Baby Le Xin

Saturday 20 April 2013

My Silhouette

A mummy from Kiasuparent gave me the inspiration to create this craft with Le Xin. If you are interested, you can check out her blog here

Haha I'm going to help Le Xin with the captions they are not her  actual speech unless they are in red font (as usual)
So you need me to lie down on this mahjong paper?
Hi, Mummy you can start to draw my silhouette!
This is how the outline of my body..... hooray:)
Next, Mummy attached my silhouette on some newspaper and pasted the whole thing on the door
Firstly, I decided to paint the head
Mummy I want to change my brush 
Dipping my brush into the pink paint.....
Thinking where I should paint next? Hmm.....
Yeah, let's paint the arm...
Little Artist @ Work.....
Maybe I should take a two little legs are feeling quite wobbly :p
Mummy I finished painting already said Le Xin
So this is my silhouette.....nicely painted!
Do you value learning through Arts? I have been struggling to understand this value for almost a decade! It's not easy because in Singapore, we value the quality of learning by assessing how well a child can read/write/count/understand/express, how fast he/she can complete her work (in fact completes them without much assistance), ohh noo.......not to mention how well he/she fair in each year's overall exam......
Sad isn't it?
Le Xin is turning 3 this year, I am still taking things slowly, as you can see a lot of my post fall under the label "Aesthetic and Creative Expression" I still wish to value her representations of learning through the arts. I just need to constantly remind myself how I can make her learning more visible so that I can convience myself that actual learning DOES take place.
Le Xin looks forward to craft together with me each time. A lot of interactions go on during each session, it's really through such sessions that I gained understanding about her development. It's a pure enjoyment, I hope it's something I can embrace even as she grows....
Well, let me tell you it's definitely easier said than done....haiz.....We all know somehow academic learning will soon conquer all the fun, but nope I am not going to let this happen! Sooo......Fighting!  

