Ants on an Apple

I like this phonics song.  It’s catchy and easy to remember.  You can even change the wordings to something that your child likes in order to catch their attention.  It goes like this

Ants on an Apple, “a” “a” “a”

Ants on an Apple, “a” “a” “a”

Ants on an Apple, “a” “a” “a”

“a” is the sound of “A”

Balls are bouncing, “b” “b” “b”

Balls are bouncing, “b” “b” “b”

Balls are bouncing, “b” “b” “b”

“b” is the sound of “B”

Caterpillar is  crawling, “c” “c” “c”

Caterpillar is crawling, “c” “c” “c”

Caterpillar is crawling, “c” “c” “c”

“c” is the sound of “C”

(in the video, it’s Caterpillar coughing, “c” “c” “c”)

Dogs are digging, “d” “d” “d”

Dogs are digging, “d” “d” “d”

Dogs are digging, “d” “d” “d”

“d” is the sound of “D”

(in the video, it’s Dolls are dancing, “d” “d” “d”)

See what I mean, it’s a fun and entertaining way for young children to learn their phonics.

Link to the Phonics Song –

10 Tips for Getting Your Toddler Ready for Preschool

Day 17/365
Photo by jamieanne
Preschool is a big step in your toddler’s life. Whether your child is used to being at home with you all day, or he’s already used to a daycare environment, the shift to a new routine and new surroundings can be a challenging one. However, with a few small steps and some advance planning, the step into school life can be a positive experience for both of you.

Try these 10 tips to get your toddler ready for preschool:

1. Work on potty training. Many preschools require you to bring your child already potty trained. The earlier you plan on starting preschool, the more important it is to begin potty training early.

2. Start with a shorter day or shorter week. Many preschool programs allow your child to attend shorter school sessions. Consider a program that only meets two or three days per week initially. You can also opt for half-day sessions at some preschools.

3. Bring your toddler to play groups. If your child has many experiences in playgroups with other kids, he will be used to interacting with other children. Offer opportunities for your child to become as comfortable as possible in social situations.

4. Work on discipline early. Establish a consistent discipline routine with your toddler. Get your child used to consistent consequences for misbehavior, and try to make those consequences similar to the ones he’ll face in preschool.

5. Give your toddler art supplies. Get your toddler used to using art supplies like paper, crayons, and chalk. Many preschool days feature a time of arts and crafts, and you can ease your child’s transition to school life by introducing art to him early.

6. Read to your toddler every day. When you read to your child every day, you help them to think and learn about the world around him. Pick new books to read every once in awhile, but keep returning to your toddler’s favorites also. If you encourage them to read while they’re young, they’ll be excited about learning for a lifetime.

7. Start naming letters and numbers. Introduce your child to letters and numbers whenever you have the opportunity. Numbers and letters are often taught in preschool, but your everyday routine offers many opportunities to introduce these concepts in a fun, engaging way.

8. Identify colors and shapes. The same goes for naming colors and shapes. It’s a good idea to just point these things out to your child as you go about exploring life. Ask your child about different colors and shapes when you see them.

9. Take your toddler to all checkups. Regular checkups are important for ensuring that your child is healthy. Your child may require certain immunizations in order to enter school. During your visits, your child’s doctor will verify that his physical development is on track.

10. Let him go. It’s tough to watch your little baby grow up right in front of your eyes. Getting ready to start school can be a big change in your toddler’s life, but it’s a big change in yours as well. Prepare yourself emotionally for the big day, and remember that preschool is simply the beginning of a new, exciting stage in both of your lives.

Preschool brings with it a set of challenges that you may have never faced before. As you adjust to the new routines together, remember that anything new brings special opportunities and experiences. Embrace those experiences together, and make the most of this new season of life.

How to Hold a Pencil

How to Hold a PencilMy friend who is in the teaching profession sent me this picture when I told her that my girl’s teacher commented that my girl was not holding her pencil in a right way. This picture clearly indicates the way we should hold a pencil and what we should avoid to do when holding one. In case you are keen, here you go … the correct method of holding a pencil. Cheers!


Choosing a Preschool

What are the criteria you look out for when choosing a preschool for your children? Costs, distance, curriculum, teachers, environment? 

My 3 years old Genz Kid is now in attending preschool in my neighbourhood.   My 10 years old Genz Kid used to attend private preschool which required him to do some travelling.   Why the difference, you may asked?

Well, the 2 main reasons are (i) there’s no good preschool in my neighbourhood; and (ii) since my son was the one and only then, my domestic helper can help fetch him to and from school.   It’s a bit tricky now that my son is in primary school.  I need to take into consideration a number of issues when sorting out my daughter’s preschool arrangement.

