Fun O Factory – A Play Area Review

Fun O Factory


Indian Bloggers

The other day I was WhatsApping with my girlie gang (Shoutout to Nu, Rauni, Heer, Beenii and Neha) and we were talking about how children of today lose their innocence early on and how tech savvy they are. While parents are responsible for that in a large way, another fact is that our cities have become so crowded and a casualty of this has been play areas. When we were young, each building in Mumbai had enough space in the compound for us to run about and play in. Same thing has happened to our locality in Delhi too, said the husband. Those conversations made me realise that my gratitude list should have another inclusion. I should be thankful that my daughter has access to open spaces where she can play safely. However, for those who do not have acess to those, there are plenty of play areas that are coming up in the city. One such play area where I took my daughter to was Fun O Factory at R City Mall, Ghatkopar.

Fun O Factory Concept

Fun O Factory is a covered play area within R City Mall. It has three sections – one softplay area for toddlers, one ropecourse for older children and one trampoline park for every body. When I say everybody… I do mean everybody – even you! Yes, the adults can play on the trampolines too. In fact, Fun O Factory plans to start fitness classes for adults very soon… on these trampolines!

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Are We A Generation of Anxious Parents?

Goofing in Lonavala


Indian Bloggers

My daughter was sick last week. She missed school almost the whole week. Missing school means missing out on lessons and falling behind your studies, a whole lot of homework and catch-up when you get back to school and a whole lot of worry for the parents and children. This seems like a pretty common scenario. Right? In fact, as the weather changes up, kids and falling sick by the dozen and class attendance levels are falling. I noticed a very curious trend in her school WhatsApp group. You know the one meant to discuss projects, lost and found, test preparation, holidays etc. etc. That group was literally flooded by requests from parents asking others to share what was done in school. Fair enough, engaged parents would like to know. But what surprised me was that the topical lists soon transformed to photos of note books and text books! Sympathetic parents, knowing the trauma the fellow parents are going through, would click picture after picture of class work and home work and share on the group. My first thought at such interactions was:

Stop!!! The children are only six years old. So what if they missed a few school days. Let them be!!!

 

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Is My Child Growing Right? The Parental Anxiety Story!

Is My Child Growing Right-

I am sure Paediatricians all over the world will agree that the most common query they get from parents of perfectly healthy children is

“Doctor, is my child growing right?”

In today’s world of fierce competition, we start off as soon as the child is born. Looking at percentile growth for the weight, the height and even the circumference of the child’s head. While I understand that these parameters need careful monitoring for early detection and prevention of problems, obsessing over them incessantly is what I have a problem with. When my daughter was a few weeks old, I remember a conversation in the waiting room at her Paediatrician. It went something like this

Mom 1: “So, what is your baby’s current weight”

Mom 2 (referring to the birthing chart): “It is xyz”

Mom 1: “But that must have been from the last visit. I asked current weight”

Mom 2: “That would be measured today”

Mom 1 gave a horrified gasp. Her eyes became large like an Ekta Kapoor over actress. She launched into a tirade over parent’s not caring enough about the child’s growth and relying too much on outsiders (the doctors!!!!). She stressed how important it was to monitor the daily progress of the children and know every statistic by heart. She went ton to recite weekly milestones of her baby’s growth including her sleeping patterns and the rest of the mom’s listened on. When she paused to take a breather, Mom 2 who was pretending to listen but had tuned her out at the first mention of statistics, asked..

“And how many times does your baby smile in a day?”

Mom 2 looked as if Mom 1 can a complete idiot for asking a question like that. How do smiles measure up to pounds and ounces, to percentile height growth and enlarging heads? Mom 1 decided Mom 2 was not worth her time and went on to pass on the gyaan to another new arrival in the waiting room while Mom 2 shook her head and looked on sadly.  Mom 2 remembered an episode at work where the dad of a young girl was recounting their experiences of multiple doctor visits. Apparently his one and a half year old daughter had not started teething yet. They were going to visit the fifth doctor now. The parents were worried because no doctor they had seen thus far seemed to share their concerns. They all said that the teeth will come eventually. His boss then asked him, “Dude, have you ever seen an adult with no teeth?” and this everyone had a good laugh and Mom 2 learnt a valuable life lesson.

 

Now you probably have guessed that Mom 2 in the stories above is Moi. My philosophy is to ensure my daughter has good nutrition and the right stimuli for her physical and mental growth. I also realise on the judgement of her Paediatrician for this. If her doctor feels she needs more nutrition, I would supplement with a product like Horlicks Growth +. I ensure that she has plenty of puzzles, worksheets and toys that stimulate her brain. I ensure that she plays and gets physical exercise too. The one thing I don’t do is compare her to others. There are children in her class who are taller than her. Some run faster, some read better. I choose to focus on the fact that she dances better than the fact that she runs slower. I know she is growing at her own pace and will grow up to be a fine lady

What about you guys, do you feel anxious about your child’s growth? Do share your stories and thoughts with me!

