Opportunities to Learn is Everywhere...

~ Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 8:18 AM ~

SInce middle of April this year, I have started doing daily activities like crafts, coloring, cutting, drawing etc on top of my teaching my 3 years old boy.

IMHO, you don't need to follow a lesson plan just so you can teach your child. Of course having activities books like crafts, coloring, cutting, drawing are awesome, but my point is other than following what is in these books, we can also apply and show examples from our surroundings and environment.

As a SAHM, I try to teach and explain whatever I can to my kids. OK, at the moment, although both my kids listen to me, only my 3 years old boy understand what I say to him and maybe I think ocassionally, my 10 months old girl might kinda understand what I'm saying hahaha...

Anyway, like I mentioned earlier, I teach and explain whenever the opportunities arises.

It could be just the 3 of us (hubby at work) hanging out at our balcony and I will go telling my boy the vehicles that passes by in front of our house (we live in front of a highway though it was barricaded with a sound-proof wall, we still can see the top of most vehicles passing through).

I started doing that since Benjamin could stand by himself and today, he will just tell me 'Look mummy! That's a bus' or he will go 'Lorry', 'Long green lorry', 'Siren sound from the ambulance', '2 busses' so on and so forth.

Or we could be playing in the water pool at our balcony and I will go teaching him about shapes and colors of his toys, to share his toys with his baby sister, to clean up the toys and help me wash up the balcony after playing, etc etc.

Ben learning even while bathing!

The learning just never stops.

For me, as long as you are creative,

EVERYTHING and ANYTHING can be a learning tool.

A conversation piece. Something to teach your child. An opportunity to bond and share and see the knowledge being absorbed by a young child's mind. You can teach them about:

* Types of vehicles,

*  Buildings, ("That is a school")

* Shapes, ("Look at that building, it looks like a circle shape right?")

* Sizes and comparison (short, shorter, shortest), ("That building is taller than this building")

* Colors,

* Sounds,

* Locations ("See the bird is ON the tree" or "The cat is under the tree")

* Counting ("How many lorries can you see?")

Ben counting!

* Parts ("Check out that tree in front of us! Look at the color of the flowers, the branch, the bark..."),

* Occupation ("Look Ben! That is a postman, just like Postman Pat, he delivers letters and packages to us!"),

* Usage, ("Do you know why trees and plants have roots? Unlike us, we have legs to stand and move around, but trees and plants do not have legs, so they depend on their roots to stand firm and not tumble down easily...")

* Cause and effect ("Why is there siren sound coming from the fire engine? It's because the firemen are rushing to a place to help put out the fire, so do not play with fire", etc etc)

and many, many, many, MANY MORE!!!

Product Review & Giveaway - Creative Steps magazine

~ Posted on Saturday, July 7, 2012 at 10:25 AM ~

I came across this awesome website which offers subscriptions for its digital and printed magazines and was on the verge of subscribing to them when I decided to pose some questions I have and I received a prompt reply from them saying they are on the verge of revamping their website.

I then asked them whether there are any options to print out the activity pages etc in the digital version of the magazine subscription and also mentioned that I am a mummy blogger on the look out for more fresh ideas to try out with my 3 year old boy as part of our learning lessons.

To my surprise, I was offered the opportunity to review some of their recent digital editions in exchange for my honest feedback and review! Yay! So here goes my review for the "Creative Steps magazines":

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Description from the product page:
"Creative Steps is a fabulous quarterly magazine aimed at everyone with or caring for young children and is packed with dozens of fun crafting activities designed to encourage learning whilst having fun. "

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I was given an authorised and confidential website link to access the current and a few past digital editions of the magazine.

With the digital edition of the magazine, you can easily navigate to and fro, add and manage your bookmarks, create a clipping and email out the clipping, print and lots more options to play around with! I immediately browsed through the editions available and happily take notes on which crafts ideas I will try later with my kids.

I love the DIY crafts as there are mostly easily made with materials found around the house. I also enjoy the cooking/baking recipes and some of them can be tried out with children too!

Just  look at the screenshot below on one of the example of crafts you can do with your kids! I think this mini aquarium idea is very good, in fact, I almost tried to make it for hubby's Father's Day gift this year but home stuff caught up with me and being a SAHM with 2 kids (3 years old boy and a 10 months old girl), I will have to take a raincheck on this awesome idea!

Creative Steps

One of the craft ideas that we did get to try out was the 'Walk the Plank!' where we draws 'planks' on a pavement or path with chalks and then pretend there are water all around the 'planks' and we have to walk on the 'planks' and not fall over.

Creative Steps

To be honest, I was about to draw some 'planks' on the floor of our balcony when we heard the fire engine siren zoomed past us (FYI, my house is directly facing the highway and there is a fire station at the end of our housing row) and at the last minute, I ended up drawing a fire engine on the floor as my boy got all excited with the fire engine sound (he is nuts about fire engine related stuff!)

