Wednesday, July 28, 2010

One Roti Canai, Please!

This morning, we stopped by at market to buy breakfast. Before I got down from the car, my boy reminded me again to buy him "I want one Roti Canai, Ok?". My boy has very little exposure to Bahasa Malaysia (BM). "Kakak" is the first B.M word which he calls my parents' housemaid.

Since my boy can eat more outside food (restaurants/hawker stalls), he get chances to taste different kinds of local food like Pan Mee, Bak Kut Teh, Wanton Mee, Nasi Lemak and Roti Canai. Even sometimes he asks for little Curry Laksa soup. Over times, we notice that he actually picks up some words in B.M such as Nasi Lemak, Roti Canai and the numbers of 1 to 4. We couldn't stop laughing when we overheard his funny B.M speech for first time.
My boy: Kakak, satu, dua, tiga, empat... Roti Canai, Nasi Lemak.
"Kakak" was stunned and answered: Ya.. ya..
He knows that we talk with "Kakak" in this language (B.M). My boy tries to communicate with "Kakak" too. He just copies whatever he knows.
My boy: Kakak, cepat cepat.. sini sini.

Until today, he always likes to use his limited B.M to talk with "Kakak". Looks like children learn languages by ear. Better or little, it just doesn't matter, at least they are learning.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Play n Learn: Phonic Letters Reading

Time flied. It's now 3rd term that my boy enrolled for the toddler program at Lorna Whiston. Once in a week and one hour per class. Unlike the Right Brain Programme, there's no specific teaching materials like flash cards or visual instruments. In the class, all toddlers will sit or stand or move around the teacher when she sings songs or reads a book or shows picture cards (ie colours or shapes). My intention is to let my boy to be familiar with the English language because all teachers here are qualified foreigners. Moreover, I notice that many young students with strong English background are attending their courses too.

By attending the class with my boy, I'm learning too especially the phonic letters (Note: Toddler programme can be accompanied by either one parents/care takers). Finally I googled the phonic letters which are same with his teacher as well as the live reading video via YouTube (as seen below). I just realised that it is Montessori phonics. Whatever method it is, I'm glad that my boy didn't feel stress to learn the phonics in the class. (Note: Teacher read along with the phonic CD while holding the phonic book in hand to show the students.) I could sing and read the phonics with my boy anytime. It's interesting.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ever Lasting Nursery Rhymes

video
One night (this month), I asked my boy to sing few songs while I recorded them via camera. *Note: Actually I'd like to keep the records of how good he can sing the nursery rhymes at 2.5 years old. Sure he will like to watch his performances in future.

My top picks of English nursery rhymes are The Star (as sung by my boy in the above video clip), Baa Baa Black Sheep and Alphabet Song. These three songs are sharing the same tunes. So easy to sing. They are great to soothe baby to sleep and even to pacify him if he cries.

I believe these nursery songs are ever outdated. They will be continued sung from one generation to another generation.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Play n Learn: Count Little Fingers

These days we like to ask our boy do counting. Not using any math books. Since he knows the sequence of 1 to 10, we begin to introduce Math in his daily life. Like during reading, we ask him how many birds(image) on the page; during mealtime, we ask him how many plates on the table; during playtime, we ask him how many balls in the basket; during shopping, we ask him how many tins of milk powder in the cart. Let him count anything he can see and/or touch even though sometimes he makes error. Through many trials and errors,he picks up faster.

The most simple one, we just ask him to count how many fingers on his hand(s). (Note: This can be done anytime and anywhere like during a car ride or while queuing at the cashier) In my opinion, my boy is still young, he should enjoy learning process through fun methods. We try to promote "Zero Stress" in his early learning environment.
video video

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Play n Learn: About Colours

After spending more time with my 2yo boy, I have been teaching him some basic knowledges by stage at home. So far, I am quite satisfied with his progress. Amongst the subjects, I find "colours" is the most challenging part. Why I said so? For some colours, like pink and purple, or orange and red, they may look alike (depends on the printing quality and light reflection) in some cases. Besides, each main colour code can also be categorised from the lightest to the darkest shade. I don't expect my boy to recognise the names (words) but I just wonder how to let him identify the different colours through visual memory.

It took my boy 1 week to learn the colours (3 months ago). Firstly, in order to make him understand the concept of "what is Colour", I teach him from a book (strongly recommend this one: Bill Martin Jr/Eric Carle's Brown Bear, brown bear, what do you see?). Then I keep on practising with him via a set of colourful stacking cups (his toy during 8-12mths. How to play it with 2 yo? Question game, ie Can u tell me what colour is it? one cup by one cup to form a tower like pic above). At such age, his curiosity to learn new things is at the peak. My boy loves to share about his new "knowledge" with us. For instance, he sees a red car, he will say "it is red"; he sees a picture of green frog, he will say "it is green". Sometimes, if he spots a colour like grey which I don't teach him yet, he will ask "what colour is it?". Of course, children always get motivated if they are praised. I never forget to say "good boy" or "good job" as a little encouragement. To keep his effort up.

Now, he's very good at describe things that he sees especially on the road. He is so excited to tell us all kinds of transport as well as their colours ie blue bus, white van, red car, brown lorry or green taxi. It helps him to learn faster when the knowledge extends to the surroundings (not just limit to books and toys).

