Sunday, April 20, 2014

Number writing

Assalamualaikum and Good day everyone,

its been ages since last post.. not because there is no activity but there is no time for the write up!!!

This one I admit: I was lazy. And as usual when I am lazy, I get RG to do most of the work herself including the thinking. (hehe.. they say that's character building... XD)

Anyway, I just got her a piece of paper and a pen and asked her to write numbers. The objective of this activity is to make her recognize the ‘teens’. She can count (but not in its entire sequence) upto 100 out of memory but she hasn't matched the numbers with the words to recognize that 14 is actually fourteen, rather than a one and a four.

So, you can see the output of the activity, we were doing great until 6, then she kinda forgot seven, which incidentally brought her mood down. After which things went downhill… eight became slanted, nine became mirror image (is this a problem? Not exactly.. read more about mirror images writing herehere and here!)

Her 10 is okay… then I started to teach her 11. By this time, RG was already upset about her other numbers that she had forgotten so her motivation to continue added with her not knowing 11, 12, 13 and onward began to gnaw her..

By the tie she got to 12 (which looks like IS) she wanted to stop.

So that’s what I did. We stopped. Sometimes I have a feeling that she is afraid of letting me down (not performing enough to make me happy). I wonder how to instill that no matter what she does I am gonna love it anyway.

Any ideas?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Home made concert!!

Its wonderful sometimes to see the imaginations of a child. All i saw was a bunch of diaper bags... but in the eyes of my RG, she saw a whole stage and an opportunity for concert!

the night before her debut performance she told all of us to be ready for the next night... she was going to hold a concert. i didnt realise what i was going too see..

the next day after i got back from work, she said 'ok everyone, after dinner i am going to do a concert'. and after patiently waiting for dinner to be over.. she set up her 'stage'... she put down a full diaper bag as the stage floor, stage backdrop and two half full bags as the side.

after giving a short intro RG gave us her rendition of 'the more we get together' rhyme... we also had a backup dancer.. GJ clad only in diapers suiting the theme so to speak..

a child's imagination.... it is exceedingly a beautiful thing!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Quick Acitivity: Garden!

Okay, this just continues from the paper collage.. RG wasn't satisfied with just one activity... she wanted to continue... i had to dig up the old paper stash of mine to find pre-cut garden coloured papers. it was just bits an pieces of paper pre-cut into flower, butterfly and dragonfly shapes.

i just guided her along to make this scene below:

glue the papers

After gluing,  she added her own drawings... grass, bugs, butterflies and a a blue sky with green garden.

the end result looks like this:
My Garden!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Punched Paper collage

Hello everyone!

Another collage activity but this time it took us 2 days to do this.

The first day, I just gave RG a paper puncher and a supermarket deal booklet for her to punch holes in. Boy did she have a field day or what! 

I saved the punched pieces. They turned out real nice.. all colourful!

Colourful and ready to be used!

The next day we made a collage from it.... We drew a few hearts and then RG glued the little pieces according to her liking. She also drew some wheels and added some colours to other shapes using crayons.

RG loves the gluing part.
One finished heart
The finished product!! with her name on it!

She finished her collage with both the sun and the moon and her own name on it.. haha!!!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Five pillars of Islam

Assalamualaikum wr wb,

Pic courtesy of

I was thinking of a good way to get RG started on learning the Pillars of Islam.. the whys and the whats can come in later, at this stage I just want her to know what the 5 pillars are.

This was done over a course of a week. and inshaaAllah.. I hope to keep reminding this to her every once in a while. The key to remembrance of knowledge is easily practice, that's why every one of the pillars of Islam is actually a ibaadah, the knowledge gained is put into practice on a daily, monthly, yearly etc basis. 

But since she is still learning the practicing part, for now I just wanted her to remember what the pillars are. In order to do this, instead of just writing down and asking her to memorize this, I approached this i a step by step method.

Step 1: Exposure

One night, I explained to her that everything in this life should have a strong base and pillar. (okay, she really had trouble understanding what a pillar is despite me even showing her.. so I am still figuring that part out)

I told her in Islam we also have 5 pillar that hold us strong to fight shaitaan. Allah loves it when we do this.
so I just put down 5 Lego towers as 'pillars' and named all the pillars in a way she would understand.

  1. Shahaadah  - I told her Allah is one and Muhammad is our messenger (just asked her to remember that Allah is one!)
  2. Prayers- no explanations needed 
  3. Fasting - little explanation since she had a basic idea what fasting was during Ramadan last year.
  4. Zakah - this was tricky. I just told her that we need to share whatever we had with other people who needed it more (key word being: Sharing)
  5. 5. Hajj - this was hardest but I just told her it was a masjid that all Muslims go to pray at least once in a lifetime.

