Sunday, 28 August 2011

Free play: Homemade Playdough Fun

Remember I mentioned that we were going to make playdough two weeks ago? Well, we didn't because I was exhausted after converting the storage room into a playroom.
So, we did it this weekend! Big hugs and kisses to Aunty Sharon and Little J for allowing us to make a mess in their lovely home. It was a resounding success. Little Tiger loved it!!
Actually, I think the mummies enjoyed it more..hehe.

Plain dough with recipe for homemade playdough.
The recipe was part of a handmade birthday card for Little J.
We bought him a cute Playdoh kitchen set.

These are the dough after colouring them.

Little Tiger enjoyed squishing the playdough.
In this shot he was flirting with Aunty Sharon.

This is Little J, posing with the dough roller.

Taking a dip in the small pool after all the 'hard work'.
Tiger's pulling a long face because he's not into sharing yet  :)

And here is my cutie pie:

This is the recipe we used:

  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil (Aunty S say don't use palm oil cause it stinks. Use Sunflower oil)
  • 1 tablespoon of Cream of tartar
  • 1 cup of water

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add in the wet ingredients and mix well. (we used the blender)
  3. Put mixture into pan and cook over low heat. Stir constantly as it burns rather quickly.
  4. Remove when the dough rolls into a ball and allow to cool a little on the counter
  5. Then knead it till it is nice and smooth
  6. Add colour and essence after the dough has cooled. (We did it with rubber gloves as we did not want green hands!!)
  7. Can be enjoyed immediately
  8. Store in fridge
  9. If it doesn't feel right after some time, toss it out and make a new batch!!
 It was a fun way to enjoy a lazy, hot Saturday afternoon. Tiger dozed off on the way home :)

Thank you for having us!!
**Little J with Aunty Sharon**

Thursday, 25 August 2011

A Little Monkey in Tot School

Many people have been deceived by Little Tiger's angelic face.(You don't have to agree o.O) Nope, he isn't always the cute little munchkin pictured in Tot school. Occasionally these happens during home practice sessions:
Opening drawers and chosing his own tools.

Throws Mr Bear on the floor and climbs onto the chair.
He thinks this is really funny.

Sticker himself
Sometimes, he chews the flashcards. Occasionally, the Tiger will attack the paperbacks.

He has a preference for math and music. He usually starts signing water, food and sleep during vocabulary lessons. Rascal...

Defiance is the way a child exert his autonomy. Toddlers do not grasp the concept of 'No'. They need to test the boundary and your patience along the way. It's part of their journey to achieving independence. I love the book Positive Discipline: The First Three Years by Jane Nelson. Will share some of my notes soon.

So, what do I do when Little Tiger turns into Little Monkey? Well, after I rescue the books, I sit back and enjoy the mess. That's what early education is all about. LOVE. At the end of the day, you must remember that learning starts from the heart.

This weekend we are planning to do foot painting for Art & Craft Sunday.

Have a great weekend!!

Letter To Tiger Thursday: Fun Thinkers

I was thinking that since this blog is about Tiger, I want him to have something special. Therefore, every few Thursdays, I'll write Tiger a short letter. Not mushy mushy ones, so that everyone can read.

Also, I want this to set the tradition of letter writing for the future when we are too angry to speak to each other. You know, when he's a sullen teenager and I am menopausal..hehe. I am old fashioned that way.

So, here's letter number 1:

Dear Tiger,

You never cease to amaze Mommy. The simplest thing you do fills me with so much joy.

Mommy bought the Fun Thinker Set before you were born, *kiasu*..cough cough..ahem. Anyways, you enjoyed playing wih the tiles since you were 5 months old but Mommy never got you to arrange it back into the frame.

Then yesterday night, I found you hard at work:
For some reason, I was so proud of you.

Not only did you put back all the tiles, you put it back in the cupboard after you were done.

Also, Mommy want to apologise for not keeping a journal for you since I was pregnant. It is not an excuse to say that I was too busy. I hope you have the kindness of your Daddy to forgive me.

