The birth of my number 4 -- Lebox

Saturday, May 20, 2017

I went through it again! The birth of my number 4! After my two Ks, my diapercake business Rhapnroll, I took the plunge together with fellow mummy xavvylicious on 27 March 2017 and started a new venture! The conception and gestation of this baby is certainly the shortest. Phew! I don't have to carry it for 9 months before my waterbag bursts and go through 27hours of labour pain (that was how long it was before Big K decided to make her appearance😅)

It was really by the stroke of fate that Lebox was conceived. It started as an innocent brunch date with xavvylicious on a fateful Monday morning at Forty Hands. We were chatting about random stuff and the next thing you know, it was a lightbulb moment for the both of us! We were so in sync in thoughts with respect to educating our children. We wanted to do more! We wanted to spread this love to time-starved mummies. Children are like sponges and it is such a sad sight to see their little faces glued to the google boxes or the ipads. I do not deny that a certain amount of screen time is necessary for our own sanity as well as to let the child be in the knowing. I wouldn't want them to be outcasted just because they didn't know Fluttershy is part of My Little Pony. However, the increasing reliance on gadgets is prevalent and we can't deny. Hopefully if readymade learning materials are readily available, parents may consider putting down the gadget and bond with the child.

With the intensity of the rat race, we also recognise that academics is essential. It isn't easy to marry academics to fun but we have been doing quite a fair bit in that area with our own children so why not spread the love to others? 

To focus on Chinese (for the moment) was pretty clear to me. You see, Small K doesn't seem to fancy the subject and in fact refuses to reply his teachers or us in Mandarin. I realised this could be because my plate had been so full, trying to keep those two little beings alive when Small K came to this world, hence I was not able to expose him as much as i did for Big K. It was only after almost 1.5years did I achieve a better equilibrium and ensured that the two did not starve, had clean clothes to wear and got to school mostly on time. The name LeBox was also inspired by Small K who is affectionately known as 乐乐. Lè can also be hanyu pinyin for 乐 and 'the' in french! And recently, a fellow mommy A also pointed out that it could take the meaning of LEarningbox! Wow! One name, many interpretations! I love!

So right after that brunch session, xavvylicious and I started brainstorming and spamming each other with ideas and like they say, the rest is history!

Without further ado, may I present you with Lebox first box based on the Dumpling Festival theme!

Did you know that Dumpling Festival is also known as double five? Don't know right? Well, I didn't as well! I didn't even know there were more than one folklore leading to this festival! Apparently 屈原 is not the only celebrity here! Anyway, let's start with what we are more familiar with. The Dragon Boat Festival memorializes the patriot poet Qu Yuan and has held an important place in China's agrarian society. It falls on the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar, explaining why one of its alternate names is the Double Fifth Festival. 

To help children be more culturally aware, #leboxsg has proudly come up with a Chinese learning box filled with fun materials which allows your child to not only understand the culture more, but to boost his interest in the Chinese language.

Steaming inside the box are:
- A sticker storybook about the origins of Dumpling Festival -Sequencing cards to enrich literacy
- Supplies for craft
- Supplies to teach numeracy
- Bricks for fine motor skills
- Fun reusable worksheets for word recognition
- Right brain training cards
- Fishing kit to teach word recognition
- Oracy materials
- Parent Guide with detailed activity instructions

Our materials can be used to complement each other. There may be more than one way to play. It is up to your imagination.

For example, our right-brain material is a gem. It can double up as ESP training, memory training and telepathy! 

In case you don't know what I am talking about, here's the summary:

The right brain is sometimes known as the image brain. Through high speed training, it enlarges the vessel for the brain. ESP: It forms the right brain's 5 senses, similar to how the left brain senses are: sight, touch, taste, hearing and smell. So how do we play this?

  • Place the set of 4 cards in a row facing up.
  • Have your child hold another set of 4 cards facing down.
  • Ask your child to place each card facing down corresponding to what they think is the same as the set that is facing up.
  • When your child has placed all 4 cards, flip them over to check if they are the same as those facing up.

