Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cardboard Car


Both my boys were down with HFMD last week. But I'm happy that other than the few dreadful days of very bad ulcers that's affecting meal times for K, we had been busy creating and learning. It's been a while since we did so many activities. Our no school mornings are spent creating and playing. The activities were all child directed and I became their slaves.

On this day...

K: Mummy, let's build a cardboard car.
Me: (thought bubble: "Let's"?? You mean "me" Nooooo....) Let's do some other things, how about watching the Cars movie? (wrong move)
K: I want to build Lightning Mcqueen! Ka Chow!
Y: I want to build The King!
Me: (thought bubble: Ok, we have cardboards... maybe it's not that difficult to do afterall) Alright, let's see what we need.

Their persistence paid off and once I got my butt off from the sofa, we were on the roll.

What You Need:
Carton Box
Paint
Brushes
Pen Knife
Markers
White Paper
Construction Paper


I got 2 carton boxes and cut off 3 sides of the flap for the top, leaving one side for the car front. All 4 flaps at the bottom are removed.


   Cut a small rectangle at the sides as a handle for the kid to hold.

Then it's time to get the rascals to work.

I printed out the car number 43 for The King and got the graphic online for Lightning Mcqueen. Cut them out and paste it at the side.
My "designers" had a hard time deciding on the design of their car wheels. They had an even harder time trying to express what they want to me. But we sorted it out in the end and I thought they looked good. I kept the cardboard pieces that I cut out earlier for the wheels. Cut the circles and parts out of construction paper and the boys were responsible for putting them together.




For the front of the car, I cut a piece of White paper to paste over to draw the eyes. Y wanted a "serious" look. He drew a dinosaur (looked nothing like one) for the Dinoco sign and we found a Rusteze stickers for Lightning Mcqueen. I drew the eyes and mouth for Y while K drew everything on his own.

The boys were so happy with their cars and they wanted to bring to school as their Chinese learning theme is Cars. K asked his teacher for permission to bring to school. She agreed and so I let them drive to school today.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pattern Making with Glue and Paint

I knew I had to do this when I saw this beautiful picture on Pinterest.

What You Need:
Container Lid
Paint or Food Coloring
White Glue
Toothpicks or Sticks


Spread the glue on the lid and drop the paint on the glue. Use toothpicks to draw on the glue, making beautiful pattern. The glue may take 1-2 days to dry thoroughly. Once it dried, peel it off the lid, hang it up or cut it into other shapes.

It's so easy and my boy who is down with HFMD liked it very much. Instead of spreading the paint, he mixed them, making marbled like patterns. I limited him to 3 colors as I knew that any more will just result with a patch of Brown.
He is learning to smile and pose for the camera. Quite unnatural but it's better than his usual face covering pose.
Here's his masterpiece. I love it!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Best Friends for 10 with Egg Cartons

It's very important for children to understand the number combinations to make 10. I call them Best Friends for 10. Having a good understanding will be beneficial to them when they do bigger number addition problems for Primary level mathematics.

What You Need:
Empty Egg Carton
Pom Poms (2 colors)

You can use Beans, Colored Pasta, etc. In fact, anything.  

The boys weren't too interested in this activity as they weren't keen on learning Math that day. They knew this is "work" in disguise. But I managed to fool one of them into playing "Raining Pom Poms" They grab a handful of poms poms, throw them into the egg cartons and tata... we have raining pom poms. Sort them out a bit and we can have a ten frame that we can feel.

I did this activity with my P3 student who is still weak with simple addition and subtraction. I was worried she may find this too "childish" but to my surprise, she enjoyed it. This activity satisfy the Kinesthetic part of learning and allows her to "see" the number combination.

Being able to "see" the numbers helps the children to understand better. Once the children understand and know the number combination for 10 very well, addition of bigger numbers will be a breeze. Daily repetitive drilling works too but isn't this much better?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Pirate


During the eye check conducted in school, Y was referred for further examinations. My husband and I were devastated when we knew about it. Outdoor time was our top priority to protect their eyesight. We even changed the lights in our home and are very strict with their screen time.

We received both good news and bad news when we went for further review. Good news, he is not short sighted and the bad news, they noticed he has a Squint. To put it simply, one eye is not looking straight. It's also commonly known as the Lazy Eye. We noticed it since he was very young but we did not know that such condition can be corrected. My heart sank when I read that the corrective measures is most effective before the age of 4.

The doctor advised eye patching, that is, to patch the good eye to train the lazy eye to look straight. The patching has to be done daily, for 2 hours a day.

I was filled with guilt that I didn't bring him to the doctor earlier but my husband comforted me that there's only so much we could do and we can't know everything.