Love you lots


Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Shopping: Where to buy cheap educational/wooden toys in Malaysia?

I have been buying more wooden toys for Tiger lately. Perhaps it is the influence of Montessori. Unfortunately, wooden toys don't come cheap even though 90% of all products out there comes from China. Unless you want to talk about HABA toys. 

I found a place nearby that sells these wonderful products for a fraction of the original. Meaning copy-copy from Melissa and Doug. Quality wise, though not excellent is acceptable.
Mini easel: with whiteboard and blackboard.
Comes with marker and duster for RM 38.90
Book basket not included :)

Block +  train at the left of the picture. RM 29
Looks like this:

Picture from Melissa and Doug.
Looks exactly the same. M & D retail price: RM 79

Wooden town car set (34 pieces) with 6-piece floor puzzle: RM 29

Wooden pieces with numbers and alphabets
Box has white and blackboard

Movable alphabet & assortment of puzzles:  RM 6 - RM 10 each

One of my favourites. Fishing for numbers with magnetic rod. RM 18

Magnetic tangram. Comes with a small booklet and box.
Small pieces, saving for later
For me it is quite reasonable. All the above came from Fun & Cheer, the shop that sells everything under the sun for a lower price. Just google it. Of course, you will have to open the package to check if the toy is complete. Products are exchangeable if flawed.

Here are some of the stores around Klang Valley:
1. Taman Bukit Maluri, Kepong
Tel 03-6274 8230
2. Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Selangor
03-3323 6012
3. Pusat Bandar Rawang
Tel: 03-6091 2797
4. Jln SS25/2, Selangor
03-7803 6712

Please do be careful when you let your children play with the toys. I try to avoid buying things with magnet or smaller pieces that may cause choking. Please don't come after me if your child eats the paint.

I mod podge all the pieces to seal in the so-called non toxic paint. It's a lot of work but if I keep buying M&D, I may become a single mother....

So, for those of you who don't know what mod podge is?
This non-toxic and non-flammable glue and sealer is ideal for all surfaces.
Washes out of brushes easily.

Alternatively, you can purchase salad bowl finishing which is a food grade finishing
for wooden products.
Happy shopping!

Alternatively, you can purchase from local online stores. We love Bumbletoys!!

Please note that Tiger is not a mouther, so I feel fine when purchasing the above. If your child loves munching on EVERYTHING like Lil Dragon, please keep the smaller pieces away. Play safe!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Tot Trays: On Tiger's Shelf for F

Tiger is 14.5 month old this week.

Thanks for all the kind remarks and interest in Tiger's activities via emails. I thought I will share this week's tot tray shelf set-up.

Our alphabet of the week: F
Theme: Human Body and The Five Senses

Clockwise from upper right hand corner:
Right top shelf (L to R):
1. Mr Potato Head from Toys R us for learning body parts
2. F is for frog flashcard (from MPH) with groove for tracing the letter f
3. F is for fish flashcard (from ELC) with touchy-feely fish
4. Some printouts on A4 with different things starting with F
5. Small photo frame from Ikea to write down letter and theme of the week
6. Melissa & Doug (M&D) stacker

Right middle shelf (L to R):
1. Mommy-made letter box with EVA foam letter F and magnetic alphabets from letter a to f. He is suppose to put his hand inside and feel for the letters. (sense of touch)
2. Mommy-made sight/discovery bottle with sponge pieces, sparkles, and small toys
3. Mommy-made sound and smell bottles 

Sound bottles with EBM bottles that I don't plan to keep anymore
1. With small tangram pieces
2. Small wooden clothes peg
3. Rice

Smell bottles with cotton buds:
Made from condiment bottles for RM 1 each
1. Lavender essence
2. Almond essence. Yummy!
3. No smell:  for control and comparison

Caution: If your child is able to open the bottles, please seal it with glue/hot gun. Tiger will sign 'open' but he can't do it by himself, so I didn't seal it. He is allowed into the study room with supervision only.

