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Toys Reviews

JANOD Vehicles Magnet Book

People have long known that puzzles present many benefits for children as they develop. I read an article once about the three basics of what puzzles do for your child. When our child is alone with a puzzle, you can expect three basic skills to be built:

  • Physical skills- from holding puzzle pieces and turning them until they fit
  • Cognitive skills- as they solve the problem of a puzzle
  • Emotional skills- they learn patience and are rewarded when they complete the puzzle

There are many different types of puzzles sold in the market with different stages of difficulties with appealing picture/characters. I found that this magnetic puzzle book from Janod is really interesting and good to introduce it early. N can have fun creating different vehicles with this cleverly designed Janod-Magnetic Book.

How to play this game?

When we opened the box, there is a background of road, ocean and sky on the cover box to place the magnetic puzzles.

There are 2 compartments, left side of the compartment are 18 vehicle cards. On the right side of the compartment are all the magnetic pieces are placed.

Just select one of the 18 cards and then match the magnetic pieces to copy the card. This activity is good to build problem solving and skill building. Alternatively the child can be creative and mix and match to build your own super cool transport. They could even make a story or change the arrangement when they play which is not a repeating type of puzzle.

The 50 pieces magnetic puzzle and 18 cards all store away in the book when not in use.  As everything are packed and played in the box, this toy is actually quite handy where we can bring it everywhere.

Toddler Activities

The Three Little Pigs: Puzzle, Coloring and Match the numbers

Hi! Still continuing with The Three Little Pigs activities, I stumbled upon Cassie, 3 Dinosaurs Blog who make a great free printable for toddler. Little N did some puzzle and coloring. It’s a great activity to learn about color and match the pictures.

N still need little help from me to match the picture though.

From the printable I used the brick house picture which suppose to be used as lacing activity, I twisted a little by cutting few bricks of the house and pasted it on the white paper. I wrote numbers from 1-10 on the missing bricks randomly. Let N matched the number and pasted it onto the paper.

the three little pigs 2 featuredThis activity is good for little one to learn about number recognitions and fine motor skills as he/she learn paste it using glue.

Have fun trying!

Toddler Activities

The Three Little Pigs : The Huffing Fox

I called this activity The Huffing Fox because this activity involves blowing using a straw. This is such fun activity for kids and a hit for my son N. He blew it more than zillion times until gets tired of it. Ha ha..

This activity makes a great science exploration too for older kids. Kids can compare how different angles of the straw affect the distance the brick house travels. As for my opinion, there are few benefits of playing this activity for toddler too!

  1. Fine motor skills -toddler can have opportunity to practice pinching the straw. Coordinating 2 hands to hold the straw straight up and slipping the straw into the plastic pipette.
  2. Oral motor skills – obviously! Blowing drinking straw is good exercise for little mouth but it’s a hard work for the little one.
  3. Social and Communication skills – little one will request for more of this and we are establishing relationship with them while play.

So why not try this activity?

It simple preparation is needed:

  • Plastic pipette
  • Straw
  • Tape
  • House brick and wolf picture

the three little pig 2 1Cut the bottom of the pipette and attached the brick house using tape. As for fun, I pasted a wolf cartoon on the straw using a tape.

Then, slip a straw into pipette, and you are ready to huff…puff …and blow your house down!

the three little pigs 2

Hope your kids enjoy this activity as N did!

Toddler Activities

The Three Little Pigs : Pictures Sequence

I love the 3 little pigs’ story, and this book has been one of the favorite fairy tales for all children around the world. N is one of them. We have done some pretend play on this story and he would funnily quote “not by my hair on my chiny chin chin” or “i’m a big bad wolf with big beady eyes!”

What I love about this story is the lesson behind it, where one of the pigs listened to his mama pig message to be safe.

Thus, I decided to do some activities from the 3 little pigs’ storybook for N.

We did the 3 little pigs’ art and craft by collecting some drinking straws (since we don’t have any straw, we just used drinking straw instead), toothpicks (as woods) and red cutting paper in rectangle shapes (as bricks).

