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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Free Online Ben10 Games

My boy and his sister did not know anything about Ben10. However, all of his classmates including his sister's classmates know about Ben10. He is 6 and his sister 8. That is because we do not subscribe to the pay tv which has a regular Ben10 show playing.

So since all his classmates are talking about Ben10, we got him a Ben 10 shoe for Chinese New Year. We also got him one or two Ben10 VCDs to watch. Then he started to ask to play Ben10 games on the computer. So we found him this link which offers online Ben10 games for free.

There are several Ben10 games with titles like Ben10 Cavern Run, Ben10 Underworld, Ben10 to the Rescue, Ben10 Power Splash, Ben10 Blockade Blitz, Ben10 Savage Pursuit, Ben10 Omnitrix Unleashed and Ben10 Forever Defense.

Since then, the kids are hooked on Ben10. Even his sister likes the Ben10 games. Their favourite is Ben10 Blockade Blitz.

How easy it is to market to little kids. It must be a multimillion dollar business indeed.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Angpow Lantern Crafts

It is amazing what a few or rather many packets of angpows and what a little creativity can do.

I was simply amazed by the beauty of these angpow decorations that my cousin put up in our ancestral home in our home town. Take a look.

Here is an angpow lantern surrounded by many little hanging angpow lanterns.

And here is a hanging angpow fish decoration.

I like these. These are angpow mandarin oranges. They look good enough to eat. Hehe.

And this. This angpow craft is quite small. It takes many many squares of little red packets and plenty of patience but the results are beautiful.

Finally, here is a diamond shaped angpow lantern surrounded by minature hanging angpow fish lanterns.

Too bad my visit was short. Otherwise I would learn to make all of them. These angpow crafts are so amazingly beautiful and creative.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chinese New Year Story: The Story of Nian

Wish everyone who pass by this blog a

Happy Chinese New Year 2010.

This is the story of "nian" or the Chinese New Year story about how chinese villagers in ancient times used the bright colour red and loud sounds of firecrackers to frighten away the monster called "nian". It has been a yearly tradition since.

I've read this story many times and in many versions. This is the first time I am seeing an animated version of the Chinese New Year Story: The Story of Nian.

Great tale for the kids. However the animation may be a little bit scary for very young kids.

Here it is:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The countdown and build up towards Chinese New Year

For many folks Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year is not just 15 days of celebration starting from the first day of the first month of the Chinese Calander. It "starts" much earlier.

There is much to do. spring cleaning the house, decorating the house, buying new clothes and shoes and having a haircut plus stocking up the house with Chinese New Year foods. All this is part and parcel of Chinese New Year. It is out with the old and in with the new. Even the look must be new hence the haircut.

Visiting the shopping malls during this period is exciting for the kids too as the malls are gaily decorated and there are activities like chinese acrobatics, lion dances etc to entertain shoppers.

The kids love the excitement of this build up and countdown towards Chinese New Year. They love every bit of it. Shopping for new clothes, having a new haircut, decorating the house and even spring cleaning. Especially now that they are older, very much involved and can remember a little bit of the routines we went through from past years.

They are in school now so they have less time. Previously, they love it when I give them a wet cloth each and instruct them to wipe here and wipe there. Now all I ask them to do is to clean out their own bedside drawers.

They love this activity too. They boy wanted to put in everything red for his drawer. "Mummy, we must put in everything red red in the drawer because it is Chinese New Year." As usual, he threw out everything from his drawer and placed them in other parts of the house while his drawer looks shiny and clean and .... quite empty. He requested for a red box to put his stuff and he placed the box inside his drawer together with his red and yellow cars to decorate the inside of his drawer.

As for the girl, the hoarder, she was delighted to find old things that she had forgotten about. "Mummy, look, I forgot about this already. So long time never see this!" She requested for a red box too in which she stored all her precious beloved stationaries. When she was done and her table looked neat and tidy again (though still full of stuff), she stood back to admire her "new bedside table" and did a happy dance. She was all smiles.

How many days to Chinese New Year? "5 days!" they both chipped in. They love counting down in this manner daily.

Speaking of countdown to Chinese New Year, here is an online Chinese New Year game for kids aptly named PBS Kids- Sagwa: "Countdown to the New Year" It has 8 games in all. All the games are related to counting down towards Chinese New Year with a little explanation of the meaning behind each activity.

