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Friday, January 22, 2016

Chinese New Year Shopping At Ikea Cheras

I had to get a cupboard to replace the one that was destroyed by termites a few years ago and which I have yet to replace so I decided to make a date at Ikea Cheras. It also happens to be Chinese New Year season so it was nice to see some of the display like the one below of the red pussy willow with red fabric background. Nice. I haven't had these for a long time in my house.  I remember getting the white ones and tying them with tiny red ribbons, then hanging up little decorations.

More Chinese New Year decorations. Some red tins at Ikea Cheras.

Going there bright and early meant I had the store all to myself! I don't think I've EVER went to Ikea before during a festive season without having to rush for car parks, jostle with huge crowds and long queues at the cashier counter. What a change to have the whole store to myself.

Ikea Cheras
Ikea Cheras

I could pick ANY trolley I wanted. So wonderful....

Ikea Shopping Trolleys
Ikea Shopping Trolleys

There were so many brightly coloured pussy willows to choose from. Reds, Pinks, Yellows and the Original White. All still looking fresh. No need to fight with a crowd just to get one.

Chinese New Year Flowers
Chinese New Year Flowers

Here's a closer look at this Chinese New Year themed flowers. You could either pick those in pots or without. The cut ones are RM16.90 per bunch. Not sure about the potted  ones though. Forgot to check.

Coloured Pussy Willows
Coloured Pussy Willows

Finally, after getting my cupboard, I went to collect the almost mandatory angpow packet that one gets from any retailer at this time of the year. I was told that you are allowed to collect only a maximum of three packets in a single receipt.

Ikea Angpow Packet
Ikea Angpow Packet

Free Printable February 2016 Calendar With Valentine's Day And Chinese New Year Theme

Free Printable February 2016 Calendar
Free Printable 2016 Calendar
February is an exciting month because it usually welcomes the Chinese New Year as well as Valentine's Day. It is also the month of love and romance because not only does Valentine's Day fall in the month of February, Chap Goh Meh or the 15th and last night of Chinese New Year is sometimes referred to as the Chinese Valentine's Day because this is the day when maidens look for love by throwing mandarin oranges into the sea.

This year, February 2016 is extra special because it is a leap year. It also has four of every day. 4 Sundays, 4 Mondays, 4 Tuesdays and so on. I received a whatsapp message that says this only happens in 823 years so you will never see this again in your lifetime!

So for this free printable February 2016 calendar, I was torn between the two themes. Chinese New Year or Valentine's? Red or Pink? Roses or Cherry Blossoms? Heart Shapes or Lanterns? So many choices. In the end I decided to create a pink and yellow calendar with Cherry Blossoms and a heart shape. I hope you enjoy the calendar as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Parents can print this calendar to countdown the Chinese New Year together with their kids. Don't forget to mark down the spring cleaning days, new clothes shopping days and balik kampung days.

For those not celebrating the Chinese New Year, you can still countdown to balik kampung or simply relaxing during the festive school holidays which is up to a week or 9 days off including the weekends. Enjoy! It's only 2 weeks to go. How quickly time flies.

This free printable calendar is exclusively for members of our website. Sign up to print this calendar in pdf format and get more freebies like this. You will get weekly newsletters delivered to your inbox so you won't miss an update on our parenting blog, website and Facebook parenting group activities.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Family Bonding Moments

The other day, I saw a family shopping for Chinese New Year decorations. It didn't seem like a special outing specifically to buy decorations. They were dressed very casually and looked in a hurry. An adorable little girl was running back and forth between her parents, showing decorations to her mum "Shall we have this mummy?" and then to her dad "Mummy says we have enough already". It occurred to me then, that this family was having a very special family bonding moment. The family was busy looking for decorations and oblivious to the fact that they were actually having a special moment. Their child will never be at that age again and may not be interested in those same decorations again. She will grow up all too soon.

