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Monday, October 31, 2011

Shoes with Laces

Recently my boy went on a school day trip. This dunce of a mummy let him wear shoes with laces on them. He can do his own laces but sometimes he is a bit slow. So, I tied up his shoelaces extra tight and sent him on his way with a new cap bought just the night before for his trip because he had outgrown his old cap.

We had a good time choosing his cap and boy, this little one was fussy. He wanted the navy one which made him look 'handsome' and no other even though his parents advised him that he may be hot because of the thick material of the cap.

Anyway, back to his shoes. What I didn't expect was he had to remove his shoes! I vow never to let him wear shoes with laces again for a day trip. Silly me.

I had thought that he would have been happy and excited to tell us about his trip. Instead he appeared dejected. So we had to question him and this was the reply...

  • Mummy, it was so hot, I was sweating like mad! And the Cap made me sweat even more. (See, I told you son?)
  • Mummy, it was hot outside but so cold in the bus. Hot Cold Hot Cold
  • Mummy, I was scolded because I was slow in eating
  • Mummy, the vegetables we ate for lunch was worse than the ones you make at home
  • Mummy, I wanted to buy something but I didn't have enough money because I only saw it later. I got these. Here's the change. You can keep it. I don't want to waste money.
  • Mummy, I went to the toilet. I had to walk down steps to go to the toilet and there were other big boys in there who were not in the trip and they disturbed me. They were noisy and threw things at each other. The toilet was soooo dirty!
  • Mummy, I had to remove my shoes and it took me some time to tie my shoelaces back.
We told him that it was a good thing he went for the trip and he learned some important lessons in life. That outside, sometimes, you have to fight for yourself and it isn't always so comfortable as at home or as safe the way mummy and daddy try to make sure whenever he goes out with us.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween Gift Baskets for Kids

Halloween Gift Baskets make the perfect Halloween Gift. Here are a few great Halloween Gift Baskets filled with treats for little ones. The decorative items used to create the Halloween Gift Baskets can be saved up and used for your Halloween Decorations or Halloween Crafts. Here are some of my top picks for Halloween Gift Baskets for Kids for 2011.

Bat Theme Halloween Gift Basket
This Bat Theme Halloween Gift Basket is filled with yummy treats and snacks for little ones

Jack-O-Lantern Halloween Gift Basket
This Jack-O-Lantern Halloween Gift Basket is filled with chocolate for chocolate lovers! It has been named Choc-O-Lantern! You can use the cute O-Lantern Bucket for future Halloween Decorations. Great as a party favor. Just place one or two of these in a several parts of your house for your guests to help themselves during your Halloween House Party.

Halloween Treats and Activities Gift Basket
This Halloween Gift Basket is perfect for Kids during a Kids Halloween Party. Not only does it have Halloween treats and snacks, it includes Halloween Theme Games and Activities

Too Cute To Spook Halloween Gift Basket
This Halloween Gift Basket is as its name suggest meant for little cuties! Scary stuff are meant for older kids, little kids need just the right touch of spook with lots of treats of course.

Happy Halloween Jack O Lantern with Teddy Bear Gift Basket
This Halloween Gift Basket is just right for kids who love teddy bears ... and adults too!

Halloween Gift Basket for Tween Girl
This Halloween Gift Basket is suitable for a tween girl. It has sweet, treats and little novelties for the tween girl including Halloween Charm Bracelet, Halloween Tattoos and Halloween Nail Art!

Witches Theme Halloween Gift Basket
The Witches Theme Halloween Tote Bag can be used as a Halloween Treat Bag year after year in this Halloween Witches Theme Gift Basket.

Happy Halloween!

Search For More Halloween Gift Baskets For Kids This 2015.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Adorable Halloween Costumes For Infants and Toddlers

It is really fun to dress up sweet infants and adorable little Toddlers. So when an occasion like Halloween is celebrated, you can go right ahead and dress your cute little infant and toddlers up in various styles made just for Infants and Toddlers. Here are some Super Cute and Adorable Halloween Costumes for Toddlers and Infants.

Baby Infant Monster Costume
Toddler, Baby or Infant will look extremely adorable in this too Cute Monster Costume.

Add caption
Paper Magic Angry Birds Infant Costume
"I want to be Angry Bird, Mama". This one is more suitable for babies and infants. However older kids who wish to dress up as Angry Birds can choose from any of these Angry Bird Costume for Kids. Red bird, Yellow Bird, Blue, Green or Black Bird. Dress up the entire body or just wear the Angry Bird Hat. The Angry Bird Costumes are extremely cute for this Halloween.

This INFANT Too Cute To Spook Vampire Costume will adore everyone. No one will mind meeting this vampire. In fact, they just might want to hug and kiss this vampire.

