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Friday, October 31, 2014

DLTK's Custom Printable Holiday Calendars

Printables are fun especially printables that you can customize. Today, I'd like to share with you a wonderful site called DLTK with focus on their free calendars that you can customize. DLTK stands for the initials of the owner and her family. She has a whole list of kids sites, all of them wonderful for parents looking for printables and activities or crafts to do with their children.

I especially love DLTK's free printables because they can be customized. For example, you can customize the printable calendar up to year 2022! The calendar is also available in several languages. Here is the link to DLTK's Free Printable Custom Calendars.

Besides the year and language, you can customize your calendar with a clip art or cartoon of your choice. The graphics to go with your calendar is divided into several categories and themes including...

  • Animals
  • Holidays and Seasons
  • Cartoon Characters
  • Fantasy, Music, Princesses and so much more!
The holiday and seasons ones include Valentine's, Christmas, Halloween, Easter etc. Below are a few examples of the Holiday Calendars which I just customized from DLTK. Customization is very easy. Even your child can do it themselves. 

To customize, you first have to select a monthly or yearly calendar. Then you choose the year and images you want for your calendar and pick black and white or color image. Choose the black and white if you want your child to color it themselves. You get to preview the image you have chosen. Then you click on "Create Calendar" and you can print it out immediately. Lovely!

Below are the sample holiday printable kids calendars for 2014 and 2015 which I created from the site. I made a Santa Printable Calendar For 2014. You can choose other graphics including Mrs Claus, Christmas tree, gingerbread man or elves. I also did a monthly Valentine's Day Calendar for 2015. I selected roses from a list of animals and flowers with hearts. Finally, I created a 2015 Calendar for kids using the Nursery Rhyme theme which was really unique.

I like the holiday and seasons themes for calendars because they help children learn to appreciate, countdown and feel the excitement for each holiday. I also like the nursery rhyme theme calendars there.

Please note that you may not print the calendars from this site. They are for illustration only. Please go to DLTK Free Printable Custom Calendars to customize and print your own calendar. You must also abide  by their terms of service when you use their calendars. Do stop by there to read the terms too. While you are there, you can browse around for other printables like cards, bookmarks and more. I love that they can be customized before printing. I hope you enjoy the site as much as I do.

DLTK's Santa Holiday Calendar For December 2014
DLTK's Santa Holiday Printable Calendar For December 2014

DLTK's Valentine Roses Calendar For February 2015
DLTK's Valentine Roses Printable Calendar For February 2015

DLTK's Kids Printable Calendar 2015
DLTK's Kids Printable Calendar 2015

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Free Printable Reward Chart For Kids

Free Printable Reward Chart For Kids
Free Printable Reward Chart For Kids
These days I find myself engrossed with creating graphics. I am so in love with my Microsoft Publisher which is installed on my PC. I also like Pic Monkey for online work and the various drawing and photo and picture apps I have installed on my iPad. Now I'm addicted to both writing and designing. I wish I could draw a little bit better but I am working on it. If only I have a little bit more time to practice.

Anyway, here is my latest creation. This one is a free printable reward chart for kids. You can use these reward chart to reward children for all sorts of things from staying dry during toilet training to good behavior or for helping with chores around the house. I've used these reward charts for a long time and my kids remember them with fondness.

Just the other day, we took out some congratulatory cards while we were spring cleaning and they both exclaimed "Mum, you used to make us those cards when we ran out of cards for those reward stars you used to give us." Yes, we had cut out paper cards and decorated them with stickers and given each to a child whenever they completed a set of stars as a credit card to guarantee that mum remembers to actually reward them with something. Usually it is a small stationery or something useful which they crave.

How the kids love the reward charts especially my boy. I think it works differently with different kids.

The best tip I can give you about using reward charts is this. Don't overdo it or it will lose its purpose. We've fallen into that trap before. That's when I will remove the reward chart and stars and get back to them again later. 

Here is my Free Printable Reward Chart For Kids. I included stars in it so you can color in the stars for each day or if you prefer, you can add a big tick over the stars when a goal is achieved for the day. You can use this reward chart for anything that you want your child to work on so they understand the meaning of having and achieving goals.  Stick it on the wall near your child's work or play area. You can print as many as you like for each month. The file is in pdf format.

