Tuesday 26 January 2016

Wash hands and bath like never before!

These days, when I instruct "wash your hands, please." In the quickest moment ever, I get scampering feet to the sink. All because hands washing has become a colourful joy! Meet these little friends, the Sud-Z buddy soap, Clancy Clownfish and Ophelia Octopus who light up and glow with different colours when in contact with water. Yes, bath and hands washing are different from before, it's more fun now!

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Sud-Z buddy

These easy and mild to use glycerin soap are paraben, sulphate and fragrance free. Safe and gentle for our little ones, even to the delicate and sensitive skin. What you had simply need to do is to turn on the tap, get it in contact with those hands and water, wash or bath like a normal soap, and it lights up! It activates bubbles after a few seconds of wash. The dancing fun lights are sure to excite your little ones. Js were really tickled by it.

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Nicely fit those palms

It was so deLIGHTful watching them enjoy their hand washing moments. We specially love the shapes and sizes of these little soap, which were carefully crated to fit those little palms so it doesn't slip out easily. Really a cute and fun washing experience!

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Sitting pretty, awaiting the next wash

After they are done with hands washing, all they had needed to do was to use their palm, wipe of any excess water at the bottom of the soap, put it back on a dry area. It magically turns off! Ok, if you have failed attempts, use a dry cloth or tissue to wipe the bottom dry before seating it again. Rest assure that the battery is mercury free with minimal voltage, hence no risk of electrical shock. Child safe gadgets are always the best bet.

At the end of using up the soap, the kids are rewarded with their little toy, but un-coated with soap. We have got new bath toys added!

These soap buddies are currently available online at Mummytoon, going on sale of $7.50 each. Great gifts in goodie bags or simply, to make any child delighted. Free delivery if you purchase $80 and above, so happy shopping around. Or if not, you can find them in stores, at Robinsons and Kiddy Palace.

The great news is, we have 3 soap sud-z buddies for giveaway, to 3 winners! All you had need to do is:
1. Like Mum's calling on Facebook.
2. Like Mummytoon on Facebook.
3. In the comment section of this Facebook post, tag 3 or more friends whom you think will be keen on this giveaway, or are new to Mum's calling.

Good luck!

 Terms and Conditions:
  • This giveaway ends on 05 Feb 16, 11.59pm 
  • Open to Singapore residents only 
  • Winner will be picked by random.org
  • Winner/s will be announced on this post
  • Winner/s will have 48 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn. 
  • All incomplete entries will be disqualified. 
  • All entries will be verified before the winners are announced.     

Disclosure: We were given the soap toys for an exciting wash or bath experience. All photos and opinions are solely ours. 

Wednesday 20 January 2016

I believe in you!

Parenting these days get really convenient, or to some inconvenient when you have been politely looped into a whatsapp chat group on school. Some days, it stays relatively silent, while other days it buzzes non-stop.

I've been looped into Jazz's school and class chats. She knows the existence of this gathered e-society with her schoolmates' Mummies, but I am much silent to her about the ongoing and discussions in our chat. Simply, I do not want her to know there's another platform to fall back on if she misses out something from school. Especially when it's her responsibility to be an attentive student in class. I prefer listening to her school's adventure, than surprising with "How you know, Mummy?!!"

So then, early this week she came back with a term of spelling list. I asked when her spelling test would be, as nothing was written in her diary. And, I'm assuming the teacher is giving the students full responsibility of their work, as she didn't get the kids to specifically write the date. It seemed that the date was given verbally, and it was great that Jazz could give a date. We will work towards that.

Next moment, you guessed it, there were various spelling dates and replies in our whatsapp chat. Replies such as, they will email the teacher to find out the exact date, with some mentioning that, "spelling can be anytime!" and "Spelling is this week!" Pretty normal, I thought. We are still fresh in a new school term, and everyone is adapting to how information is perceived. 

