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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Frosty The Snowman

Here's one of my children's favourite Christmas Songs... Frosty The Snowman. I enjoy it too. They lyrics to the Frosty the Snowman song is fun and the tune catchy. This animated video shows the Frosty the Snowman cartoon and song. Very nice.

I hope you or your kids enjoy this Christmas song too. Have a very Merry Christmas everyone!

You can find Frosty the Snowman lyrics here if you want to teach it to your kids.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

First World Hotel Genting Highlands

This post is useful to a first time visitor with young kids to Genting Highlands as it highlights our visit to the First World Hotel and the Indoor Theme Park. Older Children may prefer the Outdoor Theme Park while even older "children" may prefer the Casino. :) Read on only if you are in the first category otherwise you would be bored. Long post ahead.

On July 25, 2008, I wrote a post on Where to stay and what to do in Genting Highlands. Well, I finally made it there. We went there as a family of four plus our domestic helper. The kids are 5 and 7. If you have young kids around that age, I hope that this post about our stay can help to answer some of the questions I had about Where to stay and what to do in Genting Highlands when you are going there with very young children.

We stayed at the First World Hotel, Genting Highlands. In 2006, the First World Hotel was listed as the World's largest hotel according to the number of rooms with 6118 rooms altogether. It is the 3rd largest now according to this source.

We decided to drive there early from Kuala Lumpur. It is just about an hour's drive. Before we drove there, we made sure that we went to the Genting website to print out the latest maps available so we managed to drive right straight to the hotel carpark with ease. For example, the Genting Highlands Brochure gave me a pretty good idea about where each hotel or attraction is in relation to each other while this Genting Map showed me where and how to drive straight into the First World Hotel Car Park. We also found this Genting Indoor Theme Park Map useful. If you have kids as young as ours, this is where you want to go. You can get this indoor theme park map at the theme park itself so you don't need to print it but it gives you a good idea of what rides are available beforehand so you can plan your activities.

I haven't been up to Genting for over 10 years so we have to make use of all these resources to help us. I do find them really useful which is why I am posting them here.

We made a telephone reservation about 4 days before our trip. That is not a very good idea during a peak period. As a result, what was left available was the Standard View Room which is really a rather small basic room. We had to take two of those in order to fit in our group of 3 adults and 2 children. That cost us RM210 per room including 2 breakfasts. Only kids below 5 eat for free.

You get a discount of 10% for online bookings. I find the bookings not very consistent. Some of them requested for payment within 3 days otherwise your booking would be cancelled. At first I was told the same, but when I told reservations that I would like to pay upon checking in, they said ok, you can do so but your room will only be held till 6pm. Perhaps it was because I booked 4 days before arrival date so they gave me a leeway. Not sure about that but I did not have to pay beforehand. I paid upon arrival.

The Standard Room has no mini bar or tea and coffee making facilities. You have to walk out of your room to get cold and hot water from a mini water station. Fortunately for us, the water station was very near to our room, so we could make several trips to make our 3-in-1 hot Milo and Maggie Mee in a cup for supper!

Well, at least we had a view. The standard room without a view overlooks the wall of another building which is not very nice. Ours had a good view of the hills and the mists with a nice cool breeze. However, if all you want is a place to sleep, than it won't matter very much. (Besides, you may not be planning to do much sleeping anyway as the indoor theme parks are open till 1am during the peak period). Don't expect a very good sleep though as the rooms are not very sound proof. I was lucky to be in a higher floor but I could still hear distant screaming, other guests talking and doors slamming as they pass by the corridors to their own rooms.

Don't expect luxury but the rooms are clean and it serves its function. However, if I do go again, I will probably try to book earlier so I can get better accomodations as they do have better categories of rooms. Since we have young children, I think good sleep is important to us.

We arrived at Genting at about 9am, drove right into the First World Hotel Carpark using the maps we printed out. We made our way to the hotel lobby immediately as we had heard that you have to wait hours to check in the hotel. We left our luggage in the car. We were going for a one-night trip so we did not want to waste too much time waiting to check in the hotel. There were about 30 check in counters in I am not mistaken. I enquired at one and was told to get a number.

At about 9.30am, my number was 172. I did not have to queue for a number but I saw that the queue for the number had grown longer by noon. I was told that they would start calling the numbers at 12pm. "How long before they reach my number?" I asked the girl and she said about an hour. "What if I miss my number?" No worries, you can queue up at the dedicated counters (about 3-4 counters) specially for those who missed their numbers. "Isn't check in time 3pm? Do I have to wait till 3pm before I can go to my room?" No, you can check in if your number is called early. I saw a sign that says you can also check the current number being called by phone/sms. So you don't have to wait around for your number to be called.

Armed with that information, we went to get our tickets to play! Since the indoor theme park is located within the hotel premises it was just a matter of taking the elevator to a different floor. That is why we chose to stay at the First World Hotel. Despite it being the peak, the queue was reasonable since we were early. Earlier is better. We got a family package for 2 adults and 2 kids plus another adult ticket for the maid. That cost us RM109 for the family package plus RM30 for an extra adult. The tickets were for a one day unlimited ride pass at the Indoor Theme Park only.

We played till lunch time, went to wait for a while before our number was called. Got our hotel room keys. Went to have lunch and played some more. We jumped onto just about every ride available including the Junior and Adult Bumper Car Rides, the Venice Gondola, The Rio Float, the Reindeer cruiser, the Ferris Wheel, the Mini Train, the Carousel, the Monorail.

The Monorail takes you one round around the entire theme park including the external one so it gave us a good bird's eye view of the indoor as well as outdoor theme parks. We went on it twice. Unfortunately, both times, it stalled. :(

We went to Snow World after lunch and had to pay another RM58 for a family package plus RM17 for an extra adult. The tickets entitle you to half an hour of play in the Snow World. We had to don smelly jackets and gloves to keep warm.

Cameras and phones are strictly prohibited. Why? So that Genting can make more money from taking your photos and selling them to you, of course. ;) Of course you don't have to have your photos if you don't want to. We decided to have ours taken just for fun. We posed for 4-5 photos. A 4R photo cost RM16 he told us. The camera man assured us that we did not have to pay for those which we did not want.

