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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Raising Kids In The Digital Age Part 5

As A Parent You MUST Know What Is Going On In Your Child's Cyber World. Knowing And Educating Is Not The Same As Snooping

Should I Buy A Tablet Computer For My Child?

Tablet computers have replaced the portable DVDs in becoming the new babysitters. However, I think that tablet computers are slightly better in the fact that they are interactive and there are many educational apps that are beneficial for children.
Again, I stress that tablet computer usage though positive, can be turned negative if there is no parental control. The aim is to teach children to use the tablet computer positively as a learning tool and to use it for their projects. If you allow your child to play mindless, addictive games to shut them up and keep them occupied so that you can have some "me time" then you have misused a valuable learning tool and turned it into a negative object of control and potential conflict instead.
My children do not have a tablet computer but at the moment, they have learned through being thought that the internet is a very useful learning tool. Whenever, they are learning and there is something new they need to understand, they will ask "Mummy, can you do an image search so I can see how this looks like?"
We do play mindless, addictive games but all in good fun as a family where we try to outdo each other in points. However, we limit the time spent on games like these.
It is our duty as parents to teach children to use social media positively.

Children Should Be Taught From Young To Use The Internet And Computer In The Right Way - As An Enhanced Learning Tool

Note: This post was previously published by me at Hubpages. I have unpublished my post and moved my content to my blog.

This post is part 5 on the topic Raising Kids In The Digital Age

Part 1 Toddlers And Computer Usage
Part 2 Kids And Portable DVDs
Part 3 At What Age Should Children  Be Allowed To Have Smartphones
Part 4 Should Children Be Allowed On Facebook
Part 5 Should I Buy A Tablet Computer For My Child

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Raising Kids In The Digital Age Part 4

Do Not Allow Yourself Or Your Child To Be Pressured Into Social Media Platform Usage Just Because Everyone Else Is Doing It

Should Children Be Allowed On Facebook?

Children on Facebook. Inevitable Or A No No?

There is a constant debate about having children on facebook. My take is, children should not be allowed on Facebook.
The Social Media world as you know, can be addictive and interacting socially in a cyber world is very different from interacting in the real world.
I want my child to learn how to interact in the real world before she jumps into the cyber world with all its complication. There are many views on this.
Some say that one should not restrict but should educate instead. While I agree with this statement, I believe that one should restrict when the child is younger than 13 and educate after that.
Then there are others who claim that your child will be left behind socially if they do not join in the social media revolution. Oh, really? They could also be ostracized or bullied socially in the cyber world.
I know many parents who openly allow their child to open a facebook account by opening the facebook account for them and lying about their age.
My girl has been pestering me for a facebook account as soon as she started grade school at 7. By then, half of her classmates have a facebook account. I took a peek at some of her classmates account and to my horror some of them have over 200 friends. Imagine that a little boy of 7 with over 200 facebook friends. What benefit is there in that?
I told my girl she will not have a facebook account till she is older because at the moment she has to learn about other things in life like having fun at the park, drawing, creating and reading books. There will come a time when it becomes inevitable that she will have a facebook account but until then I think she should learn about the real world first before entering the cyber world. When she is ready, I will be there to guide her and to teach her. I will be her first cyber friend but I will stay quietly in the background, never commenting on her account or embarrassing her in front of her friends. If I have anything to say to her, I will say it to her directly instead of commenting on her facebook account unless she is older and leaving away from me, that is. I don't understand why anyone would want to comment on each other's facebook account when they stay in the same house? The same goes for spouses.
Again, when it comes to social media use, I believe that Parental control and Guidance is a MUST. You must know what is going on in your child's cyber world.

What Parents Say About Children on Facebook. Yes or No?
Would you allow your child to have a facebook account? Would you be involved or respect his/her privacy and leave it to them?
Should Children Below 13 Be Allowed On Facebook?
Those Who Voted Yes...


Gypzeerose 2 years ago

I have had terrible luck with my kids and Facebook. I would say no but the truth is they get access to computers other places than home, and for this I would like to have some idea of what is going on.

Alex Cortes 2 years ago

I will allow it, but their account and their "friends" will be closely monitored by their mother and I.

Parents Who Voted No...


