School holidays are upon us and with it being the longest school holiday in the academic year for the children, it is important to have activities for them to keep them occupied.
And what better way to have them occupied by them having fun whilst learning or experiencing new things?
Here’s a list of things to do for the children this school holiday:
1. Living Arts Holiday Camp
This five-day holiday camp is tailored specially for kids aged 5-13 years old with promises lots of activity and fun. Kids will be divided into two age groups for the classes. They can enjoy classes like Zumba, gymnastics, speech and drama, and even, hip hop dance. There’s even a nutritional workshop and arts and crafts fun help to round out this holiday programme. Hurry up and book now. Spaces are limited.
Date: 24th till 28th November 2014
Address: No 1-3, Jalan S 8/11, Dataran Mentari, 46150 Sunway, Selangor Darul Ehsan
Price: RM499.00 for the 5-day camp but you can choose to do a shorter duration. Please call them for further details.
Contact: 012-735 7244
2. Arts & Robotics
The School at Jaya One has been growing through leaps and bounds when it comes to offering parents great choices for their children. Part of The School at Jaya One’s STEAM Festival of Learning, they bring you the Art & Robotics event. If your child is into science and robotics, this is definitely an event you’d want to sign them for. Your child will definitely have a fun-filled day. How could it not be when it involves handling robots to shooting paint onto canvases?! Even some of us adults wouldn’t mind that! But it isn’t just all play. Children will also be asked to paint and write and think about how technology can help us to save the environment. Those paint-shooting robots will be designed by Malaysian contemporary artist Amir Zainorin. Very cool. Enough said.
Date: 25th till 30th November 2014
Address: Roboticist, First Floor, The School at Jaya One, 72A Jalan Universiti, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan.
Price: Four lessons/month, RM240 (VEX IQ), RM430 (VEX EDR). Please call them for further details.
Contact: 03-6201 5999
3. Mini Science Workshops
This is part of the STEAM, Festival of Learning at The School at Jaya One, and these mini workshops organised by the Science Bridge Academy promise lots of fun experiments from the fields of physics, chemistry and biology. Expose your child to the wonders of science with these fantastic line-up of workshops. Learn about exothermic and endothermic reactions as well as speed and airplanes. Your child can also expect a fascinating talk about genetics and the human race.
Date: 5th till 7th December 2014
Address: The School at Jaya One, 72A Jalan Universiti, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan.
Price: Some workshops are free but others are charged at RM20.00 per student. Please call them for further details.
Contact: 03-9222 5018
Event Website: www.sciencebridgeacademy.com
4. KL Kids Festival
With the flurry of festivals that have been going on in our city, it’s great that kids now have their festival too. The KL Kids Festival is a three-day event caters for kids ages three and up, with more than 30 shows, workshops, and activities. From activities like the Tropical Safari, arts and crafts, clay arts, and drums workshops, they will be not be bored or have lack of things to do. With some time for dancing and sing-along sessions, or watching performances featuring family pop outfit Go!Go!Go! from UK, Pororo the Penguin as well as Larva, your child will have a fabulous time. And on top of that, there’ll also be a meet and greet session with Ironman and Transformers at Superspace!
Parents are also encouraged to join in the activities, and thankfully, there is also a rest area for parents to take a breather.
One and two-day passes are exclusively available from the official ticketing agent, Groupon Malaysia.
Date: 5th till 7th December 2014
Address: Level 3 (East Wing), Menara MATRADE, Jalan Khidmat Usaha, Off Jalan Duta, KL City Centre, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Price: Please call them for further details.
Contact: 03-6207 7077
Event Website: www.facebook.com/KLKidsFestival
LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort launched its latest attraction, the LEGO Star Wars Miniland Model Display, where we broke the news in September.
The attraction features many exciting and interesting facts that is unknown to most. As the school holidays are upon us, make a day out of it or even have a fun weekend getaway with the family at LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort.
Here are some crazy facts to whet your appetite to entice you to pay them a visit. Do you know that there were a total of 1.5 million LEGO Bricks used to create the LEGO Star Wars Miniland? If you stack up the bricks on top of each other, it is equivalent to 31 times the height of the Petronas Twin Towers!!
