Category Archives: children

Origami

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The kids and I tried our hands at origami today. Making origami objects is a great way to encourage children to use the fine motors in those adorable fingers of theirs. It requires very limited resources (just paper) and hardly any time to set up. Origami can be enjoyed at any age. So sibs of different ages and parents can all experience the soul satisfying process of folding paper and creating little pieces of art without anyone feeling left out. Simple origami designs like hats, sail boats and houses are excellent choices for a budding origamist aged 4. A more serious contender of 7 can take more challenging objects like dolphins, crabs, tulips, or boxes. And a parent can attempt a dragon.

the video is from Jo Nakashima – Origami Tutorials on youTube.

The takeaways from crafting origami are many. First of all the fine motors get some exercise. Second kids learn to follow instruction. Both video instructions and picture instruction have their advantages and both should be tried. Third, it’s good for their emotions — curiosity, patience, commitment, achievement, these little humans will learn to deal with all of these. And finally, after all the hard work kids can have fun with their creations and use them as props in their game play.

The kids and I created some very beautiful things.

I usually find difficulty in following the pictorial origami instructions. However, there are so many channels of origami artists on youTube with video instructions, which the kids and I found much easier to follow. So all those out there who feel origami is a lost battle, don’t lose hope just yet, try out video instructions.

Good luck with origami crafting!

Ramadan Craft and Activities

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Ramadan, the most important month of the year is here. All of us (except the kids) wake up before dawn for breakfast(sehri) and abstain from eating or drinking anything the whole day. The fast is finally broken with snacks and dinner(iftar) when the sun begins to set.

Ramadan is the only month that our family has meals on the same table. It’s the only month I get free mornings and afternoons as all the adults in house don’t have breakfast or lunch. Its the only month where our BPs are too low for arguments and fights. It’s the only month the kids are on the best behavior since iftar treats are a great motivation for reform. All in all ramadan is my favorite time of the year.

Religion and moral values are the hot topic in the house all through the month. Husband discusses the bayan’s (speech) of the Imam in the masjid or what he read in a book or some verse from the Quran. I discuss fundamental moral concepts of Islam with the kids. This year discussions are revolving around speaking and supporting truth, helping others, caring for your parents and neighbours and not speaking ill of another behind their back. Nabiha who is almost seven is participating most excitedly in all the discussions. Giving lots of examples from her school life. Abdullah who is four, listens distractedly and doesn’t have much to say as yet.

Ramadan also comes with its fair share of crafting projects and activities. Our first activity was creating a Ramadan calendar with the lunar dates, gregorian dates and the dawn and dusk timings. We used the leftover invitation cards for my wedding (still plenty left 8-O) and packing foam of some new furniture we got for the base. The calendar turned out great. Along the way Nabiha learned how to read the sombre looking ramadan timing chart and Abdullah learned to stay still during the preparation of each date card so that he could paste the final border to decorate the card.

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The culture of Breastfeeding in Pakistan

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When I was young I thought that exclusive breastfeeding was a norm in Pakistan. When I got pregnant with my little Nabiha I started reading up on breastfeeding and promptly decided that my daughter was going to be exclusively breastfed. I was content and at ease with my decision thinking that amongst all the uncertainties in life ahead, breastfeeding was going to be one task easily learned with the support of all the ladies who had breastfed their children.

But when Nabiha was born and I started popping thousands of questions, I came against walls. No body I knew (and I must have talked to around 20) had the faintest idea about breast feeding breast practices. In fact all of them (yes each and every one of them) recommended that I should do exactly the opposite. When my baby was only a week old and I complained that she keeps on drinking and drinking I was advised to give formula TWICE a day and was even advised to quit. Thank God I am very overconfident by nature so I didn’t waver from my plan to breastfeed her.

But I was shocked about what others thought about breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is good but not enough and not as nutritious as formula! Yes they didn’t say it but that’s what they thought.

I kept on hearing you have to eat ALOT to be able to breastfeed. This one advise I did listen to (just in case). So I ate ALOT. I’m hoping some of it turned to nutritious breast milk material and got my baby’s system up and running.

I won’t say I didn’t ever waver from my plan to EBF. Nabiha’s weight’s was in the 90th percentile when she was born and her weight gain has kept slowing down so much so that she is in the 10th percentile now. So I did try to supplement her (to everyone’s relief ) but I reverted back after a lecture from the nice doctor Yaqoob.

I read an article online which stated that even though majority of mothers in Pakistan breastfeed, majority of mothers in Pakistan supplement breast milk with formula milk/cows milk and other liquids even in the first three months and even in the FIRST FEWS WEEKS:(

I read another article which said that the last campaign on importance of breastfeeding infants was conducted in 1988 and no new campaign has been launched since then probably because of the lovely manufactures of the “white powder”. Do you know (well, i didn’t) that limiting the marketing of FF in Pakistan was proposed in 2002 (after 55 years) and it took another 8 to actually get the bill passed that too by the efforts of an International organization save the children.

I’m not saying that mothers who are formula feeding are doing something wrong but I am saying I wish they had made this choice fully aware of what BFing is all about.