MaggiePowell 2 years ago

My kids had to wait until they turned 14... and then I made the rule that I have complete access to their site.

iamraincrystal 2 years ago from Manila Philippines

I would say No to this one. My daughter didn't have her own FB account till this year when she turned 17. Prior to that, she used my account so I can closely monitor and supervise her usage.

Spiderlily321 2 years ago

no. There's too much going on, on Facebook that can be a bit inappropriate for kids under the age of 13.

marsha32 2 years ago

I am appalled at what I read teenagers write!! They type in things...and share photos, that even adults shouldn't be sharing.

piedromolinero 2 years ago

No way before the age of 13, then I might start thinking about it. Once I allow her, it will be definitely with a lot of explanation before, with my involvement in the beginning and with giving her step by step some more privacy.

anonymous 2 years ago

I'd rather have them play game apps than use Facebook.

Keith J Winter 2 years ago from Spain

There are many predators out there, and it's difficult to control who they are associating with.

ideashine 2 years ago

NO. There have been a lot of reported incidents caused by underage Facebook usage. And that is the last thing I want to happen to my children.

Note: This post was previously published by me at Hubpages. I have unpublished my post and moved my content to my blog.

This post is part 4 on the topic Raising Kids In The Digital Age

Part 1 Toddlers And Computer Usage
Part 2 Kids And Portable DVDs
Part 3 At What Age Should Children  Be Allowed To Have Smartphones
Part 4 Should Children Be Allowed On Facebook
Part 5 Should I Buy A Tablet Computer For My Child

Friday, May 29, 2015

Raising Kids In The Digital Age Part 3

It Is Okay For Kids To Play New Media Games But Not Mindless, Addictive Games. Limit The Time Spent On Those

Should I Allow My Child To Own A Smartphone? All Her Friends Have One And She Has Been Asking For One Too

My daughter is 10 years old. She has been telling me about her friends and their smartphones.
"Mum, they have WhatsApp just like you! My friend's phone is just like yours! So nice...... My friend says she wishes that I have a smartphone too, so she can WhatsApp me."
Sounds familiar? This goes on in my house and many other homes too, I believe. More and more kids have their own smartphones now so that parents can contact or reach them easily. Many children are attending all sorts of tuition and extra curricular activities like swimming, music lessons, dance lessons etc and parents want to be able to reach their children when they are away from home. However, is it necessary for a child to own a smartphone?
I think that smartphone usage has it's challenges just like many other social media platforms and if I can delay it, I would. There is no reason for me to rush to buy a smartphone for my child just because all her friends have one.

At What Age Should Children Be Allowed To Have Smartphones

  • 5% Below 7 years old. It has many nice interactive and educational games to keep them busy
  • 15% 7-10 years. I need to contact my child when she is attending activities away from home
  • 25% 10-15 years. It's inevitable. By now, most kids own a smartphone. I don't want my child to be left behind
  • 50% Above 15 years. I think children shouldn't own smartphones till they are old enough to take care of it
  • 5% Others, give your opinion
20 people have voted in this poll. 
The poll is now closed.

Note: This post was previously published by me at Hubpages. I have unpublished my post and moved my content to my blog.

This post is part 3 on the topic Raising Kids In The Digital Age

Part 1 Toddlers And Computer Usage
Part 2 Kids And Portable DVDs
Part 3 At What Age Should Children  Be Allowed To Have Smartphones
Part 4 Should Children Be Allowed On Facebook
Part 5 Should I Buy A Tablet Computer For My Child

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Raising Kids In The Digital Age Part 2

Digital Media Is A Positive Thing. It Is How You Use It That Makes It Negative

Portable DVDs Have Become The New Babysitter

Portable DVD Players Are Not Bad But Using It As A Babysitter is Bad!

I am totally against the use of portable dvds for kids. I think they have become the new babysitter for kids.
Going on a long trip? Why not bring along the portable dvd to shut up the kids.
Having a meal with friends. Better bring along the portable dvd so we can eat in peace.
Want to watch your own movie peacefully? Take out the portable dvd for the kid to watch in another room.
This scenarios have become all too common. I think that using the portable dvd as a baby sitter is bad.
The portable dvds for kids should be used for limited periods of time and NOT as a babysitter. The portable dvd is not a bad thing, how you use it can be either positive or negative.

What Parents Say About Kids and Portable DVDs

Do you think that portable DVDs are bad for kids?

