Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Parenting with Love ~ Let your child learn to fall

I had lunch with a colleague and though young, he left an impression on me. He works for the Sports department and was sharing his thoughts on his impression of the parents he met seem so academically driven; Sports and Gym are often the last 2 things on their mind.

More than that, he shared that he sees parents prepping their children for P1 with all sorts of enrichment classes. He then wondered out loud if parents are indeed "over-prepping" their kids and it is important for kids to "learn how to fall". I too noted in some workshops or when I am at  play gyms, when the kids trip, it is not uncommon to see parents rushing up and making quite a fuss over it. Even when the child was originally not crying, he'd end up wailing shortly.

This got me thinking: as parents, do we allow our child to fall? In addition, do we create chances for our child to fall and more importantly, how to fall graciously, pick themselves up and grow to be more resilient through time?

Another friend also shared that in her experience, she noted that some kids are prepped so far ahead that they tend to wander off in class and they are used to "knowing" and "getting it right". This got me thinking again: as parents when we send the kids to school, are they not supposed to learn something out of it? If the child were to be always well prepped, does it breed a less resilient kid who does not get a chance to learn through trial and error? And what about the development of critical thinking skills from the insights gained on where it went 'wrong' and being adaptable in the face of adversity?

How then, do we and should we teach our kids to fall?

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Linking up:

Monday, February 25, 2013

Rise and Shine Carnival!

Being a partner blogger and an ambassador for Rise and Shine, I am very pleased to share a family carnival happening this Sun!

I have always wanted for Dumpling to try her hand at other sports to improve her hand-eye coordination and motor skills! If you are the same - there's soccer and mini-golf for your kiddos to try out! Or perhaps you want your little ones to have a go at something a tad different - how do you feel about letting your kids try their hands at fencing or wushu? There's also Art and Craft to let your child explore his/her creative side.

While you are there, get a family photo taken at the family photo booth. Or you can even get your face painted together with your child!

Beanie N Us has 3 pairs of tickets (kids below 12 go in for free) to give away where you can participate in all of these! Here's how you can participate!

1) Please show your support by clicking 'like' on my FB page and on Rise and Shine FB page

2) Leave a comment below on which activity you like to try at the carnival!

3) Leave your name and email address so that I can contact you for your personal details (The good folks at Rise and Shine need it to admit entry)
(Contest closes in 48 hours on Wed, 12nn GMT +8)

Good luck!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CONTEST CLOSED ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1) Carol
2) Yanti &
3) Geraldine

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday Science - colours of the rainbow!

Ever since we bought this Science kit, Dumpling has been asking to do experiments everyday!
(Source: Science bob store)

A quick flip through the guide shows that there are some experiments which she can manage almost entirely on her own and so, we started with something simple - color mixing. To be frank, I thought that it is a very simple experiment and that she would be done in 5 minutes?

But goodness, no! What seems fairly quick for me was an entirely a different experience for her. I had thought that she would be done once she got the secondary colours but Dumpling went on and on repeating the exercise and adding more of the colours where it later went on to become a colour saturation exercise. Lol.

Preschool Science
Part 1: Colour tablets and test tubes

Preschool Science
Understanding the concept of dissolving and we discussing about the release of bubbles when I asked her to observe what's happening (she asked about carbonated drinks at this stage too, specifically the dad's Coke! And what happens to all the gas which the dad takes in. 'Ahem... The gas has to exit somehow right', I replied.

Preschool Science
X marks the spot - seeing how the 2 colours overlap to form a secondary colour without the actual mixing

Preschool Science
Part 2: putting it into the colour "wells" where she also had a chance to work with using a pipette. This is when she started going a bit crazy as she likes to work on these like "an adult, a real scientist mama" :p
Preschool Science

Preschool Science
The secondary colours were done

Preschool Science
Then she asked me about hues and so, I asked her to think about it and how she can try out and observed. She then experimented by dripping it slowly (good for fine motor skills and control) as she noted the change. Then she added a bit more and this went on for quite a good while...

Preschool Science
'So what happens if I mix all the colours in', she asked. I told her to find out for herself... And she did. She produced a really dirty gray which was close to black :)

Not bad to keep the little one engaged for about 20-25 mins. :)

Till next week... Mama Sue signing off!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gloobaloo! And the winner is...

Thank you for the entries! I had fun reading them! Now, who is the winner for the pair of tickets?