Had they realized that the time is so precious, they would have stopped, admired and asked the cute little girl for her opinion. Quite often we are in such a hurry, we forget to enjoy the moment. We may take our little ones to try new outfits for a festival but rush them in the dressing room. "Oh, hurry up! Everyone is waiting outside." We rush around so much when we really should be slowing down and cherishing every moment.

We don't have to go away for expensive holidays together or create an event then make sure everyone is available before we can have a special family bonding moment. We have that everyday in our lives whenever we spend time with our family.

We have special moments when we teach our children or help them with homework. We have bonding moments when we make cookies together for a special festival. We have happy moments when we watch a movie together. We bond when we play a sport, go for a walk, chat on the way home from school.

I really like the quote by Dr Seuss. "Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory."  It is up to us to cherish our moments together and create special memories with our families.

As a stay at home mother, sometimes being around all the time makes me forget that quality time is much more precious than quantity time. Reminder to self: "Be there for your child not just physically. Every time your child comes to talk to you, listen, really listen and give them the emotional support they need from you."

Chinese New Year 2016 Ice Cream Stick Monkey Craft For Kids

Here's a very easy craft idea for young kids for this year Chinese New Year 2016 which is the Year of the Monkey.

The pictures for this popsicle stick monkey craft is self-explanatory but we will explain it briefly to give you an even better idea.

Here's what you need for your ice-cream stick monkey

  1. One (1) popsicle stick or ice-cream stick
  2. Coloured construction paper
  3. Googly Eyes (Optional)
  4. Glue
  5. Sharpies or Marker Pens for drawing

Instructions on How To Make Your Ice-Cream Stick Monkey

  1. Cut out the shapes as shown above for your monkey's ears and face.
  2. Remember to use a different coloured circle for the main face shape
  3. Paste the big round circle over the two little circle that make up the monkey ears
  4. Paste the nose and face shape over the main round shape
  5. Draw in or decorate your monkey's face
  6. Paste googly eyes on draw as shown
  7. Draw an upside down arrow for the nose and lips
  8. Draw two red lines as shown for a blushing monkey
  9. Finally paste the face over the ice-cream stick
That's it! Happy Chinese New Year 2016. We hope you like this Year of the Monkey 2016 Craft Idea for kids.

This craft idea was contributed by Little Oxford Daycare and Tuition Centre. Kids are the daycare have guided activities like this Popsicle Stick Monkey during quiet times at the centre.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How To Use Iron On Labels Correctly

Applying or placing iron-on labels on outfits is not just a matter of ironing and that's it. To make sure your iron-on labels stick and last even after laundering, make sure you follow the instructions that come with it.

Here are some tips on how to use iron-on labels correctly
  1. Temperature - The iron should be hot. The best heat setting is "cotton". Switch on your iron for several minutes to reach desired temperature level.
  2. Dry - Make sure your garments are dry and do not use steamer or sprinkle water
  3. Preparation - Preheat the clothing surface for 10-20 seconds before placing the label onto desired position
  4. Time - Cover with thin cloth (handkerchief thin) then iron and press for 20-45 seconds but not more than a minute
  5. Repeat - Repeat the process if your iron-on labels do not stick well
  6. Cool - Allow to cool completely before use and do not launder for at least 6 hours
If you follow these steps diligently, your iron-on labels should stick well and last even with laundering in the washing machine.

Iron-on Label Before And After -
Some labels have a matte dull coloured look before ironing and may look different after  ironing on

These tips were brought to you by Fun Printz. Fun Printz delivers their labels to any location in Malaysia and Singapore. These customized labels are useful for primary school, boarding school as well as private and international school students.

At Fun Printz, you can create personalized iron-on labels in various sizes like the mini iron-on, fun iron-on, shape iron-on and giant iron-on. It will be easier for your child and childcare minders to recognize your child's clothing items easily with custom labels.

