Curious Comets The Cozy Indoors

8 Experiences You Can Recreate for Cooped-Up Kids

I think we can all agree that things are (and have been for almost a year now) really weird. Who knew we’d miss things like a trip to the grocery store or even the daily commute to work? If we find ourselves missing the daily pleasures of pre-quarantine life, just imagine what it must be doing to the kids.

With online classes, no play dates with friends or outings with the family, things can get really dull really soon. Though there are certain things you can include in their daily routine to keep them occupied (like exercise, crafts, etc.), every once in a while, let them have a little reminder of certain events they used to love and now have to wait to experience again. Here is a list of favorite experiences you can recreate in the comfort and safety of your own home.


One of the most fun indoor activities for kids, and most adults, is bowling. Set up a bowling lane in your living room and make some bowling pins with small plastic water bottles. You can fill them with clear or colored water. Set them up in a triangle and hand over any ball to your child to act as a bowling ball. This activity works great for younger children as it develops their motor skills. Older kids can count the pins they knock down.


Agreed, going to a carnival has its own special charm but with the right materials, you can try to recreate some of it in your own home. Set up small games in different rooms or even beside each other and also serve up common carnival snacks like cotton candy or sweet corn. For the games you can have ring toss, darts, bottle pyramid, etc. Find ideas among these 20 carnival activities for kids. You can even have prizes for them to win and photo booth as well.


This is not just one of the best quarantine activities for kids, but something you can make a weekly or monthly event in your home. Print out or make a poster of the movie you plan to screen that week (after consulting with the kids of course). Make tickets and give them to the kids earlier in the day. If you’re wondering how to make a movie theatre at home – there’s really nothing to it. You just have to rearrange your furniture so that everyone can sit together comfortably, facing the screen. This can be on the sofa or even on a comfy blanket on the floor. If you have a projector, that would be amazing but your TV will work well too. For effect, you can queue up some trailers of other movies (preferably ones you plan to screen in the weeks to come) before the movie of the night. Turn down the lights, adjust the sound and let the fun begin. Serve up some movie theatre snacks like popcorn or nachos. If you plan the movie around meal time, you can use an ‘intermission’ to finish dinner and return to your seats.


Camping is fun but not always possible. That’s why we have indoor camping! If you set the scene right, include the right food and entertainment, the children will forget they’re in the same room they are every day and believe they are camping under the stars. If you have a tent, set that up. If not, build one with blankets and chairs. Throw in some fluffy pillows to make it cozy. You can play games like a scavenger hunt or “I spy with my little eye” or even dumb charades. If it’s night time, you can hand over flash lights to the children and tell them stories in the dark (not scary stories or they will be up all night and maybe for a few nights after).


This is one of the easiest and best indoor activities for kids. Having an indoor picnic is great way change up your usual routine. Create a little empty space (maybe in the living room or even the kid’s bed room), lay out a mat or a waterproof tablecloth and prepare a picnic basket. The basket can have typical picnic snacks like sandwiches, fruits and juice boxes. Remember to include napkins and cutlery and maybe some board games.

Puppet show or play

If you already have some puppets then just come up with a story and perform it for your child, maybe from behind the sofa. If you don’t have puppets, here are some great ideas on how to make puppets with the children. You can all come up with a script together and each play a part and maybe perform it for grandparents or even just for yourselves.


If you can’t go for a vacation, bring the vacation to you. Let the children choose a type of vacation, your options can be – having a beach side holiday, sightseeing a particular city, visiting a national park, going deep-sea diving – the possibilities are limitless. Look for an appropriate video or website. There are plenty of virtual tours of museums, national parks, safaris, monuments and more. You can visit the Great Wall of China or go on a tour of the International Space Station while sitting in your living room. There are plenty of virtual zoo and safari tours for children as well. gives you access to wildlife webcams from across the world so you can watch real animals, live in their natural habitats.


If it’s been a while since you dined out as a family, try this for Sunday breakfast. Just set the table as it would look in a restaurant – with place mats and cutlery all neatly placed. Make a menu of limited items that you plan to make that morning (pancake, dosa, idli, milkshakes, cold milk, etc.). Greet the children, seat them and let them make their choice. You can set the mood by playing the radio or café music. To have some fun, when the meal is over you can ask them for feedback and maybe hand them a bill for a hug.

