Wednesday, 26 February 2014

If my brother can...

Little Lady has a serious case of "monkey see, monkey do". Whatever her brother does, she must too!






*****
Little Man: 3 years 8 months
Little Lady: 19 months
*****

Time for a Cuppa #3

Time For A Cuppa is a weekly link-up here at A Cuppa For Mama. There is no set topic. Simply grab your beverage of choice, link your post and visit the other linked posts. I only ask that it is: a) family-friendly, b) something you have written for that week, c) not a giveaway *****

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A Cuppa For Mama - Time For A Cuppa

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Gross Motor Dice Game


I came across this idea a long, long time ago (can't remember where from, now), when Little Man was still much too young for it, and only remembered it recently when trying to think of a physical activity that I could do with Little Man and Little Lady at home.

If your toddler or young child is anything like my almost 4 year old, he/she would be a bundle of energy. I have come to realise that trying to direct an energertic, active child to engage quiet play is often an exercise in futility.

What is necessary, of course, is to engage them in activities that will allow them to burn off as much energy as possible. Going to the park or playground are common favourites, as is visiting indoor playgrounds. However, most of these require us to be active too, especially when the little ones are still little enough to require constant supervision. I don't know about you, but I seldom have energy to spare, especially in the afternoon, when it is entirely too hot to be outdoors. Indoor playgrounds would be ideal, except that they are too expensive to visit often. Besides, I get paranoid about the germs lurking around.

Enter the gross motor dice game, an activity that will allow the little bundles of energy to expend said energy and practice their gross motor skills. It can be played both indoors and out as well.

It is relatively easy to set up. I could not find any cuboid boxes lying around, so I recycled a cardboard envelope some books came in.

I cut out some squares and rectangles and arranged them like a lower-case 't'.

I then taped the edge together, forming a box. I stuffed the box with some old newspaper to help it hold its shape, before taping the final edge shut.

On each side of the box, write down an action. The Little Man and I came up with "Gallop like a horse", "Walk like a duck", "Hop like a rabbit", "Jump like a frog", "Star jumps" and "Swing your trunk like an elephant".

Little Man had great fun throwing the dice.

And doing the actions. I'm not sure which he enjoyed more.


As you can see, it was immensely difficult to get a clear picture of him as he was moving soooooo much. Can you identify which action he was doing in the various photographs?

There are so many possible variations. For the Little Lady, I'll be making one with simple actions such as kick, jump, swing arms, walk, stand up and squat down. This could be paired with a second dice with adverbs such as quickly, slowly, forwards, backwards, etc. (This has an added advantage of increasing their vocabulary!) The possibilities are endless!

What do you do when your child has "too much" energy? Please share your tips and ideas.

*****
Little Man: 3 years 8 months
LittleLady: 19 months

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Our 8 Favourite Board Books

Some time ago, I shared about Our Favourite Books to Read Aloud, and recently, I shared about Little Lady's current favourite, Overboard!  The problem with regular books is that little hands can cause damage!  I have books with torn pages, folded pages, missing pages...

A good solution to all that rough handling is reading board books.  An additional advantage of board books is that it helps to work those fine motor skills!

The following are 8 of our favourite board books.

1) Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle

Eric Carle's illustration rocks!  They are bright, colorful and so cheerful!  This is essentially a picture book that introduces animals beautifully.  The repetition of the animal name and the question 'what do you see?' are great for toddlers and young children.


Buy on Amazon: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Buy on Book Depository: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?


2) Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle
 
A follow-up on Brown Bear above, this is also great!  This time, animal sounds are introduced too!  Little Lady loves to roar whenever she sees the lion.

Buy on Amazon: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?


3) Good Night, Gorilla
by Peggy Rathmann

My favourite of all our board books.  This is a really simple story of a zoo keeper saying good night to his charges who follow him home, thanks to the cheeky gorilla.  My Little Ones love Mrs Zoo Keeper's surprise when she first discovers them.  In addition to the humour, what makes this book is the details in the illustration.  From the toys in the animals' cages, the colour of the keys (they match the cages), the recurring balloon and the running gag of the banana, there is so much to discover at every reading.  Little Man was still noticing new details when I dug it out to read to Little Lady.

Buy on Amazon: Good Night, Gorilla
Buy on Book Depository: Good Night, Gorilla


4) The Very Hungry Caterpillar
by Eric Carle


A classic that needs no introduction (but I'm going to anyway :P).  A wonderful little tale about an insatiable caterpillar.  When he's finally full, he made a cocoon and transforms into a butterfly.  In addition to the central story of metamorphosis, this book introduces fruit, different types of food as well as days of the week.   Illustrated with Eric Carle's signature style.  Win-win!

Buy on Amazon: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Buy on Book Depository: The Very Hungry Caterpillar


5) Tumble Bumble
by Felicia Bond

A fun lively book about meeting new friends.  This book has a lovely rhythm and flow.

Get on Amazon: Tumble Bumble
Get on Book Depository: Tumble Bumble


6) The Very Hungry Caterpillar Little Learning Library
by Eric Carle

This is basically a set of mini picture books that introduces numbers, words, animal sounds and colours to the little ones.  What I love about it is that they are so convenient to bring around.  I usually had one or two popped in my bag, so that I would have something to amuse them with when we were out and about.
Buy on Amazon: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Little Learning Library
Buy on Book Depository: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Little Learning Library


7)My First Gruffalo Little Library
by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Another set of mini picture books, this time by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, based on their award winning The Gruffalo.  Again, they are seldom in their box, and can be found in different bags.
Buy on Amazon: My First Gruffalo Little Library
Buy on Book Depository: My First Gruffalo Little Library


8) Usborne Look and Say: Home
by Jo Litchfield and Francesca Allen

In addition to showing and naming objects as traditional picture books do, this picture book also shows the objects where they can be found, in this case, the home.  
Buy on Book Depository: Usborne Look and Say: Home

What are you your favourite board books to read with your little ones?

