Tearing and sticking... with Crayola's gluestick

Recently I've been engaging Alicia in quite a few new activities and this blog post is about one of them. It's also a review of the last item I bought in my art-supplies-spree. :P

Almost every parent at Julia Gabriel cringes at the mention of 'messy' artwork during class, especially when the kids are asked to use their fingers or hands as the medium for painting. I've never flinched at those sessions, but what I dread most is the use of 'messy' glue. Glue is in my opinion, a lot messier and harder to get rid of than just paint. Yet, art for the young hands would seem incomplete in the absolute absence of glue. 

Glue sticks must have been invented for this reason. :P

They are a lot easier to handle and it hardly creates any mess. 

Crayola's glue sticks are rather special in that it goes on blue when applied but when it dries the colour disappears too. This aids the young child as she is able to tell where the glue is and can complete the artwork accordingly. It's as you've guessed, non-toxic too. Perfect for the young artist.

A box of two glue sticks for only $2.30!

The shortcoming of this product would be that it gets used up quite quickly with the child pressing really hard on the glue stick. Once she learns to control the amount of pressure to apply while using the glue stick, this problem could be alleviated. 

Activity with Alicia: 
Tearing coloured paper and pasting them using the glue

Tearing paper actually hones fine motor skills but I guess when Alicia was younger and more destructive then, she was too well-taught that she should not tear paper (and books) and hence, when I told her to tear the coloured paper and demonstrated what she had to do last Friday, she shook her head vehemently and told me, 'No, cannot.' *faint*

Materials needed:
  • glue
  • coloured paper (or unwanted colourful magazines if you have those on hand)
  • another piece of paper for sticking the small bits on

Scrutinising the glue:

Hey, I can lift up the paper up with the glue! 

While it is good that the glue is blue when applied, Alicia actually mistook the glue stick for crayon and was just interested in 'drawing' with it. 

She kept saying, 'blue blue!' as she doodled with the gluestick

I got her to help stick some of the pieces of paper on - she refused to tear any but she agreed to stick some.

I didn't have any picture in mind for her to form using the pieces of coloured paper, but you can do so for the older kids and it could very well turn out to look like a piece of mosaic art. :) Have fun!


Herbal tea (to combat the HAZE)

I hopped by ZTP on Saturday to pick up some chinese herbs and I asked the shop assistant for recommendations for drinks for combating the bad weather. The above packet (contains more than 10 types of herbs) is what I bought and it's going for only $2 and the current promotion is "buy 2 get 1 free". Naturally, I bought 2 packs. :P

It's really a simple drink to make and it tastes quite nice too. Not the bitter type of liang cha, in case you're wondering. :)

Herbal tea

  • 1 packet of herbs (as above)
  • black sugar to taste (available at TCM halls)
  • 2-3L water

  1. Simply wash the herbs thoroughly - most of it looks like grass 
  2. Place the herbs in 2-3L of water, bring to a boil then simmer on low heat for 30min. 
  3. Add black sugar to taste.
  4. Serve warm or chilled.

My little darling drank one cup too... so glad that she drank it... hehe. Anyway, don't give too much to a toddler in case it's too 'cooling', but in general, this drink is suitable for both young and old! :)


Using the scissors

Learning to use the scissors is in my opinion quite a milestone in terms of fine motor skills. I'm so happy that Alicia has learnt to use the scissors a few days back - the grip and the concept of 'opening' and 'closing' the scissors using her fingers and placing what she wants to cut at the scissors!

Her coordination of placing the item to be cut at the scissors still needs to be improved but she's definitely picked up the raw basics of cutting! :D

I started her on the scissors by getting her to cut the playdoh with the pair of scissors that came along with the playdoh set. Now to progress to a pair of scissors for paper... heh... I've yet to buy it for her though. LOL.

Pegging (Part II)

A week ago, Alicia finally managed to peg properly! :) Though it's still a little tough sometimes to get it right, she has made vast improvement in her fine motor skills (compared to the last time I blogged about her pegging)! Nowadays, she asks to peg every now and then... lol.

Look at her determined little face... LOL


Random rambling...

"Music is the universal language of mankind" ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

Indeed, I believe the famous American poet of the 19thC nailed it. Just watch a young toddler dance to a song. She probably knows not the meaning of the lyrics. But she dances, sways and grooves to the rhythm. From the use of chords and the tempo, even a young child can detect the mood.

Today, I watched my little one waltz happily with her plush doggie pencil case. I think it was contagious because I picked up the nearest pooh bear and followed suit. 

Flashback to two years ago. She was in my arms. A tiny baby. And I was waltzing with her in the hall while listening to the same song. Songs can truly anchor our memories to really specific moments in our lives because while dancing with pooh bear today, I could recall every emotion I experienced two years back.

And what song were we dancing to, you ask.

Here it is. And if you scrutinise the lyrics, you'd know why I was swept away by my emotions:

Top of the World

Such a feelin’s comin’ over me
There is wonder in most everything I see
Not a cloud in the sky
Got the sun in my eyes
And I won’t be surprised if it’s a dream

Everything I want the world to be
Is now coming true especially for me
And the reason is clear
It’s because you are here
You’re the nearest thing to heaven that I’ve seen

(*) I’m on the top of the world lookin’ down on creation
And the only explanation I can find
Is the love that I’ve found ever since you’ve been around
Your love’s put me at the top of the world

Something in the wind has learned my name
And it’s tellin’ me that things are not the same
In the leaves on the trees and the touch of the breeze
There’s a pleasin’ sense of happiness for me

There is only one wish on my mind
When this day is through I hope that I will find
That tomorrow will be just the same for you and me
All I need will be mine if you are here.