Some of these indoor activities for kids can be done on a regular basis and some might need some planning and preparation so can happen once a month or on special occasions. The world outside might be a scary place now, so the children (and you) deserve a break every now and then. These activities are more than distractions from screens or ways to keep the kids busy, they’re chances for all of us to feel a sense of happiness and normalcy.

Nature and Animals Sparkling Stars

Fun Activities to Teach Kids about Recycling

We all know that our planet is in danger, but not all of us know that we can help. The good news is that if we start getting our children interested in recycling and composting at a young age, it will stick with them and become a habit. Then, we can have a whole generation of little people who know how to keep our planet healthy and happy.

Recycling projects for kids don’t have to be boring or like a task that they have to complete, whether they like it or not. With the right information and fun activities, children can develop a genuine interest and fondness for all things green. Here are some fun recycling activities for kids that will make them appreciate and understand how they can protect the environment.

Segregation Station

This is one of the most educational and fun recycling activities for toddlers as it gives them an understanding of what happens to our trash once it leaves our home. It also teaches them how to recognize biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste. You can first talk to them about what happens to the garbage we throw away. Kids love looking at the garbage truck but do they know what happens after the truck leaves? Explain how all our wet waste and some other kinds of waste (paper and biodegradable plastics) decomposes and is biodegradable but the other things (plastic, metal, glass, e-waste, etc.) don’t decompose naturally, which means they stay in the rubbish dump forever. These substances are non-biodegradable.

Materials needed

Let your kid collect all the rubbish the family generates over the course of a day. This will be food wrappers, packets, cardboard boxes, tins, leftover foods, fruit and vegetable peels, etc.


Label two bins or boxes or just create two piles titles ‘biodegradable’ and ‘non-biodegradable’. Help your child separate the rubbish into the two piles, while discussing which items can be recycled, re-used or composted. You can then look at the rubbish that cannot be reused, recycled or composted and figure out ways to reduce that particular pile.

Bottle Composting

Once children understand the term ‘biodegradable’, this activity is a really fun and clear way to demonstrate composting. Here’s how to make a compost bin for kids with basic supplies at home.

Materials needed

  • A plastic soft drink bottle
  • Some soil
  • A few leaves
  • Peels and scraps from fruits and vegetables
  • A water spray bottle


  • Remove the label and rinse the bottle. Cut the top off the bottle.
  • Put some soil into the bottom of the bottle, followed by food scraps. Repeat this layering cycle until the bottle is full but make sure that the last layer is soil.
  • Spray the bottle with water (just enough to make it damp but not completely wet).
  • Place your mini composer in a sunny spot.
  • When you notice that the soil on top dries out, spray with water to preserve a constant level of moisture.
  • After completing this composting activity for kids, watch the bottle carefully over the course of the next eight weeks and take photos. You will be able to see the food scraps decompose and turn to soil.

Reap what you Sow

Once you have created your own compost, this activity will demonstrate the superior quality of compost when it comes to growing your own food and plants. If you have completed the above ‘composting for kids’ activities, this will also complete food/compost life cycle for your kids.

Materials needed

  • 2 similar pots
  • Regular soil
  • Compost
  • Seeds of the same variety


  • Fill one pot with regular soil and the second pot with your compost. Label them accordingly.
  • Plant a seed in each pot (if you plant something edible then you’ll also be able to taste-test the produce to compare)
  • Place the pots next to one another in your balcony, terrace or in your garden.
  • Watch your plants grow and notice the difference between the two plants. You can see the size, rate of growth, the quantity and quality of produce.

Build a Bird Feeder

This is an excellent way to show your children how old items can be used to create something new and useful.

Materials needed

  • Citrus fruit peels
  • Knife
  • Twine
  • Plastic needle (or anything to pierce the peel with)
  • Scissors
  • Bird seeds


  • Cut the citrus fruit (mosambi or orange) in half. You can eat or squeeze it and remove the fruit from the peel.
  • Cut four 10-inch pieces of twine for each of the half peels. Then tie a knot at the end of each twine and thread your plastic needle.
  • Poke the needle through the side of the peel (a little below sides because if you poke too close to the edge, the weight of the bird will break the peel) and your feeder will fall. Do this on all four sides of each peel.
  • Tie the other end of the strings together in a knot so you can hang the feeder.
  • Hang this in your balcony or garden where birds can visit.

Here are more fun ways to teach children to respect and appreciate the environment :

1. Neighbourhood clean-up: Gear the kids (and yourselves) with gloves, masks and trash bags and head out to clean up a particular area. It can be the neighbourhood park or a section of the beach.