You will want to take lots of pictures of your little one in this Infant Pumpkin Cutie Pie Costume. This Pumpkin Costume yells out Halloween more than any other costume for toddlers.

 You will want to cuddle this soft and warm baby in the Baby Girls Lamb Costume for sure. This infant costume is so warm, sweet and adorable.

Most kids can identify with cute character based costumes. I am sure most kids will recognize this Toy Story Infant Alien Classic Costume. It is really cute too.

The little ones, they grow up so fast. I didn't take the opportunity to dress up my little ones in cute costumes like these when I had the chance. Now, I wish I had plus taken lots and lots of photos for keepsakes too! Kids are only this age once. In no time, they'll be all grown and there won't be another chance to dress up your child in adorable costumes like these. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Exams are Over

Finally, the kids final exams are over. Yahoo! No more exams till next year. What a relief. 

Keeping them physically well enough to sit for the final exams was a worry. The girl had a fever and was vomiting on Friday. She was to sit for her first few papers on Monday. So she had to go to the doctor's on Saturday. Fortunately she recovered in time and did not pass it to her younger brother. Phew!

Her brother said that there was a boy sitting near him who vomited twice on exam day. Poor boy! Even if they were sick, the kids have to sit for the exams. The teachers will arrange for them to sit for the tests but they have to do so in the teachers' room all by themselves. 

So the greatest pressure for us during exams is making sure the kids are healthy and get enough sleep! What about you? What is your greatest exam pressure. I'm directing this question to the parents, not the kids. Funnily, somehow the kids always look so relaxed. It is the parents who look more stressed that the kids. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Online Animated Diwali Stories For Kids

Here are a couple of Diwali Stories for Kids which you can find online.

1. From Learn English Kids a British Council site - an excellent Online Diwali Story for Kids. I love the interactive fireworks game at the end of the story. It will get anyone in the festive mood for sure!

2. Here is another Animated Diwali Story For Kids from the National Grid For Learning. It includes an interactive part where kids can rearrange the story. (Updated: This post was originally written in 2012. Unfortunately this link no longer exists in 2014. However, I have found a replacement Diwali Story For Kids below. I hope you enjoy it with your kids. You can also go to my latest post Happy Diwali 2014 for the latest Diwali video, Diwali craft idea and Diwali Greeting Card apps suggestions.

3. The Story of Diwali For Kids can be found on  the website of Snaith Primary School.

4. Finally, you can enjoy this Diwali Song for Kids on YouTube.

Related Posts:

Happy Diwali 2014
Diwali Craft Ideas For Kids


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kids don't always tell us everything

I am at home with the kids and see my kids a lot so we have plenty of opportunities to chat about anything at all including their school day. Typically, we would chat about their school day over lunch and dinner and during bedtime.

However, I still missed the fact, that my boy's food had been stolen from him for the past 3 Fridays. At his school, we have a choice to cater the food or allow the children to buy on their own. We catered the food for him for several reasons.

Usually the school canteen serves food like fried rice and noodles. On Friday, they would serve nuggets and fries. His nugget and fries were not at his usual place for the past 3 weeks. Fortunately, his sister was smart enough to bring him to the counter to request for a new plate of food.

I didn't know about this for 3 whole weeks... because I never asked! Usually, I would ask them about their day whether anything special, funny or sad happened. "How was school today?" is too general. I have to ask them specific questions to get a better idea about what is happening at school. I had forgotten about food. Normally, I would only ask them about what they ate when they are sick or have stomach troubles.

Naturally, I went to inform the canteen. While I was there, another mother was there to pay for the food. The canteen operator told her that her child had not been taking the catered food for the past 2 months! She looked very surprised and said that she had given him money to buy whatever he liked in addition to the catered food. Again, this is the case of not asking and the children not telling.

My boy also has a friend who buys nothing accept packets of junk food for recess as well as for lunch when he has to stay back in school. I think it is important to query your child to find out what they have been buying in school and teach them to buy appropriate food if they are given the money and choice to decide what to eat.

I think it is very important for us parents to talk to the children by asking especially when they are very young. Otherwise we may miss out on some important matters because by the time they are home, they are happy and sometimes all they want to do is play but when they are back at school, they are faced with the same unresolved issues if they don't talk to us about it.... and if we don't ask.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Float or Sink Science for Kids

I've been helping my 7 year old study for his Science Test. This year his syllabus is different from that of his sister two years ago. At the time, his sister had to know what floats and what sinks and that is all.

However, much to my frustration, this year's Science Syllabus requires him to know what will make an object that sink, float and what will make a sinking object float. It is a real headache! Even I couldn't figure it out some of the time.

So much to his delight, we have to tie objects together and run to the sink to experiment. We had to first test out whether the object sink or float individually, then tie them up together and see what happens. The results weren't always the same and it was confusing for him because sometimes what sinks or floats also depends on the size, shape etc of the object and not only on the object material. I don't think he understands the object density and buoyancy at this age. Why can't they keep it simple? Arrggh!