The advantages of the neighbourhood preschool? It’s cheaper and within walking distance.  The disadvantages? They do not offer 2nd language for Nursery 1 so my girl is not exposed to her mother tongue (i.e. Mandarin) in school, they changes teachers too often and sad to say, their teachers do not speak proper English (my husband once thought he was talking to an admin clerk when in fact he was talking to a teacher).   To make matter worst, my girl does not enjoy going to that school.  If you asked her if she wants to go to the school opposite, it’s a firm “No” but if you ask her if she wants to go to her weekend Chinese enrichment class, it’s always a firm “Yes”. 

I recently asked my son what’s so great about his preschool, he said he liked the teachers (whom I am still in contact with) and the environment.   For myself, it’s the communication and professionalism of the teachers that impressed me.

I believe that in order for you to do / learn something, you need to have a liking in that thing first. Once you have the interest , you will naturally enjoy doing that thing.  Same philosophy applies to going to school, you need to enjoy going to school first before you enjoy attending the lessons and learn.

Now, I’m really contemplating whether I should put my girl in my son’s preschool even though it means more money and require her to take school bus (the journey is about 20 minutes one way).  On bright side, I can be assured that she would be in good hand with professional and experienced teachers. 

Which would you choose if you were me?

For reading, (a website where parents shared their views and experiences on preschools, childcares, kindergartens & early educations in Singapore)

Children and Television

Shall we allow our young children to watch television programmes? This is one of the most common questions asked by most parents nowadays.  I was told by some parents that they do not allow their young children (mostly below the age of 4) to watch television programmes.  To them, watching television is not time well-spent.  They prefer their children doing something more meaningful such as reading, drawing instead of spending their time in front of the “box”. 

My 2 years old girl is a fan of Playhouse Disney on cable TV.  Though she can’t tell the time, she knows exactly when to turn on the television so she won’t miss her favourite programme (i.e. Mickey Mouse Club House).  My son, now 9 years old, used to be a great fan of Playhouse Disney too.  His favourite programme then was Rolie Polie Olie.  I still remembered that when our family travelled to Korea when he was 4.  What he missed most was Playhouse Disney programmes!  Today, my son watches programmes such as Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel and News.  Of course, kids being kids, he watches cartoons as well.  His favourite? Ben 10 and Mr. Bean on Cartoon Networks.   

To clarify, I am not here to encourage you to let your children watch television programmes.  I personally think that for children (especially the older ones), watching television can help to reduce stress.  Just sharing, my son would laugh out loud whenever he watches Mr Bean and I find that a good form of stress reliever.   In addition, by making the right choices, television actually provide a very wide range of general information and also in teaching our children.  For example, my girl learns her counting with Mickey Mouse when she watches Mickey Mouse Club House and my son widens his general knowledge through Discovery Channel and National Geographic Channel

I guess the question is not whether we should let them watch television but the questions should really be what type of programmes they should be watching.  I believe that with appropriate time management and with the right selection of programmes, television would do more “good” than “harm” to children.  Anyway, we get to choose the type of programmes we want to and don’t want to watch.  The choice is ours

For reading, visit,


For information on Disney Playhouse, visit


For information on Cable TV, visit

Learning through Play – Preschooler

Young children learn best through play. My 2 years old girl likes to use her head to hit the ball (like a footballer).  She would first throw the ball in the air, jump up high and use her head to hit the ball.  Seems easy to you?  Well it takes her a few days before she master the skill.

Play allows the children to find their way to the big world in a fun way.

Photo by incurable_hippie
Research has shown that children’s brains develop better when they engage in interactive activities instead of rote learning.

The following scenario might sound familiar to most parents.

Your child invites you to a tea session and asked, “Mommy, would you like to have something to drink? I have milk, coffee, tea, milo, …..”

You replied, “Well, maybe a cup of tea, please.”

“Big cup or small cup, mommy?” she asked again.  “Big one” you replied.

Seem pleased with your answer, she happily starts preparing your BIG cup of tea.  After she was done, she cautioned you to be careful and that your BIG cup of tea was hot before handing you the BIG cup of tea!

Amazing isn’t? Through play, they have learnt that tea (i) can come in BIG cup or SMALL cup; (ii) is hot and you need to be careful when you drink it.  Similarly, when your child is playing with her cooking set, she is given the opportunity to learn the different types of cooking utensils.

Through play, children are given the opportunity to learn and explore their world. They develop their motor skills, creativity, intelligence and interpersonal skills through play.  It is important for children to play, so next time your child invites you to play with them, say yes and go along with their “plot”.  Who knows, you might end up enjoying yourself and learn something through play too!

For more reading, visit