Monday, October 16, 2017

Toddler Learning Colours + Free Printables

This post was actually in draft mode for so long, collecting "dusts" in my draft folder! ๐Ÿ˜‚

When Big Brother just entered Primary One last year, I finally had LOTS of time with the then 2+ years old Little Brother! 

I wanted to rush the housework in the mornings so that I can have more time to spend with Big Brother when he was home from school, but that will mean I have lesser time to spend with Little Brother too. So to keep him engaged while I was busy rushing some chores, I took out the Dot-A-Art Markers that Big Brother used to use and some colouring pages for Little Brother to dot and colour on his own while I folded the week's clothes etc. 

To my surprise, unlike his elder brother who had learning difficulties, Little Brother's motor skills were impressively good! He didn't even needed any help from me and proceeded to unscrew the caps of the markers all my himself. It's interesting that he knew actually what to do too. He knew to use different colours and dot within the lines without me saying anything! It's really fun to observe the young ones sometimes! 



For a 2+ years old, this is really neat!

Looking at how focus he was, and how he was able to complete an activity all by himself with little distraction, I felt he was ready for some table activities and home-learning!

Previously, I had printed many great FREE Printables that I found online. You must please visit my previous post if you want to access the links of great printables to use at home with your little ones! So, I sort and took out those that were related to learning colours and used them together with him!
Acitivity 1: Sorting Colours

This printable is a Paint Brush Colour Matching Game by Confessions of a Homeschooler! It allows the child to sort the paint brushes into respective "bottles" that match the colours on the brushes! It's great for introducing colours, or for older kids to learn the words of colours too! 




Activity 2: Colour Matching

This is a Ice Cream Colour Matching Game by Mr Printable! Child can learn colors with the colorful cut out scoops and ice lollies that need to be matched with the correct cone or stick, both through word recognition and color matching.



Activity 3: Visual Discrimination and Identifying & Grouping Colours

Visual discrimination is an important skill to pick up and so, I printed this Colours Visual Discrimination worksheets by SchoolSparks! I slotted the worksheets into clear transparent plastic sheets and gave them to Little Brother with a box of whiteboard markers in different colours! First I asked him to identify what colour does he think we are learning about by looking at the word on top, and asked him to choose to correct colour marker to use. Then he is to circle the items on the pages that is of the same colours. :) I am very impressed with his motor skills! 



With this, I end my sharing on teaching colours to the little one! 

Happy Printing and Learning! 


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Friday, October 13, 2017

TGIF!

This is how we kick off our weekend! 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

9d8n Taiwan in Pictures (Day 2) Exploring Miaoli

Day 2 Itinerary: Exploring Miaoli

Travel Period: 31 Jan to 8 Feb 2015
Group consists of: Hubby & I, my two boys aged 1+ and 5+, and my parents aged 60+

Day 2 Itinerary:
Check out Spentime Minsu--> ๆŽก่‰่Ž“--> ๆ˜Žๅพทๆฐดๅบซ--> ็…้ ญๅฑฑ--> ่–ฐ่กฃ่‰ๆฃฎๆž—--> ๅ‹่ˆˆ่ปŠ็ซ™--> ้พ้จฐๆ–ทๆฉ‹-->Check into In One City Inn in Taichung--> Explore FengJia Night Market

P/S: As mentioned in my previous post, I planned the itinerary myself and book a car with Xiao Li our driver who drove us around.

As we woke up early in the morning freezing cold from the Taiwan winter, we took a hot spring soak right in the comfort of our own room, peeking through the wooden window vanes into the lake our room was facing. The hot spring here is too good! You should read more about the hotspring in my previous post!

I took this pictures of the swans swimming about in the lake

After we were done soaking, we went down for our first breakfast in Taiwan! The minsu provided very hearty breakfast for the guests!

We explored the restaurant of the minsu as we waited for them to allocate a table for us

Us having breakfast taiwanese minsu style

Look how sumptuous our breakfast dishes were! There were also many dishes that I had not shown here!

The beautiful areas within our minsu

Meanwhlie, our driver Xiao Li were back waiting for us in the car park about an hour earlier than the time he told us! We didn't realised until we were strolling in the vicinity after our breakfast and saw him! So we quickly went back to our room and bring down our luggages for check out of the Minsu.

Just less than 3 minutes away from the Minsu is our first stop! There were many strawberry farms located outside our Minsu and we decided to visit the one below!