Anyway, here is something simple and easy to understand for kids just learning about Float and Sink Science. Check it out. It is a cute animated story from BBC Schools, my favourite Educational Site for Kids. Nash's Adventures is suitable for kids age 5-7.

Check out my Squidoo Lens for more Science Games and Activities for Kids.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Game for Teaching Kids to Tell the Time

Today, I made a Squidoo Lens on Teaching Kids to Tell Time. I've included lots of resources in it for teaching kids to tell time. While I was researching which resource is best for teaching kids to tell time, I came across this delightful game for teaching kids to tell time. It is from BBC- KS1 Bitesize Games.

I love all the BBC Kids sites. They are absolutely marvelous for teaching kids and they are free! Anyway, here is the telling time game for kids. It is called Clockworks. Kids are supposed to help the two characters in the game, Max and Molly fix the tower clock by telling the time. This telling time game has three levels, medium, hard and very hard.

I created the Teaching Kids to Tell Time lens for my 7 year old who is still struggling with his ability to tell the time. He knows how to tell the time but sometimes he gets mixed up so he just needs more practice, that is all. However, he does struggle with learning the time syllabus in Chinese while his parents try to teach him in English.

However, I must say that the Clockworks game to help children tell time is more suitable for my 9 year old because it requires the player to calculate the time forwards. It is more suitable for advance learners rather than for learners who are just learning to tell the time.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Top Ten Tips for Helping Your Child With Revision and Tests

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

Here are my Top Ten Tips for Helping your Child with Revision and Tests

  1. Establish good habits early. As soon as they start formal schooling, you should start teaching them good habits of revising and studying for tests.
  2. Teach your child to be organised. Go through the syllabus with them so they know what to study. 
  3. Set a time with no disruptions. If another child is distracting, separate them.
  4. Provide time for rest and snacks in between. Studying should not be seen as a chore.
  5. During the early years, sit with them if you can so that they know how to study or revise. I sat and studied with my 7 year old girl. Now at 9 she can revise on her own independently. She even chooses her own workbooks, goes through them on her own and marks them herself.
  6. Make sure your child gets enough rest and sleep.
  7. Teach them exam techniques. This can make a big difference. A child who is 7 is not too young to learn exam techniques. He or she should be taught about the importance of time keeping and checking through their work. This is one of the good habits mentioned in Tip No. 1 above.
  8. Do a mock test at home so they know what to expect.
  9. No last minute studying. The night before the exam is a time for relaxation. We often go to the park and run about. Remind them that they have worked hard for the tests and they need not worry.
  10. Most importantly, remind your child that no matter what marks they bring home, it does not matter and you will not love them any less. Tell them that what matters is not the marks but the effort.
Do you have any revision tips to share? Please leave your test taking tips in the comment box. Thank you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Diwali Crafts for Kids to Decorate your Homes this Diwali

Last weekend I saw some beautiful Rangoli laid out on the floor of some places we visited reminding me that Diwali or Deepavali is just around the corner.

Diwali is a good time for kids to get crafting with its symbols of candles, lights, flowers and Rangoli. Rangoli known as Kolam in Tamil is a decorative coloured rice art used to decorate the courtyard of homes. Here are some simple Rangoli Craft for Kids. They are simple enough for kids to make and they will be pleased to be able to contribute to decorating their houses and feel the festive joy.

The Rangoli Craft for Kids is from Activity Village, which also has many nice ideas for other Diwali Crafts for Kids.

Those who enjoy doing Origami can also check out these lovely Origami Diwali Flower Garlands. These paper flower garlands make a beautiful decoration for houses this Diwali. The instructions include a video on How to Make the Paper flowers which you can string up into a garland for Diwali. These simple crafts make lovely decoration for the Diwali celebrations.

To all my Indian friends, Happy Diwali or Happy Deepavali to you!

Related Posts:
Animated Diwali Stories For Kids
Happy Diwali 2014 (including Diwali videos, craft sites and Diwali Greeting apps suggestions)

Teaching Kids English Sentence Making the Fun Way

One of the positive things about writing a lot on my blog and on Squidoo is the fact that I constantly find new and interesting websites, books, toys etc for my kids. For example when updating my Kids Learning English Online Squidoo Lens today, I discovered this wonderful game to help kids learn to make Sentences in English.

BBC KS2 Bitesize is a wonderful resource for kids learning English. I love this CBBC Shows Trapped Making Sentences Game to help kids in making sentences in English starting from Simple, then Compound and Complex Sentences. I bet my girl will enjoy this game when I introduce it to her.

