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DIY activity 15: How to make an easy kid’s playhouse out of an ordinary cardboard box.

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Author: Gauri Kshirsagar

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Childhood….. it’s that time in life where a simple cardboard box can make you incredibly excited and entertained for hours on end. And if you throw in a couple of sheets and pillows, well, that’s icing on the cake. In this article, I will give you some tips and ideas on how to convert an ordinary cardboard box into a fun play house.

The British name for a playhouse is a “Wendy House,” named after a tent-like structure that the lost boys built for Wendy Darling in J.M. Barrie’s famous story, Peter Pan. The prop made for the stage play of Peter Pan in 1904 birthed the expression “Wendy House” for children’s playhouses thereafter.

Corrugated cardboard is the ideal material for a playhouse. It’s easy to cut, fold, stick, draw on and decorate. Cardboard is also free (or very cheap) and readily available. Using cardboard to make a playhouse is a great way to recycle.

This DIY cardboard box playhouse will help ignite your kids’ imaginations — and it’s totally easy to make. The best part? The playhouse collapses down flat when the kids are done playing with it, so it’s super easy to store and won’t clutter up the house. Wherever your children’s interests lie, they will love to make and decorate a cardboard house that will allow their imaginations to run wild.

In this playhouse I have used a single large cardboard box which had a lid on top. You can use huge boxes which came with your appliances, You know the ones: the box that your refrigerator came in, or speakers or the TV. You’ve probably been saving them in case you need to return the item for a refund or sell it on olx. Well, you don’t really need those empty boxes. Have fun with them instead. The box from a flat screen TV could be an awesome roof! You don’t have a box at home you can check out the supermarket, usually they do have extras. Slide9

Coming back to the playhouse I have cut open the base and have used the lid of the box as a roof. I have cut two sections of the house, one for the door and the other for the window. For the decorations I have covered all the walls with white paper and the roof with black paper. All the decorations were done using craft paper and colours with lots of help from my twins.

 

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On all the sides I have either painted or stuck craft paper to make murals of natures which includes flowers, grass, fruit tree, butterflies, birds etc to give the house a feel of a garden around it.

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The overhead model depicts a rainbow with a smiling sun some clouds and rain drops all around the house. This model was separately made using thermocol and cardboard and stuck over the roof.

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The size of the window cut out is huge for more light, and is also decorated with creepers of grapes and fence.

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Here is a zoomed in photo of the painting with raindrops (which are hand painted by my daughters)

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For the interiors I have used a nice rug with pictures of strawberries on it with two small pillow. Since the base is open, the rug can be removed and the area can be cleaned easily after a day’s play. The roof of the house is black with glow in the dark stars.

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For more detailed explanation do check out the video below:

 


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DIY Activity 12: Snowman ornament for a Christmas tree

Author: Gauri Kshirsagar

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It’s time of the year when Christmas is around the corner and you want to decorate your Christmas tree with new ornaments. Try out the following pattern of these adorable snowmen ornaments for Christmas! These are easy to make and can be finished in an hour. So happy knitting and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

You will need:slide4

  1. Worsted yarn in White, Red and Black colours
  2. 5mm hook
  3. Crochet needle
  4. Stitch marker
  5. Stuffing (fiberfill or leftover yarn)

Method:

Body:

Use white yarn to make the head and body

R1: in a magic ring or 2nd ch from a beg ch2, 6sc, Join in first sc, ch1, here and throughout (6 sts)

R2: 2sc in each st of previous rnd. Join. (12 sts)

R3: *2 sc in next st, sc in next st* around (6 times). Join. (18 sts)

R4: *2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 2 sts* around (6 times). Join. (24 sts)

R5-8: sc in each st around. Join. (24 sts)

R9: *2 sc tog, sc in each of next 2 sts* around (6 times). Join. (18 sts)

R10: *2 sc tog, sc in next st* around (6 times). Join. (12 sts)

R11: 2 sc tog around. Join. (6 sts)

R12: 2 sc in each st around. Join. (12 sts)

R13: *2 sc in next st, sc in next st* around (6 times). Join. (18 sts)

R14-15: sc in each st around. Join. (18 sts)

R16: *2 sc tog, sc in next st* around (6 times). Join. (12 sts)

Fill or stuff body with Fiberfill or left over yarn

R17: 2 sc tog around. Join. (6 sts) (16:15)

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Scarf:

Use Red yarn to make the scarf

sc chainless foundation of 25 (OR: ch 26, sc in 2nd st from hook and in each stitch to the end). Fasten off. Attach 3 pieces of additional yarn to each end for fringe. Trim off excess. Tie around snowman body.

Hat:

Use black yarn to make the hat

R1: in a magic ring or 2nd ch from a beg ch2, 6sc, Join in first sc, ch1, here and throughout (6 sts)

R2: 2sc in each st of previous rnd. Join. (12 sts) (

R3: sc in each stitch around in BACK LOOPS ONLY (12 sts)

R4-6: sc in each stitch around

R7: *2 sc in next st, sc in next st* around in FRONT LOOPS ONLY (6 times). Join. (18 sts)

R8: *2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 2 sts* around (6 times). Join. (24 sts)

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Sew hat onto top of body and tie the scarf around the neck. Using black yarn, stitch up the eyes, mouth and buttons on body. Use red yarn to stitch up the nose.slide3


*Thanks a lot for visiting my blog. Your comments, suggestions, criticism and all opinions are very much appreciated. Please do write your queries in the Reply/comments section and I will try to get back to you asap.

