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    Kids get a hands-on approach to A� education with PodSquad

    Where kids see a game, parents see a learning exercise. How often have you seen this happen? With PodSquad, a learning kit of activities for children, ita��s par for the course, says its Mumbai-based founder Abha Shah. Think of making gooey slime from scratch as a means to teach chemical reactions, or food-themed sudoku to nurture sequencing skills.
    Launched five months ago, PodSquad kits have been designed based on a concept put forth by Harvard professor Howard Gardner that every child has nine innate intelligences. Through their action-based activities, they aim to cover a whole gamut of learning a�� from a childa��s ability to recognise flora and fauna (naturalistic intelligence) to have control over his bodily motions (kinesthetic intelligence). Every PodSquad learning kit a�� which has a fresh theme every month a�� tries to incorporate activities dwelling on at least four of these intelligences, Shah says.
    a�?My research involved asking parents about what they thought were gaps in early education. A need was felt for activities that nurture learning by doing. And thus was born PodSquad,a�? says the 31-year-old, who has worked eight years in her family-run business, Quadrum Solutions (parent company of PodSquad), which has developed content for over 10,000 books by national and international publishers for preschool and primary school age groups. Shaha��s mother and chief creative officer of Quadrum Solutions, Sonia Mehta, is a celebrated childrena��s author with over 2,000 titles to her credit.
    With the PodSquad subscription including digital content, parents against over-exposure to tech might not appreciate that 20 per cent of the content is digital (via their website). a�?Therea��s no denying that digital media plays an important role in a childa��s development. Even schools are having to weave it in their curriculum,a�? Shah explains.

    STANDING APART
    With children spoilt for choice in the learning kits segment, with options including Flintobox, Wonderboxx, Magic Crate and Genius Box, what is PodSquada��s differentiator? a�?Our learning kits do not always require parental assistance. Our kits stress on independent play,a�? says Shah, adding that the pod plush toy collectibles that accompany the learning kits (for ages 4 to 7) arena��t superheroes or aspirational figures but more relatable theme-based characters, for instance, the Crazy Scientist Learning Kit had a geeky pod plush toy.

    Subscription packages are currently being offered at a discounted price for three months (`3,000) or 6 months (`6000). Individual kits are Rs 1,200. Details: www.podsquad.in

    a�� Sharadha Narayanan

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