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Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre “excursion”!

30 August

Today, we “went” to the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC) with Ms Candice and Wu Laoshi via virtual tour to learn about what makes a Chinese Singaporean, through the “Singapo人” exhibit!

The first thing we have to do when going “out”, is to make sure we have everything we need! We knew that the SCCC was indoors and air-conditioned, so we identified the items we would need (and not need) to take along with us with the help of our friends.

These are the things that we had to choose from…

  1. Waterbottle
  2. Insect repellant
  3. Sunglasses
  4. Sweater
  5. Portable fan
  6. Tissue paper
  7. Hand sanitizer
  8. Raincoat
  9. Body soap
  10. Wallet
  11. Pocket game

Can you identify the five items we selected to take with us?

We went along with our teachers to explore the Singapo人 exhibit – it was exciting seeing our teachers on the big screen! They took us through the exhibition, and explained the various segments to us. However, it was not just a video session. We also enjoyed some hands-on extension activities!

We made a little stop when the tour showed us a Chinese tea ceremony guide, and had an immersive Chinese tea ceremony experience of our own. First, we watched a tea demonstration, then we made our very own tea. We then offered some of our freshly brewed tea to our teachers. Don’t forget to use two hands, and tap on the table gently with two fingers to say “thanks”!

At some “stops” along the tour, we got to taste and feel the items we were learning about – such as the longevity bun and the Chinese idiom ‘铁棒磨成针真’.

We had so much fun on this interactive virtual tour to the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, and we can’t wait to be able to go on physical excursions again!

Children love being outdoors, and for good reason!

20 August

Children love being outdoors, and for good reason!

There are many studies that demonstrate how beneficial outdoor play is for children – and we think for adults too!  A simple google search will produce articles and lists of reasons, but we would just like to share some of our favourites with you.

  1. Sensory Skills
    • Digital devices help to develop our children’s sense of hearing and sight, but what about their other senses? The great outdoors allow our children to not only develop their sense of hearing and sight, but also their sense of smell, touch, and even sometimes taste! Using all senses when exploring outside increases our ability to process and respond to a variety of sensory stimuli as we learn and grow.
  2. Appreciation of Nature
    • We talk about the importance of being eco-friendly, and encourage our children to reduce, reuse, and recycle to save the earth. However, if our children never explore the great outdoors and experience its beauty for themselves, they might not really understand why we need to save the earth.
  3. New Words and Concepts
    • Children have more opportunities to observe and perform a variety of skills when they are outdoors. These include exercising creativity to problem-solve and construct play scenarios, as well as learning and practicing more complex movements and life skills. This allows us to introduce new words and concepts while our children experience them, allowing them to retain the information better.
  4. Encourage Risk-taking
    • Risk-taking might seem like a gamble, especially with our children in the equation. However, risks are inevitable in life and what better way to train our children to handle these risks by encouraging them to do so in a safe environment! Allowing our children to take risks allows them to develop bravery and become more confident. Examples of risk-taking can be something as simple as asking for permission to share equipment or facilities. When children are encouraged to take safe risks, they also develop independence.

We have been having a bout of rainy weather the past few weeks, but we are always keeping an eye out for good weather to head out for a bit of sun! What about you?

Happy 56th Birthday, Singapore!

06 August

Bibinogs Preschool K.A. had exciting plans for our combined National Day/Family Day celebrations on 6th August, which unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 situation. However, our teachers here organised an in-house National Day celebration for the children, and everyone had a blast celebrating Singapore’s 56th birthday together! Our children were going home saying, “Today was so fun!”

After starting the day with our morning assembly, we had a song-and-dance session with our favourite National Day songs – the top hit being this year’s  NDP 2021 Theme Song, titled “The Road Ahead”, written and composed by Linying and Evan Low. We had learnt the dance moves and have been enjoying dancing to it the last few weeks! Then, we talked about the origins of Singapore’s National Day and watched a short clip of National Day Parade highlights before moving on to our celebratory activities!

Piñata fun! We took turns hitting the piñatas, and collected all the candy that fell out. Piñatas are not traditionally Singaporean, but they are definitely one of the most fun ways to celebrate!

Our national day crafts included making strawberry yoghurt ice popsicles, and our very own state flag flypast!

 

Virtual Tour to Pulau Ubin!

14 July

Excursions are such a fun and important part of the preschool experience. However, we had to do our part to stay safe and stay indoors during these June Holidays… so our BibiNogs Preschool K.A. teachers got creative and brought the excursion to the children! We were so excited to go on an “excursion” to Pulau Ubin, via virtual tour, especially with these fringe activities that completed the experience!

Packing our bag for the excursion! Check, check, and… check!

Making sure everything goes in…

“I spotted a frog!”

Discovering the items we saw in the video. This is an Asam fruit!

What does it look like? What does it smell like? How does it feel? Can we cut it up?

What is that smell???

We had so much fun on this “excursion”, but we are also very much looking forward to going on a real field trip. In the meantime, let us all continue doing our part to stay safe!

How were your June Holidays?

25 June

This June, Bibinogs Preschool K.A. ran two theme-based holiday programmes – Oceans of the World, and Radiant Rainforests.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and enhanced safety measures, we limited our programme capacity, but still had so much fun learning and exploring together.

