BENEFITS OF SOLVING PUZZLES

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Puzzles are fun-loving activities that children of all age groups tend to enjoy the most. Every child loves a little puzzle time activity to challenge themselves and implement their problem-solving skills in completing an entire puzzle game. We live in a technology-driven time of computers and mobile games; despite which, puzzles continue to be popular among children today. Here are some aspects of why puzzles are considered useful for improving children’s skills and memory, and also how it benefits their growth. Physical Skills Hand-Eye Coordination – It develops a relationship between what their eyes see, their hands do and their brain envisions, in fitting the puzzle accurately. Gross Motor Skills – For younger children, large sized puzzles that involve stacking blocks can enhance their gross motor skills (ie – large movements of the body like catching a ball, arranging blocks etc) to the point where they could work on developing their overall fine motor skills. Solving Puzzles help them to put their minds at work and figure out how to solve problems logically. Fine Motor Skills – Similar to hand-eye coordination, small and precise movements like using fingers to get a puzzle piece in exactly the right spot can lead to better handwriting and typing skills for children. This also helps them to achieve perfection in whatever they do. Cognitive Skills Shape recognition – Learning to recognize and sort shapes is an important part of a child’s development. It can help them to understand, and identify each piece of the puzzle before it can be assembled. Memory – To help enhance a child’s memory, simple jigsaw puzzles and other puzzle games may help. For example, a child will need to recall the size, shape, and color of various shapes to fit the necessary puzzle blocks to complete the entire activity. Through this, children can remember the shapes or pieces that don’t fit and will use it later on. Problem-solving – A puzzle can’t be completed by cheating! Whether the puzzle piece seems to fit or not, a child uses vital thinking skills to solve it. Puzzle solving teaches children to analyze a situation, and apply their minds in order to arrive at a solution to the problem. Emotional Skills Goal Setting – The primary goal of a child when solving a puzzle will be to construct it quick. Then, the next goal will be to develop a series of strategies by putting familiar shapes or pieces in one pile for future reference. Patience – Puzzles requires time to complete the entire structure. Working through puzzles helps a child to practice patience before reaching the end. If you are looking to develop your child’s skills and memory through fun learning, Sign up for “Sparkling Stars”, the Preschool Program at iSpark – Holistic Happiness. Check out our website today www.isparkholistic.com.

SIGN-UP FOR BOOK READING SESSIONS

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Children are like sponges; research indicates that when children are soaked with the right kind of learning such as reading – the benefits are proven to be greater, even after they move on to another activity. Parents can improve their children’s chances of being successful in school, by simply making them proactive and consistent readers. Are you aware of the fact that during the first six years, children learn at a much faster pace than at any other time in their lives? Books are our best friends both in joy and sorrow and without a doubt, they take us ‘from skies to seas, and everywhere they please…’ However, there is a general complaint of the parents and teachers that the modern generation children lack the interest in reading books. To tackle this problem, children need to be exposed to the world of reading and cultivating that as a habit at an early stage. This provides a platform for them to learn new things as well as expand their vocabulary during the process. For starters, usually young children might not have the patience to sit for long lengths of time, especially when it concerns reading, but this can be bypassed by ensuring that they are involved in reading something of their interest. Engage them with fables and fairy tales and ask fun questions. This usually brings out the child’s curiosity and encourages them to read more. Join your child on his or her journey of reading and share your own childhood experiences; this creates the opportunity for bonding and your child is likely to relate with your love for reading. In order to help your child develop a reading habit, here are some things you can do: – Bonding with Books – Choose a book or two to read with your children as a way to spend quality time together rather than sitting in front of the TV. If your child has a favourite television show, check out a book from the library that features the characters of the show. Catch the Reading Bug – Read regularly to your children and lead by example by being a reader yourself. When your child sees the importance of reading in your life, chances are they would take it seriously too. Libraries & Book Stores Rock! – There is nothing more satisfying than making regular visits to the library and bookstores with your children and help them choose books that interest them. This not only helps your child to take up reading it also helps you understand their interests better. Make Reading Fun – When sitting with a book, discuss the visual caricatures of the book with your children. This evokes younger children to respond with enthusiasm to animated expressions and special sound effects. Sail on a Sea of Books – As a special incentive for good behaviour or on special occasions, reward your children with extra reading time or books. Consider putting your children into summer reading programmes. The completion of most of those programmes is rewarded with books. If you are looking to develop your child’s reading habit, Sign up for “Book Reading” sessions at iSpark – Holistic Happiness. Make the best of summer at iSpark. Check out our website today www.isparkholistic.com