2. Candlelight dinner: Have a (safe) family candlelight dinner and talk about saving electricity and how it’s good to turn off appliances, lights and fans when not in use.

3. Movies and books: Pick books about recycling and composting and watch movies (like the Lorax, Over the Hedge, Wall-E, Free Willy or Avatar for older kids) with a green theme.

4. Crafting with recycled materials: Like the bird feeder we spoke about above, there are many useful things you can create with recycled materials. Keep a recycling bin for supplies and save pieces of old cloth, old paper rolls, bottle caps, bottles, egg cartons, etc. Look up DIY recycled crafts for kids which you can make with these items or let them use their imagination.

With these activities on recycling for kids, they learn to generate less waste, the correct way to separate it and even how we can put it to use, all so they can build a better, more sustainable world.

Curious Comets The Cozy Indoors

Bring Nature Home: 8 Indoor Activities for Nature-Loving Kids

My pre-schooler loved going to the park every day. Not for the slides and swings. Not necessarily to play and interact with other kids. He loved picking up fallen flowers, talking to (and unintentionally startling) the pigeons, and looking at the different colors in the evening sky.

When the mandatory lockdown started, it was easy to keep him occupied at home but it got me thinking – do I really want him to lose that ability to find happiness in nature? And lose that connection he has with it? Of course not.

There’s a reason why children (and even adults) are drawn to natural environments – the sights, sounds, scents, and textures of the outdoors are the perfect gateway for boundless exploration while promoting creativity, and increasing attention span while reduces stress. This high level of curiosity doesn’t last forever – so if we don’t let our kids experience nature while they are young, it might just become an invisible backdrop.

With the pandemic, letting children play outside is risky for them and scary for you. So here are some indoor activities for kids at a time when we have to be careful about the time we spend outdoors.

Indoor Gardening

Help your child create a kitchen garden or grow some microgreens. Just grab a handful of any of seeds from your kitchen (fenugreek, mustard, coriander), soak them and sow them in a container. Let your child sprinkle water every day and watch its progress. There’s something magical about watching a seed grow into a plant and it’s even more magical seeing your child’s face light up when they experience it.

Make Nature Faces

Thinking of outdoor activities for children is easier than coming up with engaging indoor activities, but you can blend the two with this one. If you do take the kids out for a walk – have them collect twigs, leaves, pebbles, etc., and use them later to make faces, animals, and other drawings on the floor at home.

Match the Rock

Trace the outlines of a few rocks and pebbles on paper and have your child match the rock to its outline. Once you start with this activity, you can encourage your child to pick up a different rock during every outing, and soon you’ll have your very own rock collection.

Scent Jars

This is one of my favorites, and it’s a great sensory activity for children. Have them close their eyes (or you can blindfold them) and let them guess what spices and herbs you present before them – one by one. I usually include basil leaves, a stick of cinnamon, some pods of cardamom, a few cloves, and even a slice of lime. You can talk about each after they smell it and tell them the names of the spices in different languages and how they’re used.

Paint with Nature

Remember those flowers, leaves, and twigs we collected earlier? Here’s another use for them. Tie some of these leaves and flowers to the ends of strong twigs and let your child use them as paintbrushes.

Leaf Threading

Tie a piece of twine to a thin twig and have your child thread some leaves with it. It’s a great gross motor skill activity and the outcome looks very pretty!

Stone Balancing

Lay out stones of different shapes and sizes and see how many they can carefully stack up before they all come tumbling down. This activity helps improve concentration and focus, hand-eye coordination, patience, and creative processing.

Bonus Benefit – it will also help them become champion lagori (or seven stones) players!

Float or Sink – Water Sensory Bin

Yes, this one involves water, which means there probably will be a little mess, but it’s definitely going to be a lot of fun. Just fill a little tub with water and leave some light and heavy items out for them to experiment with. You can include leaves, dried orange or lemon slices, pebbles, shells, etc. Have them feel the object and guess beforehand if it will float or sink and then let them find out for themselves.

A Few Tips

Nature stories: Pick storybooks books about animals, nature, and the great outdoors

Relive experiences: Keep talking about certain trips or experiences like the last visit to the zoo or the beach

Nature on TV: Instead of just cartoons, let TV time include some nature and animal documentaries

Get a pet: Having a pet is always great for a child to develop non-verbal communication, compassion, and empathy. Give that it’s a lot of responsibility, you can consider something small to begin with – like a fish or a hamster

These tips will come in handy (even in the years to come) when it’s not always possible to take the children outside or let them participate in outdoor activities. If your child is already an outdoor-enthusiast, these fun nature activities will help nurture that connection, and if your child isn’t particularly fond of the outdoors yet, hopefully, some of these suggestions will help foster a love for nature!

