Sunday, 27 May 2018

Review # 2 Jigsaw puzzles (set of 4) from My Greatest Child

We had written a review of the beginner jigsaw puzzles from My Greatest Child here. Following the first set, we had purchased two more similar puzzle sets, as Anouk seemed quite interested in the activity. Each puzzle box had a set a four, just like the previous. All the three sets were really good choices as an introduction to jigsaw puzzles. Each of the puzzle set had pieces varying from 9, 12, 15 and 20. Like the previous, had really good picture quality and contrast, which were very important for a 3-year old to solve it all by herself. We had purchased these two puzzles in February'18, a week after the first purchase. These three puzzle sets gave Anouk a very good idea about jigsaw puzzle solving and made her interested to solve more. In following months we graduated to 28 piece floor puzzles and 24, 35 piece puzzles from Ravensburger, which Anouk was able to solve all by herself. On that front, the beginner jigsaw puzzles were really worth it, for the sheer interest it has developed in the kid and makes up for a great hand-down stuff to her younger cousins.

Below is the snap of the jigsaw puzzle boxes and all the solved puzzles. One of them had transportation theme and the other used wild animals. All the four puzzles per set are shown and have pieces varying from 9, 12, 15 and 20.

Set of 4 puzzles: Box and the solved puzzles
 Theme : transportation (top) & wild animals (bottom)

Below are the videos of 3 year old Anouk solving these puzzles. Each video captures her solving all the four puzzles in a set. The videos are taken 3 months after we introduced these puzzles to her. By this time, she was already solving 35 piece puzzles and had just started 49 piece jigsaw puzzles. Hence she appears to be solving these simple puzzles decently fast (which was not the case when these puzzles were introduced).

Review Summary

Product  Jigsaw puzzles ( set of 4) from My Greatest Child
Theme : Transportation, Wild animals
Bought from  : My Greatest Child, # 03-91, Plaza Singapura
Price : S$ 6.90 per box (of 4 puzzles)
Dimension of each solved puzzle : 15cm X 10.5 cm
Customer age group : We used for our 3 year old ( Product does not specify any age)
Highlights : Excellent introduction to jigsaw puzzles for 2-4 year olds, budget option, sturdy and toddler friendly pieces, gradually increasing complexity from 9 to 20 piece puzzles, attractive packaging, good picture quality
Lowlights : Nothing in particular; the basic puzzles ( 9, 12 pieces) might be too simple for 4+ kids.

Friday, 18 May 2018

DIY #10 - Indoor Colouring Corner for Toddlers

Archiving this DIY activity 2 years after the beginning of the project which is still running.. 

We thought of creating a colouring/drawing/painting space when we realized that the then-16-month-old-Anouk likes to do her painting activities with partners(read, parents) and not much by herself. We introduced colouring crayons and colouring books to her when she was 15 months old and she did not appear very keen to sit by herself and well, colour J So we thought about creating a colouring space in the wall, big enough so that no one feels too cramped about hovering over a colouring book. The store room door looked perfect and we simply pasted a big white Mahjong paper (each sized ~58cm X 58cm). It really made the drawing/ colouring sessions so fun.. We never had these sessions on a daily basis, still there will be so much strokes/ drawing over it, that we had to change to a clean sheet every 2-3 weeks.. 

Materials required
  • A plain door/ wall - In our case the store room door in the living room
  • White paper - We used Mahjong paper (58cm X 58cm)
  • Cellotape - to paste the paper to the door.
  • Colouring equipments - of your choice - we used colouring pencils, crayons and water colours

Evolution : We started this activity in July'16 when Anouk was 16 months old. Anouk started with simple irregular and random strokes(?). There were coloured endless suns, moons, babies, tigers, cats, dogs, birds, houses, balloons, her parents and what not.. which all looked.. the same J This was an easy platform for us to teach her standing lines, sleeping lines, circles, curves, shapes as we would draw once and if she is interested she would eagerly try to repeat or would simply ask us to draw again by ourselves J We used to scribble enough to replace the sheet every 2-3 weeks, though there were times, we'll forget to do any of these sessions for weeks at a stretch. At the time when she was around 2.5 years, we added water colouring to these sessions. This seriously elevated the fun part in the colouring activity.. It still makes for a great indoor activity for us. 

Progress : From our experience, we liked colouring on the wall-pasted-paper (with its pseudo-easel feeling), a better activity than colouring on books (at this age), as it was easier for us to join her in the activity. Over time she mastered her standing lines and sleeping lines decently enough to write alphabets E,F,H,I,L,O,T etc quite fluently before her 3rd birthday. We later purchased a white board, where she continued her alphabet writing practices, but still continues to carry on her painting fun in this wall-paper corner. On the parents side, we found that this activity (involuntarily) gave her the idea that any colouring has to be done in this corner and she has thankfully spared the living room white walls from her colouring pencils, crayons and water colours. From once quite-disinterested with colouring books (the notion of colouring within boundaries did not gel with her J), now at 3 years 3 months, she is showing interest in colouring books where she is trying to stick to colouring within boundaries. We still keep up this activity and just dawned on me to archive this as a good DIY idea for colouring corner. 

I have snapped the latest wall paper that I pasted last night with her evening's colour splashing on it. And I managed to retrieve the previously coloured and removed paper, crumbled and in the trash bin, to get a sample snap of our fun J

The fresh paper (58cm X 58cm) pasted on the store room door, snapped after first evening's work, May'18 
The finished paper, which I had removed prior
to the fresh paper - to show a sample 2-week's work
Timeline - May'18
Update : I managed to dig around our photo archives and got a picture of our wall colouring work, captured in July 2016, when Anouk was around 17 months old.. all crayons and very random scribbling and pasted low in the door fit for a little toddler.. J
Sample artwork - Timeline July'16, when Anouk was 17 months old.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Cuppy cake song

Here's 3 year old Anouk singing Cuppy cake song, pronunciation errors notwithstanding J
Recorded on April 5, 2018.

You're my Honeybunch, Sugarplum
Pumpy-umpy-umpkin, You're my Sweetie Pie
You're my Cuppycake, Gumdrop
Snoogums-Boogums, You're the Apple of my Eye
And I love you so and I want you to know
That I'll always be right here
And I love to sing sweet songs to you
Because you are so dear