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Friday, September 26, 2008

Index of all games on Top 4 Kids Online Games Sites

There are some online games sites which my young children love. However, to get to the ALL Games index, they sometimes have to go through the home page, then go through several other pages before they reach the ALL Games index. There are usually several pages to the All Games index as well but my list below is linked to the "SHOW ALL GAMES" so you get ALL Games on one page.

They love the ALL games index because it allows them to quickly glance through all the games available on the site and choose games to try out. "Mummy, can you show me where is the page that shows All the games?" is a frequent request.

So okay kids, mummy is going to put the index to ALL the games to ALL your favourite sites on this page for our easy reference ok?
  • Nickjr.com index of all games - This site is regularly update with new exciting games for young kids. Its my kids' favourite. Kids browse all games by clicking right and left arrows.
  • BBC - Cbeebies index of all fun and games. There are 4 pages of games and they're all on this "SHOW ALL GAMES" page
  • Kindersite Directory of games. This one is a collection or directory of games from various sites. Clicking on those games will link you to more sites with more links to games. There is also a directory of Music & Songs, Stories, and Lullabies.
  • Sesame Street - You'd have to browse through 7 pages for all games on this site as they don't have the "SHOW ALL GAMES" on one page feature here. The new Sesame Street is still in Beta. It looks cool.
Now, all I have to do is favourite this page for my kids to explore!

Parents, you can feel free to favourite this page for your child too. :) Or if you have any good links to share, please drop me a comment. Thank you.

Disney Channel Fun & Games Index - link contributed by reader Simon
Kikki's Workshop - Great for little boys who like Construction equipment - link contributed by reader Henny
PBS Kids Index of Games. Within this link are links to music and coloring pages too - link contributed by reader blur mommy
Noggin.com Games Indes - For younger kids - link contributed by reader Vien
Uptoten - Here is the Boowa and Kwala sitemap to all the games and activities listed in alphabetical order - link contributed by reader asianmommy

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Most Favourite Toy and Unusual Playthings

The kids have lots of toys but I think the most favourite one of all has got to be their drawing board. They both love it very much. And when they draw a masterpiece on it, no one must erase it or they will get rather upset. Wouldn't you get upset too if your masterpiece was erased? ;)

Apart from the drawing board, the kids can spend hours playing with unusual playthings like fast food chilli sauce sachets, tissue paper sachets and angpow packets. They especially love chilli sauce sachets. Each of them has a set of chilli sauce satchets. They decorate them with stickers and recognise which chilli sauce belongs to whom. Then they make cars, houses, etc with it or simply let their imagination run wild. Their chilli sauce sachets can also turn into people and giants. Hahaha.

What unusual toys does your child play with?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Preschool Germs leads to One Sick House

The girl has been sick the whole week. It started with a fever on last Tuesday night. At the time she was still on antibiotics for a swollen eye and a bad lingering cough. As it turned out, the swollen eye was due to her scratching rather than a bacterial infection but the antibiotics was for her lingering cough.

So I was surprised when she got a fever halfway through taking the antibiotics. The fever wouldn't come down. High low high low, it went. No other symptoms. Just the high fever. So back to the doc we went. It would seen like we are seeing the doc every week! Doc increased her fever med dosage to 10ml. The teacher said that many of the kids have been at school with high fevers. One kid was hospitalised for pneumonia.

Doc said it was a viral infection, so she just gave us more fever and cough medicine. No antibiotics. She said not to worry. Her lungs sounds clear so its not pneumonia and she doesn't think its dengue either. She said if its dengue the child will be very lethargic and spots or rashes will appear after 3-4 days.

The girl is back in school now but I think I'm sick now. My back was hurting so bad, the night before last and yesterday I had severe gastric pains and a slight fever. Blergh!

So here we go again, round and round the sick (un)merry go round. Our house or rather the occupants have been sick for months. One after another after another...... When you've got a kid in preschool, this is what you should expect...... Oh! I hate preschool germs! Grrrrrr!

Updated: The boy developed a fever a day after this post was written. :(

Monday, September 22, 2008

Halloween Party Ideas

Halloween 2008 falls on 31st October 2008. If you're planning to have a party for your kids, its not too early to start planning now. Some parents are worried about their kids going trick and treating so its better to have them safe at a home party.