This unique exhibition has been created and put together carefully by dozens of skilled model designers and builders, animation technicians and also specialist landscapers. It really is one of its kind and you’ll find everyone in the family will enjoy it.
The model display will also feature authentic Star Wars™ sounds, actions and lighting effects to create a realistic and enjoyable experience for the whole family. Another cool fact is that all the models for this project were built-in various locations around the world including Malaysia, Germany and the Czech Republic.
Have you ever wondered why you are the way you are? What makes your brother who he is? Or why your sister is the way she is? Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer to these questions but there are some interesting findings in some research about birth order in families.
Many things have an effect on personality, as does genes, parents, environment and so on. Another factor that has been said to have an influence on personality is birth order, i.e. your position in your family – whether you’re the first-born, middle child, youngest in the family or the only child.
So, how do you fit in?
Below are some typical characteristics of the major birth positions. What characteristics do you identify with? And how accurate are these characteristics of your birth order position describe you?
The First-Born Child
First born children are often looked up to by others and automatically, they tend to take on a role of leadership. However, with this role of leadership comes also the pressure to succeed. Parents are often the most strict with first-born children and expect them to “set an example” for their younger siblings, to be the “kakak” or the “tai kor” to the little ones at home.
The traits of first-born children are :
- that they enjoy making other people happy
- highly motivated to succeed
- often seen taking the role of leadership
- jealous or feel neglected when their younger siblings arrive because they are no longer the center of attention
The Middle Born Child
Middle born children tend to feel left out. Some feel like they don’t have a real “place” in the family or that they’re “stuck in the middle”. These feelings result in these individuals being skilled at compromising and getting along with others.
The traits of middle born children are :
- more rebellious than their other siblings
- able to adapt easily to situations
- good mediators and prefer to compromise rather than to have conflict
- likely to develop skills or talents not shared by siblings
- are the most varied in personality compared to the other siblings
The Last Born Child
The last born children are often known as the “baby” of the family. And because they are used to having people do things for them, they often have difficulty making decisions for themselves and also find it difficult to take responsibility.
The traits of last born children are :
- very good at charming others
- considered to be spoiled, demanding or impatient
- often seen to develop abilities that older siblings don’t see
- always seen as the “baby” of the family and thus, expect others to do things for them, make decisions and take responsibility for them.
The Only Child
The only child tends to have a lot of characteristics similar to first-born children. As a result of having the undivided attention from parents, only children are often considered to be self-centered. This is because they never need to learn to share at home or have to overcome conflicts with siblings. Thus, they very often seen to be selfish and they also find it hard to forgive others or even themselves.
The traits of the only child are :
- well organised and tend to be perfectionists
- comfortable with responsibility
- not able to take criticism well
- comfortable with being the center of attention and revel in it
- good at possessing self control
Although research does show that birth order plays a part in shaping your personality, it is not as straightforward as it seems. There are exceptions that play a part on how much birth order plays a role in determining one’s personality. Some of these exceptions are :
- blended families
- multiple births (twins, triplets, etc)
- how many children there are in the family
- spacing of years in between children (whether there is 1 year or 5 years or 10 years between siblings)
Isn’t interesting how one’s birth order can help determine your personality? No matter what position you are in your family, it is important to remember that every person may not “fit” into a particular trait or category. Parents play a monumental part in shaping a child’s life. Some parents make it a point not to stereotype their children and make an attempt to treat each of their children as unique individuals.
And everyone is indeed a unique individual because no one else is the same as the next person. To each his own, or to each her own. Whichever it is, we all have our own quirks and whilst these research findings are interesting, it is also important that we celebrate our individuality and embrace it wholeheartedly.
Managing daily routines help children to develop independence and perseverance. Daily routines are very important and are part of everyday family life. They help children to develop skills they need and over time, children gradually learn to manage routines independently, helping develop the children’s independence.
It may take many months for children to develop skills for managing routines such as dressing themselves, matching buttons to buttonholes, putting on their shoes, learning to tie shoelaces, tidying up after themselves, keeping toys away or helping to set the table. As they keep trying, children learn to persevere. Practice makes perfect and the children also learn patience as well.