Here's how you can create and order custom iron-on labels from Fun-Printz with your child's name on them. 
  1. Select an iron on label from the types available
  2. Design your iron-on. Click on the "Click Here To Personalize/Order Online" button. You will be taken to the following screen to create your label. This is where you type in your child's name, select a favorite symbol, alphabet or border, pick a color and choose a font. All the while you will be able to preview your design on the left pane.

 3. When you are satisfied with your design, place your order and wait for your shipment.

Monday, January 18, 2016

UPSR 2016 - Score 8As

I've started seeing workbooks that says "Score 8As for UPSR" or something to that effect. This year I have a kid who will be sitting for the UPSR. He is among the first batch of kids who did the KSSR syllabus from Standard One. I thought the whole point of the KSSR syllabus was to move towards School Based Assessments and away from examinations. It seems like I have been wrong in my assumption.

In fact, now that the new formats have been announced, I have discovered that there are more papers, more subjective questions to test the kids critical thinking skills, more hours for some papers and more days for the exams (from 3 to 4). Since this will be the first year for the new syllabus, the kids are being drilled and prepared in ernest by the schools.

During the first week of school, the kids were briefed on the new exam and paper formats. We're talking about the first week of school! In the second week, they started doing some test papers. In the third week, they start staying back 3 extra days in school and Saturday will soon be a full schooling day. Extra curricular activities take up 1 day. That means the kid has to go to school from 7.45 am to 3.30 pm - 4.00 pm for 4 days in a week and attend school on Saturday from 7.45 am to 1.05 pm. There's also talk that the hours may be increased ie. the kids may have to start schooling at 7 am instead of 7.45 am. Nothing is confirmed yet so far but the idea is there isn't enough hours to drill and prepare the kids for UPSR 2016.

Many schools have also held talks for parents on the new format. (and it's only the start of the third week of back to school today).

In contrast, my other kid who sat for UPSR in 2014 and having been drilled in a similar fashion and is now attending a public secondary school, is more free. That other secondary school kid looks a lot more relaxed now compared to the primary school going child. The 14 year old is currently having it a lot easier than the 12 year old. Strange how the UPSR year for mere 12 year olds is like a pressure cooker.

So what do we  parents do about it? Many have flocked to private and international schools. Some decided to home school and for the rest who are in this regime. You either get all caught up in the whirlwind or you close one eye or both and say, "Its ok. Its only the UPSR. Who's even going to look at the paper when you attend a job interview years later." However, at the back of your mind, there may be this nagging thought or doubt that says "Am I doing the right thing for my child?" "How's he going to get into a good school if he can't compete with the rest?" Of course you don't have to ask this question if you have a secure financial future that allows you to send your child to any good school you like. To the rest? Well, its only 8 months more to UPSR 2016. Hang on in there!

Note: SK students sit for 6 papers while SJKC students sit for 8 papers. So you may see two versions of workbooks at the bookstores. A Score 6As version or a Score 8As one.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

12 Things You Need To Know Before Fixing Braces For Your Child - A Parent's View

Getting braces for your child is quite an involved process that takes a lot of time and money. Before you do so, it may be a good idea to shop around for a good orthodontist that is not too expensive and near your house.... because you're going to need to take your child to see the orthodontist at least once a month after the braces are on to have it adjusted. So make sure you find an orthodontist that is near enough and one that you will feel comfortable visiting eg. no transportation or parking issues may help.

Teeth Extracted For Braces

12 Things You Need To Know Before Fixing Braces For Your Child. 
Do note that this is not an expert view from an orthodontist but merely a parent's observation.

