Alphabets activity: Matching game

alphabets matching game

This is a very simple, yet fun alphabets matching game that I made for the boy to reinforce his alphabets learning. We have these sand paper lowercase cards for years (if I remember correctly, they were gift from the children’s grandparents) but we had never used them until now. I made uppercase alphabets cards with DH’s old name cards and what the boy has to do is to match the uppercase & lowercase alphabets, i.e. I with i, A with a etc.

It doesn’t look like a fun game to play, but it is for the boy. He has been taking the cards out to match whenever he sees them. Through this game, he now knows almost all his alphabets. He sometimes still confused Jj with L. So, this is something I need to continue to work on with him.

Earth Day and crafts (2010)

This year marks the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day. Even though we have been rather conscious about recycling, re-purposing and reusing our stuff as much as possible, we are still not quite good at reducing our waste. (Read: We buy too much!)

The girl and I had a discussion recently after she attended a lesson about the 3Rs (Recycle, Reuse, Reduce) at school, and both of us decided that we should do more for our mother earth. For her, she would try her best to not waste papers and reuse her papers wherever possible. As for myself, I hope to cut down on getting more things into the house and to try to use more green cleaning products.

I think everyone should do a part for our Earth and one way we parents can help is to encourage our children to use recycled materials as much as they can in their craft projects. Remember – little things can make a big difference! With creativity and a little effort, we can all help our environment and still enjoy the joy of making crafts with our children.

Here are a few online resources that you can look up for craft projects that utilizes recycled materials:

Recycling Crafts and Projects (Link) from AllFreeCrafts.com
Crafts from Recycled Products (Link) from MakingFriends.com
Earth Day crafts (Link) from Kaboose.com
Earth Day: 100 ideas to recycle and reuse! (Link) from Pane, Amore e Creatività

Crafts that we made using recycled materials…

Cereal Box Bag

recycled cereal box bag

The kids and I made a few cereal box bags at our library today.
Recycled Cereal box bagThis craft is really simple and fun, and you can use any kind of recycled materials to decorate your bag. This bag can be used as lunch bag, or as a gift bag.

What you need:
Empty Cereal Box
Scissors
Glue
Materials that you can use to decorate your bag like craft tapes, construction papers, glitters, foam stickers etc

Simple paper plate Earth Craft
Earth craft
What you need :
Paper Plate
Tempera Paint – White, Blue, Green, Brown

We love Earth!
Decode the secret message! 😉

Alphabets Time: C, X, W, V

I found a stack of sandpaper alphabets cards that my in-laws brought for the girl years ago and gave them to the boy. The boy seems to like them quite a bit and has been taking them out to look at every other day. Then he figures out the way to make the letters – T, O, C, X, W, V, by bending his fingers to match the symbol of the letters.

Alphabets finger play

Alphabets Finger Play

Because this finger play activity works so well and almost effortless, I may use this method again to show him how to make other letters (Z, U, L, J etc) later. Haha… lazy mom. 🙂

Actually I had wanted to make some Alphabet craft with him to reinforce his learning, but then I got busy with work, and was focusing way too much on searching for an acoustic piano online for the past few weeks, that I lost track of time and energy. I’m feeling a little guilty now because the boy is at the phase where he is learning like a sponge, and yet I kept sending him away to play on his own. 🙁 I really need to do something about this… maybe… i should force myself to only access the computer during the afternoon time…

Anyway, here are some good books that we read recently…

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault
chicka chicka boom boom
Surprisingly, the boy loves this book very much. I remember reading the same book to the girl a few years ago and she wasn’t interested at all. And thanks to this book, the boy picks up the lowercase alphabets that he had learned previously like Tt, Mm, Ff and also some new letters along the way, like Nn, Aa too. But he still confuses Nn with Mm sometimes, so I will have to think of something to do with him to help him differentiate the letters. 🙂

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
Llama Llama Red Pajama
This is a very fun book that both my children enjoy hearing at bedtime. The illustrations are beautiful (we especially loves Llama llama’s funny facial expressions!) and the story is very rhyming and engaging. I think another reason the children love this book is that they could relate to the night-time anxiety of Llama Llama.

Because we love this book so much, we have also checked out the “Llama Llama Mad at Mama” from the library this week and I will let you know if it is as good as the Red Pajama one. 😉

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly by Simms Taback

There's an old lady who swallowed a flyThe story is about an old lady who swallowed a fly and her other unusual dinner in attempts to catch the fly. The children love the silliness of the story and the colorful illustrations. There was a cold lady who swallowed some snow If you like it too, you should also check out the book “There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed some Snow”. We love it too.