Becoming familiar with daily routines is part and parcel of every family. And in being familiar with their daily routines, it enables the children to make choices about their day, organise themselves and their belongings. When children help with routines and daily chores, a sense of ownership comes in and they learn to take pride in accomplishing that task. It also helps to develop a sense of responsibility and learning about the world.
The New York Times published an example of age-appropriate chores for children. It may not all be suitable for our homes in Asia but it gives one an idea of what a child can do at their age. Adapt the chore list appropriately to your family’s needs.
It is not only the “doing” that helps to enrich a child’s learning process, but also the communication of exchanging ideas and generally sharing during the experience. This is where supportive learning comes into play. It is important for an adult to be close by to help, offer advise or encouragement if needed.
Feeling a sense of security gives children the confidence to try new challenges and learn new skills. Working and talking together affords parents an opportunity to truly share their home life with their children, and to use the potential of day-to-day routines to enrich their children’s early learning.
Here are 10 Ways To Create Self-Reliant Learners:
1. Encourage children to do for themselves. Offer support and guidance to children as they learn to solve problems, yet allow them the freedom to make choices and learn from their mistakes.
2. Begin with small tasks. Divide big tasks into smaller ones. As children complete small tasks successfully, move on to larger works. Remember to compliment them when they complete challenging tasks.
3. Plan “free play” periods throughout the day. Children need time to make their own rules, to pretend and to establish boundaries. However, an adult should always be present and learn to stay away from a safe distance to observe the children and offer advise when needed.
4. Schedule daily chores. Using a chore chart, a parent can distribute small chores for each child. Rotate the chores daily or weekly. As the child completes the work, reward them with a sticker by their name. It can be anything that is suitable for your family, such as feeding a pet fish or returning books to the book shelves, putting toys away after they finish playing with them or keeping their room tidy. Chores should be age appropriate so that the child is able to achieve the completion of the tasks.
5. Help children manage their own time. Sometimes, there are children who cannot seem to concentrate on the task given to them. Help children who struggle with time management by structuring their free play and activities.
6. Provide options and choices when possible. Begin by presenting children with two choices and move on to three choices as the child matures. This helps to develop mature and independent thinkers.
7. Finish what you start. Even small tasks should be completed. Never leave it unfinished as it sets a bad precedent. Praise children for following directions and redirect or re-teach when necessary.
8. Return items to their proper place. In the age of having domestic helpers in many homes, it is easy to leave things for them to clean up. However, it is important to teach a child to tidy up after themselves. Label shelves and containers with pictures and words. These cues will help remind the child where supplies are stored, while also promoting language and literacy development.
9. Encourage children to ask for assistance when needed. It is vital that the child knows who to ask for help. If there is an older sibling at home, appoint the older sibling to help the younger sibling, to act as a mentor to the younger ones. Both sets of children will benefit from this interaction.
10. Promote friendships. By making friends, children are able to develop positive self-images and to express empathy and caring for others. Encourage your child to develop friendships at school or their play group. This helps foster caring relationships and also responsibility to each other.
‘Balik kampung’ is such a memorable occasion yet sometimes, an extremely long and exasperating trip. If you have young ones travelling along in the car, you’ll know this is doubly arduous.
To help you out, we’ve put together some fun things you can do as a family in the car to get through the gruelling journey.
This is will be a good time to teach and share about family history with each generation. Take turns asking questions about aunts, uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents and share knowledge about each family members.
You’d want to get to your destination as fast as you can but do some research and see where are some other interesting places you can stop for breaks instead of the generic R&R stops. Pack a picnic basket and head to a park, a historic site, a waterfall, a playground, etc. It’ll be a good break for the driver and fun for the young ones to explore.
Pack a toy bag with essentials like jump ropes or sidewalk chalk, so when you get to highway stops your kids can burn off some excess energy playing these games. Kids also like a good challenge, you could use the stopwatch function on your mobile phone and have them run up to the a tree and back while you time them. See if they can break their record at every pit stop.
Nurture your kids imagination and let them have a go at crafty projects. For example, get a bunch of pipe cleaners in different colours from the craft store and let your kids create things out of it like necklaces, bracelets, towers, anything they can think of. Rainbow looms are currently very fashionable too, spotted on sale at Spotlight.
