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Monday, November 28, 2011

Mooncake Festival - 2011

The mooncake festival was celebrated with much fun fare this year.  I roped in Mum to help with making mini snowskin mooncakes with the children.  Also had a lantern-making competition amongst the children and parents.  The main objective was to foster a close bonding within the family as well as to stir up the creativity of Daddies and Mummies.  There were many entries, most of them painstakingly put together using recyclables and reused- items.  So many, and it was difficult to choose the winning entries.  I would say that everyone is a winner!  

Ingredients for the mooncake include dragon fruit, pandan leave and orange juice for
the natural colours,  red bean paste, lotus paste and the snowskin.

Decorating the mooncakes

Putting the snowskin mooncake into the mould

Knock it out and we'll get the mooncake.

Nicely packed, ready to be taken home!

So many lanterns decorating the school.

The durian lantern

The spaceship

The robot that is at least 4 feet tall!  (sorry, can't rotate the picture)

Many more...

Lesson in democracy - teaching the children how to vote for the best 3 lanterns

Discussing on their choice...

Choosing carefully....

I like that,  what about you?

Casting their votes

Contemplating ... some are even fishing for votes!

Teachers can vote too!

And these are the winners!

Sports and Family Day 2011 (1)

Our theme for this Family Day is Sporting Living Skills 2, which is a continuation of the theme in 2009. We continued with this theme because we want to teach the children about sportsmanship, how to work as a team – guiding and helping their team members along the way; and most important of all, to have a good self-esteem – it does not matter if you win or lose. What is more important is to do your best with great determination and courage, and not to give up easily.

Each event in today’s telematch provides many learning opportunities. Through the activities, they are exposed to literacy and quantity learning, they learn about teamwork, delegation as well as sharing and taking turns. Simple activities such as balancing, transferring, matching or even running are important skills for a child! These living skills will stand them in good stead for years to come. That’s why we have integrated sportsmanship with living skills as our theme.

Our youngest children – the Soya Beans and Green Beans. See their spontaneity and delight as they dance to a dynamic song.  They never fail to squeal in delight every time we practise the song in school. While they dance, they refine their gross motor skills and coordination.  They are also given the opportunity to learn about directions as they move to the right and left, up and down and sideways.  Of course, they also learn about music and movement the fun way!
The children are singing songs that touch on their love for their country, family, school and teachers.  Listen to their voices especially when they tell you how much they love you.  Reflect on their message to you.

The children are performing with the Chorus Bells which were introduced for the first time in Malaysia during our last telematch!  Mr VictorTan choreographed and trained our children for the 2 songs.  In this presentation, everybody plays an important part.  They have to listen intensely to the music and be alert when it is his/her turn to play.  Everybody plays a part to make a whole and no person can stand alone.  This takes a lot of discipline and focus, and I am proud to say that they can do it!  Together, they work hand –in-hand to deliver beautiful songs – Edelweiss and Xiao Yu Dui!
The children all lining up for the first event - eager to start, yet anxious as this is the first time they are facing a big crowd.  Some are overwhelmed!


The first game is Hot Potatoes – a spin-off from Egg Relay. We cannot have the eggs breaking all over the field – hence the potatoes. Seriously, this is a game that promotes concentration, balancing skills and patience! The children cannot touch the potatoes and they must not let the potatoes drop. Every child has his or her own special way of moving from one end to the other. Take note how the others wait patiently for their turn. Not easy, especially for three-year olds!


Umbrellas shield is from the rain and the sun. Umbrellas can also be used to hold colourful balls!   In the next game, children from Green Beans will pick up a card randomly and by looking at the card, will pick up the correct quantity of balls according to the card. There is a combination of two sets of balls and indirectly, they learn about matching of colours/quantity as well as addition. Mathematical development is taking place as they are playing.

To enhance their gross motor and coordination skills, they are challenged to throw the balls into the up-turned umbrellas. This looks easier said than done as the balls bounces out easily. This again is a test of patience for the four-year olds!



Lotto games are fun. Matching of colours and shapes is fun. Playing together with friends is also fun. The next game combines all these and make for an even more interesting challenge for our Soya Beans!

In this game, each child picks up a shape randomly and matches it to the Lotto Chart in front. They must match according to the correct shape and colour, an important aspect of math development. They also learn about the names of the shapes such as trapezium, hexagon and rhombus. As we expose them to these shapes, our young children become more aware of the shapes in the environment and can compare them to real objects. A little girl told me “trapezium is like a roof in the house”. She can only tell me this if she knows the term “trapezium”!