Diet & Nutrition Sparkling Stars

How to Add Healthy Stuff to Your Fussy Eater’s Diet

It is said that children need to eat foods from all five healthy food groups, which also includes about 1-2 cups of fruit and 1-2 cups of vegetables a day. If you’re parenting a fussy eater – we know what you’re thinking when you hear advice like that – easier said than fed! Well, here are some smart ways to include fruits and veggies into your picky eater’s daily diet.


Shakes and smoothies

To get your child used to smoothies or shakes, keep it really simple at first. Just blend their favorite fruit with some milk or yogurt. Then you can add another fruit and a veggie, some nuts and maybe some honey. Some vegetables can be easily disguised this way – like spinach in an apple-banana smoothie. Look for interesting recipes here.


When it comes to food ideas for fussy toddlers, this one has a high success rate. All you need are some popsicle moulds or even just ice cream sticks and an ice tray. You can puree naturally sweetened fruits with a bit of lime for some acidity and reduce the icy texture. Juices of fruits like oranges, mosambi, kiwi, watermelon, mango, grape, or apple work great. You can also try a combination of puree and juice. To add texture and make it visually appealing, add slices or tiny bits of fruits as well. Freeze them overnight or for about 6 hours.


Children love to dip stuff. Maybe because of the sensory experience or it makes them feel independent – whatever the reason, let’s use it to our advantage to create some healthy food for a picky eater. You can make a simple one with cream cheese, blended strawberry, fresh cream and brown sugar, or try any of these interesting dip recipes.


If your little one is old enough to have custard, then just add chopped (or blended) fruits and nuts. Fruits that are great for custard are banana, apple, grapes, pomegranate, papaya and mango. Avoid citrus fruits and melons.


Dosa Pizza

Try this the next time you make dosa. First sauté some vegetables like onion, capsicum and carrot in butter or ghee and add some rock salt and coriander leaves. After roasting the dosa (while it’s still on the pan), add the vegetables and grate some cheese on top. Fold the dosa or leave it open when you serve it.

Stick & Dip!

There’s that word again – dip. Only this time, it’s accompanied by vegetables! Serve sticks of carrot, cucumber or even celery with some interesting dips like homemade mayonnaise, guacamole, hummus or even flavored butter.


An easy way to get healthy food into your child is through soups. They are especially great foods for picky toddlers. Single veggies soups like spinach soup or broccoli soup are easy and nutritious. Combinations like apple and carrot soup work great as well.

A few extra tips…

We’re in this together

Take the children along when you shop for fruits and vegetables. Tell them how you check and pick the right produce. This helps them connect with what they are eating. Also, let them into the kitchen when you’re cooking and allow them to participate in safe tasks, like shelling peas, picking the curry leaves from the stem, etc.

In plain sight

Keep fresh fruits on hand and on display. Have a fruit bowl on your kitchen counter or dining table. Include some standard fruits like bananas and apples and also a few seasonal fruits.

Set an example

It’s no secret that children love to imitate. Let them see you eating (and enjoying) a fruit now and then.

It’s all about the presentation

Serve the food on colorful plates or arrange the food to look like animals or their favorite cartoon characters.

Covert mission

Some foods (like cauliflower or spinach) can be easily hidden into others. So if your child likes scrambled eggs (for example), just grate some steamed cauliflower into it. If there are certain dishes that are favorites in the house – pasta, sandwiches, or noodles, increase the number of vegetables that go into it. Remember that herbs are rich in antioxidants too – so add basil, oregano, or thyme to simple dishes to make them healthier.

Thinking up healthy foods for picky eaters can seem like a daunting task, but remember – if children adopt healthy eating habits at a young age, it will have a positive influence on their dietary habits later in life. It is important for children to have a balanced diet so along with vegetables and fruit, they need some grain foods, dairy, and protein.

