Stickerkid: Cute name labels

Kate is starting school in January and we were delighted to receive the perfect early Christmas present from the good people at stickerkid. A whole bunch of name labels for her belongings. There were so many adorable icons to choose from, and different permutations of colours that it was pretty hard to decide.

What struck me immediately was the quality of the labels, which was no surprise, as they are Swiss made. Much better than the cheap ones we used to buy. I love that they stuck on really firmly, even on her bags and the straps.

Large stickers

The small labels are perfect for labelling their school books. I really liked that they were able to be removed cleanly, which is great as we pass down the books from one sibling to the next. I chose black as it goes with most colours.

Small stickers
The shoe stickers are very useful especially when they enter primary school as the kids have to remove their shoes during music and computer lessons, and it is hard to find your shoes in a whole pile of similar looking designs!
Shoe stickers

They have 2 different versions of iron-on labels for clothes. The bigger ones are permanent, and you can add an icon. I found these to be highly useful as some of my kids go to the same school and their uniforms are 1 size apart, and our poor helper has a hard time differentiating them. The smaller labels don’t come with icons, but these can be removed by applying heat with an iron.

Iron-on labels for clothes
I got carried away labelling Kate’s little snack boxes and I wanted to label everthing in sight. Now she’s all ready for school. Not sure who’s more excited!
Heart stickers $13.50

Sane tip: Name labels are a kid’s (or rather, a mum’s) best friend once they start school.

Save tip: Here’s a discount code to take 10% off all your stickerkid purchases from now till 14 December 2014. Discount applies to the value packs as well.

10% DISCOUNT CODE: Wee1324

Not only that, I also have an exclusive {GIVEAWAY}

ONE set of 14 Round Stickers for you to try their stickers for yourself. These are the right size and hold the right amount of information!
{GIVEAWAY} Round stickers

All you have to do is:

  •  Like Mummy Wee’s Facebook page
  • Like this post on Facebook
  •  Leave a comment on Mummy Wee’s Facebook post stating your email address
Details:

  • 1 winner will be chosen at random
  • Open to Singapore residents only
  • Ends 9 December 2014
  • Winners will be announced on Mummy Wee’s Facebook page on 11 December 2014
  • Winners will be contacted by Stickerkid

Disclaimer: We have been sponsored the labels by stickerkid. All opinions are my own.


~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

My Gym – Kate loves the different activities!

We have come to the end of our term at My Gym which our sponsors have so kindly extended to Kate. She really enjoyed the classes and keeps asking to go back to ‘gym school’. What I really liked about their sessions is the wide variety of physical activities Kate was exposed to which I couldn’t possibly carry out myself. They change their activities weekly which was perfect for her, as she figures things out much quicker than before and gets bored with the same activities. My post at the beginning of our term showcased the different segments of the 1 hour session, so here I shall give you a glimpse of the different physical activites she enjoyed over the 10 weeks.

Stilt walking

She must be thinking, “What’s this strange contraption? Feels like a swing, but it isn’t.”

Swinging Disc
The teachers said Kate had strong arms and is able to pull herself up. Very soon she can join her older siblings at rock climbing!

Baby mountain climbing

They have cool stuff which the older siblings were envious of, like swinging on the trapeze.

Trapeze artiste in the making?

Even though she’s usually the youngest in the class, she is quicker than the others, thanks to her daily training at the playground by her gor gor. She didn’t even need her teacher to hold on to her. Real monkey.

2 little monkeys climbing up the wall

This ‘hanging hoops’ activity looks deceptively easy, but it takes a lot of coordination to hold onto one of the coils without letting go, while grabbing the other swinging coil. Concentrating so hard…

Nearer, nearer…

The older kids love doing this ‘flying fox’ thing which they sometimes find at big park playgrounds. Kate finally has a chance to try it out for herself.

Space Flight

Kate thought it was easy peasy walking up this little slope, but then it started to tip.

Lots of leg work and body awareness involved to steady herself. After gaining her balance, she managed to walk down slowly unassisted.

Sometimes they have a game at the end of the session instead of the toy box. When the teacher announced that they were going to play “What’s the time, Mr Wolf?”, I was thinking to myself, “They’re only 2, no one’s going to follow your instructions.” I was really surprised they could get the hang of the game (although many were happy to run towards the wolf to get caught). Kate had watched her siblings play it before, so she was wary of the wolf.