  1. It is not cheap in terms of time and money.
  2. There may be hidden cost eg cost of tooth extraction which may not be included in the pricing
  3. It is a very involved process that may require you to visit the orthodontist every 4 to 6 weeks.
  4. Your child may have to extract teeth before the braces are put on.
  5. You may be charged for consultation before you decide whether to get the braces. However, sometimes this fee is deducted if you decide to continue your treatment at the orthodontist you consulted.
  6. The initial preparation involves taking an x-ray and mold of the teeth 
  7. After the braces are put on, your child's teeth may hurt and he or she may have to be on a soft food diet for several days
  8. The initial part - teeth extraction and the first time the braces are put on, may cause a lot of discomfort for your child
  9. The process may take up to 2 years with monthly adjustments to the braces
  10. While the braces are on, your child may be required to brush his or her teeth after every meal including meals at school to prevent stains on the teeth. 
  11. Your child will need a special orthodontic toothbrush for brushing teeth
  12. After the braces are removed, your child will be required to wear retainers for life. 
This is not a professional opinion. Only a parents viewpoint. Please consult your orthodontist for expert opinion.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Monkey Printables And Templates For Your Year Of The Monkey Crafts 2016

We love crafting and we love the internet. You can find lots of wonderful resources for crafting all over the internet. This coming Chinese New Year heralds the Year of the Monkey so that means it is time to make monkey crafts! Here's where you can find some delightful and cute monkey printables, templates, cut outs and more for your Year of the Monkey Crafts 2016.

1. Found on Adele Jeunette's hubpages on Kid Crafts for Year of the Monkey: Chinese New Year Art Projects and Printables. The Monkey King template, Monkey Papercut and Monkey head Chinese New Year Greeting are especially adorable! Do head over to Adele's page for the instructions and monkey printables and templates for your year of the monkey crafts. The printables are in jpeg format.

2. Found on Timvandevall.com is this page on Printable Monkey Clipart, Coloring Pages, Cartoon & Crafts for Kids. You will find plenty of monkey clipart here which you can print out for your Year of the Monkey projects with your kids. Along with the free monkey printables, creative monkey craft ideas for kids are included eg. how to use the monkey templates to make monkey masks, monkey bookmarks, monkey signs, monkey pencil toppers, monkey board game markers and more. Below is an example of the cute monkey template you can find on Timvandevall.com. The printables are in jpeg format.

3. Found on Activity Village is the page on Monkey Printables. Lots of free printables here including monkey masks, monkey calendar, monkey card, posters and plenty of monkey activities for your little one. Love it! The printables are in pdf format. The tracing page and mask from the page as shown below is so cute!. Go to Activity Village to get the pdf and many more ideas for your Year Of The Monkey Crafts with kids.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tips for parents: How To Choose The Right Musical Instrument For Your Child

Choosing the right musical instrument for your child may be really hard and daunting at first, especially if you do not have any musical background yourself or are not musically inclined. Coupled with the fact that some children may seem fickle when it comes to choice of musical instruments, begging to play one at first and then saying they hate it the week after. As parents, you should step in to provide them the guidance they need when choosing a musical instrument for your child.

Here are some facts you should take into account when choosing the right musical instrument for your child.

Age of your child

Some musical instruments like the piano/violin can be picked up by children as young as 3 years old. Both have its own advantage. So which one do you choose? Here are some points you can consider.
  • Violin - There are smaller sizes violin tailored for children, so you can pick one just the right size for a younger child
  • Piano - The Piano is an instrument with a definite pitch, which helps greatly in the inception of accurate pitching. Both the left hand and right hand are used together. This teaches the child important concepts of harmony. 

Your Child's Inclination Towards An Instrument 

If the child likes how the violin sound for instance, he/she will be more motivated to practice . Let them play what the like to hear. From experience, children below 8 are usually very afraid of loud sounds. Boys tend to be inclined to learning the drum but during class some get alarmed by the loud sounds a drum produces. So take these into account when choosing a musical instrument for your child. Does he like the sound the musical instrument makes. Is he frightened by the loud sounds?

Your Child's Personality

Does he like playing in groups? Or prefers to play alone? 

Orchestral instruments like the violin/cello/trumpet etc encourages ensemble playing. They are best enjoyed playing with other people.