You can start with small goals and work up to more. You can give them special credit cards like I did or real paper origami stars to keep. If you are interested in giving them real origami stars, you can read my old post on How to Make Origami Stars And Reward Your Kids With Real Stars. Once they receive a certain predetermined amount, then you can reward them with a small gift or token. However, you must be very clear with your rules and you must stick to it. No bargaining allowed!

Free Printable Reward Chart For Kids
Free Printable Reward Chart For Kids

What Is A Good Bahasa Malaysia Reference Book For Malay Grammar Tatabahasa Or Pemahaman

Sistem Bahasa Edisi Terkini
I've been meaning to write this for some time now but procrastinated till now. It is not very timely to post this now since the final year exams are just over. However, since this is about a reference book, you can use it anytime, not only for exams.

This post is for some of the parents in my FB group. I can see that the parents in this group really care about their kids' education. They spend a lot of time looking for references and discuss ways to help their children in homework and school work.

My kids are studying in SJKC or Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina in Malaysia. This means they have to learn 3 languages, English, Malay and Chinese in school. Many parents speak either English or Chinese which means BM or Bahasa Malaysia goes on the back burner and I mean way back.

My husband and I buy a lot of reference books for our kids since we don't send the children for tuition classes. Having a good reference book helps us help the children with their school work. So, if you were to ask me "What is a good Bahasa Malaysia Reference Book for tatabahasa (Malay Grammar) or pemahaman, I would straight away recommend this book. Do note that this is a reference book not a workbook. You can use it as a guide and reference material but not for practice work.

Here are the book details:

Title:  "Teman Pelajar Cemerlang - Sistem Bahasa"
Author:  Razali Haji Yahya
Publisher: Cemerlang Publications Sdn Bhd.
ISBN: 978-967-352-177-7
Price: RM13.90 (updated October 2015)

Note: We bought this book at Popular Bookshop some time ago at the cost of RM11.90 a really reasonable price to me for the information I can get from the book. I don't know if the price has gone up or not because I bought this book about 2-3 years ago.

This book is a good reference book for BM for primary school kids standard 1 to standard 6. It is more relevant from Std 4 onwards but also useful for lower primary. It is very comprehensive with many examples. I also really like the picture examples given for "Kata Hampir Sama Makna". The Penjodoh Bilangang has a very useful image reference as well.

Everything that you need to know about Malay grammar or tatabahasa can be found here including topics on Kata Nama, Imbuhan, Penjodoh Bilangan, Peribahasa and more.

Here are some pictures of what you can see inside the book.

Teman Pelajar Cemerlang Sistem Bahasa (Book Cover)
Teman Pelajar Cemerlang Sistem Bahasa (Book Cover)

Teman Pelajar Cemerlang Sistem Bahasa (Part Of The Contents)
Teman Pelajar Cemerlang Sistem Bahasa (Part Of The Contents)

Teman Pelajar Cemerlang Sistem Bahasa (Kata Hampir Sama Makna)
Teman Pelajar Cemerlang Sistem Bahasa (Kata Hampir Sama Makna)
Updated October 2015

Recently I noticed that a new edition for this book is out. You can buy it online from the link above.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Painting With Strings For Kids

Painting With Strings For Kids
Painting With Strings For Kids
Recently my 10 year old son had to do a painting project for school. "We have to paint with strings, mum", he said. Teacher had given them the instructions and asked them to complete the painting project at home and he had come to me for help.

So, we did this painting with strings and as usual his blogger mum couldn't resist taking pictures and recording our work for keepsakes.

This painting using strings is so easy, children of any age can do it as long as mum or dad is there to supervise things.

These are the stuff we used for our painting with strings.

1. Paint Brushes
2. Paint Palette
3. String (We used my cross stitch or embroidery floss)
4. Poster Paints
5. White Art Paper
6. Newspaper to work on (We never forget these so its easier to clean up afterwards)

Here are the steps for our painting with strings.

1. Gather All The Materials

Materials Required For String Painting
Materials Required For String Painting

2. Cut a few strings as desired into one foot lengths

Cut out strings into one foot lengths
Cut out strings into one foot lengths

3. Paint The Strings (One color at a time and not all at once). We started with red.

Paint Strings One Color At A Time
Paint Strings One Color At A Time

4. Place the painted string on one side of the art paper with one or two ends of the strings sticking out from the edge for pulling, then fold the paper in two and press on the paper all over. Then with your hand still pressing onto the paper, pull out the string.