This is already a hit with Tiger.
When I asked him to choose one item from the shelf,
he immediately pointed to the bottles

Playing with the shakers

Right bottom shelf (L to R):
1. M&D shape puzzle
2. Placemat from egg week

Left bottom shelf
1. Wooden rods with numbers from egg week. I added number 3 for more challenge

Left middle shelf
1. Ping pong balls and palette for palmar transfer

This is a 'recycled' tray.
He didn't enjoy this at 12 month old

Left upper shelf
1. Peg puzzle for human face

To keep right brain practise material for the week, human body flashcards, TW flashcards, completed worksheets and art work as well as knick knacks.

Not in picture:
1. Poster with labelled parts of the human body
2. Mat to present tot trays
3. Dinosaur sensory box. Still a favourite!

Tiger learned to sign 'dinosaur' (clawed hand with a tiny roar)
beacause he wanted to ask for the box!!

Monday, 22 August 2011

DIY: Sandpaper letters

This has been done to death on the Montessori blogs but I just wanted to share mine :)

Used for:
This is a multi-sensory approach to teaching letter sound. The child will hear the sound, see its form and feel the way it is written. Since a motor pattern should be learned correctly from the first time, it is very important that the child trace formed letters properly. This will help him develop a good foundation for handwriting later.

1. Print out free template to make sandpaper letter from

Link to print (arial font) lowercase alphabets:

Link to print (arial font) uppercase alphabet:

Link to cursive lowercase:

2. Cut out individual letters. Pain in the ass part.
Lowercase alphabets cut from printouts

3. Trace the outline of the above cutouts onto sandpaper.
Make sure the front/printed part is facing the sandpaper.
You don't want to induce dyslexia in your child.

4. Cut from sandpaper. Even bigger pain in the ass.
Sandpaper cutouts
5. Admire your crazy work
Tadaaa!! I'd reckon it's quite nice.

1. Sandpapers: RM0.50 per piece. (I used 3 pieces for 2 sets of lowercase)
Why 2 sets? Back up plan. I doubt I will do this again in the near future

2. Cardboard/cardstock: RM 1.40 from Popular Bookstore
It's so cheap I think they counted wrongly.
Blue: consonant
pink: vowels
Supposed to be blue for vowels but I like the blue more.
Me, not strict Montessorian. I like it this way.

For proper method of 3 lesson period, go to:
(Caution: Very long article. I only covered the 'fun' parts)

Difficulty: 1/5

Your price: RM 2.90

Retail price: RM 190.00

Original product (made of wood, not paper)
Happy DIY-ing!!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

First trip to an indoor playground!!

Last Sunday, we took a trip to Kid's E World at Gardens Mall, Midvalley City. Tiger Daddy battled an hour of traffic in the shopping mall parking.

It was totally worth it because Little Tiger thoroughly enjoyed himself. It was his first indoor playground experience! He was SUPER excited from the moment we entered.

Picture from Kid's E World
Posing on the moving ship. Tiger love anything with a steering wheel.
Had to pry him off the ship. Ain't paying RM 50 for a ship ride...
With Daddy on the giant slide

Tiger licked all the balls in the pit 
Seriously, this kiddo has an issue with OCD. Half the time he was picking up the balls and arranging the giant blocks and rockers.

Are we going back? You bet. As soon as mummy's bum bum don't hurt so much. Age is catching up..

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Code Name: The Secret Weekend Project

On Saturday, I got busy. Since Daddy bought the overprice-but-undersized slide cum gym, I needed space. 

Hence the secret project:

It took just one afternoon and lots of bruises and cuts to convert this: 

Tiger's out-of -rotation toys plus storage. Scary? I know

Into this:

New playroom  cum storage

Tiger reaction: He's ecstatic, naturally. We had some friends over that night itself to enjoy the new room. 

Mission accomplished :)

PS: Notice the train table at the lower right corner? I planned to keep it for transportation week but I caved. I am so weak.....

Hope your weekend's been great so far!!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

How do we do 3 part lesson and tot trays?

Tot tray is a method of presenting activities to you little one. If you don't have a tray, buy from Daiso or use any old box or basket.

