Baby Le Xin

Saturday 20 October 2012

Visiting Ginger the Lovely Street Dog!

I stumble upon Ginger's plight on SOSD's Facebook. Ginger's story about how she and her puppies were being rescued deeply touched my heart and somehow I really wished I could visit this dog who is currently staying in kind Dr Siew Tuck Wah's place.
On this special day, I decided to bring my dad and Le Xin to Dr Siew's place to visit Ginger. He was not in but his helper Irene was there to open the door for us. Prior to the visit, I actually showed Le Xin's Ginger's Youtube video so that she had some kind of understanding about this visit and knew who she was visiting.... Of course she doesn't understand the concept that these dogs were all street dogs that were adopted and fostered by dogs lovers who wish to make a difference in the lives of these doggies. They simply want nothing but a shelter and a little love.
I wish to use this opportunity to teach Le Xin the importance of caring for animals. Even though, these animals might not be our Pet rabbit, fish or terrapins but we can still love them with all our hearts. At the porch, I saw two lovely street dogs, Bacon and Yoghurt who were excitely wagging their tails to "welcome" us.
Frankly speaking Le Xin was totally nonchalent about what's going on but my dad and I were quite frightened to see the two of them because they were really quite big in size. They did bark at us initally but after a while they became very friendly as soon as they knew we were not there to harm them.
A curious Le Xin who saw Bacon and Yoghurt kept pointing to them and said Dogs. Then I asked Irene if she could carry Ginger out to show us which she gladly did. Le Xin observed how I patted Ginger and she followed me. Then we also fed Ginger some biscuit which make Bacon and Yoghurt very excited yeah of course they wanted to have a piece too.
My dad was really worried that Le Xin will be bitten and of course I took every precaution that I could to warn Le Xin not to put her little fingers too near to the fence but in general we were really happy that the dogs enjoyed our presence especially when they knew they had dog biscuits to eat haha.
Two of Ginger's puppies were with her as well. I guess the two of them really serve as an emotional support to Ginger even though I knew eventually the two will also be fostered/adopted. I showed Le Xin Ginger's puppies who were tossing and jumping around in the cage...explaining to her that those were puppies. Le Xin picked up really fast, she pointed at the puppies and said Baby. Haha how cute!
I kept hugging Ginger......I can't help it.....she is just too lovely, she kept wagging her tail at us and showing us her cutest doppy eyes filled with lot's of love. I do hope with all my heart that a kind soul will adopt her eventually.....Le Xin appeared to enjoy this learning experience.....Aww~ She always get really excited to see dogs anyway must be somehow she was influenced by her mum and Wai gong :p Le Xin is really scared when Silver gets too friendly but somehow she is very calm when she saw Ginger....that's was how lovely Ginger was! Even a toddler loves her!
As I am not too sure if I can take photo for this visit afterall Dr Siew was not in and I can't seek his permission so I just took one shot. Hereby presenting.......The cutest baby Le Xin (haha in my opinion only) with Mummy Ginger, a dog with so much character! (haha many would agree)
Mummy can we take Ginger home?
Keeping a dog is a life time committment......Remember a puppy is always cute when it's young and playful but when it grows old and sick will you still stand by your furry friend? This is a strong message which I wish to send out to Le Xin and everyone I know! Caring for a pet is not an easy task like many people think it is, especially for dogs.....You really need the time to care for them and walk them....That's why in my previous post on my Pet Bunny Bambi....I kept emphasizing  that I did not buy the bunny for Le Xin because seriously NOBODY SHOULD BUY A PET LIKE A TOY FOR A TODDLER/PRESCHOOLER it just doesn't make sense.... You can't expect a child to be committed in caring for a pet and resume the responsibility which is supposed to be for an adult right? But yes you can always bully your hubby to do it hahaha just kidding. Many thanks to Daddy Scott who is currently helping me out to care for our pet bunny! If you are really tempted to buy any type of animal as a pet, think twice! Firstly think if you even have the time to pack your closet according to the famous Cesar Milan so what makes you think you will have time for your pet especially for a long term?

