else, NYC has over hundreds of options available for care ranging from; day-care, 3rd party home care, student care, family care, au pair and nanny care. Each care option in its own merit is amazing; the key is that it should work for your family and your child.

So where does one start, is a question lot of people have just like we did. We followed the below 4 steps to decode this complex, tiring but most important process; choosing the right care for your child.

Part 1 – Deciding the type of Care

Step 1 РBack to Basics

We started our journey by identifying 5 basic questions and ranking the cares we were interested in against it:

  1. Safety – Safety and security is paramount; How does the caregiver fit this requirement?
  2. Credentials – What do we want out of our caregiver including # of children in care, education, experience, curriculum, routine?
  3. Flexibility РHow long do we want our caregiver to be available ? What happens on holidays and vacation days?
  4. Exposure – What do we want Siya to do when she is with the caregiver?
  5. Value РHow much would you pay the caregiver and is it worth it?

Nanny.png

Our ranking for 5 basic questions

Step 2 РQuick comparison of top choices

We needed a care in the next 2-4 weeks so we didn’t have¬†the luxury of¬†time to vet both our top choices in detail so we came up with key criteria¬†¬†and assigned a value to identify our preferred option. As you can see from the comparison below, Nanny-care is what we choose.

Comparison

Our value assignment for top two choices

Part 2 will share with you what happens next in our journey; where we go through a 3-step selection process to narrow down from 200+ applicants to 1 nanny that is right for our family.

 

Additional Resources

These are some additional links that talk about different type of cares of your kids and regulations.

 

My paint is the yummiest!!

featuredSiya loves to get messy and creative with her art, which kid does not? This week we continued with the theme from last couple of weeks; to utilize mother nature in our Sunday-Funday activities. We wanted to create art pieces using paint and different natural things such as potatoes, star shaped carrots, leaves and handprints.  As a result, we started looking for non-toxic and all natural paints.

However, Little did W3 knew that the so called “non-toxic” art and craft supplies were pretty much a hoax especially for kids under 6 years old as these products do have alcohol, pigments, etc that can in large quantities if consumed or applied can be poisonous. The article by PediatricSafety.net states that over 70% of the calls that poison control receives is for kids younger than 6 that have used art and craft supplies labeled as “non-toxic.”

This was definitely frustrating¬†because¬†we want to¬†provide a creative and developmentally stimulating¬†artistic environment for Siya that is¬†“non-toxic.”¬†Growing up, we always used powdered herbs to paint pictures and make different artistic designs during festivals.; So I took this as an inspiration and started doing causal searching on how to make non-toxic all natural paint at home.

My¬†“make at home paint” recipe below is inspired¬†from my roots, easy to make at home and something that can last long.

Make @ Home Paint Recipe

Ingredients Needed

  • 4 air tight containers to store the colors
  • 1/4 cup of each of the Herbs – You can buy these from any local herb stores or from Amazon,¬† Mountain Rose Herbs or Herbs Affair
    • Yellow paint – Tumeric and Pumpkin powder
    • Green paint – Spirulina and Spinach powder
    • Red¬†paint – Beetroot and hibiscus flower powder
    • Purple¬†paint – Blueberry and Acai berry powder
  • 1/4 cup Rice flour and 1/4 cup arrowroot powder¬† for each paint- This is used as the thickener and it does not change the color of herb powders.

Mix & Storage

miz Take a large mixing bowl and start with one paint at a time.¬†To make the “yellow paint,” mix 1/4 cup each of rice flour, arrowroot powder, turmeric and pumpkin powder. Mix it well and transfer it into airtight container. Vo La!! yellow paint is made ūüôā it is truly this simple.

piNow, similarly mix the other paint colors and put them in air tight containers. These paints will last you for a very long time.

If you don’t have time to make paint at home here is an alternative: Glob All Natural Paint Kits.

Create master pieces with no worries

mixWe took small quantities of the above paint powder and started adding spoonful of water at a time till we reached the consistency we wanted (if it became too runny we added a little more powder).

