Category: Tweens

10 things to do with tweens during vacations

10 things to do with tweens during vacations

 

With the first excitement of vacations wearing off I find the children flitting between the pool and their tabs. It’s as if they have nothing else to do. The moment I try to restrict their screen time they come up with “What shall we do?” – the question that is the dread of all mums. If you’re a mum in the same boat as I, here’s a list to help you out.

1. Master a recipe 
Learn to make at least one dish completely on your own – a salad, a raita, french toast, no bake cookies, cake in a mug. If you find that you enjoy cooking you could work on making your own recipe book. That reminds me to get N to work on hers. She started one during the exams and never got back to it.

This Marie biscuit cake is one of the easiest ever.

2. Read books
Duh! Obviously. Most of you would be reading books, a few at least. How about trying out a short review after you’ve read it? That way you can keep a record of all the books you read and what you thought of them.

3. Make a summer holiday diary
You could write about
Things you did: Played scrabble with cousins, Made french toast, Made friends with your aunt’s pug (N is dead scared of dogs and this last one is high on her list).
Places you visited: A relative’s place, Historical monuments, the Science centre
Foods you ate: Shared mangoes with grandpa, Pain puri at the roadside stall, Kulfi  and falooda, a new flavour of ice-cream.

4. Make a family news collage
How about turning a journalist this summer? Collect ‘news’ about family members. A cousin who graduated from high school, an aunt who got a promotion, a relative who went on a holiday, your achievement in school, a dance you performed or a skill you picked up – all of that is news. If you have pictures that’s like the icing on the cake. If not, no problem. Make small write-ups on pieces of paper and stick them onto a chart paper like a collage. We made one for our apartment complex. We typed out the news items and cut them out but hand written is good too.

4. Learn a funny poem or maybe two
They’re fun to recite. Here’s one to get you started.

5. Plant a plant and learn how to take care of it
Does it need a special kind of soil? How much and how often should you water it? Google it or get an adult to help if you don’t have access to the Internet. Don’t worry if you don’t have a green thumb. I have a black one too. Go for the easy ones first. You could simply begin with a money plant in a glass or a bottle. They almost never die on you.

6. Learn the names and know how to recognise at least five new flowers/trees that you see around you
Watch out for the regulars. Can you tell a Neem tree from an Ashoka tree? Or a Banyan from a Peepal? You couldn’t possibly miss the Gulmohur or the tall Eucalyptus. Try smelling a eucalyptus leaf. Does it seem familiar?

7. Take responsibility for one household chore and make sure you do it every single day
You could try folding your sheet, making your bed, folding dried clothes, watering plants, wiping the table after lunch/dinner. Helps to have mum on your side since you’re home all day 🙂 and she’s the one in charge of doing up the cakes and the shakes.

8. Talk to your parents/grandparents and ask them how they spent their summer vacations
Can you try any of those things? How about writing out a small piece comparing their vacations and yours?

9. Make handmade gifts for friends for school reopening day.
You could try photo frames or pen holders. I loved these easy pencil toppers made from duct tape at Atop Serenity Hill. Take a look.

 

10. Make your own school labels
Even if you’re not very crafty you could have a go. Cut out plain white paper labels and border them with Washi tape. That shouldn’t be too tough. Oh and before you do this, don’t forget to ensure it is allowed in your school.

I’ll be trying out all of these with the twins over the next month and sharing what we did. So watch out for detailed ‘How Tos’. I’d love it if you shared yours too.

 

Picture credits: Pixabay and Shutterstock

 

A tween in my kitchen

A tween in my kitchen

H burnt his fingers recently while cooking, quite literally. As he was scraping the egg off the pan, he caught it with his hand to steady it, forgetting how hot it would be. We did the whole cold water-ice routine. Once the burning sensation subsided he was fine but for a blister on his thumb and index finger.
I’ve mentioned this before, H loves to potter around in the kitchen. However, as he’s growing up he’s beginning to brand a lot of things he once enjoyed ‘girly’, and has started staying away from them. I wrote about it at Parentous here when I talked about peer pressure and how it can change the kids.
He gave up playing with his kitchen set ages ago and doesn’t seem inclined to hang out with the pots and pans. When his friends are around he adopts this macho air and pretends to be all grown up which I find kind of cute, though he’d never forgive me if he heard me say so.

After his adventure in the kitchen I was curious to know what he’d tell his friends about his hurt fingers, whether he’d admit to being in the kitchen at all.

When they dropped by later in the day there he was brandishing his thumb, showing off his blister like some kind of a trophy. And he was saying, with absolute pretend nonchalance, “This is nothing I just burnt my fingers while I was helping my mother in the kitchen.”
The awed looks on his friend’s faces made me let out a sigh of relief. I can say with some confidence that along with cricket and computer games cooking remains macho in the tween world.
These kitchen adventures are all towards the fulfilment of one single dream of mine – that there’ll come a day when the kids will wake up on their own, make a healthy breakfast for themsleves, dress up and go to school while I’ll laze in bed. What?? One can dream.

