Thursday 29 March 2012

Space Sensory Bin and Command Center

We are officially launching Space Week here in Tiger's Tot School
 Imagine if suddenly he decides that he isn't into space anymore?


Here's the space sensory bin I put together before bedtime
The Space Bin is very simple.
  • Black beans as base. 
  • Glow-in-the-dark Moon, Sun and Stars
  • Mommy-made felt planets
  • Some small prickly pom-poms

The Sensory Bin is placed at Tiger's Space Command Center, which is really his Art Center :p
Here's what I did:

On the wall:
I stuck a space poster (from Popular bookstore) on his dry erase board (from Becon Stationery)
Then I covered his art material with a piece of black felt. To reduce distractions/space statics :p

On the floor:
I just lined the floor with some shiny, foil paper, meant for outdoor use (from Daiso).
On it are his illuminated globe (from ELC), sensory bin and some space-themed books.
Note: The gorgeous globe is currently on half price promotion!


I rummaged through our collection and found these:

A space touchy-feely book
Papa, Please Get The Moon For Me (Tiger loves this book)
Berenstain Bear's On The Moon (Chinese & English version)
Fact books (for EK) Planet Earth Question & Answer Book
Scholastic 1000 Things You Should Know About Space

Update: 03 April 2012

He LOVES his space center!!!!!!!!!!!

His fav activity, asking the slave (that's me) to name the planets over and over again

and again...

and again.....Not that I mind ^.^

This is his favourite bin to date.
He thinks it's funny to hear me say, "ladle"


Wednesday 28 March 2012

DIY: Felt Planets

We have not been schooling since I came back from the annual honeymoon trip with Hubs. A lot of messy play outdoors after Mommy's work day but no theme work as yet.

I was thinking about what to do next and decided to follow Tiger's interest. His favourite song for the past two weeks is still The Solar System Song. (Warning: This is a super sleep-inducing song. I have no idea why he loves it so). So, we are doing S for Star and Space Theme next which explains the manic Space ideas pinning. One of my favourite idea was the hand sewn felt planets from Counting Coconuts.

Now, I love it when Tiger learns from singing and he enjoys himself even more so with props. So, the not-so-crafty-mama had to do this even if it destroys a few finger tips. ^.^

Our DIY Felt Planets
Not the prettiest but it's the thought that counts, right?
Jupiter (lower row, left) looks like a jelly donut

I was sewing frantically so that he could have it before bedtime. Guess what, he threw the tiny Mercury at Daddy in the bathroom  =.="

Whose kid is this?

Maybe I have to present the planets in a better manner, like a Space Sensory Bin?  ^.^

If you are interested in making your own Solar System, here's what you will need:

Felt pieces: From Daiso

I used mostly different fillers for most planets:
Styrofoam balls (Daiso)
makeup sponges
art sponges
plastic bags (for crinkly effect ala Lamaze toys)
bells (Sun only)
cotton balls
wooden beads

*I used his stacking cups to roughly estimate the sizes.

Update: Tiger can name the planets simply because he loves the song and the felt planets soooo much! Who said you have to be Mensa-smart to do that?

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Alphabet Box For Toddlers

Being a blog stalker, this was a love at first sight project for me. An 'Alphabet Box' is basically a chest of little drawers (those used for little nuts and screws) to store little objects beginning with the same letter sound.

I...umm...bought two sets of black little drawers from Giant hypermarket sometime back. One was intended for the medicine cabinet but I told hubby I needed two :pp

I am still in the process of collecting little knick-knacks to fill the drawers when I realised that he could just match his EVA foam letters to the drawers! Since he is so into alphabets and phonics at the moment, this was a wonderful little exercise for him.

First, we got his 'pasar malam' alphabet stickers to label the drawers from A to Z

Excellent fine motor work!
Also good to practise his alphabet recognition.

He messed up the drawers and was made to put them back :p

The labelled drawers (upper case)
I made the letter sounds as he searches on the foam mat (lower case)
Then he pulls out the matching drawer and places the letter inside.
There were some alphabets that he required help but mostly he was pretty independent.

Teaching E E. (Yup, he named the monkey E E)

Good job kiss!

We spent about an hour playing this (yes, he has crazy attention span at times).

If you like the idea, please visit:
Living Montessori- DIY Alphabet Box for links and variations to the box.
Counting Coconuts: The Alphabet Box. She has included a list of suitable objects and a free template for the letters.

Monday 26 March 2012

Shopping: IKEA sale

I generally don't buy a lot from IKEA but 'a lot' is hubby would beg to differ.

We I decided it was time to redo part of the living area dedicated to Tiger, much to Daddy's displeasure. He has a thing about keeping things simple. Unfortunately for him, I always win. It is only logical for Tiger to have more space since he spends practically 24 hours at home. Insert *evil laugh*

For this area, I decided to get the eight compartment EXHIBIT shelf, a new carpet and a blue MAMMUT table. We already have some chairs which are available in ToyRus for RM39.90 each but they are cheaper in a lot of other places.