Before you go on your trip, make a puzzle based on your child’s interest for them to play. Discovery has an interesting online tool that you can use to create puzzles ranging from Word Search to Math Squares, Mazes, Tiles and more.
While kids are more inclined to use technology these days, bring lots of portable activities they can keep busy with in the car. Bingo, Uno card, books, work books, colouring supplies, movies, etc would be good to while their time away. For other ideas, Tripbase has 55 ways to enjoy a long car ride with your kids.
Safe travel folks! Here are some travelling tips to keep in mind as you embark on your long-awaited trip.
The results are in. Get ready for an influx of Elsa(s) and Kristoff(s)!
It is no secret that pop culture influences baby names. Take for instance how The Hunger Games (Katniss), Game of Thrones (Khaleesi) and even Fifty Shades of Grey (Theodore) have all sparked pretty interesting and trendy names.
That in mind, it is not surprising that parents start finding baby name inspiration from last year’s top blockbusters such as Disney’s ‘Frozen’ – which is exactly what British website BabyCentre.com has noticed!
Based on data collected from more than 30,000 new parents, names such as Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff enjoyed a surge in popularity over the first six months of 2014. Just take a look at this:
Pretty impressive numbers, right? And while Anna didn’t receive that much of a jump, the name has always been a popular choice before the boom of the heart-warming animation.
However, do note that ‘Frozen’ names have still not become the main preferences of parens. Once more according to BabyCentre, 2014’s popular name are as below.
Most popular girls’ names in 2014:
- Olivia (dropped from number 1 spot)
- Sophie (up 4 places)
- Chloe (new addition to top 10)
Most popular boys’ names in 2014:
- Noah (up 5 places)
The holiday season gives us plenty of time and reason to bring the children and family out for some fun. And whilst malls filled with fun activities and attractions (and storewide sales) make for a good family outing choice, safety should always come first.
Over the weekend, the nation mourned the dead of a schoolgirl who fell three storeys inside a popular mall in Kuala Lumpur. The unfortunate event serves as a harsh reminder that anything could happen at any time – which is why it’s always best to be extra cautious while caring for children, especially in crowded public areas.
Here are some holiday shopping and mall safety tips to keep the young ones safe.
Talk To The Children Beforehand
Before heading out to the mall (or anywhere at all), parents should talk to their children about safety. Remind them to stick with you at all times, don’t talk to strangers and take note of their siblings. Basically, get the ground rules across to them of what they should and should not do.
Always Accompany And Supervise Children
It doesn’t matter whether it’s the washroom, if it’s to pay for his packet of sweets or even if they’re throwing a tantrum in the middle of the mall – it is always best to supervise and keep children close. Never, ever think that it is okay to leave them alone — even if it’s ‘only for a minute.’
Teach Them To Seek Help
Once you arrive in the mall, point out to your child security guards, mall attendants, clerks and other ‘safe’ people. Tell your child that if he/she were to be separated from you, quickly go to these ‘safe’ people to seek help.
Help Them On And Off Escalators, Stairs, Doors, etc.
It is no secret that children can fall and get caught when they run, walk, sit or play. This is why you should always help and look after them when they move about; especially on a moving escalator.
Take notice of where they place their hands and feet. Loose clothing, along with shoes and boots with soft rubber soles have been known to slip into cracks between steps and the escalator wall, so teach them to keep those little feet planted firmly on the step.
Park Near The Mall
Try to park as close to entrances and exits as you can. If forced to park far away, seek a spot that’s well-lighted or near a well-traveled roadway.
Don’t Bring Them To Shopping Sprees
While it might be tempting to bring junior along during your shopping sprees, it is recommended not to. This is because it is easy to get distracted while you shop, and thus possibly leading to unforeseen circumstances.
The harsh rule is this: either be willing to care for children one hundred percent, or don’t bring them out. If you think you might get distracted, make other arrangements for child care ahead of time. Perhaps you could bring along some extra adult help, or he/she could spend some time with grandma.
Source: Travel Safety
School’s out! It’s time for some fun!