By the time we came out of Snow World half an hour later we saw an 8R sized family photo of ours being displayed outside. There was also a couple of 4R ones and another 3-D 4 R one for us to select from. The 8R one looked the best. Pretty smart of them eh? So we ended up paying RM30 for an 8R plus a 4R one. Expensive but a nice family photo is worthwhile for keepsakes.

Finally, we went to collect our luggage from the car and went to the room to rest for a while before coming out for dinner, a walk and more playing!

The kids had a blast. They love the bumper cars the most. The maid loved it too. Unfortunately, the girl was too tall for the junior bumper cars and she had to go for the adult one so the kids couldn't play together.

Breakfast was at the cafe on the 3rd floor. The food was so so but the cafe was huge. It looked more like a canteen.

Finally, check out was the easiest. For world card members or those who had settled their hotel room bill in full by credit card upon check in, all you had to do was go to a kiosk, slot in your door room key cards in the slot. The machine flashes a thank you message. You place your hotel cards in a box and thats it! You are free to leave. It was so fast and simple. No queue at all. Everyone looked a bit amazed and surprised at how quick and simple it was.

We were lazy so we had our lunch and dinner at food courts at the First World Hotel Plaza or shopping complex itself which is also within the hotel premises. The food was pricey and lousy. Well, the bah kut teh was fine since hot soup in cold weather can't go very wrong but I think the main ingredient for the fried noodles and fried rice we had for dinner was.... salt.

Since its near Christmas, the decorations at the hotel lobby was beautiful. Hanging reindeers and santa's sleigh lights flying above your heads. Snowman lights and beautiful stars light up the area. Really magical.

Would I stay at the First World Hotel again? Yes, I would, but I would try to book earlier for a better room for more comfort. I hope this post was useful to you. As for me, it serves as a good record and memory of our first trip there as a family.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Teaching kids to draw with step by step instructions

My kids love to draw and color. Usually I just let them draw whatever they like using their imagination instead of trying to influence them with set ideas or instructions.

However, I was delighted to find this: Learn to Draw and Color with Uncle Fred. Uncle Fred gives step by step instructions on how to draw simple cartoons together with a sample of the finished colored drawing.

Though I think it is a good idea to let the kids have a free rein when it comes to drawing, I think there is perfectly no harm in having step by step instructions once in a while.

My kids and I immediately set to work to draw some of the cartoons. We picked "Bunny", "Kitty" and "Happy Puppy". We drew in the main character and added some background of our own. Then we colored them in with color pencils.

The kids love the step by step instructions on how to draw a cat, dog and rabbit. Below is our puppy, bunny and kitty drawings.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Christmas Craft for kids - Santa's Reindeer Art

Here's another very easy Christmas Craft for young kids. I got the instructions for doing this Santa's Reindeer Handprint Art from AllFreeCrafts.com.

I love this one because it is a good one for keepsakes since it uses the children's handprints and footprints. We can look back later and laugh at how small their hands and feet used to be.

We trace the children's hands for the reindeer's ears and one of their feet for the reindeer's face. We drew the eyes on white paper and cut it out. The we pasted everything on white paper.

To finish off, we drew in the eyebrows, eyelashes (which my girl wanted to add for hers), nose and mouth.

Then we cut out some paper snowflakes and added them in as decoration. My girl wanted her reindeer to "wear" the snowflake in its antlers like a flower.

They later added their names proudly to their Christmas Art. It is a very lovely way to tell them that Christmas is coming soon and to let them feel the excitement of the festive holidays. After they finished their art they took out their Santa's Reindeer storybook (which they received a few years ago as a Christmas present) to read.

Here are Reindeer's Santa created by my girl and my boy. No prizes for the correct guess on which one belongs to the girl and which one the boy.

My girl commented that her reindeer can't be called Rudolf because Rudolf is a boy and hers is a girl. :)

This Children's Christmas Art is very simple. It was done by my 7 year old girl and my 5 year old boy. Naturally the boy required more help but the girl was able to do hers quite independantly... accept for the snowflakes which is harder to cut for little hands.

Friday, December 04, 2009

How to make a 3-D Christmas Tree for kids

The girl has been asking for a small Christmas tree to put on her table. Just as I have been asking the man for a big Christmas tree to put in the house. However, this year we have to put off the Christmas tree yet again due to other expenses.

So, we decided to make a Christmas tree as one of our holiday craft instead. We decided to make a 3-D Christmas tree.

I found this simple instruction on How to make a simple 3-dimensional Christmas Tree from Enchanted Learning. It is really really simple and it takes just minutes to set up the "tree".

However, this Paper Christmas tree, just like a real Christmas tree, requires further work on the decorations and trimmings to give it the extra oomph! We used stickers, glitter pens and recycled old party hat trimmings for our decorations.

Here are our completed trees. You should try out this Christmas Craft too. Its simple. Its fun. The kids love it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

What to do with those old flash cards

The kids have outgrown their flashcards. They still look quite new. I don't think they used it very much as a learning tool. They probably used it more like a throwing tool. Throwing it all over the living room for me to pick.

Yesterday we took them out and devised our own flashcard/pictionary game. We took turns to pick a card. Then we had to act out the card and without a word spoken try to make the other persons guess what is on the card.

Its a great game. The kids love it. We had great laughs. It is also quite educational. It helps them to think a little bit.

For example, when my 7 year old girl got a card with vegetables on it, she thought about it a little while. Then she did an action to depict eating, followed by a "good" hand signal, then she pointed up and down her body, meaning a food that is good for your body. We guessed "eating" then "fruits" and finally "vegetables". It makes them think.

However, the 5 year old did not enjoy this game quite as much. When he gets his cards, he prefers to "draw out" in the air the item that he is holding, then he gets frustrated when we can't guess it. Poor lil fella. However, he did manage quite well when he got a "wolf" card, he pretended to roar and showed his claws but we still couldn't get it. "Is it a bird?" we asked and he shook his head. "Is it an animal?" and that made him get down on all fours to crawl about. We guessed "tiger", "lion" but we still couldn't get it.