Mommy's Lil handyman
He wanted 'real' tools instead of his wooden toy tool set   =.="

Tadaa! This was the result of the last excursion to IKEA with my also pregnant sister, Ashleyprettimommy.  We were very competitive as kids being so similiar in nature. Being pregnant and mothers brought us so much closer together. Dear sis, if you are reading this, you still owe me a meal.
When Tiger saw the carpet, he shouted, "Car, car" and ran to his playroom to get the train box. He was playing by himself while I was fixing the table. Then he thought it was funny to drop the cars into the legs. Currently, there is still an ambulance trapped in one of the legs =)

I have since added two mini bean bags from Hommy for Tiger and Grandma to chill out together. *Must remember to take a pic*

All this was completed on the night before the Hong Kong trip. Mommy gulit, I guess.

Saturday 24 March 2012

Hong Kong @ 23 weeks

I'm back!! It has been a week since my last post. Hubby and I went on a short 4 days trip to Hong Kong. Nope, we didn't bring Tiger because this was a partially subsidized trip =). I love freebies, don't you? He he....

I missed blogging, everything Malaysian and most of all, my precious son. Even four days felt like an eternity when I am not with him.

The biggest differences between Malaysia and Hong Kong (just my opinion):
1. You can carry sling bags in Hong Kong without worrying about snatch thieves. In Malaysia, even in the car, you are at risk of being robbed.
2. HK policemen actually look like they exercise. In Malaysia, it is almost compulsory to be fat with a belly.
3. The girls in HK smoke like mad! Seriously, these people actually smoke, eat and talk while walking.
4.  Customer service is generally horrible. It's just the way they talk. Imagine Asian New Yorkers.

Day 1: Typical tourist spots
Not really my thing, seeing the stars...except this:
HK Madame Tussauds: I tried, but I just couldn't reach ;p

Day 2 :  Disneyland, HK
My favorite part of the whole trip: DISNEYLAND!!
Woohoo!! I was on a sugar high the whole time..he he...
If not for my swollen belly, I would be jumping in every picture. 
I managed to infect hubby with some well deserved 'Disney-itis' as well =)

I looked really pregnant in this dress. Like FAT pregnant.
Some lady actually asked "You can still travel this BIG?"
I was offended, so I replied,"I can climb a mountain, ok?"
I didn't add, "Mind your own business or your butt is bigger than mine" : p
Just to share how totally psycho I was the entire time, here's proof:

It was a Buzz Light Year laser tag game.
Hubby was reluctant to go on this ride at first but I think he enjoyed it more than me.

There were so many little girls dressed in princess outfits.
I had to grab one of them for a pic.

I had to have this!

My personal fav of Disneyland:
The parade

The Mickey 3D show

 Day 3: SHOPPING!!

The trip was excellent, with the best weather I could ask for. We literally shopped till we dropped. Shopping while preggo is no easy task. The worst part is having to go to the bathroom every half an hour because of the chilly weather. Also, carrying an excess baggage while shopping from 10 AM to 12 MN is a real testament of hubby's love =)

Travelling from Kowloon to HK island on the ferry

Break time in Lan Kwai Fong
No night drinking sessions for dear kaki...he he he

Day 4: Shopping at the airport and anticipating the trip home to Tiger!
On the last night of our trip, I told hubby that I have shopped enough for the entire year (This is a tiny lie). 

Present for Tiger.
A pulley luggage as well as a ton of other stuff.
As expected, he sat ON it as well as IN it!

Present for Mommy!
Thanks Hubby...muaks muaks!!
I told him I won't be buying another bag for 5 years (This is also a lie ^.^)

Friday 16 March 2012

Phonics play: 'Swimming' With Letters

I love the mornings when I am not working and waking up to Tiger's voice.

Today was such a morning. We were in a mad rush for his Tweedlewink class at 9 am but we made just it in time. Surprisingly, he was VERY well behaved today. He did stare at his new classmate for the first five minutes to check out the competition.

He has become more keen on phonics lately, asking for Letter I and saying "Eee" repeatedly. He has moved on from Math to Phonics now =)

Then, we had a mini breakfast at Papa Rich where he was an angel again, the waiters went "Aah, comel nye" (Translation: So cute)

When we got home, I casually mentioned "Swimming?" and he went NUTS. He started doing his jiggly dance and assisted in changing his outfit...he he...this would never happen if it was bath time.

Since he is so into letters at the moment, we used his ELC foam alphabets for water play. We said all the phonic sounds randomly as we tossed them into the pool.

He kept swirling them around and laughed non-stop

I am off to IKEA with Ashleyprettimummy while Tiger nap.

Have a great weekend y'all!!!

Toys: Rotating Them With Tiger

We are taking a mini break from Tot School/Theme Units because I could sense that Tiger was becoming bored. He'd rather paint or sing toYoutube during Train Week.

He was also getting bored with his playroom because Mommy was too lazy/fat to rotate his toys.

According to Grandma, he would go into his playroom every morning, look into the baskets of manipulatives and occasionally select a few to play with. Since I don't get to see him in action, I have to get feedback from Grandma and the maid regarding his habits (The sad part of being a working mom)

The slide and the train table are his favourite toys. He also likes the drum set and play kitchen because they are the noise makers :p

When Tiger was younger, I would rotate the toys after he has gone to bed. Since I have the energy level of a sloth now, I had no choice but to do it before I collapse for the night.

