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Sibling love cemented with LEGO

April 15, 2015

This post first appeared in: http://lego.featured.yahoo.com/post/115820751901/building-sibling-relationships

[The pictures in Yahoo Asia features me with the kids; the pictures used here in my blog depict the entire BUILD process.]

It’s finally possible.

A year ago it would have been nearly impossible for my three children to sit around a table and work on something together. Today, at 6, 5 and 3, they play so well together, role-play seamlessly to the point they know one another’s thoughts, and huddle ever so often to read (the same book) and share a conversation.

So to test their ability to collaborate and cooperate, I tasked them with a project during the recent March holidays.

I called it the “March Holidays Special Project”.

LEGO CITY Swamp Police Station was their special project this holidays

LEGO CITY Swamp Police Station was their special project this holidays

The instructions were simple and the rules were few. LEGO has kindly sponsored this Swamp Police Station LEGO City Set and I told them these were my conditions if they were to take the set from my hands.

Work on it together. Build it together. Do it in parts because it seems massive. And do your part.

And just one more for good measure: Don’t ask any adult for help, if possible!

Ok, Mama! they said.

I have excited kids, all ready to start!

I have excited kids, all ready to start!

I was a little skeptical. They had agreed to my terms so readily. I was certain they were going to give up and ask for an adult to help them. Truth be told, I was all prepared to. It would be a good bonding time with my children, anyway. But my six-year-old confidently said, “I won’t need your help. Or Dada’s help. And I don’t need to take a break. We can finish this. We’re master builders. “

I reminded him that a ‘group’ project meant that the younger ones need to be involved in some ways, and the operational word “together” meant that he may have to assign jobs to them because they would surely look up to him (he’s the grand master builder in their eyes!) for directions.

And so the kids got to work. They began by first sorting out the many packs and instructional booklets in the box. Becks helped Ben match the numbers.

The many instructional booklets and packs

The many instructional booklets and packs

Becks matching the booklet with the pack number

Becks matching the booklet with the pack number

Nat got a pair of scissors ready so that he could pass it to Ben to cut each packet open, as opposed to tearing the plastic recklessly and risk losing important pieces of bricks (so clever!).

Ben then assigned manageable roles for his siblings: Nat fixed the easy things, like the crocodile for the swamp. Becks helped to sort the LEGO bricks by size, while the big brother did the tougher jobs of snapping bricks in place and constructing the swamp police station with all the details.

Fix a croc

Fix a croc

Becks arranging the bricks by size so Ben gets to see what he needs at a glance

Becks arranging the bricks by size so Ben gets to see what he needs at a glance

Ben the Builder, at work!

Ben the Builder, at work!

With some help from Becks...

With some help from Becks…

Patiently constructing...

Patiently constructing…

...and constructing some more

…and constructing some more

When Becks and Nat did lose their stamina after a while of doing their job of sorting and helping, they assisted in other ways. They brought the master builder his Yakult and fed him fruit and cookies. They took care of him.

Say 'aah', korkor!

Say ‘aah’, korkor!

I sat around and watched the whole process in amazement. The strength of their bond was amazing. Even though they couldn’t stay as focused as korkor, they loved him in other ways to make up for not assisting. They knew that their big brother was in the midst of making something big and special – something everyone would get to play with when he was done.

And soon afternoon turned to evening and evening became night, and four hours later, TA-DAH!

This. This is my children proving to me it is Mission Possible.

This. This is my children proving to me it is Mission Possible.

Look at the details!

Look at the details! This belongs to the baddies.

And a cool sheriff!

Here’s a cool sheriff!

And a really awesome looking police boat

And a really awesome looking police boat

The full construction, with funny minifigs thrown in for fun!

The full construction, with funny minifigs thrown in for fun!

They didn’t take a break (well, at least Ben didn’t) and they made this, all with their little hands.

And the big brother gladly let everyone take the credit. “This is what WE built, Mama,” he said.