Who’s for dinner?

There is also ample opportunity to socialise with the other children.

Playing peek a boo

Someone’s cheating

It is without a doubt that Kate thoroughly enjoyed her time at My Gym. The teachers are very encouraging, and they are patient even with those kids who keep crying and are reluctant to try the new activities.

Her first certificate!

She especially liked teacher Javier, who made it so much fun for her! 

Some of my friends think that they should only send their child for gym classes if they are clumsy. Personally, I feel that physical activity is so important to kids from a young age, irregardless if the child is ‘active’ or ‘clumsy’. If you can afford it, it is good to send your child for such lessons. For kids who are very active, it is a great way to let off the excess energy in a safe environment. For those who seem to have ‘two left feet’, they can work on their physical abilities and learn some exercises which you can follow through at home. And for kids who are already quite physically competent, this would stretch them further.

MY GYM is a U.S. program with 30 years of experience in children’s fitness. Their classes are suitable for children from 4 months to 10 years. Classes are 1 hour long and fees are $468+GST for a 10-week term + $60 one time registration fee. If you are thinking of what to do for your child’s birthday, why not give them a call and find out more. Their Birthday Bash looks really exciting, and are specially catered to kids all the way from 1 month to 10 years old.


Disclaimer: My Gym sponsored Kate a term of lessons. All opinions are my own.


~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

MY GYM @ Westgate

Kate has been bugging me for weeks to send her to school. Every morning, she gets into the car with #3 and #5 and nods her head enthusiastically saying, “Kate school?”. And after the other 2 are dropped off and we arrive back home, she will start crying and repeating forlornly, “Kate schoooool… Kate schoooool…” So when I told her she could finally go to ‘school’ at MY GYM, she was extremely excited. She wore her shoes, strapped on her bag and stood at the door waiting for me.

“Peace, mum”

She joined the Gymster class which is for kids 19 months to 3 years old. The class commences with about 5 minutes of free play for them to warm up and get settled in. Then everyone sits around the red circle for circle time. Teacher Liyana prepped me beforehand that on the first session, it is normal to expect any of these 3 reactions from the kids.

  • Crying
  • Clinging on to parent
  • Exploring the gym
I was quite certain Kate wouldn’t do the first 2, but was expecting her to wander around for most of the first lesson. I was pleasantly surprised to see that she wandered around only a little bit and participated fully the rest of the time. 5 minutes of free play wasn’t enough for her to finish exploring, so when Circle time started, she promptly ran off to have her own fun at the slide. Teacher Javier went over to her and gently guided her back.
Circle time
Next up was Practice skills, where we are shown skills to practice at home. Today teacher Liyana demonstrated how to facilitate their headstand. Kate was in the midst of walking towards the action and she stepped right up to the blue mat and became the model for today’s headstand.
Demonstrating a headstand
The following segment was Explore and Adventure. The tots walked on an intersection plank to work on their balance and to learn to wait and take turns.
Balancing
The next station was the trampoline, which helps to work on their agility. And of course, it is always heaps of fun for kids to bounce around.
We jump, jump, jump and we stop!
Next, they rigged up this really cool ‘flying carpet’ and the kids were assisted in walking across it.

The magic flying carpet
They also took out these portable swings which Kate absolutely loved. This is to get the kids used to the swinging motion and so that they won’t have a fear of heights. She kept asking to go “higher, higher” and squealed when I pushed her really high. Finally when it was time to say “bye bye” to the swings, she was upset and kept standing at the door to the storeroom and asking me to get it back out. I explained to her that she has to wait for next week, and teacher Javier distracted her by carrying her over to the ‘flying carpet’.
“Wheeee!”

We were almost at the end of the session and it was time for ‘Separation’. Parents were instructed to stay as far away as possible or even hide from the kids to gradually get them to reduce their separation anxiety. The kids sat on the blue mat and played with toys and sang songs.

“The babies on the bus go Waahh, Waahh, Waahh”

This boy is so adorable. He was really into it. For a moment I thought he was really crying. Then he suddenly burst into a giggle.

