These videos and articles focus on things that fuel my energy- global experiences, loved ones, and life learnings.
Question- Does vacation = no routine? It can become hard to adjust back when we return home.
Lakshmi’s Learning- Well- that does not have to be the case. When you are away- you can still keep important aspects of your “home routine” while also embracing vacation mode (traveling too is a life education and experience no matter where you go—- don’t forget that!). The term “routine” is multifaceted for kids with nap times, eating, school work, bath time, certain activities, etc.
I will address one aspect- “school work” (in the case of my kids- it’s still only preschool). For us- practicing writing/coloring/reading/math are a daily routine. Especially reading at night before bedtime (and separate books for each of them). We do that everyday no matter where we are (important- try to pack paperback books versus hard cover to minimize weight)!
And I have my kids pack their books, pencils/crayons, and school work....
Question- How can I teach my kids about the world/continents/countries even if we are not traveling?
Lakshmi’s Learning- As I mentioned on an earlier post— education starts with us at home. There is so much we can do to bring global awareness to kids. We sing this “Continents, Continents” song! Then we “deep dive” into a specific continent and they start naming the countries. Both my girls LOVE country flags and have a dining placemat that shows them all countries. We also learn hello, goodbye, and thank you in the local language (Thanks Google translator). We study all of this before our trips. We started doing this when Shyla was 1 year old—- so it’s never too early to start!
You may wonder, this sounds just like basic school geography...what does this do? Well, it’s you teaching them, not the school. That means something to kids and it is always reinforced in school. It is the beginning of the kids being...
Before our upcoming holiday vacation, I wanted to share a proud parent moment. While my kids have much more than I did growing up (as many kids in their generation), they made me so happy with this.
Question- How can you ensure your kids give to others?
Lakshmi’s Learning- Over the last year, we had the kids pack all their used (but in great condition) toys to give to the local children’s shelter. Then we went to the center to play with the kids and my girls had a great time (didn’t take pictures for privacy purposes). Based on those experiences, my girls insisted that we support the local toy drive for the holidays. They actually picked out the toys from Target themselves and they truly understood who the toys will go to. And, what did my kids receive in return-they asked for a lollipop with so much joy!
During any time of year—- having children give to others is the greatest joy! Please have your children 1) consolidate/pack their toys/clothes or buy new...
#dontrun A special post today... Happy Birthday to my niece Rima. We adore you!
Question- How can my kids not run around in public? In different directions? I can’t chase them! What do I do?
Lakshmi’s Learning- Who remembers the old “chu chu train” game? Well, even with all the advancements we have made with new games and technology— these #oldschool games are still so much fun and kids love them!! Remember- your kids don’t know it’s old school.... a game is a game!!! Even if you have one kid- you can follow OR lead in front.
I use this to board flights (I travel a lot with them alone), walk through airports (no holding hands), and take them out in public. It quickly can transform a potential yelling scene (me screaming at kids to stop running around) into a fun game of listening.
Stay tuned for more from my girls where we will talk about airplane entertainment!
Here is Part 2 of the #airplanegame as told by my daughters. And it worked this weekend- we had such a smooth flight and naps!
Question- How can kids sit still on a plane? How can I get them to want to sleep?
Lakshmi’s Learning- As previously mentioned, preparation can play an integral role for a smooth flight. Here are my girls sitting on the “pretend airplane” at home.
Shyla repeats the rules from the captain (no screaming, no crying, no jumping, no kicking, and no whining— these are essential). Then my younger daughter Shriya says the critical line- “It’s time to sleep”!!! Guess she listens well to all the times I have said it. When playing the game at home- integrate pretend sleep and it can translate to sleep on the plane. Remember- kids learn routines just like nap time. Stay tuned for more from my girls where we will talk about airplane entertainment!
A throwback to Shriya’s first birthday.
We spent time in Barcelona with the Amruthur family and of course, the Natarajan parents! Family is awesome and it’s a blessing to travel together for birthdays.
Question: Can toddlers/kids enjoy “famous sights” such as monuments, places of worship, and museums?
Lakshmi’s Learning: Yes, they can! We found that monuments (e.g. structures like the Colosseum in Rome) and places of worship (churches, temples, mosques) are a hit.
From their perspective, these places are open areas to walk around versus paying attention to a tour. Trying to formally tour a museum (e.g. Louvre in Paris) requires more of an attention span. It’s definitely doable, but will feel rushed!
And when none of this works, I am sure the kids will find pigeons to chase and be very happy!
What are your favorite travel experiences with your family?
One of the questions I always receive from EVERYONE I speak to is... “How do you and the kids survive the flights - whether short or long?”
My Insights: Here is an introduction of a series of videos that I will share on how my kids prepare for their flights and do not act out on planes. They have been great (majority of the time) and I do consider them “experts”. They have been on hundreds of flights across the US and 5 continents! Longest flight to date was 20+ hours to Thailand.
You may wonder, how is this possible? Welcome to the airplane game which we have been playing for years!
So, who wants to learn more???
A throwback to our first international trip with a newborn!
At only 6 weeks old, our first daughter, Shyla visited the US and British Virgin Islands. I often receive questions from many parents on how we (and me alone) travel so frequently with our toddlers - what to pack, where to go, what medicines should we take, do we need a car seat, first class or economy, entertainment on the plane, managing jet jag, controlling tantrums, and the list goes on!
Guess what - you will be able to manage all of this and create these experiences for your family too!!! Stay tuned for insights to all these questions plus so much more!
Remember, traveling doesn’t stop when you have kids, it actually has a new beginning!!
When life throws you a curve ball, there are a few ways you can play it. In the moment, it does all happen fast! But what I realized is that I already hit my home run. My loved ones are my permanent home run! And we are blessed to do what we love so our kids can see the people of the world!
Even if you are unable to travel, diversity is all around us. So, take the time to share with the next generation. It’s the only way they can be more accepting than the world we are living in today.
Positive energy even spreads to animals - the camel (technically dromedary) is smiling and gave me some big kisses!