Well, let's just hope this tedious patching can help to correct the Squint.

Graphing with Preschoolers

I had introduced graphing with the boys last year when we got a pack of sea animals eraser back from the Underwater World field trip. They are excellent manipulatives for Math activities! Since then, we touched on it through books. Recently, we are learning Subtraction and the concept of "fewer than" stumped them. They could understand "more than" easily but I don't think they truly understood "fewer than" though they know they need to subtract.

Today, they came home telling me that they learnt graphing in school and were very excited about it as they recalled a book we read about Graphing.

Since I didn't prepare any materials and they couldn't wait, I took out the pack of sea animal erasers again. They remembered what they did before and proceeded to do up the graph on their own. I'm glad to see the great improvement in sorting and they were able to follow instructions to do up their own graph.



Y wanted to draw his own graph and he came up with this.


K got a little upset that the graph we did is not the same as what his teacher taught. He said I don't listen to his teacher... duh...  So I got him to show me what he did in school. He had his own idea of how he wanted to create his graph. He asked for a stencil to draw his sea animals.


Graphing is a simple basic Math concept to introduce to young children and can be a lot of fun.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Life Gets Busier

This blog has been neglected for a while again. It has been extremely challenging to keep up with the blog, along with the busy schedule. It doesn't help when I use whatever time I have left on Korean drama. Hah... But it's really good when you just need brainless stuff to chill out. The last thing I want is to watch an art film or anything too serious.

With the boys in K1, it's time for the kiasu primary school volunteering work to start. After several discussions with hubby eversince we got questions on which primary school they are going when they haven't even turn 2, we have decided to opt for the nearest school for convenience.

The nearest school turns out to be the most popular neighborhood school in my area. I've decided to volunteer for the school so my boys can have guaranteed entry. I have neighbors staying in my block who didn't manage to get in the school from balloting. But the guaranteed entry don't seem to be happening. Withe the number of volunteers this year and the vacancies, there's a high chance to ballot if all volunteers fulfill the 40 hours requirement.

I was totally overwhelmed by the first volunteer meeting. There were many events to volunteer for but there were also many parents. You see a whole list of names for an event that only call for 3 volunteers. I was lucky that I managed to get an event this month. With the fierce competition, I joined the reading programme that I thought nobody will like to take up. (...NOT!) But I had to commit 2 days a week. Just so, I can have some fixed hours every month instead of stressing over the balloting of the events, I went for it.

So, yeah... life can only get busier.      


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Soap Opera Day

Today is one of those "Soap Opera days". The mother had been overworked, tired out and suffering from bad gastric pain. She took her medication and endured the pain. She restored the house to a livable condition, prepared lunch and ride her 3 seater market bike to fetch her 4 years old twins home from school. Feeling a little faint with the pain and the hot sun, she managed to get to school and ferried them home. She thought she couldn't make it home but she did. It's the Mom power.

"Finally home", she thought, but home is where trouble starts. One twin knocked his head on the gate while playing with the other twin and burst into tears. The other twin was demanding his butterfly (Farfelle) pasta lunch. She tried to comfort the crying twin but he was beyond consolation. She had to bring lunch to the table before the other twin bawl. She went to the kitchen, open the pot to find a pot of burnt pasta. She had forgotten to turned off the gas! The hungry twins came to the kitchen, one still sobbing and the other filled with excitement to eat his "butterflies". She had to break the news to them. "Sorry boys, we can't have the pasta, it got burnt." World's number one stereo crying system gave its best. The stress that she is feeling is creating more gastric juice and the gastric pain became unbearable. You know one of those scenes in soap opera, the mother fell to the ground and started crying with the kids. She was close to tears too, the pain, the crying and the burnt food.

But she never liked soap operas. She thought of an advertising pitch. Camera panned from burnt pasta, crying twins, then to the ever smiling mother (NOT!). She gave the "mother know best" look and calmly (NOT!!) went to the computer, opened up McDelivery webpage and ordered 2 Happy Meals. The meals were delivered in a swift and we see 2 happy children eating. The scene where she crawled (literally) to the bed waiting for her knight to come home to save her from the washing of the burnt pot and the crying children will be cut.

Papa knight cancelled his meeting and rushed home from work, together with McDelivery and Happy Meal, they saved the day. Boys were kept happy the whole day with the Hot Wheels toy car that comes with the Happy Meal.  

I'm just so glad the day is coming to an end and I'm feeling slightly better with Papa knight taking care of the boys and me. Being a mother is the toughest job I've ever known. Here's wishing all the super moms out there an early Happy Mothers Day!
 
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