Finally, I had to help him out. I took out the red towel, put it over my head like a hood and pretended to run away from him and the girl got it at once "Wolf" she said because she realised I was pretending to be "Little Red Riding Hood."

Its a fun game. So don't throw away those old flash cards. You can still use them even when the kids are older.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

His Report Card

This is the season for concerts, exams and report cards. Yesterday I collected the boy's report card.

The teacher said that he did well for all his subjects, all accept for....... why... Mandarin Chinese of course. Oh dear. He scored full marks for most of his subjects but when it comes to Chinese, he had trouble with it, even when guided. That means even when teacher reads out to him the questions. He simply cannot recognise the chinese characters. Looks like I have to concentrate more on his Chinese next year since he will be attending Chinese school.

On his behaviour, teacher commented that he is "gentle and has formed good friendship with his classmates. He has build up more self confidence in order to bring out his best." Teacher said that everyone wants to "friend him" both boys and girls, though at the beggining of the year, his friends were mostly girls.

I am glad that he enjoyed this whole year of kindy. I can see that he is very happy at the kindy from his bright smile when I see him there.

Its funny that both the kids' teachers used the word "gentle" to describe them.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

End of the Year Report Card

We collected the report card for my girl recently. I can't believe that she has almost completed her Standard 1. Time flies. She was 4th in class and 20th in the standard. Hmmm.... That means that even with an average score of 96.95 she will be around 20th in her future class? Thats a high standard to maintain.

Anyway, that isn't really important. We encourage our girl a lot in her studies but we will not push her beyond her own equilibrium. Just let her do what she can in a comfortable pace. That is good enough for us. At the end of the day, positions in class are just numbers. Its not going to help you in later working life.

Teacher wrote that "her character is gentle and kind, clever and cute. She is careful in doing work and has a sense of responsiblity." As for her chinese, I am glad to note that teacher has commented that "her chinese diction and pronounciation is good. She can follow the lesson and can use accurate words and terms to express herself and is fluent in the language." In the first term the teacher commented that her pronounciation was all wrong.

My girl was very happy to hear what teacher wrote. She also had a good laugh with us when she saw that her English teacher had written "keeps it up" instead of "keep it up".

I don't know how the streaming works in her school. If I am not mistaken, it works like this. There are 7 std 1 classes. There will be 2 top classes in std 2 and the rest of the 5 classes are equally rated. If that is true, I think that is a good system. This way, there won't be any "bad" classes. :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Craft Ideas for the School Holidays

Here's another craft which we did some time ago. It is a picture made of paper crepe. You can try it during the school holidays.

The girl learned it at school and wanted to replicate it at home. So she taught us how to make this paper crepe craft.

This is how to make a paper crepe picture.

You will need:

1. Black Construction Paper
2. Paper Crepe 0f Various Colours
3. Glue
4. Scissors

Instructions on how to make a paper crepe picture:

1. Draw a picture on a piece of black construction paper
2. Cut the paper crepe into thin strips (6 inches long and 1/2 and inch wide)
3. Roll the crepe paper into small rolls
4. Glue the rolled up crepe paper onto your picture

Thats it! You're done.

Here's the paper crepe picture of a car done by my 5 year old boy.

Here's the crepe paper picture of a peacock done by my 7 year old girl. She is really meticulous about rolling the paper and making sure its glued perfectly. So meticulous that I am afraid she has not completed her picture yet.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

More Origami Fun with Rainbow Origami Paper

Recently we bought some Rainbow Origami paper from a stationary shop. The origami papers are double sided ie both sides have different colours.

We also bought some shiny and glossy Origami papers but they cheated on that one. The packet had shiny paper at the top and normal coloured paper hidden inside. They're not as nice as the rainbow coloured ones because its only one sided so you have to be careful which way you fold your origami projects. Hmm.... what you see is sometimes not what you get eh? We must always be careful buyers but its hard to check when its all nicely sealed up.

However, we won't complain that much since it comes with some folding instuctions as well. The papers cost us around RM1.50 - RM3.00 for sets of 15 - 20. It is another fun project we can do for under RM5.

We folded some birds following the instuctions. The rainbow ones turned out very nice indeed. My little boy folded some paper aeroplanes. (since he's mad about those and he can fold one from memory now.) He folded one shiny paper aeroplane for himself and one rainbow origami plane for his sister who was at school when we folded them.

Here's a pair of Origami Love Birds. Nice? You can try them out for the coming school holidays. You can probably find these papers in any bookshop or stationary shops.

Monday, November 09, 2009

How To Make Origami Stars And Reward Your Kids With Real Stars

At the moment, we're into the Make Origami Stars Craze in our house. It all started because my girl wanted to buy some origami stars at her school fun fair but she was disappointed because someone took the last batch.

So, mummy said, don't worry, we'll make our own origami stars.

We found this video on How to make Origami Stars very easy to follow.

We could fold our very own origami stars after just watching the video once through. Its really very simple to make mini origami stars.

Next, we went out and bought strips of origami stars papers. We bought them at Jusco stationary department. They cost us about RM3.90 each. I like the plain coloured ones. It has the words "love" and little hearts printed in gold at the end of the strip so when you fold your origami stars, the stars would glitter with little gold heart shapes plus have the words "love" in shiny gold letters on it.

Then we bought some more rolls of origami stars papers. We bought them at Popular Bookstore. They cost us RM3.30 per roll. The strips and rolls comes with instructions. I prefer to look at the video. Its much easier to follow.

And finally, we made our very own origami stars in various colours. They look like sweet candy or tiny chocolate nuggets. The Origami Stars papers comes in many designs and some of them glitter and shine. However, if you make plain ones, you can also get the kids to decorate them with their own stickers.
The stars are pictured in two separate batches here because they belong to two different kids who can't stop fighting over who gets how many stars and in what colour!

Now, I can reward the kids with "real stars" when they complete their lessons or the assignments I give them.
The kids love to collect stuff. They love collecting these origami stars. We can also put them in glass jars, decorate the jars with lace and ribbon and give them away as Christmas Presents. This makes a nice craft project for the coming school holidays and it doubles up as nice christmas gifts too so you don't have to go shopping for Christmas presents.

