8 Best Activity Based Subscription Boxes For Kids In India

With play areas shrinking, increase security threat in leaving kids alone outside and lack of time with both parents working, best thing parents can opt for is 'Activity based subscription boxes'.
With play areas shrinking, increase security threat in leaving kids alone outside and lack of time with both parents working, best thing parents can opt for is ‘Activity based subscription boxes’.

On average, children in India under five are watching more than two hours of television a day. Access to mobile phones and new age online games and computers are making our kids into gadget addicts. Doctors say children who spend long hours in front of gadgets are increasingly showing signs of postural deformities, emotional detachment and are vulnerable to mental illness. Let’s not point fingers at each other, but act immediately and look for alternate options to get them off these gizmos.

With play areas shrinking, increase security threat in leaving kids alone outside and lack of time with both parents working, best thing parents can opt for is ‘Activity based subscription boxes’.

Why subscription boxes are good for kids

Playing is how children learn. Play comes naturally to children. Combining learning with fun filled exercises like performing science experiments, making robots and creating their own tools and gadgets would help children to pick the laws of chemistry, maths and physics with ease. And also creators of these boxes have packed these up in such a way that children will get the required fun, excitement and surprise element.

So go ahead and pick your favorite subscription box

Xplorabox

Xplorabox
Xplorabox : image

Xplorabox provides subscription based activity box for kids in the age range 2-4 years, 4-8 years and 8 year plus. For toddlers they provide 5 games and various DIY activities in each box, according to the theme. 4-8 years will receive five games  every month that could help in developing skills like motor, cognitive, play & social skills. Kids above 8 years will get DIY science and technology boxes.

There boxes are prized little above 1000, but they give great discounts if one opts for 3 month or 6 month package. Cofounders Rishi Das and Shweta Das believes that their toys could stimulate children’s creativity and fosters their imagination.

Podsquad

podsquad
Podsquad : image

PodSquad is another activity based subscription box for children aged 2 to 8 years. There activity boxes are  curated by experts, approved by teachers and tested by kids. They have designed there learning materials based on Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence. It is designed by Quadrum solutions, which has more than a decade of experience in creating books for some of the world’s largest publishers across India, USA, UK and Africa. They have activity boxes from prize range of 300 plus. One could even opt for 3 month or 6 month subscription mode. Also subscribers can avail their digital platform solutions like e-books, free printables, newsletters, games etc.

Butterfly Fields – science activity boxes for kids

Butterfly Fields
Butterfly Fields : image

Butterfly Fields offers Learning-by-Doing science kits to students. To ensure that kids benefit fully from their products, their models are mapped to curriculum. Each ‘activity box’ comprises of –  a story guide, an activity worksheet, a real life document and a concept map.  There products are useful for kids from 5 to 15 years. Butterfly Fields is an IIT-IIM alumni initiative. They have activity boxes from prize range of 450 plus.

Genius Box

Genious box
Genious Box : image

Genius Box kits are designed for kids in the age group of 2 to 7 years. These boxes are designed in such a way that it can enrich and stimulate young minds and also support overall personality development. Once parents subscribe to Genius box, they will receive each month a kit filled with 9-10 hands-on activities, books or games, along with high quality supplies and easy-to-follow guide.  They offer activity boxes at a prize range of Rupees 1500 to 2000.

Einstein Box

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Circadian rhythms or Body clock…there is more to it than just SLEEP

The clock was first identified in Fruit flies. No doubt why Nobel prize winner Michael Rosbash said “I am very pleased for the fruit fly”.

As humans, we prefer to sleep at night and feel fresh during the day. But this is not due to habit we inculcate or based on any  work schedules or convenience. It is driven by our own body clock. Circadian rhythm is just not about sleep, it regulates many physiological functions including Blood pressure, Body temperature, Hormone secretion, Sleep-wake cycle, Heart beat, Metabolism, Cell cycle, Response to drugs and many more.

Where is the clock?

The clock was first identified in Fruit flies. No doubt why Nobel prize winner Michael Rosbash said  “I am very pleased for the fruit fly”.

Biological clocks are not made of cogs and wheels, but the area of the brain known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus is body’s master clock

A group of nerve cells in the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN,  situated right above the point in the brain where the optic nerve fibers cross, controls circadian rhythm. The SCN controls the body’s temperature, and small fluctuations in temperature throughout the day trigger various cells in different organ systems in the body to be sleepy or active. This is how the SCN controls the release of melatonin, the hormone that makes one sleepy. Genes are also involved in regulating body’s clock and circadian rhythms.