The piano on the other hand, can be played in the form of a duet but because the instrument itself is capable of producing a wide range of melody together with harmony, it is mostly played as a stand-alone instrument.

The guitar or singing lessons can be a great choice for children who are very vocal and enjoys the limelight.

These tips were brought to you by The Music Factory. The Music Factory provides music education for all age groups including piano, violin, vocal, guitar and drum classes at its premise in Damansara Jaya. They also offer free trial lessons for parents like you who can't decide just yet. Trial classes allows the child to experiment with the instrument before signing up, at the same time providing an opportunity for the child to get comfortable with his teacher. Music education is indeed one of the best gifts you can give to your child. Call Teacher Airina at 012-233 5055 for a free trial lesson.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Banana Mom's Guide To Preparing For Chinese School Ebook Giveaway

I've done book reviews and giveaways many times in the past but not for my own ebook. I guess when it comes to time management and time is tight, sometimes you put yourself last.

I'm a banana mom. In case you didn't know what that means, it literally means white on the inside but yellow outside, just like a banana.  That is what some call Chinese who are Chinese illiterate. A Chinese who speaks and writes in English instead of Chinese. (Yellow from the outside. Yellow as in Chinese Yellow. White on the Inside. White as in English White) That's me.

Some take it to mean a Chinese who have western values but in this case we are referring to language only when we use the term "Banana Mom".

Today, I'm giving away 3 copies of my ebook  "Banana Mom's Guide To Preparing For Chinese School" for members of my website. This ebook is for those who do not speak Chinese but are thinking of sending their kids to Chinese school. Thinking, or undecided or cannot agree with the spouse and facing a dilemma over which school to send your child to. In short, this book is written by a banana mom for non-Chinese speaking families who want to send their kids to Chinese school or SJKC (Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina).

This books is for you if your child is still very young but you are planning ahead or if your child is attending Chinese primary school in the next one or two years. This ebook covers topics from choosing preschools to choosing primary schools. You will receive practical tips and know what to expect on orientation day and first day of school. Primary School Registration Procedures, School syllabus, Homework, Exams, Tuition, Dealing With Teachers and more.

This book is useful for all mums who are thinking of sending their kids to Chinese school, not only banana mums. We have many buyers from other races and dads too!

You can view more details about the ebook (including a breakdown on the chapters) or purchase it by using the Maybank2u Pay or Paypal button on this page.

You can download a sample chapter of the ebook. Click on the book image below to download

Giveaway Instructions

This giveaway is like a mini game. You collect points with every task that you complete in the form. Each point is called an "Entry". The first two tasks gives you 4 entry points in total and are compulsory. You can collect up to 7 points/entries. The more points you have, the higher your chances of winning. If you are unsure of how to complete the form, you can email me at mumsgather@gmail.com

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Like Banana Mom on Facebook! 

Easy Art Project For Kids - Picasso Cubist Portraits

Last year in November, Hobby Hob In, Bangsar conducted a holiday program for kids called the Picasso Cubist Portraits. Cubism involves drawing made up of geometric shapes, like cubes, spheres, cylinders, cones etc.

Kids can have fun with cubism by drawing  and painting brightly coloured portraits. Encourage the use of contrasting colours and lots of geometric shapes to get the cubism effect.

Here are some examples of the Picasso Cubist Portraits created by kids during the holiday program. They are reproduced here with the permission of Hobby Hop In to help you visualize how to create the same kind of art with your kids.

Instructions. Start by drawing the shape for the face and divide it to show a profile. Draw in the features and add free form flowing hair in Picasso's signature style. Finally outline with sharpies and colour in using paint or oil pastels. The results are amazing as you can see.

The Picasso Cubist Portraits below are taken from Hobby Hop In's Facebook page with their permission.