Read one of my top posts on this blog Seeing Stars and find out the meaning of these origami stars.

How To Make Origami Stars And Reward Your Kids With Real Stars
How To Make Origami Stars And Reward Your Kids With Real Stars

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Over Confident

I've always maintained that the level of English in my girl's Chinese school is pathetic. So for her year end exams, I didn't bother to help her with any English revision.

I had passed on my views about the English level to her inadvertently by making comments such as.... "You know all these. The English is too easy." etc etc.

As a result, she began to take the same view. When I asked her whether she had checked her English test paper, she said "No, Its too boring."

She checked her Science paper 5 times! She was happy to discover a mistake she made in the Malay paper when she checked. However, she did not bother to check her English paper.

Consequently, she did well in her Chinese and Malay papers and relatively poorer in her English paper.

Whoops! Looks like mummy better hold her tongue and teach her girl some proper English before her English level deteriorates. :P

However, quick to jump upon an opportunity to teach values, I reminded her that this is what can happen if someone becomes over confident and lazy. Even if we are very good at something, we must remain modest and not become over confident or boastful. That is the moral lesson for the day. ;)

There is a fine line to draw for everything. I try to teach her to be confident and proud of her own achievements but at the same time she must also me taught about the values of remaining humble and modest in her accomplishments.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Fun Fair at School

Recently my girl had a fun fair day at school. She asked us for some money to buy coupons to be used for buying food and playing games on that day. Each coupon book cost RM10. Hubby was very reluctant to give her the RM10. I persuaded him otherwise because I said "Pity lah, all her friends would be playing and she would feel left out."

So eventually we gave her RM10 which is the minimum for one book of coupons. Some of her friends bought up to 10 books of coupons! Some 5, some 2 and some 1 like us but everyone bought a book at least. The fun fair was only for an hour at the start of the day before regular lessons. RM10 for only an hour? Hmmm..... Parents of the older kids had to contribute further in the form of providing food for sale as well as second hand books, stationaries and toys. Very smart way for the school to collect funds.

Since we had gotten her the coupons, I decided to give her a lesson in the value of money and economics. "Don't use it all at one place. Spread it out. And please, please take care of it!" Then remembering how she simply loves to keep things I had to remind her "Remember not to keep your coupons because they become worthless after today. They are just pieces of paper after today and you can't use them anymore ok?"

At the end of the day, I asked her how she spent her RM10.

And this was what she said......

"Oh mummy! So precious! I dropped my coupons in the fish water and I couldn't use it anymore!

Mummy, I saw one person buying a magic wand. I wanted very much to buy it too. I went all around searching for it but I couldn't find it! Then it was almost time! I saw some people fishing. So I went to fish too! (RM1). So wasted mummy! I accidentally dropped my coupons in the water. (RM5!) Then I bought 1 nugget (RM1) and 1 hotdog (RM1).

I didn't know what else to do. There were some older kids playing a basketball game and they were cheering loudly. I don't think the big kids would like me there, so I didn't play. I didn't know what else to do, so I bought a kit kat (RM1). But I didn't know how to open it. I pressed and pressed till it got all sticky and not very nice.

Then teacher said who has any coupons left can go and finish it. I wanted to buy some origami stars but my friend bought the last. They poured all for her and there was none left for me. She gave me one star. So I went to fish for another fish (RM1)..................."

And so .... thats how she ended up with two fishes swimming in a plastic bag which she carried home with an excited look on her face. (I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I saw the fishes). Her little brother was very excited to see the fishes because he had been talking about a pet fish for a long time. She gave one fish to her brother and they named their fishes "Goldie" and "Barney". We placed the fish in a big plastic container and gave the fish some defrosted green peas to eat till we had time to go and buy some fish food. When I told hubby at work about it, he said "Hah????!!!! Are the fish alive?" Hahaha.

Unfortunately Goldie died the next day. We got 2 more little fishes to accompany the lonely one left behind and thats how we now have 3 pet fishes in the house!

As for my girl, she still kept on thinking about her lost RM5 coupons over the next few days. "I could have bought more fishes mummy!" she said.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Negotiation Skills

The other day the kids were fighting over a piece of coloured stone. We had collected this stone from the beach during Chinese New Year. I laughed when I heard them arguing over a stone. The older one looked at me in surprise and asked "Why aren't you scolding us?"

That made me laugh harder. I told them that they are silly to fight over a stone. Brothers and Sisters must love each other. Why fight over a stone? "I can't remember whose stone that is. You both settle it yourself." I told them.

This is how they settled....

Girl: I remember we both had a stone. That orange one is mine.

Boy: No, its mine.

Girl: What about the shell. This shell is mine.

Boy: No, this shell is yours. Oh! Sorry, its a bit ugly and scratched. I accidentally put it in my car bag and accidentally scratched it. This one is yours. We try to remember it so that easier next time lah. This one that is a bit ugly because I accidentally scratched one, is yours.

Girl: This stone is mine.

Boy: Ok. Ok lah. This stone is yours. And remember this shell that is a bit ugly already is yours.

Girl: Ok.

End of Fight. The girl got the stone she wanted and the boy got the shell that he wanted and mummy just sat there laughing.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sick on Concert Day

His sister had a stomach virus a week before his concert. She was vomitting and had to be given a suppository to stop the vomitting.

Each day I worried that he would get it too. I tried to be careful. I wiped and clean the toilet seat whenever she vomitted into the toilet bowl. I tried to keep them apart. I did not allow them to share food, toys etc.

On his Concert morning, he woke up very early and excited. All morning he asked me "Is it evening yet?" I was happy that he had not gotten his sister's stomach virus or his daddy's and mummy's cold.

Just before lunch, he vomitted all his breakfast in the car while we were coming back from an errand. As Murphy's Law would have it, he kept on vomitting after that. He could not take in any foods, not even any fluids!

By evening, we asked an almost tearful, hungry and boy in pain whether he still wanted to go to his concert. We told him its ok if he didn't. There will be another concert next year. He said he wanted to try.