I usually set out 5-6 trays/activities.

By having a prepared environment, you create a routine during their sensitive period for order and presto, a happy kid.

This is how I do tot trays with a toddler friendly version of 3 period lesson with Tiger.

First lesson: (Naming)
  1. Present by laying out all the materials from 1 tray.
  2. Tell him what it is.
  3. Demonstrate the intended use.
For example: Category box activity

 Me: This is a cabbage, a brinjal, etc. This is the box with slits. The chips belong to the same family, vegetable. This is how we will play. (mummy will then demonstrate how it's done)

Tiger: blink blink o.O

Me: You want to try?

Dumps everything on the floor. That's fine too.

Me: We will try the slits when you are ready,k?

Tiger: (Starts inserting through the slits) This does not happen all the time, it will.

Second lesson: (Recognizing)
Can you show me the cabbage? 
Praise the effort if they hand over the right object and move to lesson three
If they don't, go back to first lesson.

Third lesson: (Recall)
For talking toddlers only, point to the cabbage and ask, what is this?
For Tiger, I would ask and as with ESP games and matching memory games, I talk to myself.  
It may sounds a little cuckoo but hey, experts say that the more you speak to your child the better their vocabulary. How many times can you say peak-a-boo in a day?

3 part lesson is a non-critical way to teach your child which will built his self esteem. I use this approach to teaching the any concepts or ideas.

"Help me to do it myself." A child to Maria Montessori

Disclaimer: I am not an expert on Montessori but I have read widely on the subject. This is one of the ways we adapt different methods into our curriculum. I pick what I think Tiger would enjoy and bend the rules a little to make it suitable for us.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Tot School: E is for Egg

‘Un’schooling Tiger Week 5 (9- 20th August) @ 14 months

Alphabet: E
Theme: Food

These pictures are for those who think that I am torturing my Little Tiger by teaching him early.

Doing Brillkid's Little Chinese. Pointing to his nose

Enjoying Little Reader (English)

Nursery Rhyme
Humpty Dumpty

Art & craft
Check out the concentration :)
Using these:

Sticking foam on to letter 'e'


Using magnets on Do A Dot print out
from Jolanthe's Homeschool creations

Using stickers on the same print out

Is this too cute or what? Using crayons on worksheets from 1+1+1

Colour, synonyms
Repetition of Tweedlewink (TW) cards

Skip counting by 3 using finger puppets  of Tiger's choice from Ikea. Always give choices, it keeps things fresh.

 Tot trays:
1. Scooping eggs

2.       Inserting rods into wooden numbered plates

3.       Silicone shapes for matching

4.       Set the table: Placemat
5.       Felt vegetable for matching with flashcards (or chewing in this case)
 6.       Colourful numbers rod: ignored
 7.       Mini knobbed cylinder: still ignored from dino week!
  •  Theme (food) related:
  • Food book,
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • The Carrot Seed
  • If You Give The Mouse A Cookie
  • Lift the flap Egg book
  • Feed me: Super cute book (Also a hit with tiger)

The Carrot Seed: Favourite book of the Week.

Educational toys in rotation

This is all he does with poor dress up bear. Pretend it's a shoe and drag it around


  • Dress up bear (to replace dressing frames. How smart!!)
  • ABC pegged puzzle
  • Soft block
  • Wooden Imaginarium blocks
  • Tolo pound-the-shape
  • Mini  art easel
7. Cutting fruit with wooden 'knife' wearing his 'chef' bib that says rice in chinese :)

Country of the week: Poland
Locating Poland on the map.
Polish E-flashcard from Brillkid.

Food pyramid. Tiger shredded the pyramid before I could take a picture.
Sound waves (TW)


Note: A
Playing with note A music bell.
Right Brain Home Practice:
Tiger refused to do ESP or memory work this week :) That's ok cause we had a great weekend!!

We are linking up with Tot School:

Feel free to leave a comment (no haters, please) or any questions regarding my tools or toys. I usually remember the store and price. I have a problem, I know.
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