Baby’s (No) Day Out: Make It a Quali-rantine for Your Lil Star

Tuntun loves to draw. When I sit down on the couch to scribble my Aboltabol thoughts in my journal, I let him sit with his art copy and pencils and enjoy his time. But one day, Tuntun drew something that left me speechless. It was an illustration of Novel Co*onavirus. 

Lock-down has brought an unexpected hiatus in our regular life. Working from home has been a daunting reality. Our fidgety minds have found out their landing pad in the kitchen, in the balcony garden or in anywhere else, but keeping children busy and happy along with making sure they’re not plonked in front of a screen too much seems like a big ask, especially when parents are already stretched thin with their multiple roles at home with zero assistance. Social distancing has led them to perpetually juggling with balancing remote work, household chores, child care, homeschooling and self-care which, in real life is too much to ask for at times.

“This has been so incredibly difficult ― nearly impossible. My baby will stay quiet with a toy for ten minutes at best. No toy can keep them quiet.”

– Every toddler mom

But while there are endless worksheets, science project kits, scavenger hunts and online courses available for the school-going kids, parents of babies and toddlers have the fewest options in hands. Parents scour the internet to find out fun activities for their babies everyday. Parents may find plenty of toys in this way but it’s not possible to make the whole house a toy-store. 

“This has been so incredibly difficult ― nearly impossible,” A mom of a toddler said, “My baby will stay quiet with a toy for ten minutes at best. No toy can keep them quiet. What should I do!”

A Bangladeshi mom blogger named the aboltabol maa with her son at a planetarium for a quality time. the abotabol maa is wearing a yellow kurti and the baby is wearing a shirt with a short pant. he has spider man shoes. the aboltabol maa is a mom blogger from Dhaka Bangladesh. She is also called the royal bengal mom.
The children cannot go out and play which can be really hard to cope up with.

The lock-down is over in Bangladesh, but the risk of the pandemic is not. This virus will leave a perpetual imprint in our mind. The children are suffering badly with zero option to go out and play. The pandemic has landlocked them in their own apartments. As a little effort to make this cave life a bit elated, I decided to brew my maa-pedia with a pinch of childhood –

How I turned my three-year-old toddler’s time into a ‘Quali-rantine’ :

Before I jump into the topic, I’d like to share two tips –

Tip – 01: Divide the day into a timetable for each activity. Don’t bring up all activities together to keep your kids engaged and happy.

Tip – 02: Don’t stress about filling every moment of their day. And don’t stress if they end up watching a bit of “Masha and the Bear” on TV. This is a tricky time for all of us and it’s all about balance.

Moving onto the tips from Maa-pedia –

some acrylic colors, sme pencil colors, some crayons with a laptop bag from Suchi Shoili on facebook. there is also a hand sanitizer. these are bought by the aboltabol maa, or the royal bengal mom who is a bangladeshi mom blogger from dhaka bangladesh. she is a prominent writer in bangladesh
Kids love colors. Start with random doodling with crayons.

Paint it. Kids love colors. On the first day of lock-down, I bought some coloring items for Tuntun. I prefer to use Crayola or any non-toxic crayons for him. It’s always safe not to provide pencil colors as the sharp tip can be dangerous for babies. We start by drawing any random patterns. Sometimes I show him some pictures and let him decide which one to draw. You can draw some dotted patterns as well and let them try to match them. Tuntun gets pretty occupied in this way.

Say it. Tuntun loves animals. He loves to see ‘Ayaan’ koala wrapping his little arms around Mummum koala’s neck on Nat Geo Wild. He jumps on me grinning from ear to ear when he can point out a lion correctly. That’s when the idea of flash cards came into my mind. You can try by showing pictures from his favorite books as well. If you have old papers or packaging with pictures of animals, flowers or fruits, simply make cut-outs and use them as flash cards.

How I can get alphabet flash cards in both Bangla and English

Make it. Kids love to give shapes to their sweetest imagination. Get your kids some non-toxic playing clay and let them build their own “Ramgorurer Chhana“. It’s okay if you have run out of playing clay, all purpose flour is here to the rescue. Knead it with a bit of baking powder, a dash of oil and food color/non-toxic acrylic color. But make sure the color you are using is child-safe.

Please refrain from using any non-edible color if your child is prone to putting things into mouth.

A toddler from Dhaka Bangladesh named Tuntun is cutting papers with  a plastic scissors which we got from Boi bichitra gallery in gulshan. He is the son of the aboltabol maa, aka the royal bengal mom who is a bangladesh based mmom blogger in dhaka. she is a prominent writer and one of the first mom bloggers in bangladesh.
Don’t leave them alone with the scissors

Your baby has a super-mom whose superpower is- Affection and that is all they need.

Cut it. Everyday we throw away plenty of packages. But you can easily use them by cutting into different shapes in front of your baby. Once I found plastic scissors for babies at Boi Bichitra Gallery which is quite safe for babies but if you don’t find one, don’t leave them alone with the scissors. You can cut them in basic shapes as well to teach them shapes and colors.

Match it. When the pieces of puzzles get joined together and make an elephant or a horse, their joy knows no bounds. You can purchase basic 4/8 pieces puzzles for your baby or simply cut out an image from a paper or a packaging and cut it into 4 pieces. Even if they can’t match it, they will enjoy it thoroughly.

Where I can find puzzle toys

A lego Duplo set with a giraffe and a baby of color with yellow dress and blue pants. he has red balloons in his hands. the giraffe is an original lego animal set bought from toronto lego shop in canada. this is the lego set of Tuntun, son of The Aboltabol Maa, aka the royal bengal mom. She is a prominent writer in bangladesh who is one of the first mom bloggers in Bangladesh. She is a bangladeshi mom blogger from Dhaka
Building blocks can be a great educational toy for children.

Build it. Tuntun loves playing with his Lego bricks. He builds bizarre shapes out of the blocks. But the good thing is – He enjoys it and gets pretty occupied in his play time which is necessary. If you can’t manage to get building blocks now, give him some random things so that he can make a stack of it. Kids love stacking things and making a castle. Besides we use the blocks to draw shapes as well. Thus, you can use a toy in multiple ways.

Cook it. Babies love to imitate. If they see you cooking, they will grab a bowl and a spoon and start their cooking show anywhere. You can provide them toy veggies or some freshly cut veggies from the kitchen as well.

Play it. Tuntun has a crazy obsession for drums. He starts playing drums with whatever he has in hands. Don’t worry if you don’t have a drum set. A plastic bowl will perfectly work with a pair of plastic spoons. Just a heads-up, it can get really loud. So provide something that makes less noise.

Spill it. Sometimes when I run out of options, I just spread some Muri (puffed rice) over a clean sheet and let him pick it up.

Last but not the least, every child is different. These are the tricks I followed and this worked with Tuntun. But that doesn’t mean your baby has to love it. Try to learn what your babies love the most. And one more thing, never hesitate because you’re not good at crafting or singing. None of us is a professional. Whatever you want to do to cheer them up, just do it. Your baby has a super-mom whose superpower is – Affection and that is all they need.

With love,