Wednesday 28 September 2016

Our Pokemon Quiz

What has the local scene been like in the recent weeks? People on the streets are with their noses in their phones. Playing Pokemon Go is ubiquitous. We are in too. Augmented reality game is likely the going forward of many games. Though Pokemon Go was never intended for very young children, we know how it attracts when the parents play.

I welcomed my kids on board to play WITH us, with parental guidance. Good playing habits start early. We warned of safety being the utmost concern, followed by playing with a sensible mind. In our sense, we don't do in-app purchases. Sorry, Niantic.

So yeap, we've been Pokemon-ing (not addictive-ly) and sharing our adventures with like minders. Over food and drinks one day, we came up with Pokemon riddles! Mostly kids invented, so it gotta be really easy. No bounty for getting all correct, but maybe some fun moments with kids.

Try it, without scrolling to answers.

1. Which Pokemon always wins?
2. Which Pokemon needs nebulizer? 
3. Which Pokemon is always scared?
4. Which Pokemon likes to eat onions?
5. Which Pokemon is a brave knight?
6. Which Pokemon likes to eat ikan billies?
7. Which Pokemon likes to do the dishes?
8. Which Pokemon can break free?
9. Which Pokemon sneezes alot?
10. Which Pokemon attracts?  

1. Machamp
2. Koffing
3. Fearow
4. Onix
5. Dragonite
6. Ekan
7. Oddish
8. Butterfree
9. Pikachu
10. Magnemite

How did you fare?
10/10 - Get back to work
7/10 - Moderate player
5/10 - Try hanging out at MBS
1/10 - Where have you been?

All in the good name of Fun. Happy mid-week, everyone! 

Ps: Special Thanks to Uncle Snorlax and kids for contributions.  

Monday 26 September 2016

Roald Dahl books your child will love!

It would have have been Roald Dahl's 100th birthday this month. A familiar story writer if you grew up reading his books. 

In the eyes of many, Roald Dahl is one great storyteller since history. His stories have been fancifully imagined and ever captivating to the little readers out there. If your kids are between the ages of 6 to 12, his books are likely to work through the heart of theirs. It's a shame that not all his books made it into my childhood reading list. I am however, very much glad that Jazz is taking pleasure in reading almost of all his books.

Jazz may be an avid reader, but she is also one picky reader who selects her books with an interesting synopsis. Once she gets hold of a good read, she is likely to dive into it repeatedly. I find it amusing at how she can read and re-read a book more than once. I guess, good things are meant to be savoured over and over again.

In midst of her huge Roald Dahl collection, I asked her for 4 best titles that will delight any child in devouring from one page to another. Here's what she recommended:

We know right! This has got to top the list. 

Willy Wonka's famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. Mr Wonka devises a plan to hide 5 golden tickets beneath the wrappers of his famous chocolate bars. Charlie Bucket can't believe his luck when he finds the very last of Mr Willy Wonka's Golden Tickets inside his chocolate bar. He wins a magical tour around Willy Wonka's famous chocolate factory and sees the most amazing creations. One by one, the other four children on the tour cause some major trouble and are carried  away. Charlie is the only child who doesn't cause trouble, and Willy Wonka tells him he won! What did he win? The whole chocolate factory. Mr Wonka wants someone to take over for him when he gets old. 

It's a very sweet and heart-warming book to devour.

After reading this book, you may want to hunt down its movie. There are two adaptions of it, we caught the 2005 released, directed by Tim Burton. A nice and heart-warming watch. So good, that we caught it more than once.

2. Matilda

Matilda Wormwood is only five years old, but she is an exceptional genius. Unfortunately her parents failed to notice that. During her toddlerhood, Matilda asks her Dad for a book and is pressured to watch television instead. She discovers the library and reads the classics, not simple children's books. She is however, chastised by her parents for her intelligence. Worse, her horrible headmistress Miss Trunchbull is a bully who makes life difficult for Matilda's teacher, Miss Honey, and her friends. But what Miss Trunchbull doesn't know is that Matilda has a trick or two up her sleeve, she has supernatural powers that can manipulate objects. Matilda uses this to her full advantage both with her parents and Miss Trunchbull. Just as her parents are caught in a cheating business scheme, and about to move, Matilda moves in with Miss Honey, where the two live happily and smartly together.

