Christmas Workshop for Kids at BlueTree Education

What better way to introduce Christmas to a child than with engaging stories, hands-on activities, acting it out and fun crafting?! Ayra had quite a blast skipping her usual playgroup classes for an entire week while attending a Christmas Workshop with BlueTree Education.

Some of the highlights from the 5 day workshop for Ayra include…

Learning her directions of Up, Down, Left, Right and North, South, East and West.

She has better sense of left and right now! No joke! Learning through play is the best for kids.

Getting to cut and cut and cut with scissors.

And she is now able to cut following the lines! Thought not neat and perfect, but still a good improvement. Super proud of this little 3 year old.

Assembling her first snow globe!

This craft is so fun and easy to make. I hope to find time these two weeks to make some with Ayra as Christmas gifts for the family.

Just look at how intense those eyes are when she saw her finished globe.

All the kids cannot take their eyes off their snow globes. Just too fun and pretty!

Getting to meet and sit on Santa’s lap

She was so engrossed in meeting the Santa and responded to his questions willingly, not a common thing from the usually shy Ayra.

Finally, the best part of the workshop for her is probably getting to meet Isadore and Xavier. These two boys showered Ayra with so much attention and care throughout the 5 days in class. Ayra being the youngest student, these two big brothers were trying their best to help ease her into the activities and guiding her around. Thanks boys for the TLC given!

A group shot of the class and teachers with Santa

Though it was just 5 days of 3 hour session spent with the elder boys in class and three wonderful teachers – Teacher Mabel, Teacher Liz and Teacher Diana, Ayra did learn new things and has been implementing what she has observed in class into her conversations with me. And she is able to recall stories and new words she learned, when driving home on the last day, she was stuffing her teddy bear, sewing it up while doing the actions. These were taught on the fourth day in the workshop. I’m pleased and very happy this shy little girl, though did not participate 100% in class, her quiet observations did show some learning. Guess this girl is a true virgo – shy and observant in nature.

If you like what you see here, there are still a few more slots available for the workshop at BlueTree Education. Get in touch with them to find out more! Workshops are fully booked.

More photos from the workshop can be found on The Loving Mum page on Facebook…

 

 

$50 off all regular programme registration with BlueTree Education for readers of The Loving Mum Just quote The Loving Mum during registration.

Toys Craze: Ayra the DOHVINCI Designer, Making Creativity Pops!

Getting Ayra to smile for the camera is one of the toughest thing to do. But she did it willingly and so sweetly when receiving her first certificate from a teacher. She has completed (with lots of help from Mummy) the DOHVINCI Designer workshop held by Hasbro Singapore.
DOHVINCI Designer Workshop
Before she went upfront to collect the certificate, I reminded her how she has been watching the elder K2 kids do it in school during their practice for their graduation day. And I am so proud this super shy girl did it, receiving the certificate like a pro!

Ayra and Zara participated actively at the DOHVINCI Designer workshop that day. Ayra behaved extremely well and were trying her best to follow the instructions given by the teacher that day.
DOHVINCI Designer Workshop

Prior to the workshop, we did some preparation work together. We watched Ayra’s favorite toy review videos on YouTube that features DOHVINCI.

These videos got her super hype up for the event. And when she finally got to touch the stylus, she just focuses on that. At the workshop, she learned to creates dots and lines with the DOHVINCI stylus. Probably the two easiest design for Ayra to do right now. Squeezing the stylus to get the doh out takes a little more strength than what this little 3yo is capable of. But still she tried her best. Probably explains why she gobbled down the entire plate of pasta served at the end of the workshop.
DOHVINCI Designer Workshop

But Mummy gets to do more creative stuff with DOHVINCI and I just can’t wait to squeeze some time out to squeeze this thing! Just look at the many colours we have to play with! I am so going to buy more DOHVINCI DECO POP 4-Pack Assortment (RRP S$6.90) to decorate our playroom!
DOHVINCI Designer Workshop

LOOK at these pretty toys and home decor accessories! With some DOHVINCI magic, all these just pops up looking so much more fun and pretty! Great gift DIY ideas for Christmas too!
DOHVINCI Designer Workshop

DOHVINCI Designer Workshop

DOHVINCI Designer Workshop

At the workshop, we were decorating our own DIY mini Christmas trees. The materials were simple – A christmas tree cut-out, some plain shapes, sequins and DOHVINCI of course!
DOHVINCI Designer Workshop

Ayra showing you the DOHVINCI stylus up-close. “You put the bottles of doh into here, then push this in… and squeeze…
DOHVINCI Designer Workshop

Zara the littlest designer at the workshop. Looking super cute in that artists cap!
DOHVINCI Designer Workshop

At only 14 months, all she could do was to open and close the stylus and pretend it to be a cute blue gun.