Hobby Hob In is in Bangsar.  Besides art and crafts, they also conduct speech and drama,  phonics classes etc. Their creative writing classes for kids is on every Saturday 9-11 am for age 8 and 9 and  11-1 pm for age 10 and 11. Max 6 kids. Here's how you can contact them to find out more about their lessons.

Contact: Ms Valerie 016-635 6469
               Ms Phek San 016-309 0092
               email hobbyhopin@gmail.com

Monday, January 11, 2016

Registration For Standard One For 2017 And 2018 Intake For Schools In Selangor And Putrajaya

A recent check on the esppsel, the portal which  Selangor parents used to register their kids online for Standard One showed the following ie that the system is now closed with effect from 4 January 2016 and visitors are redirected to a new system from the MOE (Ministry of Education)/KPM (Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia).

This is the new link that is provided in the notice.


A check on the link shows that the following has been added. It reads:

"New: Permohonan ke Tahun Satu bagi negeri Selangor dan Putrajaya ambilan 2017 dan 2018 akan dibuka pada 1 Mac 2016." (New: Application for Standard One for Selangor and Putrajaya for 2017 and 2018 intake will be open on 1 March 2016.)

It may not be a bad idea to favourite and watch that link for any new developments if you are planning for year one admission for your child for 2017 and 2018 intakes to avoid any confusion from the change of system.

Archives of news from last year can be found here and here.

Join our Facebook Group to network with other Malaysian Parents

How To Select Workbooks For Your Child

This post is for parents in primary school who are buying workbooks for their children for the first few times. Buying workbooks for your child for the first few times can be overwhelming with so many to choose from. Where do you start? What is a good workbook to buy?

Here is a simple guide on how to choose workbooks for your child.

Some parents in our Facebook group - The Malaysia Primary And Secondary School Parents on Facebook have raised this question a few times.

"Can you recommend a good workbook for my child? There are so many to choose from? Which one do I choose?"

Yes, there are so many to choose from. So many types of workbooks for so many subjects and from different publishers. One subject alone will have so many workbooks and reference books.

First, let's decide on the objectives why you wish to buy workbooks. Do you want your child to have extra practice or do you want your child to learn something new. If your objective is extra practice, do not get something totally different or new. It may confuse your child.

12 Things To Consider When Shopping For Workbooks

  1. Buy from established publishers. For SJKC, some of the established ones include Cemerlang, Hup Lick, Malaya Press, PEP , EPH (the publishing arm for Popular bookstore). For SK, the established ones include Oxford Fajar, Longman, Sasbadi, Pelangi to name a few
  2. For extra practice, buy something that mirrors the text book, not something new
  3. Do not buy books that are too high level. It will frustrate them. Flip through the book or bring  your child along to choose relevant ones if you are not sure.
  4. Check the date of publication and get the latest to make sure you get the most updated syllabus version. Just because the cover of the book says it is the latest with KSSR, HOTS, KBAT, etc on it does not make it so. Flip and look inside the book to make sure. Check the dates to make sure.
  5. When shopping for language workbooks, you may need to get grammar/tatabahasa books as well as practice workbooks that mirror the textbooks.
  6. When shopping for books with two papers in examinations, you may need one for paper 1 practice and one for Paper 2 practice
  7. Don't forget reference books. They are a very useful resource for students
  8. Closer to test or exam dates, you may want to get workbooks of sample test papers. Don't get this at the beginning of the year. Since your child has not gone through the year's syllabus yet, they will be frustrated when they cannot do the papers. 
  9. Check the answers. All workbooks should come with supplied answer sheets. You can find these either in the middle of the book or at the end. Flip straight to the section to check. The more comprehensive the answers, the better! For example in multiple choice questions, some workbooks give you the meaning of the other choices or the reason why the other choices are not the right ones. Some just give alphabetical answers without explanations.
  10. For math and science,  you may like to get books that give good and concise walk throughs or sample workings either in the model answers or at the beginning of the chapter. Some workbooks give an explanation before the questions. These are good for reference.
  11. Check your child's school book list before buying so you don't buy the same workbook that the school is using.
  12. Involve your child in the shopping whenever possible. They may be able to pick more relevant workbooks than you especially if they are in a language you do now understand.