Happy to have completed their 'March Holidays Special Project' all thanks to Ben

Happy to have completed their ‘March Holidays Special Project’ all thanks to Ben

Creative play, imaginative construction and exploratory learning. I have always believed that LEGO was capable of immersing my children in all of that. What I never imagined was that LEGO, through my “March Holiday Special Project” helped my children bond, and gave them a chance to demonstrate care and support for one another. Most importantly, this project helped them experience what leadership and teamwork is all about, and how this can be something we can embrace in our household.

Disclosure: This post was first written for Yahoo Asia. LEGO Singapore provided the toys discussed.

Everyday fun! Family life as we know it Learning fun! Milestones and growing up The Kao Kids The real supermom

How’s it looking, now that it’s April

April 14, 2015

I’ve been running round with a cape trying my best to be supermom ever since the year started and I can only say the road ahead will only get tougher for this super-tired mom. At this point of my life I am trying to do the entrepreneur-working-mom-slash-do-my-best-to-be-as-much-a-hands-on-mom but it’s one heck of an ambition and everyone around me tells me I am crazy / ambitious / crazily ambitious / ambitiously crazy / impossible.

I think so too.

My children are growing up so quickly before my eyes and if there’s only one consolation of being away so often now is the consolation that I did three kids back to back with only an 18-month gap in between each kids, and today Ben, Becks and Nat are BFFs. They entertain one another, help each other, and do everything after kindergarten hours together I now wear the back-to-back pregnancies like my badge of honour.

So if anyone reading this is looking for a reason to do their kids with a close age gap, I have just sold you one.

So how is it like to juggle the demands of running a business and being a mom? How does this mothering thing actually work now that I have a business to run?

Well, apart from not being able to do much meal planning and cooking (which my wonderful husband has kindly offered to step in to do) and having to outsource the mundane tasks like packing bags, showering and diapering (oh wait, it’s not a biggie anymore, with all the kids toilet trained, except for Becks and Nat for the night), and not hovering over and all around like the helicopter mom I always am, everything is still quite fine because we don’t take one another’s presence for granted now.

We now ask this question every day: how do we make the best of the time we have? 

My kids are gradually realising that being with Mama is precious; she doesn’t have all day to nag and wait for them like she used to when she stayed home for two years. We make the best of every moment we spend, and every short burst of activity we do becomes purposeful and meaningful.

So when it’s time for Mama School, the learning is differentiated. My helper supervises the work I prepare for the kids if I can’t be around…

Here’s sharing something I did with the kids earlier, when the boys were in the dinosaur craze:

Ladies and Gents, I need you all to meet Beth Gorden, one supermom who runs 123 Homeschool 4 Me, which has 300+ free printables and teaching ideas. She's got awesome theme packs to use, and here, I created a differentiated set from her free Dinosaur pack for my kids aged 6, 4.5 and 3

Ladies and Gents, I need you all to meet Beth Gorden, one supermom who runs 123 Homeschool 4 Me, which has 300+ free printables and teaching ideas.
She’s got awesome theme packs to use, and here, I created a differentiated set from her free Dinosaur pack for my kids aged 6, 4.5 and 3

I first made booklets with a cool cover page for each of them...

I first made booklets with a cool cover page for each of them…

Dino Work 03

I then culled what I felt was appropriate for each of my kid at his / her developmental level, sourced for more printables from the Internet and put them all together

For Ben, I made him learning bigger words

For Ben, I made him learn bigger words by creating my own set of worksheets for spelling

It's at least half an hour of engaged learning for the Kao kids

It’s at least half an hour of engaged learning for the Kao kids

And then they also come to Mama’s  actual “school” for their lessons. They interact with other children, and have lots of fun learning with Mama as their teacher…

This a Logic & Literacy class I run

This is a Logic & Literacy class I run

Learning at BlueTree 02

And another one for pre-primary children

My husband also takes them out to the amazing farms that are around us on some week days. We are living close to Seletar Farmway where the Animal Resort, Seaview Aquarium and Mycofarm (mushrooms!) are, and so they pop in and out like regular troopers on mini field trips…

Learning about fungi at Mycofarm (9 Seletar West Farmway 5, 798057), where you can buy mushrooms cheaper here

Learning about fungi at Mycofarm (9 Seletar West Farmway 5, 798057), where you can buy mushrooms cheaper here

Mycofarm 02

Just observing and exploring is meaningful time spent!