 

 

Once Upon a Time… A #SocialExperiment

I love stories. My love for stories and reading is the one things I have wanted to pass on to my daughter for sure. So, from a very young age, I have been telling her stories. We have a simple enough routine of stories before bed time. Most days, I either read a story to her or make one of my own. She picks out characters and I spin a tale… She has picked princesses, lions, magicians, hunters, magical flowers, naughty children, bunnies and all cutesy things. We really enjoy these sessions and I end up recording these stories on my mobile phone for playback later. I did wonder though if my purpose was being achieved. Was she developing a love for stories? Last month, I got a chance to test this out for real thanks to Colgate and IB.

I was invited to be a part of a social experiment involving little toddlers and young school going children. The premise was that children have very fertile imaginations and the right stimulants can lead them to be extremely creative. Colgate has launched the sea world packs which contain a myriad of sea creatures on the inside of the cartons. We gave the cartons to the kids and helped them cut out the characters of their choice. There were pirates, ships, sharks, whales, lion fish, sea turtles, dolphins, mermaids, octopus and even lost sea treasures to choose from. The kids picked out the characters that appealed most to them and concocted their own tales out of it. My daughter made a story about a treasure seeking pirate.

The pirate finds the treasure but is defeated by the octopus throwing ink at him. Blinded, the pirate returns to his ship. The pirate’s daughter then takes the help of a dolphin to reach the octopus and cuts off all his arms by a sword. She then gets the treasure on the ship. The ship is then attacked by a giant whale and is about to sink. The girl, her dad and the ship’s crew escapes the attack on a school of dolphins and save the treasure too!

Now isn’t that cute? What surprised me was that she talked about the octopus throwing ink to attack the pirate. I asked her where she learnt it and she reminded me that she had seen an octopus throw something black in a cartoon a while back. She had not understood what happened and had asked me about it. I had then explained to her about the defence mechanism of octopuses using camouflage and their preference of hiding out in sunk ship wrecks. I had also told her about the ink throwing. She was able to use this information and incorporate into her story.

Kuhu telling a story Colgate

I have never told her a sea themed story till date. Even so, she was able to look at the sea characters and relate it to the facts she knows about sea creatures and fishes from her visits to aquariums. She was able to put herself in the shoes of pirates and go seek treasures out. As a mother, I was extremely proud of her story and delighted at her creativity. In fact, her story was so good that the crew filming it as well as the Colgate team burst into a spontaneous applause as it ended 🙂

The team has put together a montage of the experiment and it is a lovely little piece with cute children telling a story. They have picked bits from every child’s story and made a tale that you all can enjoy. Have a look-

Do you love stories? If you do, how would you pass on that love to your children? If your children tell you such awesome stories, do share them using the hashtag #colgatemagicalstories 🙂

Colgate Ad

 

Mothers Day Out – at KidZania

KidZania JAMMs Group

KidZania is a role play based indoor activity centre for kids. It allows children to participate in various activities and experience being an artist, a pilot, a dentist, a fireman or even a dabbawala! The Mumbai centre was running a promo on Mother’s Day. As a special treat to the mommies, they were allowing the mommies to participate in activities with the kids. They invited a few Mommy bloggers to participate in the celebration by becoming an intern with their child and assisting in the activities. When Ritu reached out to the JAMM’s group with the invite, I leapt up at the opportunity. After much discussion in the group all of us agreed to meet at 10 am sharp.

KidZania JAMMs
Selfie with mom 🙂

I had an easy breezy morning waking the baby and getting her dresses and fed – all in the name of the KidZania visit. I met JAMM’s Mommy bloggers Disha, Nilima and Jasmeet along with Ritu. We entered as a group and agreed to take a group picture before the little ones pulled us along in different directions to their favourite activities!

KidZania JAMMs
The Kiddos pose

We started off encashing a cheque of fifty KidZos. Confused? Well you see KidZania is like a little country and has it’s own currency called KidZos. Upon entry, every child is given 50 KidZos. They can use these KidZos to learn skills like airline crew training, firefighting training or even buy merchandise. The other category of activities allows kids to earn money. I have realised that my daughter is more excited at the thought of earning the KidZos than spending them. Everytime we go there, we come back with more KidZos than the last time. This time was no exception.

KidZania JAMMs
Aryahi and Sara show off their KidZos

We did chocos making, pilot training, dentist, pottery, art and craft, mural painting, kiwi picking and then a hotel management one! In all this while, we also managed to eat cupcakes and sandwiches 🙂 What I like about KidZania is that they have activities that can engage children from ages 4 to almost 12. I am looking forward to the time she is older and can do the radio station, dance academy and acting school! The in house refreshments make it easy for a quick energy recharge in between activities. By the time the first shift ended at 3 pm, all of us were absolutely exhausted and looking forward to giving our little feet a little rest. The little ones though had to be pulled out of the place!

Leaving you all with a few pictures of the awesome time we had! Click on the thumbnails below to see the gallery. The header image is courtesy Nilima Mohite, Gallery images are mine and Disha’s

 


Disclaimer – This is not a sponsored post and I was not compensated by KidZania or JAMM’s for it. I was however given complimentary entry to KidZania along with my daughter. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own.