Saturday 16 February 2013

What's up valentine!

We had yet another bump this week with sonshine down. So, that's 2 weeks of being hostages to our own home y'all!
But, i manage to plan some valentine's activities for the girl.
Pasting colored cut-out hearts onto a large cut-out heart.

Stringing hearts. Should have laminted the hearts, it was too flimsy and doll even managed to rip one off!
Un-buttoning hearts. A tad too challenging for her at the moment.
Matching colored hearts.
I made this for doll to put cheerios on each of the white spots on the heart. BUT! She was too greedy and polished off the cheerios instead! LOL!
You can't really tell from the picture but she was suppose to match the various heart sizes onto the master copy. This was aim to work on her visual discrimination skills, learning about sizes.
Matching numbers. She somehow had no heart (LOL) to do this.
Sweeping cut-out hearts.
Another activity to work on her visual discrimination skills. I took out my heart shape cookie cutter and traced them on a white paper. She had to match each cookie cutter onto the paper. She enjoyed this very much and kept taking this out to 'play'.
And on V-day itself, i made heart-shaped bread for me son. 
On a different note, I've been reading 'The hungry Caterpillar' to babydoll. So, i decided to yank out my set of  props, i made for sonshine years ago. I retold the story to her using these props. I made sonshine retell the story too- great way to exercise his story telling skills.

Saturday 9 February 2013

All time favourite board books

I enjoy reading good books to my babies. Here are some must-read books on my list:
Front Cover
This is such a 'noisy' book! Filled with animals sounds from the front to the back! Although, i do think the illustration is not quite appealing to young kids, but both my kids love listening me dramatised each animal sounds. There's a mission for readers- find the goose who is sometimes well hidden!
Front Cover
My favorite children's author is Sandra Boynton. I love her cute illustrations. This is my MUST MUST read book! Even if i've 3rd, or 4th or 12th kid, i would & must read this to him/her! LOL!
Front Cover
Get up on your feet and get ready to dance! Reading this book, you can't resist joining in the animals' dance. Even if you don't, you would surely be tapping your feet as you read through the rythmic text.
Front Cover
Another must read Sandra Boynton book! This is a great book to read at night, very funny! I love to read dramatically at the begining of the book and then quieten down at the end- and then pack the kid off to lala land!
Front Cover
Another great book to read at bedtime. I personally didn't find any good in this book but both my kids love it. Reading this book the second time around, i realised it's a good read & point book. Lots of things to see on each page. Good to teach your toddler on naming household items.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Giant hardcover edition
Need i say more?
Bus Stops
I enjoy journeying through this book. Readers follow the bus as it make numerous stop. At each stop, different people get off at different venues. There's so many things to see at different stops.
Freight Train

This is a great book about colors. It was particularly appealing to sonshine because he loved trains. I haven't read it to babydoll yet but i think i should soon!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

This is a great alphabet book with a twist! What happens when all the letters go up the coconut tree? They all come crashing down of course! A very enjoyable book and a must read for all toddlers!

We're Going on a Bear Hunt: A Celebratory Pop-up Edition

Sonshine thoroughly enjoyed this book. I suspect it was the repetition that entices him but it was also the repetition that made me dread reading this book aloud! Still, it is an all time favourite books amongst many kids!

I am sure there are more but these are books that i can think of off my head.

Chinese New Year Crafts

We were bumped off this week when a persistent virus hit us, so we decided to scrap our Chinese New Year (CNY) plans & stay put at home.
I scrambled to search for CNY activities for sonshine just to liven our (okay, more like my own) moods. Pinterest was my richest source of ideas!
Here are some of CNY crafts we did at home:
Painting Cherry blossom tree using Lego stamping.
The final product.
Chinese calligraphy wannabe anyone?
Well, i just told myself to look at it artistically & it didn't look so bad after all. He wrote two of these &  i used them as last minute CNY decoration for my home. :)
Can you tell? It's a friendly dragon using cut out hand prints. Sonshine drew the a happy face despite me telling him to make it look fierce. Check out the blue pom pom eyes!
We had a bit of fun playing Hong Bao treasure hunt. Instead of the usual money, i put in slips of notes in each packet. The notes could say '1 minute extra on the ipad', '1 jellybean!' or 'Extra game on the Xbox' etc. Things that i knew would make him excited. He had alot of fun playing this.
Practical life skill- peeling Mandarin oranges for Daddy.
Some non CNY stuff we did. Add some coloring in a plate of milk, give the kid toothpicks & let him doodle away! Watch how the colors merge and turn the milk into an array of colors!
Babydoll was the first to get hit by the virus. I gave her a bit of activities to cheer her up. Practical Life skill activity- slicing a banana. It was quite a mess. But oh well.
A tub of water with some cubes of ice. Water has an amazing ability to keep any child thrilled and delighted. It's free and readily available- one of God's best creation i say! She was particularly restless that day and this certainly perked her up.
Threading. She is quite a pro in this! She sat there and thread beads after beads without any help from me. Well done my girl!
Peering into big brother's box of toy trains. She loves to look for Thomas the tank engine & name each train 'nomasszzz'!
Stuck at home with an ill brother. What better way to lighten her mood than with paints?
The masterpiece!