Sometimes, I schedule a quick bake break (especially when the bananas are turning black faster than we can say ‘bananas’), and they get involved…

The tasks are pretty much assigned for a banana cake. Ben mashes the bananas, Becks sieves flour and Nat whisks eggs

The tasks are pretty much assigned for a banana cake. Ben mashes the bananas, Becks sieves flour and Nat whisks eggs!

And then every night, we choose between catching past episodes of Running Man (which I believe greatly fuels their creativity) or reading bedtime stories. If they choose the latter, each of them gets to choose a book for me to read aloud. I bought all 50 books in this list so these titles (plus our Bible stories) are our bedtime staples.

And then it’s intense oiling and foot massage (if I still have the energy left) and time for bed.

I dish out like a million hugs and kisses at bedtime too. It’s to make up for not being around.

And when they go to bed, I start working again.

And the cycle goes on like this.

So.

I think it’s extremely doable – if you have an itchy backside like me and want to do things out there. You just need to make sure you have children who can keep each other company and be best friends and best enemies with, and then schedule in short bursts of fun and learning. Oh yes, that plus a really trusty right-hand aide (like a good helper whom you can outsource everything that is time-consuming to from ironing to steaming mantou for breakfast) and being able to reserve your last ounce of energy for a heartwarming tuck-in at bedtime every night.

You’ll be tired, I’m so sure you would; but nothing beats a healthy dose of ‘We-miss-Mama-we-will-treasure-her’ and ‘I-miss-my-kids-I-am-going-to-choose-my-battles’ every day.

Nobody’s gonna be taking nobody for granted these days, that’s for sure.

My babies and their Mama in a huddle

Wefie: My babies and their Mama in a huddle

***

P/S: If you’re all ready to start something and get entrepreneurial, you have a friend here. Hook up with me and we can give each other friendly, mommy support! 🙂

Ben Kao Everyday fun! Milestones and growing up

Six is the age of…

January 28, 2015

… Scowling at injustice with a big, big sense of right and wrong

Here he is, very upset that he is the only boy in his group. He says his teacher did the WRONG thing.

Here Ben is very upset that he is the only boy in his group. He says his teacher did the WRONG thing.

… Sulking every day on the way to school complaining to Mom about girls and telling her how much you hate them

"I don't want to go to school, Mama. I hate girls."

“I don’t want to go to school, Mama. I hate girls.”

… Singing your lungs out in the shower and doing the boogie woogie while at it

The noisiest part of his day, and mine

The noisiest part of his day, and mine

…And staging a water battle for German and American soldiers while you’re at it

Drowned comrades

Drowned comrades

… Needing to look cool all the time

So the sunglasses need to match the outfit...

So the sunglasses need to match the outfit…

…Wanting – not a pet dog, a pet kitten, but a pet JAGUAR

Security blanket every night

Security blanket every night

… Making a mess with your Lego and turning a deaf ear to Mom’s nagging about bricks hurting her feet (like, who cares?)

It's painful? Really? If you stepped on a brick?

It’s painful? Really? If you stepped on a brick?

… Being extremely creative, with tons of mischief up your sleeve

Making Running Man nametags and making himself a spy

Making Running Man nametags and making himself a spy

…Wanting many moments of being all alone to create something massive

"Leave me alone to make my Lego," so says someone

“Leave me alone to make my Lego,” so says someone

… Leading the pack

"Shall we play MAGIC TRAIN, guys?"

“Shall we play MAGIC TRAIN, guys?”

… Having no fear

This is just a vampire. What's so scary?

This is just a vampire. What’s so scary?