5 Pillars

Step 2
This step is just to remind her of the pillars for the next one or two days. Why is this important? This webpage (link below) explains well why without review, most information will be lost from memory and the best time to review materials is within a day or two after the material has been presented. 

It also outlines beautifully that over time what we learn FADES. A study states that 

After 1 day54% was remembered.
After 7 days35% was remembered.
After 14 days21% was remembered.
After 21 days18% was remembered.
After 28 days19% was remembered.
After 63 days17% was remembered.

To read the whole article click here. So naturally RG didn't remember much from the day before but I just reinforced in anyway.

Step 3
Now to engage different parts of her mind and use different senses. Before this was audio coupled with visually associated learning (pillars). So I tried a different learning approach; kinesthetic learning - that is learning by touching, feeling and experiencing what one is trying to learn.

We found a magazine and I helped her to find images that closely correlates to each of the pillar (she did need some help with this) :

  1. Shahaadah  - we just found a picture that signifies Allah is one
  2. Prayers- Picture f people praying
  3. Fasting - this one we just found a bunch of people eating and put a big X over it.
  4. Zakah - people giving money.
  5. Hajj - simply the picture of kaabah

that's her decorating the pages after sticking
the finished page
Step 4
Reinforce this message in a fun way! I let her listen to Yusuf Islam's"I look I see album" with a nasheed about the 5 pillars -its called the 5 noble pillar. Awesome stuff!

The result: she now can name them all in her own way.. after this is letting her learn what each signifies, I hope InshaaAllah!

and I have an idea for step 5 which I think will share once its done after a few weeks! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Impasto Pencil holder: A work of art

I don't have a pencil/pen holder in my office. so I thought of getting one. Then I thought I might as well get safeerah to do one for me!

So I bought a plain wooden box holder (RM3.90, that's about 1.20 US Dollar) and set up the workspace for RG. The red flowers are just stickers and the plastic flowers salvaged from a hantaran (wedding gift).

The stuff needed:

Items needed (we didnt even use the sticker nor the flowers)
and I let her paint. This activity took her about 45 minutes.
She used really a lot of paint making the painting thick! I wonder if this can be considered impasto since her brush strokes are so visible and the paint extremely heavy.. 

Artist at work

but it turned out real wonderful and is sitting  proudly at my desk at work!

View from one side
The other side
At my desk!!! i love it!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Kinetic sand : Two kids, One toy

Assalamualaikum and Good Day people,

this was an interesting activity to do. i did this at two different times. at first RG was asleep so i let GJ play. then when GJ was napping i let RG play.

the toy? i found this Kinetic Sand thing from a friend and got a small amount of it for the kids to play with (about 1 kg of it). the brand i got is this. but better explanations are given here

Malaysians, you can get yours here: RizqiRuse

what is kinetic sand? the company brands their item as 98% sand, 2%magic. but it is basically sand with some polymer additive that makes it 'wet' and kind of sticks to itself. is it mess free? personally i feel it is not. since the sand goes everywhere like sand does BUT having said that it is easy peasy to clean it up since it DOES stick to one another and not fly away everywhere.

ok... here is part one:


i let GJ have a free reign on this. he was curious (in fact he a really curious baby!!!) at first, then moved in on touching the sand. his first reaction? he hated it... hahahahah it was really cute to see him brush of his hand and the disgusted look on his face!

after that his curiosity wasn't sated. it was a love-hate relationship.. he touched the sand briefly, then shook his hands free..

then he rubbed the sand between his fingers. (i forced his hand into it, simply to see his reaction.. he didn't like it). i took some sand in my palm and offered it to him... he touched it and slowly felt it from my palm..

i added some tools, now that.... he liked! he poked the sand with the tools. but most of all, he started to take the sand and throwing it everywhere!! after about 20 minutes, he still couldn't place the feeling of touching the sand.. he wants to play with it but when he touches it he throws the sand everywhere..

but one thing for certain, when i ended the activity some 30 minutes later, he protested REAL loud. the place was a bit messy but like i said its really easy to clean up.

look at that curious face!
Feeling braver after a while
Tools! i like em!

Part 2:

Now its time for RG to play with the sand. since she is a whole 3 years older, the structure of play was better. i gave her tools from the start so she started sculpting, digging, excavation and moulding the sand. the tools i used? all of them are just from her playthings; kitchen utensils, hardware tools (toy version of course), plastic containers etc.

I hid some small items in the sand for her to find. She also made simple sand sculptures. to her, it was like playing with a different kind of play-doh... and now she wants to go to the beach!

Digging for hidden treasures!
It does look like real wet sand
Some of the sand sculptures we made.
Same toy: different learning opportunity for both baby and a preschooler! and no, i am not going to try to let them play together with this yet. hahahahhahahah!

have fun y'all!