In case you have not realized, the dawn of a lengthy school holiday is upon us – most students will be on holiday up till June 15, 2014. While that might equate to less traffic jams and crowded malls in the grownup world, it more importantly means that the young ones would be free to have some holiday fun and quality family bonding time.
To help you utilize and maximise this wonderful time, we’ve compiled a list of fun activities you and the family can enjoy.
If you or your young one has a soft spot for dinosaurs, Dinoscovery should definitely be in your ‘Must Visit’ list! Filled with dino animatronics, interactive games and a mini scavenger hunt, Discoveria’s latest exhibition is a travel back to the phrehistoric ages sans the fear of getting eaten.
Kids will enjoy the attractions, and adults will get to immerse themselves in a pool of dino knowledge. To learn more and for ticket prices, click here.
Sun, water and fun! This award-winning theme park is a magical kingdom of pure fun and excitement; certainly a place to consider for those wanting outdoor activity that’s within Malaysia. What’s best is that they’re constantly thinking of ways to improve on the attractions. Such as the new Cleopatra edutainment…
… and the exhilarating Hi-Dive attraction – where trained professionals perform an awesome Hi-Dive stunt show for Sufbeach visitors.
The Hi-Dive stunt show happens at 1.30pm, 3.00pm and 5.00pm from May 28 to June 15. Note: the 3.00pm show is only during weekends. Check out our piece here for further details on the entire park, or the official Sunway Lagoon website.
Legoland at Johor
If travelling is not an issue for you, then a visit to Legoland might peak your interest. Take your pick within the dry theme park or water park, and get ready to have some brick fun. For our detailed reviews, feel free to browse through our articles here:
Skytrex Adventure at Shah Alam National Botanical Park
For an extra serving of adventure and adrenaline rush, might we suggest a trip to Skytrex Adventure at Botanical Park, Shah Alam. The forest adventure features three challenging courses that’ll have you standing, climbing, walking, swinging and zipping; a great way to test you and the entire family’s balancing skills, strength and mental confidence.
As safety is understandably a major concern, the good news is that trained professionals are around the track. Further details on Skytrex Adventure here.
‘75 Years of Batman’ Exhibition at Pavilion, KL
Batman is in town! Hosted at the centre Court in Pavilion KL, the exhibition is a major delight if you’re a fan of the comic book and movies. There are tons of activities in store. Visitors can experience watching an impressive Batmobile Hologram experience (for a small fee), browse through a wide array of figurines and collectibles, pose next to the Batmobile, or even meet Batamn during his cameo appearances.
The exhibition and activities will be ongoing from May 28, 2014 until June 15, 2014. To keep up to date with the event, please visit Pavillion’s Facebook Page.
In the debate of whether firstborn children are the smarter and more successful ones of the bunch, science has come forth with an interesting theory.
Take a wild guess at what Oprah Winfrey, Sheryl Sandberg, JK Rowling, Beyoncé, Elton John and Barack Obama have in common? Yup, they’re ironically all first borns.
And while you might try your hardest to suppress your curiosity, it can’t be denied that this bias question or statement would come to mind: is a child’s personality, behaviour or intelligence really linked to birth order?
According to a recent study, the answer is yes.
Conducted by Feifei Bu at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) of University of Essex, an intriguing study once more proves that if you are the eldest child, you are statistically more likely to be the most well-qualified of all your family. However, the ISER research points out that this might not be because big brother or sister got the better brain cells — it is possibly because firstborn children tend to be more ambitious.
As explained by Bu: “There are several possible explanations for the higher attainment and ambition of the eldest. It could be that the parents simply devote more time and energy to them, or it could be they are actually more intelligent.”
To prove a point, results from the ISER research discovered that firstborn children were 7% more likely to aspire to stay on in education longer than younger siblings. The probability of attending further education for firstborns is also 16% higher than other family members.
Nonetheless, it is best to not take these results too seriously. Again mentioned by Bu, parental investment is possibly the key factor. Meaning that if equal attention to education is given to all children, the younger ones would theoretically turn out similar with big bro or sis.
And just in case some of you are dissatisfied with these findings, just take into account this other study: although eldest children might be higher achievers, they are also more likely to be overweight later in their life.