So we brought him to the venue to try. We brought him there before 5pm. His turn to perform was past 9pm! He was supposed to introduce his act. He walked on stage tearfully. He looked tired. He had not had any food since morning. His stomach was in pain. He felt like vomitting. However, the brave boy, introduced his act with a loud strong voice, drawing good applause.

He went on to dance, play music with his kindy percussion and sing in the choir with his friends till past 10pm. He had been at the concert venue for 6 hours! He had been without food since breakfast which he threw up, so perhaps it would be more accurate to say since supper the night before. Still, when we got home, the poor little one could not go to bed immediately. I had to bathe and wash his gel filled hair at 11pm!

The next day, he continued to vomit and his body rejected all food and fluids. He couldn't even take water without vomitting. We used his sister's suppository (when the paeditrician saw his sister, she had given us his dosage... just in case.... because these things are so contagious). It was no use. He had not had any foods or proper fluids for two whole days.

It was Sunday. Our usual paeditrician was closed. We took him to another, who gave him a jab. Finally by Sunday evening, I was able to give him a few teaspoons of plain white porridge and he slowly started to recover from then.

I am so glad that he is recovered now. I was so worried because he was starting to look so malnurished from 3 days without food. He looked so tired and weak, in pain occassionally and uncomfortable. I was worried about dehydration too.

I was worried whether we were doing the right thing to allow him to go on with the show. He would have been so so disappointed and so we allowed him but we worried throughout the show. Especially when we saw his pale thin face on stage! Thankfully, I think because he wanted so much to perform, he managed to "tahan" his pain and discomfort in order to do so.

Thankfully, he is recovered now and is slowly getting back to normal diet again.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Paper Aeroplanes

My kids love to play paper aeroplanes. All you need is some paper. You can use coloured paper and stickers for decoration if the fancy strikes you but really, all you need is some rough paper.

My kids prefer the coloured paper with the stickers, naturally. As you can see in the picture above, they look very pretty don't you think? Plus they are really fun to play with too. Its more fun to fly paper aeroplanes outdoors where there is a little wind.

We have a little booklet on how to fold paper planes but we also go to the internet to find new free paper plane designs occassionally. Its easy to find paper aeroplane designs over the internet.

We have become quite a bit of a pro in folding paper planes and have a few which we memorized. Even my 5 year old can fold one or two designs on his own without referring to the book now. :)

I like the following site which has many free paper aeroplane designs. If you're the type who prefers to watch rather than read, than you can access some of the designs on How to fold paper aeroplanes videos from the Paper Aeroplanes YouTube Channel instead.

I also like the catchy line from the site "LEARN TO FLY" which I will borrow here....

So, are you ready to LEARN TO FLY? Get flying with your kids by learning to make paper aeroplanes today. Its fun. Its easy. It is not time consumming. They will love it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

List of Publishers for Educational Children's Books in Malaysia

I love to shop for books. At the moment, my current "love" is shopping for Educational Children's Books. When shopping for quality children's educational books, I think that the publisher is very important.

Here are some publishers of children's educational books that I know in the order of my favourties. Please note that I did not link to the homepage but rather deeper into the educational books that I shop for which is educational books for Primary School children. I also did not provide the full names but rather the shortened names for the publishers.
  1. Oxford Fajar
  2. Pearson Longman
  3. EPH Publishing
  4. PelangiBooks
  5. LeeBook
  6. Cerdik Publications
If you know of any other good publishers for children's books, please feel free to share by providing the website. Thanks.

Where do you like to shop? At physical bookshops or online bookshops like Peekabook.com.my

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

He, She, I ..........

  • has to practise his lines for introducing his class act at his kindy concert
  • has to memorise his Malay Ejaan for Friday
  • has to memorise his Chinese Spelling for Monday
  • wants to play swordfighting with me (because his aunty gave him some hand me down swords, shield and mask to play with)
  • just received some story books we ordered from Scholastics and wants to read them all


  • has to practise a song for her music test in school next week
  • has to practise drawing a themed picture for her art test next week
  • has to study pages of text book for her Physical Education theory test next week
  • has completed some tests but still has more and more tests after next week
  • has to memorise her Chinese Spelling
  • wants to read the new story books
  • wants to play the piano but has no time


  • is not feeling very well

And I...........


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

More Reference Books for Primary School Children

Annie, here's some more books I can recommend to you. :)

Title: Science Picture Dictionary SJK (C) KBSR
Publisher: Cerdik Publications Sdn Bhd
Website: http://www.cerdik.com.my/
Price: RM14.90
Description: Science Picture Dictionary SJK(C) KBSR Level 1 is specially written for Year 1 to Year 3 pupils. The entries are based on the KBSR syllabus. This dictionary helps to improve pupils' skills in reading and writing besides igniting their interest in science.
Short Review: I find that it follows the school syllabus closely and is quite comprehensive. Most of the terms required in tests questions can be found here. Since it is pictorial, it is interesting enough to read as a book to the kids. The dictionary is bilingual, in English and Chinese with pinyin which I find very useful.

Cover of the Dictionary

Example of a page in the Dictionary

Title: Science and Mathematics Dictionary for Years 1-3 SJK
Author: L.Shirley, Wee Eng Leng & Lee Beng Hin
Publisher: Oxford Fajar fomerly known as Penerbit Fajar Bakti Sdn Bhd
Website: www.oxfordfajar.com.my/
Price: RM10.95
Description: This dictionary is divided into two sections: Science and Mathematics. A thematic dictionary to help pupils gain a better understanding of both Science and Mathematics Concepts. Covers all important key words and phrases in the latest Science and Mathematics Years 1-3 syllabuses. The Chinese equivalent is provided to expand the pupils' vocabulary. Ideal for use at home and in school.
Short Review: In terms of a Science Dictionary, I find the other Dictionary I have above more comprehensive. However, I got this one because of the Maths Dictionary which I couldn't find anywhere. It is a pictorial, bilingual dictionary. However, note that the pinyin is only given for main terms and not the examples given. I find the Maths Dictionary useful because I often have trouble explaining Maths terms to my child. Please note that there is another version of this dictionary for the Sekolah Kebangsaan. That one is bilingual in English and Malay. You can view both of them from the publisher's website on this page.

