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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

How to make chain paper dolls

Its the school holidays or its bad weather outdoors? What do you do with the kids? You do some fun and easy crafts. You can make some chain paper dolls. These are dolls cut of paper that look like they are holding hands.

I wanted to do some chain paper dolls with the kids but I didn't know how. I knew it was easy but I didn't know how to cut so that the dolls look like they are holding hands. I did some googling and was pleased to find this site with adorable chain paper dolls.

Based on the idea from that site, we came up with our very own chain paper dolls. This craft is very, very easy and the pictures are self explanatory.

These are what you need to make your chain paper dolls.

Materials for Making Paper Doll
Materials for Making Paper Doll
First, you fold a length of paper like a fan or accordian, then you draw in the doll making sure the hands touch the sides, then you cut out the doll but remember not to cut out the sides so they are joined together making them look like they are holding hands. You can make as many dolls as you like by the number of folds you make on the paper.

Paper Doll Cutous
Paper Doll Cutouts
Tadaa! This batch of paper dolls is for my boy. After cutting, we drew the faces with color pencils and painted the trousers with paint or water colors. Then we cut and paste an old shorts of his so that the t-shirts look more real and 3-D like. Hahaha. After that we drew in the decorations for the T-shirt using marker pens.

Chain Of Boy Paper Dolls
Chain Of Boy Paper Dolls
Tadaa! This batch of cute ballerina cut out dolls are for my girl. This time we painted the tops and used staplers to clip on the little tutus or ballerina skirts. Our paper doll supplies or materials came from left over christmas hamper ribbons. I'm a hoarder so I kept these silly items to use for crafts.

Chain Of Girl Paper Dolls
Chain Of Girl Paper Dolls
Tips: Your dolls need not be so elaborate if you don't have the time. Just fold, cut and get the kids to decorate the dolls by drawing in with color pencils. It will be just as much fun and easier to do for the younger kids. Older kids can do the entire craft themselves, whereas younger ones may need some help with the folding and cutting.

Pin this image if you like this page. Thank you. :)

How To Make Chain Paper Dolls

Check Out These Adorable Chain Paper Doll And Other Paper Doll Kits:

I'm Raising Impatient Kids

"Mummy, sometimes we don't brush our teeth in the morning because we are always in a rush."

Thats what my girl told me recently after she read some moral book about brushing teeth in the morning and before sleep. She's right of course. Sometimes I let the kids brush their teeth while I shower them just to save that extra bit of time and yes, we ARE always in a rush.

"Hurry up and wear your shoes, we're late."

"Can you eat your food faster please!"

"Why are you taking so looonnng to brush your teeth?"

"Can we do this another time, we have other things to do now."

We're always rushing or else we'd be late or can't get a parking etc. The kids know the drill by now. "Hurry up or else.... there'll be no parking at the mall." for example. Even the little one knows this by now.

In addition to all that rushing, I'm terribly impatient. Sometimes I don't even wait for them to finish their sentences when they start talking and boy do they love to talk and ask and talk and ask. I've really got to make myself stop to listen to them better, I mean literally stop in the tracks.

So, how do you raise patient kids? The answer is obvious isn't it? Take a hard look at yourself in the mirror and change BUT... thats easier said than done of course, just like everything else about PARENTING. Lol!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

School Holiday Fun

Second sister organised a lunch get together for all the wives and kids on school holidays. We had so much fun.

The older kids got together to play their computer games, the younger ones ran around playing and snatching toys and everyone ate and ate.

And what did all the ladies do? We ate and chat and ate and chat. The kids enjoyed it and so did the adults. It was a nice change for the kids to run around with their cousins and it was a nice change for me not to give them my attention all the time as they promptly forgot about me as soon as we arrived. Lol!

And bad mommy also used the gathering as a leverage for the first few days of the week. "If you still want to go to aunty's house you better behave!" Hehe.

My thoughts during the school holiday gathering are in a related post - Cherish the.... NOW!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Washing Car - The Best Outdoor Activity for Kids

One of the best outdoor activities which my kids enjoy is helping to wash the car and the porch. Its the only time they get to play with soap and water without being scolded. Lol!

When its time for a wash, we give the kids a pail of soap each and a sponge or cloth and told them that now they are workers. They were extremely happy to take on the job. And they did it with such zest singing along as they did their "work".

