Fun with Kids, PARENTING, Tanzania, East Africa

HOW TO BE A GREAT PARENT EVERY SUMMER…

Rima Desai

BLOGGER

The chase of the morning to night routines is going to soon some relief for us moms in USA. Unlike India, schools end here by almost June, last week of May. Summer holidays begin in June through August 1st week. Before being a parent, summer, winter or rain – seasons did not matter as much, neither did holidays. I was a stay at home because I had no work permit for a long time. Becoming a mother however is a SPIRITUAL JOURNEY in itself. There is so much of me that I have had to adapt, change, learn, grow and force to be out of my comfort zone. Now, while writing this article, my eyes are heavy, itchy, sleepy,  back hurting, my body is craving to rest but my mind wants some liberation by writing this article. I love to express myself through written words and so being a mom is a constant act of PRIORITIZING and ORGANIZING and MANAGING. We are executive leaders of our household and much more!

So summers matter so much more now than before. We moved to USA when she was 1.7 months and it was a huge culture shock for her and I since social life in Arizona is nil, it is a dull world! No people on the road, ghostly streets at night or day and more.. The point is that I was forced to do activities with her, for her within extremely tight budgets to keep her from loneliness, depression and to increase her love for socializing with others. I started doing small activities at home by calling friends and their kids over. We did learning projects, rhymes, songs, presentations with toddlers!!! Over time a small seed became a plant. A day came when I started running my summer camps from Home!

I started with ONE WEEK ONLY in mind as a try out. My heart was pounding, mind racing with anxiety – “what will I do, how will I do it? How will I make sure that kids are engaged for 8 hours in a day and that they go back happy? How will I manage house cleaning and cooking after and then prepare art and others activities for the next day?” But God had my back. It was sure a lot of work, beyond what I can explain, sleepless nights, tired body but very enriching experience to challenge myself with very creative ideas to keep kids engaged. That one week stretched into 8 weeks of summer camp because parents asked for more and more!

Finally, that plant grew into a TREE! Summer, Winter, Fall and Spring Camps full of creative art, sports, academic and fun projects and ideas. Keeping boys and girls engaged for 400 hours every summer and 40 to 100 hours every Fall and Winter became my passion. More than what I achieved, my daughter learnt to WELCOME other children and parents in our home. She learnt to ADAPT to different personalities, problem solving bad behavior or coping up with difficult children behaviors and sharing her toys. Many a times her toys have been broken, many a times! She has cried but she has learnt to LET GO, to SHARE and also to set boundaries where her favorite toys on her own special table may not be touched. She has learnt to HELP Me organize, stay awake till late, hustle early morning to prepare for this art, that game, and so on. She has created her own ideas and games from these experiences and Thanked me a zillion times to be teach her and be there with her in the summers. She feels proud to tell her friends that mom organizes camp and so am I when I look back.I remember the days when I have been so tired from my thyroid, when my in laws would be living with me while I do the camp, when I had other problems but the camp kept me going or I kept the camp going whichever is true, the fact is that it has taught me to grow as a parent and has given my daughter immense learnings at a young age.

There were also times when I could give her NO TIME in summer because I had to manage money, parents, marketing, organizing for the camp but she has also learnt from it that mom is not always going to be around and she must cope with that sense of loneliness and create her own self-support.I write this to INSPIRE those Moms who feel that they have hit a dead end in life or career or that there is a lack of opportunities. We must create our own opportunities and thousands of women have proven that to us on this planet.

I did not have anyone’s support but rather enough criticism from my family members on HOW IT WOULD NOT WORK. I also did not have financial backing, we had lots thousands of dollars in the last few years. But all we need is courage and faith in our heart and anything is truly possible. By now I have run more than 30 weeks of camps. . and I know that there are many more success stories out there in the world.What is everyone doing for the summer or has done this summer? For a change, I am taking a short break this June from my camp. We are going to Central Africa to see Dhreya’s Granddad and the wildlife there.

I have done the SERENGETI WILDLIFE RESERVE 4 times already. 44,000 sq. kms. of land and millions of animals. We have seen them hunt, become preys, migrate like they were army men and seen lionesses silently walk from the side of our jeeps. My daughter lived the 1st year of her life in that beautiful place and it is time for her to revisit it and meet the loving people and animals of Tanzania. This will be her FIRST AFRICAN SAFARI in the wildlife and I am so excited! Thereafter in July I hold my summer camp for July as every year’s ritual.

Summer is my favorite time with her.What are you all upto for this summer? One of the things I love doing with her is making art projects out of our outings, have done for her birthdays so far but not with travel as much in detail.. This time I plan to have her research on Tanzania before we reach there, so that she already has a curious mind and some valuable details about the land, people, etc…

I am thinking that I am sure there are other parents that do similar stuff with their kiddos… isn’t parenting fun even admist all the stressful life? My life is pretty demanding but she really makes me come alive!! How lucky are we to have our kids? Parenting is a SPIRITUAL JOURNEY after all…

Fun with Kids

Comedy with Kids! Free Tickels…All Day!

