Kids, they grow up too fast

Last Friday of the June school hols. You mean the hols is going to be over soon? So fast? I don’t recall doing anything much with them! And before I know it, I would have to register the elder one in Primary School. It’s all happening too fast.

The kids had a playdate, thanks to a mom who organised it. The preschoolers must have missed each other too much for they were ecstatic as they met and hugged.

It was a gorgeous morning, and the weather was apt for a waterplay date. This little man had no peers to mingle with but was content with playing by himself. Phew!

Faith was kept busy the whole time with her friends. I wonder if her preschool friends will continue to meet after they graduated from the kindy?

I have made good friends with some of these mommies and it’s such a pity that we won’t be able to meet often once they enter Primary School. But such is life, isn’t it?

Taking every opportunity to capture memories. Many parents have told me to keep a record of their growing up years in motion pictures but I kept having them in still ones.

This boy is growing up too fast, too soon. He made me laugh a lot these days with the things he comments.

Oh, such happy moments. May you have lots of them even as you enter formal school.

Mustela’s limited edition packaging for their good o’ products. They are doing their part to protect the environment by creating awareness in the consumers in reducing and recycling waste and respect for biodiversity. Hence, the limited edition packaging. These are for normal skin type and come in 500ml bottles. The usual bottles come in 300ml.

Just nice for the kids to use during cleanup.

So much joy in their beaming faces. Why do kids grow up so fast?

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February roundup

 

The shortest month. One of the busiest months. The month which I dread.

And it’s over.

Like many of you, February is the month I was busy with spring cleaning and getting ready for the Lunar New Year. Of course, with my capacity, I could only do so much. However, it was not so much of the chores that irritated me; it’s the daily squabbling of the kids that got to me. I had to be the referee every morning at least once and that is not fun!

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In the end, after much consideration and prayer, we decided to enrol the boy in Kindergarten. I had initially thought he wouldn’t need to be in kindy until when he’s of age for K1. I could teach him and he could spend time with the sister in the morning and learn together. Besides, I really loathe the thought of having to be on the road more with him in kindy.

But I also know I need to spend more time with Faith, guiding her on certain issues and we do need some quiet moments to discuss. With Dan around, it’s not quite possible. He…likes me and wanted me to be with him most of the time. Yea, I’m that popular. ;p Faith was also easily distracted when Dan was around so even if I gave her some task for her to complete independently, she would more often than not turned to both Dan and me, especially when we were reading books. Deep learning couldn’t really take place.

So yup, Dan would be in school in Term 2. Asked him if he wanted to go to school, he gave a different answer each time. Oh well.

 

 

Anyway, for homelearning, I am introducing letter of the week for Dan while the girl worked on some tasks which I have set for her. I wish I could play more games, work on more Science experiments with her… oh well.

 

The letter Hh sound

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This boy showed an increase in vocabulary and length of sentence in his speech. I think this period is the most adorable by how and what he speaks. Must treasure.

 

Some activities related to the Ii sound.

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And Jj

Some days could get a bit depressing to me. Chores are never-ending and whines too. These days, Dan wanted his way and it could get tiring having to discipline him. Towards the end of the month, I was just plain exhausted. I haven’t had time to rest. ME time in February was used to do spring cleaning and run errands and I turned bitter. The Lord knows me well enough and provided friends to come alongside me, to cheer me up with their presence.

 

CG fellowship day

 

Playdate with a fellow dayre mom and her kids. Please remind me to plan more outdoor play for the kids.

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On the last day of February, things turned out quite magically well for my soul. I turned up for a social responsibility campaign by iroo to support the Rare Disorders Society of Singapore. I won’t elaborate much in this post (will do another one dedicated to this) but the encounter with the families in that event greatly humbled me. My bitterness and complaining spirit was replaced by gratitude. How could I be so self-centred and blind to the needs around me?

That evening, I received an IG message from a reader who shared with me how she has overcome a trying period wrt her daughter’s health condition during her early years. I felt God touching my heart and reminding me how blessed I am.

That night, I was changed.

I view things from a different perspective now.

Thank you, February, for teaching me life lessons.

I’m looking forward to you, March.

 

 

 

Melbourne museum

I know this post is way too late. It’s been more than a year since we came back from Melbourne but I thought I had better record these wonderful memories on my electronic diary lest it be gone forever.

That morning, we had a slow breakfast at Queen Victoria Market before strolling to get onto the tram to get to the museum. Before that, we stopped in our tracks to have some workout and fun at the playground. This is one thing (of a lot of many others) that I appreciate about Melbourne – wide open space for playground.

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I didn’t expect Faith to be interested in visiting museums. She was, after all, just 19 months then but we still went ahead since we have heard good stuff about the museum.

And we were stuck in the Children’s Gallery for more than an hour. It wasn’t a big space and there weren’t a lot of exhibits but there are certainly interesting stuff that engaged the toddler.

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The area leading up to the Children’s Gallery has quite a few activities for children to work on such as puzzles, colouring paper, puppet show, blocks of different civilisations and books to read.