DOHVINCI Designer Workshop

But she still managed to add her touch of magic on our christmas tree that day. No hands too tiny for some creative fun time!
DOHVINCI Designer Workshop

Ayra decorating her tree at her best effort. It’s challenging keeping a 3yo focus on something for this long, but DOHVINCI did it. I’m amazed!
DOHVINCI Designer Workshop

And our two lovely trees from that day. These lovely tress are now sitting in our living room, adding some christmas feel to our monotonous living room.
DOHVINCI Designer Workshop

Back at home…

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the DOHVINCI Memory Masterpiece Ribbon Board Kt (available in stores at S$29.90), so while Ayra is in school, I took my time with it all by myself.

This kit includes 2-piece board with ribbon, the Styler, one design tip, 4 Deco Pop tubes, add-on pieces and inspiration guide.

Before I start on a project like this, I like to place the pieces out to have a feel of how I want the end product to be. Just like scrapbooking. Of course, the final product usually varies slightly.

This kit comes with a piece of the design tip which creates a wide ribbon-like stroke with it. I can imagine the more fun designs you can do with more design tips!

Here’s my completed DOHVINCI Memory Masterpiece Ribbon Board Kit, with some of my favourite Instax mini prints.

Thank you Hasbro for having us at the fun DOHVINCI Designer workshop! Looking forward to more fun time with Hasbro Singapore!
DOHVINCI Designer Workshop

DOHVINCI art and design kits available at all Toys’R’Us and major departmental stores in Singapore.

Ayra shouts “UNO!” The Future Asia’s Numero UNO?

So we received a pack of UNO cards in our mailbox, and its the Hello Kitty pack! Seeing how cute the cards are, Ayra couldn’t wait to open up and play.


Looking at the box as if she understood and reading Japanese! LOL! Of course we had to ask Google on how to play UNO to help refresh our rusty memory (the pack sent to us were the Japanese version!), it has been decades since I last played UNO!

Do you know there is a Asia UNO Challenge? Started in 2013, it attracted participants from 8 countries in Asia to take part! And the winner was 9 year-old Nigel Ong who won the challenge in Tokyo, Japan! Seriously how cool is that? Check out the tournament setup in Tokyo last year!


Photo via official site

Perhaps with more practice from now, Ayra could win the championship come year 2018, where she will be old enough to take part! LOL! Well, she did win her first ever UNO game with us that night! See that smile on her first when she threw her final cut into the pool!

Asia Uno Challenge is played by 4 players in each game. The objective is to be the first player to get rid of all your cards in 2 rounds (1 round of UNO cards & 1 round of UNO Attack) and score points for the cards your opponents are left holding. The grand prize winner will then be flown to Singapore to compete in the 2014 Asia UNO Challenge taking place on 23 November 2014 at Jurong Point Shopping Centre – and a chance to be crowned as the ultimate Asia UNO Champion. The Singapore Finals is from 1pm to 2pm and the Regional Finals from 2pm to 4pm.

If you are around Jurong Point that weekend, go check out the event at Centre Stage, Level 1. There will be exclusive UNO® merchandise promotion up on sale, as well as a special appearance of our local 9 year-old Youtube sensation, Dr JiaJia. Children can also get up close and take a photo with UNO® Morphman. (I wonder who this mysterious UNO Morphman looks like.)

For more information, check out http://www.unochallenge.asia.

Well, if you are wondering how a 3-year-old can play UNO and win at her very first game…

… she had her cards opened and Mummy assisted with verbal coaching of the game play! 😛

Toys Craze: Takara Tomy Tomica Cars and Playsets

What started out as a small fun toy has now grown to take up 1/6 of our playroom. It began with two cute little Tomica character cars which Ayra got to zoom around with on the dining table. Just because these cars were too cute to resists when she first chanced upon it at SPC, toy cars sold at petrol station. How appropriate!

Then it was the beginning of “cute car collecting spree” for Ayra. She got a third car from Let’s Play at Sunshine Plaza

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And then for her 3rd Birthday, Mummy me decided to upgrade her table “road” to a playable Tomica playset of a garage. This one moves your car but the spinning track is a little loud and noisy, which of cos I didn’t know until after I bought it. meh

Tomica Playset

But this the two girls enjoyed playing with it very much. Creating their very own human traffic jams with Duplo characters and the Tomica cars.

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And the loving Grandparents had to upgrade the girls’ playing set a day after (for her birthday too) with two giant playsets which outshine the much noisy one I got for her. Initially I thought we could combine the three play sets together, but these two does not go together with the one I bought. The girls just liked to see the cars running around the track and up the carpark elevator.

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And slowly but surely, the collection of Tomica cars are overtaking her Duplo characters! To date, we have almost 20 cars of mixed colours, make and model. We kinda slowed down this and try to avoid the showcase in stores so Ayra wouldn’t want to “Just look at it for awhile” (so she says).