These are the materials needed:

  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Toothpicks (I cut out both sharp edges for safety)
  • Drinking straws (which I cut into few pieces)
  • Cut red constructions paper
  • Cut out of 3 little pigs and the wolf (photocopied from the storybook)

the three little pigs 1 3I just hand drawn 3 houses with black markers and we decorated the houses in story sequence.

the three little pigs 1 1

After that, N pasted the 3 little pigs and the wolf. He matched the pigs according to the right houses. I love how it turned out! It looks cuter than expected, don’t you think?

the three little pigs 1 2Along the way I’m surprised at myself that I found many inspiring activities that kids can do from this storybook. So please stay tuned for our next part of activities.

Toddler Activities

Sorting, Counting, Graphing with Cars

Since N entered preschool, we have less time doing activities at home than we used to. So I would only do activities that are quick to prepare but still fun for N. N is an imaginative and energetic boy. Every day he plays with his cars and he is a car collectors.

So I stumbled upon frugal4boys.com blog who have 4 boys, she has lots of boys activities and cars of course. I decided to do similar activities by making big color graph for sorting and counting.

I thought she had a good idea! I drew some vertical lines on the big drawing paper and drew small squares for each line to make the graph.

image1Then, I told N that we need to park all the cars according to their colors. For the start, N chose to do one color first before moving on to the next color.

image2 Then, he continued to the next colors.

After sorting some of the cars, N refused to sort the rest since he has too many, I guess. But that’s okay, we continue to learn about “more and less” by asking him which color have more cars?  And which cars’ color that you have less? Then, we also count the number of cars for each color graph.

I hope I can do this activity again with different things! Can you suggest what items are good to use in this activity?

Toys Reviews

Diecast Mini-Cars & Playsets

N has been a big fan of cars since he was small and today I am going to try to review one of his favorite toys that have been very close to him.

There are many brands of diecast cars out in the market but since the beginning our hearts always go for Takara Tomy Tomica, which is from Japan. I remember the first Takara Tomy toy that N got was the Shinkansen Train Rail Set, a gift from a friend of ours who lives in Perth. Since then, we started to pay attention about this brand and found out they have many choices of diecast cars including different types of play sets and car tracks.

We began collecting the diecast cars from one until I do not even know how many diecast cars N has up until now. N just loves to play with it and always brings as many cars as he can every time he goes out. The thing that I like about this toy is easy to carry, fits in the palm of a children’s hand and could be a helpful alternative for the kids to play, especially during the meal time. Instead of entertaining our children with the smartphone/tablet for video or games, I prefer letting N playing with the cars with different story I made depending of what cars model he brings.

Just bring 4-6 different types of cars then you all set. To make things more interesting you could make up a story by drawing some paths, roads or building on a piece of paper for the kids to play & explore with the cars.

diecast featuredAs N grew older we started to present him more accessories from Takara Tomy Play set.  In addition, N received Takara Tomy Carpark Elevator from his aunt on his 3rd birthday.

The good things about this is actually you can buy the play sets or car track separately but in the end you could connect everything to make a very big town road set.

The kids can innovatively create their track design as they want with different shapes (Straight, Turn, Up, Down etc). The booklet instruction is in Japanese but do not worry to assemble the tracks is quite straight forward, there are some numbers or sign where you can actually connect it.

diecast7In my preference this toys can actually last longer for the kids to play and they can creatively built as they like when they grow up. Hunting for some limited type of diecast car model can also be exciting for some collectors.

Please note: due to small parts this toy is suitable for the kids above 3 years old.

Travelling

PIP’s PLAYbox at Esplanade (Singapore)

Welcome to my travel blog page where I will share my travel experience with N.

As this is my first travel blog, I will share the most updated and interesting for you. I grew up in Singapore and Singapore has always been my second home. While the travelling distance to Singapore is convenience, my family is often visiting there especially during holiday time.