This is really a fun activity for the very young to the very old!

I am intrigued by how a strawberry plant looks like, its flowers and the fruits itself hanging from the plant!

Check out how much strawberries we picked!! It was expensive cos we picked A LOT! haha

Next, we went to MingDe Dam (ๆ˜Žๅพทๆฐดๅบซ) as it was one of the places which I googled that is possible to visit in Miaoli. I read that it has a bridge connected to ๆ—ฅๆ–ฐๅฒ› that is really beautiful on pictures. There are also many cute small animals after the bridge! (if you can read chinese, you can take a look here to find out more about this place. )

But when we arrived, I was lost. The lake is beautiful, we walked around but everything looked a little not familiar from what I expected. I have no idea where to find that bridge too. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ So we just took some pictures and spend about half hour there before taking the car to another point.



Beautiful flower blooming just by the road side

If Singapore is a Green country, Taiwan must be a Flower Country! Everywhere we went, it's not hard to spot seas of flowers blooming! So as our driver drove, he will point to us the wild ่Šฑๆตท that he spotted and asked us if we want to stop for photos! And so we did!

a random field by the road filled with flowers! 

He also spotted beautiful Cherry Blossom blooming right outside a private house and asked if we would like to stop for photos! 

And we did! Taking pictures right at the door of a very wealthy house! 

When i was doing research of places to visit in Miaoli, I came across this ็…้ ญๅฑฑ which mentioned that you can see it looks like a Lion's head from afar. So i added it into the list of places to go. However, when we arrived, again I was stumped. It looked nothing like what i saw in the pictures i googled leh.... I also asked around the locals there and while most do not know what I am talking about, a shop owner told me that we can view it from a primary school nearby. So Xiao Li was very kind to oblige to drive us over. But alas, we still cannot see anything like that.. I google about it again when I am back in Singapore, and realised that DAMN!! There are many ็…้ ญๅฑฑ in Taiwan! LOL! So we probably headed to the wrong one!

But nevertheless, this ็…้ ญๅฑฑ is still pretty! There were so many cherry blossoms all over the hill!




Next, we took the drive to the Lavender Cottage! It's far from my imagination! Haha, i had thought i will be able to immerse myself in a field full of blooming lavender, but haha, nah! It's not so much! Just bushes of it but enough to make me happy!


we had lunch there too!


Next, we headed to ๅ‹่ˆˆ่ปŠ็ซ™! it's a small quaint place, surprisinly FULL of people! The train tracks were full of people so we waited to take pictures! It's picture worthy, but haha, its quite a boring place though! We went there to take some pictures and shopped around for some bookmarks! 



Just nearby to ๅ‹่ˆˆ่ปŠ็ซ™ is the ้พ้จฐๆ–ทๆฉ‹, which is another photo taking spot. There is nothing else there except for this broken bridge. ๐Ÿ˜‚


After this, we headed straight all the way to Taichung to check in to our accommodation at In One City Inn! Our driver was the one who assisted me to book the accommodation as I am not very well versed with reading the traditional chinese! Just below the hotel is the Fengjia night market and of course we wasted no time to explore the market on our own!


With this, we end our second night in Taiwan. Thank you for reading! If you are keen to continue reading about our adventure in Taiwan, please follow me on Facebook or bookmark this post. :) I will update it along the way.


9d8n Taiwan Family Trip with young children and grandparents


Day 1: Touch down in Tao Yuan and Transit to Miaoli Hotspring stay
Day 2: Exploring Miaoli and transit to Taichung

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Exclusive Media Preview + Giveaway: My Little Climbing Room

Last weekend, we were invited to the exclusive media preview of My Little Climbing Room! It is the first and only indoor climbing playground where children can experience climbing in a safe and comfortable environment! We all know that climbing is not just an exhilarating experience, it can also builds up a child's confidence, agility, and problem solving skills.

The fact is... as I am writing this now, My Little Climbing Room is not yet open as of now!! Their grand opening is on this coming 30 Sep 2017, Saturday!! So if you are keen, do book early to be among the firsts to visit the playground!

You might be keen to know that during their Grand Opening Weekend (30 Sep & 1 Oct 2017), the admission pass is discounted from their usual rate of $22 to $15 per pass! On top of that, there will be Free Popcorn and Candy Floss for everyone plus a Speed competition for kids to win special prizes too!