Source: The Guardian
After we talked about Attachment Parenting and Extended Breastfeeding post-Mother’s Day, we decided to ask a couple of our favourite celebrity mothers what they thought about those issues. Read on to find out what model Amber Chia, 30 and TV personality Daphne Iking, 33, have to say, as well as their tips on motherhood.
Amber: When it comes to being attached to my son, I have trained him to be an independent boy. I had to stop breastfeeding him after four-months due to a busy schedule and all the traveling that I do. These days I make sure that I’m not stuck to him 24-hours, so he gets used to the idea of not seeing Mummy and doesn’t start crying everytime I’m not around.
It does take a while, but I’ve noticed after a month or two that he has started to understand whenever I tell him “Mummy has to go work now” and so it’s always important to keep repeating and explaining to them.
Hitting children or using violence is something the older generation prefers to do to discipline children but I don’t think it’s a good way to teach kids. If they do something wrong, teach them to say sorry, or say please, thank you – tell them what’s right.
Daphne: With my first child, Isobel, I only managed to breastfeed her for less than a month due to some turbulence in my personal life at the time. I was a single mother, and thankfully she grew up to be very independent and not clingy. This was probably due to the fact that she had to spend time with my parents, and a nanny as well – but she’s a good girl, and she listens.
After I remarried and had a second daughter, Iman, she was a little harder to let go – but it wasn’t a case of child being clingy, it was the opposite! I don’t know whether it has anything to do with being genetically different or if it is due to the deeper attachment due to breastfeeding, but she does require more attention than the first child.
Daphne: I know it’s healthy and it’s natural, but something about a child who already has teeth growing and still wanting to breastfeed feels a little weird!
I would give breastfeeding a maximum of two years, because it is a very tiring process that takes up a lot of your time. It’s not about not loving your child – but you need to recognise that sometimes it’s more a comfort thing than an actual need for milk, so this is the time to find other ways to comfort them besides breastfeeding so that they grow up to be more independent.
Amber: Personally, I don’t think that kids get any extra benefits or nutrients after breastfeeding for over a year – there’s only so much that breastfeeding can give, and after a while and it’s better for them to get benefits from other types of intake.
3 Tips for Mothers
Daphne: As a career woman who has to divide herself equally between work and home, I do have to stress on having quality time with your children. 24-hours is not necessary, but you do need to set aside alone time with each of them for about two to three hours at least.
There’s no point spending quantity time with them, if you’re only getting angry and annoyed at them which is only natural when you’re trying to juggle a few things at once – the last thing you want is to put more anger into the relationship.
Amber: This is especially true with children these days, quality time is so important. Most kids today don’t get the chance to talk to their parents who are busy working, which often leads to depression or feelings of abandonment. They really need someone to share their feelings or just talk about things that are happening in their lives.
It is my hope to become my son’s best friend when he grows up, so in order for that to happen I can’t be too strict with him.
Daphne: I think mothers should also remember not to neglect themselves and other people in the family. Most mothers often put so much emphasis on their children that they often forget about themselves and their spouse. No matter how tired, exhausted, or unsexy you may feel – always remember about the other ‘baby’ in the house. The role of a woman is such that you need to be able to balance everything in the family and not let anyone feel neglected – especially yourself!
Amber: A lot of mothers tend to overpamper and be overprotective of their kids – making them too dependent and needing their mothers to be everywhere with them!
Let them be independent, while still looking after them and don’t forget to pamper yourself whenever you have some time to yourself. Balance the love!
Daphne: The final tip would be, not to stress yourself out to be the “perfect” mother. A lot of times you’ll hear other mothers asking you “Have you put her in ballet, is she in this school, etc etc..”. Just remember that it’s all right not to go along with the Joneses, but just to encourage your child to be the best they can be.
Amber: As a first time mother, I have to agree – don’t be too nervous or think too much! A lot of mother’s get too ‘kancheong’ and overstress themselves! I learn from my son, because each child has a different personality.
The most important thing is that they’re healthy and for you to enjoy motherhood, and be a fantastic mom!
Both Amber and Daphne are part of the judging team of the Glowing Youthful Mother Contest 2012.