Let’s take a peek and have a look at what types of fun activities the children were engaged in!

The children learnt all about the oceans/rainforests while enjoying multiple sensorial activities, discovery tasting sessions, and even tried their hand at some experiments!

Do come and join us at our next holiday programme in November/December!

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Engaged!

29 May

Staying home is staying safe, but we also want our children to stay engaged! That doesn’t always have to mean planning fanciful activities from sunrise to sundown. There are many teachable moments we can catch in some of the most mundane activities! Here are some #stayhome #staysafe #stayengaged tips from us.

Design a daily timetable with your child! This can include daily routines, simple chores, special activities, and play time. Fixed routines help to establish normalcy and a sense of security, bringing comfort to children (and to you)! Having your child participating in the designing of their daily timetable gives them a sense of ownership, and would make them more willing to abide by it.

“I DID IT” and it is perfectly fine if putting on that shoe took 5 minutes. Encouraging your child to dress themselves is a great opportunity to introduce some new vocabulary, and practice some old useful ones. “Hold the waistband with both hands, and put your left leg in the left hole.” Your child will be an expert at identifying their right/left hands, arms, and legs in no time!

Right-brain exercise. Drawing not only helps to develop your child’s fine motor skills, but also develops their creative thinking and artistic independence. Provide them with a variety of crayons, coloured pencils, and markers, and switch up the drawing board each day. As long as you’ve established some rules for “drawing time” – eg. you can only draw on the drawing paper – go ahead and place that drawing paper on the floor, on the wall, and even under the table!

OH NO… MESSY PLAY.  Messy play is important as it allows your child to explore through different tactile and sensory experiences. Here are some tips to make messy play manageable!

  1. A designated messy play outfit that you won’t be afraid to stain
  2. A designated messy play area that you can easily hose down
  3. Turn messy play into clean play! All you need is soap and water, and your child will be washing their toys as they play with all those bubbles.

2 tablespoons of honey, 50 grams of butter, 150 grams of cornflakes…

Baking is a wonderful parent-child bonding activity. There are plenty of child-friendly recipes online, and going through these offer great opportunities to introduce numeracy concepts such as quantity and measurement. Not to mention the sweet sweet reward of what comes out of the oven!

Baby teeth will fall out, but that doesn’t mean cavities won’t hurt! Some ways to encourage your child to brush their teeth include having them practice on a toy (or yourself!), putting on a tooth-brushing song, and letting them pick out a delicious toothpaste. Don’t forget that proper tooth-brushing requires two full minutes, and you are your child’s greatest role model!

“I don’t want this!” Letting your child choose is our tip for getting them to eat healthy and wholesome meals. If your child is adverse to carrots, try offering it to them in different shapes and styles. Choices like “round, cubed, or stick?”, or “one piece or two pieces?” gives your child a sense of control over what they eat. Of course, stick to choices that ultimately benefit them. “Carrots or chips?” is not an option!

Read with your child. We love encouraging our children to read, but do we model this desired behaviour? One great way to develop this habit in our children is to read alongside them! Have your child pick out a book, and have one of your own. Designate some time for quiet reading – anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes depending on your child’s reading interest and ability – and just read side by side with your child.

Retired U.S. Navy Admiral Seal William H. McCraven authored the book “Make Your Bed: Little Things Can Change Your Life…and Maybe the World” and don’t we wish for our little ones to change the world! Working with all that soft material on the bed also helps to work on your child’s motor skills. Why not throw in a quick game of tug-of-war with the sheets to get them nice and straight while you’re at it!

Cleaning up is a great way to slip in some of those numeracy skills. Have your child put their toys away by sorting them into containers of different shapes/sizes/colour, ask them to keep all the red toys first, or play a countdown jingle! 30…29…28…27…

Dress up day is fun not only for your child, but for everyone at home! Pick a theme, and have everyone dress up accordingly on that day. Role-playing not only helps children develop cognitive flexibility and creative thinking, but also allows children to begin to understand how to empathise with others as they assume different characters.

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” – Nietzsche

Children love music! Music not only increases sensory development, improves literacy and numeracy, and builds coordination, but is also a useful tool for establishing routine and making mundane tasks fun. Your child probably already has an arsenal of songs for routines in school. Ask them to teach them to you, and then come up with new ones for home – don’t forget to add some cool moves!

 

Let’s stay home, stay safe, and stay engaged as we navigate these uncertain times together!

Happy Mother‘s Day 2021

04 May

This May, BibiNogs Preschool would like to acknowledge and affirm the irreplaceable role of a mother in a child’s life. You are the exact parent your child needs to bloom and blossom. Thank you for your love and sacrifice. Happy Mother’s Day!

Hungry Minds Workshop for Preschool Educators

19 March

The BibiNogs teachers joined over 55 pre-school teachers at the Hungry Minds workshop organised by Principals Academy over two days on 18 and 19 March 2021. The presenter was Dr Kathy Perez, Professor Emerita of St Mary’s College of California. Participants discovered innovative ways to get children actively involved in circle time, lessons, dramatic play and much more!