Please drop me an email so that I can arrange for the tickets to be mailed to you! Thank you all, for participating! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saturday Science - Non Newtonian Fluids

Is it a solid or is it liquid? Dumpling has always been very into science due to her inquisitive nature.

We starting talking to her about matter, liquids and solids when she was really young. Nothing big there, more of incidental learning where it's part of our daily conversations.

She started understanding that liquids have no definite shape and after watching Magic Schoolbus, she sort of have an idea of what molecules are and how they are different between solid and liquids. Taking this further, I decided to have some fun with gloop! You can also have some fun with gloop with the younger kiddos for sensory play since it is primarily non toxic with just cornflour, water and colouring :)

And of course, this was the perfect moment to let her to estimation and measurement... So we first added the flour 

Then water (ratio of flour : water is 2:1)

Added in some food colouring for fun

Then the messy play began - she attempted to catch it

Then watched how it felt like "solid" when she caught it and attempted to mould it (force) and later became runny again. :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Foodie Fridays - Sandwich fun!

On some days, I do run out of ideas for Dumpling's brekkie. Thankfully for me, she likes cheese and she likes sandwiches. As I am typing this, we are slowly making a change to wholemeal bread so hopefully, this goes down well with her too. :) 

So what can you do if all you have in the fridge are cheese and perhaps a slice of ham? Well, you can still have some fun creating something cute...

Dumpling had a laugh in the morning when she saw my choo choo train creation (I made a car on a different day too but that would be for another post)

What about a cartoon character? Just add on some slivers of seaweed and voila! (I did this freehand!)
(Pardon the slightly distorted Pikachu as I had to squeeze him real hard into the compartment! :p)

If your child likes crabsticks, you can also mix that with prawn bits into a seafood sandwich. (I used a sandwich mould for this). I also added a small message using a set of alphabet cutters where I added cheese letters :)

The Bentos are not pretty and picture perfect all the time but with some creativity and a sense of humor, anything can be dressed up :)

Linking up:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Parenting with Love - because I have been called to be a mum

'Have you ever regretted being a mum?' someone asked me recently (am penning this on 13 Feb). I smiled at the pretty lass and said 'No. I have never had any regrets in becoming a mum.'

I get this question quite a bit especially from ex colleagues / single friends / friends without kids. They know me during my younger days where I had all the 'me-time' in the world. Big contrast to where I am now where every evening is spent racing through dinner and then homeschooling the little one. From Math to Music to Language Arts to Science / GK, am doing it all. So it is no wonder that some friends cannot reconcile the old and current me.

Hell, I do not believe it myself too. I was after all, quite possibly one of the most non-maternal persons that I know. :p

But how can I ever have any regrets when I look at Dumpling and see moments like these?

Oh help, oh no!!!!

Wa ha ha ha... me love roe!!! Gimme roe!!!

Gasp!!! It is bigger than me!!!

And how can anyone have any regret with love notes like these?

I am blessed in so many ways with this higher order of Motherhood. Dumpling brings out both the very worst and the very best in me. 

'Motherhood - the very best journey about Love that I have ever been on. Dumpling - the very best gift of love that I have ever had. Thank you God and thank you, my other half :)' - 14 Feb, Mama Sue.  

SANses.com's Talkative Thursdays

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner 2013

I love homecooked food. I like that the homely taste and the generous ingredients. :p Best of all, we get to 'order' (ha ha ha) what our favourite dishes.

For reunion dinner every year with my in-laws, it is always a home affair. As my brother-in-law is not based in Singapore, so it was just us and the in laws. Here's what we had! :D

Fish maw soup stewed over many hours (with dried scallops) where the fish maw and the cabbage were soft and the soup 'oh-so-sweet'...

Spinach with Abalone and Mushrooms! Another favourite of mine! :p

Ayam Ponteh!

And of course the famous Sambal Prawns!

Sweet and sour fish slices especially for Dumpling

Needless to say, I had a lot of soup (and fish maw: think collagen!!!) and the prawnsssss. Yummmzzzzz (Adora: are you reading this? :p) I am already looking forward to the next homecooked meal! 

For Dumpling, she was overjoyed as she had her personal chocolate fondue! 

How's that for a reunion dinner catered to the vain (me!), chili lovers (hubs and me again!) and of course even the little one? :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

The City That Dreams Are Made Of!

