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Monday, June 29, 2009

Kids Art: Vikas Learning Colours (Fun with Stickers)

I now know what it feels like to be steamed, boiled, baked, fried, roasted and stewed in my own sweat alive, all at the same time, thanks to Madras heat wave. I feel awful for putting Ana and Oggie through this, but, we can't have everything, so, we take the good with the not-so.

We just got back from a harrowing short road-trip visiting some temples in South India that I wanted to take the kids to. In a NON-A/C car! Pure torture. Not intentional, just so happened that it needed to be done, timing seemed right and I didn't want to put it off till later in my visit. But, more about the trip later.

After two weeks of first-hand observation, my dad's nickname for Ana: Mowna Vratha Upavasini. It is a Sanskrit made-up phrase that roughly translates to Vow-of-Silence-and-Fast-Observer, on account of Ana refusing to talk much (claims she is shy), and not eating anything (claims she doesn't like anything we offer).

But, I am rambling...

It has been a bit of a challenge to keep Ana occupied here - she is used to doing a lot of stuff, quite independently, and now, feeling displaced and frustrated by the heat, plus missing her dad a lot, she is becoming quite a handful. So, my mom looked around and bought a few activities books that she thought might keep her engaged for a week at least. She finished them in 2 days :)

This here is one such activity that she took to easily and enjoyed. We found it at a local store, for Rs.40/-called Vikas Learning Colours. It is one of a series of books where each of the 8 or 10 pages has a printed outline of a scene, part of which has solid lines, and part of which has dotted lines.

The book comes with stickers marked clearly for each page. Simply peel the stickers for that particular scene in that page, stick it on the dotted areas correctly (pattern matching). Then, complete coloring the picture using crayons with suggested colors.

They have abbreviations for suggested colors printed on the picture like G for green, Gr for grey, Pk for pink, V for violet, O for orange, R for red and so on. So, it was also a good way for Ana to figure out what colors to use - of course, G she knew right away as green just looking at the picture, but Gr for grey was not easy to figure out for her...

It is quite a simple concept, and could be interesting for 3-4 year olds, if they are into stickers and coloring. The pictures are cute with bright colors when done per instructions. Initially, I showed her one - the bear picture - then she did a few entirely without help.


The only complaint I have is that getting the stickers out of the page could be a bit of a challenge for tiny hands. And, it didn't really teach much about colors like the title suggests, but, I am fine with that.

While stickers and crayons were not new to Ana, she enjoyed the combination of the two activities to produce a beautiful finished product, almost effortlessly, and as I found out, almost immediately :)

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At 8:04 PM, Blogger Shuba Swaminathan said...


There are 3 places in Chennai that I know of Ana might enjoy. We were in your shoes last year, hence the knowledge :)

One is a place called Hansel and Gretel (28152549) in T.Nagar near Vani Mahal and there's another place on Chamiers Road (or whatever they call it now) called "Baby's day out" that has a pretty decent indoor play space.

I heard about a third place that I have not been to called Vanilla Place:

Be warned though that with their American immunity, the kids will fall sick if you venture to any of these places for the first time. We found ourselves a great pediatrician in the process in T.Nagar who understands American immunization standards (quite different from what's given in India and when), and was able to prescribe the Tylenol/Motrin/Dimetapp we had in stock. Write me offline if you need her contact info, though I sincerely hope you don't!

At 12:14 AM, Blogger Sheela said...

Hi Shuba, thanks so much for the pointers - will try to take her there... the Madras I left 16 years ago is gone - I am not comfortable finding my way around these days...

i know what you mean about falling sick - Oggie has some sort of diarrhea and has refused solids for the last 2 days - am trying hard to keep him hydrated with water and pediatric electrolyte drink... Ana constantly complains of tummy ache but she has not eaten anything but yogurt for several days...

At 9:38 AM, Blogger Dee said...

Sheela...when I was there with Chintu..I took him to this play place in City Centre (near your place). It's kinda like Chuckee Cheese. There is also Landmark there and you can get a lot of activity work for her there.

Also take her to Vandaloor was refreshing to see how well maintained it was (I am talking about January don't know how much has changed since ;) )

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Lavs said...

Is there a possibility of talking to you over phone?/Simply cannot resist asking you this when you are in my city!my email address is mentioned in my blog space. thanks

At 7:14 PM, Blogger Sheela said...

HI Dee, thanks for the pointers - I think I'll go to landmark soon - my mom was mentioning it but she doesn't really go there much for herself... and we were passing by Vandaloor on the way and back from our recent road trip - just that it is terribly hot and it is my inertia to take them anywhere - just want to stay in the a/c room as long as there is no power-cut :) I do plan to take them to Guindy park - has lots of trees and is close by...

So far, Santhome beach has been a great hit and Ana wants to live in the beach!

At 7:16 PM, Blogger Sheela said...

Lavs, would love to connect - and see little LB with his lovely Thandai... dropped a note for you in your space. Hope to hear from you.


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