Just in case you can't see the picture above clearly, I actually drew the fire engine from the top view, you can see my boy squatting (or sitting) on the fire engine seat, steering the fire engine to help put out the fire somewhere, and I also drew the ladder, water pipe and tyres around the fire engine as well. Not bad right? Granted, I may not been copying the 'Walk the Planks' idea, but I apply the same chalk drawing method and we ended up having a good time as well!

I would definitely agree that this digital magazine is chock full of creative ideas to do with your kids! You really ought to give this magazine a try, be it the digital or printed version!

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You can go to http://creativesteps.co.uk/subscribe/ to find out more on the subscription options.

But wait!! Before you proceed to subscribe, why not take advantage of this awesome offers?

Subscription offer - The sponsor created a promo code BMRSC25, which will enable you guys to save 25% on the annual printed edition subscription. Prices vary globally, due to postage to your respective country. The direct link for this is: https://creativesteps.subscribeonline.co.uk/creative-steps-magazine/creative-steps?offer=bmrsc25 or you can just go to their website and use the promo code BMRSC25.

The sponsor also offers a 25% discount on the annual online edition, reducing this to just US$13.50 per year. You will need to send payment to paypal@creativesteps.co.uk and quote code IFTM25.

The above awesome offers does not have expiry codes, but that does not mean you should delay and wait! Go subscribe now!

Not only you guys get to enjoy the discount offers above, I am also excited to be able to hold this giveaway for my lucky blog followers and readers! TWO of you lucky people are going to win the online annual subscriptions (worth US$18 each)! Now, let's read below for the giveaway terms and conditions OK?

To enter the giveaway, kindly read and follow the instructions as stated in the Rafflecopter form below.

  • You can enter either via login through your Facebook account or just key in your name and your valid email address.
  • Please also leave your valid email address in the post comment so that I can contact you if you win this giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with the authorised link to the online editions by Creative Steps in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.

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iPad App Review - The Adventures of Slibby the Snail: The stolen food HD

~ Posted on Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 5:41 PM ~

Here is another fun and educational app which was recently released that I get to review with my 3 year old Benjamin:

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* Title: The Adventures of Slibby the Snail: The stolen food HD
* Price: $2.99
* Category: Books
* Released: Jun 28, 2012
* Version: 1.0
* Size: 141 MB
* Language: English
* Seller: Ivan Kules © CoolAsh Studio 2012
* Rated: 4+
* Requirements: Compatible with iPad.Requires iOS 4.0 or later.

Description from the product page:

"Introducing The Adventures of Slibby the Snail storybook, a story about funny snail named Slibby. Slibby lives in Porchlandia and he is helping his friends the Ants to find some stolen food. Along the way, Slibby needs to solve a lot of quests to find that stolen food. For example, he needs to solve a puzzle,  connect the dots to find a leaf, find some differences on two images, and a lot lot more. On his journey, Slibby will meet various Ants, an Old Tree and a Grasshopper. When he finds that stolen food, he will also find himself in trouble, and he will need assistance from his new friends and from you – the reader!"

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What's good?

* I love the beautiful illustrations and the storyline about a snail helping out his friends (the ants) to find their stolen food and how we have to help him solve puzzles and games in order to complete his quest!

* I am very excited to see some of the puzzles and games in this appbook such as the maze (help Slibby the Snail to find its way home) and the jigsaw puzzle (help repair Slibby's shell) These are some of the activities I do with my 3 year old boy on daily basis as part of our relax learning method and I am glad to see my boy able to grasp this puzzles and games faster.

* I am also happy to see my boy being able to complete the game where he has to connect the dots to find a leaf. This type of exercise are currently not started in our learning lessons yet as I am still teaching him to count from 1 to 10 (verbally)

Room for Improvement?

* I would prefer that the animals names are easier to pronounce or better if they could rhyme together, such as Sally the Snail or Annie the Ant or Hopper the Grasshopper.

* I find that the game where we have to find the differences on two images a bit difficult for my 3 year old boy to comprehend and I would prefer it if the 2 images are shown vertically instead of horizontally (reflection in the water against the image above water) but perhaps children of older age group will be able to grasp and solve this game.

* I would recommend that the flowers matching game be revised a little bit. Currently when you touch a flower, it will change color and glows making it difficult to remember the original color of the flower. Perhaps the flower could be outlined with a blinking line so that we know we selected the flower and also know the color we selected?

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You can purchase the "The Adventures of Slibby the Snail: The stolen food HD" app from the iTunes App Store.

The iphone/ipod touch version and details can be found here.

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I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with the promo code by the sponsor to redeem the application for free from iTunes Store in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine. And if you'd like to read my previous iPad Apps reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My iPad App Reviews"

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