Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cardboard Car

Both my boys were down with HFMD last week. But I'm happy that other than the few dreadful days of very bad ulcers that's affecting meal times for K, we had been busy creating and learning. It's been a while since we did so many activities. Our no school mornings are spent creating and playing. The activities were all child directed and I became their slaves.

On this day...

K: Mummy, let's build a cardboard car.
Me: (thought bubble: "Let's"?? You mean "me" Nooooo....) Let's do some other things, how about watching the Cars movie? (wrong move)
K: I want to build Lightning Mcqueen! Ka Chow!
Y: I want to build The King!
Me: (thought bubble: Ok, we have cardboards... maybe it's not that difficult to do afterall) Alright, let's see what we need.

Their persistence paid off and once I got my butt off from the sofa, we were on the roll.

What You Need:
Carton Box
Pen Knife
White Paper
Construction Paper

I got 2 carton boxes and cut off 3 sides of the flap for the top, leaving one side for the car front. All 4 flaps at the bottom are removed.

   Cut a small rectangle at the sides as a handle for the kid to hold.

Then it's time to get the rascals to work.

I printed out the car number 43 for The King and got the graphic online for Lightning Mcqueen. Cut them out and paste it at the side.
My "designers" had a hard time deciding on the design of their car wheels. They had an even harder time trying to express what they want to me. But we sorted it out in the end and I thought they looked good. I kept the cardboard pieces that I cut out earlier for the wheels. Cut the circles and parts out of construction paper and the boys were responsible for putting them together.

For the front of the car, I cut a piece of White paper to paste over to draw the eyes. Y wanted a "serious" look. He drew a dinosaur (looked nothing like one) for the Dinoco sign and we found a Rusteze stickers for Lightning Mcqueen. I drew the eyes and mouth for Y while K drew everything on his own.

The boys were so happy with their cars and they wanted to bring to school as their Chinese learning theme is Cars. K asked his teacher for permission to bring to school. She agreed and so I let them drive to school today.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pattern Making with Glue and Paint

I knew I had to do this when I saw this beautiful picture on Pinterest.

What You Need:
Container Lid
Paint or Food Coloring
White Glue
Toothpicks or Sticks

Spread the glue on the lid and drop the paint on the glue. Use toothpicks to draw on the glue, making beautiful pattern. The glue may take 1-2 days to dry thoroughly. Once it dried, peel it off the lid, hang it up or cut it into other shapes.

It's so easy and my boy who is down with HFMD liked it very much. Instead of spreading the paint, he mixed them, making marbled like patterns. I limited him to 3 colors as I knew that any more will just result with a patch of Brown.
He is learning to smile and pose for the camera. Quite unnatural but it's better than his usual face covering pose.
Here's his masterpiece. I love it!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Best Friends for 10 with Egg Cartons

It's very important for children to understand the number combinations to make 10. I call them Best Friends for 10. Having a good understanding will be beneficial to them when they do bigger number addition problems for Primary level mathematics.

What You Need:
Empty Egg Carton
Pom Poms (2 colors)

You can use Beans, Colored Pasta, etc. In fact, anything.  

The boys weren't too interested in this activity as they weren't keen on learning Math that day. They knew this is "work" in disguise. But I managed to fool one of them into playing "Raining Pom Poms" They grab a handful of poms poms, throw them into the egg cartons and tata... we have raining pom poms. Sort them out a bit and we can have a 3D ten frame.

I did this activity with my P3 student who is still weak with simple addition and subtraction. I was worried she may find this too "childish" but to my surprise, she enjoyed it. This activity satisfy the Kinesthetic part of learning and allows her to "see" the number combination.

Being able to "see" the numbers helps the children to understand better. Once the children understand and know the number combination for 10 very well, addition of bigger numbers will be a breeze. Daily repetitive drilling works too but isn't this much better?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Pirate

During the eye check conducted in school, Y was referred for further examinations. My husband and I were devastated when we knew about it. Outdoor time was our top priority to protect their eyesight. We even changed the lights in our home and are very strict with their screen time.

We received both good news and bad news when we went for further review. Good news, he is not short sighted and the bad news, they noticed he has a Squint. To put it simply, one eye is not looking straight. It's also commonly known as the Lazy Eye. We noticed it since he was very young but we did not know that such condition can be corrected. My heart sank when I read that the corrective measures is most effective before the age of 4.

The doctor advised eye patching, that is, to patch the good eye to train the lazy eye to look straight. The patching has to be done daily, for 2 hours a day.

