Sunday, April 26, 2009

Yoga - Change4Life

A Change4Life campaign was held in UK with a government survey carried on 260,000 people. The Survery was to tackle soaring rates of Obesity by promoting healthy eating and exercise. The results showed nearly three-quarters (72%) of children do not take part in the recommended hour of daily activity outside school. Its latest poll also found 45% of youngsters watched TV or played non-active video games before school. Only 22% did something active after their evening meal. Here's more on this in Google News.

Recently, I have been passing my week-ends at Sports club at the Library or casually at the Cafe Court or watching a movie. I have observed, most of the children who visit the Library turn towards the cyber cafe area and engage themselves by hooking up to a computer playing games. Quite often, due to slow download of the game, children impatiently stare at the screen or awkwardly wait in frustration for the game download. While casually talking to some of them, I find Children are more dedicated to sitting in their room playing on their computers and watching television. Reading or Exercise is almost on the back seat. Sports and Yoga classes is just for fun as parents force them to engage in an activity. Talk about Indoor activities and its boring noons with computer games and cartoon watching.

Inactivity often leads to harmful mind, body and soul effects. Obesity is on a rise and in comes diabetic tendencies with heart problems later on. The need of the hour is Exercise for fitness and reading for the brain.

Yoga for Children is an essential part to integrate in a child's routine for perfect physical health and mental well being. You can read more on this on Meditation page. For Children, grab a copy of the book 'Yoga for Children' by Swati and Rajiv Chanchani. Each Yoga posture is explained through photographs, drawings, stories and detailed instructions with important do's and don'ts and benefits of each pose. Meant for parents and teachers, the book comprise specific guidelines to practice Yoga creatively, enjoyably and safely.

For parents and teachers, I suggest Yoga by Richard Hittleman. I happened to follow the 28 day Exercise Plan of this book of Yoga by Richard Hittleman and sure, it hit high to shoot all five stars in my fav list. If a work out plan for 20-30 minutes per day is followed with this book, it sure is an accomplishment to good frame of mind, body and soul.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for kids

Thursday, April 23, 2009

World Book and Copyright Day

"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.

At first the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms;
Then the whining school-boy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school.

And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad,
Made to his mistress' eyebrow.

Then a soldier, Full of strange oaths,
and bearded like the pard, Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon's mouth.

And then the justice, In fair round belly with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part.

The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side, His youthful hose,
well sav'd, a world too wide For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble,pipes And whistles in his sound.

Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion; Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing. "

April 23 we recall Shakespeare Literature as we observe World Book and Copyright Day. This day, Unesco seeks to promote reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright. On 23rd April, great personalities, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. The idea for this celebration originated in Catalonia where on 23 April, Saint George's Day, a rose is traditionally given as a gift for each book sold.

To mark the World Book and Copyright Day celebrations, every year, we have 'Archies Day' and Reading session - open for all children at Swagat to promote Reading activities and enhance literacy skills. Here is How to write Poetry and How to write a Story and children can be encouraged to write on these lines as kids can be motivated to write Short Stories. Click for Projects on Literature and log on to Reading and Fairyland. Here are some Tips to Literature Learning too.

Shakespeare occupies a unique position in world literature. His works include 37 plays, including comedy, Tragedy and Historical along with Poems, sonnets. Shakespeare is astonishingly clever with words and images, so that his mental energy, when applied to intelligible human situations, finds full and memorable expression, convincing and imaginatively stimulating and to read his stuff is a rich experience for a life time. It has ever been great to read 'Romeo & Juliet', Hamlet, Midsummer Night's dream, Tempest, As you Like It, Merchant of Venice, King Lear and all the stuff that we taught in Literature Lessons at School.

This World Book Day, grab a book, share a book and I am sure, you will love to be literature savvy at Kidsfreesouls as I keep adding more profiles to the Literature Index. Read my Reviews and buy great books too.Enjoy.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009

Earth Day 365 days on Kidsfreesouls. As you keep reading the Earth Talk Q & A every week in English and Spanish, here's 10 Personal Actions That Can Make A Difference for the Environment and 10 Issues to Write Your Congressperson (and Educate Your Friends and Neighbors) - Save Mother Earth.