Now we were all set to get creative, and we experimented with different mediums such as leaves, potatoes, okra, but most importantly we used safe, healthy, homemade, non-toxic paints. We really enjoyed our Sunday as a family and had a great time not only creating some master pieces that will be treasured forever but also learnt a creative way to use herbs.

To make this activity more interesting you can get your kids involved in making the paint, mixing different colors, learning more about the herbs and its uses. The scope of this activity is endless, try it with you kids today!!

Do you make paint supplies for your kids? What all do you do? What all do you do to create a natural and creative environment for your kids?

Rendezvous with the ocean creatures

Keeping with the spirit of Earth day, we wanted to explore other living creatures that cohabitate with us and make this Earth so beautiful. My parents are visiting us, so I wanted our Sunday-Funday activity to  not only be  educational  but also be entertaining. Little did W3 knew that in the heart of Manhattan lies this revolutionary, immersive, and purpose-driven experience called National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey for not only your little ones but for the entire family.

Ocean Odyssey , an immersive walk-through adventure across the ocean from the South Pacific to the coast of California. It went beyond two-dimensional content especially when we were interacting with the playful sea lions, watching the massive whale, seeing the vicious squid fight in pitch dark; This experience transported us to the extraordinary deep-sea underwater destinations without leaving NYC or harming any animals. My parents had lot of fun with the interactive floor in the Solomon Islands; where they were tapping their legs and the fishes were reacting. What brought back some old childhood memories for Nikhil and me was a mirror maze, cleverly represented by a kelp forest.

 

The coolest part was Siya just kept saying “woow” and was in complete aww; her favorite was playing with the sea lions.

 

Encounter truly blends entertainment with science:  it’s was lot of fun, and we learnt a lot about conservation, sea animals, corals and how they die, food chain in the ocean and many more things about marine life. As a family we took a pledge at the Pledge Station to no longer use plastic and if we are using then use the ones made out of recycle plastic.

We came home and Siya grabbed her coloring tools so to always remind us of this amazing experience and the pledge we took; we created a whale sun catcher using some of her favorite colors and her creativity.

What did you do on Earth day!! Are there any Little did we knew things that you have discovered, feel free to share us and other readers!! Happy Earth Day from our family to yours.

Eggier Greenier Sunfunday

Earth day is just around the corner (I believe everyday should be an Earth day) and I¬†wanted to do¬†a Sunday-Funday activity inspired by¬†the concept of¬†“Happier Earth.”¬†Mainly focused on having fun around this concept but also teaching Siya, the importance of preserving, reusing¬†and respecting mother nature.

I definitely don’t have a green thumb (I have even killed a bamboo plant!!). So I knew potting and growing elaborate indoor garden was not on the cards. Moreover, I wanted to reuse something we trash away on a daily basis.

Couple days ago, I was researching about eating eggs and it’s benefit. Little did W3 knew that “egg shells” that we toss everyday in our kitchen waste bin is actually used in commercial world as a great fertilizer because egg shells have 96% of calcium and it decomposes very easily. Siya loves to eat her egg scramble everyday for breakfast, so I was like voila!! our Sunday-Funday activity will be potting plants in the egg shell then.

Step 1 – Material

  • Cracked shells and empty carton to hold the cracked shells
  • Assorted Seeds – We choose cucumber, tomato, basil and green beans
  • Potting soil
  • Gardening tool – only¬†if your little one does not use her hands as her tool, like Siya did ūüôā

Step 2 – Wash or boil you egg shell

We washed our egg shells with hot water to ensure if there was any strands of salmonelle on the egg shell then it was killed. Once the eggs were clean then we took a safety pin and created a small hole for drainage at the bottom.

Step 3 – Add soil and seed

This was the best part of the activity, Siya had a blast getting outright messy and exploring different textures. We then added tomato, green bean, basil and cucumber seeds, sprayed them with water and finally arranged them in the carton.

Siya then went with her grandparents¬†to the garden in our building¬†and saw our gardener pot some tulips. Siya loved it and kept saying “Woow” and playing with the potting soil.