Sparkling Stars Tech Talk

9 Tips to Navigate the World of Kids E-Learning

Among the many things the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it showed us that our life can very easily come to a standstill. It also showed us that we can (and must) figure out ways to carry on with our routines. Thanks to technology, everything was made available online, from groceries and medications to workout plans and even education. Children everywhere were suddenly required to learn from home and it wasn’t easy. After all, nothing can replace the experience of a real classroom and being face-to-face with your teacher. So naturally, distance-learning takes some getting used to – for the children and the parents. But since it’s something we have to embrace, here are some tips to help prepare your child for virtual classes or online learning at home. If your child has already been attending classes online this year, these suggestions will help ensure a more successful e-learning experience.

Set up a special spot

If your child is older, they probably already have a dedicated space where they study or do their homework. If so, just make sure the spot is clean and clutter-free during classes. If you have a little one who is starting with online preschool, even if the classes are just some rhymes and concepts, it is important that they have a specific spot for their classes.

It might seem easy to have them attend classes on the bed, but this also makes them get a little too comfortable or a little too restless. If you don’t have a designated area, you can convert any corner into a learning corner. Just remember to clear it up for classes and make sure it’s not the same place where they play or watch TV. For example, if you want them to sit at the dining table for class, remove all other distractions and clutter till classes and schoolwork are done.

Stick to a schedule

With no school bus to pick them up or any time needed to get ready and travel to school, children might feel like sleeping in. This mostly means they wake up just in time for class so they’ll be groggy and not ready to learn and participate. It also sends them the signal that online classes aren’t as important as physical school. Come up with a schedule to ensure the children are up, ready, and fed before class, which also including breaks, exercise or outdoor time, homework (or craft) time, etc. Once the schedule is set and followed, it’ll be easier for everyone.

Remove distractions

Without being right under the teacher’s nose, children can easily welcome distractions at home, and let’s face it – there are far more distractions here than in the classroom. Children can glance at their phones, chat with friends, watch videos, check their social media accounts, and even play games while attending class. It might help to keep away some of these devices during class hours and checking in on them from time to time. For younger kids, just limit the distractions around them. Keep their favorite toys out of sight and also the house pet or anything else that might make them lose focus.

Be present -as much as you can

Engage in activities with your children

With younger children, a parent needs to be around for obvious reasons – to unmute the call, keep reminding the child to pay attention, etc. While older kids can attend the classes on their own, studies show that children benefit from discussions about class and school-related topics with their parents. When parents show interest, it also makes these classes a priority.

Screen breaks

With online learning, children are getting a lot more screen time than they need! This is especially true for children who watch a lot of TV or play video games or spend time online. Vary your child’s TV time according to the hours of class they have. For example, they can watch more TV on weekends or days when they don’t have long classes. Having some form of exercise between classes will also improve their attention and give them the break they need. They can throw the ball around with their sibling or do some stretches. For children in preschool, time online is usually shorter because it might be difficult for them to stay on a task for more than 25 minutes. Some need more breaks than others and while the teachers usually know to include this in their session, you can see that they get up to jump around or just do some breathing exercises in between classes.


We don’t want our children to get the same aches and pains we have from working in front of a computer all day. So, have them follow the same rules that adults are supposed to follow. Tell them to sit with their elbows, knees, and hips all bent at a 90-degree angle. See that their feet are reaching the ground or for younger kids, the feet should be propped up on a firm surface. The screen should be in front of them, about an arm’s length away and at eye level. However, young children don’t usually sit in the same position (or place) for too long. So, if they need to fold their legs, stand up for a while or stretch their legs out in front of them – don’t stop them.

Positive feedback

Remember that feeling of your teacher appreciating your work in front of the entire class? Or seeing a gold sticker on your notebook? Well with online classes, a lot of the reassurance and reinforcement has reduced or does not carry the same sense of gratification as it did within a classroom. Consider praising your child after they complete a task or lesson or even answer a question correctly. A simple ‘good job’ or a high five can maintain motivation.

Foster friendships

One thing we might not realize (as much) is that our children miss their friends a lot more than the learning and the teachers! Help them stay in touch with friends. Reach out to the other parents and set up regular video calls or video playdates just so the kids feel connected. Older children will want to text their friends but you can encourage occasional video chats as they are the closest thing to meeting in person.

Schedule in some fun!

Although these might be regular school days or weekdays, remember that the children are going through so much. Being indoors and not understanding what’s going on can be really stressful for a small child. Plan movie nights, play games with them, and take walks together.

For online classes for kids to work smoothly and successfully, the teachers need parental guidance. And for the children not to feel stressed and anxious, they need their parents’ support. We hope these tips will help you navigate the world of online learning.