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Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

How quickly the school holidays have flown by. Funny how much busier I am during the school holidays with the kids at home then when they are away at school. I love having them around but I also love my solitude, my me time. With school holidays and school days alternating, I get the best of both worlds.

We didn't go anywhere during the school holidays but we still have our fun nevertheless despite dad being still in hospital and all that. We did some crafts as usual, which I will post up in due time. However, I thought I better post this Christmas Craft up otherwise, I will probably only post it up next Christmas!

The following Christmas Standup Cards Craft are storebought. I'm getting lazy in my old age. :P They are lovely and very easy to do. It comes in a package with the card, and ready precut stick on little square foams in various colours and pretty, sparkly heart shaped, star shaped and flower shaped coloured stick on glass (which resemble jewels). The instructions are extremely simple. Just peel out and paste according to a colour chart, something like a colour by number chart, in this case it is paste by number. Very simple and nice to do.

The kids, who never seem to marvel me with their innocent and simple minds asked... "Wow! Mummy, where did you get those jewels? They must be very expensive."

 Here's one by the girl. Mr Santa Claus himself, with candy canes and presents and snow. :)

 And here's a Christmas tree by the boy, with pressents and snow and Christmas baubles on the tree.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2011 to everyone.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Kids are naturally creative

I believe that all kids are naturally creative. I guess it is the curiousity they have about the world around them that drives them into this creative mode. My kids love to cut, paste, fold and colour. It is amazing what they can come up with, with just a pencil, colour pencils, coloured paper, glue and scissors. They are so imaginative.

That is why I always have these items in ready stock. We have a "craft cupboard" where the kids can get just about anything they like for art and crafting. We keep recycled ribbons and gift wrappers, plastic or see through papers from hampers, construction papers, crayons, glitter glue, paints and anything else we can save for art.

"We can save this for art, mummy" the kids would often say. We don't send them for any art classes because we lack the resources of time and money. However, our "craft cupboard" makes up for that. When I have more time, I will post up some pictures of the stuff the kids came up with this holidays, all by themselves.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Our very own personalised School Holiday Program

We have our own school holiday program at home. The kids love it when I draw up a time table about what we are going to do. Sometimes we make up the time table together. For this holidays, after the first two weeks of free play, we set up our time table.

With dad in hospital, most Sundays and whenever hubby can take time off from work, I would go sit with dad at hospital while hubby watch the kids. I still have plenty of time with them during weekdays. We are trying to get some work done now so that they won't be overwhelmed when school starts. We try to spread out our learning so that it is easier on the kids. However since it is the school holidays, we have factored in a lot of playtime.

The kids love it when I add "exercise" into our time table. This means a game of badminton or kicking the ball around or riding the bicycle or scooter. We also do arts and crafts which they love. When it is time to do "work", they scramble to do it because they want to collect stars. Every page of work done gets a star. Mummy is very generous with stars. Stars can be exchanged for mummy's time ....to play anything with them. This is great motivation for them. Sometimes mummy uses computer aided learning to make learning more fun. Sometimes they are encouraged to write stories while mummy edits. The girl loves this. She is now writing Chapter 5 of her "book" She is both the author and illustrator for her book. :)

School holidays is also a time for music in the form of daily piano practise because when school starts we can't keep up the pace of daily practise. Since it is on the "time-table" and they get lots of praise from mummy and teacher and with daily practise their confidence and play improves further motivating them so they do not complain about piano practise... much. ;)

This school holidays their daddy thought them how to play the chinese chess. They are at the moment mad about the game. Just one flash of the game set will get them out of their beds in a jiffy on any morning.

We will probably not be going anywhere with their grandpa in hospital. At most, a day trip. However, during the weekends they still get to go to the movies with daddy while mummy visits grandpa in hospital. They get to eat out with daddy. Daddy thought them a new game (chinese chess) and during the weekdays mummy makes sure they have exercise, art, play, music, and a little work thrown in plus they have free time to do whatever they like. They usually choose to read or play a board game. I would say it is not a bad holiday so far.

Only, mummy is very very busy and have no time to blog. ;)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pretend Play

It is the first day of school holidays for my girl. So what have we been up to?

The kids decided to open a restaurant. The restaurant took a few days to set up. If I am not mistaken it took about 3 days for the kids to decide on the name of the restaurant, the menu as well as the food which they painstakingly prepared by cutting up coloured strips of paper and placing them into toy cups and plates and arranged to resemble real food.

During the "renovations" I was not allowed to enter the playroom. They hid their stuff under the table and made me promise not to look. Finally the restaurant was open and I was invited to dine there. Dining is free by the way because it is meant to be a fun restaurant, they explained.

The restaurant is called LC Restaurant which stands for Little Children restaurant because it was opened by little children, however adults can eat there too, they were quick to add because they wanted mummy and daddy to join in the game.

The menus. All carefully drawn with the same design on the cover.

Each and every one of the menus has the same items written in them. Wow. So hardworking.

Orders were taken by the owner of the restaurant, a sweet little girl, who was very busy this morning, since her waiter was busy attending a kindy party. So she had to take orders, serve, cook and clean up too.

This is the kitchen where food is prepared. It can get quite hot in here like most real kitchens...

This restaurant is the brainchild of the girl who managed to get a little assistant to help her. The assistant was more than happy although he did take one or two game breaks.

When dining here, you can even ask for extra plates and take out, although you might have to wait a quite a while for takeout since wrapping is involved....

During school days the kids do not have time to play like this. It is a bit sad. I wish they have more time to play. Nevermind, we'll make up for it as we have 6 weeks to play. Yahoo!

Monday, November 15, 2010

I didn't know he could sing

Two days before the boy's concert, he came home and informed me that he had volunteered to sing in place of another boy. It was supposed to be a group choir led by one boy and one girl. I don't know what happened exactly, but when I checked with the teacher, true enough the teacher said that he had volunteered and was very eager about it. So they had no choice but to give him a spot. lol.

He didn't even know the lyrics of the song! So his sister and I coached him in one day. He practised on the home microphone for two days and on concert day, he got up on stage and sang along with his other friends the original performers, the other girl and the boy.

Too bad he wasn't given a mike because they did not have enough. I found during the home practise that he could really sing. He sang with full of expression and melodiously in the correct tune like a real little singer. I don't think the teachers took him seriously nor realised how good he was in the singing or they would have given him a mike. Still, they did give him a chance for being so enthusiastic about it. :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What should parents do when their child is being bullied in school

This is a tough one. Firstly, it is not easy to establish bullying. Just what exactly is bullying? I read from KidsHealth.org that....