… Having intense conversations with friends, and wanting to be with older boys

Playing BrainBox with Gabriel, his bff for now

Playing BrainBox with Gabriel, his bff for now

…. Monkeying with Mom and loving every minute of it

Ba ba ba... ba ba NA NA!

Ba ba ba… ba ba NA NA!

6 years ago, this boy entered my world. A leaking water bag and almost 14 laborious hours later, I met the gentlest, sweetest, baby who came to rock my world.

And rock my world he did. Every. Single. Day.

I love you, Son. Every. Single. Day.

Becks Kao Ben Kao Everyday fun! Happy days Milestones and growing up Nat Kao The Kao Kids

Castle show

January 27, 2015

These days I work 7 days a week.

And these days, my children see only the first part and the last part of me. In the mornings, when I send them to school and back home, and in the evenings when I return home for dinner.

The routine is pretty set in the afternoons after I send them home from kindergarten: grab a snack, get a shower, sit down and finish ‘Mama Homework’ and then play.

And these days, at 3, 5 and 6 years of age, PLAY is the best thing ever that can happen in their lives. With one another. With each other.

Today, when I got home, I found them in a castle. Suddenly, there were knights and a princess in the house, and lots of talking animals.

The kids said, "Are you ready to see a surprise?" and ran to their room.

The kids said, “Are you ready to see a surprise?” and ran to their room.

Surprised, indeed. By their creativity, and the mess! They've turned the Kura into a castle!

Surprised, indeed. By their creativity, and the mess! They’ve turned the Kura into a castle!

Tonight, the children prepared a “castle parade”. My children sat their mother and father down and announced:

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Welcome to our show!”

And then proceeded to demonstrate how to cook eggs (my youngest is currently into everything OVAL), how to swordfight like a knight (Ben’s specialty), and how to prance around like a princess (no prizes there who was in charge of this segment).

So the host made the announcement...

So the host made the announcement…

…and even asked if we knew the difference between the shields a Viking used and the ones that knights use.

The castle cook demo=ed how to cook eggs...

The castle cook demo-ed how to cook eggs…

And the princess held up the magic egg from we-don't-know-where

And the princess held up the magic egg from we-don’t-know-where

And if you ask me, this was the best show I’ve ever watched so far this year, and such an excellent respite from the stresses of a 7-day work week.

At this point, I would say – Those years of juggling, struggling and living each day to survive 2 tods and an infant? Today was the day I felt they were worth those blood, sweat, tears, loss of hair and sleepless nights.

Because now they  have proven to be the best play mates for each other.

Keeping each other company, while Mama's at work!

Keeping each other company, while Mama’s at work!

 

All this blog's PR Stuff Everyday fun! Product Reviews Reviews The Kao Kids

Ready, Doh, Shoot! [Review of DohVinci]

November 15, 2014

I think I say it out quite loud that anyone who gives my kids Play-Doh becomes my enemy.

I’ve nothing against dough play for kids; in fact I firmly believe that they need to knead, model and shape dough to strengthen those fingers to prepare for writing. Monkey bars do the trick too, but if that isn’t accessible, it’s always easy to prepare homemade dough and get the kids to knead away. With my kids a little older now, these days we knead dough for pizza more than we do it for play.

I digress anyway. It’s packaged, commercial Play-Doh I’m talking about that annoys me greatly – they have a funky smell and stick to your clothes and shoes and furniture. They give my children that illusion that whatever they make can be eaten with the play that’s associated with it, like ice-cream and candy making. And they also leave a sticky, gunky feeling on your hands. I tell you if you’ve tried making DIY dough at home it really wouldn’t feel the same.

So boy am I glad that Hasbro has finally heard the criticisms from this fussy mother and thought of something ingenious, and on top of that, divorce it with pretend-food-play and associate it with craft.

Enter DohVinci.

DohVinci 1

Bright colours to inspire the inner artist

This is a clever product that amalgamates Play-Doh, 3D creative design and the concept of crafting which comes in deco pop tubes that fit into a styling tool similar to a squirt gun.