MAKE YOUR BIRTHDAYS TRULY SPECIAL WITH iSPARK

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“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…” No matter what your child’s favourite thing is, you’d want to gift it to them on their birthday. As a parent, nothing rivals the spark of happiness and excitement in your child’s eyes on this special day. Why not make this day even more special? Let us present to you a super exciting, fun-filled and healthy environment to celebrate your kid’s birthday at iSpark! The perfect ambiance Kick off your party at the perfect venue designed to inspire the imagination and playful spirit of every child. The vibrant colours, ample space, child-friendly décor with animal murals and lively atmosphere of iSpark will immediately set the mood for the birthday bash. Go crazy with themes Let the children know how special the day can be for them – choose the party’s theme based on their favourite cartoons, movies, sports, colour etc. Getting to enjoy the event with their best buddies, dressed like their favourite superhero, film star or cartoon character will make for an unforgettable experience for your kid. A scrumptious menu that’s healthy too Amid all the fun, we at iSpark never ignore the value of health. This is why we cut out the junk and unhealthy snacks from the menu. Instead, we provide yummy healthy cakes, fresh smoothies, wholesome burgers and sandwiches, dips, whole wheat pasta and pizza with fresh vegetables and many other lip-smacking nutritious munchies to liven up your party’s menu. Lots of fun things to do Zing up the celebration by adding oodles of fun and exciting activities to make sure your little one and their friends are having a gala time. Opt for activities like dance, theatre, story time and plenty of games that will keep your kids — from toddlers to teens — thoroughly entertained. Sounds great? Create a new tradition of birthday celebrations with iSpark Make your little one’s birthday a truly memorable event with no stress of organisation, health, and safety on your mind. Contact us today to know more about how we can transform your child’s birthday party into a celebration full of pure joy, happiness and delight.

WHY SUMMER CAMPS ARE GREAT FOR CHILDREN

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Summer camps have become an essential part of children’s life these days, who are often reeling from school and tuitions. They are a much-needed breather in the middle of an academic year where adventure, creativity, celebrations, exploring, and plain old ‘fun’ are a priority. Summer vacations are incomplete without summer camps and here are some reasons why they are great for children. Building social skills Summer camps teach children important social skills such as communication, working together as a team, leadership, etc. These traits are developed by undertaking responsibilities that require the sharing of resources and demands focus, fosters teamwork and ignites the participation spirit. Learning new skills Summer camps introduce children to new activities and experiences that they may not be familiar with. Dancercise, Happiness Skills, Gardening, Fireless Cooking, Leadership & Language Skills offers opportunities for children to discover new hobbies and passions. Developing confidence New skills and talents picked up from summer camps can be a huge confidence booster. Children feel a greater sense of self-worth and attain a positive attitude by learning new things and as a result, feel accomplished. According to the Canadian Summer Camp Research Project, more than 67% of campers surveyed felt more confident by the end of their summer camp session. Improving family dynamics Summer camps benefit not only children but parents too. When the children are away, the parents too, spend some well-deserved “me” time. Besides, the children get to make new friends and experience a new environment, which makes it refreshing for them. For parents who are constantly supervising and monitoring, and then worrying that the summers will mean just TV and smartphones, relax! An exciting summer camp that is designed not only for creative fitness but also physical and social fitness is waiting for your children. This summer isn’t going to be just about the sun, but a ‘Sun-Sational Summer Camp’. Register today and let your children have fun at iSpark’s Sun-Sational Summer! Log on to www.summercampinchennai.com

