Thursday, October 29, 2009

Little artist/storyteller

While we were enjoying our morning tea, TV was busy with her crayons doodling - stripes, spots, swirls - on her new 'expression art wall'.

'I make a beach' - TV
'Oh, you make a beach', her aunt who's visiting us.
'Yes, and I make a table' - TV again
'Oh, so there's table on the beach' - her dad
'Yeah' - TV
'What do you want to put on the table' I ask, intrigued by my little one's ability to spin a yarn
'mumm, mumm,' pat came the reply, 'food'
'Oh so there's food on the table on the beach,' aunt summarizes. 'who's going to eat the food?'
'tai and dada (big sister and big brother)'
'that's romantic,' dad
'is it day or night', I ask, 'is there a sun or a moon?'
'moon,' TV replies, looking up in the sky
'oh, so its moonlight dinner on the beach,' dad. 'but where's this beach?'
'on the waterfront,' TV

all three of us - mom, dad and aunt, were zapped by TV's ability to imagine, articulate and respond to the series of questions we posed, and in the process create a picturesque setting that may soon translate into a pictuer by our little artist or it may be a setting for a story, that may soon come from our little storyteller.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Recipe - Whole Wheat Donuts

This can well be a pre-schooler's kitchen project. My 22-month-old, loved being an active part of cooking and then enjoyed eating it more.

1. Whole Wheat Flour
2. Water
3. Salt
4. Sugar
6. Ghee/Oil

1. A flat plate for rolling and creating shapes
2. A bowl to mix into dough
3. a small pan with lid to shallow fry
4. Spatula
5. 1 pair each of big and little clean hands

How to go about it:
1. Mix the flour, water and some salt into a dough - just right to roll a chapati
2.brush it with some ghee/oil and knead once. Cover and keep aside for 2-4 min
3. dust the flat plate and your hands with flour
4, take a small ball of dough (I took the size of an almond), roll it with your hands (and your lil ones) and create shapes you like.
Possiblities are endless for the shapes and fillings/flavoring.
5. Shapes - I did spirals, conventional donut with a hole in the centre, a tiny soupstick, a twirled around stick. My lil one made a moon - a poked-cirle, a ring around her finger - donut.
6. For flavors, we added - sugar, herbs (oregano, marjoram, fennel, mint), cheese, garlic, salt+sugar+lemon juice, jam, cream and sugar.
7. Shallow fry in ghee/oil- covered on oneside and then flip and shallow fry uncovered on the other. You can deep fry if you like

Monday, October 12, 2009

Creative Thinking

As a professional creative thinker and trainer, I always swore by the powerhouse of creativity that young children are. But I had never ventured below 8 year-olds.

Last few days my still under-2-year-old, is giving me a few aha moments as a witness to the creative brilliance of the very young.

1. Put to other use

e.g. Head band as head phone/mic, necklace, and

Computer head phone and mic as vacuum cleaner

Last sunday, we were getting ready for dinner with friends at a restaurant. Dad was ready. TV was all ready and as usual, digging her drawer while I was still confused on what to wear. By the time I was dressed, TV had entered the room with the soft ends of her head band in her ears.

I asked her what she was upto (holding back myself from instantly taking off the head band - for safety reasons). TV still looking at the band, hanging down from her ears unto her neck said 'MIC'.

She'd seen me recently with the headphone and mic and I instantly knew what she was using her head band as.

Just yesterday, another such 'creative moment' made my day. This time, again with the headset and mic. The difference was that, TV was playing with actual headset and mic (she'd picked it up from my table - a sign that she's growing taller)

She held the dangling wires in her had and moved around, with the headset trailing her. I asked her if that was her dog and if she was walking the dog. As she is quite fascinated with people walking their pets in the parks.

'NO', was her answer.

I let her be, and continued reading. A few minutes later, she held the plug-in of the wire and began to rub a mat while saying, 'wipe'. That's when it hit me. VACUUM CLEANER. (Another fascinating subject for TV)

'I know, that's your vacuum cleaner.' I exclaimed. And TV beamed with a 'YES!' She's so loved that toy, that since last morning, she's just playing with that.

'Where's my vacuum cleaner?' her first post-nap question, following it up with the action - getting down from bed and looking around for it.

2. Lateral Thinking

e.g. Runny nose Woodpecker

A clip of a woodpecker pecking at tree caught TV's fancy.

First it was simply her curiosity to know what the bird was doing. Then knowing that the bird was named 'woodpecker', it turned into an exercise to be able to pronounce an almost tongue twister for a 2-year-old.

We then followed it up with a wood pecker song with the woodpecker action and the tick-a-tick-tick sound he makes while pecking at wood.

Since then, which has been over a month now, whenever she would hear the 'tick-tick' sound she would say 'woodpaper'. Electrician/carpenter at work, knocking at the door, the clicker-clapper musical instrument are all our 'woodpapers'.

But my tots creative genius bowled me over today. TV has caught the common cold; blame the weather, her recently started school and our trip to Bangkok. She is ok otherwise, just that sometimes her nose really annoys her. Today on one such annoying ocassion, TV couldnt find her tissue and I was cooking in the kitchen. She ran up to me and rubbed her nose on my apron, hanging down at her level, around my knees. She did it thrice in a go. But once she was done, she just looked up - at me, smiled and said - 'woodpaper'.

Who knew common cold too can bring out the creative genius in you. Kids are masters at looking at things differently. Certainly, something us adults can learn from them:)