Parents Who Voted Yes....

Yes, if so, why?

Gypzeerose 2 years ago
Again, let's keep them active as much as possible!
Parents Who Voted No....

No, if so, why?

iamraincrystal 2 years ago from Manila Philippines

Again, parental supervision plays a big role. It's not the DVD, but how the kids use it.

Spiderlily321 2 years ago

No, I think they are good expecially if you are going on trips or long appointments.

piedromolinero 2 years ago

I don't think that portable DVDs are bad, it is how and when they are used. If the intention of a DVD player is to get the kids silent and out of the way, then it is definitely the wrong way. I wouldn't get my daughter a portable DVD player.

aishu19 2 years ago

I do not think it is a bad thing for kids. I mean it all depends on where the parents draw the line, but if it is for a short time on a long drive or so, then that is fine..but that can't be a daily affair. Infact my portable DVD player was the only thing that stopped my kid from getting car sick on long trips as it kept him distracted. And that certainly made the day better for him and us...so it really is up to the parents

ideashine 2 years ago

What makes it good or bad it the involvement of parents. If we use it as a way to teach them something, it's not a problem.

Note: This post was previously published by me at Hubpages. I have unpublished my post and moved my content to my blog.

This post is part 2 on the topic Raising Kids In The Digital Age

Part 1 Toddlers And Computer Usage
Part 2 Kids And Portable DVDs
Part 3 At What Age Should Children  Be Allowed To Have Smartphones
Part 4 Should Children Be Allowed On Facebook
Part 5 Should I Buy A Tablet Computer For My Child

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Raising Kids In The Digital Age Part 1

In the past, all parents had to worry about was telephone usage time and how to reduce the time children spent watching television. Parents had to monitor the shows that children watched on TV plus cut down on the telephone time of teenagers.
In the digital age, parents have to deal with a whole lot more. Toddlers and PC usage, toddlers and portable dvds, preschoolers and tablet computers, teenagers and smartphone usage, teenagers and Facebook etc. The ball game has changed. Are you as a parent keeping up with the digital age?
Are you revising your parental styles to take into account our digital world and how to monitor the usage of media devices by our children? Read on and lets discuss with other parents.

Should I Allow My Toddler To Use The Computer?

My answer is yes, with parental guidance. We are living in a digital age. I think the computer is a wonderful interactive and educational learning tool. It should be used to the best advantage for teaching.
Teaching a toddler to use a mouse, helps improve cognitive skills. The interactive games improves hand eye coordination.
However, parental guidance is essential! There are many wonderful interactive sites for young children to learn and play. However, for children as young as 2 or 3, the parent must sit with the child and talk to them about what's going on and guide them through the games.
The computer should not be allowed to be used as a baby sitter where the toddler is allowed to sit in front of it playing mindless games. Parental involvement is a must!

Parental Guidance And Involvement Is Essential To Turn Potential Negativity And Conflict Into Positive Digital Media Use

What Parents Say About Toddlers and Computer Usage

Should toddlers as young as 2-3 be allowed to play computer games?
Parents Who Voted Yes...

Yes, you can't escape the computer. It helps improve their cognitive skills.

iamraincrystal 2 years ago from Manila Philippines

But with parental supervision. Plus, don't let them stay too long. ^_^

Spiderlily321 2 years ago

yes, but it depends on what games they are playing. There are some great ones out there. Parents should make sure be right alongside them though, to make sure they don't get on anything else on the computer.

Jogalog 2 years ago

Yes. Computers are part of life these days and kids pick things up so quickly. I wouldn't want my child to be at a disadvantage by not having access to a computer. As you say though, it is absolutely vital that parents supervise such young children and limit the time they are allowed to use it.

piedromolinero 2 years ago

There is nothing bad with playing some computer games at this age. But it needs to be with parents guidance and limited in time.

aishu19 2 years ago

Definitely! there is alot of good in learning computer games. They do benefit from them. But of course they should also spend some time out of the screen. Moderation is the key factor.

Keith J Winter 2 years ago from Spain

Yes. As long as they are right sort of games.

Parents Who Voted No....

No, toddlers should be discovering the world, not the computer at this young age

Gypzeerose 2 years ago

I know this is not the prevailing view, but I take the Rudolph Steiner - Waldorf school belief. Kid's brains are different - the more they are actually exploring the better.