Monday 8 April 2013

Glitter Glue

So I have started teaching Le Xin Mandarin formally haha :) I started off by teaching her the basic strokes for Mandarin which we call them 笔画 - bi hua. The strokes are..... heng, shu, pia, na and dian and she knows all of them by now. To reinforce the first bi hua - heng (a horizontal stroke that looks like this 一) I got her to use a bottle of green glitter glue to form the stroke.
Squeezing the glue out from the bottle seems a little tough for Le Xin, but fortunately she did not give up and was determined to try. Let's take a look at her learning experience.
The materials we needed for this activity were glue, pencil and a piece of paper. It was really that simple.
I drew a horizontal line on the paper and said heng. Le Xin repeated the word after me and next she used her index finger and tried to trace the stroke.
Le Xin also tried squeezing the bottle for a long time, but nothing came out. I guess she does not have enough strength to squeeze the bottle, so I went over, held her hand and gave her some help.
However, I am very particular about getting Le Xin to do her work by herself. I strongly believe that it's only through this way, Le Xin will truly gain some form of hands on experience. So I kinda gave up the thought of squeezing the bottle for her, as I know deep in my heart that will be no learning going on if I continued to do so. I squeezed a bit of the glitter glue on a container cover and got her to use a cotton bud to spread the glue on the stroke.
Once again, she was very focused!
Haha she looked like she was having some Chinese Calligraphy 书法 lesson......
Next, she did some creative drawing on her own which I didn't stop her....It's both a language and art activity (killing two birds with one stone)
 She looked at me and said Mummy I want to use blue glue now and I suggested to squeeze the glue for her but she insisted she to give it a go.
With all her mighty strength, she tried very hard to squeeze the bottle but aww~ nothing came out again.
So she.......
 Tried tapping the bottle with her finger so I told her It's alright Le Xin, Mummy can give you a helping hand, when you grow older, your finger will be strong enough to do the work, no worries.
What I like about Le Xin is that, often than not, she is able to accept my reasoning(s) and soon she handed me the bottle and I squeezed out a little blue glitter glue on the cover.
As she was doing her work, I spotted that she kept pausing to observe the glitter on the tip of the cotton bud.......guess she was really curious!
Little fingers @ work....
After she completed her drawing, she suddenly took a pencil and started to form circular mark on the right hand corner of the paper...
She drew and drew and then she looked up and smiled at me...
Mummy this is my name said Le Xin... This was how she held the pencil, I know it's not really the right pencil grip  but seriously I do not wish to correct her. I hope she can work in peace without me....over directing her on what to do :)
Mummy I finish my work already she said as she proudly held her work to show me :)
Le Xin really takes pride in her work. She often would show it to me or Daddy Scott when she has completed them and she takes delights if we say her work look really nice haha :) Hey but we are really sincere with our praises okay? Definitely not patronizing her :p
Some parents have asked me, will it be confusing for a child to master two languages at the same time? Well my answer is definitely no. Children at this age learn the fastest! In fact, they are capable of learning more than what that you think they can absorb... Actually, I didn't deliberately try to teach her Mandarin. Most of the time, I converse with her in English but these day I have been speaking more Mandarin with her and she understand them well too.
I am sometimes shocked by the things she said to me in Mandarin. I would often wonder where did she picks up certain words/sentences from?  I recalled an incident when our ipad stopped working and she said to me Mummy 为什么没有声音的?and she gave me a puzzled look, this was sometime back when she just started learning how to talk...
 I guess the word is the EXPOSURE again! Never be afraid to expose your child to anything, especially when it comes to language. In fact, I have also taught Le Xin some simple Japanese phrases too! She likes to say Oyasumi and before she sleeps each night she likes to tell me Mummy I haven't say Oyasumi to Daddy, I want to say Oyasumi to Daddy first.....haha funny right?
So how did I go about teaching her bi hua? Well, I started doing that by using Powerpoint flashcard which I made by myself. Then she just repeat after me as I say the word, the big idea is to STOP BEFORE SHE WANTS TO STOP, meaning never bore her with continuous drilling. Lastly, I will reinforce with art and craft.....I have also introduced her colours in Mandarin and a particular Youtube video really helps! She always requests to watch this.....a Mandarin song about colours. By the way, guess what? This video was introduced to me by a parent from Etonhouse and she was from Denmark..Yeah my Danish student, Mads, is super good in his Mandarin...When I was working in Etonhouse, I often interact with him in Mandarin and one day his mum told us he likes watching this video....So I tried playing the video to Le Xin too and bless.....she also loves it hahaha :) Isn't it cool?
So do you enjoy teaching your child his/her second language, you should, it's probably the one thing you shouldn't have any doubts about.....If you were to ask me I will say WELL JUST DO IT! I hope I can teach her Hokkien too but you know even though I like speaking Hokkien, sometimes it just feels a little weird speaking it to her......She only knows Mai (no in hokkien) but I won't give up and will continue to teach her more haha then she can use the language with her ah gong ah ma, wai gong and ya use it when she goes Taiwan (argh...I can't wait to travel with her) :p
Ciaoz hope you like this post!

Friday 5 April 2013

Colour Wheel

Le Xin and I have been discussing about colours for quite some time. In fact, she already knows all the colours very well by now because I have been engaging her in lots of painting activities. I personally think this is the BEST WAY to teach young children how to recognise colours. Well,  I am starting to teach her colours in Mandarin too.
To reinforce the concept that we have been discussing....I made a colour wheel  to play with her and she kinda like it. It's a simple game, you can try it too for children from 1-3 years old :)
Firstly I cut the construction paper...
Then I tried to make a wheel....I know it looks really ugly because my cutting skills is really bad and to top it off I can't paste well too aww~ But come on, give me some credit for my effort okay? haha :p
Le Xin was observing how I created the colour wheel for her....When I am done, she took the colour wheel from me and I took one cute picture of her holding the wheel :) She looks really chubby in this photo....SO CUTE!!!
We began playing "pick a stick under the blanket" game .....You can scroll down to view the video!
Choosing an ice-cream to play the colour wheel on her own....

Having fun with matching.....

 When Le Xin completed placing all her ice-cream sticks, she requested to use my HP to take a photo of it...