"Most kids have been teased by a sibling or a friend at some point. And it's not usually harmful when done in a playful, friendly, and mutual way, and both kids find it funny. But when teasing becomes hurtful, unkind, and constant, it crosses the line into bullying and needs to stop.

Bullying is intentional tormenting in physical, verbal, or psychological ways. It can range from hitting, shoving, name-calling, threats, and mocking to extorting money and treasured possessions. Some kids bully by shunning others and spreading rumors about them. Others use email, chat rooms, instant messages, social networking websites, and text messages to taunt others or hurt their feelings."

I think that is a very good definition of bullying. After reading the article, I have established that my girl is being bullied in school by the boy that sits beside her. This is what he does to her
  • calls her "stupid" and says bad things about her to other friends
  • bangs on her table and shouts at her
  • blocks her way when she wants to leave her desk to talk to teacher and erases the work that she has copied from the black board so she has to redo it
  • tells her "I will beat you" though not actually doing so
  • mocks her 
  • tells her he hates her, she is his enemy and all other sorts of name calling
  • takes away whatever books that teacher hands out to her saying "this is mine" and gives her the other one instead
So what do we as parents do? I am afraid that we have been inconsistent. First we told her to ignore him. Then we told her to stand up for herself. We told her that since it is the end of the term and only 2 weeks left, we will not be talking to teacher so we taught her how to deal with it. Then daddy walked her to class one morning to access the situation. The boy saw him and this made matters worse. He banged on her table and said "You told your daddy, didn't you? Tell me the truth! Tell me the truth!" This frightened my girl even more. We told her not to be frightened. We told her that the next time he bangs on her table she should tell him "Go and bang on your own table."

The next day he banged on  her table again and she came home with a note to us. It said

"What Alan did to me. He banged my table, called me stupid and sang a song about me like stupid. The song that Alan sang.... "I hate you. You are a bad girl. You are stupid..." and a lot more things that are bad about me. But daddy, I was too scared to say bang your own table."

Looks like we had handled this in the wrong way. I read the article which states some reasons why kids are sometimes afraid to tell their parents about bullying which includes...

"Sometimes they're scared that if the bully finds out that they told, it will get worse. Others are worried that their parents won't believe them or do anything about it. Or kids worry that their parents will urge them to fight back when they're scared to."

That is very true. My girl is very afraid that telling will make the bullying worse and she is afraid that we will ask her to fight back because she is afraid to. She has become so afraid of the boy that it spoils her weekends and her bedtimes as she worries about him.

I asked her what does she want to do in her heart and she says "Tell teacher" but when I said I will tell teacher, she said "No! Please don't!!"

Finally we decided that we had no choice but to step in. She was afraid of the boy. She was afraid to tell teacher. She was afraid of us telling teacher. She was afraid that teacher may switch their places and the boy would be angry. She was even afraid to be seen with us in case the boy got mad. She was plain afraid and she didn't know what to do.

Deciding to intervene is not an easy decision. Firstly, we want to teach our children to be assertive and stand up for themselves. Secondly, we do not want to be overly protective of our kids. I read that many parents hold back from speaking to the teacher for this reason too... ie worried that the teacher may think that the parents are being over protective.

However, at the same time, we also want to show her that we support her and believe in her when she comes to us. In order to do this, we must take what she says seriously.

It is a fine line... deciding whether you should or when you should intervene. Who said parenting was easy? It is a growing process. We grow along with our children and face new and different challenges along the way.

Eventually, I read the whole article about bullying to her. I praised her for being brave enough to tell us about it. She does not dare to tell the teacher because she is afraid the teacher may brush her off and she is afraid of repercussions from the boy. I told her what is the difference between aggressive behaviour (the boy's) and assertive behaviour (which everyone should have to stand up for their own rights.) I do not believe that it is too early or too young for my child to understand this. No one every taught me about being assertive and as a result, I was less than assertive for most of my life.

I told her to ignore the boy so that he would get bored. I told her what is a "poker face" from the article and we practised it which made her laugh. I told her that she can busy herself with drawing comics (which she likes) or reading and ignore him if he disturbs her again and then we role played the situation. First she pretended to be the boy and I practised ignoring her and then I became the boy and she practised ignoring me while I pretended to call her names. That was good fun.

Finally, I went to see the teacher. (even though there was only a few more days left to school). I had the impression that the teacher felt that I may be overeacting because she said "This is very common. The kids call each other names all the time." I would not call it bullying she said. I would say it is teasing."

Oh well. I agreed with her that it is common and it makes a teacher's job very difficult if every parent were to complain each time their child is called stupid since there are 40 over students. I did not want to disagree with the teacher so I just smiled at her and said yes maybe she is not used to it but I hope you can do something about it.

Though, I personally think that if the teasing is constant, spiteful and mean to the extent that it hurts and scares the child, then it has crossed the line and is no longer fun or funny teasing. If the teacher thinks otherwise that is her prerogative and I do not blame her for thinking so in her position. I am not there to argue with her but to get things done.

The teacher agreed to switch their places. I also gently asked whether the teacher could have a word with the boy to leave my girl alone and to have a word with my girl to go to her if it happens again. I told the teacher that it is better for this to come from her than from us because to a child, the teacher is always right and the teacher's words "is like gold". If I were to tell her, she would just say "No mummy, I am scared. I don't want to tell teacher." This, I hope would prevent the situation from getting worse.

The boy saw me and looked at me with knowledge and recognition in his eyes. I just pretended not to see him though I would have loved to give him a glare and a word or two. However, I don't think it is in my place to give him a lesson or teach him. Not unless the bullying is physical, in which case, I think his parents should be involved.

And that was that. I hope we don't hear anymore of this.

The boy gives me the impression that he comes from a well to do family. My girl tells me that he is often talking about going for overseas holidays. He would buy gifts for friends and discard them if they didn't want them only to buy the very same thing again the next day at the school shop. When there is a school funfare, his parents give him a lot of money to spend to his liking. He likes to sing pop songs in class and has 200 over facebook friends. And he is not stupid. He was number 1 in class in std 1. He sounds like a poor little rich boy to me since he has to behave this way to get attention and feel powerful.

Many people think that bullying must be physical, pushing, shoving, extorting money etc . However, verbal bullying can hurt and nowadays even cyber bullying has even caused youngsters to commit suicide. I think that as parents we must be sensitive to our children and believe in them. Never brush them aside and tell them to "just stand up for yourself." We should give them our moral support and encouragement but not overdo that too because children must be given the room to learn and discover ways of dealing with people and situations on their own too. It is a fine line... deciding whether or when to step in.

If you think your child is being bullied in school by his peers, here are some advice for kids or more ways to help your kid deal with bullies from that same article I read.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Standard 2 going on to Standard 3

It is coming towards the end of the school year. Just for remembrance, I want to record down my girl's loves and pet peeves for this year, her standard 2 year.