As with planning any other party, don't forget to prepare some halloween treats.

Kids get bored easily though so its best to prepare some party games to occupy them. Here are some that I've come across:

1. Witch Hat Hunt - Send the kids around the room to hunt for witches hats. The one with the most hats wins. Don't forget to prepare prizes for everyone for participating so that everyone "wins". :)

2. Create a Spooky Tale - Get everyone seated in a circle. The oldest child gets to start off by telling a scary story that he or she makes up instantly on the spot. The child next to him continues the story and everyone gets a chance to test their creativity skills to create a really spooky story.

3. Dress the Witch - Divide the kids into teams. Then have each team pick a person to dress up as a witch. Provide the kids with some everyday items they can use as hats, brooms etc. You can also provide makeup for the kids to "paint" the witches face with. The team with the best dressed scary witch wins.

Happy Halloween.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thinking Back, Looking Forward

It's time to go, farewell and good-bye
The clock keeps ticking, the day moves along
It's time to go, farewell and good-bye
We're saying so long with a song

You may be sad when things come to an end
But something surprising could be 'round the bend
Remember the old and welcome the new
And savor each moment whatever you do

It's time to go, farewell and good-bye
The world keeps turning, the days move along
It's time to go, farewell and good-bye
We're saying so long with a song
Saying so long with a song

Recently, the girl had her kindy school graduation photo taken. She had a fever and two missing front teeth and didn't feel like smiling. Poor sweetie. Only 2 months to go and she will have completed her kindergarten and moving on to "BIG" school.

How quickly the time has passed. As I watched her play with her friend's mortar board, (there was this Malay boy sitting beside her and she was pulling at the trails or whatever you call it of the mortar board and admiring it), I can't help but feel proud of her and yet miss the little baby, toddler and now preschooler going to enter school soon. How quickly she has grown. How quickly....

Monday, September 15, 2008

Parents too picky about kids' schools?

"I feel shock when I read about a blogger mum's long checklist on the pre-school selection, I don't really consider that when sending my girl to school. On the selection of primary school, I have made up my mind to sent her to Chinese School since day 1, the one next to my house and never thought of checking the school or school hunting or anything. Do we really need to be thinking that much??"

I received this comment on my personal site and I was going to reply to it there but I can't seem to access it this morning so I'll reply to the comment here as a blog post instead since I have much to say about this subject. (as usual) ;)

"Do we really need to be thinking that much??"

IMO, it depends. On the parents and the circumstance or situation at home and the schools or educational systems and facilities available. For example, we speak to our kids mainly in English so if we had an English medium of education here, I would not have so much headache. I would probably just check out one or two and go to the one nearest to my house. End of story. No need to think that much.

For their preschool, since, most of the medium of instruction is in English, it was very easy to decide. Location played a main factor in my decision. There are many preschools in my housing area. All of them are nearby. Still, I feel that it is necessary to at least visit the schools so that you have a better idea of whats best for your child.

I visited 3. Preschool No 1 was very established. It is a montessori based. The principal mentioned that her earlier students are now bringing their kids back to the preschool. However, I am afraid that the premise and equipment were old and run down. They had not bothered to give it a face lift. Safety and security were not ideal as well. When I visited, there was no one around and the little ones opened the door for me! There were mosquitoes and the roof looks like it needed fixing. That school is out for my kids although its the nearest.

Preschool No 2 is a famous franchised one. The principal proudly proclaimed to me that their syllabus is equivalent to the primary school year 1 syllabus and all their students do well in primary school eventually. She emphasized rather proudly as well, that there is a lot of homework for the students and they have a overseas Chinese teacher to teach the kids Chinese. I asked to speak to the Chinese teacher and could not understand what she was saying as she spoke fast and didn't sound local. She also could not speak any English. The principal said that this is a good thing since the students will then be forced to speak in Chinese. Famous or otherwise, that school is out for my kids.