LisaMarieGabriel 2 years ago from United Kingdom

I think computers are very much a part of the modern world, so while maybe 2-3 seems a bit young in some ways, I think that is up to the parents. What DOES disturb me is kids using cellphones because they have no safety built in!

Note: This post was previously published by me at Hubpages. I have unpublished my post and moved my content to my blog.

This post is part 1 on the topic Raising Kids In The Digital Age

Part 1 Toddlers And Computer Usage
Part 2 Kids And Portable DVDs
Part 3 At What Age Should Children  Be Allowed To Have Smartphones
Part 4 Should Children Be Allowed On Facebook
Part 5 Should I Buy A Tablet Computer For My Child

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Malay Proverbs Or Peribahasa For Primary School Kids

Malay Proverbs or Peribahasa is better remembered or learned with visuals. Usually the proverbs derive their meaning from almost literal translation of the words used. Anyhow, you can more easily understand a proverb or peribahasa in Bahasa Malaysia or Malay by looking at pictures to derive their meaning.

So, I am happy to find and share with you these slides which I found on Slideshare. You can watch these with your children and discuss with them.

Slide 1 = Peribahasa Untuk Sekolah Rendah 1 (43 pages)

Slide 2 = Peribahasa Untuk Sekolah Rendah 2 (22 pages)

Peribahasa Untuk Sekolah Rendah 2 from Mohamed Naim Daipi

They have been posted by the slideshare user going by the name of Mohamed Naim Daipi who states his position as Master Teacher at Curriculum Planning and Development Division, Ministry of Education. He has 278 slides at Slideshare. If  you browse around his slides, I am sure you will find some goodies in there in the form of useful educational slides for Primary School kids. Many of the presentation slides were uploaded some 5 years ago but they are still useful.

Previous post: Where To Buy Tupperware Brand Eco Bottle In Malaysia 

Where To Buy Tupperware Brand Eco Bottle In Malaysia

Tupperware Limited Edition 750ml Eco Bottle BUY NOW
I had been using cheap tumblers for my kids to bring water to school but I decided to stop after reading how other parents are being extra careful about their children's water tumblers. Some suggested the tupperware brand eco bottle so I decided to get them for my kids.

However, I didn't know any tupperware brand dealers. I searched online and found a few tupperware dealer blogs but I didn't know them personally so I didn't feel comfortable buying from them. Finally, I found the Tupperware Eco Bottles  at Lazada.

This was what I got. I bought a set of three tupperware eco bottles 750ml (green, yellow and pink) and two matching pouches or holders for two of it (the green and yellow one). One for the girl and one for the boy. Scroll down for pictures.

Quick Tips At A Glance

Here are my recommendations for school going kids:

  • Choose The Right Size - I find that the 750ml tupperware eco bottle is just the right size for school kids. Not too big and not too small. The tupperware eco bottles comes in many sizes from 310ml, 500ml, 750ml and 1L. As you can see from the picture below, the 750ml one fits snugly in the school bag. I have seen students carrying the 1L one. However, I think it may add too much weight into their already heavy loads to school. Besides, my kids hardly every finish their drinks accept on PJ days or days when they have extra curricular activities.
  • Should You Get A Pouch? - I find that the pouch is ok if you have a clean child but do not get it if you have a messy child. The picture below shows my girl's set. My boy has a green set. He has brought his to school at the time of writing, so I can't show the picture of how dirty and black his pouch is. Besides, it is too embarrassing to show! If you are a crafty person, why not sew  your own pouch? That will help to differentiate your child's bottle as well.
  • Personalize Your Bottle - I find that the tupperware eco bottle is very popular and there may be a mix up. Many school kids have this bottle so there is a chance that the bottles may be mixed up. We have the pouch and less people have that so we usually don't get ours mixed up. Otherwise, it would be a good idea to get some sharpies for your child and ask them to personalize it with their own design. Some personalized name stickers would also be a good idea to differentiate their tupperwares from others. Alternatively, you can shop for limited edition colours (which is quite popular too so you may still have to use a permanent marker to write your child's name on the cover, base or side of the tupperware).
  • Should You Get A Spare? - If your child is prone to losing their things you might want to get a set as a spare. I did. I got a set of three for two of them. So when one forgets to bring it home, I can use the spare. It is better to teach kids to be mindful of their stuff instead of getting spares however kids being kids, sometimes you do come into this sort of situations. We also use our spare for days when we go for badminton on weekends.
  • Should You Get A Tupperware Eco Bottle Brush? - If you have a baby at home, you probably won't need the tupperware eco bottle brush as you can use a baby brush to wash the bottles. The wide mouth at the top makes washing easy.
  • Twist Cap Or Flip Cap? - If you are buying online, make sure you look at the pictures and descriptions carefully. Is the tupperware flip cap or twist cap? Which do you prefer? Which can your child handle better? The 1L bottle uses a flip cap whereas the 750ml and others uses a twist cap.
Set of 4 - 750ml Tupperware Eco Bottle