It was time for Manipulatives. Today’s object was the playground ball and they had to clench the ball between their thighs. Their imagination was stimulated by asking them questions, for example, “Is this a hat?” And Kate nodded! Haha.

The hour passed so quickly and soon it was time to sing the ‘bye bye song’. There was no doubt about it. Kate absolutely loves her school and can’t wait for next week!

MY GYM is a U.S. program with 30 years of experience in children’s fitness. Their classes are suitable for children from 4 months to 10 years. Classes are 1 hour long and fees are $468+GST for a 10-week term + $60 one time registration fee. If you are thinking of what to do for your child’s birthday, why not give them a call and find out more. Their Birthday Bash looks really exciting, and are specially catered to kids all the way from 1 month to 10 years old.

Sane tip: As I am home with Kate, I don’t want to enrol her in a full school program, but she needs some stimulation. So this is perfect for her. After her 1 hour class, she is all tired and goes home and has a nice long nap! Time for mummy’s siesta too 😉

Save tip: All gym programs come with 1 Free Open Gym per week during their term of enrolment. They are quite flexible with their make-up policy and up to 2 make-up lessons are allowed per term.

To see how Kate has progressed, here’s my review at the end of the 10 lessons.
Outlets islandwide:

Jurong East (Westgate)
Tel: 64659205

Tampines
Tel: 67897061

Marine Parade
Tel: 64409916

Rochester
Tel: 66849220

River Valley
Tel: 67335168

Ang Mo Kio
Tel: 65562145

Disclaimer: Kate was sponsored one term at MY GYM. All opinions are my own.

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Ed-Quest – Mandarin Enrichment Centre

Typical of many families these days, my kids are hardly exposed to Mandarin outside of their school classrooms. It is no surprise that they end up failing their Chinese year after year. I asked around and was recommended some of the big name enrichment chains. I signed the 3 older ones up for a year but found no improvement in their grades. Now my strategy is to give them one-on-one tuition during their P6 year and so far, the 2 older ones managed to get an ‘A’ with 1 year of chinese tuition.

When we were extended an invitation by Ed-Quest for #5 to attend a Mandarin Enrichment holiday program for a week, I was apprehensive to send him as he already dreads Mandarin lessons in school and I wanted him to have a good break and enjoy the June holidays. I glanced at the program and was surprised that it looked interesting and very hands-on. I finally decided to let him join as #3 and #4 were also going to be tied up with school for that week. In the end, I’m glad he went, as it was a fun way to expose him to the language and he found out that Mandarin doesn’t have to be dry and boring.

Having fun making lanterns
In his 1 week holiday program, they did lots of interesting activities like wrapping rice dumplings, cooking jiaozi, folding dragon boats, just to name a few. I like that they adopt the approach that Mandarin is not merely an academic subject but a language that is rich in history and cultural roots. As this week’s theme was on food, they explored the food items with their five senses, then created and tasted what they cooked. As their interest was piqued, they were more interested to learn the related descriptive words. The holiday program is catered to children between the ages of 5 and 8 years old. The older kids were exposed to more phrases and idioms, and they also wrote poems and short essays about their experiences thereafter.

Tea appreciation
#5 got his good buddy to join him for the holiday program, and when I picked them up, I asked Wu laoshi for feedback and if they behaved well. She said they enjoyed themselves and mentioned that #5 is a visual learner. I quipped, “He hardly understands Mandarin, so he watches to know what to do!” I probed on about his behaviour as his school teacher keeps telling me what a naughty boy he is in school. Wu laoshi mentioned that he is rather mischievous and always tries to push the boundaries. He would also make jokes constantly and tries to do things his own way. Spot on. She deciphered him in 1 lesson. I asked her if she was able to handle him and what methods she used because his school teacher was at her wit’s end.

She shared with me that she did not scold him but was very firm with him and patiently explained why his actions are wrong. Perhaps he can tell from her tone that she is not merely nagging him, but was genuinely concerned about him. She also explained to me that I have to break this behaviour if not he thinks that it is acceptable to play up in every class. Needless to say, I was extremely impressed with Wu laoshi. I relayed my feedback to the management and they told me that they believe in hiring very experienced and competent teachers.