Place Painted String On One Side Of Paper, Fold And Press
Place Painted String On One Side Of Paper, Fold And Press

5. Unfold the paper. We started with a painted red string or thread and this is what we got when we unfolded the paper

Unfold the paper
Unfold the paper

6. Repeat steps 3-5 adding a new painted string using a different color each time. 

Add another painted string of another color and repeat process
Add another painted string of another color and repeat process. We used pink this time. Notice how the strings are placed on one side of the paper with one end sticking out.

Repeat process with another color. We used yellow this time
Repeat process with another color. We used yellow this time
Keep on repeating using different colors each time. We're using green this time
Keep on repeating using different colors each time. We're using green this time. 

Finally we added blue. This is our final string painting.
Finally we added blue. This is our final string painting.

Tip 1:  Make sure you press hard so that you can see the imprint of the string. 

Tip 2: Placing strings in curvy lines will give you a nice effect.

My son didn't like the way the painting looked after adding the blue. He thought it was nicer looking without the blue. Before that it looked like some exotic flower. I told him its okay, with blue, he just created abstract art with his string painting.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What Is A Good Chinese To English Dictionary App For Learning Chinese?

One of the most frequently asked questions on my FB page for parents which have a number of parents whose kids are learning Chinese but they do not speak or write Chinese themselves is this "What Is A Good Chinese To English Dictionary App For Learning Chinese? This post is for them.

I have a lot of apps downloaded on my iPad for teaching my kids and for them to use when doing their homework. They are both in Chinese school. They are also required to learn Malay. We, the parents do not know Chinese. So I have a number of educational apps including dictionary apps and translation apps to help them learn.

One of my favorite apps for learning Chinese is Pleco. Pleco is a dictionary app that helps us learn Chinese as well. In this post, I will share with you how we use the Chinese to English Dictionary app Pleco as a resource and aid for learning.

When we first downloaded the app, we merely used it as a dictionary app to find words that we did not know the meaning of. However, now that we have got used to the app, we find that we can use it in an even better way, as a study aid. Pleco is so much more than a dictionary app. It is a Chinese learning app. Hopefully this post can help you understand how to maximize and use it to its full potential for your benefit. Many people download the app and use it like a dictionary  like we did at first but it can do so much more. Here's how.

This is how we use it to help the kids to learn Chinese. We don't make use of all the functions but even then this is very good for us. We are using the free version of the app.

1. Here Is How To Search Using The Pleco App Dictionary

You can search by handwriting, Chinese pinyin, English or Chinese characters or by radical.

The light green arrow points to something that looks like three parallel lines. Those lines toggle you to another page which allows you to do a lot more things including open your dictionary, history, bookmarks and more.

The dark green arrow with the world icon allows you to toggle between different keyboards to do your search in either English, pinyin or by handwriting. The picture shows the handwriting keyboard which I like best because it allows one to practice their Chinese handwriting. (Note: To use the handwriting input function, make sure you have the handwriting keyboard added to your device. For iPhone or iPad, got to "Settings", then "General" followed by "Keyboard". Then select "Add Keyboard" and choose "Chinese (Simplified) - Handwriting keyboard). You will then be able to toggle or choose your methods of input by tapping the world icon.

You can also toggle to the pinyin keyboard and search in pinyin in which case you may need the pinyin indicator signs as shown by the yellow arrows.

Finally, you can toggle between searching in English or Chinese as shown by the red arrow.

You will receive your answer in text as well as listen to the audio. Pleco also helps in Chinese pronunciation because of its audio playback.

How To Search Using Pleco
How To Search Using The Pleco App

2. Pleco Is More Than A Dictionary App. You Can Use It As A Chinese Learning App

Once you have clicked on the red parallel lines, it will open up this screen. You can help your child learn by organizing or bookmarking the words or Chinese vocabulary currently being used in their Chinese textbooks or syllabus. Clicking on the "Dictionary" tab will take you back to dictionary to search for more word. The "History" tab shows you a history of all the words you have searched for.