You will be very amazed at the wits Matilda possesses, as you read along. Matilda won the Children's Book Award shortly after it was published in 1988, and it has continued to delight audiences ever since.

Again, do hunt down its movie after reading. A lovely watch that our family enjoyed tremendously. Released in 1996 and driected by Danny DeVito. There's a musical on it too! We haven't got an opportunity to catch it.  

The Big Friendly Giant is unlike other giants. For a start, he doesn't like to eat people and it's not long before he becomes orphan Sophie's very best friend. He is one giant who captured dreams and kept them in bottles for children to enjoy while they were asleep. The dream-hunting giant takes orphan Sophie back to his cave in Giant Country, where he lives surrounded by nine other fearsome giants who spend every night guzzling down humans. Sophie learns that the giant is called the Big Friendly Giant (The BFG) because he does not eat humans. Sophie isn't able to go back to the orphanage because the BFG is afraid she'll tell others about the existence of giants and he'll be forced to live in a zoo. 

The two devise a plan to mix up a nightmare for the Queen of England so that they can stop the giants from ever eating another human being Or, as the giants call them, human beans. The BFG speaks in quite a turned-around way, but we always understand him. He tells Sophie, " oh such a twitch-tickling problem to me all my life. So you must simply try to be patient and stop squibbling. As I am telling you before, I know exactly what words I am wanting to say, but somehow or other they is always getting squiff-squiddled around."

The name, Sophie was inspired by Roald Dahl's granddaughter, Sophie Dahl. And as you can read, speaking in proper language is not BFG's forte. So if you are one fussy parent about reading perfect English, this may be a book you want to delay or avoid. Just in case, he begins speaking and writing like one. But it really is one great story

And yes, the movie adaption is in the cinemas! Oh wait, is it still showing?

The witches is an award-winning story by Roald Dahl about a boy, his grandmother and a hotel full of witches. It's not a fairy tale, but about real witches. 

This is a book about 'real witches', the ones that absolutely loathe children and are always plotting to get rid of them. The Grand High Witch of all the World has gathered together the witches of Inkland for an annual conference at the Hotel Magnificent in Bournemouth. Their agenda is the elimination of all the children in the country and the prospects for their young victims look bleak. But the Grand High Witch and her cronies have reckoned without the spark and ingenuity of a young guest at the hotel and his rather brilliant grandmother.

It does sound a tad creepy, but if my not so brave girl can handle, I'm sure it would delight any child. At least we know, Roald Dahl's stories are always with a beautiful end. "Read how the witches schemed to turn the children into mice, but failed" said Jazz.

Once your child gets onto these books, read on to these other titles by Roald Dahl. Highly recommended by Jazz too

Are any of these your child's favourite too

A good storybook helps encompass reading as part of a lifestyle, and a good book is any book your child likes. Reading is probably the best tutor for any child. 

If your child has not started on chapter books, read a chapter a day to your child nightly. It will send your child sweet into dreams. And of course, use that animated voice when reading the BFG. It will be fun!

Books are gifts that you can open again and again. Here's the dessert - We love that children read, we love that children visit the library and we want to advocate the love for reading. We don't have the riches of the World, but we would like to bless 2 little readers with the titles "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory" and "The BFG" with our pocket money. Not from Jazz's collection, as she really treasures them.

To join the giveaway, we will be happy and appreciative that you:
1. Like Mum's calling on Facebook
2. Leave a comment on this Facebook post to tell us which title your child will like, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory OR The BFG

That's it! And of course, we wouldn't mind that you share this post with your friends, because reading is for everyone, and sharing is caring!

Giveaway ends on 10 October, 2359hrs. 

This giveaway has ended, Congrats Chong Swee S. and Jessie L!