Her Loves
  1. Her class teacher whom she adores
  2. Art Class
  3. A handful of girlfriends whose names changes all the time. She does not have a fixed "gang" of girlfriends and her friends change from time to time. No boyfriends.
  4. Children's Day and Funfair Day
  5. Getting rewards for all sorts of things from newspaper collection to recording how many number of books she has read
Her Pet Peeves
  1. Her current partner, the boy who sits next to her. He tells her hurtful things like "No one likes you" or "You are my first enemy." etc. She hates going to school because of him now. "I can't escape him mummy, he sits next to me!" is her response when I tell her to just ignore him.
  2. Nasi Lemak day for her recess time catered food.
  3. Computer Class. She says she likes the computer teacher but she hates the way she teaches because she is very fierce. Quite often she says she can't follow the class and none of her friends would help her. She gets very worked up whenever computer class is on the next day.
Apart from that, she mentioned that she likes her English teacher but dislikes the way she teaches as well and she does not like her BM teacher and does not like the way she teaches. She goes too fast, does not stop to help anyone or brushes her aside when she asks or says she will get back to her but doesn't, she just wants to get the teaching out of the way.

That is Standard 2. I wonder what Standard 3 holds for her?

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Chinese School "English"

My girl has to sit for a bilingual computer paper. I was horrified to read this question in the English translation of the question....

"The followings are the uses of computer applications increase day by day, except.....
a. size becomes smaller, b. speed becomes faster, c. the quality of peripheral devises decreases, d. price becomes lower."

Ouch! Everything is just so totally wrong with the question I don't even know where to begin to correct it. In the first place, the word following should not have an "s", "increase day by day" should be "improvements" and we're not even talking about "computer applications" here. The question should probably read.

"Over time, the computer has improved in the following areas except...."

My girl does not have any English tuition and the English subject taught in school is pitiful. I just had a glance at her new Standard 3 books syllabus. It includes... "numbers 21 to 30"

Oh dear, with that kind of level,  no English tuition and if I don't intervene, she will soon speak and write Chinese School "English".

No offence to anyone from Chinese school but it is no wonder that many students from Chinese schools have such poor English. There is no priority and no checks for such gramatical and other mistakes. Even their English teacher frequently makes mistakes when giving them words for spelling and dictation.

Sigh. I just don't know what to do about this. Most of the time, there is hardly enough time to complete the daily homework let alone teach her English. I guess I will just continue to encourage her to read more story books.

Monday, November 01, 2010

I love the year end

We're early this year. It is only the 1st of November and we are done with exams and concerts. Hurrah!

Now the kids just go to school for parties and funfares so they're not complaining about school .... that much. What's there to complain when you get to eat junk food, play with your friends all day, get to watch a live magic show and other cartoons and play carnival type games.

Ok ok its not all fun and games. There are still some studies to be done but there is less pressure overall and of course less homework.

The part that I love most of all is the less homework part. Aahhhh 2 months of pure bliss and serenity. That means I only have to shout "Hurry up!" about 10 times a day instead of 20. Yippee!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

His First Test

The boy is having is first real test or school examination. He is in the six year old class in kindy. I have heard of kids in 4 year old classes having tests with a full exam schedule with several subjects. I shudder at the thought. There will be plenty of exams in the years ahead. I think they can wait till then. Why start them so young? To prepare them for what is to come? Hmm.... There will be plenty of time to prepare. We will start next year in Std One of Primary School, thank you very much.

Yesterday he had to stay back in school to finish his Mandarin test. "He is struggling to finish off his Mandarin paper" the teacher said. :P

When I asked him about it, he said the Malay paper is easy, "I think I can get 100 marks". I think I can also get 100 marks for English, Science, Maths and Moral." lol. We shall see. He is not so sure about Mandarin Chinese though. Haha. And he is going to enter Chinese School in a few months time. I guess that is one subject we need brushing up. He thinks Science, Maths and Moral are easy because they are in English now. Next year he will have to do them in Chinese. Yup. We definitely need to brush up on the Chinese.

Good luck baby. You are growing up fast.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Year End Kindy Concert

It is that time of the year when the kids are busy preparing for their year end kindergarten concert. The boy asks me to stay to watch him every morning. Some days, I stay to watch them rehearse. He is so happy when I do that. He will be delivering a short speech, so every evening we have speech practise at home just for the fun of it. Daddy is the speech coach. :)

I must not forget to bring in his uniform nicely pressed and labeled. Somedays I forget. Quite often I forget to dress him up in his gym clothes on gym days. Bad mummy!

This morning the little girl who cries every morning came up to me for a hug as soon as her mum dropped her off. I don't think she realised I was not a teacher or she didn't care. She just wanted comforting. She came close to me so I put my arms around her shoulders as we sat side by side and she mumbled something about mummy..... something something as the tears dripped down  her cheeks. Her mum was getting into the car so I asked her to wave which she did with wet eyes. I asked her where her elder sister was and she said she was at home, sick. Poor little sweetheart.

Poor mum too. Mum has to work but most days I see her trying to leave with two girls crying at the top of their voices and clinging on desperately to her legs. The elder one cries just as hard as the little one.

Many parents are bringing in little shoes and outfits for fittings (for those who are doing some solo singing). The rest will have costumes supplied by the school. Yes, it is that time of the year, the time for year end concerts. Just one more year for us and then we will have no more kids in the kindy. I feel kind of nostalgic already.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The easiest way to organise a kids birthday party

I am a lazy mum when it comes to organising party for my kids. So the poor kids do not have any birthday parties. Birthdays are always quiet celebrations, just us, a cake and some presents from mummy and daddy. I do not have the energy nor the inclination to organise elaborate themed parties and bake and cook stuff plus come up with party packs and games for attendees. Not to mention getting everyone to confirm attendance etc. Such hard work. Well, it is to me anyway. It will not be hardwork if you enjoy such things.

So, what is the easiest way to organise a kids birthday party? To me, the easiest way is to call a fast food operator and to do it at the kindergarten. All you need to come up with is $$$$. It is not that much more expensive as say a themed party at some special location.

A fast food party organiser will come with fast food naturally, party games, gift packs, birthday cakes and even a mascot. When you have it at the kindy, it is even better because your house does not get messed up and you don't have to clean up afterwards. :P

And so that was what we did for the boy's birthday this year. It was good and bad.

The first fast food operator that I called up did not have take-out parties for my area. The second one was worse. She never returned my calls or emails and sounded harsh and rude each time I called. Mind you, her name was listed on the website as a person to contact for outdoor parties. Hmm... Finally, a colleague of hers returned my call as a follow up.... 6 months after my party. 6 months!!!!

