Thursday, September 28, 2006

Playing Definitely Has Benefits

K was doing her maths work the other day and one of the exercises was to recognize patterns. For example:

I realized she had difficulty drawing squares on top of each other or drawing squares/circles into a pyramid. I was getting a little agitated trying to explain where to position the lines so the squares would not end up on top of another square but rather in between two squares. She just couldn't get it.
Controlling my frustration, I walked to her toy drawer where all the blocks were kept. I managed to find 10 square blocks and showed her how to build a pyramid. She asked to play with them a little longer and so, she practiced and practiced building the pyramid. Now, my kids have been playing with blocks for a long time. But I think this is the first time she saw how her playing is related to the things she is learning in books. Next thing I know, she comes to me with a drawing of a pyramid made out of squares. All my screaming and explaining could not teach her what she learned at play.
So here is proof that play does benefit learning. Tell that to your MIL :)

P.S. I really recommend that you get some building blocks for your children to play. Not only is it educational and helps to develop a child's imagination, but also provides time for QUIET play :)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Of Seeds and Noses

1 saga seed + 1 little boy's nose = A whole lot of trouble.

Never in a million years did I think my 3 year old boy would shove a sage seed up his nose. I thought I had taught my children not to do such things but looks like I've been mistaken. He had come to me with the saga seed he found in his play room, asking if we could throw it in the pond. We use to do in the park when I was living in the previous location. I told him we were too far away from that pond now. I then asked that he go look for the other saga seeds that we had collected then so we could do some counting. Next thing I know, he is crying and digging at his nose. I take a look and there it is!

Rule no.1: Don't scream when there is something up your child's nose.
Obviously that was not what I did. Seeing my panic he somehow got the seed lodged even deeper into his nose. From visible it went to partially visible but only with the use of a flash light.
I wanted to use tweezers to get it out but decided not to in case I pushed it in even deeper.

Rule no.2: Make sure your child knows how to blow his nose properly.
When D had a congested nose before, I tried to teach him how to blow his nose. But he didn't quite get it and always ended up sniffing in instead. So now, when we asked him to try to blow it out, all he did was suck it in even more.

Anyway, to cut the long story short, we took him to the nearest hospital (which was really small) and thank goodness the doctor managed to get it out with a modified paperclip. If that didn't work, we would have had to take him to a bigger hospital and I don't even dare think what they would need to do. And thank goodness D was very brave and didn't cry one bit but just laid very still for the doctor to do his stuff.

While waiting for the doctor, I was talking to my DH and mentioned how in all the lessons I've tried to teach them, I may have missed out the "don't put things up your nose and ears" lesson. Obviously my little boy was listening very attentively coz' when I asked him "why did you put it up your nose?", he replied "you didn't teach me!"
Rule no.3: Don't forget to tell your children DON'T PUT THINGS IN YOUR NOSE AND EARS!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Little Fun

Just to post some fun the kids have been having. I'm not a real crafty person so it is a wonder that I even thought of the butterfly thing. Went to the back and got 2 wooden clothes peg. Took some art block paper and got the kids to color the butterflies. Cut it out and paste it to the clothes peg. Happen to have some googly eyes and pipe cleaners to make antennaes. The kids played with their butterflies the whole day. Unlike the gentle creatures butterflies are, D's butterfly was a fighter. Hahaha. To put them away, just clip them unto the curtains or something. Make a few and you could even use them as house decorations.

Bubbles are another fun activity. Went to Carrefour and found a one litre bottle of bubbly fun for only RM4. That should last for quite a while. There is one blower thingy inside. Need more, just use straws. You think that bubbles are easy to blow right? Don't be surprise if it takes your little one some practice before they get it. You can always make your own bubble solution. But somehow the ones I make don't work as well as this commercial one. It's also non-toxic and non-stain.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Value Bookshop International

Just want to announce that I've added Value Bookshop International to cater to parents and children all over the world. Prices are USD of course. Click below to check it out:


Monday, September 18, 2006

Are You There?