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With all these cars and zooming around, I hope she doesn’t grow up to be a daredevil race car driver!

Toys Craze: Shopkins Small Mart Playset

I’ve never seen nor heard about them before until Ayra introduced this cute innocent looking shopping basket to me during our visit to Robinsons at Heeren. It was between buying this $4.95 blind bag toy for her vs $69.90 Peppa Pig House so we can move out of the toys department at Robinsons, of course I paid for the cheaper option. If only I knew what can of worm I opened that day!

Since then, her YouTube video selection has included these cute little characters of lipstick, cabbage, apple, pies, comb and all 150 characters from Season 1 of Shopkins. Oh boy! Of cos we’ll not be collecting them all! But I do see at least the collection growing a little more than 10 pieces at least over the next few weeks. Just look at that cheekiness in her smile when posing with her new playset from Grandma!

Ayra with her Shopkins Small Mart Playset

$39.90 from Metro.

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This is the unboxing, first look and first play video I made with Ayra on the night of purchase.

Got to stop letting her discover new toys from YouTube. In the past when I was a kid, I was introduced to the latest coolest toys on TV commercial, and back then, we rarely get to find out more about these toys beyond that few seconds on TV. Now with YouTube, and all the famous toy review channels, Ayra is easily influenced and attracted to new toys after watching how these grown up toy reviewers make playing with these toys so fun and imaginative. Ayra does pick up some positiveness from these videos, like learning to role-play with her toys, mixing and matching different toys to play and learning to create imaginary conversations. If only there is a way for me to allow only a pre-selected list of YouTube videos for her to watch.

Ayra with her newest favourite toys for the season.
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Anyone of you collecting these Shopkins characters and has got spare to trade? Get in touch will you? Thanks!

Reasons why we rather pay more for toys

I am a shopaholic, especially when buying things for my girls. I used to buy something new (big or small) for Ayra every week, when we had only one child. And we ended up with many different types of toys, books, stationery etc around the house.

When Zara came along, I felt that the purpose and value of play has changed. I tend to think more before buying something for the girls.

When Ayra shown interests in playing with pots and pans, we bought her small packs of toy utensils and food, then we had a tiny plastic kitchen, followed by a bigger play kitchen from her Uncle. Right from the beginning, when I’d wanted to set up her playroom, the wooden IKEA play kitchen was what I wanted to get. But tagged at more than $100, we didn’t. And look at her kitchen play area now…

Sep 2014 - Play @ Home

Yes! We should have gotten that right from the beginning, and would have saved more money from buying the other plastic none durable play kitchen!

Continue reading “Reasons why we rather pay more for toys”

Our Playrooms at Home

Since we moved into our new home in 2012, we’ve done well, nothing much to it. Just that the amount of things increase almost too quickly, and we did some reconfiguration a few times since. What used to be a playroom for one, has now extended to become playrooms for two. And because we wanted to do more things together as a family on weekends, we moved the girls play area into our living room.

The hub was rather against the thought of having toys in the living room cos he cannot tolerate mess. But I tried my best to keep everything as proper as I can and occasionally update the toys (means discard tattered and no longer playable ones) and rearrange them so that it’ll be easy for us to maintain the play area.

We are fortunate to have found this house. By keeping bulky items to the minimum, the space allows for lots of running around for the girls. And each of them get their own space to play if the decide to play different things.

All toys and books are stored in an Expedit shelve and see through boxes. Only toys that are commonly played by the girls are kept in the living room. All other stuff are stored away from their sight (as much as possible) in the other play room.

Here’s a closer look at how things are sorted out on the shelve.

On warmer days (like the recent crazy weather), we prefer to play in the room which is less humid and is cooled with air-con. This room, which used to be Ayra’s playroom before it transformed a guest room for my parents when Zara arrived, and then later into Zara’s changing room, and now a room just for storing toys and clothes. When the girls are big enough to sleep in their own room, this will be their wonderland. (Can’t wait to transform the room!)

The girls love playing and there is really no reason why we should stop them from creating a mess. As long as we have a proper system of maintaining order in the chaos, no play is not allowed. Okay, except for Play Doh! I totally cannot tolerate the tiny little pieces and the cleaning up after each play. All Play Doh and accessories are stored out of sight from Ayra until she learns how to better play with them.

For now, there’s the cooking role playing which she loves, LEGO and duplo, playing dress up with her gang of Barbies, role play as doctor or mummy or a teacher with her dolls and there’s of course the many variety of books for her to pick up and flip through.

As for little Zara, anything in her hands are new to her. And when she’s done shaking, swinging and trying to poke it into your face, most of the things in her hands will end up one place – her mouth!

What have you got in your kids’ play room? Share with us in the comments below!