DohVinci 2

Ready, aim, shoot

So technically, you don’t need to handle dough with your hands and fingers (read: no funky smell, stains, feel and stickiness) and you can doodle with something safe unlike the professionals who do it with plastic.

The Kao kids were invited for a crafting session at Food for Thought at the Botanic Gardens last weekend to experience what it was like crafting with DohVinci. If you know my kids well, the word “dough” stirs up extreme emotions of excitement and exhilaration, simply because they know that it’s something that sometimes annoys me which I keep away from them. And the thought of being able to touch it, feel it and smell it at someplace else not our home makes them really eager and happy.

It’s the same feeling on my end too, if the mess is not mine to clean.

So last Saturday, they were found at a huge table squirting, squirting, squirting away. They were invited to be DohVinci Designers, and although we all know it’s all tongue-in-cheek with Da Vinci, it was quite regrettable that no one acknowledged that.

Hey, it would have been great if the kids were given some information of how diversely talented this Italian man was (painter, sculptor, architect, writer, engineer, mathematician, geologist…), and why his name was even borrowed for this product. Afterall, this great person that ever lived was described as having a “feverishly inventive imagination”. Just saying.

DohVinci 4

The organisers even gave the kids a red beret to get them into the artist mood

DohVinci 3

My DohVinci Designers

Anyway. The designers got to work, and were rather engaged.

DohVinci 5

Artists at work. Do not disturb. Squirt, squirt, squirt.

I have to say that stylus was made for an older child with muscle strength in his arms and fingers. It was almost impossible for Nat and Becks to be using it.

Nonetheless, the kids had fun changing colours and going creative designing their own Christmas trees, embellishing them with sequins, buttons and glitter. Guess who ended up being the extended hands of Little Miss, since she couldn’t be squirting the DohVinci herself.

DohVinci 6

Becks getting busy

It felt like I was frosting cupcakes, and well, it was good practice for me.

Practising swirls

Practising swirls

The little designers were presented with certificates after the session, and were left to savour that moment of pride of having designed something unique – their very own masterpiece.

DohVinci 8

Ben and his masterpiece

DohVinci 9

“I’m a DohVinci Designer!”

DohVinci is now available at Toys ‘R’ Us and all major departmental stores. Check out the DohVinci website for more details of their various products, like the vanity kit and easel set.

***

So what happens after the craft session is over? Want to know?

My kids squirt Play-Doh from the DohVinci stylus gun and play with Play-Doh using their hands.

DohVinci 10

How can Play-Doh not be touched with hands, these kids ask

DohVinci 11

And so they got busy again squirting worms and rolling eggs

There’s just no stopping them. It was too inviting.

And although we did return home with dough stuck on our clothes and shoes (sigh), I was glad the mess was not created in our home.

Disclosure: We were invited to the Designer Workshop organised by DohVinci Hasbro. No monetary compensation was received for this post. All opinions here about Play-Doh are mine, including all the remnants and bits we’ve amassed over the years from people who gave them to us. For the record, no one is my enemy yet. Friend-friend, still, k, friends?

Everyday fun! Homelearning fun The Kao Kids

Rotten veg comeback

September 12, 2014

It’s beginning to feel a little tight. 24 hours is clearly not enough for me. With work entering the picture these days, my vegetables can’t wait. They can’t hold out long enough for Mama to come back to make soups or a hearty dish of japchae.

They are rotting faster than I can say, “Wait for me!”

Poor veggies. Rather than subject them to the cruel fate of being trashed immediately, I got them to be useful nonetheless.

Enter veggie stamping fun:

Veg stamping_1

Veg stamping_2

Perfect indoor activity to relieve boredom. Zero guilt for not being able to cook them. They have served us well till the end!

Veg stamping_3

All this blog's PR Stuff Everyday fun! Happy days Learning fun! Milestones and growing up Reviews The Kao Kids

Going on a plastic fast, and playing with traditional toys

September 2, 2014

It’s not every day you get invited to a toy store and go behind the scenes to learn how it operates.

