Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The Water Cycle

This is a short and simple write up on the water cycle which can be read out to children just like you would read out a story. Make you sure you modulate your voice and make it interesting for the child as you read.

Have you ever wondered how it rains?

How does water come down from the sky?

Do you know that the water that comes down from the sky was once here on earth?

In fact, it stays on earth for a while and then goes back to the sky. It comes down again when it rains and goes back up again. This goes on and on as a cycle. It is called the water cycle.

This is the story of the water cycle.

The sun shines and gives out heat.

The heat from the sun reaches the water that is present in all the ponds, lakes, rivers and oceans.

This heat causes the water to turn into water vapour or steam.

We cannot see this water vapour. It has no form or colour or smell.

The water vapour then rises up into the air

Once up there, it becomes cool and turns into droplets of water.

These droplets of water gather together and from the clouds that we see in the sky.

When a lot of water droplets are held together, the clouds become heavy. So, the air cannot hold them up in the sky any longer.

When this happens, it starts raining and the water in the clouds comes back to earth.

The rain water falls back into the ponds, lakes, rivers and oceans.

A pat of it also seeps into the earth and becomes ‘ground water’. This ground water is  used up by plants and animals.

The water that comes back to the ponds, lakes, rivers and oceans goes back to the sky again as water vapour and comes down in the form of rain.

This cycle goes on and on. The same water goes up and comes down all the time.

This is the water cycle. 

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The D-word and the Child

One of the words adults use most often with children is “Don’t”.

The D word
Don’t, don’t, don’t
Used with children often,
Help us it won’t.

Don’t sleep now.
Don’t eat that.

Don’t play now.
Don’t touch that.

Don’t bathe now.
Don’t take that.

The more we say “Don’t”,
The more the child won’t.

Won’t listen.
Won’t bother.
Won’t care.
And will dare,
To do the same,
Which you don’t
Want him to do.

Try and remember instances in your own life when someone kept telling you not to do something that you wanted to do. It must have been frustrating for sure. No doubt, there are circumstances when the D word must be used for valid reasons. But if it rolls off the tongue every few minutes, even when absolutely unnecessary, it can be quite exhausting for the person at the receiving end, who in this context is the child.

After a while, we realise that the more we say ‘Don’t’, the more the child ends up doing whatever it is we do not want him to do. Sometimes, saying ‘Don’t’ becomes a deeply ingrained habit in the adult that is difficult to shake off.

The next time you feel tempted to say ‘Don’t’ to a child, think about whether it is really necessary to say it or whether it is being said as a matter of habit. For instance, if you are at a restaurant and the child is meddling with the spoon that is kept on the table, is it really necessary to say, ‘Don’t’ touch that,”? He is probably just fascinated by the spoon and is exploring its features. Or when you are walking and the child stops to pick up a leaf that is on the ground, is it really necessary to take the leaf away and say, “Don’t touch. Put that down,”?

This practice may seem tiresome initially but the results that it will fetch would be well worth the effort. Sometimes, all it requires is a little patience to understand the child and why he does the things he does.

So, when you cut down on your usage of ‘Don’t’ and especially when unnecessary, it will have a greater impact when a situation demands that you say ‘Don’t’.

Then it is very likely that the child would listen too!