Paper plate Jellyfish!!

Rae’s school study on marine animals culminated in a family outing to the newly opened, world-class Marine Life Park in Sentosa. We were captivated by the array of marine species; the crabs, manta rays, dolphins, corals, and countless others.

Rae was particularly mesmerized by the jellyfish species, maybe it’s the luminosity of the appearance, or the way it moves in such a graceful, effortless manner. Two species caught her attention the most- the Japanese Sea Nettle & the Blue bottle Jellyfish! I pointed out the tentacles to her and she immediately mimicked it with the movement of her fingers! I love the look of wonder on her face when I slipped in a Do-you-know fact about jellyfish; that it is able to give out their own light in the deep dark sea (bioluminescent). She further exclaimed ” Mummy, I want to eat the jellyfish!” Ah well, I had to burst the bubble for her by telling her that its sting is poisonous and it’s inedible, she looked wide-eyed at me, almost in utter disbelief πŸ™‚

After our trip, I decided to make a paper plate jellyfish, resembling the one she saw. It’s simple! Just cut a paper plate into half, paint one side with glitter paint (to make it luminous looking), glue strings of crepe paper near the end of the paper plate and staple the two halves of the plates together. Add two eyes and you’re done! It’s a nice hanging art piece from the door knob πŸ™‚

By the way, I’m looking for a picture book about jellyfish! Have you come across any? πŸ™‚

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Display Shelf- Your Child’s Learning Activities

A friend came over to my place and loved my Montessori-inspired display shelf for learning.

Upon sharing with her some tips on displaying learning materials, I thought maybe it may be useful to share it here at Playhood!

1. Accessibility

All the learning materials are displayed in open shelves where your child can see or reach them. Accessibility is key if you want your child to exercise choice in picking up the learning materials on her own. Children are naturally more inclined to be engaged in learning when their choice is involved.

2. Organisation

Avoid tossing learning materials in toy boxes, buckets or drawers. They actually create disorganisation, parts get misplaced and damaged, and your child loses respect for the contents. Learning time is also wasted assembling the missing parts for each learning activity. For organisation, each learning activity is stored in containers that children can easily carry by themselves (e.g. baskets, trays or open boxes). Sometimes you can colour code the contents to show they belong to the same set. In this way, each set is regarded as special and has its assigned place on the shelf.

3. Handling the materials

Teach your child how to handle the learning sets with care and respect. They learn how to carry the containers to a workplace (on a mat or table), and when they finished, to return the material to the shelf for future use.

4. Real, authentic materials

My inclination is to use authentic materials such as drinking cups, glaases, plates and bowls that are made of glass, china and wood. Although it means they are breakable, it encourages the children to handle them with extra caution. Once, Rae broke the glass jug for a transferring activity, and it broke into many pieces. She saw how dangerous and fragile glass is, and from then on, she is extra careful whenever she handles any material made of glass. She will even chant this everytime she handles glass materials ” Be careful ah, it’s glass.” I think for a two-year old to internalise that, I couldn’t be happier.

5. Limit number of items

Avoid cluttering the shelf with too many activities. Leave a little space between each learning set and keep its own special spot on the shelf. Too many activities can be too distracting and there will be more packing up as well!

6. Change the activities according to interest and learning needs of the child.

Choose 4-6 activities according to the needs and interest of your child. Observe how many times your child likes to repeat a learning material, which will likely be of interest to her and you can leave it on the shelf for her to revisit it again. (Note how toddlers and preschoolers learn through repetition). You can also have a mix of familiar learning sets and new ones which stretch your child’s abilities. Avoid displaying the same items on the shelf for too long. Your child will lose interest after a while. You can change the set one at a time, to entice and hook your child’s interest in learning something new.