What Melatonin does

Durinh night more melatonin gets secreted. This hormone signals the brain to go into sleep mode. When the sun rises, melatonin secretion hits low, and the brain’s awake circuits restarts.

Is light important for Body clock?

Every day between 2 and 4 PM, the majority of the human race enters a lull, complete with sudden sleepiness and a lack of focus Image

Light is the signal based on which body clock functions. When the eye senses light, it sends signals to the SCN. This resets the clock every day. Our body does this to make sure rhythms do not drift out of line with the environment. Although our rhythms cycle happens about once every 24 hours, if we opt for total blindness, humans actually tick a little more slowly ie, about 24.1 hours. Thus, if we didn’t have daylight we would get out of synchrony with night and day.  Precisely the reason because of which people in captive lose on day and night.

Things you did not know about Circadian rhythm

Do you feel sleepy post lunch. Blame it on circadian rhythm. Every day between 2 and 4 PM, the majority of the human race feels sudden sleepiness and a lack of focus. That’s because circadian rhythm goes down about 8 hours after wake up time. Some experts suggest taking a short power nap to get over this lull.

Teenager son or daughter suddenly behave like owls. Do not scream at them. Blame it again on circadian rhythm. As a teenage body goes through puberty, its circadian rhythm essentially shifts three hours backward. Studies of teenagers around the globe have found that adolescent brains do not start releasing melatonin until around eleven o’clock at night and keep pumping out the hormone well past sunrise.

It’s Circadian Rhythm that make you gain weight if you Snack at Midnight

It’s Circadian Rhythm  that make you gain weight if you Snack at Midnight.

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Plump your Pout : How to get fuller Lips Like Angelina Jolie

Scientists in Scotland have given credibility to the long-held belief that a woman’s lips are a highly visible expression of her fertility and sexuality

Every women wants full, plump and sensual lips like Angelina Jolie. The lips are in trend from the time of Marilyn Monroe. As lips give the face the youthful look, plumper lips are one of the most sought after facial assets. Some women are gifted with fuller lips, but majority are not.

Scientists in Scotland have given credibility to the long-held belief that a woman’s lips are a highly visible expression of her fertility and sexuality.

Above all, the properties of the lips change with age, resulting in lengthening of the cutaneous portion of the upper lip. The upper lip vermillion gradually lose volume and become thinner. Aging, sun exposure, smoking, and exposure to air pollutants adds to lip woes.

So…what’s the solution ?

Many products are available in market to correct the shape of the lips. This includes permanent and nonpermanent dermal fillers, implants, neurotoxins, lasers, and micropigmentation.

Understand little bit about Lip anatomy

Three aspects of the lips vary in men and women and by geographic population:

  • Size (full or thin)
  • Curvature (sinuous or straight)
  • Eversion (turning out or in)

All three can be modified through lip enhancement surgery.

little bit about Lip anatomy

Lips are made up of skin, muscle and mucosa. The most cosmetically apparent portion of the lip is the vermilion border. This colored border between the lips and the surrounding skin exists only in humans. The skin of the lip is very thin compared to the skin on the rest of the face, which typically runs up to 16 layers deep.

Temporary Lip Fillers

Many substances are used to temporarily enlarge the lips. They are made up of either natural or synthetic materials.  They are also known as soft tissue fillers. Hyaluronic acid fillers are most frequently used for this procedure. They come in prepackaged vials that are ready to inject and are approved by the FDA for lip augmentation in adults 21 years old and older. The effect can last upto six months. Collagen is also used at times, but can cause allergic reaction. Fat transfer is another option and may last longer than hyaluronic acid or collagen, but requires the surgeon to take a small amount of fat from another area of own body.

Lip implants

Lip implants last longer than fillers and can give perfect look. Implants are normally performed under local anesthesia. Widely used lip implant is made from a substance called ‘expanded polytetrafluoroethylene’ (ePTFE) a sterile, rubber-like material. Silicone lip implants are also available. They are like small silicone tubes and are inserted into the lip with the help of a minor surgical procedure. Silicone lip implants offer a long term solution to lip enhancement, but throws up side effects.