Sunday 14 October 2012

Cousins Pt2: Playdate at our place!

Remember the post on Cousins? Going forward, here's another post about Le Xin's interaction with her cousins. This time Le Xin's cousins, my sister's children visited us at our place for some cool playdate session.... OMG they just love playing at my house so much that they do not wish to go home and my sis had a hard time persuading them to leave....whahahahhaha
The highlight of my place is definitely our pet room featuring our fish tank and cuteness overdose Bambi...
Le Xin has been feeding our bunny for countless times.....but observing how Tricia did it was something new to her.... She appears to know that Tricia knew what to do and so she just sat quietly beside her to "inspect" how cute!
Animals always play a special role in children's it a dog, a rabbit, a terrapin or even fishes......These living creatures just somehow has a significant way to capture the children's heart. Tricia and Travis were playing with my two terrapins.....okay let's call them Torie and Tisie....
The happy 4 observing how my terrapins were enjoying their turtle pellet....good snack ya?
Hey look what we found......these cubes look like blue ice.....Daddy Scott bought them from Daiso for our fishes but somehow they ended up in the basin as counters...... The children had lot's of fun tossing them up and down
I guess it's very sensorial for the children to see the cubes, feel them,  and of course dropping them into the red basin to hear the sound.....Le Xin observed how Travis was playing and realised that the cubes can be used in such a way. Tevin and Le Xin immediately imitated him and started throwing the cubes too.....Previously, Le Xin didn't even notice  the cubes when we left them on the ground.
My sister had a taste of being the instructor for the day....guiding Travis on how to drive Le Xin's purple car..... Now you know it's not so easy yeah? :p The rest of the children went to the corridor to play with bubbles but I was just too busy with Travis so I didn't snap any photos of the rest :p
Tricia and Le Xin discussing actively on what to do in the atelier....
Tricia was deciding if the shiny paper was a good material to start off with ......while Le Xin watches to find out how jie jie was going to display her creativity...
Well done Tricia, this was what she created....good spatial orientation for a child at 7 years old :p
While Tricia and Le Xin were working at the Atelier, Tevin was keeping himself busy with chalks!
Then I made a suggestion to Tevin and asked if he would like to paint and he nodded his head. The minute I put on the blue apron for's come  Le Xin zhu zhu na who also wanted to join in.... Tevin painted first while Le Xin obseved how he did it.
My two darlings......future Picaso I hope!
The both of them really worked cooperatively to paint together.....I didn't catch a glimpse of them snatching each other's brushes at all... In fact, Tevin even dipped a brush into the paint and passed it to Le Xin....Le Xin was excited to exchange her brush with Tevin too. How sweet right? So it's not true that Toddler's Creed is always present among toddlers........these two fellows were already understanding the importance of sharing and turn taking :) Bravo~
We completed our masterpiece......nice?
Tricia went into the Bambi's room several times to carry her......what a brave girl she was!
She was not even scared that Bambi might scratch her :) Thinking of buying a pet for your child now? Think twice.......remember behind all the cuteness is the word "Committment" Sorry I very loh soh but I always need to emphasize this!
The main reason why I really love the idea of Le Xin interacting with her cousins is because I truly believe that when children learn in a small group (regardless of their age) they will somehow focus on building collective and individual knowledge. I embrace such cooperative learning and group learning techniques will help Le Xin to raise her individual achievement. Collaborative learning is all about learning the idea of  "give and take" and it does not only focus on children working on their individual product and producing signficant end results which is what many adults are seeking for these days. When Le Xin forms a cooperative group with her cousins, I felt that she is also becoming a stronger individual. In Singapore, we do not really have many school that practise mixed-age grouping, I supposed this is due to teacher-child ratio. However, I actually feel that mix-age grouping and peer consultation actually allows teachers to give greater attention to their students. 
"While we acknowlege that learning is always individual, we  think it is critical to consider the social construction and existence of knowledge as well. Learning in a group support a quality of learning that is different from individual learning. A focus on collective understanding  - requiring constant comparison, discussion and modification of ideas- make possible learning that is not accessible to individual working alone" ----- Quoted from Making Learning Visible by Project Zero - Reggio children
How true isn't it?