The best time to do this activity is just before their baths and remember to dress them up in old clothes because they'll get all wet (which they love!). After that, they'll be so hungry too and gobble up whatever food you give to them. Hahaha.

They just love soaping up the car and spraying water all over it afterwards and later on they are proud to sit in their "sparkling" or "shiny" new car (as my girl calls it).

Its a really fun activity for the whole family. Its cheap too and the end result is a shiny new car. No need to pay the car wash or anyone else to do it. Lol!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Lights Shoe

The kids love their light shoes. You know the kind which lights up at the soles and the sides when they walk. It really fascinates them. Unfortunately the lights usually don't last very long. Yesterday we got both of them a pair each.

Later on, I was in another part of the house doing some work. When I came back to the room, I was surprised to see the room in darkness. Their daddy had switched off all the lights, made them wear their new lights shoe and they were dancing and prancing around the room in them. Hahaha!

It was really funny and the kids loved this "activity". I would recommend it to anyone buying lights shoe for the first time. But you can only do this "activity" once. After the shoe is worn outdoors, you wouldn't want them dancing and prancing around in them indoors. Lol!

Kids Crafts: Crayon Resist Painting

Crayon Resist Painting is another fun and easy craft you can do with little kids. This kid's craft is really fascinating.

Here's what you need to do:

First you ask your child to draw a picture using crayons. Make them draw thick lines and press really hard when they draw. The best effect will be achieved using light crayon colors.

Secondly, ask your child to paint their crayon drawing using dark watercolors. Mix the watercolors with more water ie use dark paint but make it diluted.

Your child will be fascinated when the watercolors resist the crayons when they paint. This craft is really easy for little ones to do since they don't have to paint in the details. They merely paint over the details or crayon drawings instead. Its easier to draw then to paint.

Here are some tips for doing this crayon resist craft:

  1. Use light crayon colors and press really hard to get more wax out when drawing.
  2. Use dark water colors and dilute it with more water so that the paint is watery and not too thick.
  3. Use a cloth to blot out the excess wet paint over the crayon drawing parts.
  4. Don't overpaint. Otherwise the paper will become blotchy or tear.

We created rainbow scenes and drew heart shapes and "I love You's" on our paintings but you can also create a Snowman or Santa (for really young children) or other snow scenes using white crayons and black paint. This craft can be turned into a fun Christmas Craft. Enjoy!

Correcting Your Child's Pencil Hold

Both my children do not hold their pencils correctly. My girl holds hers with the thumb crossing over to the other side near to her index finger. I am having a hard time correcting her pencil grip because I did not bother to teach or rather I did not even think of teaching her the correct way from the start thinking it will come naturally.

My boy is just starting to write now and he also holds his pencils in the wrong manner. He sort of holds it with four fingers leaving only the little finger free. Furthermore he is left-handed whereas I am right-handed. When I tried to show him the correct way, he told me "That is my favourite. You have your favourite. That is my favourite." *rolls eyes* pretty strong headed and opinionated for a 3 year old. In other words, he's a stubborn little 3 year old.

Anyway, I tried to search the internet for some pictures or articles so I could teach them the right way to hold a pencil but I couldn't find anything accept for this one: How to Hold a Pencil from Draw Your World - Correct Pencil Grip.

Then I visited Mommy-fied's blog and saw the link which she found and posted ie the tip on Teaching A Child To Hold A Pencil. I'm definitely going to try it and see if it works. Thank you mommy-fied for sharing. Thats what I love about blogging.

To other parents. Does your child hold his/her pencil correctly from the start? Did you have to show them or did it come naturally? I am worried that it will be hard to correct now they have gotten off on the wrong start.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

How an impatient mother sounds like to an observer

Yesterday while I was at the bakery, I heard a mother barking to her little boy and girl impatiently.

"Your birthday is 3 more days! Come on! ...... bark bark bark bark."

All the while the little girl and boy pestered her about the cake they wanted. "Mummy I want this, Mummy I want that." She brushed them off impatiently wanting only to hurry up and get the task of buying what she came there to buy and leaving.

She sounds just like me! To an observer or outsider, they may shake their heads at this mother and think ......Oh come on. Its just a small thing. The child just wants a little bit of your attention. Why can't you smile, speak nicely to her and say. "Its not your birthday yet dear, we'll come back another day ok?"