Lip Plumper Pump

Lip Plumper is an ingenious, hand-operated lip enhancer. It is powered by an ancient Chinese Cupping suction technique . Without using chemicals or needles it enlarges the lips . The stunning shaping and contouring of the lips are made possible by a Lip-Shaper system. It’s easy to use anytime and anywhere. Reports prove that lip volume increased by 36% from their original sizes after using lip plumper for just two minutes twice daily over a period of 60 days. One can easily buy this product from online portals like Amazon.

Lip Plumper is an ingenious, hand-operated lip enhancer. It is powered by an ancient Chinese Cupping suction technique that enlarges the lips without using chemicals or needles.

Bee Venom based Lip enhancer creams

Bee Venom based Lip Plumper works by tricking the lip area into thinking it’s been lightly stung by a bee. As a result collagen production and blood circulation increases. This leave the lips plumper. These Lip enhancer creams are cheap and give instant fuller lips. This product is touted as “natural Botox” by many brands.

 The natural way

Many women won’t have the money or inclination to go for costly procedures.  Don’t worry…you can go the natural way

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Understand all about Hair Color Before you head to Myntra to buy it

Permanent hair colors mostly follow a two-step process – 1) first removes the original color of the hair and 2) then deposits a new color.

Bored with my looks, I thought it was time for me to give myself a new look. The easiest option available for me was to try a new hair color. I headed straight to my favorite Online Shopping portal Myntra. I was amazed by seeing the type and variety of Hair color products. There were both chemical and ayurvedic products. All together there were 16 color shades !!!. There were both Permanent and Semi permanent products.

Shop @ Myntra for Hair Color : image

I got confused and was not able to decide on which one to choose. So decided to read and understand more about Hair Color.

Temporary, Semi, Demi and Permanent Hair Colors
In 1909 French chemist Eugene Schuller, created the first safe commercial hair color using the chemical paraphenylenediamine. From then on both men and women are using this product.

Hair colors are grouped into four, based on color resistance, into temporary, semi-permanent, demi permanent and permanent.
Temporary Hair color:
Temporary hair color as the name suggests is for temporary application. It provides instant color to hair and washes out much quicker. Temporary hair color is available as rinses, shampoos, gels, sprays, and foams. Compared to semi-permanent and permanent hair color, it is typically brighter and more vibrant. Temporary hair color is used for special occasions such as costume parties and Halloween.

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Here are 20 remarkable Brain facts not known by many people

But how much do we know about our own BRAIN : Image

The brain is the crown gem of the human body. It is the seat of intelligence, interpreter of the senses, initiator of body movement, and controller of behavior. The human brain is the most complex organ of the body, and arguably the most complex thing on earth. But how much do we know about our own BRAIN

How many brain cells are in your brain?

The average adult human brain has about 100 billion cells.  It’s still a mystery exactly how these connections work together to create all the marvels of our brains.

Longest living cells in the body

The longest living cells in the body prize goes to brain cells. Most of our brain cells stay  from birth to death. The wiring of these cells changes constantly through our lives.

Water, Water everywhere

Brain is made up of 73% water. 2% dehydration is enough to affect attention, memory and other cognitive skills

Brain feels no PAIN

Brain  do not have any pain receptors. Hence surgeons can perform brain surgery while you are awake. The pain experienced with headache/migraine is because of  the pain receptors present in  layers of coverings, blood vessels, the scalp and some muscles that surrounds the brain.

Brain Loves Cholesterol

Twenty-five percent of the body’s cholesterol resides within the brain. Without proper supply of cholesterol, brain cells die.

Brain is always THINKING

The brain on an average is believed to generate around 50,000 thoughts per day. Sad part is that, in most people 70% of these thoughts are negative. 

Human brain is not SOLID

The human brain is neither solid, nor liquid. It’s soft and squishy similar to the consistency of soft tofu or soft gelatin. And it’s very fragile.

We have a second brain too

The human brain is the most complex organ of the body, and arguably the most complex thing on earth

The brain in your head is not the only brain. There’s a second brain” that lies in intestines that contains around 100 million neurons

Brain generates enough electricity to power a 25-watt light bulb

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Could DHA be the secret to a healthy brain throughout Adult life?

But did you know that DHA is essential for Adult brain too

Include in your diet plant based DHA from Mamaearth

When someone hear the name DHA or docosahexaenoic acid, one correlates it with babies brain development. But did you know that DHA is essential for Adult brain too… We need DHA throughout all stages of life for healthy brain and mental well-being

Results published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that Healthy, young adults who took an omega 3 DHA supplement displayed significant improvements in memory and reaction times.

