2

Elephant Toothpaste!

Been seeing this on kids’ activities blogs but I had no idea what hydrogen peroxide was or where to get it. Then one day, I happened to notice an innocent bottle of hydrogen peroxide in the pharmacy! (I was buying rubbing alcohol for another experiment.) But that bottle was only 3%, and elephant toothpaste requires a minimum of 6% according to Preschool Powol Packets (please click on this link for the method). I started to keep a lookout whenever I passed by any pharmacy, and finally I got lucky during a family outing to Johor Bahru! OK, anyway, this long intro is just to warn you that it might not be that easy to find 6% hydrogen peroxide in Singapore. If you do, please let me know!

What's needed: hydrogen peroxide, dishwashing liquid, food colouring, instant yeast, measuring spoons, empty bottles, warm water

What’s needed: hydrogen peroxide, dishwashing liquid, food colouring, instant yeast, measuring spoons, empty bottles, warm water

 

Love his amazement : )

Love his amazement : )

 

Actually it took some waiting for the 'toothpaste' to reach the top of the bottle. Didi decided to pour out the solution and start playing now!

Actually it takes some waiting for the ‘toothpaste’ to reach the top of the bottle. Didi decides to pour out the solution and start playing now!

 

Mummy says it's toothpaste.. so of course must SQUEEZE!

Mummy says it’s toothpaste.. so of course must SQUEEZE!

 

Time to mix and experiment

Time to mix and experiment

 

Lovely colours

Lovely colours

Preschool Powol Packets explains the chemical reaction, and the product is just water, oxygen and soap so it’s safe for kids to play with. I gave Meimei her own bottle of ‘toothpaste’ too, but she was not very interested. Can you spot her in the photos above? Hee hee :p

0

Hindhede Nature Park

Our first visit to this place and it was a pleasant surprise. Quiet and scenic. Away from the crazy crowds charging up Bt Timah Hill. The kids had a great time amidst the greenery : )

The entrance to the park, next to the Bt Timah Nature Reserve Visitor Centre

The entrance to the park, next to the Bt Timah Nature Reserve Visitor Centre

 

The playground

The playground

 

The kids' favorite!

The kids’ favorite!

 

Hi, Meimei!

Hi, Meimei!

 

I got a scare when he stood up. You go, boy!

I got a scare when he stood up. You go, boy!

 

Swings next to the playground

Swings next to the playground

 

Happy baby : )

Happy baby : )

 

There, mummy, that way to the quarry

There, mummy, that way to the quarry

 

Triple happiness : )

Triple happiness : )

Might be useful to know:

  1. Mosquitoes. But not too bad, we only got a couple of bites each after applying insect repellent.
  2. Shady. Not too hot even at 11am+.
  3. The sand playground has a lot of small fallen leaves. Great for sensory play!
  4. It’s a short walk from the Visitor Centre to the playground then to the quarry.
  5. There’s a hut between the playground and the swings, and another one at the quarry.

 

6

HDB Mud Kitchen!

Have you heard of mud kitchens? Basically, it’s a play kitchen where the kids pretend to cook… with mud! Since it can get quite messy, mud kitchens tend to be outdoors. I have been drooling over all those lovely mud kitchens I see all over the blogosphere, but.. we don’t have a backyard : (

Then one day, I decided to just try to make one anyway! Our circumstances haven’t changed, we are still in a HDB flat more than ten stories aboveground… the only thing that has changed is my mindset!

We have had this storage box of mud at the corridor for quite some time.

We have had this storage box of mud at the corridor for quite some time, for free play.

 

TATA! Our mud kitchen!

TATA! Our mud kitchen! 2 pails, 2 baskets, an old shelf, all from our storeroom

 

Chef is busy

Chef is busy

 

The dishwasher..?

The dishwasher..?

 

Added a 'sink'

Added a ‘sink’

 

How To Do It?

Mud: I mixed gardening soil (bought from Giant Hypermart) and sand (from aquarium shop), and of course water. No fixed recipe, just go by the feel! (Yes, Mummy, put your hand in the mud!)

Setup: I didn’t spend any money on the setup. All those stuff had been collecting dust in the storeroom for ages. I thought it would be quite cool and practical to use old flower pots too, but I didn’t have any. Whatever goes!

Accessories: Most of the things I provided for the mud kitchen are old ones which I hardly use. But I am definitely going to Daiso ($2 shop) to buy some more!

Cleanup: At the end of the day, I get the boys to rinse the accessories in the ‘sink’ and keep them on the shelf underneath. I pour the water into the small drain at the side of the corridor and pour the mud residue back into the storage container. Then I give the area a quick sweep and rinse the drain with some clean water. Quick and simple!