I was filled with guilt that I didn't bring him to the doctor earlier but my husband comforted me that there's only so much we could do and we can't know everything.

Well, let's just hope this tedious patching can help to correct the Squint.

Graphing with Preschoolers

I had introduced graphing with the boys last year when we got a pack of sea animals eraser back from the Underwater World field trip. They are excellent manipulatives for Math activities! Since then, we touched on it through books. Recently, we are learning Subtraction and the concept of "fewer than" stumped them. They could understand "more than" easily but I don't think they truly understood "fewer than" though they know they need to subtract.

Today, they came home telling me that they learnt graphing in school and were very excited about it as they recalled a book we read about Graphing.

Since I didn't prepare any materials and they couldn't wait, I took out the pack of sea animal erasers again. They remembered what they did before and proceeded to do up the graph on their own. I'm glad to see the great improvement in sorting and they were able to follow instructions to do up their own graph.

Y wanted to draw his own graph and he came up with this.

K got a little upset that the graph we did is not the same as what his teacher taught. He said I don't listen to his teacher... duh...  So I got him to show me what he did in school. He had his own idea of how he wanted to create his graph. He asked for a stencil to draw his sea animals.

Graphing is a simple basic Math concept to introduce to young children and can be a lot of fun.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Life Gets Busier

This blog has been neglected for a while again. It has been extremely challenging to keep up with the blog, along with the busy schedule. It doesn't help when I use whatever time I have left on Korean drama. Hah... But it's really good when you just need brainless stuff to chill out. The last thing I want is to watch an art film or anything too serious.

With the boys in K1, it's time for the kiasu primary school volunteering work to start. After several discussions with hubby eversince we got questions on which primary school they are going when they haven't even turn 2, we have decided to opt for the nearest school for convenience.

The nearest school turns out to be the most popular neighborhood school in my area. I've decided to volunteer for the school so my boys can have guaranteed entry. I have neighbors staying in my block who didn't manage to get in the school from balloting. But the guaranteed entry don't seem to be happening. Withe the number of volunteers this year and the vacancies, there's a high chance to ballot if all volunteers fulfill the 40 hours requirement.

I was totally overwhelmed by the first volunteer meeting. There were many events to volunteer for but there were also many parents. You see a whole list of names for an event that only call for 3 volunteers. I was lucky that I managed to get an event this month. With the fierce competition, I joined the reading programme that I thought nobody will like to take up. (...NOT!) But I had to commit 2 days a week. Just so, I can have some fixed hours every month instead of stressing over the balloting of the events, I went for it.

So, yeah... life can only get busier.      

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Master of Translation

We have a "Master of Translation" in the house.

  家庭 (family)

帝企鹅 (emperor penguins)

This is the ultimate.. I didn't realize they were making such a direct translation until they explained because they didn't believe me that Jellyfish is 水母. lol...


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Are you my real mother?

I was reading the fairytale, Hansel and Gretel to the boys and they threw questions at me on why the evil stepmother abandoned her children. Her actions were totally appalling to them. I tried to explain to them what a stepmother is. They were listening intently and suddenly, with a worried look, Y turned to me and asked, "are you my real mother?" I can't help laughing at that. Of course I assured him I am his birth mother and I loved them so much that I would never leave them in a forest.


Anyway, here's the proof my little darlings, I carried that giant watermelon with swollen feet and big nose for 37 weeks. I went in the operating room to be cut open while wide awake to deliver you. There's no doubt that I'm definitely your real mother.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

How I got my preschooler to count to 100.

The best thing that my boys benefited from their bad sleeping habits or from their battle against sleep is to be able to count up to 100.

When they were 3, Y would keep running out of his bed announcing "Mummy, I can't sleep!" To avoid the tears and battle during bedtime, we came up with the "Count to 100" strategy. He would sit on the rocker chair with me and I would rock him as we count to 100. He has to go back to his bed after we count to 100 and may not come out again. He kept to the agreement sometimes, he fell asleep when we haven't even reached 50 sometimes or he would run out several times to count on some days. It started with me counting only, then with him counting after me, then progress to him counting with some help from me when he got stuck. After 2 months, he mastered his counting to 100. Counting to 100 was no longer challenging to him and the strategy didn't work anymore. I wanted to introduce skip counting but I'm happy that he came up with counting backwards himself. K, being a better sleeper who also count lesser is getting quite upset that his brother can count from 100-1 while he can only do 1-100.

Learning can take place in the most unconventional way. I would note in Y's growing journal that he mastered counting because he was the worst sleeper in the family.          