DHA and Adult Brain Health

DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid and it plays significant role in brain health. DHA is essential for maintaining nerve cell structure and function. It is a major structural fat in the brain and eyes and a key component of the heart. 

  • It has been found that taking in required levels of DHA can protect one from age related mental decline and also can significantly reduce risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Seniors who take high levels of DHA are 47% less likely to develop dementia and 39% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared to people with low levels of DHA.
  • DHA deficiency is linked to serious psychiatric disorders such as major depressive disorder, suicidal behavior, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia
  • Results of a Swedish cohort study suggest that DHA is positively associated with peak bone mineral density in the total body and spine in healthy, young men.

DHA is available as a supplement in two forms:

  • Fish oil capsules, which has both DHA and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)
  • DHA from algae, which has no EPA

Benefits of taking plant based DHA over Fish DHA

Fish get their DHA from eating smaller fish, who get their DHA from algae. So by opting for DHA from algae we are simply cutting out the middleman. Another benefit of algal DHA is that it may contain fewer contaminants like mercury. Also it’s 100% vegetarian and does not lead to any bad taste.

My search for plant based DHA ended at Mamaearth portal

Include in your diet plant based DHA from Mamaearth

Mamaearth products are made with safe ingredients that are not known or suspected to cause human health or environmental harm. Also its FDA approved.

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Black Garlic: Garlic Just Got Better

Fresh white garlic changes its white color to black by undergoing fermentation process in a temperature and humidity controlled room for one month. Image

Black garlic  – You read it correct.  This aged version of garlic has twice the antioxidants of regular garlic. Black garlic exhibits several advantages, when compared to fresh garlic. The taste of black garlic has been compared to that of a dried fruit.

Black garlic  is simply fresh garlic  that has been fermented for a period of time at a high temperature under high humidity. No additives, preservatives, or burning is involved in making it. The process turns garlic cloves dark, gives them a sweet taste, and alters their consistency to chewy and jelly-like.

Origin:

Black Garlic has long been consumed in South Korea, Japan, and Thailand for centuries, and was introduced around 10 years ago into other countries

Compared to fresh garlic, Black Garlic does not release an awful flavor. This is because allicin gets converted into antioxidant compounds such as bioactive alkaloids and flavonoid compounds during the aging process.

Fresh white garlic changes its white color to black by undergoing fermentation process in a temperature and humidity controlled room for one month.

Why should we eat Black garlic:

Black Garlic Has More Than Double the Powerful S-Allyl-Cysteine (SAC), an Antioxidant compared to raw garlic. Black garlic contains vitamin C and B6, manganese and selenium. Black Garlic contains 18 Amino Acids, which are very important for our body.  Research have found that extracts found in black garlic are able to inhibit the growth of certain cancers such as stomach and colon, by triggering their natural destruct mechanism known as apoptosis.

1 – Decreases cholesterol rate

2 – Regulates sugar in blood

3 – Protects the liver

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Stress Relief Tea for Moms from Mamaearth

I must say this tea is good to manage stress. It for sure gave me a soothing effect. Definitely a good one to sip, especially when you are teaching kids…

Indian women are the most stressed in the world today. An overwhelming 87% of Indian women said they felt stressed most of the time, and 82% reported that they had no time to relax. Nielsen survey says so.

I must say, I am one among. As a mother of two daughters, work from home profile, a family to run…..multitasking leads to stress, stress leads to anger and it leads to at times bad parenting.

I felt most disturbed when I came across this book written by David code named Kids Pick Up On Everything: How Parental Stress Is Toxic To Kids. According to this book parental stress is more toxic to kids than BPA in plastics and chemicals in food. David Code Says Parental Stress Makes Kids more Sick.

Some key highlights from his book:

  • Children from highly stressed families were almost three times more likely to develop asthma
  • Children of stressed parents are almost twice as likely to develop Type 1 diabetes
  • Children of parents stressed out by finances or relationship problems had more changes in their DNA then children of calmer parents…

Enough I thought, I had to find a solution to tackle my stress. My search ended at Mamaearth website. There I found Stress relief tea for Moms

I must say this tea is good to manage stress. It for sure gave me a soothing effect. Definitely a good one to sip, especially when you are teaching kids…

Let me introduce this product to you

Let me introduce this product to you….