Over the holiday period, I had the opportunity to be invited to The City for a preview. The City is an interactive playground and in short, a pretend play area for children. Knowing that it evolves around 'pretend play' I roped in some friends to head there for a group playdate as I thought that would be more enjoyable.

With a group of 7 other mummies, we spent almost a whole day there. Dumpling had so much fun taking on so many different 'roles' and 'occupations' that she did not want to stop!

Started by 2 partners, The City basically is segregated into various rooms and corners for vaious dramatization experiences - from Supermarket to clinic, to salon, post office, a classroom and to a kitchen area, there was definitely no lack of activities.

Smadar Ron is one of the partners and the brain behind the design of The City. A designer who hails from Israel, one of Smadar's first few projects was the designing of playgrounds. With the intention to create something simple yet fun where children do not need electronic gadgets to be kept "entertained", The City was conceived. :)

Our Playdate:

The Supermarket was clearly a favourite amongst most kids! With shelves of shelves of everyday items such as shampoos to washing detergents to snacks such as biscuits and chocolates to 'fruits', it was every kid's dream! At one end of the room, there were 2 L-shaped counters completed with cash registers to mimick the checking out process. Hur hur hur

I like that the place uses recycled boxes and containers and when I asked Smadar about it, she shared that is one of the key focus of the supermarket - to subtly communicate the message of reusing and recycling.

The kids were not the only one who totally enjoyed the outing. At one point, Mama Sue could not resist and readily jumped in as a cashier too! Here's a comic strip which one of my mummy friends did. LOL

(Disclaimer: I assure you that no kid was traumatized or harmed in the process of me, fulfilling my Minimart Auntie dream. :p )

Here's a look at some of the other rooms.
:: The Classroom

:: The Post Office

What was really cute was that The City actually prints its own "stamps" where girls are given a girlish design and the boys another. The kids have a "stamp" to stick onto the envelopes before 'dropping' it into the mail box. :)

:: Police corner and a costume corner 

And if you think that it's just for girls, think again!

A very adorable Buzz Lightyear (junior?!?)

Brotherhood: fire chiefs in the house! 

And of course, what's a pretend play area if there's no super heroes!

So what about the girls? 
We had Tinkerbell (looking very much like a tau kay neo ~ hokkien for Lady Boss)...

The princesses...

And even Snow White (and Dopey? :p )

Another popular area which the kids hung out a lot at was the kitchenette / cafe area. We had many budding chefs that morning...

There was a good array of food items (bread, pizzas with toppings, fruits, meat, drinks, crockery), oven, fridge and even a nice fancy spancy coffee machine...

Even Tinkerbell needs a caffeine boost once a while! :D

Police officers taking a much needed tea break...

Dumpling literally jumped from one occupation to another

And yes, even I could not resist hamming it up! :p 

When I first arrived I did not think that we'd spend almost an entire day at the place. With less than 10 rooms, I thought that we would be done within the morning. How wrong I was. From the kids' perspectives, there were just so many possibilities and so many roles that they can take on - from being a chef to being a customer, from being a shopper to hopping over the other end to be the cashier. It was certainly nice to see that "simplicity" seems to have a place in the children's hearts and minds amidst this IT dependent day and age. 

It was a great playdate for the kiddos and a really great day for the mums to catch up. More than that, what I also like about the experience was that the children learn life skills along the way - sharing, taking turns, negotiation and even conflict management through play. :)

Smadar also shared that they are planning to include activities such as a "teacher" conducting classes in the mock classroom, a manicurist to do pedicure / manicure services for the kiddos, etc. I will certainly be back again when such services are added to the mix. 

Here's a parting shot from Mama Sue and Lulu. :)

Here's an exclusive promotion to you readers. :)
Plan a weekday playdate at The City! 
Simply quote BEANIE N US and enjoy a 15% discount for group of more than 5 kids, 20% for group of more than 10 kids on weekdays (excluded public holidays)
The promotion is valid from now till April 8th 2013.

The City, #03-04A Liang Court, 177 River Valley road, Singapore 179030

Phone number:

Admission fees:
Unlimited per entry!
Adults, Free
Babies under 1 year, Free
Under 2 years, $18
From 2 years,  $22
All guests require to wear socks while playing at The City

Disclaimer: I received an invitation for the preview of The City while my mummy friends received a special discount. All sharing is entirely of my own opinion. 
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