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Aversion towards Babies

My boys are suffering from a condition I call, "Baby Aversion". We invited a classmate who had  a baby brother over one day. They looked in horror when the baby brother stuffed their favorite police car into his mouth, knocked down their Lego blocks tower and dropped their toys on the floor. At the playground, they screamed when wandering toddlers took their bike for a ride conveniently while they were climbing at the bars.

I can't really blame them for that, considering they almost lost one patch of hair when a friendly toddler came over for a chat coupled with hair pulling when we were at Sentosa once. They got beaten and pinched several times at the playground, also from friendly babies.

It was hard to get them to understand that the babies were not being mean or obnoxious. On the contrary, they were just overly enthusiastic to make friends with them. They wanted to touch them but do not know how to control their strength. The boys have forgotten they were babies once too and they were like this too. They couldn't believe me when I told them they have done the same too. They have declared "We hate babies! NO babies in the house!" until ....

Y: Can we invite S&W(their classmates) to our house to play?
Me: Yes we can. We will invite the whole family and that includes the baby sister.
Y&K: BABY??!!!
Me: Yes.
Y: Why they have baby?
K: Can the baby don't come?
Me: No, we have to invite everyone. The baby is not going to stay home alone. 
Y: But I just want S&W to come.
Me: That's not going to happen. If you invite the brother, we have to invite the sister.
K: Never mind. Maybe the baby won't come. I think the baby like to stay home... I think... Maybe... maybe the baby won't come. 
Me: No, the baby WILL come.
K continues chanting... no... the baby won't come, the baby doesn't like to come...

After a few incidents at the playground where they were nasty to young babies, screaming when they get close to them.

Me: I don't like your behavior towards the babies just now.
K: I don't like babies, they spoil my toys and they hit me.
Me: What happens if we have a baby in our family? Are you going to be nasty to the baby too?
K: Then I will share my toys with the baby. But only baby toys ok? Is it a baby girl or baby boy? I want boy. 
Me: ????

That reply took me by surprise, so maybe they don't hate babies that much after all. I'm just looking forward to see their reaction when their friend's baby sister come over. They mix around with older cousins who give in to them. I hope they can learn to be tolerant towards younger children just like their older cousins.  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Dec 2012 Vacation in Phuket

We went to Phuket for our Dec vacation with my family. A total of 19 people! It was a great trip with great company, great resort, great weather and great activities. It was simply the GREATEST. BESTEST vacation we ever had.

My sister recommended the Outrigger Laguna Resort. We were considering the villas but after calculating the cost, they were out of our budget. It's a pity but the apartments suites there were amazing as well. We got a 2 bedroom suite just in case the boys do not want to sleep in the baby playpen and my husband and I are the kind of parents who can't share our beds with our children. At age 3, they want to be BIG boys and will not consider anything that's "babyish" but to our surprise, they were happy to jump into the playpen.

We went to Siam Safari on the second day. We took the 4 in 1 tour. You get to take the Water Buffalo Cart, see the Rubber Tree Cutting, have an educational lesson on Rice and lastly, an Elephant Ride. This tour is great for educational purpose and the kids enjoyed it.

On the 3rd day, we ventured into the unknown. My sister signed up for a tour where it takes us Phang Na Bay. We didn’t get a lot of details on the tour and we didn’t expect it to be such an adventure. We went Kayaking and Caving!! Our impression of the Kayak was a big wooden boat that someone will be rowing it but we didn’t know it’s a Canoe. With very young children and older folks in our group, we were a little worried initially but my boys just jumped in the Canoe with some whining beforehand that they WILL NOT get on. 

20121212-15_Phuket (35 of 58)

We went to 2 caves, an Oyster Cave and a Bat Cave. The entrance for the Oyster Cave was extremely low and we have to lie down to get in. I was a little worried that my boys may not be able to follow the instruction and get up half way in the cave. Thank god they listened and even told me to lie down when we were getting near the entrance.
20121212-15_Phuket (58 of 58)

Phang Na Bay is very scenic but having been to Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, I wasn’t too impressed but enjoyed the leisurely ride.

It was a tiring tour and the boys got cranky by evening since they went without a nap and started fussing. They were too tired to take their dinner and my husband and I were trying to placate them and was unable to get any food for ourselves. Thankfully we have my family to help us out. We would have gone hungry the whole day if not for them.    

Our 4 days vacation passed in a flash and we went home tired but happy. The boys have been asking to go Phuket again since we came back and I kinda sure we’ll definitely be back. Maybe a villa stay the next time.

Related Posts with Thumbnails