How To Use Pleco App To Learn Chinese
How To Use Pleco App To Learn Chinese

3. You Can Organize Your Search Into Folders Using The Organize Bookmark Function.

When you click on "Organize Bookmarks" you can set up categories and folders for the words you wish to bookmark for later learning. Once you have set up your folders, you can search for words to add into the folder. After searching a whole list of words, for example the whole vocabulary list in a certain chapter in your child's textbook, click on "Dump To Bookmarks" and choose the folder to keep them in.

You can also import or export your files or download or upload your files via "File Manager" all using wifi. You can also read your searched terms on the clipboard reader which allows you to adjust your text size, fonts and do other cool things including adding text and reading in night mode or saving in a folder. However, I don't use these features very much.

How To Organize Or Bookmark Words Into Folders In Pleco
How To Organize Or Bookmark Words Into Folders In Pleco
4. Even A Child Can Use Pleco Once You Teach Them The Basics

This is how we have organized our bookmarks according to the Chapters in my son's textbook. Clicking on Chapter 18 shows all the words he has to learn from that Chapter in the folder. I asked him to key in the words into the folder himself.  He can use and understand the Pleco app much better than me once taught the basics. He is 10 years old by the way.

How To Use Pleco As A Supplementary Learning Aid For Textbooks
How To Use Pleco As A Supplementary Learning Aid For Textbooks

5. Another Useful Feature Of Pleco

Finally, below is another feature of the Pleco app which I find useful. When you search for phrases or idioms which contain several words together, you can click on the tabs I highlighted in green, yellow, red or purple. The green shows you the meaning of the whole idiom. The yellow shows you the meaning of each individual character that makes up the idiom. The red shows you the words or phrases that can be found within the idiom while the purple shows you example sentences. I find this most useful in understanding idioms. Knowing each character and the meaning actually helps you to understand the idiom's literal meaning which helps you think about a story for that idiom and helps you remember better.

How To Use Pleco To Help You Understand Phrases, Idioms And Proverbs
How To Use Pleco To Help You Understand Phrases, Idioms And Proverbs

6. How To Use Pleco To Help You Understand Phrases And Idioms

For example, in the idiom shown above and below, the meaning is "deafening". However, if you click on "chars" or characters, you can get the separate meaning for each character. I have highlighted them in yellow. The first being "shake", second is "ear", third word means "wish" and fourth word means "deaf". If you click on "words" you will get a phrase made up of the first two characters which means "ear splitting". Put all those together and you can understand the meaning of the idiom "deafening" pretty well or your child can make up his own story for example "shake the ear so loudly till deaf" = "deafening".

Breaking Idioms Or Phrases Down Into Individual Characters Help You Understand Its Meaning Better
Breaking Idioms Or Phrases Down Into Individual Characters Help You Understand Its Meaning Better

I have an electronic dictionary at home. However after discovering Pleco, I find myself using less and less of the dictionary and more of Pleco.

Here is Where To Download Pleco for iOs including iPad and iPhone or for Android users.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Road Less Traveled - From SJKC To SMK

We're doing it again. Leaving school decision till the last minute because we couldn't make up our minds. It was the same way when we were deciding whether to send our children to SK or SJKC.

Time flies and in a blink of an eye we are now at the crossroads to Secondary School. While we ponder over Secondary School Choices In Malaysia,  other parents have decided and secured a place in a school of their choice for their children  who are going to secondary school in 2015 while here we are still thinking.... thinking....

We went to visit several schools yesterday. The SMK which was nearest to my house and which was the school we had ticked off as first choice in the school form given to us was our first stopover. That visit left me very disheartened. The school was dirty, many of the window panes were broken and not replaced, the toilets were not clean. The labs had seen better days. Can teachers and students feel motivated and inspired in such an environment?

There was no proper hall. It will definitely be a downgrade in terms of facilities from their current primary school which has a large hall plus an auditorium, a music room, computer room and more. Sigh. Can I put my children there for the next 5-6 years? We spoke to the guard and the canteen lady who had worked there for 15 years. (Sometimes it is good to speak to workers of the school. They have their own stories to tell). They both said that it was ok as long as you don't let your child mix with the wrong company ie meaning those who smoke and play truant meaning there are those sorts of students in the school.