To my darling Alicia, mummy loves you...


Fun with cookie cutters (II)

It has been some time since I last used my cookie cutters as I don't bake cookies (no one in the family is a cookie monster and really, we would rather spend the calories on something else) and I've been just cooking Alicia's sweet potato with the porridge.

However, the other day I decided to give her some sweet potato on the spur of the moment so I thought it was time to revive the cookie cutters and let Alicia have a go at using them - it's her first time! It's quite good practice for hand-eye coordination for the little one! And she gets to eat what she made - that's achievement for a little girl I guess. lol.

 I demonstrated what to do with the cookie cutters first

and she's ready to go!


Yummy! I think they taste better when I cut them myself! lol.

 chomp chomp...

 She enjoyed the activity more than the eating bit... :P But well, that's my girl.

Fun with little fingerprints

On one of my excursions to Tiong Bahru Plaza with Alicia, I picked up this interesting book from Popular. Actually I thought there might be a story instead of merely instructions in the book but as it turned out, it's really quite pictorial - showing how to draw interesting pictures of people and modes of transport with fingerprints and some doodling, step by step.

I've always been interested in getting non-toxic inkpads so when I saw this, I thought it was rather ideal. It costs $11.90, and comes with the inkpad.

Well, we were rather disappointed when we tried to use the inkpad as well, an inkpad. Only Alicia seemed to be able to get some ink on her fingers! After trying out for awhile, we realised that the trick was not to press the finger on the pad but to swipe the finger across it. lol.

Well, hubby had quite some fun with her that day and here's the completed masterpiece! :P

Pretend play - doll house

I've been so busy of late that I've hardly had time to turn on the computer, and even if I do turn on the comp, I'd be busy doing up some GP stuff - that, of course explains why I haven't been blogging. As I type, I'm having a queasy, upset tummy so I shall keep things short and sweet...

Here's a long overdue post - Alicia's Children's Day pressie from maternal grandma and grandaunt: a doll house!

Well, Alicia has always been fascinated with her cousin's doll house and would always play with it at my mum's place so they decided to get her one too. Alicia was naturally elated! :)

Setting up the doll house with grandaunt

Things happened so fast I didn't get a chance to take a pic of the doll house in the packaging! lol.

Alicia's favourite character is... the DOG! lol.


Review of Alex dustless coloured chalk

I bought this set of dustless coloured chalk together with the window markers, dry-erase travel pack and pip squeak markers.

I haven't seen much of chalk at all since schools started using whiteboards so I think of chalk these days as a novelty item. :P

And anyway, this is the first time Alicia's encountered chalk! She wasn't that taken by chalk though but she was still quite happy to doodle with them.

There are a total of 12 colours, mainly pastel shades and this box of chalk goes for $3.50. Well, this is the first time I've seen chalk in so many colours! :P That aside, it really is quite dustless, unlike those we used to use while we were in primary school.

Chalk in general is rather brittle but I was still quite disappointed to find a couple of sticks already broken when I opened the box. :(

I just realised that Crayola has a series of really thick chalk but with limited colours (only 4 or 5 in a pack, my memory fails me...). On hindsight, perhaps I should have gotten those. At least they don't fall apart so easily!

 I decided to let her doodle on black paper - that's something new to her and chalk stands out really well on black!

 Trying to trace her footprint

Doodle... doodle...

Pretend play - bathing a baby

Alicia was busy playing with a small bath set while waiting for her daddy to scout around for the kitchen set at Toys R Us but since we were already buying her a big toy, we decided that we'd not indulge her in another toy which has plenty of accessories to be bought separately.

However, after the shopping at Toys R Us, I spotted this really small bath set at Giant (costs only $4.90!) while doing grocery shopping and since it meets all the basic requirements of pretend play (Alicia as care-giver to the baby), it made it into the shopping trolley. :)

Nowadays, she bathes not only this baby in the tub but her snowbears as well.

 It's shower time!

 Soap the baby!

Pretend play - kitchen set

Since Alicia's very into pretend play these days and she's always pretending to cook, we decided to get her a kitchen set. She already has a mini-kitchen set but we feel that she'd appreciate a toddler-sized one now - since she has shown great interest in my niece's kitchen set every time she goes over to my mum's place.

I'd say there couldn't have been a better time to want to buy a kitchen set because it so happened that Toys R Us was having a major discount on the kitchen set that we wanted! The usual price is $139.90 but we only paid $79.90! :P

It's the plasticky type of kitchen playset, not the sturdy type. But apart from that, I'd say this set is really adequate and fulfils all the little one's needs for (kitchen) pretend play. The stove has lights and 'cooking sounds' when the knobs are turned on and the set comes with accessories like cups, plates, pots, cutlery... and together with all the rest of the 'food' and pots from other masak sets, we've enough to throw a tea party. :D Plus there are various ways to assemble this kitchen set so there're plenty of opportunities to change the arrangement of the cupboard, stove and shelves should she get bored! (And she has since re-assembled it a couple of times already)

Here's Alicia with her kitchen set (and some of her masak masak):

Standing proud by her new kitchen set

Fiddling with the tap

 Turning on the stove

 The busy cook

 Hello there! Do you like my kitchen? :P

 Turning on the 'tap'

 Washing up...


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