It is our responsibility to teach our children and provide learning tools and thinking skills needed to make our Environment safer with their participation. We need to provide a framework from which young people may act in a positive manner with a sense of hope for sustainable future. It is necessary for kids to learn how to green their lives and understand the smaller details to sustain life. There are tons of things kids can help to bring about changes to make a difference as switching off the lights to use less energy, turning things from waste to best, growing trees, saving water resources, etc. Just follow 365 days Earth Talk tips here and follow the below sites for more details on 'How to bring about a Difference to save Nature - Mother Earth'

Here's 'Green your School' Guide by Earth Day Network with Facilities, Food, Transportation, Recreation, Curricula and Classrooms. The site offers extensive research, teacher lesson plans and student action plans. Explore science-based and standards-aligned Lesson Plans for green schools.

The Energy Star Kids is a fun way learn for kids as the Department of Energy offers multiple activities online for kids. Parents and Teachers can download lesson plans and Games and Activities.

Btw, Kidsfreesouls had earlier taken Drawing & Coloring competitions in schools and children were told to write ten sentences on 'How to Save Environment' with a classroom debate on the topic - In the process, there has been a successful attempt to bring about awareness to a mass number of students with concerns to Environmental Issues. Here are some pictures in Color Paste Board and Kids online can add your pictures too by emailing Kidsfreesouls.

Here's on Earth Hour - Switch off the lights for an hour every day! click for the earlier note. Join me at Facebook and use the Earth hour application or log on to join Kidsfreesouls Friend connect to spread the message.

I suppose, we can together build a heaven on earth and save our Environment - Be it environment, health issues, population concerns, Poverty or the Rich-poor gap, Energy, food & water, whatever.... Be Concerned!

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Monday, April 20, 2009

Literacy and Creativity - in Summer Vacation

Literacy in Summer Vacation can be a source of enjoyment. Parents and teachers often pester kids for ‘Reading’ as strong language and literacy skills are essential for children’s success in school and in life. Those parents who fail to encourage kids for reading and writing, often end up failure in school by the end of the primary grades. If the base is strong, the senior schooling finds way to effective learning and children can easier imbibe the notes with quality educative learning skills.

(Find more pics by Swagat Kids )
Swagat Children Library introduces to creative, slow and steady progress with the required components of language and literacy that finds way with enhanced development as home-schooling finds way for motivation. The Yearly program includes :

1.Literacy learning as ‘Fun n Learn’ Reading
2.Vocabulary building and oral language skills
3.Phonetic awareness
4.Word building
5.Grammar skills
6.Speech skills
7.Narrating skills
9.Review Writing
10.Projects & Scrap books
11.Arts as a medium
12.Music as fun
13. Poetry and creative writing

Apart from this, round the year, the kids have Talking (chit-chat sessions), playing and singing. The chit-chat sessions find way to communication and easier way to interact, playing games calls for critical thinking and music for rote learning and enhancing memory skills.

Through work of Arts, most of the children develop creative, critical and thinking skills. They can express their ideas imaginatively and interact constructively with others. Children are able to communicate with broader vocabularies as they construct meaningfully while understanding the concepts with their own creations. Children are often found to expose their thoughts and diverse culture.

As for playing Educational games, they provide a break from the routine language learning as they are motivating and challenging, giving opportunity for language practice that can help to build language skills. Games like the Word Search, Cross words, word games like ‘Scrabble’ or word memory games are often played by children together. They should be allowed to share words and play games as fun and learn. Such activities have a value in reading classrooms and help kids to develop critical thinking through problem solving. Those students, who are taught to think critically, lean how to read more carefully, learn to listen better and pay closer attention to details. Moreover, they are more confident and enhance the power of knowledge.

As for singing in classroom, music is fun and more a rote learning method with some of the well framed rhymes and songs. It enhances memory skills and makes their imagination soar as musical activity invite them to play and interact in the activities with their peers. With guidance from parent/teacher and innate curiosity of the children, children apply problem solving and social skills. They establish good relationships, show interest in others, take turns fairly, interact verbally and non verbally with smiles and nods, have self control, show co-operation, build confidence, feel independent, empathy, etc. Music provides children not only the opportunities for aesthetic and creative development but also forms social development and social skills.
Reading aloud, story telling, story re-telling, writing reviews and letters are just about fun learning with dozens of activities to go for a an hour, twice a week or even for a day – just makes a difference.

Here are some Tips to Literature Learning that can work best for kids. However, follow the simple steps to form Reading habits. Click to Fairyland and encourage kids to write ‘Weekly review Journal’ of stories they’ve read with a simple jot down in the scrap book (Spiral bound books). Read more on my earlier blog post on this. Also set up a site on Google to record classroom reads. Even a parent can set up a site and record all stories the child has read and add reviews too.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Online Poll for Nasa's greatest hits for Earth begins

You can now vote online for the most important contribution the space agency has made to exploring Earth and improving the way we live on our home planet. NASA is conducting the survey as part of its celebration of Earth Day, April 22. Voting closes on April 21. Poll results will be announced on NASA's Web site on Earth Day.