The Cover of the Dictionary

Sample page from the Science Section

Sample page from the Maths Section

I hope that helps Annie. I tried to be as detailed as possible. As for where to get them. Unfortunately I could not find them at the bookshops. I found the last copy of the first one at MPH. I don't see it anymore. As for the second, I looked for it at several book stores but it was not in stock or available. Finally, I ordered it from the customer service (at MPH as well) by providing them with the title, author and publisher.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Good Reference Books for Primary School Children

I am constantly on the look out for good reference books for my primary school girl. That is because I am her tuition teacher. lol. Actually, I enjoy teaching her. I don't enjoy teaching per se but I do enjoy teaching my own kids.

I remember when I was young, and whenever we were asked about our ambition, I never ever wanted to become a teacher. I thought it was the most boring job in the world. However, now looking at the kindergarten teachers and the primary school teachers, I think teaching is a very nobel job indeed and teachers are very important persons in a young child's life. They really look up to their teachers. All the more reasons why we should have good teachers.

Anyway, I enjoy teaching, covering the syllabus within a time frame, and looking for innovative ways to make learning fun for my children and I love to look for good reference books. Which is why I was delighted to find the following Malay Reference books for Primary School Children. It is a simple pictorial dictionary on "Sinonim", "Antonim", "Peribahasa", "Simpulan Bahasa" and "Penjodoh Bilangan". The books are bilingual in Malay with Chinese explanation as well.

Priced at RM4.60 per book, I bought it at RM8.50 for 5 books during a sale. I was absolutely thrilled.

"Finding a good book is a pleasure. Finding a good book at a good value is a treasure."
(My very own made up saying, but its true don't you think?)

There are many reference books, workbooks, activity books and revision books for primary school children. The best place to find them is at Popular Bookstore which has a very wide range. In fact, there are too many to choose from.

However, I still find that the best come from established publishers like Oxford Fajar, Pearson Longman, EPH Publishing and Pelangi.

In my coming posts (after I have gotten round to taking pictures of the books,) I will recommend a good reference book or two for Science and Maths for Primary School Children from Standard 1 to Standard 3.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Kids Love Contests and Competitions

My girl is always bugging me to allow her to join those colouring competitions that she sees going on at the mall. So far, we have not managed to register on time for any of it. Bad mommy.

To make up for it, I encouraged her to participate by drawing and sending in an art work for a McDonald's kid's card competition. The card is no longer available now. We used to get lots of free ice-cream and french fries from it but I digress..

The competition was to draw a fun thing she does with her family. She decided to draw two artwork. Little kiasu. Haha. She drew one of us at the beach and another one of us at her birthday party. Of course Ronald McDonald was in those scenes as well since its a McDonald's competition.

Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the drawing because I forgot to take a picture of it before we submitted it. Anyway, she won a prize and to this day, she has not really used her prize of color pencils, glue, crayons etc that she won. Its so precious to her! Its still in the paper bag we collected them in. Hahaha.

Anyway, recently, my boy's kindy organised a logo drawing competition. Its supposed to be a family teamwork thingy. We drew and coloured it together and won a small little prize. The kids don't really like the prize (its a wooden puzzle) but they certainly love winning!

Here's our 1-Malaysia Logo design competition submission. Its supposed to be a family teamwork competition. So, I drew the words and the flowers (you can tell that its a rush job because they're not very straight since I just drew them free hand and very quickly. It was just after the girl's mid year tests but she insisted on joining so we rushed to do one and submit it within the deadline. We completed it within an hour. We didn't put in much effort but that was fine with the kids. I think just the act of doing it together and the excitement of hoping to win a prize was good enough for them), the girl drew in the Malay boy, Chinese girl and Indian girl and coloured them. The boy coloured the stripes and the Malay boy and finally daddy was roped in to add some glitter to the Malay boy's clothing. Family teamwork! lol.

Do your kids love contests too? Have you taken them to participate in any of those colouring competitions at the malls?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Traditional Card Games for Children

After reading in Little Chumsy's Blog about the Donkey Card game, all the childhood memories of how much fun I had playing with the traditional children's card games like Donkey, Old Maid, Snap and Happy Family came back to me. So I went hunting for them. I couldn't find them in a toy store but I finally found them in a bookstore.

A collection of all 4 of the children's card games cost me under RM5. Imagine that. Under RM5 for hours and hours of fun. It surely beats the PC games and DVDs of today. Its more healthy too. Its great for teaching the little ones that you can't always win. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

My little one always cries whenever he loses in any game and he usually tries to cheat. If there is a game where a dice is required to be rolled, you can be sure, he'll look at the numbers on the dice first before rolling it in such a way, that he will get the number he wants. If its a card game, he will try to peek. He is very innovative at cheating! And a rather sore loser.

I've kept the cards to be given out as rewards for good behaviour. We are still using our rewards stamps and charts for good behaviour and if they have been good, then they get to have a lucky dip for little goodies like this. The kids love it.

P.S. Donkey and Old Maid is actually the same game with different pictures on them. Basically the cards get passed around and you display your pairs whenever you have a matching pair. The only card without a pair is the Old Maid or Donkey card and the last one left still holding that card is called an Old Maid or a Donkey. So if you have a boy, you can get the Donkey card game and if you have a girl, you can get the Old Maid card game instead if you wish to follow specific gender rules. lol.

We tried it out yesterday and guess who is the Old Maid AND the Donkey?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Playing with Fire

The children had been looking forward to Mooncake Festival for a few weeks. The girl was not feeling so well and was off to the doctor in the morning but she kept on asking hopefully. "Can we play lantern tonight?"

So, although it would have probably be more prudent and wiser to allow her to stay home in bed, we went out to play lanterns for over 2 hours! We went to the park and met many other children playing candles and lanterns at the park. The boy even met two of his kindy classmates who called out to him cheerfully.

The kids enjoyed lighting up the dark road with their lanterns. They enjoyed playing with candles although the little one cried at first when he got burned by melting wax. He also cried when his daddy accidentally burned parts of his lantern when lighting it up and he cried when the candle from his lantern went out. lol.