What a fun day with family it was and regardless of age we all had a blast potting some seeds in egg shells, learning about new ways to reuse and saving the planet in a small way.

We can’t wait for our juicy tomatoes, healthy beans, aromatic basil¬†and cool cucumber to grow!!

Other additional activities¬†you can do is¬†to go to¬†New York Botanical Garden or to your local¬†farmer’s market/garden/nursery stores or read¬†your child¬†planting books¬†such as

  • Lola Plants a Garden; by Anna McQuinn and Rosalind Beardshaw
  • National Geographic Kids Look and Learn: In My Garden (Look & Learn)
  • National Geographic Readers: Seed to Plan

Share below in comments your Earth Day activity with your little one!!

Unveil the mystery of what to do before 2!

What should I do before my child turns two and ready for preschool? How do I provide an enriching experience? Should I consider a toddler class? If I do, which ones, where do I even start?

And many more questions ran in our mind few months ago and Little did W3 knew that NYC had over 4800 toddler classes and over 20 enrichment areas to choose from. Damn, this felt like we were in one of those make to order yogurt places with unlimited toppings and flavors to choose from.

Recently, I received quite a few questions around what classes does Siya goes to and how did we choose. Ultimately, it’s about engaging in the right activities with your toddler that can increase his or her readiness for preschool and kindergarten while providing valuable bonding experiences for both of you. We are no experts in this field, but thought about sharing our experience and tips that might be helpful.

Where to Start

Just like you, Little did W3 knew where to start and how to maneuver through this maze. We were stuck in a classic phenomenon of overchoice; when many equivalent choices are available. Talking to my mom, I got my first break-through in debugging this paralyzing process of too many choices. She simply told me two things; what do you want for Siya to be? and What does she enjoy?

  1. What life skills you want your child to have?

Nikhil and I don’t know what Siya will be and where she will end up? However, we know the key life skills we want Siya to have; Problem-Solving (think critically and be curious), Reading (learn new things and test understanding), Collaboration (value of teamwork and empathy) and Communication (share thoughts succinctly and diplomatically).

     2. Know your child

The life skills and what Siya likes to do became the basis for us to identify the enrichment areas. Siya has always been curious, enjoys athletic activities especially involving her favorite word ‚Äúball‚ÄĚ, is interested in how things fit together, and wants to learn the world through books, music and observation.

Siya’s Enrichment Areas

Life Skills

Enrichment Areas

Problem Solving STEM
Reading Story time, Music
Collaboration Sports
Communication Art, Language

Narrow down your choices

  1. Location

For us this was not a big criterion because midtown west does not have many choices so we decided to define our boundaries based on where Via or Uber could take her ūüėä!! a.k.a. within the limit of Manhattan island

     2. Research

I causally started researching using my favorite friend google and typing the enrichment areas and available classes in NYC. I also tapped into some great local resources listed below.

  • The Parent League of New York has an amazing “Let‚Äôs play” guide book that has list of classes and different activities that are available in NYC.
  • Mommy Poppinsis another great online resource to see the different classes and activities happening in NYC.
  • New York Public Libraryis a great free resource for fun story times, puppet, art& craft and lego activities

 Try it Out

Most of the classes offer a free trial classes so definitely try few of them and see if your child is enjoying it and also you liking. You can also use Kidspass; it is a great resource to help you try multiple classes without commitment and it helps add variety in your toddler’s life.

We tried over 20-30 classes and may be 4-5 in each enrichment area to ensure that we were picking the best that worked for us. For example, for Music we tried James with Music, Gymboree Music and ABC Do Re Me and we liked ABC DO Re Me so we signed up for their seasonal pass.

Siya loves her toddler classes and she is always excited to go to them whether it is a day at the library with her favorite Peppa book or mingling with her friend in her Parkbench class to her being a curious innovator in her STEM class to finally swimming like a fish at her swim class.

If you don’t know have too many choices in your area for enrichment classes then go to the local library/book store for story time, you can buy couple toddler sports equipment at home such as basketball hoop, golf, etc.

Feel free to email with any questions or just reach out if you want to someone just hear you and we’d love it if you would share your experience!!