Learning Fundamentals With Flashcards!!

My spring cleaning activity this weekend turned out to be our Sunday-Funday activity theme; Learning fundamentals with flashcards. I came across a stack of flashcards that were a lifesaver! for me to pass my college physic exam; in some sense tougher than raising globally responsible kids 😉.

So I thought, why not bring flashcards to Siya’s learning tool kit to learn US history; foundation to understand human story, and a crude way to understand the sacrifices our ancestors have made for our life today. I started researching what different kind of flashcards are available in this study area.

Little did W3 knew that there are theories and camps around flashcard learning for toddlers; some say babies taught with flash cards develop their senses of sight and hearing faster than other children and others say it the worst learning method. However, for us it’s always been about trying different things and seeing what works and what does not with Siya. We always believe that parenting is like a fingerprint; so unique but still looks similar.

US president I bought an inexpensive US President pocket flash card, you can either download it or buy it from amazon. These flashcards have large pictures and on the back have information about each of the US presidents and bonus cards that talked about key US history events.

To ensure Siya was enthusiast throughout the activity; we started small. Initially we only showed her 2 cards and repeated atleast 4-5 times and shared with her the back of the card information too; George Washington and Abraham Lincoln two completely different looking US presidents. The number of times you repeat a set will of course depend on your child. Follow your child’s lead and retire any category that he/she is showing limited interest. We extended our Sunday-Funday activity into Monday and added 4 cards and did the same exercise.


Flashcards really worked for  Siya because she enjoys enjoys visual and interactive learning. It not only helped us to teach her some fundamentals of US history but also maximize the benefits of repetition to improve memorization using right-brain philosophy.

For older kids you can always modify this activity by adding words and encourage reading skills or even create the flash card. Flashcard creation can be a great activity for older children that helps them learn how to go about building their own learning tools later in live. It is also a first step towards learning the material that will be covered with the flashcards.

Tips of flashcard creation:

  • Get your child’s input on a subject to study or explore
  • You can now get creative in the actual card creation process; you can either print off from the internet, if your child loves to draw they can draw, you can even get crafty by using magazine or newspaper cutouts.
  • On the other side of the flashcard you could write the word out and a one-line description.

Let us know how you spent you Easter Sunday with your kids and what fun activities and ways to teach have you tried!!

Singapore Math with Pattern Recognition to the Sunday-Funday rescue!!

Couple months ago, I was invited to a Singapore Math session by “Dearest Community” to learn benefits of Singapore Math and Early Numeracy program. Furthermore, recently I read an article that the world’s richest person, Jeff Bezos, one that has amassed his wealth by being creative and trying unorthodox ways of solving problems, uses the same approach for their children’s education. “We tried all sorts of things … Mandarin lessons, the Singapore math program, and lots of clubs and sports with other neighborhood kids,” MacKenzie Bezos told Vogue.

Singapore Math uses a three-step learning model, moving from the concrete: blocks, cards, buttons, whatever to the “pictorial” phase — a bridge between concrete and abstract, to the abstract equations: 2 + 3 = 5. To learn more about Singapore Math you can read following links:

Little did W3 knew that kids as young as 12 months can understand math and there are many visual, fun and engaging ways to teach them sometimes boring and dry concepts of math. This week our Sunday Funday activity was inspired by Singapore Math. We took her love for colors and combined it with pattern recognition & counting numbers using different shapes and textures.

Step 1 – We started with exploring different colors and crayon

Step 2 – We created a quick pattern using some pom pom and math blocks (easily available on Amazon). You can also use what you have at home such as LEGOs, stackable colorful blocks, etc (options are unlimited). We showed her the pattern and told her different colors and shape. She was all excited to pick them up and put it in her mouth 😊!!

Example of pattern

Step 3 – We then removed the pattern and placed the first yellow pom pom and said this is yellow, the next is orange and so we completed the pattern. Next, we started putting the math blocks in the same sequence and talked through the sequence with her. Finally, after couple rounds she pointed at the next sequence color and could recognize “Yellow” and “Orange”. If you have a grown up, you can ask your child how many yellow blocks do we have and how many orange and have him/her to add it (options are endless with the activity).

Step 4 – Next we created a quick pictorial image of what we were doing in Step 3 and showed that to Siya and repeated the step 3 activity.

Pattern admission

It was a Funday for us as we always look for some exciting and creative ways to teach Siya and this was on top of the list. Siya enjoyed the activity, and could recognize colors, understand some sequencing of items and predict “what comes next (she did it few times)?

Let us know what you think about Singapore Math/Pattern recognition and what did you do this weekend with your kids!!

Get benefits of having a pet for your toddler but still not having it!!!

animal pic 5
Learning something new


Few months back, I read an article in a pediatric journal saying that researchers say that babies who grow up in homes with a pet are less likely to get sick than children who live pet-free. “We think the exposure to pets somehow matures the immune system; so when the child meets the microbes, he might be better prepared for them,” says Dr. Eija Bergroth, a pediatrician at Kuopio University Hospital in Finland. This made me ponder on how can I give this environment to Siya; we can barely keep up with taking care of her and having a pet would be insane in NYC apartment with two working parents.

Furthermore, Siya’s birthday was just around the corner and we wanted to do something unique on the “D-day” but the brutal winter limited my outdoor options. That’s when we stumbled upon “The ArtFarm NYC,” a home to NYC’s only indoor petting zoo.

Little did W3 knew, that something so cool and exciting existed in the city. I was very excited about it and luckily Groupon (need to keep expenses in check!!) had a great deal for 10 classes.

It’s been over 10 weeks that Siya is going to this class and I couldn’t be happier about it because it not only fulfilled my main reason- exposure to animals, but also added two additional benefits:

  1. Exposure to animals – Opportunity to weekly pet and interact with animals from bearded dragon to turtle to chinchillas and chicken. Great to build her immune system, remove fear of animals and appreciate other living creatures in the nature.
  2. Care and compassion – This is a very important trait for any child and I see a significant difference in Siya on how she now engages with pet in our neighborhood and building. She will run behind them, gently pet them and even play with them with her favorite “ball.” She has shown added love to her stuffed animals by always hugging and kissing them (she didn’t do that earlier!!).
  3. Sensory learning – I am a big believer of touch and feel learning, as toddlers learn the best through these experiences (many studies on this and personal experience!!). There are so many sensory opportunities at The ArtFarmNYC: the textures of the animal, the dryness of the hay and the sound each of animals. Earlier, I used to employ animal flash cards and read books to show her different animals, and make sounds. However, I always felt something was missing. Now, there is a more authentic connection when Siya reads these books and I hear her saying “Wooof” when she points or sees a dog or “Quaaa” when she sees a duck.

I am a happier NYC mommy as I have so many options; Indoor Petting zoo, Central and Bronx zoo to incorporate the world of animals in my child’s routine. This not only helps her to interact better than before also but adds value in aforementioned way.

If you don’t live in NYC, then check out your local petsmart or pet store for indoor petting options.

Do you have other fun ideas to engage your toddlers with pets? Please share your comments.