The girl saw another book from the same series, called “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat!” recently at her school’s book sale and now we can’t wait to check that book out! 🙂

Latest alphabets count : Another 4 down, 17 more to go!

Related posts:
See our other Preschool – Alphabet activities here (Link)

Grass Growing Project: Trimming time!

It’s the 15th day and the girl couldn’t wait any longer, she decided to give her grass a “haircut” and complete her science project. 🙂

grass growing project

Of course, before she could trim them, she had to measure the grass length for the last time and record the measurement on her journal. This is part of the everyday math concepts that I wanted her to know i.e. collecting, recording and representing data. We also talked briefly about the life cycle of the grass. Just something simple like the grass needs sunlight, water and food (nutrients) to grow and what happen after they wither.

grass growing project journal

Besides taking down the grass length measurements, I also asked her to observe and draw a picture of the grass and to label the parts of the grass. Then, we spent some time talking about her pictures and her observations. It was really interesting to hear what she knows and the questions she had about them. 🙂

I think this is a really good hands-on home learning activity. It is fun and very educational. I highly recommend you to do it with your child. Now that we have concluded this project, I am thinking of doing another one with flowering plant or maybe start a vegetable garden with them! Hmm… should I?

Interesting online resources about plants –
1. Birmingham Grid for Learning – Life Cycle of a Plants (Link)
I really like this interactive site. Besides, parts of a plant & flower, children can learn from this site about seeds dispersal too! You should really check this out!!

2. An Educator’s Reference Desk – From Seed to Plant lesson plans (Link)

3. Think Quest – How Plants Grow (Link)

Related posts:
Follow our Grass Growing Project here. (Link)

小孩爱看的图书

最近因为老爷时常出差, 所以晚上为孩子们读书的任务就落在俺的肩上。俺既然要读, 就不要浪费时间和气力, 所以都选择读中文图书。当然我这样做是希望小孩们可以听一听,看一看, 认读一些中文字。或许这样一来,他们就比较不会变成‘土豆’人啦! 哈哈!

在这十来天里, 我每晚都会在我那些辛辛苦苦从新加坡带回来的图书堆里,找出一些适合小孩的图书来读给他们听。 虽然他们不常接触到华文, 但因为我平常还是会尽量和他们说华语,有空时也会让他们看中文儿童节目, 所以他们其实还是听的懂我所为他们讲的故事。

以下几本是他们现在非常喜爱,百听不厌的图书。 就是那种读一遍当然不够, 一定要读一遍又一遍的书啦! 因为这些书真的很生动,很可爱, 我自己也非常的喜欢,所以我非得介绍给各位啦! 😉

1. 《圆白菜小弟》

Cabbage Boy
【内容简介】
圆白菜小弟在路上碰到了猪山大哥,猪山大哥说他饿了,要吃圆白菜小弟。可圆白菜小弟指着天上说,你要是吃了我,你就会变成这个样子。“嘣咔——”猪山大哥飘到了天上,鼻子变成了圆白菜!接着,在一片“嘣咔——”声中,身体变成三棵圆白菜的小蛇飞上了天,肚子变成一棵圆白菜的大猩猩飞上了天,脑袋和尾巴变成了圆白菜的狮子飞上了天,最后,你猜什幺东西飞上了天?一条浑身散发着圆白菜气味的圆白菜鲸鱼飞上了天……
天哪,你信不信,要是你给你的孩子读了这本书,那你一定会被“嘣咔——”“哈哈!”的声音吵得震耳欲聋!

每当翻到形形色色的动物 “嘣咔–” 变成圆白菜的一页时, 孩子们就会笑翻天!连我也受到了感染,和他们笑成一团!真的,只要是孩子们爱看的书,就算是荒唐到了极点的故事, 我都愿意读给他们听。 :)

2. 《阿秋和阿狐》

阿秋和阿狐
【内容简介】
曾获日本讲谈社出版文化奖绘本奖、美国家长选书奖,讲述的是一只玩具小狐狸和一个小女孩之间有趣又感人的小故事。阿狐是奶奶派来陪阿秋的,阿秋还没出生,阿狐就等在小床边了。他像个小哥哥一样照顾阿秋,陪阿秋玩。阿狐胳膊开线了,他带着阿秋坐火车去奶奶家,请奶奶缝一缝。阿狐一路照顾阿秋,结果自己被大狗埋在沙丘里晕了过去。这回,轮到阿秋照顾阿狐了……林明子笔下坚毅勇敢的阿狐和善良可爱的阿秋,像我们身边的孩子一样惹人疼惜。这个关于友情和探险的小故事,如一阵拂面而过的春风,清新而温暖,让人久久不能忘怀。

你一定猜不到这本是老二比较喜欢的书。可能他现在很喜欢“Pretend Play”, 所以才会被这故事吸引。:)

3. 《怪怪皇后》

Queen
【内容简介】
怪怪皇后只爱吃肉,不吃蔬菜.也不喝水… 终于,怪怪皇后肚子胀到喊救命!
蹲上马桶,用力.用力再用力! ! !
运动,没效!喝水,没效!按摩也没效!
“谁来帮我挖便──便──!”
皇后只好再接再厉,───终于大出来啦! !
只是..怪怪皇后肚子又饿了….
“再来一份炸鸡吧!”…
大家都昏倒!