Stress Tea for Mama

This teas is just not a green tea, but it also contains Ginger root, Cinnamon bark, Eucalyptus leaf and  Sarsaparilla Root.

This teas is just not a green tea, but it also contains Ginger root, Cinnamon bark, Eucalyptus leaf and Sarsaparilla Root. image

Ginger root: Ginger root has calming properties which will help relieve stress and anxiety, making you feel more relaxed and tranquil.

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Bake like a Pro: Make ‘Lip smacking’ cake with science

If cooking is an Art, Baking is Science

If you look at a cake, it can be made with just five ingredients – self raising flour, sugar, butter/oil, egg and your favorite flavor. But to dish out a lip smacking dessert, you need to be an expert. Expertise means having the know how about how each ingredient would behave, what’s the ratio to be used, how quantity can be altered without losing cakes softness and texture etc.….. If you ask a chef….they will say it can only be gained by experience.

 But then here I differ….Making a cake is all about science…precisely speaking…chemistry. Let me detail out the chemistry behind making a cake, so that you could bake like a pro from your first attempt.

It’s said, If cooking is an Art, Baking is Science

Let’s start with the Flour

First lesson don’t mix up flours

Maida or white flour is similar to cake flour sold in the United States . Like cake flour, white flour is finely milled. It has less protein than all purpose flour. White flour is produced from soft wheat and is low in gluten content (8-10%).

All purpose flour is different from white flour. It is made from a mixture of hard and soft wheat. It has a gluten content of 9-12%. This can be used to make both cakes and breads. However cakes won’t be very soft.

Self-raising flour is a mix of all purpose flour, raising agent, and salt. The most commonly used raising agent is baking powder, but some brands also use bicarbonate of soda. Self-raising flour is many a times used as a short cut in baking (no need to add soda), or by vegans who do not eat eggs, as the extra raising agent in the flour mimics the role of egg..

Note: Weighing is the only accurate way to measure flour, as flour amount would vary depending on how tightly flour is packed into a measuring cup

Cake becomes dense and fails to rise….understand Gluten

Flours are mainly made up of starch and protein. When water is added to the flour, chemistry develops between them…. proteins glutenin and gliadin combine and form gluten.   Stirring, kneading, folding, and mixing causes gluten to stretch and organize itself into a network. Overmixing the cake batter, leads to thick, cohesive and elastic gluten resulting in a more dense, chewy texture.  This is beneficial in case of cookies, but it harms the cake.

Note:  Overmixing the cake batter, leads to thick, cohesive and elastic gluten resulting in a more dense, tough texture.  

Fluff up your Batter with Butter and Oil

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Apple Cider Vinegar Diet Help You Lose Weight…it’s True

Research study proves that drinking Apple Cider Vinegar for just three months can cause significant declines in body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference, and triglycerides

Apple Cider Vinegar is an effective weight loss aid. Apple cider vinegar is considered as a super food due its numerous health boosting benefits. It is packed with enzymes, probiotics, and trace minerals has been shown to lower blood pressure, blood sugar and can also serve as an antibacterial when treating wounds. It can also be used as a “cure” for hiccups, acne, heartburn, a sore throat, and bad breath, among countless other ailments.

The Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry journal published a study in 2009 stating that drinking Apple Cider Vinegar  for just three months can cause significant declines in body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference, and triglycerides. It can also improve heart health.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made by the fermentation of apple cider. During the fermentation process, sugar in the apple cider is broken down by bacteria and yeast into alcohol and then into vinegar. Like many types of vinegar, apple cider vinegar contains a substance called acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar also contains some lactic, citric and malic acids.

What Does it Do To Make You Lose Weight?

Act as appetite suppressant

Apple cider vinegar contains pectin, which could act as an appetite suppressant. Pectin is a carbohydrate, and is said to help the stomach feel full. This is why it should be taken before meals.

What Does Apple Cider Vinegar Do To Make You Lose Weight?

Help in controlling hunger pangs

Apple cider vinegar prevents uncontrollable sugar spikes and crashes that make you want to snack between meals. When blood sugar is stable, it’s much easier to stick to diet and eat only when actually body needs it.

Block starch absorption

Regular consumption of Apple cider vinegar can help lower blood sugar levels by “blocking the absorption of starch.”

Burn Fat

The beta-carotene present in Apple cider vinegar helps to break down and remove the stored fat from the body.

Beats insomnia

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