Eventually I settled for fast food operator number 3 which was excellent putting together everything in a jiffy over the phone. Unfortunately, they arrived an hour late for the party. 1 hour!!!! And the mascot was dirty and did not know what to do apart from walking around stiffly for just a few minutes. Nevertheless they did come up with some games and were generous with the prizes but it was a bit rushed (since they were an hour late!) and the games were over before we knew it.

Oh well, despite everything, the boy was very happy to have his birthday celebrated with his friends in school and to be surprised by the mascot and to eat fast food and get lots of gifts from the organiser. No gifts from his friends though since it is held at the school and a surprise party.

So, I guess there are pros and cons in organising a party this way. What to do, if you are a lazy mum like me who does not like organising parties then this will have to do. At least the kids are happy. Even his sister got to ponteng (skip) school to attend the surprise party. So everyone was happy in the end. As long as they are happy..... mummy need not feel guilty about not putting in much effort for their birthdays. :P

Friday, October 08, 2010

Divide and Conquer

Kids are really good at this strategy.

"Mummy, please don't tell daddy."

This term is often said when they have done something wrong and want to hide it from daddy because they know they will get a good scolding or beating from daddy if he learns about the wrong doing. It could work the other way around too as in "Daddy, please don't tell mummy." depending on the situation or simply depending on who is assumming the good guy/bad guy role in the family dynamics.

"Mummy, please can you tell daddy."

On the other hand, this other phrase is often used as a bargaining tool. Mummy is used as a bargaining tool to talk to daddy, when "communications" with daddy has failed. "Communications" usually means asking for something. As before, "daddy, please can you tell mummy" is equally common too.

In order to rise above this divide and conquer strategy by the kids, mummy and daddy has to put up a united front at all times, even when they do not agree. Shouting in front of the kids is a no-no.

We try to put up a united front in front of the kids but sometimes, communications fail too. ;)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Enjoy your kids when they are young

I bought new shoes. I opened the box to show my girl my new shoes. She takes a curious but not that interested look at it then looks at me and says "Not very nice" then goes on and does something else.

I left the box with the new shoes on the floor in the room. The boy comes along and opens the box. "Mummy, you bought new shoes." he said excitedly. Then he goes on to open the box. "I like the colours." he exclaimed. And then he proceeds to put them on his feet. Haha. And then he insists that I try them on.

Opposite gender reactions? Nyah. I think its just the fact that he is younger and therefore more excited about new things. So, enjoy your kids when they are young. The window of opportunity is quite small. Very soon they will grow up and be interested in other things and you are no longer their all, their world, their everything, as they grow up and away from you. Their world no longer revolves around you so if you don't enjoy them when they are young, you will have missed that time forever.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Ben 10 Vs Ben 10 Alien Force

"Mummy, I don't like this Ben 10! I like the Ben 10 with the green clothes not the Ben 10 with the white clothes! Its Ben 10 Alien Force Mummy, not Ben 10!" he kept on insisting.


It took me some time but eventually, I managed to figure out that he liked the 15 year old Ben 10, not the 10 year old Ben 10. I hadn't realised that there was a difference. Haha.

Ben 10 with the "white clothes" ie the 10 year old Ben 10
Well, I guess that Ben 10 must have been such a success that the creators decided to create an older version to keep the younger boys hooked as they grow up as well as to interest the older boys too.

Ben 10 with the "Green" clothes ie the older 15 year old Ben 10

My 6 year old boy prefers the older 15 year old Ben 10 and when I asked him why, he said.....

"because I like the Gwen in Ben 10 Alien Force!"

Gwen Tennyson at 10 and at 15 years of age

15 year old Gwen Tennyson from Ben 10 Alien Force

My boy can remember the names of all the 20 aliens and all their special powers that both Ben 10s can transform into, 10 each since the older Ben 10 has a new set of 10 aliens. I wish he was that good in his spelling and other lessons!

Read up all about Ben Tennyson, Gwen Tennyson and Kevin Levin or check up my Squidoo lens for links to Ben 10 Online Games or take the poll on Ben 10 vs Ben 10 Alien Force.

Updated on 16 March 2012 - My boy is 8 now. He has outgrown his Ben 10 Toys but he still can't get enough of his Ben 10 Books. So I guess that is why they have two different Ben 10s. One to cater to younger kids and the other to the older ones. ;)

Check out these Ben 10 Action Figurines of Ben 10, Kevin, Gwen and the Ben 10 Aliens:

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Downloadable free Chinese Games for Kids

My girl gave me the url of this website to download interactive chinese games to play. She said her computer teacher gave them the website.

I am sure those with knowledge of Chinese would know of these games with no problem. However, for parents who do not understand Chinese Mandarin, like me, finding online Chinese resources for kids is a bit more challenging. Some websites has English translation so it is not too bad. It is those that are filled with Chinese words that baffles me. I don't even know where to begin.

I am constantly on the lookout for good Chinese and Malay websites for the kids since there are plenty of English ones.

Anyway, here is the site. It is from the WawaYaya series and here is the page where you can download interactive chinese games. They are sample games but the so called sample games are very good indeed. The colours are vibrant and the games are relevant for young primary school kids. They are more than just samples to me as they work just fine. Sometimes websites that offer sample games gives out poor samples but I think these are fine. However, some links no longer work so you have to try to see which one does and which one does not.

Apart from the interactive Chinese Games for kids, there are English Games, Mathematics Games and Science Games too.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CBBC's Tag Team Game

My kids love this online game. It is Tag Team from CBBC. There are 5 games in all. Playing each game will unlock the other games and enable the team leader from the game to be tagged for the other games. I personally find only 2 of the games out of the 5 enjoyable. (Psst.... mummy usually gets to try out the games first to decide on its suitability and fun ratio. ;) )

They are the bowling game called Rollin' Bowlin' Shirley which releases Shaun the Sheep for tagging once you win all the levels. The other one is the clean up game called Tracy Beaker Cleans Up. Once you win all the levels, you can get Shirley to help out in the other games.

At the moment this is their 2nd or 3rd favourite online game coming after Toy Story Games and Ben 10 Games.

Coming soon: Downloadable free Online Chinese Games for Kids

Monday, September 27, 2010

According to You

"According to you......" "According to you......" the girl was singing all day. When I asked her she said....

"Mummy, my friend taught me how to sing. He told me that if I go to YouTube and type "Ori Aunty" than I can find the song. He says he likes Justin Baby"

lol. I think she meant "Orianthi" and Justin Bieber's "Baby"

I remember her favourite song used to be "I'm a Little Teapot"

Now she is learning "According to you" ......

and "Baby"....