My daughter told me it was another date, 2 weeks from now. And nope, I wasn't a single bit of kan cheong because I chose to believe her. Like most Mums, I spoke with great confidence that she was right. I'm just glad we chose to believe our child! That's all about the point, not the spelling. Isn't it?

Not that I'm nonchalant about her school work, but I'm giving her my trust that the date she gave was right. I'm not swaying to the other replies or even letting her know that we have a mix of replies on the date. What is the worst that can happen?

Wrong date - Coming home a set of failed test. I thought great! It's one opportunity we can talk about being more attentive next time and learning to handle failure.

OR - we can choose to practice the trait of kiasu-ism. Study the list everyday! The last time I know, no employer sought to view my primary school results. Process seems more important than outcome.

In any case, the last thing I want her to know is that I don't trust or believe in her. My trust in her means, I will follow through her words. Whatever the date, we will learn and manage this together.

Often my daughter will go, "you don't trust me, Mummy." Without hesitation, if we are not arguing over a fact, like 'The sun is hot' I will never fail to say, "I do trust you."

I believe in you - Marianne Richmond

Just this week, we were reading a book hunted from the library, 'I believe in you.' I love Marianne Richmond's books, as it often connects our true heart with kids and family. One of the pages came alive to me and I thought how apt this book was.

The page that spoke to me!

"Whether it's sunny or stormy, whether you're happy or blue, I'm here to say, without a doubt, that I believe in you!" 

How far will you go in believing your child?

Friday 15 January 2016

Birthdays get more challenging

It was the man's birthday! And as usual, lavish meals and gifts aren't our utmost love declaration. The initial school week plus lethargy got us really weak. We got down to simplicity. I was so held captive by new routine that shopping for the man's gift turned conveniently online. I got something he needs, from Aldo. Awaiting its arrival.

No matter how tough or busy the going gets, I had always wanted the kids to know that we value birthdays in the family. Cake and candles are excellent for us! The man needed to be at work, and I brought Jazz to choose a cake after school.

Just how they adore their Dad

 Jazz did a card and printed some family photos for the man (photos which she asked him to print!). Sealed them in an envelop and presented to him while he was driving her to school. How sweet that was, I thought.

She then went on to plan some challenging activities for the birthday man. First to clear was the 'laser tag', which he had to cross the hurdle without touching the yarn she had laid out. They had to duck, dance and raise their legs to get over the other side of their room. You guessed it, the kids had more fun than their Dad.

The laser tag game
Second to clear was the treasure egg hunt. Jazz hid some eggs in the house, with clue in each to the next. It did seem really easy for their Dad, he cleared it within minutes! 

 I really marvel at her ideas.

Treasure egg hunt
There was just so much fun watching them play. I did wonder whom they were trying to please in here, their Daddy or themselves?!!! Oh well, I guess all it did matter was, we enjoyed this little celebration with games. It was definitely some wonderful memory stored.  

Happy Birthday, My Husband! May your birthdays ahead be bountifully blessed by these little kids of ours. I shall take the back seat now.

Friday 8 January 2016

Preparing for Primary One

We survived the early rises in this first week of school! Jazz's enthusiasm was only evident on the first day, when she jumped out of bed instantly upon the ring of her alarm. The lethal effect of early rises set in from the second day onward, when she started negotiating with her body for another 10 to 15 minutes of sleep. How did she take this trait after her parents?!!

Jazz had a relatively smooth transition in school, but not without some adventures. On the fourth day of school, she lost her way to the classroom as assembly venue was different from the previous days, and it didn't help that she misplaced her P1 lanyard. While she related that she was near to tears, I'm glad she picked up the courage to ask for directions, not once, but thrice. It was a major achievement for us! She does have silent lips when it comes to strangers.

And on one of the days, I volunteered to shepherd a class of P1 in school. I realised for some, it was a huge leap of change. Kids were crying, anxious and threw up. While the best we can do as parent, is to calm down and watch them school on. Here are some ways I gathered to help our kids prep for the initial phase of P1 to gain more independence:

1.  Pack their own bag
Teach them to recognize their books, go through the timetable and leave them to the subsequent packings. Having seen and recognized her books, she had no problem identifying the books required by the teacher. Days which she missed out some books, she will learn to be more attentive during class time.