You think that staying at home with the kids is enough for them. Not really. Being in the same house is not close enough. My kids have to be either in the same room or on the same floor. When my kids see my going down the stairs, they will pick up their toys with superhuman speed, declaring with urgency "Mommy is going down, mommy is going down." I am counted as evil if I do not wait for them.
Several times a day you will hear the the cry of anxiety "Mommy, where are you?" If I do not answer, they embark on a "search and rescue" mission and will not stop until I am found. Even my unannounced trips to the bathroom can be a cause of concern for them. When they do find me, you can see their joy and relief. Then they just go back to what they were doing before.

Usually, they seek me out not because they have something to ask me or need my assistance, they just want to know that I am close by. Although annoying at times, I have to remind myself to be grateful that I have children who think I am soooo important, that my mere presence brings such assurance to these little ones. Isn't it a wonder, that such a passive thing as "just being there" can outweigh all the monetary and materialistic things we can provide for our kids? Let's take the
sun as an example, it's just there in the sky. But look how it makes things grow. So, never underestimate the goodness you do by just-being-at-home.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Value Bookshop's Reading Notes

I'm happy to announce the birth of another blog of mine called Value Bookshop's Reading Notes.
The purpose of the blog is to help parents help their children learn. When it comes to our children's education, we have tons of questions. We constantly worry and try our best to do that which is right. But it can be so confusing.
Some of us still have very young children and therefore still have the opportunity to right our wrongs. Some of us have already weathered the storm. I would appreciate if you drop by and share your wisdom.
In this blog I will share my findings with you as I explore the many concerns and questions parents face when it comes to our children's education. I welcome any suggestions on topics you might want me to address.

Please visit my newbie blog --

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Run, Run, As Fast As You Can...

Yesterday, the kids insisted I stop by the mini playground after buying pisang goreng. So happen that place also has a netball court. Instead of just having them play the swings, slide and see-saw, I suggested the two have a race. My intention was to tire them out a little (evil mommy!). Crazy kids nowadays just have soooooo much energy. I had them run from one end of the netball court to the other end and back again. I thought I'd just have them race 2-3 times but these kids, I tell you, they kept on running and running and running. My little boy practically ran up and down 7 times without stopping. Then he would just run round and round. It's just so funny to see how much fun they had just running. Talk about simple pleasures. And here we are, as parents, sometimes wondering how to entertain them.

Well, we went out again today and did some running. The kids were looking forward to it. There's a court at the back of my house and we did different things. First they had a traditional race -- run to a certain point and back again. Then I had them do laps around the court. Played a little basketball and then finished up with a relay thingy. The two kids would stand on opposite ends. D would run and slap his sister's hand and then it would be her turn to run.

Anyway, kinda reminded me of when we use to do the same when we were younger. I'm sure almost everyone has played 'police and thieves' once in their life. Or sometimes we just called it 'catching'. The Americans call it 'cops and robbers.' We had the energy then too. Well, because I've lost the energy for running, I've forgotten how enjoyable it is for kids.

So if you can, don't coup your kids in the house. They have soooo much energy pent up inside. Let them be like the gingerbread man and go "Run, run, as fast as you can...."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Elephant In The House

I have been having some bad luck with the chairs at home the last few days. A few months back, my mom brought a decker like chair that belonged to my grandfather. So as you can see, it's been around for awhile and like many stuff made in the olden days, they are quite durable. All was well until a few days ago the canvas started to rip. Continue sitting and I would fall right through the chair. So relunctantly I had to give up that chair.
I migrated to the chair that my DH usually sits on. My brother gave that to me and its a bamboo one. Another sort of deck chair, the kind you would take to the beach and enjoy the breeze. It's a bit low for me and with my growing tummy and aching back, it's pretty difficult to get up sometimes. But hey, it's one of the better choices in the house. Well, yesterday I sat on it and it broke! This is the conversation that followed:

Son: Daddy, the chair broke.
DH: What happened to the chair? How come it broke?
Son: Because like elephant sit on the chair, it break.
Me: So, mommy is like elephant is it?
Son: Yes!

So, do I get depressed or do I laugh? It was kinda weird how I could laugh and feel depressed at the same time. Anyway, the chair was fixed. But not too well coz' when I sat on it again today, the repair work done yesterday came undone and I fell again. Well, this time "the elephant" fixed it again making sure the knots don't come undone. But of course, my DH couldn't help laughing when I told him what happened. I think I will just sit on the floor from now on. You think it's safe?