Preschool No 3 is in between 1 and 2. Not very famous and only a few years old. Safety wise they were ok but cleanliness wise not fantastic. There were no soaps in the toilet sinks. However, they gave me the best impression of all. Security was ok and the syllabus had just the right mix of work and play. They have cooking classes where the teachers would cook up local delicacies and the children would learn counting and following instructions by counting the number of spoons of sugar, flour etc that is required and when to mix them in. They have gardening classes where the students would plant onions etc and watch them grow. And they have gym classes, music and waterplay classes. They don't have fantastic equipment for those activities and the school is not famous, big nor beautiful but thats fine by me. I chose this preschool for my girl and she's happy and thriving there. Right from the first day. No tears.

So yes, I feel that choosing and looking around is very important. Afterall, your child will be spending most or at least half his or her day there.

As for Primary school we are faced with a dilemma.

We speak English at home but we have to send our kids to either a Malay medium or a Chinese medium school. Thus, I feel, we have to crack our heads a bit more. We are both from the Malay medium school, so we have to crack our heads even more since the Malay medium school standards are dropping and everyone wants to learn Chinese now due to the rise of China.

Why do we have to crack our heads? We want our kids to learn Chinese, naturally, since we are Chinese. However, since we are not from that system of education, we do not understand it nor will we be able to support our kids as much as we'd like to. How can we provide the support when we don't even understand the language or medium of instruction. I do not believe in tuition but it looks like it may be necessary if we cannot provide the support at home. All this adds to the dilemma and is the reason why most parents are "choosy" about schools.

I keep on hearing over and over again. "Nevermind, suffer for 6 years only." But why should anyone have to suffer to learn? I don't understand it at all, nor do I agree with it. To me, it is 6 fundamental growing years where attitudes are formed. So they are rather important 6 years. We have to make sure that our child thrives in whatever learning environment we put them in.

Another thing. I do not believe in pushing my child to be the first or top students in class but I do believe that they should excel and be ahead of their peers. Being top students brings with it the pressure of being at the top and staying at the top. If my child is naturally good, then well, thats fine. But I do not believe in pushing them and making sure they are right there at the top.

However, I do believe that they should be shown the way to be ahead of their peers so that they can develop a better self image and have the self confidence and self assurance from excelling in studies and being above average students. I do not wish for them to lack behind their peers and that is why I put so much taught on whether I should send them to a Chinese school. Not speaking Chinese at home puts them at a disadvantage and behind those whose main language is Mandarin at home. So that means they will have to put in extra effort and work extra hard to be above average and yet I cannot support them since I don't understand Mandarin. I do not wish for them to be just one of the crowd (as I want them to experience the confidence that comes with being good) and worse still, I do not wish for them to be always struggling to catch up in their studies.

That is why I think so hard about schools and I believe, rightfully so.

In searching for primary schools I visited quite a few to make sure that I can find an environment that is suitable for my child and in which she and he can blend in. I do not believe in going for the best schools and travelling an hour each day commuting just to make sure that my child is in the best school. No, that is not why I am choosy. However, I think it is important to visit the few nearby schools to view the premise and speak to the teachers and head if possible. And so, that is what I did. It gives me a better view of what to expect so I can prepare my child.

For example, when I visited a nearby National School, I was surprised to note that during recess, the kids ran out and sat on the floor to eat because there weren't enough sitting places. The school was small and did not have a school hall or field. A chinese teacher I spoke to at the school expressed surprised that I was considering National School for my kid. (Even the teachers who teach in the school have no faith in the system. Its so sad). When I asked her about the school facilities, she shrugged and said "Just look around you lah. Thats what we have. We have very little space."

Now, if I had just closed my eyes and picked the nearest school in the same kind of learning environment as I had been taught, I would have ended up in that school. I would not be able to find out and learn more from viewing the premise, observing the students and speaking to the teachers, heads, guards, cleaners, and other parents themselves. So yes, I believe we need to be thinking that much and the above are my reasons.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Board Game for Young Kids

Recently we bought a first board game for the kids. Its a very simple game called "Supermarket". Its like a simplified Monopoly for very young kids. The kids go round the board and have to do some "shopping" whenever they stop at a square with a shopping trolley on it. They must pay for the item they want and get the correct change from the bank.