20140610_102644Just outside the area are some activities to engage the children physically. Look at these gigantic Lego rubber pieces!

Play is a way of learning…

20140610_110843Let’s enter the Children’s Gallery!

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One could learn much about nature here!

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To me, the exhibits are well designed and get the children to use their senses in exploring them. I guess if Faith was older then, we might have to be stuck in there for more than an hour.

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Faith has shown keen interest in building blocks at a very young age but then again, this applies to a lot of children eh?

20140610_105855One of the many quotes that I love…

20140610_124054The little girl finally fell asleep after I strapped her in the carrier and it’s time for the adults to view the other exhibits. We spent a good time at the other levels and eventually rested at the cafe.

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The food was nothing to boast about but we were glad to have a rest after all that walking.

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Oh, how I love the fall season.

20140610_134112On our way back, the hubs and I were just strolling with Faith following us behind. As we turned around, she was running towards us and then fell into the big pile of fallen leaves.

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Oops!

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But she got amazed by them and continued to play. This picture reminds me to allow her to explore and not restrict her no matter how dirty she might end up. ;p But I think the story will end up differently if there are lots of ants underneath the leaves.

20 minutes in the loo

If you are one of those moms whose child insists on following you to the bathroom when you do your thing (and she clings on to your leg for her dear life), perhaps you can try these activities. They kept Faith occupied for 20 minutes, good enough for you to do some business.

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It’s easy for us to pour water but that is not the case for young children. Their motor skills are not refined enough and more often than not, they will dampen the floor as they endeavor to pour the liquid into the cups. This activity requires concentration and hand-eye coordination. Faith spent the bulk of the time trying out this activity and she likes it. It’s waterplay after all!

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As with all children, their attention span is soooo short and soon it’s off to another related activity. Add some balls and have the little one catch them with a scoop. Motor skills again.

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Last activity. Add some homemade ‘fish’ with clips and you turn the activity into fishing! This definitely tests patience and concentration. I’m just short of putting water beads in but I reckon I could save them for future use. The fish are made from felt material and I attached a clip at the end. After that, I wrapped the fish in clear bag so that they can survive being in the water.

“The first essential for the child’s development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy.” -Dr. Maria Montessori

So there you have it, this set of activity lasted 20 minutes. It probably can last longer if I get down on my knees to play with her.

Ask a lot of questions and converse with the kid as she goes about working on them. Play time is extremely good for language development.

#holidayfun – Indoor playgrounds & some lessons learnt

These days, it has been raining and we decided on indoor playgrounds for our playdate. We went to the Fidgets World @ The Grandstand on Wednesday. I’ve heard good review from C who has been there a few times and I hope Faith would love it though I very much prefer the kids to be out in the open. Oh well, what can we do since it’s raining?

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I appreciate that it has a big space and therefore the playground has quite a lot of equipment that could entertain a kid for long. They have a small art studio for those who have creative minds and a baking area too!

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Art and craft studio

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Baking studio

We thought that the crowd would not be large but it so happened that the preschools in the vicinity are going there as part of their holiday programme. Arghh… so we had peace until about 30 minutes later and that’s when things got interesting. The playground sprang to life with happy voices of children and the stamping of feet. The toddler area was much quieter as compared to the other areas but the former was soon filled with young children who came with their parents (few) and domestic helpers (a lot).

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So, our little girl was just playing by herself, picking up the balls and putting them back into the proper place (Goodness! I must teach her how to PLAY!). She was contented just doing that when a boy about the age of 2 years old came and went charging at her, pushing her to the ground. I was like, “WHAT on earth is he doing?” Faith was more shocked than physically hurt and started crying. The domestic helper quickly asked the boy to apologise in which he did and went off to play. I thought this was an once-off incident and since this does happen in a playground, I told Faith to be ready to receive such actions from the children since it’s all part of playing. But honestly, I was a little taken aback. Does the boy have to do that? There is so much space but he just came charging at her and shoving her to the ground.

And then, the same boy had to do the same thing to her again and again. I was peeved! Each time he did that, the helper got him to apologise but in the end, the educator in me couldn’t take it anymore and I asked the boy in the face to apologise to Faith, and not the toys!

The cousin came and explained to me that he had already apologised but I told him that the little boy didn’t know what he was sorry for and he remained quiet. My senses came back and then I realised that he’s a boy with a lot of energy in him. He probably didn’t know that what he did was wrong. He did express his apologies but does he really mean it? It’s so flippant!

You may think I’m over-reacting since the boy is still so young. But I believe kids as young as him or even Faith can understand if you take time to explain. They are really smarter than we think they are. Of course, it also depends on the personality of that child but letting certain behaviour go ‘just like that’ is a no-no to my parenting or teaching philosophy/beliefs. More often than not, kids can understand and if we teach and model the right behaviour, they will get the idea. That’s what I have derived from a decade of working with children. No need scientific research to prove that.