Saturday 13 October 2012

Making A Fish Mobile

Sometime ago, I was reading this story to Le Xin...
The Star of the Show! Somehow she was really excited about the pictures in the story....

Especially when she saw this! Haha it's a little fish mobile at the right hand corner of the page. She kept pointing to it and said Fish!
So I asked her Wow that's a fish mobile, it looks really nice isn't it? Do you know what's a fish mobile? Would you like to make one? She nodded her head and appeared excited.
I knew this would definitely lead us into something fun and interesting so over the weekends....
I decided to make a FISH MOBILE with my darling girl!
It was not as easy as I thought it was going to be....her interest swings like a pendulum :(
On the first day, she was really keen when I drew 4 fish outline on a drawing board and cut it and asked if she would like to help to decorate it. 
And yes, she did! I provided her different materials to choose from and she used crayons to decorate her first fish.....She appeared to have so much fun scribbling.
Then she went on to explore the magic pens which I bought her from Daiso to decorate her second fish...
After colouring one side of her fish, she completely lost the interest to decorate....I tried to ask her to carry on with her work and she scribbled the other side with markers for a short while and stopped. I felt that since she wasn't interested to decorate anymore so I should redirect her to do some other activities.
About six days later, she suddenly went to the Atelier with another two undecorated fishes and began to decorate them again on her own. This time she decided to explore with other mediums.
Firstly, she used some pastel chalks to decorate her third fish. The pastel chalks left her with very powdery hands but  when she saw her hands were filled with different colours she was appeared to be quite happy.
Then she went on to decorate her last fish with her thick markers.
Finally all the four fishes were decorated and we washed our hands with Kirei Kirei which Le Xin often calls it as Bubble Soap. Just when I thought she was excited to start making her mobile, she ran off and started playing with something else again....
What can I say?
Toddlers will always be toddlers....
So I showed her the book again and asked Le Xin have you forgotten about this? She smiled excitedly and said Fish again. Then I asked her Would you like to make this now since we have our fishes "ready" haha. She nodded her head and followed me to the kitchen to gather some materials which include a hanger, four wooden chopsticks and a roll of masking tape.
I showed her how I taped the chopsticks together with a masking tape. Then I asked her What do you think we can use to hang the fishes to the chopsticks? She thought for a while and remained quiet....I assumed some kind of thinking should be going on at this point and I waited before suggesting What about we tie some strings to it? Le Xin nodded her head. We went to the storeroom to look for string like materials and in the end we found some left over yarn which we could use.
I helped her to attached the fishes to the yarn and tied them to the chopstick and as soon as it was done, Le Xin can't help but started playing with it. She shook her hands up and down and observed how the fishes that were hand made by her were moving.......It was just SO NICE TO WATCH hahahahaha

Le Xin was laughing away while playing with her fish mobile
When it was time for us to engage in the next activity, I helped her once again to attach her mobile to a hanger and display her work...
I knew I had to do this, so as to help her develop a sense of pride for the work she has done!
Great Job Le Xin :)
The amazing thing was....even after a few weeks later when I read the same story "The Star of the Show" to her in the bedroom, when she saw the picture of the fish mobile, she pointed to the living room immediately. I knew what she was refering to so I carried her to touch her mobile once again and she appeared delighted! I am very happy too, happy that she could relate to her previous learning experience.
Believing and embracing the fact that children are enthusiastic and observant, this learning experience helped me to see Le Xin's learning in a different angle. Firstly, I wish to work on  ways to capture her attention and retain her interest by keeping her engaged in a particular activity with a key factor. Secondly,  I finally witnessed how a simple story can help her to revisit her ideas/experience which is sooooo important. She remembered about her mobile even after WEEKS so this definitely proves to show something and it should not be taken lightly like a pinch of salt.....I want to further enrich her life.....I want to  research deeper on the pursuit of the possible as covered by Jerome Bruner :) Hooray!