Yes thats true but only a mother who goes through all that daily pestering can emphatize with what she is going through and see it from her point of view. Having said that though, she still sounds terrible to me. My goodness! That must be how I sound like to Mr MG everyday!!!! Hahahaha.

No wonder he's always telling me. "Why don't you just relax and take it easy with the kids." Now that would tempt me to say "Then why don't you see if you can stay 24 hours with them and still relax and take it easy." And that would tempt him to say "Then why don't we switch places. You go to work and I stay at home." Then we would have World War Three at home. Lol!

MG's mantra today: I shall not speak impatiently to the kids. I shall not speak impatiently to the kids.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Kid Activities

Almost anything is an adventurous activity for the kids. You don't have to crack your head very hard on what to do with them or how to entertain them. They just want company, someone to laugh at their jokes and someone to listen to them. (Hey! That sounds like an adult too. We all want some company, someone to laugh at our jokes and someone to listen to us! Now somebody please laugh! Hahaha.)

Anyway, baby (I still call him baby even though he's 3 now!) lost some books down the back of the bed and he was very sad. I decided to move the beds so I could sweep in those long forgotten places.

The kids were very excited when I moved the beds apart and pushed one next to the window. "We've never seen it like that!" the girl declared. They were happy to sit on the bed while I pushed. Its like a big car. I pushed the bed head away from the wall and started pulling the sheets there and sweeping there. In the process, we found one car, two books and a bubble rubber ducky. The kids were happy to find these long lost toys. We always find lots of toys under the bed. Usually cars, as they get "driven" under there. Books too and sometimes tissues.

After that they proceeded to jump on the bed AFTER I had made it. They jumped on it with their little dusty feet. (Lots of dust were uncovered from under the bed and they stepped on them as they ran from bed to bed.)

A lot more work for mummy and some shouting "Don't jump on the bed." "Oh No! Your feet are so dirty! Go and wipe them on the mat first." "I just made the bed!" Yes, definitely lots more work but at least they had fun and they thought it was a really fun activity! Lol!

Chinese For Kids

As some of my regular blog readers know, I am torn about whether to send my kids to Chinese school to learn Chinese since I don't know any Chinese myself. After much pondering (we're still thinking), we finally registered the older girl for Chinese school.

This puts us in a dilemma. How to teach the kids Chinese when we don't know any Chinese? I searched the internet for good sites to teach the kids Chinese but I could only find one or two game sites and many sites and resources for adults who want to learn Chinese but none for kids. Some other kids sites were too complicated for me. There were too many Chinese words and instructions that I couldn't understand. I can't guide and aid my child in learning Chinese when I don't understand it myself. I needed something simpler.

Finally I found BetterChinese.com. Its the most comprehensive and structured teaching kids Chinese site I've come across so far. The best part is its tailored for English speaking parents and kids who are learning Chinese as a second language. I immediately signed up for the free 30 day trial.

My girl loves it. She loves the animations, songs, rhymes and exercises and when she loves something she learns better. I'm learning too. Its structured and repetitive so its easier to recognise the Chinese characters. And you know what? I understand it because the instructions are in English. Lol!

Apart from its online curriculum, the site has a host of complementary products to aid learning such as storybooks, workbooks, teacher/parent guides, CD Roms and other supplementary materials which you can mix and match according to your needs or budget. The Chinese learning materials are targetted for children from ages 2 to 13.

Parents, I hope you find the site useful. You can sign up for the free trial and see if your child enjoys it before you decide on whether to pay for full or partial access to the site. The free trial has 12 lessons. Each lesson has stories, animations, songs/rhymes and exercises. Lots of stuff for your kid to try out. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Kids Craft for telling time and learning numbers

Making paper watches is one of my kids' favourite crafts. It gets them interested in numbers and the concept of time and telling time.

Heres what we do:

1. First we draw out the watches.

2. Then we paint the straps.

3. Then we decorate the straps with stickers. We decorate the girl ones with flowers, hearts, princesses and glitters and the boy ones with superman and car stickers.

4. Then we cut them out, put double sided tape at the back of the strap and wear them.

5. Watches for sale at only $5 a piece. Anyone? ANYONE? Hahaha.

Its an extremely simple craft. The very best part of the craft is the proud look they have on their faces when they wear them and the way they carry their arms up at a certain angle so that the watch will not drop off. Now thats priceless! Sometimes they even ask to wear it to sleep. Hahaha.

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