Category Archives: Games

Party Update

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Warning: Ms Modesty was reading this post with a raised eyebrow and a smirk on her face. Very annoyed, I packed her off to Mars with a one-way ticket. 
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Party was a soooper doooper hit! Kids and the moms and the few dads had a whale of a time! We had a good turnout too – around 67 turned up out of the 80 invited. Party started at 5.30 and went on till 9 PM. We had organised 4 art and craft activities and 3 traditional Indian games. Our wonderful neighbors volunteered as organisers for the events – party wouldn’t have been a success without them. We managed to have a Healthy and Green party that was also interesting (thoroughly enjoyable; the best b’day party ever- said the kids). Yay!

The art and craft activities were:

1. Bead key chains and bracelets: Initially the boys shied away from the beads. One little boy made a key chain and that triggered the rest of them to follow suit. They even made their own little variations. I saw these key chains on many cycles later. Girls  made some very pretty bracelets too.

2. Block Printing: We had plain white hankies and two types of blocks. No two printed hankies were alike. After the beads, boys didn’t shy away from anything else.

3. Decorative Terracotta Diya: We had the large size diyas. Some metallic colours, glitter and stones and the kids made magic! Again each diya was different ranging from simple to complex designs. Some kids were so interested that they made two diyas…

4. CD Painting: Borrowed the idea from utbt. We prepared the CDs beforehand – spread glue and smeared our own humble kola maavu instead of coloured sand. I made couple of samples so that the kids got an idea. Since this is a bit time consuming and effort intensive, we packed it for them to try at home.

And we had made newspaper bags for the kids to carry these back home.
G akka, Pattu’s caretaker deserves all the credit for preparing the CDs and the paper bags. MIL pitched in too.

Kids and moms had total fun with art and craft. A mom of a sleepy 2 yr old dropped her son at home and came back to do crafts. Lot of moms further borrowed the CD idea and newspaper bag idea for the kids’ reuse-recycle school projects.
All party decor conceived and executed by my mom. She also put up with resultant party mess in her house.
Pattu’s hairdo (which was very pretty and attracted many compliments) and dressing by G akka.  Pattu also liked the b’day frock that G akka bought for her so that’s what she wore at the party.

………doing a virtual dhrishti………I’m blessed to have such lovely people around……

Coming to Games:

1. Cycle tyre race – we had big and small cycle tyres for different age groups. Made some people nostalgic. Kids were oh so excited.

2. Gilli danda – Everyone (including some adults) had a go at this…

3. Bambaram (top) – Surprisingly, not many were adept at this. By the time we started bambaram, it started to rain and we had to cut it short and shift indoors.

All procurement for games by our driver and and event management by hubby, some wonderful neighbors 

Now to the Food:

Utbt – you were right about the food. Kids didn’t even miss the chips and the samosas. And the parents really appreciated the thought and the effort (and our guts 😉  )

1. Whole wheat pasta + corn and veggies in mint and basil sauce – a huge hit across age groups. It just vanished in minutes! Kids came back for second and third helpingsMany moms called me later for the recipe 😉
2. Bhel Puri – a hit with older kids and adults and a few 3 yr olds as well
3. Chutney sandwich – older kids and adults
4. B’day cake and chocolates – the cake was the ‘melt in your mouth’ variety… from Hot Breads
5. Real and Tropicana fruit juices

I was planning to bake some muffins but most moms felt it would be an overkill and kids would not be able to eat more than these many items. We served very little initially and kids came back for a second helping of their fav snack. Very little food wasted.

Utbt – ‘No Gifts’ on the invite worked... only 2 or 3 gave gifts. The whole community is planning to adopt this policy of no gift – no return gift b’day parties. We were quite worried about the kids’ attitude towards return gifts lately.

Pictures – next post…. 