A 2008 National Research Council study identified major accomplishments resulting from Earth observations made from space. The report, "Earth Observations from Space: The First 50 Years of Scientific Achievements," cataloged scientific discoveries and practical applications, including many that resulted from NASA missions, made possible from satellite observations. NASA selected 10 candidates highlighted in the study for consideration as the greatest achievements about planet Earth. The options include diagnosing Earth's ozone layer, predicting food shortages and tracking ecosystems worldwide. Visitors to the online polling site will be able to cast their votes for up to three candidate accomplishments.

Since the launch of the United States' first satellite in January 1958, NASA has pioneered the exploration of our home planet from space. With more than a dozen observation satellites circling the globe, NASA continues to advance the frontiers of scientific discovery about Earth, its climate and its future. NASA's multidisciplinary Earth science program contains a broad-based portfolio of cutting-edge science and technology, from new remote-sensing instruments in orbit to basic research. To cast your votes, visit here. Click for more information about Earth Day and NASA. (PR)

Here's Kidsfreesouls Nasa Space. Find Educational material for Teachers and Parents too.
- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Friedrich Froebel-Kindergarten system

Friedrich Froebel, the German founder of Kindergarten system was born in April 1782. He changed the way we think about early childhood education. Friedrich started a Play and Activity Institute which featured games, play, songs, stories, and crafts to stimulate imagination and develop physical and motor skills. He designed balls, wooden blocks, tiles, sticks and rings to demonstrate that children learn by playing. These objects were important part of child's life as these gifts will teach the child to use his environment as an educational aid, give a child an indication between human life and nature and create a bond between the adult and the child.

Children need the moral support and physical care from parents and teachers. With changing time, children need caring of future needs to growth of development. The word 'Kindergarten' mean, kinder + garten = Infant garden - garden for children in tune to nature where they can grow in free atmosphere in open surroundings. When Friedrich Froebel flourished the Kindergarten, he thought of kids to be tiny flowers who need the care and flower.

His kindergarten system consisted of three aspects:

games and songs


gifts and occupations

His philosophy of education rested on four basic components:

free self-activity


social participation

motor expression

Now, the whole meaning changes and kids need to learn more than just the nursery rhymes or the first abc. Self activity and motor expression - doing things themselves is almost left behind. Parents actively set up their routines with extra-curricular activities of their own choice. Children need to compete with their peers and with the technology booming in, computers and mobiles have found way to the smaller kids who just pick up the gadgets and find way to communicate. Moreover, closed activities indoors need a break for a changeover to view the outside world - into gardens, parks and places of kids interest like the zoo, picnic spots, etc. Kids learn faster in open spaces and like we have the system of 'Shantiniketan' in India (started by Rabindranath Tagore) - studying in open skies in a garden, under the shade of trees is a unique way of learning. A balance with indoor and outdoor activity is just the need of the hour.

For more on Friedrich Froebel, surf google and you are sure to find great links. Enjoy!

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for kids

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Summer Projects, Titanic info

Kidsmango is an Online Video Platform - devoted exclusively for preschooler kids upto 12 years. The site is divided into three sections - for Juniors, Kids and Maniacs....This summer, kids can have fun viewing Cartoons online or just play games as you browse through Resources on Kidsfreesouls and the all 'For Kids' page.

Kids Mango Popeye

Children do love exploring and summer time is none other than just to relax and enjoy. If you are not sending children for camps, let them feel cozy at home, watching cartoons, playing games or just reading Fairyland and making Projects. They can make Projects on Literature, stories, Vocabulary Projects (wordsearch & worksheets) or even on 'Ships'. Let the kids gather information on Titanic, Bismark or Popeye the Sailor. Popeye the Sailor is just about a favorite cartoon adventure and kids can explore the site, download wallpapers and paste stickers in their scrap books. Watch a video of Popeye the Sailor and I am sure, kids will love to watch this too.