Help! I am not ready for this..... Maybe I'll just let her watch the Chipmunks and Chipettes version first. :P

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Her English Teachers

Many of our kids have to learn 3 languages in primary school. They say kids soak up information like a sponge and are good at picking up languages and all that. However, when you are trying to learn 3 different languages seriously, all at the same time, something has to give. You can't be equally good at all 3. Well, perhaps, you can but it will require effort and time.... which we don't have.

Since my girl studies at a Chinese School, it is natural that the school spends a lot of hours and effort in teaching the kids to be good at this language so that is not a problem. The school also has to make sure that their Malay language is not too far behind the National school's, so the standard is not too bad either since the National School's standard is so high these days, much higher than the time when I was a kid in school learning it.

That leaves English. Poor poor English. All forgotten and neglected. The standard is pitiful. Even my son who is attending kindergarten can read and do some of his sister's Primary 2 school work. The teacher asks them to spell "white colour" etc. Quite often there is grammatical and sometimes spelling mistakes as well in the spelling and dictation given by the teacher. We have to tell my girl to "just follow what teacher wrote but you know the correct usage." to which she would reply "but what if I forget and write the wrong one next time." Sigh. It is too tiring to bring it up to the teacher because it happens frequently and the teacher would probably feel defensive and offended so we leave it alone.

To make up for this, some parents send their children for extra tuition. I know a parent who sent his child for tuition at the British Council during the weekends but who at the start of Primary 2 announced that he is pulling his child out of Chinese School because he is not blending in there. I wonder if he considered that he may have contributed to the problem just a little by pushing his child to be good at everything all at the same time? It must be a such a pressure for an 8 year old.

I admit that I am worried too. I want my children to be good in English. Initially I had thought that I would guide them in this area myself but I find there is not enough time. I do not believe in sending them for extra tuition in this area because I think it will be an extra burden for them. I had not believed in tuition for young kids but now I think that if they need extra help for school work then perhaps it is justified. However sending them for extra subjects for something the school is not concentrating on is not extra help to assist in school work. It is an extra burden to an already heavy workload.

However, now I can relax a little on this issue. My girl loves to read. So all I need is to buy her lots and lots and lots of storybooks. She devours them up in no time. I had forgotten that was how I learned English. We were not taught grammar in school but I read so many story books and that was how I used to do well in English during primary school. So now, I will just let her read as much and as often as she wants. Then I can sit back and watch her vocabulary and grammar improve automatically. She says she likes to read books that has no pictures in them, only words. "Then I can imagine it myself, mummy."

So that is how I finally found the right English Teachers for my girl. They are English Storybooks. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Social Networking for Kids

Recently my girl asked me about Facebook so I showed it to her. However I did not create an account for her nor did I encourage her to do so. We did however find that about a dozen of her classmates are on it.

Ok ok. I know its the new age the internet age. Afterall I am a blogger myself with several blogs. So what is the harm of letting her have a facebook account? However, I prefer to tackle that a little later on. She is afterall only 8, just discovering how to make friends and socialise in the real world. She does not need the complications of learning how to socialise in the cyber world and deal with all its fascinations, complications etc plus other issues that it will inadvertently bring.

I was amazed that some of her friends has over 250 friends on facebook and lists Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber as favourites. I mean they are only 8? Isn't that growing up a little too soon, too fast? They just graduated from Nursery Rhymes!

My girl asked me about Lady Gaga. She said her friend's favourite song is by Lady Gaga. Her friend told her that all she needs to do is press number 2 on the radio/tv and you can get to listen to Lady Gaga. :) That remark is charming in its innocence and tells me that number 2 on the radio in her home was set not by her. I tried to find some suitable videos on YouTube on Lady Gaga to show her but I could not find any. I find her dressing and manners inappropriate for a child of 8. Imagine wearing a piece of meat to an event. Oh well, it takes all kinds.

Back to Facebook, at the moment I am not prepared to teach my girl about social networking and educate her about safety, cyber bullying etc etc. I am also not prepared to deal with her spending too much time on it, playing games, updating her status etc. So I shall leave it for now. There is no escaping it or course and in time, she will have an account but not now.

Now, she can spend her time reading, instead of updating her profile. And she can worry about which friend to "friend with and not friend with again" the next day at school instead of counting the number of friends she has on Facebook and the number of comments she gets. There is a certain fascination and addiction in it and I prefer that she and I not have to deal with it at this moment, when she is just 8. We also don't have the time for  it and I do not see it as one of the must haves for an 8 year old kid to learn about life and socialising.

Perhaps I am outdated and old fashioned and my girl will suffer from peer pressure of not having a Social Networking account but I think it is the right thing to do for now, for us. In time, she will have an account and I will teach her how to be safe online and deal with all the things that comes from having cyber friends ie friends that she has never met in real life but for now, I shall concentrate on teaching  her how to be a friend in real life. Ok. So now shoot me because I know there are a lot of bloggers with kids who have an online presence who probably think I am making a mountain out of a molehill but then that is just me and that is why I continue to remain anonymous after so many years online. :P

Friday, September 17, 2010

Raising Readers

It is not hard to raise readers at all. Everything that they say in parenting articles about how to encourage children to read and raise readers is true. Sometimes I disagree with some suggestions made by parenting gurus etc on various other aspects on parenting. However, there is just one way to raise readers and that is READ, READ, READ to them. The rest will take care of itself.

I have read to my children from the time they were very young. That is the time we enjoy the most. Bedtime where everyone gets to cuddle and listen to a story, rhyme or song. Now they make their own stories, songs and rhymes and they can't put a book down. I have to constantly ask them to put down the book they are reading and move on to another activity. When they were young, they used to tear pages from books and draw on them. Not anymore. They love books and they love reading.

We take them to bookshops frequently and we do a lot of reading at home. All of us. I am however sad that my girl does not really like me to read to her anymore. She has outgrown it. Now she likes to read herself. She would take a book and read aloud (always aloud) with full of expression. I still read to my boy because he still prefers it at the moment. However, at times when I get lazy, I declare it "everyone read yourself night" so I get to read my own stuff too in peace. :P

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Her very first music theory test

The girl sat for her first music theory test on the first day of the school holidays. The test was held at a Secondary School at a place we were not familiar with. We had to drive there a few times to get it right so that we won't get lost on the day. Fortunately we did not get lost and we made it there on time.

I am not too happy that preparation for the test was rather rushed. I had to push her quite a bit too which I did not like. We skipped grade 1 tests but she did about 2 years of past year papers for it. 1 year of past papers consist of 4 papers, so that was about 8 in all.