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Healthy and Green

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I’ve been going around with some dangerous ideas in my head lately. No, no…I’m not gonna enroll myself for music classes…not that dangerous.  I’m thinking of a healthy and green b’day party for Pattu. While it is generally very fashionable to use a smattering of these words in conversations, they are not necessarily party highlights…if u know what I mean… that too if your audience is kids.

I. Healthy….
Imagine a b’day party without fries, fryums, wafers, samosas/ puffs/ cutlets/burgers/ pizzas… more so, imagine b’days with cucumber, carrot, fruit salads, idli/dhokla, cup corn, sundal…. I sounded this off with a few kids here are some reactions,
‘aunty, last year they served fruit salad at S’s party… we are not planning to attend this year..’
‘aunty you can serve corn and chips and samosas…let people take what they like’ – the kid who didn’t want to hurt me.
…. you get the picture. I don’t have to tell you all…kids are ruthless. Imagine the kind of nick names they’ll call me *SHUDDER*
But, but…I am not one to give up. Iron will …heard of it?
So, here’s goes my list:
1. bhel puri, small triangles of chutney sandwich – whole wheat/ multigrain bread, whole wheat pasta with corn, mini fruit muffins (that I plan to bake) + b’day cake ; non aerated fruit juice ; chocolates ; cookies
Any other non messy, easy, healthy and interesting option? Ideas please…

II Green
No plastic cups/ confetti, etc. Bio degradable cups and plates; etc. etc..
Hubby strictly said no gifts and no return gifts… it has to be celebration for the pure joy of it and not be burdened with gifts and such trappings. Very radical. But it is like serving cucumber and boiled carrots for the party. I told him that his daughter would be alone and friendless after such a party. None of that moved his Iron will…the family seems to have this in plenty.

But then I got a bulb… I thought I’ll organise art and craft…

– Wooden beads – they can make bracelets/ key chains
– Pot painting – a pack of seeds with each pot
– Block printing on white hankies
– Danglers with used CDs
– Newspaper bags to carry these

So long as they have things to carry back home, I think kids would be happy…what do you think?
Any other ideas folks? Let me know before this weekend…

Gang War

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Pattu faced her first gang war a few weeks back. I witnessed some interesting group dynamics and thought I should share it here. I’ve tried my best to stick to just ‘reporting’ the incident. I want your thoughts on it…

Gang Profile: 12 or so 4 – 8 yr olds
Venue: kids’ playground
Situation: Both swings were occupied and Pattu wanted to have the swing. She asked H (Girl) if she can play on the swing and when H didn’t budge she insisted. H left (a bit cross) and joined S (Boy) on the other swing but Pattu wanted H to share the swing with her. H was miffed with Pattu and hence refused.
H prods S and both shout, ‘Pattu bad girl…Pattu bad girl’ – Pattu is upset but controls tears.
Some random 6 kids (all boys) big and small gather around Pattu and join the chorus. One boy (8 yr old) looks on, not approving what the other boys are doing (he gives them an angry look) but doesn’t say anything. Pattu breaks down. Teasing grows louder accompanied by some sniggers in between.
Pattu HOWLS! Comes and hugs me. I just hold her.

Suddenly we hear, ‘Pattu Good Girl’ chorus from a bunch of girls in another corner of the playground.
Boy band disperse quietly. Some from that group take Pattu to play with them. Pattu still crying and angry allows herself to be led away and becomes interested in their game (which involved getting her hands dirty in the sand and the likes). Couple of older girls continue to appreciate and thank Pattu (and quite spontaneously, not making much ado about it) for helping them with various tasks (they were building something..like a mountain, temple, etc). Pattu Happy.

S comes to Pattu after sometime and says, ‘You are a good girl only ok…’
Pattu looks at him with a blank expression – just for a second and carries on. S stares after her and moves on.

What’s your take?