*****

Little Lady: 19 months
Little Man: 3 years 8 months

*****


Time For A Cuppa #2

What:

Time For A Cuppa is a weekly link-up here at A Cuppa For Mama. There is no set topic.  Simply grab your beverage of choice, link your post and visit the other linked posts.  I only ask that it is:

a) family-friendly,
b) something you have written for that week,
c) not a giveaway


How: 
  1. Scroll down to the end of the post, past the other linked posts till you find the button that says "Add your link".  Click it.
  2. Paste the URL of the post you wish to link.
  3. Type in the name of your post and email address.
  4. Click "Done".
  5. Like my Facebook page, if you haven't already done so. :)
  6. You may also add the Time For A Cuppa badge (code below) and add include it at the bottom of your submitted post, or add it to your blog.
  7. Visit the other links and leave a comment or two! (Not compulsory, but nice to do. :) )

A Cuppa For Mama - Time For A Cuppa

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Happy Valentine's Day


Happy Valentine's Day!

Coincidentally, it is also the Chap Goh Meh, (literally translated to 15th Night, or Night of the 15th), which is the Chinese version of Valentine's.

It is called the 15th Night because it is the 15th day of the Lunar New Year, marking the end of the Lunar New Year celebrations. It is a time when families get together for a meal and festivities. Traditionally, it is the night when singletons are allowed to go and mingle with other singletons (chaperoned), and matchmakers would be busy matching couples. I remember my Mum telling me of young men and women throwing mandarin oranges into the river. I always thought that it worked like throwing a coin into a wishing well, but apparently singletons would write their names and contact details on the oranges, and they would then get in touch after fishing them out of the river.

Anyway, the two Valentine's apparently only coincide every 19 years or so, so Happy Double Valentine's everyone!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Time For A Cuppa: Easy Pizza



In an effort to diversify the menu, I decided to get the kids to make their own pizzas for snack time.


Ingredients:
Wraps (I used a garlic wrap for more flavour)
Cheese
Tomato Sauce
Diced tomatoes (skinned and seeded)
Diced mushrooms
Diced pineapples
Diced protein (I happened to have fishballs, so I used those.)

Step 1: Place the wrap on an oven-proof plate or baking tray.

Step 2: Spread sauce onto wrap. We also made a white pizza (sans sauce) for more options.

Step 3: Choose fillings to spread onto wrap.


Little Man trying to decide what to put first.

Step 4: Cover liberally with grated cheese.


Step 5: Bake in oven until nicely browned. I think they were in a 180 degree Celcius oven for about 8 to 10 minutes.


Step 6a: Wait as patiently as you can while it cools down.


Step 6b: Take some photos while waiting.



Step 7: Eat!

Nom nom nom


*******
Little Man: 13 years, 8 months
Little Lady: 19 months


*******

Time For A Cuppa #1

What:

Time For A Cuppa is a weekly link-up here at A Cuppa For Mama. There is no set topic.  Simply grab your beverage of choice, link your post and visit the other linked posts.  I only ask that it is:

a) family-friendly,
b) something you have written for that week,
c) not a giveaway


How: 
  1. Scroll down to the end of the post, past the other linked posts till you find the button that says "Add your link".  Click it.
  2. Paste the URL of the post you wish to link.
  3. Type in the name of your post and email address.
  4. Click "Done".
  5. Like my Facebook page, if you haven't already done so. :)
  6. You may also add the Time For A Cuppa badge (code below) and add include it at the bottom of your submitted post, or add it to your blog.
  7. Visit the other links and leave a comment or two! (Not compulsory, but nice to do. :) )

A Cuppa For Mama - Time For A Cuppa

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Book Review: Overboard!



Little Lady's current favourite book is Overboard! by Sarah Weeks and Sam Williams. It used to be Little Man's favourite too.  In fact, he will stop his play and come sit by us when we read it to her.

Little Lady will ask for it by saying "Borh!  Borh!"

She is also able to complete some of the lines of the book by supplying the last word when we pause expectantly.

It is a lovely little book about a little bunny who loves to throw things, where else, but overboard. The illustrations are absolutely charming, and the rhymes flow effortlessly.


Buy on Amazon: Overboard!
Buy on Book Depository: Overboard!

Little Lady: 19 months

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Coming Soon! Time For A Cuppa Linky

I'm rather excited. Come Wednesday, I'll be hosting my very own Linky Party, Time For A Cuppa!
 
A Cuppa For Mama - Time For A Cuppa

Who? What? When? Where? How and Why?  All questions are addressed below!

Who:
Anyone and everyone!

What:
Time For A Cuppa is a weekly link-up here at A Cuppa For Mama. There is no set topic.  Simply grab your beverage of choice, link your post and visit the other linked posts.  I only ask that it is:

a) family-friendly,
b) something you have written for that week,
c) not a giveaway

When:
Every Wednesday

Where:
Here!  www.acuppaformama.com

How: 
  1. Scroll down to the end of the post, past the other linked posts till you find the button that says "Add your link".  Click it.
  2. Paste the URL of the post you wish to link.
  3. Type in the name of your post and email address.
  4. Click "Done".
  5. Like my Facebook page, if you haven't already done so. :)
  6. You may also add the Time For A Cuppa badge (code below) and add include it at the bottom of your submitted post, or add it to your blog.
  7. Visit the other links and leave a comment or two! (Not compulsory, but nice to do. :) )

Why:
Why not?  It's a great way to discover new blogs and for your blog to be discovered too!

Badge Code:


I'm brand new to hosting link parties, so I'm hoping it goes well. :)

Tune in on Wednesday!

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