Fatimah and her Magic Socks

[PLAYtime Series : Fatimah and her Magic Socks]

This is a performance that I would be bringing the kids to and am looking forward!

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Meet Fatimah, the little girl with a bright smile on her face and feet that cannot stop dancing!

One rainy afternoon, Fatimah meets a mysterious and magical lion that takes her on a thrilling adventure. In this newly discovered world of fun, Fatimah learns about friendship, laughter and the power of… magical socks!

Dance, laugh, sing and imagine with Fatimah in this colourful theatrical delight especially created for children aged 2 to 4. Fatimah will be showing from 28 April to 14 May and I was told children do not need to sit through the performance, but rather, participate through it!

More details about Fatimah and her Magic Socks can be found here.

PLAYtime series are adapted from books written and illustrated by local authors/illustrators. More information can be found via  www.esplanade.com/playtime

Paul Klee and his artwork

Our ‘Art education’ at home continued with Paul Klee. I have yet to find an art class suitable for Faith so meanwhile, we will have to learn what we can through books and the Internet. Normally, I will scout the local libraries for children’s books on the particular artist, read to the girl and then explore the artist’s work with her. I’m not an Art teacher by training but I can always learn!

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The book that I used for this lesson is The Cat and the Bird and the illustration is based on Paul Klee’s work. My objective for this lesson is simple. I wanted Faith to observe how colours are being used in harmony and to apply it in the colouring of the cat which I drew the night before.

Faith is in this phase in which everything is colourful to her. If you are to ask her to complete a piece of colouring work, chances are it will resemble the colours of rainbow. For this lesson, I wanted her to observe how the colours blend and we used crayons for this task. Initially, she was doing well.

While the sister was doing work, the brother couldn’t be ignored, of course! It’s doodling time for him!

“Hey! Pay attention to what you are doing!”

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Before you know it, the girl continued the colouring, this time in multi-colours. She gave me all sorts of reasons why the cat should be full of colours. I wasn’t going to fight this battle. Besides, it’s her work. I’m just going to let her enjoy the process.

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There you have it. A colourful cat. Her version of Paul Klee’s The Cat and the Bird.

We continued with the next artwork called ‘Castle and Sun’. Here, I got Faith to observe how the artist used shapes and lines to create this piece. I could have asked her to cut out different shapes using coloured paper but decided that she could spend some time working on the designs that are to be cut into various shapes as buildings. We even took out the blocks to create a ‘castle’.

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By this time, the brother was tired out and needed to take a short nap. While I carried him to nap, the girl continued to her work. We couldn’t quite finish the second piece since she had to get ready for school and had to continue the following day .

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Each of our ‘art lessons’ takes about two hours and while it can get really messy with the toddler around, I must say it is also satisfying to see how the girl has progressed. My only hope is that I will remain calm and not think about the mess that could be created. Learning should be fun!

Little Genie box – School Readiness Program

Faith had very little concept of time. By that, I mean she couldn’t tell the days in order and each day, she would ask me what we would be doing that day. Her ‘last week’ is ‘yesterday’ and sometimes it could be a particular incident that had happened some time back.

I reckon it could be because she was a tad young to understand the concept but to be fair to her, I did not teach that concept explicitly. When her constant questioning did get to me, I resolved to teach her and that’s when Little Genie Box contacted me and asked if I wanted to try out their products. Very timely indeed! Sure, why not? I shared with them my concern and they recommended that I try out one of their topics for the School Readiness Program which aims to prepare preschoolers to develop learning dispositions for classroom and school routines.

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Our box soon arrived and I was pleased when I saw the contents. It includes a lesson plan, two different types of calendar, a personalised weekly timetable, worksheets and relevant materials to complement the learning. The lesson plan is comprehensive and all I need is to follow the activities laid out in the plan.

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I wasted no time and started teaching Faith the days. I thought the print and the font size on some of the the materials could be larger since Faith was only 4 years old and went on to create a bigger version for her. Faith was eager to learn and attempt the task that was set out on the lesson plan. I was secretly happy, of course.

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Within a few weeks, she could name the days in the correct order (sigh, should have taught her earlier) and I went on to teach about the months based on the lesson plan. It was a bit more difficult for her but at least she has some ideas of the months now and could tell me which month her brother’s and her birthday fall on. The calendars provided in the box helped a lot in getting her to visualise the days, months and the weather.

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What I appreciate about the various activities is the fact that they are pitched at varying levels of difficulties. There are simple and more concrete ones like the one shown above and more difficult tasks which require Faith to spell for instance which she could not do at this current moment.

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Then, there is the timetable that saved me from Faith’s constant queries about the daily schedule. Having penned down the activities for the various days, she could then refer to the chart and eventually could tell me what she can expect for each day.

We have been working with the contents of this box for a few months now and consistency is key to Faith’s mastery of time. Perhaps, you might find that the activities could be easily created. I don’t disagree with you. However, finding the time to do so is the issue for most of us. I, for instance, have been procrastinating and could finally work on time with the preschooler when the box came along. Of course I did talk to her about the days and months but nothing beats working with the materials and this in turn, helps young children to store the necessary information in their memory.