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A beautiful poem on Parenting by Kahlil Gibran

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Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies,so He loves also the bow that is stable

—Kahlil Gibran, “On Childrenfrom The Prophet

This poem rightly resonates the type of parenting I ‘try’ to achieve everyday. Kahlil Gibran’s message which, is so fair and true, tells us about  the disappointment  so many parents feel by how their children fare in their lives. The hurt parents feel, if the children are not up to the expectation of the parent which can only be true if some how the parents bought into the notion that they have some sort of a right/ entitlement over the children.

I try not to expect anything in return from my daughters and don’t believe taking care of them as an ‘investment’ for my old age. I try to not use the word ‘sacrifice’ pertaining to the choices I make regarding my career, vacation, free time, hobbies and things which I always wanted to do in my life, because in doing so it will somehow keep them in my debt and lead to unhealthy expectations. Moreover I try to find a balance in all these.  It’s the selflessness of parenting that gets me going every time.

The image of being bent so that my child can shoot forth into the world is the perfect metaphor for the way parenthood feels to me.

I just felt compelled to share this poem, as much for you as for me.

Kahlil Gibran (January 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931) was a Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer of the New York Pen League.


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Precautions before posting baby pictures on social media

 
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Social mediaAuthor: Gauri Kshirsagar

In today’s world of instant social connectivity, it has become very easy to share special moments of our lives with our dear ones instantly. Who doesn’t like to share baby pictures and love to read the lovely responses from friends and family? Even though your intention of posting them on social media may be to just share them, but always remember it is very important to share them only under proper privacy settings so that they aren’t misused or fall into wrong hands. There have been a number of cases wherein the photos posted, have been illegally used for unethical practices like advertising, child trafficking etc.

Following are some dos and don’ts before posting your child’s photos on social media:

  1. Always use the privacy settings in posting any photographs. Share the photos with people you know. You can opt for “friends”, “friends except acquaintances” or “share it to a customized group of friends”, so that you are always aware with whom you are sharing your pictures.
  2. May be after a couple of days you can change the setting to “only me” and can allow viewing of the pictures to specific people whenever you want.
  3. Some photographs like “profile picture” or “cover photos” do not have privacy settings and are visible to public, avoid posting you kids photos here or post pictures without their faces without revealing their identity.
  4. If you own a page or a group on any social media, again avoid posting photos of your kids wherein their identity is revealed since these photos are viewed by thousands and you do not have control over their circulation. In this case you can also copyright them.

Then comes the question of the types of photos you share on social media. Do remember these photos belong to your child only he/she have a  right on them. When they grow up, they  may feel embarrassed by the photos you post now. Following are some points to keep in mind on the types of photos you post on social media:

  1. Nude or Bath time pictures: Refrain from posting any photo of your child partially or completely naked, like while he/she is bathing, playing with water, changing diapers, or general walking around the horse in undies! Steer clear of anything involving nudity, even if we are only talking about children here.  Unfortunately, what you think is a darling moment of your toddler, it may fall into the wrong hands, such as those of child pornographers.
  2. Potty training pictures: I know what a relief it it when your little one is finally potty trained, its time for a celebration. But posting a picture of him/her doing their business will only leave them red faced when they grow up. Remember pictures on the internet stay there forever.
  3. Pictures with friends: Sharing group photos of other kids, for instance in a birthday party or a picnic, requires the permission of the parents. Some parents may not like their kids private pictures splashed across social media without their knowledge.
  4. Pictures with unsafe or unusual activities: I have seen many parents posting pictures of their child with a beer bottle, a child thrown in air, unattended child near fireworks etc. I know these pictures may have been taken as fun but sharing them online opens you up for criticism and potential problems, since all the surrounding details may not be immediately evident upon first glance.
  5. Pictures which give details about your child’s  location: Do not share an address of the location of where your child goes to school, or classes, or even the playground he/she goes to play in the evening to unknown individuals. Always use privacy settings, you don’t know who might use this information for purposes other than what was intended
  6. Pictures with negative impact on the child: for example child shaming photos, or photos exposing his/her weakness or fears, tantrum photos etc it may have a very negative effect on your child’s self esteem.

To sum it up:

TOP  TIPS FOR SAFER SHARING ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Know your privacy settings

It is amazing how many parents leave on their Instagram location settings. Set your location settings to off if you do not want people to be able to figure out where you and your children live.

Only share with people who care

Ask yourself if all the people you’re sharing your photos with really want to see them and will they protect them in a way you would.

Explore private social networks

Private social networks offer a secure way to share the pictures of your children with your family and friends.

Do not make a social site your back up for storage.

Do not make a social medial account as your back up for photos. Try to back it up in a hard disk or a any other online file storage site


*Thanks a lot for visiting my blog. Please do ‘★ LIKE’ the post if you found it to be useful.Your comments, suggestions, criticism and all opinions are very much appreciated. Please do write your queries in the Reply/comments section and I will try to get back to you asap.


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