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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!

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