Here's sharing our fun experience with you and what you can expect:
Upon arrival, we took off our shoes and placed them on the shoes racks provided outside. We were given the tags to put on, as well as put on our socks. Please note that all parents are put on socks for hygiene purposes too. We sanitised our hands and finally, we were also given 2 Challenge cards that the children can get stickers for every challenge they completed!



After the safety briefing video, the instructors help the children to gear up.



There is an area where parents can put our bags / belongings. As well as sitting area for parents with older kids. Parents with younger kids are recommended to follow your child and help to pull the ropes as your child climb. There are very important safety rules to follow to ensure safety for everyone and there is no food and drinks allowed (which also helps to ensures cleanliness and hygiene of the place!)


And the fun begins! This is the first wall/rock climbing experience for both my boys! Big Brother got the hang of it and he was able to climb rather independently (with me holding the rope below for him of course!)


However, when Little Brother tried, he was frustrated and said it's very difficult and he refused to climb anymore. I suspected that he is a little afraid of heights and does not know how to climb. ๐Ÿ˜‚  As usual, I do not pushed him and told him he can play other things and observe how others do it first.  So it's a good thing that My Little Climbing Room is not just about wall climbing, it has other toys for playing too!







For weekend sessions, there is a time limit of 90 minutes for each admission pass. So it's 30 mins of free play, followed by 30 mins of group games, and lastly another 30 mins of free play. When it was time for group games, all stations will be closed. Children gathered and sat on the playmats. The group game that was played was Shark and children were fishes. When the light of the room was blue, the children are free to roam around, but when the light turns red, the children have to quickly climb onto a wall and stay there. ๐Ÿ˜‚  Big Brother got so hyped up when playing!  

After 30 minutes of the group games, the free play resumed. And this time round, together with one of the instructors, we managed to encourage Little Brother to try the climbing walls again. I was told that the numbers wall is actually the easiest and motivating wall for young children to try. In front of the wall, there is actually an ipad which you can tap to generate a random number, and then you go to the wall to try to high five the number! 


And this wall did some magic! Little Brother became so interested that he started nagging me to follow him to try every single wall!! 


And eventually, he was also able to climb independently without us holding on to him. However, he was still afraid of heights, so he will not attempt to climb too high. ๐Ÿ˜‚ 


It's amazing to watch how a child gains his confidence. Check out his smile on his face after he can climb! 


At the end of the session, the child can go home with their Certificate of Achievement as well as free print out of them climbing the wall! 




What We Really Like about My Little Climbing Room: 

  • The whole place is so colourful, it give anyone a happy feeling!
  • The walls are not too high compared to climbing walls in professional places. So it is not as intimidating to try. 
  • There will be special missions for the older kids to keep them challenged.
  • There are toys to play while queuing for walls
  • There are areas to rest 
  • There are two or more instructors around to guide or help
  • There is only a Maximum of 15 kids per session
  • The place may look really small, but I found out that it's truly engaging! I also don't feel so tired running amok after my children!
  • Free Parking!!! 
  • It's truly energy burning! My boys fell asleep in the car soon after we left! For those little ones with as much energy as a Duracell Bunny, this is a positive way to channel their excess energy! 


What We Don't Like:  

Haha, we do not have any complains, except that the toilets are located at the other far end of the building! So, imagine the headache if you have more than 1 child and they refuse to go to the toilets together!

Tips to Share:

  • As the premise is only for maximum 15 children at any time, Book before you go! 
  • Go on a Weekday! The admission pass is the same price but for unlimited play time! 
  • If you are going on a Weekend, please note that the admission pass is for 90 minutes play only. So do arrive early before your time slot to allow ample time for gearing up and briefing.
  • Recommended Attire for Climber: Long pants
  • Bring your own Grip socks for your climbers (compulsory for safety reasons) - remember to bring your own socks for parents too! 
  • Don't be shy to approach instructors for help in encouraging/guide the kids to climb! 
  • Every child is given a free printout photo of him/her climbing, so remember to collect yours before you go! 
  • And you should really supervise your own children at all times! It's not a place when you bring them there and sit to read a book or play your phone! ๐Ÿ˜‚ 


To Book a session, please go to https://mylittleclimbingroom.com/booking/. For more information, please go to www.mylittleclimbingroom.com



{ { { G I V E A W A Y } } }



Sharing is Caring! My Little Climbing Room is so generous to rewards 2 readers with 2 admission passes each!! 