如果家中有不爱喝水,不爱吃青菜或有便秘的孩子, 你一定要读着本书给他听! 我家的小孩愿意吃青菜, 就是因为从小被我用这故事唬大的. 哈哈!

4. 《大头妹》

Queen
【内容简介】
大头妹充满期待的让妈妈为她剪头发。剪完后,大头妹的额头竟然变得凸出来的,成了「凸头妹」……
大头妹讨厌死凸出来的额头,心情非常恶劣,又不知道怎么办。家里的小猫跟她说,如果屈着身体走路,凸出来的额头就不引人注意了。为了不再让人取笑,大头妹竟然学起猫咪拱背走路的怪异姿势;而哥哥则为大头妹出了更烂的馊主意,替她在额头上画了「另外一双眉毛和眼睛」,好让额头看起来不那么高……在家人的一阵乱出馊主意之后,大头妹的姐姐终于想到方法。她把大头妹剪得太短的前额头发用大头妹最爱的草莓发夹夹起来,结果竟是意外的可爱!大头妹开心又大方地给每个人看她的新头发,也终于不担心原本隔天上学同学有可能笑她的事了。结局是出乎大家的意料之外。原本头发剪得太短太丑应该被嘲笑的大头妹,竟然因为草莓发夹而获得了同学的赞美,而且班上所有的女孩子也都开始一起夹起草莓发夹了呢!

这本不是我家的,而是我们在图书馆无意间找到的书。我们非常喜欢这可爱又爆笑的心情故事。只要我一读这本书啊, 老二一定会要求我做这件事… 请查看这里(Link)! 哈哈!

Alphabet Time : S – Ssssssnake & Squirrel

Two simple crafts later, and another alphabet is done! 😀

Alphabets craft activities - S

“The snake say give me the acorn!
Squirrel ask why.
The snake say because I want to eat it!
Then, Squirrel say ok.
The end! ”
– story as told by the boy.

😀

Books we will be reading tonight are Dora the explorer book series – “Little Star” and “Dora Goes to School”.

21 alphabets left to go!

PS: To make it more interesting for the boy, I traced his foot print on the paper to make the Squirrel’s body. 🙂

Related posts:
See our other Preschool – Alphabet activities here (Link)

Alphabet Time : T is Top Hat, Tiger, Thomas

Green Eggs and HamTuesday, 2 March, was Dr. Seuss’ 100th birthday, so I took the opportunity to read the boy two of his wacky and rhyming books, “Green Eggs and Ham” and “The Cat in the Hat”. We also made a “The Cat in the Hat”-inspired top hat craft together at our local library craft time.

This is a very easy craft. All you need is a brown bag, some construction paper (we used black) and colorful markers. The boy enjoyed the craft very much and has been wearing it (the wrong way though) even till today. 😆

Top Hat craft

Dr. Seuss - The Cat in the Hat craft

When we came home, he initiated another craft time. This time I cut a few small rectangular strips and showed him how I could transform them into alphabet ‘T’. When he got it right the 3rd try, he asked me if he could start decorating his artwork, and that was just what he did.

I must say, when the boy wants to do something, he will gives his full attention to it. 🙂 For at least 15mins, he just sat there, selected a few colored construction paper himself and then carefully cut the papers into squares and triangles. (BTW, I just realized that he actually knows his shapes!). Then glue them one by one until he was satisfied with the way the artwork turn out. 🙂 *proud mama*

Alphabet T

Actually, we did another simple Thomas the tank engine craft together a few weeks ago but I didn’t share it earlier because the boy wasn’t really interested in learning the alphabet then. Now that he knows his alphabet T, I thought I would put this here for sharing.

Thomas the tank engine craft

This is just another simple cut & paste activity. I did all the shapes cut out, line them up in a straight line and go through the parts with him so that he knew what they were for. Next, I asked him to glue them on the white paper to form his Thomas engine. For this craft, I didn’t help him much, except when he needed help to align the parts properly. I wanted to see if he would use his logical thinking to do this craft. Imagine my excitement when he was able to ‘construct’ the engine face correctly without my help! That was when I know he is really ready for a more structured homeschool activities. 🙂

Thomas the tank engine craft

Last picture of the post…
tiger art by toddler
“T is Tiger, mama! I draw tiger!!”