Sunday 3 February 2013

DIY Dressing frame

I pop back in here to share some DIY stuff i made for babydoll to 'play' next few weeks.
Practical Life activity: opening and closing zipper.
I sew a bright pink zipper on a piece of black felt cloth. Then, i wrapped the cloth around an old shoe box cover to make it sturdy to 'play'.
Back of my DIY dressing frame.

Snake button for her to work on eye hand coordination & threading skills.
I think it started by Counting coconuts and later it was prevalent in the blogsphere world. Of course i just HAD to make one for my doll.
All materials were bought from Daiso. I think this is our equivalent of America's thrift store? Love it! 

Saturday 2 February 2013

A bit of this and a bit of that

This week we were suppose to work on Math & Chinese. But there was a little bump at the begining of the week so everything were abit off.
Anyway, i just gave him random things to do this week.
I bought a new book! Its a combination of drawing and writing. I like it because the drawing instructions are very simple and it is exactly the message i want to bring across to sonshine- that drawing is all about using a combination of varying shapes. It's easy, anyone can draw!

After following the step by step drawing instruction, sonshine had to answer the 'Who/What, Did What, Where, When' questions. Using his answers he was suppose to string them into a sentence. This week he learn to draw a bird and he wrote 'Nancy the bird goes swimming in the pool today.' He even drew a pool! LOL

He did a few random pages from this book.

He also learnt to write new words 朋友 and wrote a sentence with it.
We also completed 四五快读 lesson 2. The new words he learnt was 礼貌 and 游泳.
Post note: After reading the passages in the book, i now ask him some questions (set by the author) relating to what he had read. He is expected to answer in mandarin. I am trying to get him to exercise his (mandarin) oral and comprehension skills.

For math, i wrote down two similar but different word problems. The questions were:
Kitty has 8 toys. She has 2 MORE toys than Melody. How many toys does Melody have?
Kitty has 8 toys. She has 2 LESS toys than Melody. How many toys does Melody have?
I deliberately wrote the questions on the same page, used the same names & numbers because i wanted him to see they each require a different working hence the answers are different. He was able to work on these questions easily but he got confused when i had him work on the Kumon books. Can't blame him, the questions were quite 'wordy' and i had to read the questions repeatedly to understand too.
I will taking a 2 week Chinese new Year blog break. Here's wishing anyone out there (sometimes i feel like i am 'talking' to myself here) a blessed Chinese new year filled with goodness, mercy, prosperity, joy and peace!


P is for Practical & Play

Babydoll had a range of practical life activities and role play this week.
Scooping & transferring ping-pong balls using a ladle.

Later, she decided pouring them was faster.

Threading with her Melissa & Doug lacing toy.

Pouring cheerios from cup to cup (& later eating them).

Cutting a 'banana' using her Mother garden play set.

A typical type Montessori 'play'. Here she has to work on her visual discrimination skills & learn how to estimate the varying sizes of each shape. I decided to tape down the other roles (triangle & circle) and let her focus on one shape at a time.

Working on the circles of graduating sizes.

Later, she tore out the tape and found the puzzles stuck on it. She tried to rip them out and i thought 'hey! that could be an impromptu sensory play for her!' YAY!
Another (too cute) puzzle to help her gauge the different sizes of each piece.

And what's a childhood without role playing?
I am also glad that she is begining to get the concept of going to our work shelf and selecting a 'work' of her choice. I caught her voluntarily drawing out activities and working them on her on. Last week activities are still on our shelf & she's been working on the boxes, the alphabet matching & Melissa & doug color sorting toy. Best of all, she knows well enough that she has to keep each activity and return them back to the shelf in order! :)
Lastly, i just want to be clear that it is not like she sits down and does the activity in 1/2 hour or so. The activities are largely over in a minute or two! She would be very interested to try them and will be over it in maybe 5 minutes max. Most of the activities are presented to her on a whim- i don't have an assigned hour for her to 'work'. Then i'd leave the activity somewhere around & sometimes she will ask to do.