When they go pass the start point, the bank pays them $20. There are some squares which are restaurants or telephone booths. Anyone who stops at these squares have to pay $5 to the bank. The game is for 2-4 players and someone acting as a banker.

At the end of the game, the one with the most value of bought items wins.

To an adult or older kid, the game may get rather boring after a while. After a while you just sort of go round and round and round in circles and you lose the objective of the game. I also feel that the instructions are not detailed enough. I have to set my own rules and objectives to finish the game!

However its good enough for little ones. They love to roll the dice, count the number of spaces, get money from the bank, and buy things. The objective is to buy expensive items but after a while, they want to buy objects to their hearts desire like cakes and icecream from the confectionary or matching skirts and tops in the Garments Shop. Hahaha.

In this game, they learn about the value of money, and some additions and subtractions ie how much change they should get in return. So I suppose it does have some educational content and the kids enjoy playing it even though the game may not be perfect.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A trilingual picture dictionary - Malay - English - Chinese

I wanted to get one of those electronic talking chinese dictionary to help me and my girl in learning Chinese Mandarin. However, those are rather expensive so I decided to wait and see. In the meantime, I was delighted to find this trilingual picture dictionary in Malay, English and Chinese at a local bookshop.

I love it because its very modern and relevant for our Malaysian kids. It is a picture dictionary in three languages for young kids. The languages are Malay, English and Chinese. The pictures are colourful and wonderfully illustrated.

There are entries on the people of Malaysia and our Festivals, our Currency and Landmarks, all in three languages. Very interesting. It has more modern words and pictures as well eg. digital cameras, atms, modems etc. You can also find out what a toll plaza, or a Touch & Go Lane is in Chinese and Malay. Or in a bank you might want to know what a queing number machine is, or a security guard or a closed circuit camera. It also contains some useful nouns, idioms, action verbs etc.

I love looking at the dictionary. I think its very relevant for primary school kids in Malaysia, especially those who will be going to Chinese school. I think it may even be relevant for some adults. For example, its relevant for me to help my girl pick up the language, not only the Chinese language but Malay too! Highly recommended by MG!

And no, this is not a sponsored post. Ini bukan satu pos berbayar. Errr... I wanted to make this message trilingual but I still don't know how to put Chinese characters in a post. Hahaha.

Oh I forgot to mention... the dictionary is from Oxford Fajar. Here is the exact title: Kamus Bergambar Generasi Baharu KBSR Edisi Keenam (Bahasa Melayu-Bahasa Inggeris-Bahasa Cina).

It serves my purpose for now and its much cheaper than an electronic talking dictionary. Its only RM12.95. I think its worthwhile for the info in contains.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Separation Anxiety

I've mentioned before that my boy is like a super glue. He sticks to me wherever I go. For example....

Separation Anxiety at age 2
He cries whenever I am out of sight and clings to me when I am in sight.

Separation Anxiety at age 4
He shouts out to me when I leave the room. "Mummy, where are you going? Are you going downstairs/upstairs? Will you be back soon? I want to go with you."

During mealtimes or playtime, he pushes the chair he is sitting on so that the chair is as close to mine as possible just so he can sit as near to me as possible.

During bedtime, he will put a hand on my face or drag my hand to put over his body. If I am sleeping on the mattress next to his bed, he will let his hand hang down and request that I hold his hand. Even in the middle of the night, I will suddenly find a small hand looking for mine requesting to be held while sleeping. Either that, or I will suddenly hear a small, sleepy voice saying "Mommy, hold hands."

I wonder when will Separation Anxiety end? lol.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Their First Board Game

We bought the kids their first board game recently. Its called "Supermarket". Its a little bit like kiddie monopoly but much more simplified. The kids get to roll a dice and move around the board over and over again. They get to stop to do some "shopping" with pretend money if they happen to stop at a square with a shopping trolley.

When I have more time, I may upload a photo and do a small "review" of the game. In the gist, I think board games are great family fun. However, with young kids, you must set aside a time to sit with them, explain the game and supervise the play. Oh and don't forget to explain that you don't have to win all the time to enjoy a game. lol.

In this game, they learn about money, counting etc but the most important lesson of all is the lesson on losing and winning and being sporting when playing. :)

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