Hope this helps! Investing and designing this learning space will definitely pay off! πŸ™‚

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MOM-ents & Musings- My Rae of Light

 

 

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Rae woke up one afternoon from her nap and she snuggled up to me and said, ” Mummy, so dark.. I want to see light..” With that, she went to the window and drew the curtains. Within seconds, the room became well-lit and cheery. Bathed in the light, Rae looked like an angel
with her sunkissed face. While snapping photos of her, I felt God telling me when I go though dark times, I just need to be like Rae;
allow the light of His Word to dispel every darkness in our lives. No matter how tough our trials and testings may be, His light will never fail to shine His love forth.

In His light, we see light.

And may we endeavour to teach our children how to shine Β in such times of darkness in these last days. May us parents always point them to see Jesus, and Β His light shall be a lamp unto their feet as they navigate through life. Β I pray my little Rae will always be that Rae of light.

 

Sensory Bin- Shaving Cream

A sensory bin for imaginative play! Just use a stir stick to mix in the food colouring into the shaving cream in the sensory bin! Put in some of your child’s toys like fishes, animals or marine animals and it provides a great avenue for pretend play! You can add in blue colouring (which I ran out!) to create effects of a blue ocean for the fishes or marine animals!

Rae was so engaged in the pretend play with the fishes that she started coming up with her own narrative script of the dialogue of the fishes apparently chasing each other in the fish tank. She became a character in the story plot when she broke out into song ” One Two Three Four Five, Once I caught a fish alive!”. Taking on the role of the fisherman, she turned to me to ask for the fishing rod for her to enact the scene for me. It is no wonder pretend play is great for developing language skills such as narrating, use of contextual vocabulary and weaving stories. 20130526-213214.jpg

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Marbleizing-Shaving cream & Food Colouring

Grab Daddy’s shaving cream! And do marbleizing with it! I adapted this idea from a friend, Stephanie. It’s easy, and so pretty when you swirl the food colouring into the shaving cream! The Marbleizing effects were amazing within seconds! Just use a stir stick to make sure your child’s fingers don’t get stained by the food colouring. Everything can be rinsed off under the tap πŸ™‚

Things you need:
1. Shaving cream or whipped cream
2.Food colouring
3. Stir stick (ice cream stick, chopstick, coffee stirrer)
4. Recycled salad plastic container or any other container
5. Cardboard, paper or paper dollies

What’s more you can create marbled paper by making your print on paper! Just press the cardboard paper gently on the marbled cream. Let it dry for a couple of minutes and scrap the extra cream off the paper to create pretty marbled paper! πŸ™‚

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Rubik’s Cube- Boggle Game and Colours

I bought this $3 Rubik’s cube from a toy shop at Holland Village and I have been concocting ideas on how to use this classic toy to teach.

Rubik’s cube has been traditionally used to train spatial intelligence. I adapted it into a boggle game by imprinting different letters (consonants and vowels) on it!

Just turn the Rubik’s cube to create a new face of letters and you will have another round of Boggle to play with your kids! πŸ™‚

You can simply use permanent markers to write on the Rubrik’s cube or you can get these labels from Popular which costs only $1.50

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You can also leave the Rubrik’s Cube as it is and use it to teach colours ! Just create a simple activity sheet to teach colour recognition πŸ™‚

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Rubik’s Cube- Teach Numbers & Shapes

To use the Rubik’s cube to teach numbers, simply paste number labels ( I got these @ $1.50 from Popular) or write the numbers with a permanent marker on the cube.

1. Teach Number Recognition and Arranging Numbers

You can ask your child to point to the number you called out, for number recognition

Or you can ask your child to arrange the numbers from the smallest to the biggest (& vice versa) by rearranging the numbers shown on the face of the cube.

Keep practicing by turning the Rubik’s cube for another set of numbers!

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2. Teach Shapes

For this, I used the permanent marker to draw the different shapes on the cube.

Then I created a simple activity sheet to note down the number of shapes that can be seen on the face of the cube.

Turn the cube and you will have another round of shape recognition Β for practice!

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