The music teacher also bought her 5 years of Grade 2 past year papers to do. 5 years equals 20 papers in all! Plus she had to cover the syllabus very quickly. Nope, I did not like the pace at all. To me, music education should be fun, not more mugging, Chinese School style. Now, that I am aware of what it takes etc, I will be able to plan better next time and suggest to the music teacher on the direction and pace we prefer.

I also studied on my own using the internet as a resource. It helps me in my piano playing because I have never studied theory in detail before. It also helps me to help my girl.

The test was 1 and 1/2 hours long. Students were allowed to leave the room after 40 minutes. I thought that must have been distracting for the others who were still working on the paper. We saw students streaming out of the rooms one by one.

My girl, came out last. She said she was the very last person left behind with the examiner because she was too afraid to tell the examiner that she had finished and would like to leave. She said that she checked 2-3 times.

Perhaps next year she will sit for the practical exam. We plan to do practical/theory in alternate years so it won't be so taxing.

Both she and her brother loves to play the piano but like most kids, they don't like to practise very much. However, once you get them on the piano seat, they sometimes can't stop. I would really like to manage their music lessons well so that they won't grow tired, bored and even worse pressured by it so I never pressure them to practise.

Although the teacher suggest that they practise at least an hour each day (and reduced it to 15 minutes when she found that we could not make the 1 hour), I let them practise in their own pace. Sometimes when there is a lot of school work, they don't practise at all. Sometimes, they practise for an hour. Sometimes just 5 minutes or 10 minutes in several intervals spread out over the day, especially for the younger boy who has a shorter attention span.

The teacher sometimes gives them up to 6-7 new songs during the week. Sometimes if they find that overwhelming, I suggest that they practise only 1 song at one session and do another song the next time. I think that just like school lessons, parental support and guidance is very important for music lessons as well. If I leave them alone to practise on their own without any suggestions, usually they either get bored or fed-up or overwhelmed. By breaking it down into several sessions and smaller goals, they seem more motivated.

Friday, September 03, 2010

The right motivation

My boy who cried because he could not spell "cousin" and "daughter" during his school spelling competition told me "mummy, don't worry, I can find my own game" when he wanted to play online ben 10 games.

Then he proceeded to sit in front of the pc and typed in "Ben 10 Alien Force Games" on google which led him to this and then this. Then he started to play some alien smashing and kicking game. Hmm... rather violent if you ask me.

He tells me there are two Ben 10. One with white shirt and the other with green shirt. He prefers the green shirt one. :)

Anyway, with the right motivation, kids learn really fast. I think "Alien Force" is just as hard to spell as "cousin" or "daughter" but he learned it with no problem without even realising that he was learning.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

School Competitions

As the school wraps up the first half of the second term, the kids have lots of competitions in school. Writing, Singing, Maths, Spelling, Chinese Sentence Construction etc.

The other day, the boy had a spelling competition in school. I sent him late for school on the day they were practising the words, so he said he missed it. :P Later on, I did not prepare him for it at all because there was no time. He didn't even have time to finish his homework. He has been rather slow with his homework because he has not been feeling well recently. Not even enough time for homework.. forget about competitions!

I am very relaxed with him now since he is still in kindergarten so I told him it is ok if he can't finish, do it tomorrow etc but I remind him that things will change next year.

Anyway, he missed out on the discussion and preparation and did very badly, according to him. "Teacher says it is so bad that she is going to show you." :P Haha. Poor little fella. But it is only a spelling test. He will recover from his disappointment. He had wanted to win two trophies like his sister. His sister had one for math and one for some team work at the same kindy. He has one, for popping balloons. lol. So he wants to try to have another one. That is sibling rivalry in its full glory.

The sister on the hand is optimistic about her school competitions. "Mummy, do you think I will win a prize? Guess." I told her I can't guess because I don't know how good the other children are. The competions are usually standard wide for the whole standard. "I think I will win consolation prize." she announces. I have yet to see any winnings yet but I am happy she is optimistic. She is usually pessismistic and has poor self image.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Blue and Yellow Colour Pencils

The kids each have a small box of colour pencils to bring to school. At home, we have a bigger multi coloured box which they can take from each time they run out of a certain colour from their school set. The problem is... they are always running out of blue and yellow so much so that the home set has no more blues and yellows.

Now, why hasn't anyone thought of selling just certain colours in a box. Why must it be the same old colours. If I were a coloured pencil box manufacturer, I would offer coloured pencils in various colours and sets to choose from. The first colour I would ditch are white and greys. Those almost never get used by the kids.

I want more blues, yellows and reds. Once I tried to find single coloured pencils. I was delighted to find them at an art store. Unfortunately, upon closer inspection, each colour pencil cost almost as much as an entire box set!

I wonder how everyone else manages their colour pencils...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Colour me Crazy!

The boy was absent from kindy for a week because he was sick. He had some sort of bacterial infection and had flu like symptoms, fever plus a full body rash.

What did that leave him with? Some leftover marks on his body and lots and lots of homework to catch up with. It is a bit ridiculous since he is only 6. I suppose it is good training for what is to come for him. Standard 1 in a Chinese Primary School.

I don't push him on his homework at all, letting him do it at his own pace. (Next year may be a bit different). The boy wants to do all his homework which involves drawing and colouring first.

Boy oh boy. That drives me crazy. Absolutely crazy as he colours each and everything soooo beautifully with intricate details and clever use of colours. One little shirt can end up with the colours of the rainbow. Help! I'm going to tear my hair out very soon!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How to teach your kid to ride a bicycle

Recently we rewarded the girl with a bicycle without training wheels for doing well in her studies. She was very eager to learn how to ride a bike.

We found this article and video on how to teach your kid to ride a bicycle very usefell and effective. This is different from the traditional method of running beside the bicycle and holding on to it until the child becomes stable before releasing. I learned the traditional way with my sister pushing me in the back street behind our house. It was a harsh stone gravel road. Oh, how I fell and how back aching it must have been for her. :)

In the method shown on the video, it breaks down the learning process into separate steps... balancing, pedaling, riding in a straight line before turning. The child starts to learn to ride a bike on a grassy slope before riding on level ground.

When her daddy first asked her to try this method, I was afraid to look. The slope that was available to us did not look so smooth like in the video. It was rough and wet with branches strewn on it and higher too.

However, after the first trip, the girl was able to balance on a bike. On the second trip, she was able to balance with her feet on the pedal, followed by pedaling a short distance and even turning.

Next trip, we will try on flat ground. It is a great method and like they said... Learn to ride a bicycle without pain, teach bicyling without strain. Absolutely.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Teachers, the good and the bad

I do not meet up with my girl's primary school teachers very much but from what she tells me, I know which ones are good, which ones are not, which ones work hard and which ones are lazy.