Here's info on Titanic for the Project on 'Ships' as sinking of Titanic was the worst maritime disasters in history. This British luxury liner 'Titanic' of the White Star Line, struck an iceberg about 153 km south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland just before midnight at 11.40 p.m. on April 14, 1912 and the sinking of the ship continued in the early hours of April 15, 1912 in the ice cold waters of North Atlantic. Titanic Disaster occured on the linear’s first voyage from Liverpool to New York city. Of the more than 2220 persons aboard, about 1513 died including the American millionaires John Jacob Astor, Benjamin Guggenheim, and Isidor Straus. The ship weighed 46,000 gross tons. It measured 269 metres in length. The ship had been proclaimed unsinkable because of its 16 watertight compartments, but the iceberg punctured five of them, one more than had been considered possible in any accident, and the Titanic sank in less than three hours. The ocean linear Carpathia responded to the distress calls of Titanic arrived two hours later after it had sunk.

Most of us have seen the movie but do you know, it was American built Alvin that can carry Oceanographers as deep as 3600 m (12000 ft). It is equipped with underwater lights, cameras, a television system and a mechanical manipulator to collect bottom samples. This was used in 1986 and took pictures of Titanic. Robert Submersible which go deep as 20000 ft. used for underwater exploration such as "Argo" was used in 1985 to locate the wreck of Titanic and a smaller Robot called "Jason" was used to explore the wreck.

Well, another sinking of the German Battle ship 'Bismark' was during World War II and it was first the Reuters reported news from Britain that the ship was sunk. You can find details of this warship here on wiki.

Btw, We all know, Leonardo Da Vinci began working in 1495 over the Last Supper painting. He finished The Last Supper in 1498 with all the controversies hovered around who was sitting next to Jesus. The Book "Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown reflects his research on the Code of Leonardo. Here is Leonardo Da Vinci's Profile as he was born on 14th April. Kids can add the profile in their Literature collection.

- ilaxi patel

Newspaper for kids

Saturday, April 11, 2009


The word Easter comes from the festival of Eostre, teutonic goddess of Spring. Here's Easter page on Christmas site on Kidsfreesouls and Easter Wordsearch printable for kids in Grammar Fun section.

Was Jesus Crucified? There's lot contradictions you find through search. Some say, Jesus was never crucified and his tomb lay in India! A lot is said in Dan Brown's Book and the recent Gospel of Judas reveal Judas as a hero and not a betrayer. Read more here and on the web - whether true or not, the controversies keep hovering over as more authors and writers keep digging into research of these bygone history.

Easter Graphics

Click to add such clip art Graphics to your blog/website/my space, etc.

Btw, Here comes the Easter Fun on the web for kids. Get the kids to laugh, get the kids to spark passion, get kids to move on, get kids to get educational, get kids to explore...a whole lot of ideas on the web with the spring chicks, eggs and easter bunnies along with lot of stuff for easter celebrations including worksheets.

Some of the best links to get children engaged in Easter Crafts this year are:

1. Family Easter Fun
2. Easter Party - Printables
3. Activity Collection - Easter Printables
4. Free coloring Pages - Easter
5. Easter Word Search and Christmas pages

You can explore to find Easter Songs as children love music. Easter song, 'Hot Cross Buns' is a favorite of many children and I am sure you will find more interesting songs here. Enjoy.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for kids

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

World Health Day

World Health Day, April 7 and it comes with a message to be concerned for our own Health as well as children and all in the family. Of late, I am not able to blog on my Austin-Statesman Readers' Blog but you can always check in the Archives and look for updates as I will be placing research based Health articles here. Also Subscribe the Blog Widgets from the newly made Widget page here.

Research finds that Children's consumption of Fruit is too low. One in ten eat No Fruit with children below six years. At Swagat, my findings reveal - hardly one child eats a Fruit per week out of average 25 kids! The evenings are almost with Pizza and Sandwiches! There has been a rise in obesity in last many years and a considerable decline in spending more time for outdoor games. A diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help in tackling obesity. With pollution, asthma and wheezing is on rise all over the world and here comes in fruits and vegetables with all the Vitamin C to reduce the symptoms in children as well as adults. In 1991 WHO recommended that people should eat 400 gm (five portions) of fruits and vegetables everyday to reduce risk of cancer. Since than, fruits and vegetables are on top priorities. Well, here's Enchanted Learning with craft for kids - a 3D fruit Craft.

More Junk and that's getting to be more obese! More fruits and vegetables and that's the way to live healthy! - How often parents and teachers tell the children yet the daily diet consist of the Pizza, Burger and all sorts of canned food and desserts. Schools cutting Fats in Food is always found welcoming and classroom activities to enhance children, the importance of fruit and vegetables have found to be useful. Parents and teachers need to act as role models as they demonstrate healthy eating habits. Schools can have 'Fruit only tuck shops and integrate fruit and vegetables into a children's culture in a positive way.