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book Review: Olivia

Book Review # 7:
Olivia
by Ian Falconer
It's a lovely picture book with simple narrations about a pig
named Olivia (sounded like a girl's book?). What she does? And how she wears people and herself out. Indeed, "Olivia" has caught my boy's attention so much. He is attracted to those
different kinds of actions and poses (in pictures) done by Olivia over the pages. My boy
will imitate some of her actions or poses then show the acts to me in the midst of reading.

It's my favourite read too. I like the last scene the most which my boy and I can follow and copy together (just like Olivia's mother read a book for her bedtime). After Olivia's mother finished reading, she gave Olivia a kiss and said "I love you". Olivia did either too. Same to us.

p/s: This book is much easier than "The Gruffalo" and "Lost and Found". Absolutely a good bedtime book for girls.. as well as for boys like my boy.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Vroom... Baby's On The Road

We are lucky to own two types of strollers. The 1st piece is a secondhand (from sister-in-law). It's kinda "mega size" stroller with fully recline seating, sturdy steel frame and built-in accessories like tray, basket (under car seat) and canopy.For the first 6-8 months, it is so convenient as the fully reclining seat allows our newbie sleep as comfy as in a cot (especially when we dine out/attend dinners). *Note: Newbies have weaker neck muscles and are not able to sit up. They sleep most (16-20 hours a day). Sooner, our little baby can sit and play very well. We take him out more often then we realise that this "heavy-duty" model is quite impractical to be carried along and loaded from/to the car trunk especially when our growing baby (> 12 months) resists to be seated in it sometimes.

As such, we got a new stroller from Maclaren (Model: Quest Sport) which is lightweight (5.5kg) and easily fold-up (looks like a golf club). It only has rear recline seating (4 positions) but its slim and compact body design has won our hearts. We can bring it along anywhere(ie shopping or travelling). It's not a problem carrying such "light-duty" stroller even if our toddler doesn't want to sit on it. We can push it with the nursery bag or shopping bags (instead of carrying by shoulder) or we just keep it in the car trunk in case that our toddler gets tired or feels sleepy.

Don't buy one in a rush. Do survey and compare the functions (and prices) accordingly to your need. Or else, it's wise to borrow/get a secondhand stroller (best with fully reclining seat) from your relatives/friends if you can't decide one yet.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Thank You, My Little Helpers

Most of the time our mom-to-be friends are concerned with those big baby's items like cots, prams, sterlisers, breast pumps and etc when they ask for recommendations. Like me (during first time pregnancy), I rarely check with the small items until I need one. For certain items, I even have bought different brands because the first one is not ideal or not good enough.

I'm happy to share about these good and tiny baby's essential tools. Without them, I can't do a better job (as a mum) since my boy was born. Let me introduce my little helpers!

(1) MOTHERCARE Ergonomic Nail Clipper
Unlike the traditional nail clipper, this Mothercare's nail clipper is covered with a round shape handle. It provides a good grip for adult's hand to hold it firmly. With this nail clipper, I can trim my little baby's fingernails easily and safely.

(2) BRAUN Thermoscan
To me, a thermometer is a must to all parents. I'm very satisfied with this ear thermometer from BRAUN. It's so easy to use (Till now I've never read the manual). Turn it on and place the tip to the ear hole and press the scan button. You'll get the scan result in seconds (after hearing a "beep" sound) and the results can be stored in memory. Fast and accurate. I can take my boy's temperature easily when he cries, but he hardly refuses it.

(3) AVENT Bottle Brush
I have plenty of bottle brushes but now they are left in the drawer except the Avent's bottle brush. Why? I find only this type (Avent's) can clean the milk bottles and the nipples thoroughly especially to remove the stains at the bottom part. I give it two thumbs up. You pay more for better and safer product.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Book Review: Edward Built A Rocketship

Book Review # 6:
Edward Built A Rocketship
by Michael Rack

My sister-in-law bought 2 books for our boy last month. Amongst the two, I choose (my boy likes too) this book for his daily read list whilst I keep t
he other (too long) in the book shelf. *Note: If you are a taxpayer, it's good to buy children books as birthday/fullmoon presents because you are entitled up to RM1k allowance for tax relief. Also it's good to instill reading habit amongst the little ones.

Through reading this book, my boy and I as if joining the adventurous boy,
Edward (and his teddy bear) to explore the space (out of the Earth). It's a simple story to introduce the related terms like the planets (Mercury, Mars, Saturn ect), the asteroids, the meteor shower, the astronauts, the satellite and the UFO too.

As usual, my boy always quotes a word or a phrase that he learns from a book. For this book, his fave is "Kaa-boom" ....a sound that describes the rocketship flies off to the space from the ground. Let's count!!! 3,2,1... Kaa-boom...

Friday, July 02, 2010

Play n Learn: More Puzzles?

Got a box of ELC's wooden puzzles during a sale last month (Original RM55 with 30% off). In fact, we have some puzzles in the house but they are all made of paperboard. Still, I prefer wooden toys which are tear/break/water-proof (longer lifespan=economic efficiency). This tin contains 4 nursery rhyme puzzles: 2 large size puzzles (4 pieces) + 2 small size puzzles (6 pieces) suitable for children aged 18 months to 3 years old.
*Per label's reference, puzzles are good for:
(i) Problem Solving: teaches little ones to work things out for themselves;
(ii) Fine Motor Skills: helps little ones use their hands for precise movements.
My boy is 2.5yo now. He is much more energetic but we don't see him eat more than before. He needs our full attentions to play/read/watch with him. Only able to gain our private time (work or rest) when he has gone to slumberland. As such, I'm hoping to train him to work things by himself like playing puzzles. It's time to let him be little independent and get ready for pre-school.

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