After scribbling on the paper for a long time, the boy came to me again and said,”Mama, I need help! I cannot draw the face.” So, I had to help him with the nose, ears, whiskers and the chinese character “王” on the forehead. Even though this isn’t entirely his own work, I still think it is quite a nice artwork and he did pretty well in his doodling. 🙂

22 more alphabets to go!

Related posts:
See our other Preschool – Alphabet activities here (Link)

Alphabet Time : the “O” family

Indeed, “O” is the easiest alphabet to learn. Even before I introduced him the “O” alphabet, the boy was able to point to the letter and said it is a circle. By the end of the “O” craft, which took less than 10 mins to make, he already knows his alphabet “O”. 🙂

Alphabet craft - Alphabet O

He did almost everything, from cutting the yarn, gluing of the ‘O’ faces, to giving each member a face and some hair (except the smallest O).
🙂

Another down, 23 more to go….

Related posts:
See our other Preschool – Alphabet activities here (Link)

Alphabet Time : F – Froggy, Foxy, Fish, Finally!

Even after creating a “Thomas & Friends” alphabets chart for the boy and did some alphabet learning activities, the boy still doesn’t show any interest in learning the alphabets. The only alphabet that he knew was none other than the big M from Macdonalds. -_- To be frank, I’m getting a little anxious. I think he should at least know some alphabets before he starts his pre-school education in September.

Since the method I used on the girl is not working on the boy, I have to rethink about the strategies to teach him. One of which, was to tap on our bedtime story time and incorporate a simple alphabet recognition activity by pointing out the alphabet that I intend to introduce him each time it appears in text.


(original pix from kidsbooks4less.com)

Some of his current favorites storybooks are from the Froggy series by Jonathan London, and if you have read it before you would know about the classic chant “FRRROOGGYY!” when Froggy’s parents or someone called him and that the word “FRRROOGGYY!” will be written in large capital letters with bright colors. So, I thought the first alphabet that the boy should learn is the most visible and frequent alphabet on these books i.e. “F”. After 1 night of pointing out all the alphabet F during our story time, he seemed to recognize the letter. So, I moved on to do some craft activity the next few days…

F is for Foxy, the fox.

Alphabet F

Saw this cute craft on Homeschool Creations (Link) and immediately thought of another book,”Setting the Turkeys Free” by W. Nikola-Lisa that we enjoyed reading very much. In the story, Foxy the fox was on the prowl for the beautiful hand prints turkeys. The boy loved the story so much that he even created several versions of his own Foxy the fox & the Turkeys story during our bedtime story time! (Maybe I should upload some videos later too.)

F is for Fish.
A simple cut & paste activity. He is quite good with the use of scissors now.
Alphabet F

But after making these craft with him, I was still not very sure if he recognized the alphabet F because when I asked him to point the letter to me on the Alphabet chart, he could still point the wrong one! (Hair pulling!)

Then I came across some mommies’ facebook comments about a fun online Alphabet game (Link) for the toddlers, I decided to give it a try. True enough, after 2 days of playing the game, the boy finally recognizes his first alphabet! Hurray!!

Now one down and 24 more to go!! -_-

Related posts:
See our other Preschool – Alphabet activities here (Link)

Lunch Box Notes : February (1)

kindergartener's Bento lunch box note
Snack : Blueberries, Soy Butter Ritz crackers sandwich, Grapes.

Monday

Dearest Girl,

The largest millipede is an African Giant black millipede! It is almost as long as 3 of Niklas’ foot & 2.5 of your foot!
♥ mommy

Tuesday

Dearest Girl,
Happy Groundhog Day!!
Here’s a song you can sing with your friends!
Title: Here’s a Little Groundhog
(Sing to the “I’m a Little Teapot” tune”)

I See a little groundhog,
Furry and Brown.
He’s popping up to look around.
If he see’s his shadow, down he’ll go.
Six more winter – Oh No!!

♥ mommy

Wednesday

Dearest Girl,
A Bass clef is also known as F Clef! It starts on the F line!
♥ mommy

Thursday

Dearest Girl,
The smallest dog in the world is a Chihuahua who is only 6″ long! It is almost the same length as your foot!! This dog is now living with her owner in Florida, USA.
♥ mommy

Friday

Dearest Girl,
Daddy will be home today and it is a busy day for you too! You have piano lesson in the afternoon and then we have to attend a Friendship Dance party with Daddy!
♥ mommy