The game plus the little bits of information is a very good way to explain to kids about the fun of preparing and getting ready for Chinese New Year. My kids definitely relate to this set of 8 games since they have been doing the countdown "live".

Friday, February 05, 2010

A Case of Too Much Violence in Cartoons and TV?

My girl told me that the boy sitting behind her in class told her "I will poke your eye."

Once, he asked to have a look at her book. She reluctantly agreed after a while. After looking at the book he said to her "You want me to make you die ah."

Tell me, if your child tells you this, would you......

a. bring it up to the class teacher
b. ask your child to stop mixing so much with the kid in question
c. ignore it. dismiss it as "oh well, kids will be kids"

Which would you do?

I told my girl to inform teacher if he ever tries to physically disturb her. So, when he took his ruler and kacau her with it, she went to inform teacher and the teacher told her "just don't bother about him."

I asked my girl more questions about the boy. I asked her whether she is scared of him and she said she is not afraid of him. (She is more afraid of mummy and daddy scolding her if she plays with him too much and he is naughty to her.) She said, he is not naughty all the time. Sometimes, he plays nice or normal. She said he has told another girl classmate who sits in front of her... "Afterwards I cut off your head." and the other girl just laughed.

She said once her said "I will kill everybody in this school and then I will be the only great one left."

I can't help but feel a little bit worried. I told my husband who fetches my girl to school in the morning, to inform the teacher in a nice manner. Just tell her that it may be just the way some children talk but to just let her know so she can keep an eye.

However, hubby did not inform teacher after he saw the boy. According to hubby, he looks like a small sized timid looking boy. So he just smiled at the boy and told him and my girl to be friend friend with each other lah. Of course, hubby did not threaten the boy in any way. He just wanted to access the situation and from what he sees, at the moment, we do not need to inform the teacher. We don't want to be parents who scamper to complain to the teacher about every small thing. I don't think the teachers appreciate this. After all, they have about 40 in the class to worry about and so far the boy has not done anything physically harmful.

Later my girl told me, the boy had said to her "I will ask my father to kill your father."

Hmm... I have to monitor this situation closely to make sure that my girl is not being bullied or harmed physically.

I think sometimes the cartoons, video games and TV has a lot of violence, negative and undesirable elements. I mean where else would a little boy of 8 learn to talk like that? I think parents too, should keep a tabs on how their kids are talking. If your child is talking like that at home, don't think it is amusing or funny. Please nip it in the bud.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Sacarsm loses to Innocence

My Boy: Mummy, mummy play with me lah.

MG: Sorry, mummy is busy.

My Boy: Mummy, mummy play with me lah.

MG: No, cannot. Mummy is busy. Later mummy read book to you.

My Boy: Reading is not playing.

MG: Hah. Read to you also laugh already (Mumbles to self) Sacarsm

My Boy: No lah Mummy, I saw the book already. It is not a funny book. Innocence

MG: Hahaha. *Speechless*

The boy is slowly taking over from his sister as pesterer of the house. From the moment he wakes up till right before he goes to sleep, it is either "Mummy, play with me" or "Mummy, I want to play game."

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Hoarder

My Little Girl is a hoarder, just like her mummy!

She doesn't like Barbie dolls. She loves stationaries compared to Barbie. Pretty little notebooks etc. However, she does not use them. She just wants to keep them to admire! Likewise, she loves stickers but she does not use them. She keeps them to take out once in a while to admire.

She keeps crafts that we make, angpow papers, brochures of things and places that interest her, postcards, a soft toy or two, her Hello Kitty collection, her notebooks and stickers, her origami, little pieces of notes she writes, little knick knacks and momentoes etc all on her bedside table. She is quite tidy in the sense that she keeps them all neatly stacked up but I can hardly see through the table. Once in a while, I have to either make her go through them herself or if I go through them, some will end up in the trash bin.

The boy is worse. He likes to keep things too (though not as much as the girl). However, he likes to keep his bedside table and drawer entirely neat and tidy. How does he do this? By putting everything on the floor or on MY shelves or stashing them under my chair!

I think they must have got this hoarding trait from me. Quite often I feel sentimental about throwing old stuff away. I still have their little booties,tiny shoes and baby clothes. The other day, I reluctantly put some in the recycle/charity bin as I was doing some Chinese New Year spring cleaning and boy... that was hard to do!

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