For example, I know that her Standard 1 English teacher was very lazy. There was hardly any work. Whenever he was in class, he used to play with the kids. Play with rubber bands, knocks playfully on their heads, plays play doh, do paper folding with strips of coloured paper etc, anything accept English. Mind you, he carries a rotan (cane) and has a rather loud voice but none of the kids are afraid of him. When he comes, they talk even louder.

Her Std 1 Malay teacher used to tell them all sorts of scary health stories. I think she meant well to try to teach the kids about personal health but I think she is overdoing the scare tactics for 7 year olds.

Her Chinese and class teacher from last year was strict, walks, talks and moves fast. Professional but not much rapport with the kids.

This year's English teacher is a bit better. She is a bit more innovative and quite strict so the kids are afraid of her. However her lessons are a bit more fun. Her lessons are not very evenly spaced out though. Sometimes there is no work and sometimes they have to complete an entire chapter of work in a day. Hmmm....

The Malay teacher teaches at a tremendous speed. Perhaps it is not really her fault but the fact that she has to rush through the syllabus to complete a school text book and activity book plus several other activity books. Most of the times she comes in the class and starts her lesson by talking or writing really fast and the kids have to copy really really fast or get left behind. Most of the time my girl comes home with perfectly copied answers and As but when I ask her what she has learned, she says she does not  understand what is going on.

When my girl is absent for a few days and asks the teacher for help on missed lessons, she says "later, later" then forgets all about it so absent days means missed school work unless you are good enough to borrow from a friend to copy on your own but who would want to lend you his or her book when they do not know when he or she needs it? They may need it for school work or to pass up to teacher.

The best teacher so far is my girl's chinese teacher and class teacher this year. Maybe it is the fact that she is the class teacher. She is very diligent in her work. Once my girl missed some work because she was sick, the teacher spent 30 minutes with her and another girl going through with them the work that they missed. She makes sure they do their missed homework by getting another child to lend the book to them for copying when she knows that the child does not need to hand in the book on that day. She is strict but kind and approachable. My girl is not afraid to ask her when she does not understand something because she says "teacher will always explain to me till I understand."

I wish for more teachers like this for my girl and boy. They are a treasure, so hard to find.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another one going to Primary School

Today I went to register or rather confirm my boy's placing for Standard One at his sister's school. As before, I did not know how to write his Chinese name but this time I have a little helper. Yup! His sister wrote his Chinese name on the form for him. :)

How quickly the time has flown. Next year I shall be one stressed and harried mother of two Primary school children in a Chinese Primary School. Wish me luck! :P

Chinese school has not turned out to be the horrible place I had envisioned. Apart from the homework, the teachers are not the fire breathing dragons with talons that I had feared. They are hardworking, diligent and approachable, so far. I hope it will remain that way. It all remains on the teachers you get. This year my girl is fortunate to have a very kind and understanding class teacher. That really helps a lot!

The kids in her school are a happy lot who are quite disciplined. So far so good. :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Little Boy with a Conscience

"Mummy, I accidentally drank the toothpaste. Now you won't give me the toothpaste anymore"

I knew it could not have been an "accident" because he particularly loved that brand of toothpaste given by the dentist because of its smell and taste compared to the normal mint toothpaste. So I pulled him aside and told him this...

"Did you purposely or accidentally drink it? I was not there to see so I don't know. Only you know. Only you know whether you did the right thing or wrong thing."

I pointed to his chest and told him...

"Good people know when they did the wrong thing and they will feel very bad inside and sorry. Only bad people like thieves and robbers sometimes do not feel that what they have done is wrong, they do not feel bad or sorry inside."

A moment later, he ran to me with tears in his eyes.

"Mummy, I am good inside. I purposely drank the toothpaste. Now you won't give me the toothpaste anymore."

I gave him a hug and said that it was very bad to purposely drink all the dirty brushing teeth water along with the toothpaste but he is indeed a very good boy to know that what he did was wrong and feel sorry.

Now.... the question is...... should I still give him the toothpaste????

Friday, July 02, 2010

Free Online Music Theory Course

My girl will be sitting for her first music theory exams this year. She will be sitting for Grade 2 because her teacher thinks that Grade 1 is too easy for her. However, she has a lot of catching up to do in order to sit for her Grade 2 Music Theory exam.

I hadn't realised that, otherwise, I would have preferred that she sits for the exam next year instead. When it comes to music, I wish to let her take it at a pace that is enjoyable and comfortable for her. There is no hurry to complete the grades.

Anyway, I found this really delightful site for her to learn music theory online. Unfortunately, she has no time to use it! I will use it though to learn ahead of her so she can come to me if she has any questions. She often delights in the fact that she can "teach" me Mandarin and Music Theory. "Look mummy, my music theory or my mandarin is so much better than yours now. I can teach you now!"

Back to the site. It is very simple to use and understand. Each topic in the syllabus is clearly explained and easily accessible with related links. I love the interactive exercises with answers when you scroll over or rollover the questions with your mouse. Unfortunately at the moment there are free music theory courses for Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 5 and Grade 6 only but it does say that more will be added soon.

I am too lazy to write my own review about it, so I shall just give a very brief summary or excerpt of what I found on the site. :P

Free Courses in Music Theory Online for Everyone!

Mymusictheory.com - gives online lessons in music theory designed to help you pass the Music Theory exams run by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). At the moment it has complete free online courses in Grade One, Grade Two and Grade Five, with Grade Six in progress.

About the Online Music Theory Course - Each course is designed to take you step by step through everything you need to know for each grade of the music theory exams. Each tutorial has a set of practice exercises which you can use online; you can also print off the complete exercises for each grade so that you can work on them offline.

I hope this post is useful for parents whose children are studying the music theory exams run by the ABRSM.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

School Holiday Craft - Paper Flowers

During the recent school holiday we made paper flowers. It is really easy to make but I was lazy. We used precut paper. Hehehe.

Anyway, if you want to make them yourself, all you need to do is cut coloured paper of various textures and design into petal shapes. Include all the petals at one go. Make a small hole in the middle. Then push through all the petals using a pipe cleaner, finally twist the pipe cleaner into a loop at the top to hold the petals together.. That is all there is to it.

Describing is hard. Here is a picture of our craft. Let the picture do the talking. :)

We did not do a lot of crafts this holidays because the school holiday homework - a whole book of it was quite a lot.