Tips For Finding A Workbook That Closely Mirrors Your Child's School Textbooks

First flip through your child's textbook and take a picture of the chapters in the book. When you are at the bookshop, look for workbooks that say "Latihan Topikal" or something to that effect. Flip through the book to make sure the topics actually mirror the textbooks as claimed.

You may also find this useful. Abbreviations You Should Know Including KSSR, HOTS and more.

Recommend A Parenting Book And Get A Coupon Code At Books Kinokuniya Malaysia

What is the best parenting book you have ever read? Something that strikes a chord and makes you go "Yes, yes, yes." Yes, that sounds like me. Yes, I've done that. Yes, I would probably do that. Yes, I should have done that. Yes, I must do that. Yes, why didn't I think of that?

It is the beginning of 2016. Let's do something fun shall we? Let's share our favourite parenting book and be rewarded for sharing.

This is what you have to do. Recommend your favourite parenting book. Scroll down to the comments section of this blog and leave your recommendations in the following format.
  • Title
  • Author
  • ISBN (optional)
  • Reason Why You Like The Book
  • Your email address (so we can send the coupon code to you)
Here's an example. This is one of my favourite parenting books.

  • Title: The 5 Love Languages Of Children
  • Author: Gary Chapman
  • ISBN: 9780802403476
  • Reason: I like this book because the concept is so simple yet powerful. It shows me that every child is different and helps me express love to my child in the best possible way to each of them. 
  • Email: mumsgather@gmail.com
Each recommendation will receive a Kinokuniya Webstore Malaysia 10% coupon code on all books. You can use the coupon code more than once for any of your purchases made in the month of January. Not only that. Your book will be added in the Parent's Recommendations List on Books Kinokuniya Malaysia for other parents to find and enjoy. Only your book recommendation and reasons will be published. Your names will be kept private.

Easy? Let's start sharing! Offer ends on 22 January 2016.

This post is brought to you by Books Kinokuniya Malaysia.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Chinese New Year 2016 - Year Of The Monkey Craft For Kids

This year 2016, Chinese New Year begins on 8th February 2016. I mentioned "begins" instead of "falls on" because the Chinese New Year celebration is really 15 days long culminating in the Chap Goh Meh (which stands for "the fifteenth night") celebration. In between, there are a couple of important days to celebrate too. You can read all about the days of festivities during Chinese New Year from wikipedia.

This year 2016, is the Year of the Monkey according to the Chinese Zodiac. I have two monkeys in my house, my father and my son. The Chinese Zodiac goes on a 12 year cycle so they are about 7 cycles apart. Amazing, now that I come to think of it. You can secretly tell a person's age by asking for their animal sign according to Chinese Zodiac.

The Chinese like red and orange (which sounds like "gold") so I'm going to use red and orange/gold for my Year of the Monkey Chinese New Year 2016 craft for kids.

This is a very simple craft. You can do it in minutes. I gathered all the craft materials from leftover stuff in my house. I always keep knick knacks so we can craft anytime. We used to be able to do crafting a lot when the kids were very much younger but now that they are grown and in school, we have a lot less time for it.

Here's what you will need:

  • Construction Paper (preferably red, orange, gold)
  • Sharpie
  • Stamp Pad 
  • Glue 
  • Hole Puncher
  • Ribbon

Notes: We used leftover Chinese calligraphy paper from previous years for our craft. They are long and come with pre printed design making it excellent for Chinese New Year Crafts. We used thin red ribbon with a gold trim. If you don't have red paper. You can use white or other colours and use a red stamp pad instead. Stamping on different coloured paper may produce different results as you can see. Our purple stamp looks nice on white paper but looks almost black on the red one.