2. Label or write name
I realized it was common for kids to miss out writing names on 'unconventional' items. Like huge files, journals, diary or other submission that doesn't prompt them to specifically write their name on. There's a higher chance of retrieving labelled belongings when lost.

Sticker by Sticker Kid

3.  Teach girls to tie their hair
For girls, perhaps, we should start the hair academy at home. Jazz still doesn't know how to tie her hair, but we have been practicing. I saw myself helping some girls tie their hair, while some approaching me for help. 

4.  Tissue and wet wipes
Does your child have noon snack in the classroom? It helps to pack mess free snacks, along with dry tissue and wet tissue. It can be quite a queue to wash their hands after snack.

5.  Make use of under desk
While I do encourage Jazz to leave some books and stationery (we do have staplers, sharpeners, scissors and colour pencils at home) under her desk, I told her to be cautious on what is or not needed for home. Textbooks may be needed for homework reference. It helps to either get duplicates for home or carry them daily. We have no intention for duplicates though.

A common sight that morning was little P1s carrying heavy bags. I could tell from their movements, drags and pleas that it was quite some toil on them. Perhaps it was books submission week. Most were offloaded after collection.

6.  Pack light
So then, I've learned that we should try to pack as light as possible. She contentedly settled with her light weight pencil case and snack box. A little love note doesn't take up significant weight, so that stays.

7. Toilet hygiene
Much more for girls than boys, the wiping of seat and cleaning up. Toilet paper is found outside the cubicles for Jazz's school. Told her to play by ear, depending on the type of 'business' she intends to do. It's also important to remind them on flushing and cleaning up after themselves, so that experience is pleasing for the next user. Taps are not commonly automatic for schools, most were seeking help because they had to juggle between soap, washing and pressing the knob down for running water. Practice makes perfect though.

8. Seeking permission
Most P1s struggle with staying focus for too long. From long assembly to longer classroom time, they need to learn how to hold their bladder. And if they can't, some do forget they need to seek teacher's permission before heading to the toilet. It's some herd mentality when it comes to toilet, when one goes, subsequent kids got reminded that they need to go too! Excitedly without seeking permission for some.

9. Food and money sense during recess
We have been practicing food buying for the longest time ever. Right from the beginning of last year. While school's buddy system did ease her from ordering and paying for food this week, she is still hesitant about buying on her own. We did all we could from getting her to speak up in restaurants and food court, but still a tough nut to crack. I don't know why and I don't recall her having any bad experience with stranger uncles or aunties. So parents, maybe we should stop threatening our kids that, "Auntie or Uncle will scold if you do this or that." Especially when it's a minor act.

We also talked about choosing food wisely, getting the mains first and saving up! Do lots of pretend play at home with real money, to improve money sense.

We 'sneaked' ourselves in as courage booster

10. Teach time
Use whichever watch that is comfortable for your child, the digital or analog. Teach them to tell when is recess up and how much time they have left to finishing up food or to ending a lesson. How long is each period and when is school over. I told her different watches and clocks may differ in minutes, as I didn't want her to worry if I am late for pick up. Approach the general office if she needs to reach me.
11. Emergency money
There will be days she will forget his/her wallet. I used a compartment in her schoolbag to put in $2. That will be touched on the day she forgets her wallet. She won't forget her school bag right? Remember to top up though, once it's used.

So yeap, 11 ways we can help our P1 kids ease into school. And a friend just threw me another tip, Make friends! Yes, so essential in this phase of growing and learning. More than just gaining new knowledge, we should focus on the social too. Teach them how to be a friend, more than just looking for a friend. Enjoy the friendships fostered! It is heartening whenever Jazz reports a name of her new friend.

I do hope she will enjoy this school journey with many exciting colours!

Let's continue adding colours to school life!

Any more tips? Feel free to share and expand.