Games, Thumbs, Eco Cards and a Runny Nose

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We’d been to Lets do Something for a Traditional Indian Games workshop they had organised along with Kreeda. I wasn’t too hopeful about Pattu’s enthusiasm but then she did surprise me a bit by exploring all of the games there. However her attention span was way too short to complete the games that she started.

The Thumb paintings continue to excite Pattu and we made a Thumb card for (psst…secret). And while on secret, that’s the latest with Pattu these days. She would take me aside and say, ‘Amma, I’ll tell you a secret’ and whisper some gibberish into my ears and we both exchange meaningful glances.

And while on cards, we collected some dry leaves, flowers and sand and made a card for Paati who is away at Mumbai. Kaarthigai was a rushed affair as Paati wasn’t here to help. I had to rush back from office to light the lamps – It was cut short by a drizzle. Pattu was excited to see the Aanai velakku (the traditional elephant lamp in brass that is passed on from generations – it is one of my favourites too). Apparently, many years back the children were given this to play with (they have wheels and can be dragged around). Depending on how wealthy the family is, the elephants are adorned with Gold, silver, precious and semi precious stone maalai! And the kids played dress up (there’s a lady sitting on the elephant with a diya in her hand) with these. Imagine!

And after a lot of excitement over the ‘Pitterpattering’ of rain drops on the window pane, Pattu has a runny nose and fever. Planning an Indoor theme for this weekend.

Old Toys, New Games

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I was sorting out Pattu’s toys and books – thinking of putting some of the old ones in the cupboard (the ones that I would like to keep), thinking of disposing some and make space for some new entries. Pattu walked in and loved the state of mess, with all her toys and books spread all over the room, mess created by Amma so she’s not the culprit, there was nothing more she could ask for. She found some of her old toys, the ones that she had abandoned and moved on… she was initially excited to see them after a break. I thought it was nostalgia. And it was. She didn’t stop with that though, she refused to let me put them away.

Over the last few days, I’ve noticed that she’s invented new ways of playing with those toys.

– The stacking cubes for instance – she stacked them up, picked up a ball and tried the bowling game. She got familiar with bowling when we had rented the game during her b’day.
– And then the drag on lady bug – she sat on the bed and did fishing with it – the bug became the fish and the fishing rope in her hand, cot as the boat and the room as the lake.
– The stacking rings stringed on a rope made a garland
– She takes her teddies for a walk on the pram

Well, maybe its not a bad idea to bring out old toys once in a while…hmmm…

Birthday Birthday Oh What Fun!

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We had Pattu’s B’day party last weekend so that all kids could make it. We had it at the park in our colony so kids could run around and play freely and I think that was a good idea.

Its been a year and a half since we moved into this neighborhood, and Pattu’s 2nd birthday party was the first official party of the colony. We probably had only 15 families who had moved in by then.Though we had invited only the kids last time, most of the families had turned up just so that we all could meet and get to know each other. The nostalgia brought most of those families back and we really had a good time.

Hired some games (bowling pin set, dart game..) from Toyzdayout – kids just loved them and had a great time! After the cake cutting and eating formalities, kids gathered and started the games and went on till 9 PM till they dropped from sheer exhaustion. We had all age groups and so we had games designed for all of them.

This time we had our camera in shape (yeah, we didn’t have batteries last time!) and have some good snaps…

Pattu was delighted with the gifts – she is still fascinated with the wrappers and the boxes more than the gifts per se. She got her first Salwar suit from her care taker and loved the duppatah so much that she even wore it with her frocks and t shirts the whole day. Here’s the pic of the big girl in salwar…and other snaps

A fascinating tale with brilliant illustration through ‘Dancing on Walls’ from Art and Anush – not just Pattu, all of us liked it. Pattu’s been gazing at the moon looking for the moon people :D. The hand made dolls from Tsunamika have been saved (along with the card) – will give them to pattu when she is old enough to understand.

…and thus ‘happy tired’, we hugged and zzzed through the rest of the night (which was too little) and through morning only to wake up at 9 AM!