Little Genie Box’s School Readiness Program features the following components:
:: Personal identity & introducing name
:: Handling emotions & relating to others
:: Understanding dates & use of the calendar
:: Personal safety & well-being
:: Reading time & following timetable
:: Responsibility with money & belongings

These are excellent topics to learn for preschoolers and the knowledge would be extremely useful as they enter Primary Schools. Little Genie Box’s curriculum also includes Literacy program and Everyday Chinese. You might want to read about the review of the Everyday Chinese program here.

I would definitely continue to use the contents in the box to teach Faith about time. And if you are thinking of having some learning activities with your child during this year-end holiday, I would strongly recommend Little Genie Box. Bond and learn together with your child!

SPECIAL PROMOTION FOR READERS OF RAISING FAITH

Take advantage of this promotion! For every 6-month enrolment, you will receive a free award-winning book  that is worth up to $25 .
Simply key in the promo code ‘icanteachmychild’ on the enrollment form on their website. This promotion will last till 31st Dec 2016.

Disclaimer: We received a box of the School Readiness Program for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own. 

Canvas Painting at TrehausKids

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I have mentioned before that I would like to expose Faith to different interests so that I could help her identify her strengths and work on it/them. The period before she enters Primary School is a great timing because she has extra pockets of time to explore and we would not be stressed out by the demands of school. So far, we have signed her up for music, swim, dance and Chinese class. She loves all of them except for dance. It’s exasperating to observe her dance movement and attitude during the Twinkle Toes’ sessions that we signed her up for at the Esplanade. We concluded that she does not have interest in it, at least for now.

Art. I think she has a keen interest in it judging by how she could focus on working on an art piece. She has often expressed that she would like to attend an art class and I jumped at the opportunity for her to go for one at TrehausKids during the September school holidays.

The theme for that session is Monsters and Faith was actually looking forward to that session because she genuinely loves the space at Trehaus (she has had very good memories there). Upon entering the class, she settled rather quickly though it was her first time meeting Ms Jessie Chandran.

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Ms Chandran read them the book – Monsters Love Underpants – before getting them to work on a collage and subsequently the canvas painting of the Monster.

Definitely proud of her own work!

TrehausKids is launching regular weekly art classes at the Trehaus Studio, starting 16 September 2016. Helmed by TrehausKids Lead Facilitator and Art Educator, Ms Jessie Chandran, the weekly art classes happening every Friday is set to immerse young children in the world of modern and contemporary art while picking up core skills in painting techniques, colour mixing and sketching.

Every session, Ms Chandran will personally guide a small class size of no more than 8 students and mentor them on drawing, sketching and painting techniques to create their own masterpieces. In these sessions, students will explore different art medium such as watercolour and acrylics with a variety of painting tools to unleash their inner Warhol or Picasso. 😉

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For younger students who are aged 3-4, theme-based art workshops will include storytelling to accompany each session. I heard there will be exciting tales from well-loved children’s authors such as Eric Carle and other famous classics!

While the sister was working on her creative piece, the brother was having a fun time in the next room.

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The art class happens every Friday, starting 16 September
2:00PM – 3:30PM (3-6 years old)
4:00PM – 6 PM (7-10 years old)

Venue: Trehaus Studio
Cost of each session: $35 +GST (non members); $20 +GST (Trehaus members*)
Cost of one term of 4 sessions: $120 + GST (non members); $60 + GST (Trehaus members)

*Trehaus member refers to members on WORK or WORK + PLAY membership packages

More information can be found here.

Faith’s first swimming lesson

Before the kids came along, I have decided that if I should send them to any enrichment classes, it would have to be Chinese, music and swimming. Faith started her music lessons at 3YO and Chinese enrichment about three months later. We have been sourcing for a swimming class for her for the longest time and we finally found one (via this link) that suits our timing and budget, all thanks to my resourceful sister!

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Morning: All ready for swim class!

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This scene is so familiar it brings back many fond memories. It is the swimming complex where I learnt how to tread water, used the breast stroke and gobbled the bowl of Mee Siam after each lesson. Now my daughter is going through the same thing, minus the food (no more canteen there!).

She started off in the competition pool and my SIL and I were giggling away as our kids got orientated in the water. Faith was uber attentive to the instructor and did everything that she was asked to do. She wore the apprehensive expression on her face and I was afraid that she might give up halfway.

Thankfully, she was all smiles when she got up for a drink and narrated to us what had happened. Asked if she liked the class, she said YES. Phew!

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So yes, she was in the deep waters for her first lesson. I think learning in a group helps a lot at her age since she will be more inclined to want to swim together with the rest. It’s definitely a good source of motivation!

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I think she did well for her first trial session. We went down as a family to support her. Yes, her brother too. We make it a point to have the siblings encourage each other in their achievement, no matter how small that could be.

Psst. Have you been using your FREE ActiveSG $100 for sports-related activities? Don’t forget to use it!