Another way of using this set is to hone their memory:

  • Place the 4 pictures on the grey board in whichever order you desire
  • Show it to the child for 3 seconds and then face the cards down.
  • Get the child to arrange his set of cards on his own board.
  • Once done,  flip over your set and let the child compare. If the child is having difficulty, start with one or two cards. Adapt the game accordingly to age and ability of your child. There are many possibilities and you may rearrange the cards and repeat the activity.

Lastly, we could work on telepathy with this set of cards. Telepathy is a child's ability to make a successful guess of what is visualised in the mind of his parent. You may think that this is bogus but it is a good skill to have when you need to tikam tikam for MCQ during an exam! It is actually to strengthen your intuition. So here's what you can do:

  • Line up the 4 cards in from of your child, faced up.
  • Line up 4 cards in front of yourself faced down.
  • Take one of your cards without showing your child what it is and stare intently at it and see the imagine your mind. 
  • Repeat this as many time as you like.

It isn't Dumpling Festival yet but I have started some activities with my children and they absolutely loved them!

Hop over to @leboxsg on instagram and shower us with love! 

We put in a lot of effort in this and hope that all Lebox users will learn in a 快乐 manner!! 

Homelearning:: Easter fun

Thursday, April 20, 2017

I am always excited when there is a festival coming up. Not only because we get to party and bond as a family, but it is also a great thematic learning opportunity. 

The long weekend of Easter Sunday just came and went. We aren't Christians but I think it is nice for my children to be exposed to the story behind Easter lest they think that Easter is a celebration of bunnies and eggs!

Was pretty glad to get this book from My Greatest Child at Citysquare Mall. It was going at 1/2 price!

To complement the theme, below are the activities we engaged in. I think I might have outdone myself this year!

This was an inspiration from @tiny3rds I basically printed these adorable chicks and pasted onto a piece of used cardboard. Then I painstakingly cut with a blunt blade. -_- The process of making was far longer than playing. Small K took less than 1min to place them into the relevant holes. 

Sensory treasure hunt for matching eggs. The eggs had shapes and the kids had to find the matching shapes and colour.

Counting activity. It was quite a challenge to get Small K to have the patience to count through. This boy is completely different from his sister in terms of learning styles. I foresee it is going to be an uphill task. 

This activity is a recycled one. Inspired by @playlexue. The faces of each Sesame Street character was painstakingly cut out! My eyeballs almost popped! This year, i changed the action slips and hey presto we've got a new activity! The kids enjoyed it tremendously especially when it involved physical actions.

Gifted by @happytotshelf who played an instrumental role in this event. Very glad to have met her and didn't expect to share so many things in common. 

Art and craft. Big K's favourite. I was glad I had these stash in the pile of materials I had! It was a life saviour coz I wasn't prepared to do anything that day but the kids were patiently for mommy to present them with activities. A blessing which I couldn't say no to.

It's about time Small K (35mo) try his hands at lacing. however, it was treated with lukewarm welcome. He used it as a kite and ran around the house instead. -_- I guess that's the difference again, between a boy and a girl? Big K started to show very good fine motor skills at a young age whilst Small K is more adept in his gross motor skills. That said, this boy held the pencil the correct way far earlier than Big K! He must be some kind of genius! teehee

It was all about Science. We discovered that vinegar will disintegrate the egg shell and turn it into a naked egg after 48 hours. It could even bounce! Amazing that the membrane is such a great protection for the chick (if there were a chick). The other Science activity we played with was the overused baking soda with vinegar. Though an old activity, the kids seemed to have great fun and refused to stop. Probably because this time I added colouring and they were busy mixing colours. 

Letter hunt. I really didn't expect Small K to know his letters well, but he surprised me! This printable was from totschooling

Colour Sorting. An activity inspired by JsAreana. Once again, lovingly cut out, but activity completed within a few minutes. 

It smelt heavenly!