Chinese New Year Craft For Kids Materials
Chinese New Year Craft For Kids Materials

Instructions for our Chinese New Year 2016 Year of the Monkey Craft For Kids: 

We're making a See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil fingerprint Monkey trio bookmark. You can use the same idea to make Chinese New Year homemade cards instead of a bookmark.

  1. Gather all the materials you will need
  2. Cut the paper into two rectangles. The red rectangular paper should be slightly smaller than the orange one
  3. Cut the ribbon into size
  4. Punch a hole at the top of the orange paper
  5. Tie in the ribbon
  6. Practice making fingerprint monkeys on another piece of paper. Use your little finger for the head and your thumb for the body. Then draw in the ears, tail and hands. The first pair of hands goes over the eye area, the second goes over the ears and the third to cover the mouth area
  7. Once you are happy with your fingerprint monkeys, do the same on the red paper
  8. Glue the red paper over the orange one
  9. Write a Chinese New Year message at the bottom area of the bookmark
  10. Happy Chinese New Year 2016!

Craft Supplies For Chinese New Year Homemade Craft For Kids
Craft Supplies For Chinese New Year Homemade Craft For Kids

Fingerprint Monkey Craft
Practice making your fingerprint monkeys on a separate piece of paper

Chinese New Year 2016 Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil Monkey Trio Bookmark
Chinese New Year 2016 Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil Monkey Trio Bookmark
We hope you like our Chinese New Year homemade bookmark craft for kids. Happy Chinese New Year 2016!

Free Science Experiment Trial Classes At Gakken Classroom Kelana Jaya

Some of you may remember a post we did in early December 2015 called the Detective Science Camp for Kids by Gakken Classroom Kelana Jaya.

Today, we want to tell you about the one month free trial classes for the science experiment classes currently being offered by Gakken Classroom. The free trial class suitable for kids from 4 to 12, is absolutely free with no terms and conditions and no hidden costs. No registration fee is required. Once you sign up online, you can redeem 4 classes worth RM160When you fill in the online registration form, you can select your preferred time slot as shown below.

Free Trial Classes Time Slots

Thursday 3.30 - 4.30 pm
Thursday 6 - 7 pm
Friday 4 - 5 pm
Saturday 11.30 am - 12.30 pm
Saturday 1 - 2 pm
Saturday 4 - 5 pm
* Limited to 30 pax only
** Promotion ends 31 Jan 2016 29 Feb 2016

What You Are Signing Up For

Free One (1) month Science Experiment Classes worth RM160 conducted by Gakken Classroom Kelana Jaya. Here's where you can get more information on the 1 month free Science Experiment Trial Class or you can head on over here to Redeem Now.

About The Science Experiment Classes

The Science syllabus taught at Gakken Classroom Kelana Jaya covers a total of 36 themes and consists of more than 360 experiments. 1 theme or 10 experiments per month is taught by qualified instructors trained by their Japanese principal. Using Japanese syllabus, material, teaching methodology and exclusive Science kits brought in from Japan, the children are taught Science in an entertaining way. The emphasis is very much on experiential learning.

During lessons, kids are taught to
  1. Observe during guided group experiments
  2. Explore by doing individual experiments 
  3. Reflect on their newly gained knowledge by writing reports
To top it off, they also get to take home and keep their individual Science Experiment kits. The hands-on activities help kids to understand Science concepts easily while the report writing aids in and reinforces retention of knowledge.

Part of the 36 Science Experiment Themes are shown here
About Gakken Classroom Kelana Jaya

Gakken has a 70-year history in the field of education and is a leading provider of educational toys and books, teaching materials and stationery in Japan. Gakken Classroom was established in 1984 to fulfill its vision of promoting life-long learning. Currently Gakken Classroom is available in 17 countries including Malaysia. In Japan alone, there are a total of 15,000 Gakken Classrooms.

This post was brought to you by Gakken Classrooms Kelana Jaya.

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