This English Sentence Making Game is a fun way for kids to learn how to make English Sentences. Much more fun than all those boring English workbooks that the kids have to work on. Quite often my kids have to learn how to rearrange sentences into the correct format in boring workbooks. In this game, they can learn to do that in a fun way.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Halloween Stories for Kids

Reading is the best way to teach children about culture and holidays. Here are a few Halloween Stories for Kids. You can talk to kids about Halloween through stories.

The Halloween Kid is by Rhode Montijo. This Halloween Storybook is about a masked superhero who saves Halloween from ruthless toilet paper–tossing mummies and pumpkin-sucking vampires. Suitable for kindergarten kids.

I Love You, Little Pumpkin! (Snuggle-Me Stories)
I Love You, Little Pumpkin! is by Sandra Magsamen. This Halloween Kids Book is a lift the flap book with heartfelt messages for Halloween. Suitable for very young children.

All Hallows Eve: The Story of the Halloween Fairy is by Lisa Sferlazza Johnson. This kids Halloween Story is a story for all fairy lovers. It tells the story of Halloween minus the spooks, ghouls and monsters which sometimes children aren't ready for. Suitable for girls who love fairies.

It's Halloween, You 'Fraidy Mouse! by Geronimo Stilton is naturally for all Geronimo Stilton fans as he takes you into yet another adventure of his, this time you can find out how he survived the year's scariest holiday, Halloween! This Halloween Kids Series Book is suitable for independent readers and followers of the Geronimo Stilton series.

The Best Halloween Ever by Barbara Robinson is a humorous and fast paced book about school life and Halloween activities in school. This Halloween Story is suitable for Grades 3-5 school going kids who will be able to relate to the school activities described within the story.

Go here for more Halloween Stories for Children.

Check out my Squidoo Lens for a nice list of other Online Stories for Children. If you are celebrating Halloween, you can check out my Halloween Trick or Treat Bag Templates Squidoo Lens.

Helping Your Child With Revision

Image Link: Child's Slanted Top Desk and Chair
If you have a house with limited space, this desk is perfect for a child's study area.

I'm really hopeless at helping my child with revision. I didn't even realise that till now. That was because my first child was a good learner. She absorbed everything like a sponge and she has a good memory. So when she did well with my  help in revision I thought I was good at it. ;)

Fast forward 2-3 years, I am helping my second child with revision. The first child knows the ropes by now and can do most revision on her own. My second child is different. He is very playful compared to his sister. He has trouble remembering some of the things that he is revising. It is quite frustrating to find that he has forgotten something that you emphasized and repeated to him the very next day.

As a result I feel overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do with him. It does not help that the spouse jumps in to say that I am not systematic and suggests all sorts of manners to help ME improve! Hmm.... I am not the one sitting for the tests! Anyway, he is right to some extent. I have no system for teaching. We jump from subject to subject and when we return to an old subject he has forgotten. I don't know how to make him remember and I am not sure how to help him cover the syllabus.

I guess I am not a good teacher after all. Teaching is hard!

Anyway, here is a really good slideshare on Parent Revision Guide (on SlideShare). You may find it useful if  you are helping your child with exams (this BBC schools site is useful too).

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Banning the Kids from PC Games

The kids have been banned from PC Games until after their year end examinations with much protest especially the boy who loves to play his Plants vs Zombies games. His sister doesn't mind because she prefers to type her novel. She is still working on her Chinese Novel. She is on page 3 at the moment. I don't even know what she is writing about!

Speaking of Plants vs Zombies, the other day I saw the cutest Gargantuar Zombie at the mall. That inspired me to write my Plants vs Zombies collectibles lens on Squidoo. Well, well, surprise, surprise, that lens has been getting a lot of search visitors recently, all searching for Plants vs Zombies decorations for Halloween.

Ok, I digressed... as usual. Back to kids and PC games, its only 2 to 3 weeks more to their year end exams, so they have been banned from playing games till after their exams though sometimes we break the rules and allow them when we see their pitiful faces after working hard all day. Hmmm... we are rather inconsistent with our rules... hence the endless bargaining.

Do you ban  your kids from playing PC Games during exam season?

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Cheng Yu Gu Shi (Chinese Idiom Stories)

This Cheng Yu Gu Shi or Chinese Idiom Story

狐假虎威(hu jia hu wei)

 is about relying on another's power to bully or frighten others.


My girl who is in Primary 3 this year is starting to learn Cheng Yu Gu Shi or Chinese Idiom Stories. Her teacher tells her to incorporate as many of these Chinese Idioms or Cheng Yu that she has learned into her Chinese Essays.

So I am really happy to have found this YouTube user and Channel who has uploaded about 40 Chinese Idioms Stories Videos with cute animation like the one above. Though I do not understand some of them, I think my girl will find them useful.

Learning Chinese Mandarin for Kids can be fun.

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