Last night, we experimented: Rotating Toys With A Busybody. Surprisingly, it was a very good night of learning. In fact, I think he enjoyed it more than schooling..he he.

I let him select his own manipulatives.
He chose the pipe ones.
I made an 'E" and asked him to search for it.
He loves matching games.
According to Tiger, "E is for Eh-fant"

Then, he wanted to tread buttons.
He needs help with this activity.
I love it when he asks for help since he is usually such an independent worker ^.^

We expanded the alphabet mat.
He really likes this EVA mat but I REALLY need to toss it out.
It was a gift.
The ban on EVA mats in Belgium and France are actually due to the emission of the formamides.
I couldn't find the any further details on this mat.
I am not sure how safe they are but hey, there are tons of other carcinogens around us.
When we first got these, I washed them. Yes, I did.
And dried them in the scorching sun, hence the faded colours.
Then, I left them outdoors until they no longer emit any smell.

This 'Pixar Cars' mat is made in Korea (Parklon)
According to Parklon, they have been tested to be safe. Here's their certificate.
I was going to roll up the mat when he stopped me.
We flipped it over and and he rolled, jumped, fell, laughed and sang.

He sang 'his' own version ABC which goes something like this, "A, C, E, A, D, ahhhhhh"

We stored away the kitchen and FP Learning Home.
The train table is for his wooden toys.
The slide is a permanent fixture.
He loved the ball pit so much, he didn't want to go to bed. I added his soft blocks as well.
We played till almost midnight :p

Sigh, the mat do look so nice...

Thursday 15 March 2012

Messy art: Mixing colours

Tiger was suffering from art abstinence during his illness.

Yesterday, he found his plaster photo frame that we painted some time back and asked demanded for 'painting'. He told me "down" (to go downstairs) then he ran towards the door, asking to paint outdoors.

His rashes have been healing nicely without secondary infections, so I finally allowed him to get messy.
He was thrilled. Since it was late evening, we had to do it indoors. Dengue fever is rampant in this part of the world.

Mixing primary colours.
We used sorting plates as paint palettes
He loves the Melissa and Doug Jumbo brush.
Can you see the dash of green?

Asking for water to dilute the paint

He took the green plate and asked for "gween" paint

My favourite part of the whole evening?

My Little Tiger cleaning up after himself

Taking the stool to Mommy's bathroom for washing up.
Double ^.^

So glad he's better for more artsy fun

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Right Brain: The Problem

We have been on a flashcard break for waaaay too long. Hence the shelf setup in Train Week.

Whenever I try to flash fast (ala Shichida) or according to the heartbeat (Tweedlewink method), he snatches the cards from me. Sigh....It is difficult to get past ten cards nowadays before he runs off.

Monkey boy have more important/fun things to do. For example: painting, singing to Youtube, Tot trays...

He also enjoys doing this:

Yup, so much for rapid flashing and hopes of developing photographic memory.

I hope I can post about The Solution one day :)

Why is this important? I will direct you to Shen Li's blog because she writes so much better than me. Don't forget to read the comments :)

Sunday 11 March 2012

Tot Trays: Train/Transportation Week

Tiger's a 21 month-old.

I was going to share this last week but we were a little stressed up with Little Tiger's
Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease.

He was a little fussy, bossy and itchy but otherwise active as usual.
He did take his role as BOSS very seriously though.
We played 'school', gave him lots of Ipad time, lots of juice; all on demand. is going to be tough 'de-bossing' him.

Play area
This is a little play area for different types of transportation.
The town map in the middle is actually large a 8-piece puzzle.
His toys are kept in the travel soft box that unzips into another town scene.
This is just for fun.

His study table
  • His transportation themed books.
  • His sticky alphabets
  • Some Crayola stampers
  • His Crayola Dry Erase Center and some markers

The trays:
I am now leaving the top shelf for his right brain home pratice stuff:

1. Flashcards basket
includes whole words, transportation, Chinese words, Doman dots.

2. Music box
Tuning fork, Montessori bell, flashcard of G note, and Mr Wagner
(I no longer need to display this, Tiger knows its place)

Pegged puzzle:
This is way too simple for Tiger.
I bought too many of these :p

Magnet puzzle:

This is more challenging with multiple-sized circles.
I didn't have large magnets, so I made some from foam paper and attached them to some magnets.
The train engine and letters are from ELC

DIY tray
Making his own March/Transportation calender with some stickering fun!

Art fun:
Race car action with printout from Making Learning Fun.
The plan is to dip the wheels in paint! 

No particular reason tray :p
Leapfrog Fridge magnet

Transportation themed from:
Mommy made Thomas cards

New toy!
Really cool map with holes for flags
 We are learning about The USA this week
That means getting to know the map and flag.
I'll also read some trivia facts to hhim

Of course, the beautiful new globe!

Other crafty ideas that was put on hold:

1. Washing his toy cars outdoors
2. Messy painting with wheels
3. Painting giant bus( made from large cardboard)


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