Zero2Six_Behind the scenes_1

Excited kids pretending to buy this and that

Zero2Six_Behind the scenes_2

Cashier Ben at your service – how much is the white tiger in the window?

Zero2Six_Behind the scenes_3

Cashier Becks tells you everything is free ! (hurhurhur)

Zero2Six_Behind the scenes_4

Cashier Nat only accepts cash

It’s not every day you get invited to a toy store and get a glimpse at some of the most exquisite toys it imports and sells.

Zero2Six_Toystore_1

An impressive range of traditional educational toys that develop cognitive skills, 3D imagination and logical deduction

Zero2Six_Toystore_2

Petitcollin dolls: phthalate free, vintage handmade collectibles with handsewn clothes (I’m a doll-lover myself, so this cabinet was fascinating for the girl in me – oh the details on their faces!)

Zero2Six_Toystore_3

Vilac, the oldest toymaker in France: they’ve been making traditional wooden toys in a factory set in the Jura Mountains and their wide range of handmade toys include building blocks, wooden cars, planes, and automobiles, tea sets and musical instruments all handcrafted using high-quality wood and a unique lacquer formula

Zero2Six_Toystore_4

More charming collections displayed all around the store

It’s not every day you enter a toy store and find that practically nothing there calls for your concern – with regards to toxic materials and hazards – because you know, as a mom, you raise your eyebrows when wooden toys have labels that read ‘Made in China’. Almost every toy there is either Swiss-made, German-made, French-made and at the very least, handmade.

Zero2Six_Toystore_5

Pizza-making and animal farm play that’s safe for little hands

It’s not every day you get to play with the lightest modelling compound in the world, and shape things with a dough so fluffy and soft, and never dries out.

Zero2Six_Toystore_6

Ladies and Gents, this is Bubber, the award-winning, lightest modelling compound on earth!

And it’s not every day you get to walk home with toys from the store with compliments from the store itself. Just look at these beaming children.

Zero2Six_Toystore_7

Happy kids to receive presents specially handpicked for them

And for many days, these toys kept the Kao kids going on their plastic “fast”. Yep, you heard that right, these kids’ mother decided that they’ve been touching plastic way too much, and issued them a challenge of finding creative ways to play with their new wooden toys.

So besides going fishing, using the xylophone for every pretend-play royal proclamation of Princess Becks’ arrival, and assigning animals to their barns to the tune of ‘Old MacDonald’s’, the Kao kids have got the texture of wood incorporated in their play, which is a good change from their usual sensory experiences with plastic toys.

Zero2Six_Melissa&Doug Toys_1

Ben’s going to fish, Nat owns a barn, and Becks get a xylophone that the boys would have to play for her when her royal highness deems it fit!

Zero2Six_Melissa&Doug Toys_2

Play time!

A whole new dimension of fun to be remembered for a long time!

~~~

Zero2Six is a toy store launched in 2010 by a concerned mother with a single vision – to bring in award winning traditional toys that are unique, educational, eco-friendly and fun for children in an age where digital products are increasingly encroaching into a child’s playtime and development.

Zero2Six toys are sourced from premium toymakers in Europe and USA that have passed the highest safety standard tests worldwide and made with the finest natural materials. They are exceptional in quality and educational value, and made by some of the world’s oldest toymakers in the world who still believe that a handmade toy is a craft and not a commercialised product.

Zero2Six can be found at Katong I12, Mandarin Gallery and Jem. Connect with them via FB at their FB Page here.

~~~

Disclosure: We’ve been invited by Zero2Six for a behind-the-scene toystore experience. The toys in this post have been specially handpicked and sponsored by them. No monetary compensation was received for this post, and all opinions here are our own.

Everyday fun! Family life as we know it Fatherkao loves... Happy days Milestones and growing up The Kao Kids

The hippos are HUNGRY, HUNGRY (chomp!)

June 30, 2014

The house is really noisy these days.