Making jiaozi

I was surprised that #5 actually looked forward to going for the classes and Wu laoshi told me that he started behaving really well and even helped the younger boys. One of the days, they were taught how to make jiaozi (meat dumpling) and she noticed that #5 was fumbling and was probably on the verge of rebelling or giving up. She explained to him why the edges should be tucked and sealed and he went on to improvise and made a whole dozen! I’m glad laoshi didn’t insist on him making it that one and only way and she allowed him leeway for his creativity.

His UFO-looking jiaozi

Ed-Quest has been around for more than a decade, and with Mrs Patricia Koh (founder of the first Pat’s Schoolhouse) as Education Director, they firmly believe in bringing the language alive and making it relevant to the children. My sentiments exactly. If only our schools can adopt this approach, along with having smaller classes, many of our kids won’t be struggling with the language.

The fees for their holiday program are at $250 for 1 week, 9am – 12noon. It runs through to July to cater to the international students as well. Do contact them at 6356 8186 for more details. In addition, they have regular classes for both children and adults.

Sane tip: I’m glad #5 had a very positive first Mandarin enrichment exposure. I’m now all for exposing them to Mandarin in fun and interesting ways. If they can slowly build up their vocabulary and listen to the language spoken more, it wouldn’t be so tough on them during the PSLE year. Ok, here’s my new strategy: Let them join fun Mandarin lessons during the school holidays (I get to have a break too!), listen to some Mandarin CDs, and give them private tuition during P6.

Save tip: I believe in giving my kids quality extra academic classes. No point wasting the child’s time and my time sending them and put them in any enrichment classes from P1 just to make myself feel secured that I’m doing something extra. I always follow up on their progress and ascertain if there is any improvement in grades. If there isn’t, I will stop after 3-4 months because I believe that if the child finds the right fit of the teacher and the method, we will definitely see an improvement in their grades or at least in their interest in learning that subject.

Ed-Quest

177A Thomson Road
Goldhill Shopping Centre
Singapore 307625

Tel: 63568186


Disclaimer: We were sponsored this holiday program. All opinions are my own.


~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Help! My toddler refuses to read

After my earlier post on why should children read, a friend shared that her 3 year old daughter refuses to sit to be read to. I’m sure some of us face this situation too. If we start reading to our kids from a young age, say below 1, we usually will not have this problem. Here are some ideas that you can try if your child refuses to read.

1) Go with their interest

Get books on topics which they are currently interested in. If they are into toy cars, read them books about cars. You can start will books that have lots of pictures of cars to pique their interest. You can slowly progress to books with more words. If they are crazy about Disney princesses or Thomas the train at the moment, get them books about that. Once they get used to reading, gradually introduce other books.

2) Change the environment

If you have been trying without success to read to your child at home, why don’t you try a change of environment. Take her to the park bench downstairs or the library. Sometimes all you need is something different to break the negative association.

Kate loves her books

3) Hype it up

Before you sit your child down and open the book, you can start talking about it in a really excited manner. The same way you would probably tell her about going to Disneyland. Say in an excited way, “Wow look what I’ve got from the library! It’s your favourite. You love trains, don’t you. Now, let’s see what sorts of trains we’ve got in here..” Your child will be curious and will pick up on your excitement and she will come over and sit with you to find out what is so fascinating.

4) Audio

You can borrow some audio books from the library and play it for your child to listen to, perhaps in the car or as background reading while they play. After getting used to listening to the audio CDs, they may be more willing to hear you read to them.

5) Adjust your expectations

We may think that children should sit nicely and quietly and be read to. However, many boys are very active and find it very hard to sit still when they are young. Some girls are like that too. #3 is like that. She has to do some action in order to concentrate better. So even if your child is walking around or fiddling, just continue to read to her. She will be taking it all in even though she may not look like it.

6) Take it slow

Don’t expect too much. Perhaps you can start off with 10 minutes. If your child manages to sit and listen for that length of time, give her a big hug and praise her. Gradually increase by 5 minutes.

Sane tip: Don’t beat yourself up if your child refuses to read. She will pick up on your tension and it will be a losing battle. Just relax. Try the tips I mentioned above and hopefully it will work! Give yourself a pat on the back for every little improvement 🙂

Save tip: When the children are young I prefer to borrow books from the library. You don’t know what your child likes to read and may end up with a whole load of books which she refuses to read. I only start to buy them books when they are in Primary school and they know their preferences.

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~