Our Tupperware Eco Bottle With Matching Pouch

This is how the Tupperware looks like in the pouch

The 750ml eco bottle fits snugly into the school bag

On the other sizes, I think the 1L one would be useful for older kids or adults going for games, while the 500ml or 310ml one would be useful for ladies. I am planning to get the 310 ml one as gifts for my sister and myself for putting in our handbags. It is very useful to have water on the go.

Here is a size comparison between the 750ml one  and the 310ml one. My girl won the 310ml one at a school fair.

Here is a comparison between the 750ml and 310ml eco bottles

Below is a video of the tupperware eco bottle which I found on YouTube.

Baby version of the tupperware eco bottle for your toddler. BUY NOW

Friday, May 22, 2015

Resources For Kids To Learn English Online

Resources For Kids To Learn English Online

Here is a guide to resources to help kids to learn English, learning English online can be fun for kids. Kids can learn through songs, videos and  more.

Learning English Can Be Fun

Reading Skills Grade 3
Learning English, learning Grammar, synonyms, antonyms, spelling, phonics, etc can be fun. Here are some fun websites for kids to learn English.
Learning English Songs, Learning English Games, Learning English Videos and many interactive learning English sites can be found on the web. I will find and review them for you.
These learning English sites would be great for Children learning English as a Second Language (ESL) but useful for anyone learning English all the same.
Sometimes I like to look at YouTube for kids learning English resources.

Grammar Rock - on YouTube

I love this Learning Grammar Videos by Grammar Rock on YouTube. They make learning grammar so much fun!

Learning Alphabets and Phonics

Starfall's Learn to Read with Phonics

The first place to head to for children to learn alphabets and learn phonics is Starfall.com. There are four levels of difficulty:
1. ABCs
2. Learn to Read
3. It's Fun to Read
4. I'm Reading
If you go through all the learn to read levels, your child will be an independent English reader in no time. 

LearningEnglish Kids has interesting Christmas Stories for Kids. Check it out!

LearnEnglish Kids

by British Council

No Learning English for Kids site would be complete without the mention of British Council's LearnEnglish Kids.
It is colorful and has so many exciting learning English Games, Songs, Stories and Activities for Children to learn English in a fun manner. Not only will it benefit kids who are non-native learners of English, all kids learning English will find this site extremely enjoyable!
I love LearnEnglish Kids because other than teaching kids English, it also teaches kids about different cultures and holidays.
One example is this great Christmas for kids link with exciting Christmas Stories for Kids. Besides the short Christmas Stories for kids, children can also have fun learning English and about Christmas by playing Christmas Games, making Christmas crafts, taking Christmas quizzes and printing Christmas worksheets. What better way to learn English then to have fun while learning it. 

Learn from a Variety of Mediums

Children's Learning Tablet

You can learn English not only from books. You can learn English Online and by using audio CDs to listen to English Songs and Stories or by using software to play interactive Learn English Games.

Online English Language Dictionaries

English Picture Dictionary
There are quite a few online English Dictionaries available. Some of them are from very established names like Cambridge, Merriam-Webster etc. Here are some of them:
  • Cambridge Dictionary Online
    Two options to Cambridge English Dictionaries are available. They are the Essential British English and Essential American English. Both are for elementary and lower intermediate learners of English, and are have easy to understand definitions and ex
  • Merriam-Webster
    The Merriam-Webster online dictionary has and English Dictionary as well as a Thesaurus. You can easily browse words by topics such as Sports and Recreation, Home and Garden, Health and Fitness etc.
  • Learner's Dictionary
    This dictionary is also by Merriam-Webster and is specially for Learners and Teachers of the English Language.
  • Oxford Dictionaries Online
    Did you know that Oxford Dictionaries has a special section for Children and Schools with free bilingual resources, free bilingual audio as well as free worksheets for children to have fun with Dictionaries.
  • Dictionary.com
    You can easily search from hundreds of online dictionaries and thesaurus at Dictionary.com. In fact, at this time of writing there are 16,738,555 words being searched today. That just goes to show how many people find this online English Dictionary useful
Students learning English as a Second Language (ESL), Check the following site out!