You will be amazed at how much noise pollution this thing, together with these four people makes:

Hungry Hungry Hippo_1

The game’s called ‘Hungry Hungry Hippos’. If you were born in the 70’s or 80’s, I think you’d find it very familiar!

Hungry Hungry Hippo_3

Simple rules: Hands up, get set, chomp!

Gives pandemonium at home a new definition, I tell you.

Fatherkao recently ordered this from Amazon after searching for it in local Toys ‘R’ Us stores for months. They don’t have the game any where, and so we paid USD12.88 for the game and almost four times the game price for shipping.

It’s crazy, I know. I was tempted to scold the husband for spending money like this, until I saw this on the first night they played the game:

Hungry Hungry Hippo_2

And this on another night:

Hungry Hungry Hippo_4

Hungry Hungry Hippo_5

And then the littlest getting all too amused and engaged with the travel set Fatherkao ordered too:

Check out how he plays the two-player game on his own, left hand vs. right hand, in all sort so of positions!

Check out how he plays the two-player game on his own, left hand vs. right hand, in all sort so of positions!

Then I remembered what I often hear my pastor say on Sundays from the pulpit. ‘Use money, love people; NOT use people, love money’. In my husband’s case, he used his money to love his children to make memories they will remember for a lifetime.

They will remember they were hungry, hungry hippos when they were kids, that’s for sure.

Money well spent for so much fun (never mind the noise), that’s what I think!

Everyday fun! Family life as we know it Happy days Homelearning fun Milestones and growing up The Kao Kids

All play, no work, happy kids!

June 24, 2014

Is it the last week of the June holidays already?

This month-long vacation was all play and no work for the kids. Not the child labour kind of work, but I have had grand plans to do lots of revision with the kids like a seasoned, experienced teacher (ahem) that I am so as to help them consolidate their learning.

I had planned to revisit all the 小书 from Berries, test them on all they have learned for Math using pop quizzes, read our graded readers that’s been languishing on the shelves, begging “Read me, read me!” (Poor Peter, Jane, Biff, Kipper and Chip), and introduce some Science concepts through sensory play.

Ah, how ambitious I was.

I started the holidays also prepping this box with a stack of activity sheets for each of the kids and instructed them to go find their folder whenever boredom struck. I told them to be sure to check that box often because they would be finding new things every now and then.

This was called the "I AM BORED" Activity Box

This was called the “I AM BORED” Activity Box

The idea was nothing else but a good idea; the kids couldn’t even be bothered with the box.

I painstakingly washified their names and slotted in things for them to do. Not too fun, apparently!

I painstakingly washified their names and slotted in things for them to do. Not too fun, apparently!

Sigh.

They found entertainment every day with one another in lots of pretend play…

The kids pretended to be pirates and laid booby traps

The kids pretended to be pirates and laid booby traps

Interspersed with unscheduled moments of reading and suddenly wanting to work on some activities…

The boys sharing a moment together exploring a book, which happened all so suddenly. Moments before that they were swordfighting!

The boys sharing a moment together exploring a book, which happened all so suddenly. Moments before that they were swordfighting!

I made this for Nat and he likes doing this (but never gets past more than 10 letters) - this is a matching activity using magnetic letters and a laminated paper letter chart

I made this for Nat and he likes doing this (but never gets past more than 10 letters) – this is a matching activity using magnetic letters and a laminated paper letter chart

Drawing (A LOT)…

They can be playing and laughing, and then suddenly the house would be silent and I would find the kids at their desks doing this!

They can be playing and laughing, and then suddenly the house would be silent and I would find the kids at their desks doing this!

And going out a lot for events, outings and a really nice holiday.

Storytelling at Sentosa Playmobil Event

Storytelling at Sentosa Playmobil Event

At Montigo Resort for our short getaway

At Montigo Resort for our short getaway

At the new Sports Hub watching World Club 10s Rugby

At the new Sports Hub watching World Club 10s Rugby

I think this is the life for any kid, and maybe it was a good thing I got nothing in my list of grand plans done afterall.

Just look at how happy they have been all month long!

Happy kids!

Happy kids!