This was one of the photo that she took! She's really good at it yipee... :)
After playing for a while, she stopped and seemed to lose interest in it. She wanted to explore something else and I said alright let's play this another time. It is important not to force a child to continue to play a game/activity if he/she doesn't want to. If you do so, chances are.... things might backfire on you..... Well who knows.....the child might reject the idea of engaging in the game/activity in future!
I hope you like this simple idea, I will share with you some other activities I did with her which are related to colours since it is such a hot topic to explore on......but for now I shall leave you with this video of Le Xin in action......Byeee :)

Tuesday 2 April 2013

Water Play with Food colouring and Soap!

Okay, some of you must be thinking......not another post about food colouring.Yeah I know somehow I am just too crazily fasinated with food colouring haha but do check out these two cool learning experiences ------> this and ------> this if somehow you haven't read them.

So we had another session of water play again but I was thinking how should I make it a little different this time round for Le Xin and somehow I remember I once had waterplay with some of the N2 children at Etonhouse using food colouring and soap......yeah so I tried it with Le Xin again... This't wasn't the first time we did an experiement before here.
She was practically laughing  throughout the whole waterplay :)
Let's take a look at this fun filled learning experience!

 Spraying water into her blue tub! Eh sorry please ignore my ugly looking towel bowl :p

Testing the water temperature with her feet.....The water so cold Mummy said Le Xin.

Let's add some warm water!

Water temperature was just nice and Le Xin soaked herself in the tub! So cute :)

Le Xin was observing the colour of the water in the tub....

I asked Le Xin which food colouring she wanted to use and she said blue so in went a few drops of
blue food colouring and she observed the water turning blue.....She started shouting with excitment blue the water turn blue Mummy. I supposed it was quite a fascinating sight for her :)

I asked Le Xin what colour should we add in? and she said green, and I told her but we do not have green food colouring how about we mix some and she said yeah mix green, so I added in some yellow food colouring and she gave a big stir suddenly she observed that the water turns green and she began to place both her hands into the water to feel it.....

 Little Hands with Curious Mind!

Then I told her what we did kind of reminded me of the storybook I bought for her "Look Out Leon" by Jez Alborough......This is our favourite book and you haven't read it before, go get it, I highly recomend all parents to get this book for your child/children, it's very interesting and cute!
Next, Le Xin went on to add some soap into the water....
She gave a stir using her spade...
She used both her hands to scoop some foam and she said I can see the bubbles, and I  replied wow, there's foam on your hands and she replied Mummy see foam on my hands. How does it feel like? I asked and she replied nice! Yeah I'm sure you enjoy feeling the soft foam right? I asked and she smiled and said yes!
Next, Le Xin explored with a variety of water play tools......
Watering can and sieve....
Jug and net....
Feeling the foam with her feet...
Trying to balance herself....
I in the boat Mummy like Max - Roleplaying as Max in the story "Where The Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak...Wow she really amazed me when I heard that. This shows that she is displaying the ability to make connection and apply what she has learnt!
Yeah, probably imitating Max on this page...Bleah :p Le Xin you are just SOOOO FUNNY!
Meditating and enjoying her "spa" haha :)
Then she went for her bath and......
dried her own hair :)
Physical development emcompasses both fine and gross motor activities. I usually cover the gross motor activities when I am out with Le Xin, either in the playground, at the void deck or simply at the corridor. As for fine motor skills, we usually engage in cutting, drawing, colouring and pasting at the our Mini Atelier.
So why fine motor activities are important? They develop the small muscles of the hand, enable children to have competency to manipulate materials in their environment and ultimately to master the skills of writing when they are in Kindergarten (in our local context). 
To me, I personally find that water and sand play are two of the best ways to refine a child's fine motor skills, that's why I make it a point for Le Xin to engage in water play frequently. In Singapore, it very difficult to find a sand pit which is kind of sad, so we have to go to East Coast Park if we would like to play with sand. However, I am still sourcing ways where I can build a small sandpit for Le Xin at home, perhaps in my service yard....any suggestion anyone?
Okay, I am glad Le Xin enjoyed her waterplay session, it always very fulfiling watching her @ play....ending off this post with a cute pic of my darling girl!
Look at what my naughty Mum did to my hair! Hmph!  Hahaha!
 Just for you guys okay?  Thanks for reading my blog... Smile :)