Meet Divya who shares with Mums and stories her journey into motherhood where she is trying to create a space for her little one -Sinchana a cozy environment without gadgets. She also talks about the importance of meaningful story books and on reading habit that is necessary for children – something that made her start her curated online book store.
“I have been a waldorf early childhood educator and I understand that stories are very important. They are like food for soul. What goes into the child comes out, hence saying rich and meaningful stories are very important. This inspired me to start ‘My Little bookshop’.
I select the titles carefully from Indian publishers which have simple storyline and illustrations and it is content which children can relate to in their environment (indoors or outdoors).
It is indeed very challenging to be a mum, especially to raise a child without fancy toys, television and other gadgets. My experience as a waldorf educator has immensely helped me to understand a young child’s need and I do my best to follow them with me child.
Helle Heckmann, one of my mentors had spoken about 5 Golden rules on parenting, ie; rhythm, nutrition, sleep, movement and love. A child does not need anything other than this.
We offer limited choices for our child in terms of toys, books, clothes, food, etc) and my husband supports me on this idea. We offer natural toys like some wooden blocks, dried pods from the tree, dried mango seeds, a couple of dolls, spoons and bowls from my kitchen and that is more than enough for Sinchana to play for a long while. We have given away most of the plastic toys gifted from friends and relatives.
Sinchana loves stories and few favourites are Round and round books, Junior Kumbhakarna, Colours of Nature and Little Red Riding Hood.
I feel parents should understand the importance of stories. Urban parents have a lot of choices like sound books, comic books, fancy character books from television (Chota bheem, Dora, Peppa and so on). What we think is ‘just a story’ actually leaves a huge impact on the child. Story can be used as a tool to build human beings with high values. So please pick the stories thoughtfully.
My love for stories begun after I joined Waldorf kindergarten. I loved the way children listened to stories in my class and how they connect it with their surroundings. It’s a magical experience for children and I wish to create that for every child.
Stories promote language development, stimulates imagination, creativity and much more. Reading a book to a young child is a very different experience from narrating a story.
I pick story books mainly for age 0-6, so my favorites are Where is Amma? Mala’s Silver anklets, Sunu sunu snail, Round and Round books, Rangoli (all from Tulika publishers). I love the simple text and illustrations in these books.
Sensing a child’s need to hear a story coming directly from them can be a great experience to break free of written words and speak a tale from memory or create one right at the moment.
I would suggest all parents to include the five elements of nature in their stories as a child loves nature and likes to stay connected with it.”