Archive | July 2011

In my world: Men at work

Father and son, engrossed in assembling DS’s new gas station. 

The set comprises a collection of four bases with a gas station topper, and it comes with some little signs and shrubs and slopes and roads and connectors.

Every night we take it apart and stack up the parts so that no one accidentally trips or steps on the small components…and every morning, it is reassembled in a brand new configuration.  Keeps our guys very busy!  🙂


Sometimes in the middle of cleaning the rooms, I discover little gems left behind by the children. This Friday series was started with the intention of celebrating the imagination and creativity in a young child’s world…and hoping that it’ll bring a little ray of inspiration and joy to your day, as it does mine.

Art with Daddy: White-outs


Templates by DH. Themes and colour choices by DS.

DS was very insistent on leaving the specific sections white – his own brand of artistic license. 😉

Kids Say: Snaked speechless…

As related by DD – “This is a daddy and mummy snake.  The jiejie snake (older daughter of the snakes – who is not in the picture) went out hunting for food, and bit a baby elephant’s foot.  Then the mummy elephant got angry and stomped on the baby snake.  So the baby snake is all crushed.”

Uh. Huh.

It’s plain tragic. And somewhat traumatising. Reason why the daddy snake is, rather inexplicably, swallowing a block of wood instead of some real snake food…?

Uhm…maybe we shouldn’t have let them watch that half-hour of “World’s Deadliest Snakes”…

Ixora Coccinea

I was recovering from a bout of food poisoning. The kids were down with the flu.

All tired of being cooped up in the home, surrounded by germs and tissue boxes and too much laundry, we all decided to go out for a morning walk.

It’s amazing how a little time outdoors…and nature at its simplest and purest, can so swiftly uplift the spirit.  🙂

In my world: Preservation

DD had just built this paddock for her horses with the wooden block set when I went to let her know she needed to clear away her toys and play elsewhere, because it was time for DS’s nap.

She wasn’t ready to dismantle the structure. But she also did not want her little brother to come along and knock it down.  In a small tearful voice, she asked if it could be brought over to our room.

When DS came into the room, he saw the paddock. He liked it so he asked that I keep the door open and that the arrangement be preserved and not cleared away.

I paused, not knowing what quite to do – images of a potential tearful impasse flashing through my mind – one wailing to have the blocks, and the other wailing to have it kept as is, naptime all messed up, and my plans to get some critical tasks out of the way completely destroyed.



DS started to add some details to the paddock. The green bars are to protect the horses from ferocious wild beasts, he said. O-kay.

Then he willingly climbed into his bed, reminded me to keep the door open, and keep the structure as it is, so he could see it from where he was. O-kay.

I stealthily combed away the extra unused blocks, gathered them into my hands and brought them quietly to DD in the other room. He didn’t notice. O-kay.

I told her that her little brother loved the paddock so much that he asked for it to be kept as-is. I also told her about his structural additions to protect her horses. She nodded and wiped her tears away. O-kay.

He was asleep in minutes. Next thing I saw, she had walked over to their room and was examining the additions he had made.

She looked up and whispered, “But the yellow blocks at the side are still low enough for a lion to jump over, aren’t they?”

“Yes, I suppose they are…”

She smiled appreciatively, straightened the arrangement a little, and then returned to what she was doing.

And as peace gently settles over the household, I breathe a prayer of gratefulness and relief to Him alone who is able to make it so.

Wordcraft – W for Wild

We found this really fun book recently, and bought a copy for our own home collection.

It’s a story about relative perceptions – Jack’s mother has always advised him never to go into the forest for fear of the ferocious wild beasts in it. Unfortunately, Jack disobeyed and is now lost and frightened.

He meets a bear who tries to help him find his way out of the forest, and in that process they meet an elephant, a lion, crocodile, wolf and python – all of whom neither Jack nor the animals themselves see as being ferocious….but are each made very worried about the ferocious beasts that Jack describes – an irony in itself. 

By the time the sun is setting, they’re all creeping about the forest, looking around nervously, watching each other’s back and completely spooked about the ferocious beasts that will be coming out to hunt…and…well, I shan’t spoil the ending for you. 😉

If you haven’t read the book, I’m pretty sure it can be found at your local library or bookstore. 🙂

Ignoring the factual inaccuracies, e.g. lions don’t live in forests, the book in itself is a very entertaining and delightful read.  We must have read this a million times by now – it is the kids’ latest favourite and they ask for it to be read every morning and every night!


To make your own Wordcraft “ferocious wild beast” hiding in the jungle, you will need the following materials: Artblock sheet, marker, blue paint, green and yellow coloured paper, scissors, glue.

1. On the artblock sheet, write out the letters w i l d.

2. Have your child paint the artblock sheet blue. (We used a sponge roller for this, but you can use anything. Alternatively, skip painting and use blue coloured paper for the background).

3. While your child is painting, cut out strips of green paper for grass.

4. When the paint is dry, paste on the strips of green paper.

5. Cut out two yellow cat’s eyes and paste just above the w.

Recommended reading accompaniment:-

Ferocious Wild Beasts – written by Chris Wormell


In my world: Good mess

The kids’ table after their morning of free art play and crafting…

There’s a certain charm to the whole mess of paper bits and pieces, and markers strewn about…I was almost sorry to clear it away.


Sometimes in the middle of cleaning the rooms, I discover little gems left behind by the children. This Friday series was started with the intention of celebrating the imagination and creativity in a young child’s world…and hoping that it’ll bring a little ray of inspiration and joy to your day, as it does mine.

Preschooler Art: Free art

I left some scraps of coloured paper, glue and scissors out for the kids to have some free art time the other day. 

DD cut out some random shapes…which DS arranged into…this!

"Mummy look look! I made an elephant!"

This one is a joint effort by both of them.  Shapes cut by big sister and assembled and details added with markers by little brother.

Loving the siblings’ collaborative work. 😀

Edible Math: Addition, Subtraction and Fractions

I apologise that we’re a little behind on our Wordcraft activities. As you know, we do all our brainstorming for our crafting activities at night. But in the past few nights, I’ve just completely knocked out the moment my head hits the pillow…so…I haven’t been logging on to the pc much.  But I promise we will get this back on track, soonest possible.

In the meantime – I wanted to show you something fun to do with leftover cupcake liners.  (I didn’t discover this, DD did.)

We’d just finished three mini cupcakes for tea.

After eating them, DD folded the cupcake liners into half and half again. She then arranged them on the plate. I think it was more for the aesthetic, than the mathematical angle, as the strawberry, vanilla and chocolate colours look very cheery.  

But arranged that way, each of those liners look like quarters that make up a circle! 

Below are some questions we walked through in a simple math-based game.  🙂

  1. How many cupcake liners do you have on the plate?
  2. How many cupcake liners do you think it takes to form a full circle? (Manoeuver the shapes around the plate to work out the answer. If your child is old enough to understand, you can introduce the concept of quarters, halves and wholes.)
  3. How many more cupcake liners will you need to make a whole circle? 
  4. What shape do we get if we take away one of the cupcake liners? (Half a circle).

If you do try it out, I would be very grateful if you’d let me know how it goes, and I’d be interested to know if there are other variations of questions you come up with as well.

Have fun!