He soon got the hang of it though and it was almost midnight by the time we got home, gobbled up mooncakes and had a quick shower before jumping into bed.

Friday, October 02, 2009

The Kids Love Mooncake

The kids love mooncake. Any sort of flavour will do. They love most of them. When daddy comes home with a box, they will crowd round eagerly to see whats in the box. :)

Especially the little one who loves food. Yesterday he was grumbling about not having his own present. We told him that if he worked hard like his sister and does well in studies and piano etc, then he will be rewarded with his own presents.

He remembered that his sister's piano teacher had given her a set of decorative erasers and remarked "I don't want erasers, I want food!" lol.

Its mooncake festival tomorrow. I can't wait to devour more mooncakes and play candles and lanterns with the kids. Hopefully the weather holds up. Its been raining so much these days.

This year we didn't get the kids any lantern. They're using recycled ones from 2 years ago. Last year we got them new ones and those got burnt but the ones from 2 years ago are still around and look surprisingly new. Of course the kids grumbled and requested for new ones but I think they will forget about it once I take out the candles. :)

Happy Eating Mooncake and playing lanterns to everyone young and old.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

His and Hers: Drawing and Coloring

I can see that my 5 year old boy's drawing and coloring is improving. They do look rather (not surprisingly) like his 7 year old sister's. Both of them do not attend any art class. They draw from their imagination through exposure to stories and books etc.

His drawing of the earth, sky and outer space.

The boy drew this at a different time from his sister, in fact, she drew the following picture AFTER he drew the above one. However she has drawn a similar picture before so thats where he must have got the idea from. (Daddy suggested that he put a ring around one of his planets. :))

Her drawing of the earth, sky and outer space

(Quite often she doesn't complete her work because she is a perfectionist and likes to take her time to do her art ....... as well as other things)

I rather like their drawing of the outer space which they drew out of imagination and without copying from anywhere much to my surprise.

His drawing of a bird

Her drawing of birds

(His drawing of a bird look like the ones she drew flying in the sky)

Now that the girl is attending Year One in Primary School, she also learns some art and drawing in school which she likes to replicate at home for example, the one of the bird which I have framed up above.

I bought some colored frames from Ikea for framing up the kids drawings. Framed up pictures of the kids drawings make great decoration for a kid's bedroom or playroom.

His drawing of a family for his homemade "Going to be Mooncake Day" card

Her drawing of a family for her homemade "Father's Day" card.

It can't really be seen here but their drawing of people look rather similar

The only thing that he draws and which she doesn't are................CARS! He loves to draw curvy roads filled with cars having a race. Unfortunately I don't have one of them to post up here.

As for her, she likes to draw castles. Sometimes he draws castles too, which looks like hers but he prefers ..... CARS!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends

Which little boy does not like Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends? My little boy certainly does. He has a fine collection of Thomas the Tank Engine Story Books, Activity book, Stationary, VCDs, Toys and clothing.

Pictured above is Bill and Ben, the Twin Engines. There's no end to collecting the books and toys featuring Thomas and Friends. If I were to collect them all, I would go broke! Fortunately, there is YouTube.

So, after reading the book, just like his sister who gets to see her little Miss Magic come alive like magic on YouTube, the boy gets to see his Thomas the Tank Engine and friends storybooks come alive on YouTube.

You can catch more Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends on YouTube from my YouTube playlist.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mr Men and Little Miss Series

I love the Mr Men and Little Miss series of books and cartoons. The cartoon is really adorable and there is usually a little moral behind the stories with titles like Little Miss Fickle, Little Miss Shy, Little Miss Chatterbox, Little Miss Late, Little Miss Stubborn, Mr Messy, Mr Happy, etc.

Its simple and easy to relate to for kids. Its also easy for parents to try to tell the child something by reading a story to them. Telling them they are fickle won't get you anywhere. However, reading to them a Little Miss Fickle storybook and pointing out about how fickle they can be sometimes gets the message across with lots of giggles and laughter in the process.

Little Miss Magic is my kids favourite. The kids love any stories that tell them about how they can "magic" things.

After reading the stories to them at bedtime, I make their stories "come alive" like "magic" by letting them watch the same story on YouTube.

You can watch more Mr Men and Little Miss videos on my YouTube Channel Playlist.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Alliance Bank’s You:nique Credit Card “Sweet Family Moments” Photo Contest Results

Remember the Alliance Bank You:nique Credit Card I was writing about in this post called "The Power to Choose Your Own Credit Card Terms." In it I briefly mentioned the "Sweet Family Moments" Photo contest.

The contest is over and the winners have been announced.Here are some of the winner's design on their credit card which caught the judge's eye. Large families or small families. Malay, Chinese or Indian, everyone is a winner! J

I love all of them. That is because family moments are really precious and it’s truly wonderful to be able to catch these moments by the camera lenses and capture them in time forever. The kids, they grow up so fast.

There is another photo contest coming up soon. This photo contest has a wedding theme called the "Perfect Picture Love" Photo Contest. Just right for newly weds and those who are not so newly wed as well. ;)

Just apply for the You:nique Credit Card, upload your best wedding photo, fill up your personal details online and you're in the running for the contest. You:nique Credit Picture Card on Facebook will have more details about the new contest.

You can design your own credit card just like how the winners of the first contest did. You may personalise and design your own image on the face of your credit card and keep it in your purse. Have you seen any of your friends carrying a credit card with their image on it?

If you haven't, it is because this is Malaysia's first personalised picture credit card. Cool? Well, yes, but that is not the only cool thing about it. You:nique Credit Card carries the personalisation one step further and allows you to customize your credit card terms as well. Now, that is truly cool and a very useful tool for those of you who are very savvy in your financial planning.

If you do decide to enter the “Perfect Picture Love” photo contest, do post up a few of your wedding pictures on your blog and let other bloggers help you to choose which one to pick for your card. Then leave a comment here and we’ll hop right over to help you select a picture. I am sure everyone will be more than eager to help you choose a photo. I just love to look at wedding pictures, don’t you?