This is actually a teachable moment and I seized it to explain to Faith that such behaviour will exist in a play environment and what we can do is to avoid the boy and play somewhere else. She did so which I’m glad. Anyway, I don’t think she’s that fond of the indoor playground; she prefers the outdoors.

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Lunch was at the site itself and they serve decent food. C brought her boys homecooked healthy food! Well done! Faith ate the blueberry muffins baked by her auntie and she finished them all, leaving only a small bite for me.

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Fidgets
200 Turf Club Road
#03-10 The Grandstand
Singapore 287994

The next day, Faith and her cousins went to the airport for an outing. We had wanted to go to the beach but the weather wasn’t kind to us, AGAIN! Thankfully, the airport has indoor playgrounds and it’s no surprise at all, that they are crowded with kids from the preschools. Sigh!

The small playground at T3

The small playground at T3

The bigger and more attractive playground at T1

The bigger and more attractive playground at T1

Despite being crowded, I’m thankful that the children were more polite and would give way to others even though they were all very engaged in the play. Very rough! And I’m also a proud auntie because my older nephew was looking out for Faith in the playground. 😉

Before the crowd came

Before the crowd came

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We ended with a mini picnic just outside the playground. Simply joy!

Where shall we be exploring next?

😉

Fisher-Price® Play IQ Workshop

Carrie Lupoli is back! Yay!

If you don’t have a clue of who I’m referring to, she’s one of the more engaging presenters I’ve come across in the many workshops and conferences that I’ve attended. Last year, I had the privilege of attending the Joy of Learning workshop by her and this year she is touching on the topic on PLAY and how it is important in developing healthy brain. It’s definitely a topic that I’m interested in because I believe in the power of play and am looking forward to what she will be sharing.

Four areas of content will be covered at this Fisher-Price® Play IQ Workshop:

1. Introduction and Goal of Parenting
2. Play IQ – The Theory
3. Play IQ – The Benefits and the Basics
4. Play IQ Learning Tournament

The workshop is open to parents with children up to 5 years old and expectant mothers only. It will be held on  31st May 2014, Saturday, from 9.00am to 2.00pm. Registration starts at 8.45am.

Venue: Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. 38 Irrawaddy Road, Singapore 329563

Cost: $50 per person (inclusive of light refreshments). Each participant will receive a goody bag worth more than $100 and a chance to win Lucky Draw prizes.

To register or if you need more information, you can email tofisherprice@asiaprwerkz.com

I’ll be attending and hope to meet some of you there!

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Play dates for Faith

At times I find that Faith can be rather lonely playing by herself while under the adults’ care. Putting myself in her position, I think I would love to hang out with peers my age. Thankfully, once in a while, my girlfriends would meet up and the that will be the opportune time for the kids (same year) to play together. I am hoping we can aim for more regular sessions!

Recent play time at the Chans

Recent play time at the Chans

Both Faiths playing with each other

Both Faiths playing with each other

The older Faith feeding the younger Faith

The older Faith feeding the younger Faith

Every Saturday, at CG, the kids will come together and Faith has another chance of play time with her mates.

Faith and Samuel, two months apart.

Faith and Samuel, two months apart.

Cathy playing with Faith

Cathy playing with Faith

Of course, I love it whenever my sis and her family come back for a visit and am hoping for her return in December, this time for good.

Cousins at play!

Cousins at play!

It’s nice to be kids.

Fisher-Price® Early Learning Fund

Dear parents, we have good news!

Fisher-Price®’s much anticipated campaign – The Early Learning Fund – is back!

‘Play’ & ‘Toys’ are two words not conventionally associated with learning for our children. However, child psychologists have long recognized that toys are a catalyst for impactful, interactive learning with our child and can bring about meaningful learning opportunities at every age. In a bid to promote meaningful playtime between parents and children, FisherPrice® unravels their 2013 Early Learning Fund.

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The Early Learning Fund campaign is aimed at helping parents give their children a head-start
in life and Fisher-Price® has kicked it off with a five-month promotion to give parents the chance to win a S$10,000 cash scholarship when they purchase Fisher-Price® toys.

By purchasing any Mattel Fisher-Price® product that is $20 or above (excluding Thomas & Friends) and submitting the accompanying receipt, photo and completed form, contestants stand a chance to win a Grand S$10,000 Cash Prize or be among 20 Weekly Draw Winners to walk away with a Learning Hamper worth $1,000!

Weekly Draw – Learning Hamper

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For the 20 weeks leading up to November 30th, any contestant who submits an entry for the Early Learning Fund stands a chance to walk away with a Learning Hamper worth over S$1,000.

Grand Prize – S$10,000 Cash of Early Learning Fund

On 16th December 2013, a winner will be picked for the Grand S$10,000 Cash Prize, of which WeeklyDraw Winners are also eligible. The Winner for the Grand Prize will be published on The Straits Times on Monday 23rd December 2013.

Do visit the Joy of Learning website for more details on how you can participate!

*Faith receives a Fisher-Price® toy to add to her expanding collection of ‘playmates’.