The next SMK we visited was brand new but we couldn't go in to have a look since it was a Sunday so we'll have to wait on that one. Updated: We manage to drop by unannounced to view the school premise and speak to the teachers and the guard. Really nice new premise and facilities but the impression we got was while the school is doing well academically, there are gangsterism and vandalism issues. What a pity.

The third one was an all girl's SMK. This was much better than the first school with nice clean lawn and classrooms and labs. Everything looked very much better taken care off but then we had our boy to think of. If the girl attends this school then we'd have to look for another school for the boy later on and then there would be all sorts of logistics and transport problems plus they would have less to share with each other. They have things to talk about now being in the same school, the teachers, the events, and they share the same holidays.

The fourth school we visited was an SMJK which boasts all the facilities and is well known for academic performance but do we want to put our children in a highly competitive environment like they have been for the first 6 years in primary school? They hardly had enough time to sleep or play. Studying was all they did.

The title of this post is The Road Less Traveled and it is definitely so. None of my girl's classmates are going to a normal SK. They have either left for Private school or will leave for Private or International Schools or they will go for SMJK or CIS or controlled schools. Her friends at school have been telling her that it will be a waste for her to go to SMK. They have been telling her all sorts of horrible things about SMK and discouraging her.

Why is SJKC to SMK the road less travelled? Almost no one wants to go to an ordinary SMK. Even if SMK is the school of no choice, it must have at least one of the following titles : Control School, Cluster School, High Performance School or SBT (Sekolah Berprestasi Tinggi) etc. Is it because parents have become so kiasu. I don't think it is due to that. If you were to personally pay a visit to a normal SMK and a private school you will see how the schools are world's apart just by looking at the physical facilities. Although I have heard my fair share of stories of SMK teaching, I won't comment since my child is not yet in one.

Not only schools, one has to decide whether your child will sit for SPM or IGCSE or the UEC offered by CIS. Are you seeing alphabets by now?

So what do we tell our girl? We tell her that her school will not be what she is used to now. We took her to have a look at the school premise so she can see for herself. We told her what to expect and what not to expect. We told her that we will support her all the way and she will have to work hard herself in order to continue doing well. (She has been used to the teachers spoon feeding her in primary school). We told her she will now have to switch from studying hard in Chinese to studying in Malay and we will help her with her English at home. We told her we will be saving so that we can give her the best education in the later years when it matters.

Why does it have to be so tough to decide? Forget about racial divide and politics and all that, we have no time to think about any of that. It is hard enough to decide. As parents we are only concerned about getting the best education for our children in the best environment possible. After all they will be spending a lot of time at school, almost equal amount of time if not more than the time they spend at home.

Acronym List From This Post

SK= Sekolah Kebangsaan (National Primary School)
SMK= Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (National Secondary School)
SJKC= Sekolah Kebangsaan Jenis Cina (Chinese Primary School)
SMJK=Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan (National Chinese conforming Secondary School)
CIS= Chinese Independant Schools
UEC= Unified Examination Certificate
IGCSE= International General Certificate Of Secondary Education
SPM= Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia

Useful Links: 

Remember to bookmark this page for reference when it comes to your turn to decide on a secondary school. You will find these links very useful indeed.

  1. List of Schools In Malaysia
  2. List of SMJK in Malaysia
  3. About Chinese Independent High School In Malaysia (including list of Chinese Independent Schools In Malaysia)
  4. List Of All Secondary School Schools In Each State In Malaysia
  5. Education In Malaysia (Including What Is SMJK?)
  6. Price Of International School Education In Malaysia
  7. Homeschool And IGCSE
  8. List of Private Schools In Malaysia (non exhaustive)
  9. Choice of Schools In Malaysia (an overview including high performance schools, cluster schools, smart schools, premier schools, vision schools, controlled schools, central schools and sports schools).
  10. Secondary Education Option In Malaysia (An article from School Advisor, a web portal to help parents choose private or international schools). You can search for private and international schools in your area from this portal.

Free Printable December 2014 Calendar For Kids - Snowman Design

I'm really enjoying making these free printable calendar for kids. For today, I have done two calendars for kids for the month of December 2014. Both of these December 2014 printable calendars are in Snowman design. I was thinking of doing more in Santa Claus design, Christmas tree design but I think I will leave that for another day.