ABRSM Grade 1 Piano Test Results

Coincidentally, after I wrote the piano post on my own blog, my girl's teacher gave her the results for her first ABRSM Grade 1 Piano Test Results. So now we have even more reason to be happy over the piano.

The girl passed with a Distinction with 137 out of 150 marks. The examiner wrote very good comments for her in all the areas ie 3 exam pieces, Scales and Arpeggios, Sight Reading and Aural Tests. The examiner used words like "sprightly performance", "expressive", "played with conviction", "pleasing shape", "confident, fluent, accurate" and "excellent response" while noting some "stumbles with quick recovery", "coordination laspes but playing was assured" and "need for care in synchronisation but a confident approach".

As an overall comment, the examiner wrote "A wonderful start with your supporting tests of a very high standard."

We are very happy for the girl. I sat down with her and explained to her what all those "big big words" used by the examiner meant.

What I am happiest about is the fact that this is another good opportunity for us to boost her confidence.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Little Miss Reward Chart Pack

Someone asked me to post up pictures of the Reward Chart I am using for the kids. Here it is.

This is the Little Miss Reward Chart Pack.

It comes with the Reward Chart, stickers and tokens plus it is an activity book too. There are two sides to the chart and the stickers are reusable.

This is my girl's side of the chart.

This is my boy's side of the chart.

These are the stickers and tokens

Another close up look at the stickers.

There is a boy's version of this Reward Chart Pack as well. Instead of the Little Miss series (which incidentally I love because its so cute), it has Thomas the Tank Engine Chart, stickers, tokens and activity book.

The kids love it. Each night, we would sit down together and decide whether they have met their goals and earned a sticker. At the end of the week we do a tally to see if they can collect a token. They get to remove all the stickers and decorate their stuff with them.

This week they will get a lucky dip if they earn enough tokens. The rewards are things like "play tic tac toe with mummy" , "play hangman with mummy", "extra story at bedtime". Those rewards are for the girl's lucky dip box.

As for the boy, this morning he asked me how to spell certain words and then he wrote them on little pieces of paper to be folded and included in the lucky dip box. He wrote "mummy can I hug hug" (can we hug), "Mummy can I play car" (with mummy) as rewards. He also included one "mummy, can you find my car" as a reward. :P He had been asking me to search for his matchbox car for a few days now but I still have not done it because I have been too busy or lazy.

By the way, they will soon do a chart for mummy with the goal of "not scolding" because they "want to give something to mummy too". Alamak. Sure to fail.

If you prefer, you can make your own chart too instead of buying.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Teaching the Kids English Grammar

I never learned grammar in school because I was not taught grammar in school. So I do not know my nouns and verbs and adjectives. I didn't even know what these words meant until recently!

My girl who is now in Primary One is studying in a Chinese school now. I can see that they really teach them the use of the Chinese language in great detail. Even the Malay language is being taught in detail. They teach them Malay grammar but not English grammar in school. They are taught Kata Nama Am (which are nouns), Kata Kerja (Verbs) etc but not the English equivalent.

I wonder why not. It would be so simple to include those in the syllabus and it would even help in the learning of Malay since there would by synergy then.

Anyway, I use the Longman Esensi (Panduan Revisi untuk Sukses) to teach my girl BM. In it, under "Pemahaman", I find

Kata Nama Am (Nouns)
Kata Nama Khas (Proper Nouns)
Kata Ganti Nama Diri (Pronouns)
Kata Ganti Nama Tunjuk (Demonstrative Pronouns)
Kata Kerja Transitif (Transitive Verbs)
Kata Kerja Tak Transitif (Intransitive Verbs)
Kata Hubung (Conjuctions)
Kata Arah (Prepositions)
Kata Adjektif (Adjectives)
Simpulan Bahasa (Idiom/Set Phrase)

..... and others. I had to use my trusted Besta electronic dictionary to translate those.

When I teach my kids English, I have to tell her... that is a "Kata nama Am" when explaining to her that names, animals, things and places are nouns.

So I was delighted when I found this set of books.

It is the Beginner's Grammar Guide for Preschoolers series. In the preface it is mentioned that the books are for kids aged from 5-6. (At age 43, I find it quite interesting too since I have never learned English grammar. lol.) It is a set of 5 books. Hubby missed out one book on "Articles and Connectors" because he did not see it thats why I have only 4. I bought it at Popular Book Store at RM5.00 each.

We are now using it to teach our 5 and 7 year old. I think it is great to give the kids a good foundation in English grammar. The schools do not teach it so we must do it ourselves.

I will be using this set of books plus the grammar videos on My YouTube Channel Educational Series Playlist to teach the kids English Grammar.

Thumbs up given my MG for this set of books. :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

How to make an origami box

After I told the kids that I was going to let them pick out goodies from a box like in a lucky dip when they have accumulated enough tokens or stickers from their challenges using the reward chart, the girl started to pester me to make a box.

So, we went to google "How to make a box" and found this instructional video. We followed it and it turned out very nice. Its easy enough for my 7 year old girl to follow. We made several boxes for her and her brother. You can also have a box with a lid if you fold two boxes and use one as the box and another as a lid.

We always have lots of colored construction papers in their "craft cupboard" filled with knick knacks and recyclables. So we made several colors. The boxes are really useful. We use them to keep knick knacks like keys and handphones. We use them as little rubbish bins to collect pencil shavings and eraser droppings. We even devised two games with it.

Game #1 - We arranged the boxes in a straight line and threw plastic coins/tokens into them. Whoever can throw the tokens into the box that is the most far away wins a big prize etc. Everyone gets 5 tries each and must stand behind a line to throw. The "prizes" are their own toys and books, nothing new at all. They just like winning and receiving prizes. :) I make a big deal out of giving out the prizes like calling out the names of the winners and shaking their hands etc. They love this.

Game #1 - The boxes are arranged upside down and someone gets to hide stuff under the boxes. He/She will ask the others to find an item under the box. 3 chances are given. The one who finds the item will get to hide items next. Of course "prizes" are again handed out to the winners. :)

The kids love the two games and want to play them over and over again especially the first one. Its good and cheap fun!

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