There you go! I wonder if this is the first mud kitchen in Singapore??? Hee hee : ) It can be done even without a backyard! And if you have a backyard… are you jumping up and down and running out to build your kitchen now? Gosh, the things I will do if I live in a landed property! (Actually, it is not that difficult. We just have to move in with my in-laws who will be more than happy. But I do not want to live on the ground/lower floors with lizards and rats and cockroaches. Sorry, kids, no backyard for you even if Daddy & Mummy strike a windfall.)

Need more inspiration?

Mud Kitchen On The Balcony

Simple Mud Sensory Bin

10 Reasons Why We Should Let Children Play In The Mud

2

Play Changes With Age

When Kor Kor was younger, he used to jump or throw himself into sensory play activities with much gusto. Then when he was 3+, he was quite unwillling to get himself dirty/messy. I had to coax him to try the activities, and even when he reluctantly agreed and dragged himself to try, he usually did not engage and quit the activity after only a short while.

As he approached four years old, there was another change. He was more ok with sensory/messy play, except that he wasn’t messy anymore. Instead of using his hands and feet and whole body to play with the materials like he did when younger, he sits with the tray in front of him and handles the material with just his hands. It was a self-initiated progression, as I had never made the kids wear apron or anything like that during messy play. I have a very high tolerance with mess and feel that it’s ok to be messy during, well, messy play. This new play is no less in-depth than before though, he is very focused and I can see him observing and exploring.

At 4.5 years old now, I find that Kor Kor is well suited for more ‘scientific’ type of activities – can sit still for long periods, more careful, keen eye for observations, more thoughtful. Thus I have been setting up more ‘experiments’ type of activities for the boys.

Do I see the same trend for Didi? Well, let’s just say that even though he’s given similar ‘experiment’ setups, it all ends up as a big sensory mess *weak laugh*

 

11

Big-Scale Mess.. I Mean.. Painting :p

Inspired by Growing Hearts, I decided to copy her idea and let my kids do something similar! And it’s not just the activity idea, I also like the entire post where she wrote about the importance of granting children freedom to paint.

The initial setup

The initial setup

 

Sponge brushes, rollers, paintbrushes, paint scrapers, water, rags

Sponge brushes, rollers, paintbrushes, paint scrapers, water, rags

 

One piece of majong paper each.. But meimei preferred same setup as her brothers! Next time ok, baby?

One piece of majong paper each.. But meimei preferred same setup as her brothers! Next time ok, baby?

 

Paint = sensory play : )

Paint = sensory play : )

 

The younger ones bonding together

The younger ones bonding together

 

2nd round while Meimei was napping

2nd round while Meimei was napping

 

Didi's palette....

Didi’s palette….

 

Kor Kor's palette.. Neat from beginning to end

Kor Kor’s palette.. Neat from beginning to end

 

Though Didi tried many of the brushes etc, he used his hands a lot a lot too

Though Didi tried many of the brushes etc, he used his hands a lot a lot too

 

He wanted to go one round.. so he did this.. hahahha..

He wanted to go one round.. so he did this.. hahahha..

I really like the look of the painting area in the Growing Hearts post, and I really like how our art corner look with the white shower curtains. Very uncluttered. So I decided to shift the toy kitchen away, so that there is more space between the easels and the art table.

More of the mirrors are exposed, which further contributes to the brightness of the area

More of the mirrors are exposed, which further contributes to the brightness of the area

0

Baking Soda And Vinegar Fizz!

We have done this activity quite a few times – it’s one of the boys’ favorites! I first learnt about it on Play At Home Mom, which is definitely my favouritest blog. They even have a compliation of nine variations of playing with baking soda and vinegar. We have tried a few, but that was before I started this blog. Now that we are finally into homeschooling full-steam, I am so happy to resume our play activities : )

What I used

What I used

 

Played at corridor

Played at corridor

 

Kor Kor played with it very differently from Didi - very slow, very meticulous, very observant

Kor Kor played with it very differently from Didi – very slow, very meticulous, very observant

 

Before adding colouring

Before adding colouring

 

Fizzzzzzz...!

Fizzzzzzz…!

 

Bubble bubble bubble!

Bubble bubble bubble!

 

Pweeety, ya??!

Pweeety, ya??!

 

Going wild with the ingredients

Going wild with the ingredients

 

The boys love love love this!

The boys love love love this!

 

Wanna try it with your kid too? Prepare a lot of vinegar! Have fun!