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Playing with Dough!

I was supposed to be fetching Le Xin home, but when I reached my mother in law's (MIL) place I saw Giselle and Le Xin playing together. They appeared to be very happy....role playing as different characters.
Then I went downstair to buy myself a packet of mixed vegetable rice for I know the two little ones will be enjoying each other's company. I went for a little shopping too at Prime supermarket to purchase some groceries. An idea came to my mind, why don't I purchase a packet of flour.
Don't ever underestimate what a packet of flour can really has the ability to offer endless joy. When my MIL saw me with the flour, she asked ler ai chong si mi? which means "What do you plan to do?" I told her I am going to make something for the two of them to play.
I took a metal bowl, added some oil and salt in it. Then I told Le Xin and Giselle that we were going to learn how to make a dough.....Giselle carefully watched how I cut the packaging and added the flour in, Le Xin can't wait to start and started fiddling with the flour in the bowl. Giselle told Le Xin....Le Xin you must wait for your Mummy arh, you must be a good girl, cannot touch first... Perhaps Le Xin was really motivated by what Giselle said, she stopped and watched how I added the water to the flour before kneading it into a dough...... I knew I wasn't really good at this......the dough became quite sticky. I wasn't at all satisfied handling a wet and sticky dough with two little girls giving me a "Are you done?" kind of look.... Yeah they were really excited to start playing with the dough so I had to hurry up..... I really wanted them to be involved in the kneading  but since I did this activity at my MIL's place I was afraid to mess up the ground. Yeah she won't scold me but I felt bad :(
Finally, my MIL came to my rescue, she suggested to add more flour . So we did and finally the sticky dough dried up a little and I rolled it into a ball and added a little oil again to give it a glossy look. Finally it was all done...... I put the big chunk of dough into a metal bowl and passed it to the girls.... It's all yours I said... The both of the them started rolling and kneading the dough into different shapes.....Giselle even used the dough to form her name....Pre literacy skill/spelling with dough was really fun wasn't it?....I was really sad that my HP was low on battery so I could neither take photos nor video. At this point, I feel argh.....growling like a mad bear! Grr.... just kidding :p 
I took a picture of Giselle's work with my MIL's HP and I will try to upload it here when I get hold of the photo.
I told Le Xin Hey do you think you want to share your dough with mama? She took a small bit of her dough and gave it to my MIL... My MIL was cute to the max. She told me the dough smelled like bread and she kept playing with it. She played with it for at least a good 15 mins. Haha even she was attracted to the texture of the dough and she kept asking me if the dough can be used to make Mee Hoon Kueh how funny right?
So the girls continued kneading and rolling the dough till it was getting late and I really had to bring Le Xin home. Of course she had to painfully bid goodbye to the dough session while Giselle continued with her dough play. Wow Giselle was really quite obsessed with the dough, I heard from my MIL that in the end, she even brought the dough back home to play.
Sometimes in a place that we are in, we might not find plentiful supply of stimulating materials that we can offer our child/children. If we are lucky to have least have a paintbrush we can still engage them in water painting. My intention is that a simple material should be the key player in the beginning which will instill an excitement and enthusiasm to do things. In Reggio Emilia, a lot of attention was devoted in selecting and presenting materials for the children in their preschool. Here in Singapore, we often struggle to find basic materials (not refering to recylced materials) which we could use without going off budget especially in mediocre preschools that we work in. I was told by some of my friend in the ECE field that many at times, even when they need a simple packet of ice-cream sticks they might need to seek for approval  too before they can purchase them to use for crafting. Well, I am a strong believer that sometimes it is all about offering a simple material where the children can explore. With the use of different channel of perceptions such as light or their own senses, the simple material that we provided them with.......will soon turn into something rich.... something of "stronger identity" don't you think so?