Tuesday 13 September 2016

Little Llama: Open ended toys for play

Open ended play is always the best play for any child. Being parents, we love toys that allow free play and endless imagination. Little Llama sent our kids a couple of MOLUK toys, and we were thrilled by its simplicity. MOLUK, founded in Switzerland strives to create innovative and sustainable products that don't just entertain kids on a superficial level, but invite real interaction.

We had the opportunity to explore the Bilibo, Oogi and Plui rain cloud.

I really don't know what this is, but I know the kids are having some crazy fun with it. Along with the endless exploration, they sit, rock and spin in it, play games and hold stuff in it. Free play means there is no one way of dealing with it, whether indoor or outdoor.

This multi-award winning Bilibo is widely regarded as one of the most innovative and versatile open-ended toys. Deceptively simple and magically attractive, it's iconic shell shape and bright colors immediately appeal to kids. Bilibo arouses curiosity and playfully trains basic motor skills and balance.

It is highly durable and shock resistant for the hands of any kids. For choosing the colour green, I am coincidentally converting one of the kids to a turtle.

There really are endless possibilities to playing it, we've tried filling it with smaller toys and spin it so quickly until all of the the toys fly out. Not my favorite for clean up, but it sure was fun to watch how delighted the kids were to watch their toys being strewn everywhere. We also used it in the bathroom as a mini tub for play.

Starting to look more of a human toy. Oogi is an irresistibly tactile and wonderfully expressive new figure toy. With suction cup head, hands and feet, and long stretchy arms, it connects to any smooth surface. The suction is mild, hence it does fall off any smooth surface after some while.

The kids would fix Oogis on their Bilibo or even bring it into the bathroom for little brother's shower entertainment. They play quite a fair bit of it in the kitchen's fridge while I'm whipping meals up.  These Oogis love doing yoga and crazy acrobatic tricks. Whatever the kids can think of, they will flex. I love how easily these can fit in any bag for bringing entertainment out. It goes anywhere and everywhere easily.

Mama's best deal is that they are made from high-quality, food-grade silicone rubber that's safe and durable. This is sounding like something chew-able for our baby! Bet he will love this play.

Plui rain cloud
I found out, this is my favourite toy of all. For the learning of science out of it.

Sink the toy cloud into a tub of water and spot bubbles oozing out of the top hole as it allows water in. We explained that the cloud is removing air to make room for water to come in. Kids then become little rainmakers by bringing the water filled cloud up to create rain! We are also in command to stop the rain by covering the top hole with our finger. By doing this, air is prevented from pushing the water out. Learning through play is exemplified!

Don't you think Science should come in as a subject in lower primary? Young kids are often so filled with curiosity.

This little rain cloud is quite an indispensable accessory during our bath time now. I love too that there's a hidden mechanism that allows parents to open the Cloud for cleaning. No worry about mould growing.

This is another high quality toy that's free of phathalates, BPA or lead.

I love how these toy selections come with no small parts and are safe for very young toddlers. It's evident that the simplest toys can bring endless entertainment. There are no ON and OFF switches, batteries or complicated instructions, they are all powered simply by a child's imagination!

MOLUK toys can be purchased at Little Llama, with free shipping over $60. They do have bundle deals which can be great as gifts too.

And here's the good news, Little Llama is giving away 2 Plui Rain Cloud to 2 lucky readers. 1 for Facebook and the other for Instagram participation. For Facebook participation, simply enter the following steps into the Rafflecopter widget below:

1. Like Mum's calling on Facebook
2. Like Little Llama on Facebook
3. Tag 3 friends on this Facebook post, whom you think will be keen on this giveaway.
Do ensure that you have entered the above steps in the Rafflecopter widget below as winner will be picked by Rafflecopter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if you are on Instagram, you may hop over to @mumscalling participate too!

Giveaway ends on 21 September, 12:00am.

Terms and Conditions: 
  • Facebook or Instagram accounts set up purely to take part in contests will be deemed ineligible to win
  • Giveaway is no way sponsored, endorsed, administered or associated with Facebook
  • Winners will be announced on Facebook and this blog post
  • Winners will have 24 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.