If you have a design you have in mind for your child, feel free to drop your design idea in the comments box as well as a contact and I will see if I can come up with a personalized design for you or if you would like to have your child's name on it for example, feel free to write to me. It won't be hard for me to include it in my Snowman or other design calendar for children. No charge. It is free but only if I can find the time to make them.

All clipart and fonts are from Microsoft Publisher 2010 which I used to create the Calendars.

Here are two of my snowman design Free Printable December 2014 Calendar for kids. Click on the picture or the caption to download the free printable pdf file.

1. This snowman design December 2014 Calendar For Children has three snowmen and is in icy blue.

December 2014 Calendar For Children Snowmen
December 2014 Calendar For Children (Snowmen with Blue Background)

2. This snowman design December 2014 Kids Calendar is in Christmas colors of red and green.

December 2014 Kids Calendar Snowmen
December 2014 Kids Calendar (Snowman with Red and Green Background)

Previous Calendar: Free Printable November 2014 Calendar For Kids (Thanksgiving Theme)
Next: Free Printable 2015 Calendar For Kids (Boys And Girls)

If you like this page, please pin image below. Thank you.

Free Printable December 2014 Calendar For Kids
Free Printable December 2014 Calendar For Kids

Friday, October 17, 2014

Happy Diwali 2014

Happy Diwali 2014
Happy Diwali 2014
Happy Diwali 2014 or as we say it in Malaysia Happy Deepavali 2014. I took a picture of this beautiful kolam last year at one of the shopping malls. I hope there will be more this year. Diwali is celebrated on Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 this year.

The kids will be off from school for three days. For those of you looking for diwali crafts to do with kids, you can check out this Diwali Crafts For Children board on Pinterest. It has lots of great ideas there.

While the children play, parents can send out Diwali Cards or Deepavali Greetings to friends, relatives and cowokers using any of these Diwali Greeting apps. Diwali Greetings in Google Play for Android devices or Happy Diwali in iTunes for iPhone and iPad.

Of course, we must not forget songs during festivities, here is a good Diwali Song For Kids from YouTube: Diwali Is Here In English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu.

Related Posts:

Animated Diwali Stories For Kids
Diwali Craft Ideas For Kids

Happy Diwali 2014!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Malaysia School Holidays 2015 - Takwim Sekolah 2015

Malaysia School Holidays 2015
Malaysia School Holidays 2015
So it is officially out at last the official dates for the Malaysia School Holidays 2015 or Takwim Sekolah 2015. Usually the moe (the Ministry of Education Malaysia or Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia) will come out with it around October. However many parents will be on the lookout for it earlier because they plan for holidays in advance. As a result the Malaysia School Holidays calendar is usually predicted or forecasted by travel companies etc.

If you are one of those that have been looking at the forecast Malaysia school holiday calendar for 2015 then fret not because the official school holiday calendar for Malaysia for the year 2015 is out on the Moe website. You can go to the website to download, print and paste it on your wall at home or keep in your planner from here. Portal Rasmi Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia. A pdf format of the school calendar for the school year 2015 is available for download from there.

These days I don't print and paste anymore. I just take a screenshot or photo and save on my iPad.

Interesting dates of note:

  • School starts on 4th January 2015 for schools in Kedah, Kelantan, Johor and Terengganu
  • School starts on 5th January 2015 for schools in Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Labuan & Putrajaya
  • Total no of school days is 205 days
  • Total no of term holidays is 85 days
  • There is also something new which is "Hari Ganti" from 16 Nov to 20 Nov to replace the days off during festive periods. Hopefully that means no Saturday replacement classes.
That's it. Happy planning for your holidays, parents. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Using Zentangle Inspired Art For Kids As A Quick Halloween Craft

Here's a very quick Halloween Craft you can do with kids of any age. You can get kids to create a quick zentangle insprired art for this Halloween.

Zentangle is the art of drawing repeated patterns on tiles or square papers using black ink on white paper. Zentangle inspired art is using the same format of drawing repeated patterns but you don't have to limit yourself to drawing on tiles.

I find Zentangle a very enjoyable art form. It is really easy too and the results are lovely. Anyone can tangle (create beautiful art with zentangle). That's why this is a very enjoyable activity for kids who like to draw. Kids can tangle too because it is easy and fun.

Tip: You can check out these books on Zentangle if you have never heard of it before.