MINDFUL EATING IS IMPORTANT FOR YOUR CHILD FROM AN EARLY AGE

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Mindful eating is all about slowing down and enjoying each and every morsel of food that you put in your mouth. It is a practice that helps you to appreciate the taste, colour and flavour of the dish. But that’s not all — savouring every bite during eating prevents us from overeating or impulsive bingeing, helping stave off many issues, that may later arise. Mindful eating is a very simple task but many adults find it quite difficult to practise. However, as a parent if you inculcate the habit of mindful eating in your children from an early age, it can help them make better choices at the table and form a positive relationship with food. HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN THE ART OF MINDFUL EATING. Tip 1: Do not force feed a child. Instead, make meal time a fun activity. If you have a toddler, use this time to slowly introduce new items into his/ her diet. If you use food as a reward or punishment, children will either run away from food and eat in a hurry or indulge too much into comfort food. Tip 2: You can sometimes spruce up your meals by introducing new vegetables and fruits that your child hasn’t eaten before. Ask them to describe their taste or texture or share with them some interesting facts about these foods. These activities encourage children to pay attention to what they are eating. Tip 3: Teach them to pay attention to inner clues like hunger pangs, cravings and stomach fullness. All these clues will help them to avoid impulsive eating. Remember, what you teach them now will shape their lifelong eating habits. Tip 4: Mindfulness is all about concentration and can be practised only when there are no distractions. Therefore, make sure meal times are devoid of TV or mobile phones. Before commencing any big meal, spare a moment to be thankful for the food you have on your table. This will not only make your child more mindful, but will also grow a sense of gratitude in them. While putting these tips to use, don’t forget that children have their own unique personalities. Guide them but allow them to make their own decisions with freedom. This is important if you wish to achieve your goal of introducing them to mindful eating and mindful living in the long run. At iSpark, we practice and encourage mindful eating, helping your child make healthier choices in life!

WHY YOU SHOULD EXPOSE YOUR CHILDREN TO HOLISTIC LEARNING

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Your child is a bundle of joy for you. There is nothing on earth as blissful as that innocent smile or the moment the tiny one called you mum or dad. However, raising a child is a big commitment in itself. It is much more than just nurturing the body of the child by feeding him from time to time. You are also responsible for nurturing the mind and soul of your little one. Although distinct, the body, mind, and soul are interconnected. Therefore, as responsible parents, we also need to feed the mind and soul of our children apart from the body. In today’s technology driven society, holistic nurturing has become especially important. At a young age, the mind is open to both negativity and positivity and lacks the ability to differentiate between the good and the bad. Therefore, training the mind and soul is imperative. So where do we begin? Proper fitness regime Exercising ensures the overall development of your child while keeping the little one healthy and happy. A proper fitness regime has many benefits but often becomes a little monotonous and boring. But not all workouts are boring. Exercise can be achieved through fun activities such as Aerobics, Dance and or even for that matter, Free Play! It improves the cardiovascular state, bestows your kid with better coordination, flexibility and strength. It also helps in developing the motor skills and concentration of your child. Healthy eating The nutritional experiences we have in our early life have lifelong consequences. Therefore, it is very important to develop healthy eating habits in your child. You can encourage this by being a role model. Cut down on junk or fast food and say no to carbonated drinks. Instead, cook balanced meals with healthy munches to snack in between. Besides water, lemonades and fruit-based smoothies are great to ensure your child is well-hydrated throughout the day. Meditation It is time and tested that meditation helps the brain in a number of ways. Besides inner awareness and discipline, it helps in the development of the brain too. With the help of meditation, you can help your child develop better memory and comprehension. If your child is a bit more active than others, then you can help them practice meditation to calm their mind down. It is not only good for the body but also enhances mindfulness. Interested to learn more about ways to instil healthy habits in your child for overall growth and development? Register with iSpark, a leading Holistic Happiness Space for Children & Parents.