You know your kids have hit the tweens when..

You know your kids have hit the tweens when..

1. You whip out phone to click a picture and you see your own eager-beaver face because it’s always turned onto selfie mode.

2. Music suddenly becomes a big deal – a very loud deal. Everything from tukur tukur to What makes you beautiful is sung all the while.

3. Your house smells gorgeous because the kids have just had a deo war  – the ‘if you spray mine I’ll spray yours’ kind of war. (Aunts please to take note: This is what happens when you gift things despite me expressly forbidding it).

4. Your daughter walks out wearing a most winsome smile till you see she’s also wearing your favourite stole. Apparently ‘Jo tera hai woh mera hai‘.

5. The demands for studs and stilettos begins to raise their ugly head.

6. Your son roams around with wet hair all day as he tries to style them into spikes and you have the unenviable task of telling him they will flop down back once they dry up and No he isn’t allowed gel for many many years yet.

7. On a similar note you also add – no makeup kits, no heels, no phones and no pocket money just yet either.

8. You resign yourself to the dangers of walking out in mismatching earrings or wearing a shrug inside out rather than wade through two kids to get to the mirror for a peek at yourself.

9. The ‘dude’ and the OMGs in the conversation go up exponentially.

10. The conversation sounds more and more like some kind of indecipherable code from a James Bond movie. ‘Meet me at the SS’, she says to her friend (That’s ‘Skating Spot’ in case you wondered).

Bringing up Tweens

Bringing up Tweens

The twins are officially in their tweens now – that rather ambiguous age from 9 to 12 when they’re beginning to think of themselves as all grown up’ while we parents are still struggling to get used to them being ‘no longer babies’.

It’s worse, if that’s possible, for twins of different genders because this is the time when gender stereotyping takes over more than ever and their differences become even more pronounced.

The boys become more boyish with the painful ‘I hate girls’ phase at it’s peak before the decline begins when the teens set in. And no thank you I’d much rather not think what that’s going to be like.

As for the girls, well they become girly, annoyingly so – dressing and preening till the mirror throws up it’s hands in frustration.

If you’re looking for some help with your tween do check out my debut piece at Parentous and don’t forget to share your own dos and don’ts. I can always do with more help.

Eye tests are good for health

Eye tests are good for health

Last week I took H for an eye-test. The ophthalmologist’s clinic was packed and we had a good one hour wait. H had taken along a book. It was another one from the Captain Underpants series. (On that note – When exactly do kids outgrow potty humour? I must remember to do a post on that someday) Yet, I was  grateful. One, because at least it was a book and not the iPad and two, because I was spared endless rounds of word games and Atlas (H sits poring at the world map picking out places, mostly Chinese, ending in X so Atlas with him is no joke).

Mercifully, he read his book quietly, asked the receptionist how many people before his turn then sat counting. In, with the doctor, he sat through the eye test, read what he was asked to and generally behaved impeccably.

We’ve been going to the same ophthalmologist for quite a few years now and as we were leaving he commented, “H has matured a lot.” An innocuous enough remark considering that the kids are growing up. But I remembered the nightmare of the first few visits. 

H was a little over three years old when I noticed he had an affinity for watching television sideways. He was also bending too close over his textbooks (which is a habit I’m still struggling to get him out of). The eye-test was simply a precautionary measure. As it turned out he needed glasses.

Then began rounds of eye tests. He refused to sit on that chair, when he did he wouldn’t sit still, he would scrunch his eyes, or blink rapidly or simply keep them shut, despite our repeated entreaties. Worse, he’d break into the ABCD song when asked to read the alphabets on the monitor.

The first time round it was funny. Then on it was just frustrating.

The most unfortunate part was that the doc couldn’t give him a hundred percent accurate pair of glasses. As a result his eyesight deteriorated further. I changed doctors many times over until I finally found this one who could handle him well.

That is why the compliment was such a huge deal. And I came home feeling very optimistic as I thought that maybe things will fall into place as the kids grew up.

Earlier in the day the kids had been exceptionally rowdy. Tired and upset as I was, I wrote a distressed post wondering where I was going wrong. And now I’m glad I didn’t publish it. That eye-test sorted out my day. 

Seriously, doctors are useful people in more ways than one :-).

Meet me on Instagram @obsessivemom06

Load More
Something is wrong. Response takes too long or there is JS error. Press Ctrl+Shift+J or Cmd+Shift+J on a Mac.

RSS On my other blog

  • #BookLover’sTag
    Many of my book loving friends have taken up this tag and I couldn’t resist it either. Talking about books and comparing reading habits with other book lovers is fun, isn’t it? So here goes – my attempt to answer 13 questions on books and reading. 1.  Do you have a specific place for reading? […]