Resources for English as a Second Language (ESL)

If you are learning English as a Second Language (ESL) you will find the resources on UsingEnglish.com helpful. These ESL tools are for students of English, teachers and learners. There are useful handouts and printables as well as useful links for information on English.
The teacher handouts and printables are very useful for your child to practise English.
Older children may find this site useful. Parents, educators and teachers will find plenty of resources for teaching English to kids of different levels here.


for Preschoolers

Kindersay has Free Online English Videos and Activities for Preschool Children.
There are over 500 online activities available in a special Word Show format. These are great for preschool kids as well as Children who are learning English as Second Language (ESL) to learn English words.
Parents can create their own lessons tailored to their child's abilities and interests by storing the videos under their favorites and playing them for their child. It is also easy enough for the child to navigate on his or her own.

Interactive English Games and Activities

from Woodlands Junior School Literacy Zone

Woodlands Junior School, a primary school in England with students from ages 7 to 11 have a good Educational Site for Children. It includes a Literacy Zone for kids with Interactive English Games in the following categories:
1. Words and Spelling
2. Grammar
3. Punctuation
4. Writing Text

Thursday, May 21, 2015

How To Make Your Own Balloon Animals

How To Make Your Own Balloon Animals

Have you ever been to a kids party where there is a clown who hands out balloon animals to the happy children? Those balloon animals look incredible and children love them. Well, you too can make these amazing balloon animals and you don't have to be a clown to do it.
All you need is some long balloons and a balloon pump. If you're a first timer, a Balloon Animal Sculpture Kit may help but once you've got the basics, it is really easy.
Your balloon animals will look very professional and kids will love you at every party. You can also save money hiring a clown. :) These lens shows you how you can make balloon animals. You do not need to be very creative to make balloon animals. Basic skills is all that is needed.
The image is my own. This balloon animal dog (or is it a mouse) was made for my boy and girl using the basic skills I learned from our Balloon Animal Kit. It looks professional don't you think? It's easier than you think. Try it!

What you'll need to make a balloon animal

1. #260 balloons
2. A balloon Inflator or Double Action Pump or a strong pair of lungs if you've got one
3. Marker pen to draw in the animal eyes etc
Step 1 - Get A Balloon Animal Kit

Here's What You Need To Make Your Own Balloon Animals And Sculptures For Kids Parties

You'll only need this once to pick up the basic skills and knots you need to make your own balloon animals

This is a basic Balloon Animals Starter Kit. You'll get instructions in the form of a booklet as well as video access.
It also comes with 90 balloons and an air pump. That's more than enough balloons for a kids party.

You only needed this kit once, after that all we needed was more balloons refills.

Balloon Twisting Instructions - How to tie a balloon knot for balloon sculptures

Step 2 - Learn how to tie a knot first

Once you have mastered the twisting and knot making, you can make just about anything you want, balloon animals, balloon swords, balloon flowers.
You can go to websites showing you how to tie a know but I prefer to see side by side video instructions on how to tie a balloon knot. You'll find plenty of those on YouTube. I'll show you some of them on this lens.
There is a lot of locking and twisting action.

Step 3 - Watch and Learn

That's all to it!

Watch Videos on YouTube to get ideas for different types of things you can sculpture with a balloon.
Then practice, practice, practice.
I was successful in just my third attempt. It is easy to make balloon animals that look amazing even if you have just learned the skill.

How to Make A Balloon Flower

When you make your own balloon animals...

You can entertain kids by singing, telling a story about the animals and more. When balloons go pop, make funny faces and sounds to help the little ones overcome their fear.
You can blow balloons and hand these to older kids to try their hand in balloon twisting and sculpting. They'll enjoy it!