Here are my suggestions for a quick Halloween Craft For Kids.

What You Will Need:

1. A drawing pad
2. Pens with thick inks in black or a Zentangle Clamshell Pencil Set

I'm using my favorite Sharpie.

This is my collection of Halloween theme Zentangle Inspired Art For Kids

When you think of Halloween, what do you think of? I think of cats, bats, spiders, pumpkins and a witch's hat. You can get kids to do Zentangle Inspired drawings as a quick Halloween craft. Here are some ideas for you.

1. A Zentangle Inspired Drawing Of A Pumpkin

Zentangle Inspired Pumpkin
Zentangle Inspired Pumpkin
Here is a zentangle inspired pumpkin. Zentangle inspired art usually uses black ink but for kids, you don't have to limit yourself. I ran out of black ink. So I'm using navy blue and orange, the color of Halloween. You can use purple or green too for a Halloween theme Zentangle drawing.

2. A Zentangle Cat

Zentangle Inspired Cat
Zentangle Inspired Cat
This is my Zentangle Cat for kids. Get kids to do the drawing of an outline of a cat. Then break the cat up into manageable parts by drawing lines across its body. Finally get kids to draw in the patterns, lines, circles, triangles, squares, rectangles. It is a great way to teach kids shapes too.

3. A Zentangle Drawing Of A Halloween Spider For Kids

Zentangle Inspired Spider
Zentangle Inspired Spider
Here is a zentangle inspired drawing of a spider for kids. It is very easy to do. Just get kids to draw two circles, one of the face and a larger one for the body. Add in the legs, then break the body up into four parts for drawing zentangle patterns by drawing three lines vertically. You can break it up any how you like too. Breaking up makes it easier to draw different patterns which gives a much more interesting result. I didn't mean for my spider to have one eye but the circle or spiral pattern gave that effect.

4. Zentangle Inspired Drawing Of A Bat For Kids

Zentangle Inspired Bat

This is a zentangle inspired drawing of a bat for kids. Again, the first thing you have to do is to draw the outline of a bat, then break it up by drawing lines vertically over the body and then allow the child to draw patterns in each part. I have drawn a mirror image pattern but any other pattern is fine too. Just use your imagination.

5. Zentangle Inspired Hat

Zentangle Inspired Hat
Zentangle Inspired Hat
Finally this is a zentangle inspired drawing of a witch's hat for kids. I'm using navy blue but black is best for zentangle drawings or zentangle inspired art. I drew lines vertically and horizontally across the hat so that more zentangle patterns can be drawn to make the hat more visually attractive. It is also much easier to design and draw that way.

That is it! It is so easy. This can be a quick Halloween project with kids. Have fun. I will do another zentangle inspired drawing suggestions for kids for Christmas later on.

If you like this, please pin the following image. Thank you.

Halloween Zentangle For Kids
Halloween Zentangle For Kids

Free Printable November 2014 Calendar For Kids - Thanksgiving Theme

In continuing with my free printable monthly calendar for kids, here's one I created for the month of November 2014.

This Nov 2014 calendar for children is in a Thanksgiving theme. Thanksgiving Day in United States is on the fourth thursday of November. This means it is on Thursday, Nov 27 in the year 2014.

A Thanksgiving theme calendar is a very nice way to get kids to do a countdown to Thanksgiving Day. So print out this calendar for children, paste it at their play areas or work desks and have them countdown the days to Thanksgiving by crossing out the dates from Nov 1 till Nov 27.

As before, I used Microsoft Publisher and the clipart that comes along with it to create the calendar.

Here is the download link for the Free Printable November 2014 Calendar For Kids.
Previous Calendar: October 2014 Calendar For Kids Halloween Theme
Next Calendar: December 2014 Calendar For Kids Snowman Theme

Free Printable November 2014 Calendar For Kids
Free Printable November 2014 Calendar For Kids


December 2014 Calendar is now ready for download. There are six designs to choose from. Yes, I'm biased towards the year end holidays. Here is where you can find the download links for the December calendars.

Friday, October 10, 2014

10 Halloween Costume Ideas For Brothers

Boys! Hero Adventure Dress up Trunk 

This post features Halloween Costume Ideas For Brothers. However, you will find that most of the Halloween Costume suggestions are good for boys, groups of boys, brothers, siblings, cousins and more. The costume suggestions are in popular themes that can be used for groups of 2 or more and up to 4-5.