This activity has got to be the highlight of Easter! We were invited to attend an egg pop cake baking session conducted by the queen of chiffon, Susanne Ng. It is my 2-year goal to bake a decent cake and this was certainly a great push. In fact, it pushed not only me, but the husband who decided that he is a whizz at baking. This man is sometimes so full of himself. So much so he has accepted the challenge to bake a birthday cake for Small K's impending birthday next month. It wasn't as difficult as I thought, but the technique needs to be improved. The unmoulding process wasn't that easy. Probably because we couldn't wait for it to cool. Taste wise, it got the thumbs up from the kids! In fact, the kids enjoyed the baking jam so much they kept telling everyone that they baked.

The next highlight of Easter was a meetup with some homelearning IG mommas. These mummies are extremely passionate in teaching their children and are so creative and inspiring. Just look at the activities they prepared for the event and you will know what I mean! It was a great opportunity to show my children how easy and nice to make new friends. Somehow, it doesn't come naturally for my kids to make new friends, hence as their mom, I probably should show them and set a good example. I am glad that I can finally put a face to the many IG accounts I follow. 

Small K's favourite activity: Waterbeads!

Egg hunt! Big K was delirious that she found all the eggs and there was a surprise inside!

DIY lava lamp. An activity created by playlexue. She is one creative mommy who puts together interesting stuff for her kid, QR.

Playdoh can never go wrong at a party. These aren't ordinary playdoh. It is homemade by MessyfingersThe tools are so interesting that even I wanted a piece of the action. 

Hope you guys had a good rest over the long weekend! I know I need a good  (and long) rest after all these activities!

Homelearning:: Birthday theme

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

wonder if it is me only but i feel this this year is flying by extremely fast! It was the New Year and before you know it, March hols is over! That's life when you have kids i suppose? Or perhaps a mid-life crisis syndrome? 

We hardly did anything last week since it was he March Holidays. The papa was in town hence i took the opportunity to bring the kids outdoors as much as possible. Not that I am unable to handle both kids outdoors but my blood pressure would be more contained with an extra pair of hands and eyes. 

So this month has been a month of celebrations. Following my birthday at the end of February, came the fil's 66th birthday and in two months' time, Small K will be turning 3! Cue:: screams! 3? Seriously? Well, didn't I tell you that time is flying by too quickly? Sometimes I wish we didn't have to sleep so that we can spend more time interacting and doing activities. Am always in a mad rush but thankful for the mornings I can spend with the kids. Can't imagine when Big K goes Primary school next year. How am I going to spend time with her especially since schools are all single session these days. By the time I get home, she would have been asleep if the hubs is around to attend to them. For now, we are spending a mere few hours in case you wonder coz we wake up pretty late. Now before you go green with envy, I sleep late and often get interrupted sleep as Small K will always sneak up our bed in the middle of the night and Big K will wake me up if she needs to pee and Small K again will cry for milk at 7am. 7am seems like a fair time to wake up, afterall we should gear towards primary school but sorry, the mother can't get up so off he goes, back to bed haha. So yeah, with such episodes of interrupted sleep, I am pretty amazed that I am still holding up well.

So back to the topic. This month, our theme is Birthdays. Here's sharing what we did::

Our birthday shelf

To promote fine motor skills and introduce letters to Small K

Playdough. Now, which kid doesn't like that?

Small K is well versed with number 1 to 10, so I thought it is time to introduce bigger numbers. He can count but didn't have the patience to paste stickers onto the colourful cake. A big difference from Big K. 

Promoting fine motor skills. Inspiration from @playlexue

Finally taking our my Frobel stuff for the kids! It has been cold storage for far too long.

These cupcakes look so real we all wanted to eat! But nope, they are all toys! I suppose the "cream" is a kind of clay as it was rather tough for a kid to squeeze out. This was a gift from a friend but I believe you'd be able to find them at Toys R us.

I'm getting all excited about Small K's impending birthday. Honestly, I have yet to give it any serious thoughts.  Afterall, our parties are generally for family only. And most of the members don't give a hoot about birthdays. It's solely my fantasy. The only thing done is that I've ordered goodie bags for his little friends at school. Considering that we have 2 more months to go, I think I'm way advance. :P