Balloon Animal Poodle - This is my second attempt at Balloon Animal making

In my first attempt, the balloon burst! Be prepared for a lot of that when you are trying at first but you will soon get the hang of it.
This is my second try at making balloon animals. It is supposed to be a dog but I think it looks rather like a mouse. Somehow, the air ran out in the middle of its body!

How to Make A Balloon Animal Dog - This is how a balloon dog is supposed to look like.

Compare this to the balloon dog I made. Don't you think mine looks like a poodle or mouse instead?

Balloon Animals - Giraffe - My Third Attempt at making balloon animals. Success!

I made this Balloon Sculpture Giraffe after only 3 attempts at making balloon animals. It really is that easy.
You will need a marker pen to draw in the eyes and other parts of the animals to make it more realistic. That is the fun part actually.
Draw in the designs after you have finished with your balloon animal sculpturing.

If You Don't Want To Get A Balloon Animal Making Kit. You Can Get Just The Balloons

Here's A Video On How To Make A Balloon Animal Giraffe

When you've done the basic, you can then move on to more exciting sculptures - You can combine two or more balloons for a better effect

I made this balloon flower for my girl using three balloons and the balloon sword for my boy. It is easy to make and fun.

Balloon Pump
The most basic balloon animals would be the dog and giraffe which I tried. After you have mastered that, you can move on to other things like this balloon flower for girls or the balloon sword for boys.

If You Are Getting Just The Balloons, Don't Forget The Balloon Pumps

Free Personalized Chinese Character Practice Worksheets

Are you looking for free worksheets to let your child or yourself practice Chinese character writing? I am happy to share with your something even better than that. These worksheets can be personalized to include any Chinese character that YOU or your child wish to practice. Here's the site with this wonderful tool. Free Printable Chinese Character Worksheet from www.yes-Chinese.com

The site is in Chinese, so I'm going to show you how to do it in English. This is what I suggest you do. You can do it differently once you learn how but for a start this is good.

1. Make sure you select the middle button. That allows you to personalize your worksheet
2. Select the middle button for medium size boxes
3. Key in the number 9 for the number of lines you wish to practice on (9 is the maximum)
4. Key in the number 3 for the number of times you wish to have the example words in the background for tracing
5. Select the left button to include the Chinese Stroke Order at the top of your worksheet
6. Key in the word you wish to practice. Remember to add the Chinese keyboard for your PC if you haven't done so
7. Hit Enter

To demonstrate, I keyed in the Chinese character 我 using the steps above and this was what I got. You can now print your free printable Chinese character worksheet for practice.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How To Type Chinese Characters From Your Computer Keyboard

One of the first few "challenges" we faced with a child studying in Chinese school is how to type in Chinese using our desktop computer. This started as soon as our kid was required to do a project or search for something on the internet.... in Chinese. We didn't know how to type in Chinese. It took me hours to figure out how to input Chinese characters using our keyboard.

In actual fact, it is quite easy to input Chinese characters or type in Chinese using your computer keyboard. All you have to do is add the Chinese keyboard. The steps are similar for whatever system or desktop computer or software you are running on your PC. I have shown it in the diagram above. Some of the tabs may be named a little differently then shown above but the steps for adding a keyboard in another language is similar to the above. If you wish to know in more detail, you can go here for the step by step guide on how to change your computer's input language.

Once you have installed your Chinese character keyboard (remember to choose simplified Chinese rather than traditional Chinese), you may need to learn how to toggle between your English and Chinese keyboards.

Good Resources For Learning Music Theory Online

When my daughter started learning piano, I knew I had to learn some music theory in order to help her when she wanted to ask some questions. That was when I decided to learn music theory. I learned music theory online on my own, in the comfort of my own home, in my own time. I will share some of the resources I used with you.

Graded Music Exams

First, a little about graded music exams. The two popular ones which I know are ABRSM and Yamaha.
    What does ABRSM stand for? In case you didn't know, ABRSM stands for Associated Board of Royal School of Music. You can check out the syllabus for the music theory exams at ABRSM if you want to know what is expected of a music theory learner.
  • Yamaha Music School
    An interesting thing to note about Yahama is the fact that it Grades its learners starting from Grade 9 to 6 for students, 5 to 3 for teachers and 2-1 for professional performance candidates. Interesting isn't it? As far as I know Yamaha incorpora

An Online Music Dictionary!

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