During the last Christmas, I came across this place in Esplanade called PIP’s PLAYbox through their website. PIP’s PLAYbox is a new activity space at the national performing arts centre, designed especially for children and families.

When I visited the place I was so excited to find out that they had special activities for the kids during the Christmas time. The location of the place is quite out of sight, it’s located at Level  4. You need to go up few escalators.

When you arrived at Level 4, there are nice garden with a beautiful view of Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sand and CBD Area. I guess there are not many people knew about this place, so it’s a nice hassle free place for us to enjoy the view of Singapore. Just beside the garden, there was the PIP’s PLAYbox where the place surrounded by the big glass windows and doors.

image1When we entered, there’s a nice lady who assisted us about PIP’s PLAYbox rules and show us the free craft activity available which was decorating Christmas ornaments and coloring.

N was quickly run into the room as he was curious what’s inside.

image2At that time, there were few parents with their kids who already enjoyed decorating the Christmas ornaments quietly. N decided to do some decorating too with me and coloring.

image9After that, N excitedly asked me to come with him to explore the book and toy’s rooms which is wide, bright and airy space. They have nice corners for the kids to read too. Sadly, the books were limited and more suitable for kindergarten kids. Thus, every time N chose a book he eagerly wanted to enjoy different corners of the room but he flipped every book that he chose very fast.

Overall, I love the PIP’s PLAYbox and I may want to come back again if I have free time to occupy my time with my kids. It’s a nice comfortable space for the kids to enjoy kid’s art and craft activities.

 

PIP’s PLAYbox

Esplanade Theatres on the Bay

Level 4

Opening Hours : 11AM to 6PM

 

Toddler Activities

Sunday Science : Sink or Float

Welcome to my very first blog page. Honestly I’m quite nervous about where to start and also what people will think about my blog. On the other hand, I’m just excited and happy that finally I can share my ideas and stories! This will not be happening without my partner in life support.

Since 2015, I have started to do toddler activities with my son at home as I think it is important for to gain as much knowledge as they can while they are growing up. I have been documenting what we did since then until now. I still remember what made me realized that activities at home are crucial since N was so difficult to do teeth cleaning and washing his hands. So, I decided to create a one week theme about Hygiene. The result was amazing, he was following all the activities that I prepared, he also want to clean his teeth and wash his hands. N also kept mentioning about a word “germs”.

From then on, I committed to myself that I will keep doing toddler activities at home and decided to start sharing our home activities journey.

Today is Sunday, we did some exercise this early morning as family so I did not have much time to prep anything but I will just make a quick science activity for N that easy to prep. The topic is about SINKS or FLOATS.

What to prepare?

  • Tray
  • 2 medium size containers
  • 1 big transparent container
  • Few items that are floats and sinks (that are available at home)
  • 2 small card papers to describe sinks and floats

First, I collected all the things that are available at home on the tray. Then, fill up the big transparent container with water and write both card papers with sinks and floats. The purpose of big transparent container is for them to see clearly from outside when experimenting. And, the cards that I drew was easier to understand what it means by sinks and floats.

N chose his ball toy as his first experiment. For the first few items, N was still confused the meaning of sinks and floats. But as you can see, he enjoyed and eagerly looked forward what would it turned out when he put each item to the container. After he answered it, he will put the item into the correct medium size container.

Then at last minute, I also gave an empty water bottle to let N see whether will it sinks or floats? And how it turned out when an empty water bottle filled with water?

During activity, I often encouraged N to see the item that he put in from the side of the container to get clear view so that he understood more about sinks and floats.

Here were all the items that N had proudly put into the correct containers. As you can see, I also put some tricky items like stainless tea spoon and plastic tea spoon, if you have older age toddler I suggest to play this as a game. Let them guess first and identify the reason why both teaspoons react differently in the water. I hope my suggestion and share ideas are useful.

If anyone would like to know about our previous Hygiene activities that we did, let me know, I would be happy to share it with you guys one day.