Suku kata forms the basis of the Malay language. Different combinations of suku kata result in different words and meaning. To give the children hands-on experience of the combination of sukukata and their meanings, we give them a mish mash of suku kata cards and challenge them to combine the cards to make meaningful words. Each child will take an object and form the correct word to represent the object. Besides learning and making words, this game helps to refine their fine motor skills and concentration as they paste the cards onto the leaves before arranging them onto a vase.

Juice Up looks like a simple game, but it requires a lot of concentration! The objective of the game is to internalize the understanding of accuracy and estimation. The children have to pour the water through a funnel until the water reaches the mark at the bottle. They cannot pour too much or too little water in! When all the bottles are filled, the last team member has to arrange the bottles starting from the one with the least water to the one with the most.

This is a very intense game which requires hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and patience. They also learn about seriation from least to the most which is a good preparation for logical thinking and Math. Lastly, we introduced basic living skills such as using a funnel when pouring through a narrow necked bottle. Doesn’t this game remind you of all the other work that we do in our daily lives, especially writing and colouring, cutting paper or even driving? Don’t you agree that this seemingly simple activity is a great preparation of living skills? I think so!


This deceptively simple-looking game is a test of skills and determination. The Navy Beans children have to step on the clogs and balance themselves to move forward. This requires great coordination and concentration as well as perseverance to move forward confidently. Today, they are walking on a new turf because instead of on tiled floor, they will be walking on grass for the first time. They have to learn how to adapt to the new environment to move ahead. Next, they have to patiently use a pair of chopsticks to transfer the clams from one bowl to the other. Besides introducing them to the use of chopsticks, we are refining their fine motor skills and wrist muscles – a perquisite for good writing.
As mentioned earlier, our main objective is character-building. We want to help our children to have a good, positive attitude and to acquire the sustaining power. Let us lay the foundation of determination and courage, especially for our Navy Beans who will be facing a whole new world next year as they embark on their journey to Primary One.

They are not alone - we will guide them along the way!

And spur them on until the very end!

                                                                SINK OR FLOAT?

Sink or float? We also face the question in our daily life. If we ponder deeper, some items will float, and later sink when filled with water. We want our children to question themselves and think out of the box. We’ve experienced many different situations with them – filling bottles with water, sand or just being empty; kneading a dough into a ball versus shaping it into a boat, putting a lid horizontally versus vertically into the water - to experiment and see for themselves how each object reacts in different shapes or situations.

Today is a culmination of the experiments we have done over the few weeks and let them experience again which items will sink or float in the water. I’m sure they will discover something new again!

                                            PIRATE PETE’S HIDDEN TREASURE

We, teachers, had a great time formulating this Treasure Hunt. Honestly, it’s something new to us and it got our heads cracking to organize a hunt that involves 21 excitable children who will be running around looking for Pirate Pete’s Hidden Treasure.

This treasure hunt revolves around Pirate Pete, a set of four books that the Navy Beans use as their reading program. There are 5 stations and each station is named after of one the books in the set. The children are divided and move from one station to another.

Station 1 – Pirate Pete Loses His Hat. In this station, the children are given a list of things to find.

Station 2 – Pirate Pete Keeps Fit. Pirate Pete is too fat. He has to either exercise or eat healthier food in order to keep fit. The children randomly choose a card and follow the instruction on the card to be fitter.

Station 3 - Pirate Pete and the Monster. The children are given a puzzle and its corresponding word in Mandarin to solve. The puzzles are lifted from the pictures in this book.

Station 4 – Pirate Pete and the Treasure Island. The children have to draw out their own treasure map based on the instruction given.

Station 5 – Pirate Pete and the Treasure Island. Based on the drawn map, the children have to locate the site of the hidden treasure. They work together to dig up the treasure chest. Then, they have to return to the initial station while the captain of their team look for Pirate Pete. Pirate Pete will then give them the key to the treasure box. Open up the box and discover the treasure inside!

There is surprise in every station as the children have not seen or read any of these instructions given to them today! Everything has been changed and it is a real test of their understanding and skills. This game demands great teamwork, precision and accuracy in reading and following out instructions. It can be very tense and challenging (even for the guardians of the stations) but the end results is very rewarding!

And finally the Goodies Bag and the games for parents and child - a chance for bonding and building long-lasting wonderful memories of this day.  Your child will cherish this day as much as my child still does after the last Family Day two years ago!

Till we meet again in the next FAMILY DAY - love and kisses from Little Beans!