Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Raising Bookworms

Some friends and parents I met at the kindergarten asked me recently on the kind of books we encourage or allow our kids to read.


Our bookworms read a wide variety of books. From short stories to 700-pages novels, comics (or graphic novels if you prefer) to joke books, we have them all.

Even for the Dolly, who can now read wordy pages, she still finds a great deal of enjoyment from reading picture books meant for 2-4 years old.

My 10-year-old Chippy can also be spotted flipping through longer picture books meant for 4-8 years old when he potters around the house.

We tend to buy more than borrow, simply because time is scarce so we rarely made it to the libraries. Since we have three kids, and they like to read the books repeatedly, we figured it is worthwhile investing in the good books anyway.

The one thing that I like to do more is to get the older kids to read newspapers and magazines. I used to subscribe to the Straits Times and magazines on Science and Technology for a while. Perhaps it is time to resume.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Good Old Sweaty Fun


Play date at Kidz Amaze.  Kind of obvious that my kids are just not shy when it comes to posing for photo.

They played so well with these four siblings (L was camera shy that day) for a good two hours. Lots of chasing and screaming. Totally money well-spent.

The kids have met up quite a few times in the last 2 years. From sand play at the West Coast Park to the Forest Adventure together at Bedok Reservoir and now indoor fun at Safra Kidz Amaze, they are getting more familiar with each other, especially the older kids. Perhaps that was also why they could go so wild this time.

Just the idea that I have known the girls since they were toddlers brings a smile to my face. I first met the older girl when her mum accepted my invite for a playdate with M back in 2006. All three kids were also students of my lapbooking classes and were in the same lapbooking classes with my boys at some point.

Hopefully we can keep up with the playdates and gatherings and the kids will remain friends for more years to come.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Dolly Reads: The Love for Mr Men

When M was a preschooler, E introduced the first few Mr Men books. I have never been a fan of these stories, but he read them as a child and decided that his son might like them.

M did not really fancy them either. So Mr Happy and the few others were left on the bookshelf collecting dust.

When Chip was about 4 years old, E introduced them again. The boy loved them enough for the daddy to decide to invest in the whole series. He came home with the box one day and to be honest, I was not very pleased. Though I kept mum, but I seriously thought there ought to be better stories to invest that $ on. Hmmph!

A few weeks after he bought the box, and tried reading to Chip almost daily, the boy lost interest. I don't even think he went through every book in the box.

Again, the box went into storage, collecting dust.

A couple of months ago, the daddy decided to read every book in the box to the Dolly at bedtime. They did that for several weeks and eventually, they even managed to read every book in the box a couple of times!

To my biggest surprise, the girl LOVES them. As the dad rushed through the books, I could hear her laugh out loud, giggling silly with the dad or making jokes about the silly antics of the many Mr Men.

So the humour is what really caught her attention. She simply loves the silliness of most stories.

While the dad was reading mostly Mr Men at bedtime, I continued with my choice of books in our daytime reading. Our reading styles are very different though, as we have different purposes in mind. He mostly reads to entertain, whereas I also focus on honing reading skills, in addition to complementing her other lapbooking activties that she is doing with me.

By the time E decided to take a break from Mr Men and the Little Miss series (which he bought recently, again despite my light protest), the Dolly started reading the books in the day to satisfy her own appetite for the stories. Throughout the day, she would stop drawing or playing from time to time, to read a few on her own.

It certainly helps that she is already reading fluently and fast enough, so it is enjoyable for her to read as many as five Mr Men books on her own, in one sitting. I must admit I find it such a delight to watch her so engrossed with all these silly stories and giggling to herself.

Now that someone in the house is appreciating these books, I can finally say that the investment on the boxes is money well-spent. And thankfully, she is also showering a lot of love and attention on the other good books we have lying around in the house. So I can be tolerant of her excessive love for Mr Men.


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