Children have happier times in Summer. Apart from eating habits, let them engage in Sports - activities like Swimming, skating, riding a bicycle, dancing to music, roller skating or even taking the pet for a walk. Maybe, just Walk - together matters. Kids are power house with full vigor and are found to be kicking and jumping all through the day and not just sit on a couch and watch television. This World Health day, make it a concern to count on those calories and have Fun activities for them. Working to fitness can be made a routine as you set the schedule and supplement your life with the techniques of Yoga - the Sudarshan Kriya (Art of Living healing breadth techniques) and Pranayama.

After all, a 20 minutes routine towards Health can change your life and your kid's life too.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Summer Vacation - Activities and fun time

Be it dancing, arts, skating or computers - Summer Vacations are so much fun for kids that kids seem to be learning everything with exhaustive classes! Parents are more conscious of their child's extra curricular activities since last many years as lifestyles have changed with competitive edge.

As Swagat announces Creative classes this summer, it might be a motivating idea to many to start creative activities in their own locality. Moreover, explore the NIE Tips section and Projects for Kids - I am sure, children will love to hop and jump with glee with various Internet activities and Resources apart from playing outdoor games, singing, dancing or Reading - Fairyland stories or draw, color, paste stickers and make posters that you can hang on paste board.

Children possess unexpected perceptions that we can think of as they express their Imaginations in many different ways. It is a parental role to Nurture a Genius in a child and provide them environment to feel free to indulge in their chosen activity and rather, not force the child to select an activity as per your choice.

Here are some tips that parents or teachers can follow to help a child be Creative:

1. Provide Opportunity : If opportunity knocks the door, children can do wonders. Give them a chance to choose their own activity and let them be free to engage in it.

2. Provide Time : Summer time is ample time for children. However, if your lifestyle is busier, make some space to spare time with kids. Arrange your own schedule and take out time. Children like to have fun with parents.

3. Provide Space : Children like colors and all that glitters gold. Give them good space - green environment, fresh morning and evening hours that can have activities outdoors and afternoons can be cozy and cool, in-house. Do not hang or nag on what they do and do not even insist that the child complete the drawing or coloring. Next day is always there for unfinished work. Also, allow them to be with friends too.

4. Provide Material / or any other : Make available material for Arts, Sports or any other Activity. As such children like fancy things. So, let them have tools that can soar their imagination. Eg. for drawing and coloring, give them all the fancy pencils and colors, if making a project on fairyland stories, provide Scrap book, story books, review sheet, stickers, etc.

5. Provide your Interest : Your Interest in a child's activity is very important. The nearest person to a child is You. Show your Interest, express your views, talk about your childhood activities. Children love to hear your stories and sure, they want you to take interest in what they do and will open up and express their joy in what they are doing. Eg. If a child has read a story, encourage him to narrate it or if he plays a game on computer, listen to his excited talks about it. Do not pin him down over small matters.

6. Provide Occasion : Summer is Party time. Take children for excursions or tours to places. They love to go for picnics and love traveling. You can also organize 'Theme based parties' like Barbie doll party or 'Game party' - Even Literature parties go great where a group of friends make Literature projects and set the theme, call all friends and share knowledge or maybe ''worksheets and grammar fun.

7. Set up Days : For busy schedules, spare time with kids by setting up days. Saturday can be an outing, sunday set for Fun Time together watching a movie or cooking a meal. Monday can be reading sessions, tuesday set for arts and crafts, wednesday for music and friday can be computing and playing games on computer and Internet. Apart from this, plan for projects, creativity like poetry writing or story writing. Just Plan activities.

Btw, click to Ziggityzoom and it's a Fun Place to zoom around! You can play games, color pictures, read and listen to stories and even mini videos and have fun around. The site also has freebies, worksheets, articles and kids printables. The site has easier navigation and appears in ALA Great sites for kids too. Created by Mother-daughter as a team, Kristine Fitch and Sharon Pierce McCullough, indeed have made all efforts to provide resources for kids and parents as well. Enjoy.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Saturday, April 04, 2009

We are the World - with subtitles

Listen to We are the World, We are the children...a song that is so close to my heart and sure, you will like to listen and sing along the lyrics too... (In my You Tube fav)

Well, I just blogged on my meet with CM Narendra Modi and the web team here on my Ex Ed Sambhaav Blog.

Btw, just click to kidsfreesouls for the latest updates on News. Dholavira in Kutch, Gujarat is rated as 'Seven wonders of India' among the many other places - an initiative of NDTV AND Incredible India project.

You may also find the April calendar and Projects link.

- Enjoy.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids