Preschool Experience Posts

Singapore Lantern Festival and Dazzling Paper Lanterns

Mid-Autumn festival is one of the festivals that I came across in Singapore. However other than mooncakes, I didn’t know much about festive celebrations until the recent participation for the lantern festival. With my preschooler, now I get all sorts of opportunities to learn bit about the culture in this country because his school allows us so many opportunities to participate with such events. While these are great opportunities for the kid to learn about other culture, I also find it as a way to join with the community.

Working full time and most of the time stay late at the office to complete my work load, earlier I didn’t have such opportunities to look around. But now as a self-employed person, I find it is relaxing and it is easy to plan my schedules while spending more time with the kid. This lantern festival was held in a park near our place, so we could enjoy our time walking there at the night.

Here are some highlights from the lantern festival!

We found our Zebra paper lantern at the first set of lanterns! Kid was so happy to see his lantern among others..

Do you remember the Zebra lantern which we decorated at home for the preschool? That paper lantern decoration was for the Mid-Autumn Festival (Lantern Festival) in our neighbourhood.

Singapore Lantern Festival

Other paper lanterns decorated by preschool kids.

The lantern festival was glowing with the beautiful paper lanterns decorated by preschool kids around the neighbourhood. It was a colourful night that dazzled by lanterns.

Singapore Lantern Festival

It was a good collection of paper lanterns which proved the crafting talents of these little kids.Some were decorated with stickers.Some were decorated with paintings.All were equally beautiful and colourful.

Singapore Lantern Festival

Red lanterns

Other than the paper lanterns decorated by the kids,there were also other red lanterns to make the festival colourful and cheerful.Though I don’t have photos to share,the event was full of  other games that allowed both kids and adults to participate.

Singapore Lantern Festival

Lion Dance costumes

Not only the games,we also found cultural shows such as Lion Dance during the festival time.It was such a good night that we spent together around our neighbourhood!

Do you like such festivals that celebrates as a part of culture?

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Paper Lantern Decoration with Preschooler : It’s a Zebra!

I always like DIY projects. Though it is difficult to find time, I always try to add some personal touch creating something DIY for most family events including the Birthday parties. However now with my preschool going kid, I get opportunities to do arts and crafts at home spending time in really fun projects.

These projects are not only educational for my kid, but also these give me some relaxing time with opportunity to hang on something that I really like.

So, our recent craft project is this Zebra paper lantern. After our paper plate bird craft, school teachers sent request of joining to a lantern competition by decorating a paper lantern. School provided the white paper lantern. Our task was to decorate it with the kid for the lantern festival.

Paper Lantern Decoration with Preschooler

My kid loved to join with the lantern festival, so we received our paper lantern to decorate.

In Sri Lanka we make and decorate lanterns for the Vesak Day festival which is a Buddhist Festival. So, I have experience of decorating such Vesak lanterns. But, in Singapore these lanterns are for Mid-Autumn festival which I haven’t joined before. So, I didn’t have any clue on how to do the decoration.

After searching online for some ideas, together with my kid we decided to decorate it as a zebra. My kid loves animals. So, he wanted an animal face on the paper lantern.

Paper Lantern Decoration with Preschooler : How we did

Decorating the lantern was not so difficult once we have necessary paper cuttings.

Paper Lantern Decoration with Preschooler

We cut zebra’s eyes,mouth,nose etc before pasting those.

I used black colour paper and cut zebra’s eyes, mouth, nose and strips.

Paper Lantern Decoration with Preschooler

All the materials are ready!

My kid pasted those in the lantern. To paste those in the correct place, I helped the kid. He enjoyed applying glue and pasting those on the lantern.

After few easy steps, our lantern is ready! Don’t forget to paste zebra’s ears too.

Paper Lantern Decoration with Preschooler

Our Zebra Paper Lantern Decoration

The day which we had to bring the decorated lanterns,my kid was the earliest to the preschool.He woke up early and was so excited to show his zebra paper lantern to his teacher!

Paper Lantern Decoration with Preschooler

Does it look like a zebra?  🙂

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Paper Plate Toucan Craft with my Preschooler

I always love arts and crafts with my kid. We enjoy our time together in such activities when we don’t play outside or when we don’t read books together. Last week was preschool holiday for our kid. On his last day to school term, teacher gave a pack of crafty material to each child asking to make a bird.

The material pack included paper plates, bottle caps and papers to use for making a bird. It sounded interesting for us.

Paper Plate Toucan craft with my preschooler

Paper Plate Toucan

However we had a busy week last few days and it was the last minute that I came up with this idea of creating a toucan using paper plates. I found this idea while searching for paper plate crafts images on Google and loved the idea.(Actually my kid selected the toucan from the different paper plate bird crafts I showed to him)

So, here is how we made this paper plate bird.

Materials:

Paper Plate Toucan craft with my preschooler

Paper plates

Colouring pencils/crayon

Colour papers

Glue

Pair of scissors

How we made this Toucan paper plate craft:

Simply we placed the paper plates as in below picture. Cut plates into halves and shapes that make a toucan.

Paper Plate Toucan craft with my preschooler

I asked my kid to colour the plates. He used his own imaginations and coloured the plates.

Finally we used glue to stick the paper plates together.

Paper Plate Toucan craft with my preschooler

Paper Plate Toucan

Our toucan is live now! My kid loved it and he was happy to take it with him to preschool on the first day of new preschool term!

 

 

Happy Teacher’s Day to all the Teachers!

Happy Teacher’s Day to all the great teachers around the world. In Singapore, today is celebrated as Teacher’s day and it is considered as a school holiday. So, yesterday there were celebrations in schools including my kid’s preschool.

In anyone’s life, teachers play an important role same as parents. Without our teachers we may not in this position today. They taught us both academic and social lessons considering us as their own kids. So, through this post I want to remind all my lovely teachers I met during my school days, later and even at present.

Thank you all dear teachers for your efforts! Happy Teacher’s Day!

Happy Teacher’s Day

Teacher’s Day at the preschool

As always, for me it is like going back to school as I always enjoy each and every moment of my kid’s preschool life. Yesterday they had teacher’s day celebrations. As gratitude towards his teachers, I prepared the below greeting cards with him.

I bought these Teacher’s Day greeting cards from a book shop. However I also wanted to make these personalize with some touch of my kid. That also helped for me to give some idea about teacher’s day to my kid. He learned the importance of paying gratitude to his teachers while personalizing this card with me.

Simply I asked him to draw his teachers on the cards. At the same time he wrote his name while I wrote the message to teachers.

Happy Teacher’s Day

This is how my kid drew his teacher 🙂

To all my kid’s teachers,

Thank you for being such a caring Teacher.Happy Teacher’s day!

Yesterday morning, my kid was so happy to give the cards to his teachers saying ‘Happy Teacher’s day!’ That was a lovely moment which could bring tears to my eyes. Hope he will grow up as a responsible kid with all the support he gets from his lovely teachers!

Preschool Field Trip to the Singapore Zoo

Kids easily learn through activities and observation. This is why field trips and outdoor explorations are important specially for early learners. At home we always encourage our kid to experience active learning as we know the benefits of such.My kid was lucky to join with his Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo and it was a fantastic opportunity for him as an early learner!

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

My little explorer is learning to read the map!

Last week we had a fun day at the Singapore zoo. That was my kid’s first ever school field trip. His preschool teachers organized a field trip to the Singapore zoo. This is why we like the new preschool.Now our kid’s preschool days are full of different activities and experiences which also improves his social skills.

My kid has visited the Singapore zoo 3 times during the last year as family trips. However a preschool field trip is a great way to spend his day with teachers and friends.So we decided to join our kid to visit the zoo again. And of course, I visited the zoo again for the 5th or 6th time! 🙂

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

Little explorers are walking to see the animals in the Singapore zoo!

However, Singapore zoo is always an exciting place to visit. It looks natural and attractive. With preschool kids, I really had a great time.

For my kid, it was an exciting day. He packed his bag with field trip essentials including snacks, hat and raincoat before he went to the bed. On the day of the field trip, he woke up early and was really excited. The bus ride with his preschool friends was an unforgettable experience for him. 🙂

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

My kid is watching dinosaurs with his friend

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

Exploring the dinosaur statue

Other than watching the animals around the zoo, teachers planned to watch some animal shows during the field trip. It was exciting for the kids. But after the first animal show, my kid showed signs of tiredness. Light snacks were always helpful for me to keep him active. 🙂

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

These animal themed trams are fun to see!

A tram ride around the zoo was exciting. He could watch his most favourite animal, the Lion!He also loved to see elephants!

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

We also watched the Elephant show at the Singapore Zoo!

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

Curious to see the exhibits!

Other than watching animals and their behavior, kids also learned to share and to spend the time together. At the end of the day, kids looked tired but still talkative and playful!

Do you like such field trips?

 

Happy National Day Singapore!

Happy National Day Singapore! Today is 52nd birthday of Singapore. The country is in a big celebration. Everywhere it is red and white national flags and bunting flags!

National-day-singapore

Happy National Day Singapore!

National-day-singapore

National day decorations everywhere

And preschool kids too had a National day celebration yesterday starting from singing the national anthem. As a resident of Singapore, I always admire these celebrations which always create a peaceful community for every people regardless of the race and religion.

National-day-singapore

Some of the artworks found along the walking path

Yesterday my kid went to preschool with red and white dress code representing the colours of the Singapore National flag. On the way to preschool, I also captured some of the decorations done for National day celebrations.

National-day-singapore

Ready for the National Day Celebration at the preschool.(Wearing red and white to represent the national flag colours)

After the Racial Harmony Day celebrations,this is another opportunity for the kids to learn about the country,national day,living in peace and harmony and lot more which will be really helpful for them to grow as responsible citizens.

National-day-singapore

National day celebrations at the preschool

Happy 52nd Birthday Singapore!

Happy Racial Harmony Day!

Today Singapore celebrates the Racial Harmony Day. So, there was a celebration in kid’s preschool too. As part of the celebration kids were asked to wear their traditional costumes to the preschool. It was a beautiful day with kids wearing different colourful traditional dresses showing their ethnic groups.

Racial Harmony Day

Indian traditional artwork display at the Racial Harmony Day booth

What is Racial Harmony Day?

In Singapore July 21st is the Racial Harmony Day to commemorate the race riots which took place on 21st July 1964.Now Racial Harmony Day is celebrated annually and specially in schools this is a day to spread the message about living in peace and harmony regardless the race and religion. As a multi-cultural society, Singapore is one of the best places to learn about other ethnic groups, culture and their traditional events.

It is good to see that teachers help young kids to learn about racial harmony from their small age so they will grow with learning the importance of maintaining the racial harmony in future once they grow up and in any place they live.

Racial Harmony Day at the Preschool

Racial Harmony Day

Kid dressed up with a Batik Sarong and shirt to show his Sri Lankan traditional dress to his friends and teachers.Oh he also wanted to take his monkey soft toy with him which I didn’t want to refuse 🙂

As part of the celebrations today our kid was so happy to go to school with his traditional dress. In our recent Sri Lanka holiday I bought him a Batik Sarong and Shirt which is one of the traditional dresses for Sri Lankan boys.

Racial Harmony Day Activities for the kids at the Preschool

Racial Harmony Day

Traditional costume fashion parade was one of the best events of the day!

The celebrations included singing of racial harmony songs together with some other activities. After the singing and dancing session, kids were gathered to the booth where there were displays of traditional costumes and cultural items related to different countries.

Racial Harmony Day

Displays of different traditional costumes and items

Racial Harmony Day

Five stones game which is a traditional Malay game

Racial Harmony Day

Myanmar traditional puppet display

 

Kids also enjoyed colouring traditional artwork pages and having henna art works on their hands.

Racial Harmony Day

Colouring activities for the kids

Racial Harmony Day

Sanu is happy with this Henna artwork on his hand!

Racial Harmony Day

And finally,it is time to go home! 🙂

Isn’t this a wise and nice way to teach kids about racial Harmony? They will grow up with these positive attitudes and will be responsible adults in future!

Happy Racial Harmony Day!!

Our New Preschool Experience

It’s another new preschool term. We had one month break and back to the daily schedule. If you follow this blog you know that Sanu changed his preschool in last May. So, during the month of May we had different experiences than the first few months of the year!

Our New Preschool Experience

He is a cheerful kid in the morning!

The new preschool is really active and busy with different activities. It is really a good environment for my kid. We are so happy that my kid started changing his behavior just in the first week. He is back with his love for reading. He plays happily including pretend play of his teacher. He talks softly and he even talks about good manners. At the same time, he also loves colouring activities and writing which will be helpful for him to prepare for his future classes.

Our New Preschool Experience

At home,he plays happily.In previous months he was different after the preschool hours which could make me headache! 🙂

With such changes, I am really happy because I am the one who started talking about previous preschool and our kid’s behavior changes. So it seems our decision to change the preschool could make the kid happy and cheerful.

Our New Preschool Experience

Just after the Mothers Day Celebrations

Other than the learning environment, the new preschool is also busy with extra activities which we really admire. During this one month (Month of May) our kid could join with few extra activities including Mother’s Day celebrations and Class concert. I am happy that Sanu participated with items in the class concert making me proud. He was not afraid of the audience at all and did his job well. I am happy because this is his first experience in front of a large audience and also it is his new school. In an environment which everything is new, kid could adapt for the changes well.

Overall, he is a happy kid and he does well in the preschool. He also loves his teachers and pretends like his teacher at home giving me some clues on what he learned during the day. The best thing I like is that we have good teacher-parent communication on what they learn during the preschool which is helpful for us to have some idea about how he is performing.

Just after one month of attending to the new preschool,Sanu is a happy kid same as he was during the Playgroup days.That is what we want.I hope I will have more success stories to share about him in coming days!

How about you?Do you have any experience with changing school/preschool of your kids?

 

We Changed the Preschool of Our Kid : Here is Why

We changed the preschool of our kid before the first semester ends. We had to do that for few reasons. And here is why.

At the beginning of this year, we never had any idea to change our kid’s preschool before he completes the whole year. But we did! We changed his preschool and now he attends a new preschool. At first I was worried about taking this decision to change the preschool. But, with the help of my husband I took the decision. I took the challenge of changing the preschool and the kid started his new preschool from last week. (From 1st day of May).Now after few days, my kid is really happy at his new preschool, I can see the changes of his behavior for the good. So, I am happy that our decision to change the preschool is correct and timely.

As the change of preschool gave us positive results so far, I want to note down our experience in this blog post. Anyway this blog post is not to criticize the previous preschool. This post is with the whole purpose of sharing our experiences and how we identified the negative side of his preschool experiences through our son’s activities. Our experience may help another parent to take decision if they too have such troublesome period same as we experienced with our preschooler.

Here is our thoughts and experience of his previous preschool. Just want to mention that I am a Singapore resident and I am from Sri Lanka. As a first time mom, most of experiences   are new to me. Sometimes it is hard to find correct information, experiences and others’ ideas unless I find those through websites and forums.

It was same for us when it was time to select a preschool. At the time we selected Playgroup for our kid, we had 2 options. Both Playgroups are very near to our home. That time my first concern was to send the 2 years old kid to a place which he find other kids to play, learn social skills and other such life skills. Once we found 2 nearby Playgroups, I contacted some of my ex-colleagues and friends to get their experience with these playgroups and we decided on the one which is more near to our place and it was also recommended by my friends. Our decision was correct. Day by day my kid showed his improvements. Although we didn’t have any expectations for him to learn writing during the playgroup age, he also learned writing. We were really happy with the playgroup and each day my kid came out from the playgroup with arts and crafts he did at the playgroup.

We Changed the Preschool of Our Kid

These are some arts and crafts he did during the Playgroup year.I expected to see such arts and crafts from his preschool too 🙂

At the end of the Playgroup year, our kid was happy with activities such as singing, writing, reading, arts & crafts and he was really a smart kid for his age.

Then the preschool year! We had to apply for the preschools like around August of previous year (2016). When I reached the nearby preschool; I found that there were no vacancies left. So, at that moment our first concern was to find a preschool which has a vacancy for the kid and also near to our home. We were also planning a holiday in Sri Lanka. So we wanted to register the kid before we go for the holiday. I started visiting the other preschools and I wanted to register our consent. Anyway, the first preschool I visited could attract me. It was located in a peaceful environment and also less crowded. I talked with the principal. Everything sounded good and I registered the kid there. My first concern was the learning environment I could see at this preschool. Fewer kids in a peaceful environment sounded good for me to select the preschool.

So far so good! Our kid happily started his preschool in early January this year.

First weeks of Preschool

For my surprise, our kid didn’t cry at his preschool although I expected such. He happily adjusted to the preschool. Anyway at the end of the preschool sessions, I didn’t see anything he did during the classroom. Okay. It can be my fault to expect to see things he did during the class because I was used to such during the playgroup days. So, I made my mind and adjusted.

But, for some reasons at the end of January I started thinking that this preschool doesn’t continue the things he learned from Playgroup or doesn’t improve the knowledge in many skills. Anyway, these are my feelings and thoughts. Although it is a preschool, we know that the kid needs to slowly adjust to his next year kindergarten too. So, he needs to improve his skills day by day gradually. But nothing seems improving. Instead kid became more active and less concentrated in any activity he did.

Anyway, I thought that it is me expecting many things from the kid. Though my husband asked me to check for another preschool if this doesn’t fit for our kid, I wanted to give it a second try. I decided on trying homeschooling as we did before while continuing his preschool.

Things I did before the decision to change the Preschool

Here are some things I did to improve his skills and to improve his desire to learning before taking the decision to change the preschool.

As the kid loves colouring, I bought new colouring books and crayons. But he didn’t like those as before.

As the kid loves reading, I bought new books. But he didn’t love the books. Even he didn’t enjoy his library visits or the books we borrowed from the library.

He didn’t want to join the bedtime reading which he loved before.

Then I bought some workbooks for preschool age and started doing the books at home. We have really good experience with Gakken workbooks during the playgroup year and kid loved to do the mazes and other activities. So, I thought he would like his new books. But, he didn’t show much interest. I also didn’t want to force him because I believe he should learn with fun and happiness.

I went out most of the time for active play activities and pretend play activities thinking these activities will be helpful for him to calm down and improve his behavior problems. He was good at those indoor playgrounds we visited. But he also continued aggressive behavior after preschool.

As our experience with Apple Tree playgroup is really good, I thought of sending him to their enrichment class which they continue teaching Pingu’s English program.

Wow! My kid was really happy with Pingu English class which is just one day per week .He loves his teacher. His behavior is completely opposite after the Pingu class. He loves to show me the things he did during the class session. I noticed his complete change in behavior once a week after the enrichment class. He started repeating phonics sounds at home. But all these lasted until he attended the next preschool day. After preschool, again he was an aggressive kid at home. He even showed some bad manners which we didn’t want to accept.

Decision to Change the Preschool

This is the time that another new kid came to the preschool. He was bit different and he didn’t adjust to the preschool. I understand the concerns of his mom. I also understand how hard it was for the teachers. All teachers had to attend this new kid and day by day I noticed that teachers didn’t have time for other kids. When I went to fetch the kid I could see that new kid was walking around the class. Teachers were trying to control/adjust him and other kids were watching that. Okay. This is normal. Usually kids take long time to adjust to a preschool environment. But this kid was different and from February until end of April, he was not fully adjusted to the class room. I know how hard it was for the teachers.

But, the results?

One day, my kid suddenly changed his way of talking. He looked like very dictative.

For small requests was like’ DO THIS, STOP THIS, I TOLD YOU TO STOP, DON’T DO, GO THERE..etc etc

Eh, can you believe the changes of him and my mood? At first, I thought this can be my talking because my husband is the only other person stay at our home and he usually comes home at late night. So, if the kid follows someone, obviously it is me. I’ve read many articles and advices that says ‘Kids follow the parents

So, is that me talking like this? Though I know that I am not such rude, I decided to be more concentrate on my talking.

Okay. Now his talking is different and becoming rude. In few days he started to tap a table or chair and ordered me to ‘STOP, DO, GIVE etc. A different way of commanding! I got the idea. It was like a teacher, not like a mom! I simply talked with him.

I asked him gently, ‘Is that Amma (mommy) talks to you like this?’

He said. ‘No this is how teacher talks to …. (name of the new kid)’

I asked ‘when does the teacher talk like that to …..(name of the new kid)?’

Kid said, ‘When he does naughty things and when he takes teacher’s things, teacher says like that.’

Anyway, I am not such type of person to take actions just believing words of a preschooler. But I got some idea in mind and I totally understand the frustration of teachers in controlling and managing the class with the activities of the new kid.

But for us, our kid is important.

We decided to change the preschool and with the help of another mom I found the new preschool. It is another branch of the same preschool group, but they do lot of activities including field visits and other kid activities. The new preschool has good communication with parents. I registered the kid for the new preschool after talking more things with teacher, principal and even with the parent I know.

Mid of March I submitted my consent of withdrawing the kid from previous preschool. However, as we have to give the 1 month notice, kid had to continue the same preschool until end of April. April month was the toughest month for me as kid continued his aggressive behavior after the preschool hours. Even he started to refuse preschool in the morning. He didn’t have interest to go for school daily. But we had a hope with new preschool! I will write more on our experiences in another post.

We Changed the Preschool of Our Kid

Experience with New Preschool

Kid started his new preschool on May 2nd.Seems our   decision is right and kid is changing. It is a surprise how a kid can change fast with the change of the environment. He showed his changes immediately during the 1st week of new preschool. He is a happy kid after the preschool and he talks gently. He is friendly with new friends and at home he pretends like his teacher. Oh I started having some peace at home. 🙂

I am happy with what we did and I am glad I could notice the changes of my kid at the right time. At the same time I am happy that I am a Work at Home Mom and I don’t have regrets of leaving my highly paid Engineering job. Because after all, I believe preschool education is the foundation for kid’s entire life and we need to build strong foundation. If the foundation is not strong, the building will collapse one day!

Do you have such experiences with preschools or schools with your kids? Do you believe that all kids need equal attention of the teachers even though they are independent and don’t cry for everything? 🙂  Please share your thoughts. I will continue writing the experiences of our new preschool in another blog post! After all I am having peaceful time at home after 4 months of extremely troublesome days with our too active kid. 🙂

 Disclaimer : This is my true experience and thoughts which I want to share with other moms thinking it is helpful.I don’t have any intention to criticize the previous preschool 🙂

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