All we did were these flowers plus some painting. The kids love painting. We used two kinds of paint. The dry kind where you just dip your brush into water and dip it into the dry paint and the other which the kids prefer, where you squeeze out paint onto a pallete. The love that. The younger one ends up just squeezing paint and mixing them around to create different colours. "Mummy, this looks like Milo", "Mummy, this looks like Ribena" etc. makes him happy.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Report Card Day 2010

We had to wait more than an hour to collect the girl's report card. We spent most of that time touring the school with her because she is so happy to show us around. :) The teacher had a lot to say to the parents before us, spending as much as 30 minutes for some parents which is a good thing, I guess. Better to have a teacher who takes notice of the children in the class and has something to say about them than a teacher who couldn't care less and just want to give out the report card and get it out of the way.

The teacher didn't have much to say about my girl. I don't have very much to comment she said... which is a good thing too. Nothing to comment means good. :) She said, "Your girl is a very good girl. She likes to help me do my work, she is very conscientious about her own work. She has managed to maintain her good grades. She has no weak areas in her studies. She is a bit shy to volunteer for story telling, singing etc but that may just be her character and I have nothing much further to comment."

She also mentioned that my girl looks less focussed after the recent school holidays. We noted that it could be due to the medication that she has to take and reminded the teacher to inform us if she notices any more differences in her behaviour like this. That is it.

I reminded my girl that although she did very well in her grades, what is more important is teacher said she has been behaving very well and we are very pleased with her for her good behaviour. We gave her a treat and will be getting  her something to motivate and encourage her to keep up her good behaviour and good work.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Play Toy Story Games Online

Toy Story 1. Toy Story 2. Toy Story 3. Yes, that is the current craze. During the school holidays, we watched Toy Story 1 and Toy Story 2 at  home on dvds. Then we proceeded to the cinema to watch Toy Story 3. We've been hit by Toy Story Mania.

In fact, there is even an online game called Toy Story Mania where you can create your own Toy Story Game. My kids have not tried that yet. They are currently into the Toy Story Online Game called Daycare Dash, Woody's Wild Adventure and Woody's Big Escape.

There's more too but the kids have not gone through all the games yet. Playing the games allows them to relive the story they saw on screen all over again. They can't get enough of it.

I wonder why there is so many Woody games. I personally prefer Buzz Lightyear. Buzz has this really gung-ho but innocent personality that is totally adorable.

Anyway, these games are all available on the Disney Toy Story site. If you need some me time, go to the link and let your kid explore the online Toy Story Games but don't tell anyone I said this. lol. It doesn't work for me though. I still get "Mummy, play with me" "Mummy, come and watch me play". "Mummy, come and see this." Me time? Only in my dreams......

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day Trip to Melaka

During the school holidays we went to Melaka. The kids wanted to go to Genting but we said No, we go to Melaka because you have not been there before. In the end, they gave a thumbs up for Melaka. :) Why? Because we went on the Melaka River Cruise, rode in a colourful Melaka Trishaw, explored a portugese ship in the Melaka Maritime Museum and sat in the Menara Taming Sari, the first revolving Gyro Tower in Malaysia (I didn't know that, not till I wrote this post. Haha.). All new experiences for them which they enjoyed. We left KL at 8am and arrived at 10am.

Traffic was heavy in Melaka.....

But we managed to find our way to the A Famosa Fort in Melaka......

Then, we climbed up to the St Paul Hill Church from 400 years ago...

There, we had a bird's eye view of the Eye on Malaysia..... and the Menara Taming Sari....

Later on we stopped by the Proclamation of Independance Memorial.....

This was followed by a Melaka River Cruise.......

We sat on one of these boats for our boat tour of Melaka.....

By then, it was almost lunchtime and the queue for lunch spread to the road side!

What's everyone queing up for? Chicken Rice Balls of course.

We had some too. I was so hungry I forgot to take a photo till halfway through the meal.......

We did not join that queue but had our Chicken Rice Balls at Hoe Kee at Jonker Walk instead.....

After lunch we went to Menara Taming Sari for a ride. There was a long queue. We had to wait for 3 rounds before our turn. From the revolving tower, we took a photo of the portugese ship that was part of the Melaka Maritime Museum which we visited right after our tower ride.


We finally left Melaka at 4pm, arriving home at 6pm, just in time for dinner. A great day trip! Just nice for a family with young kids. (preschoolers and above). These Melaka attractions are nice and enjoyable for the kids. The colourful Melaka trishaw ride was fun for the kids too. Some of the trishaw riders even double up as tourist guides, taking you to various attractions, talking about them and taking photos for you and your family.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Raising Active Kids

The doctor we were seeing for my girl suggested that we increase her physical activity. I had not realised how physically inactive the kids had been. Their only activity is the once a week school gym classes which often gets cancelled to make way for more academic lessons as well as some running around at the mall. *Guilty*

The doctor suggested at least 30 minutes of physical exercises each day. So I incorporated "gym time" into our daily routine. How the kids love it! They love it to the max! We try to give them an afternoon nap that is no longer than an hour as suggested by the doctor. It is no problem getting them up as before because they look forward to their "exercise time".

So far, we have done skipping, long jump, high jump, cycling all within the confines of our little porch. We played mother hen protecting her chicks from the eagle which makes them laugh real hard. I give them coloured chalks and we draw a hopscotch or rivers to jump over. We challenge each other for long jump and use chalks to mark our jump. The kids love it. They cheat like mad and love it to the max. We sweep the porch together before playing and wash the chalk off afterwards. That is part of play too. One of them will pour water from a watering can while the other sweeps.

We have flown paper aeroplanes, played ball games and blown up ballons on a rainy day and played all sort of games with the balloons like how to keep the balloons in the air, or shooting balloons into hula hoops like a basketball game. We danced to music, played ping pong at my sister's house which was bigger and had a ping pong table. They tried badminton too at sister's but I am afraid that if they play at the porch in our home, the shuttlecock may end up in our neighbour's like the paper aeroplane and annoy them. :P

I realise one thing. Kids love physical activity and it is so easy to set one up. So simple. However, to do it on a daily basis like the doctor suggested, is a bit tiring for mummy who has to organise it. lol. I am trying to crack my head for more ideas and wish we had more space. Going to the park is not that practical for us for safety reasons and sometimes due to the weather but we will try to head there too as all kids love the park.

Anyone has any more ideas for physical activities for kids?

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Men should learn from boys

The other day when I wore something other than my jeans and t-shirt and put on some make-up, the boy took a step back, then said "Wuah, so pretty mummy!" then he comes and gives me a big hug. It was so natural, so spontaneous. It came from his heart and he wasn't afraid to say it or show his love.

At night, he tries to snuggle close to me and when I tell him to go and sleep on his pillow he tells me "I like to sleep near you mah, so cozy...." and then he wraps himself around me like I am a big bolster.

However, one day, this little boy will grow up to become a man, and then gone will be his natural, spontaneous responses.

He will then be full of inhibitions and become shy like most men. Why is it so hard for men to show their emotions freely? They were not like that as boys.

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