Also posted in Parent-Edge Magazine on Aug 28, 2015

http://parentedge.in/free-tickles-all-day-fun-with-kids-like-never-before/

Having fun with kids is as easy as 2 + 2. Literally, all one needs is Kids and the willingness to be open, to be guided by kids themselves. We truly know a lot more about life as kids than as adults. Think of it – as adults we are stressed, we need Yoga, we need therapy, we need medicines, psychiatrists, and what nots! As kids all we need is – AN OPPORTUNITY, ANY OPPORTUNITY and we can create that into fun, laughter, joy, charisma!

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Today was our ‘Planned Funny Day’. We did not have any activities planned until the day began. All we knew is that we were going to wear our T-shirts ‘Backside Front’ and have fun! What began with a simple I-D-E-A, transformed into a day of thrill with a bunch of absolute crazy heads!

Here is a quick post (may be edited later) on the dozen ideas that ‘popped’ up like a string from a magician’s hat, merely from the start of a single wish to have fun!!!! I wont have some pictures here which features all the front faces but some cropped images to look forward to.

So we had my daughter’s friends visit me for this ‘Fun Day’. As they came with T-shirts rolled back, it was fun to see the spirit splashing around. Here’s one kid who totally flaunted this:

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And then I was the role-model of course. Got the kids ‘cracked up’ with these ones 😀

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We used props to become different ‘Personalities’ and believe me we laughed, danced, marched our funny bands too!

PERFECT NOSE FLAUNTS

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MERRYING WITH MOUSTACHES

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MUSIC ON THE MOVE
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I AM THE SOCCER GUY
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2 o LALA, LADY GAGA!

That’s that for all the snap shots for our big shots! Let’s move now to fun activities. Who knows about the ‘Donkey’s Tail’?

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Our art was about making Funny Puppet Faces. Kids can be K-reative!

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We Colored Mr. Clown

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Then I had TICKLE – FINGERS: tickles18 (SOURCE Google Images Filtered Search)

and lastly we played a Game which kids love. We call it the Freeze Laugh games. We freeze in groups and kids in pairs must make us laugh around some rules.

It was a Crazy, Fun Day for Us. Feeling Inspired for Fun?!

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Fun with Kids

ARIZONA’S REAL LIFE STORY: A Contagious Act of Kindness!

ACTS OF KINDNESS

Often as parents we are frenzied over what to teach our kids and what to leave out. It seems the world’s encyclopedia cannot fit in everything that we may want our kids to learn. The most popular is of course, all the classes we want them to take; especially influenced by the ones their friends and cousins are taking. From all that could be possible under the sky, I give EXTREME Importance to teaching Kids KINDNESS and COMPASSION. These are ‘Qualities of Character’ which cannot be taught by ‘lecturing’ or by narrating ‘stories’. We – Adults, must be involved with the kids for them to see, to know, to experience. We must have a heart filled with Kindness which spreads joy and affection like a ‘contagious, irresistible hobby’.

Read this real life story, fresh from June 2015 ~ with Rima Desai

A story of 4 innocent hands powered by The Joy of Giving!

As the car screeched Stop by the beautiful waters, we could see how the heat at 37 degrees Celsius had left the place to a mere silence. Not a single soul! Out jumped the 4 little Heroes as I clamped their caps 1,2,3, .. The walk from the car to under the shaded tree was a bit of a journey, as the soaring sun stared angrily at our path. Finally under the shade, I removed our ‘packets of kindness’. With the intention to surprise the ducks, all of our 5 hands began offering bread crumbs in the water.

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Kids were thrilled to see that ducks that were snug and rested on the other side of the shore, began peddling into a flock and soon into a raft of little hungry mouths. The excitement was contagious! We saw some of the ducks fly in a frenzy. Our act of kindness drew not just the animals but also many ‘hidden’ pigeons and other birds into this ‘feast’. Our expressions clearly screamed more enthusiasm- “Where did they come from!”
We stood there for a good 20 minutes making our offerings in the water and on the grass. Most of the kids (except mine) were experiencing ducks up close for the first time; almost nibbling at their feet! It was a bit scary at first but soon became a sense of thrill and joy.

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We walked further looking for more ducks as we saved 1 full bag of the ‘kindness crumbs’. The lake was huge and so was our need to feed!

Walking further, we saw a pair of ducks swimming towards us. We realized that it was a ‘New Born baby’ being accompanied by its Mom. A cry of extreme excitement filled the air as all 5 of us were overthrown with joy to witness a new born baby duck for the first time! Our love for the cute baby spilled out ‘as if’ it could understand all that we said. We wished we had more food to offer and decided to return another day.

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Back home, we shared the pictures with each kids’ family. Parents were thrilled and overjoyed to know their kids were involved in such an act of kindness and that their kids were eager enough to share more kindness in days to come!

This post is brought to you by Facebook/Parenting Booth by Rima Desai. It is inspired by ‘It is a Happy World’s’ motivation to spread Happy News. Thank You Mihir Upadhyay for your contribution and for inspiring me to bring more ‘life’ to the post.