To participate in this giveaway, please follow the instructions below:

1. LIKE My Little Climbing Room's Facebook page HERE.

2. LEAVE your comment either in the Facebook post HERE or in this blog post after you have done so.


BONUS CHANCE

3. SHARE this blog post of the giveaway on Facebook for a BONUS chance! Remember to set your profile to public so that I can see the shared post.

Good Luck! 

Giveaway ends on Friday 6 October 2017, 2359 hours


Terms and Conditions for Giveaway:
  • Contest is open to fans of Miracule residing in Singapore only. 
  • Incomplete step will be disqualified. 
  • Only one winner per household. Duplicate winners of the same giveaway on other websites may be disqualified. The final decision will be made by the sponsors.
  • Winner will be announced on the blog and notified via email. Winner is required to provide Full name, IC number and mobile number for prize collection purposes. Please kindly response within 48 hours, else a next winner will be drawn. 
  • Gifts won are not are non-transferable, non-exchangeable and non-refundable
  • Facebook, Instagram and Blogger are not associated with this giveaway. Information provided are for Miracule and not for Facebook, Instagram or any other social platform.


More Information

My Little Climbing Room
Website: www.mylittleclimbingroom.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mylittleclimbingroom/

Address: 183 Jalan Pelikat #B1-101 S(537643)

Getting There

Driving:
Ample FREE basement parking available. Take the lift up from Lobby 3 to Basement 1. If you have trouble finding parking lots, approach the guards and they will help you.

Taxi:
If you're taking a taxi, get the driver to alight you in the carpark too. It's way more convenient for you.

MRT:
From Serangoon station, take bus 53 at Exit C. Alight at the 7th stop.

Bus:
53, 53M, 62, 113
Walk through Hougang Ave 1 Park (5 mins) to reach The Promenade @ Pelikat. Take the escalator down to Basement 1 and enter the glass door on your left.



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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Review: POSB Smart Buddy Programme

When the news first broke out in August, that Primary School children can use the POSB Smart Buddy Watch to make cashless purchases in the school's canteen and bookshop, many parents (at least those around me) were very angry and upset about it. But the POSB Smart Buddy programme is not compulsory, it will not be taking over cash payments in primary schools, it's just offered as an alternative option that some parents can choose for their children. :)

As my son's Primary School is one of the schools in the pilot POSB Smart Buddy programme, last year I had already seen the systems installed in the canteen stalls and bookshop when I was doing Parent volunteering in the school! I noticed then that only the Primary Fours and the students on the Financial Assistance Scheme (they get to receive daily pocket money from the school) were the ones using it. There was also two points in the canteen where students can go to check on their balances!

While I personally feel that it's very (VERY) important for children to learn and build a solid foundation about money from young - that is through daily practising of buying & paying in notes & coins and collecting back the correct change (if any). Yet I also know the hard truth....  Technologies have changed tremendously since my parents' era to mine and now to my children's. Their future is gonna be very different from ours, just like how mine is different from my parents'! I cannot stop the world from evolving, and I do not want to hinder my children from adopting new technologies that will be their future. Whenever I can, I want to be there to experience the new technologies together with my chlidren, so that I will not be left out and I can advise my sons about any dangerous, if any.

So, when I received the invitation to find out more and trial the POSB Smart Buddy Programme, I immediately sign up for it! I am sharing with you what i learnt about the programme and our experience.

What is POSB Smart Buddy?




POSB Smart Buddy is the world’s first in-school savings and payments wearable on your child’s wrist. It is an optional programme which outfits schools with digital payment infrastructure, provide students FREE watches with digital payment and fitness tracking capabilities, and comes with a mobile app for parents. It lets your child tap to pay in school and at selected merchants, check on balances, and track fitness levels. All with a tap on the terminal or a simple push of a button. Parents are able to manage allowance, monitor transactions made and more.