You can add your suggestions and ideas on the Halloween Costume For Boys in the Text List and Vote for Your favorite pairing. You can vote on the duel on whether you think it is a good idea to dress boys up in a theme costume or whether it is better to let kids dress up in costumes on their own picking.

I hope you have fun visiting, participating and viewing this post. You can read my other post on Themed Halloween Costume Ideas if you like to dress up in themes. You will find themes for siblings, matching mother and daughter and matching brother and sister Halloween Costume ideas and more. Happy Halloween!

Here Are 10 Costume Ideas For Brothers

  1. Spiderman and Lizard Costume From The Amazing Spiderman Movie 2012
  2. Queen and Mater Costumes For Younger Boys
  3. Transformers Movie Optimus Prime,  Bumble Bee and Megatron Costumes For A Group Of Boys
  4. Ben 10 Aliens Humungousaur, Heatblast, Spidermonkey and Swampfire For Ben 10 Fans
  5. Batman, Robin and Joker Costume For 3 Brothers
  6. Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear And Woody Costume For Boys
  7. Star Wars Darth Vader, Yoda And Luke Skywalker Costumes
  8. Power Rangers Red, Blue, Green Or Samurai Gold Ranger Costumes For Brothers
  9. Angry Birds Black Bird And Green Pig Costumes
  10. Ghostbusters Team Costume For Brothers Including Slimer And Ruby The Marshmallow Man Ghost
Where To Buy These Costumes For Brothers (Just Click On The Picture Of The Costume)

1. Spiderman and Lizard Costume From The Amazing Spiderman Movie
Hot and In-Style For Boys Are The Very Current Spiderman And Lizard Costume For Brothers

2. Lighting McQueen And Mater Costumes For Boys, Brothers, Siblings Or Friends
The Lighting McQueen and Tow-Mater Combination Costumes Are Excellent For Younger Siblings

3. Transformers Movie Optimus Prime, Bumble Bee and Megatron Costumes
These Costumes From The Transformers Movie Are Very Cool For A Group Of Boys

4. Ben 10 or Ben 10 Alien Force Aliens Humungousaur, Heatblast, Spider-Monkey and Swampfire Costumes Are Just Right For A Group - Ben 10 and Ben 10 Alien Force Fans Will Have A Cool Time Dressed Up As The Aliens. Team Them Up With Actual Ben 10 And Ben 10 Alien Force Costumes For A Bigger Group 

5. Batman, Robin and Joker Costume For 3 Brothers
This Group Of Very Different Looking Yet Part Of A Group Costume Are Great For Brothers 

Do You Think It Is A Good Idea To Have A Theme For Costumes For Brothers

Or Do You Think It Is Better To Let The Boys Be Individuals And Choose Costumes Of Their Own Liking

Would You Choose Themed Costumes For Brothers? Take The Poll

Would You Choose Themed Costumes For Brothers?
Yes! I think its cute.
No, I prefer to let them express themselves in their own individual ways including choosing their own costumes
Poll Maker

6. Toy Story Buzz Lightyear And Woody Costumes Are Perfect For Brothers Who Bond Like Buzz And Woody - Little Brother Can Dress Up As The Cute Alien In Toy Story Or Big Brother If You Prefer 

7. Star Wars Darth Vader, Yoda And Luke Skywalker Costumes Make A Good Team Costume For Brothers For Halloween - Another Good Team Costume For Brothers, Cousins, Friends, Siblings Or Just Boys Would Be Costumes From The Star Wars Movie 

8. Power Ranges Boys Costumes For Halloween  - Red Ranger, Blue Ranger, Green Ranger or Samurai Gold Ranger Costume Can Be Used For A Group Of Boys. Add In A Pink Ranger Costume For A Sister Or A Girl Among The Siblings Or Group

9. Angry Bird Black Bird And Green Pig Costumes - Of Course There's Red Bird, Yellow Bird and Blue Bird Costumes Too That Can Be Added To The Mix

10. Ghostbusters Team Costume For Brothers Including Slimer And Ruby The Marshmallow Man Ghost - These Cute Ghost And Ghostbusters Child Costumes Are Just The Right Theme For Halloween 

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