It's very intuitive and simple to use for both students and parents

Student buying and paying for an apple at a stall in the canteen


Student checking her Smart Buddy Balance


What I Like About POSB Smart Buddy

  • Convenient
    • Easy setup of daily allowance, so you will never forgot to give your child money. This is especially good for forgetful parents or children.. So your child won't have to borrow money from mine! ๐Ÿ˜
    • You can also change allowance limit instantly if additional allowance is required
  • Track and Monitor Spending
    • Able to know what child is eating or buying in/out of school in real time. Now the child cannot lie to you about what he buys anymore! ๐Ÿ˜‚  This is especially good if you have a child that always skip meals to spend money in bookshop! 
  • Real Time Update
    • In school Location Tracker (time in / time out) - You can know when your child reaches and leaves the school
    • Bus Tracker (time in / time out & location) - You can know when your child board and alight the school bus
  • Auto Savings 
    • Leftover allowance automatically transferred into ePOSBkids Account on a monthly basis, so there is no more the need to lug bagful of heavy coins to bank in! No need to pay any charges too!
  • Personalisation - Input name via APP to be shown on the screen of watch, so when misplaced, school can identify who the watch belongs to
  • Safe - You can disable band function immediately, in case of theft/loss of band!
  • Bond with Child through Healthy Lifestyle 
    • Watch works as a steps counter to track calories burnt and distance covered! If you are using a health tracker too, you can now compete with the child to see who walks more steps a day! Trust me, this is a very motivating factor for you and child to move more!
  • Built In Rechargeable Battery - But not to worry if you had forgotten to charge the watch! Your child can still make payment even when the watch has no battery!

What I Wish Smart Buddy Can Do Too

  • Make it Touch Screen so that it can be even more intuitive to use for students, currently if they want to see the different modes, they have to keep pressing a small button at the side. Some options require different press timing to view. 
  • A built-in GPS tracker to check child's location
  • Make Phone Calls
    • Many schools actually do not allow students to make phone calls from the General Office, so students have to learn to use the pay phone located in the canteen using coins. 
  • Provides Two Way messaging - an alternative to making phone calls. 
  • Towards Totally Cashless and Cardless, so child can really do without a wallet 
    • It will be really cool if the watch can include the details of the Students' CEPAS concession card to allow them to take public transportation using the watch! 
    • Watch can be use to borrow Library books too! 
  • More Personalisation Options - to change screen / strap colours etc
  • Too Virtual
    • As it's connected to my own personal savings account. The money the child saves is actually still within my bank! He is basically withdrawing from my bank up the the limit amount that I set for him daily! Whatever that he did not spend to him is his savings, but to my bank account it's simply just my own money! ๐Ÿ˜‚  I must be mindful not to accidentally spend his savings away before month end, else there will be no more savings left for child! ๐Ÿ˜‚ 

Our Thoughts

Big Brother tried it a few times in his school, but he told me he actually prefers his own GPS Smart watch that he had been using. Well, I can understand why, his own watch is in his favorite color, it is touch screen and has a customisable face which shows a cute cartoon Captain America. And it also allows him to check his timetable quickly! He can also use it to call me if needed (but very very rarely). So, the POSB Smart Buddy might not be appealing to children who are exposed to even smarter watches. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Nevertheless, I think the Smart Buddy is something that you do not have to let the child use every day. You can decide how you wanna adopt it - like use it on days where there is no PE only (because his school requires students to remove watches and wallets for PE lessons), or only during school holidays, or on days when you ran out of cash to give to your child for pocket money! 

For me, I couldn't resist so I tried to use it for myself. It's really so convenient that I seriously think POSB / DBS should offer something similar to adults! Not everyone of us can afford an Apple iWatch!! I am someone that seldom go to the ATM to withdraw cash, simply because sometimes ATM machines are too out of place for me. So my purchases are usually made through cards as I am almost always out of cash! ๐Ÿ˜‚  Imagine this - It's a common scene where I am carrying my sleeping 4 year old (or a lot of barangs for the boys) and paying for something. I had to dig in my bag for my wallet and I usually paid with my Paywave just so I do not need to sign or key in any pin! As I am not using cash, I do not need to struggle to put back any change into my wallet. This NETS watch is a game changer for me! I love how super duper convenient it is that I do not even need to open my bag to make payment!

So, now I am sharing the Smart Buddy Watch with my boy! I use it whenever he is not using it! ๐Ÿ˜€

Having tried the POSB Smart Buddy, it does offers me a glimpse into the cashless future that our government is talking about, and I really hope that they can plan and integrate it as much as possible so that we do not have to bring so many different cards out for different purposes! I am looking forward!

More Information

If you wish to find out more about the POSB Smart Buddy programme, please visit www.posb.com.sg/smartbuddy or email posbsmartbuddy@dbs.com.

If you enjoy reading this post, please like me on my Facebook Page as it's where i connect with my readers. I will be very delighted if you can also add me on my newly set up social media accounts - Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

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