Derick Learns to Ride a Bicycle

Yes,yes..finally my son has learnt to ride a bicycle. It has been a year since we bought him his bicycle, and only now he got to really enjoy it. He said, he now loves his bicycle more than ever. Apparently he’s not a kinesthetic learner, and there had been moments of frustration on his part and ours too.  While it has been very easy teaching Summer, Derick took his time,and that took so much of our patience and time.

*Derick and Summer have helmets but on this particular day, they decided not to wear them.

 

What were the tricks we did before he finally were able to put both feet on the pedals?

  1. First, we made sure the bike is the right height and size, and that he’s wearing protective gear for safety.
  2. Then we tried what we did with Summer, which was – hold the handle bar firmly forward, give it a push, put your feet on the pedals and start pedalling. It didn’t work with him! He couldn’t control the handle bar and couldn’t keep his balance.
  3. So we took the pedals out, and let him glide with it similar to pedal-less bicycles for toddlers.  Doing this develops a sense of balance and builds muscle memory. This stage took most part of the days that he tried learning to ride his bicycle. There were weeks even months that he refused to ride his bicycle because of frustration.
  4. At long last, during the summer break, we gave it another go after a long hiatus. We decided to put back the pedals since he could already balance. With sheer determination and lots and lots of encouragement that he could do it, he finally found his rythym  on the second day of practice. And since then he’s been enjoying it.

Hurray! Now, the bicycle is one of his treasured possesions.

Bicycling is a great outdoor activity for kids not only during summer but even during weekends and after school.  It is a great extracurricular activity that refreshes the mind and limit screen time.

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Kids Making Moringa Powder: A Beneficial Chore

Moringa is a superfood I include in my children’s diet,  and honestly they love it.  Not just that,  they make Moringa powder themselves. It’s easy to follow, in fact there are only 4 simple steps all in the video description.

Here’s a short video clip of how to make Moringa powder.  Enjoy!

 

Allowing children to do this is actually beneficial for them.

  1. Doing chores like this give them a sense of accomplishment.  Something they could be proud of. Chores for children are what trainings are for adults.
  2. It’s a great way to teach children the importance of good health and how to stay healthy.
  3. One of the ways to help your child eat and love veggies and other plant-based food.
  4. Doing this chore, helps instill in your child the love for plants and nature in general. In fact we’ve planted Moringa in our garden in the city.

It’s so easy and simple,  right?  Is this something that you’re children could do too?

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Watch and Learn

A young Thai kid speaks English like he has been reared in a household of English speaking individuals. But the truth is far from this. This kid’s parents know not a thing about the English language. And yet this kid’s proficiency is certainly way above his peers. So how is this possible?

Some twenty years back, this may seem outrightly impossible. Nowadays however, with the advent of internet, learning any language is just a click away. True enough, this kid as I have found out spends hours watching English cartoons in the internet or cable TV where he learns English vocabulary and imitates the way the characters speak.

 

Some of his favorite cartoons include,

1. Dora the explorer
2. My Little Ponies
3. Barneys
4. Peppa Pig
5. Ben and Holly
6. Octonauts
7. Charlie and Lola
8. Peep and the Big Wide World

Of the four English skills, listening should be the first to be learnt, and the rest speaking, reading, and writing, with continuous supervision, will follow suit smoothly. Watching English cartoons is a fun and great way for toddlers and school-age kids to learn English pronunciation and vocabulary.

Word of caution though, first, children must not be left unmonitored and unsupervised. The internet is both a friend and an enemy, protect your child.  Second,  no matter how helpful it is, if it is done in excess, it is definitely not good. Strike a balance,  engage your child in physical and other extracurricular activities. And also,  not to be forgotten,  child’s play is just as important.

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Children’s Day: Thailand

Children's Day 2018

Children’s day is an annual international celebration aim to not only celebrate children for who they are but also to bring awareness to children and the whole world of the protection and rights that are duly theirs. Children throughout our history have been subjected to cruelty, forced labor, and violence. And through this celebration governments must do in its power to protect children who are the future of this world.

It is celebrated by almost all countries at a varied calendar dates.  For example, USA celebrates this on the second Sunday of June which was first declared by a pastor by the name of Reverend Dr. Charles Leonard in Massachusetts on 1856.  It then was declared as an official annual holiday by Turkey on 1923 celebrating it every 23rd of April then on. United Kingdom celebrates this on the second Sunday of May, 20th of November for the Philippines, and second Saturday of January for Thailand.

 

Children’s day in Thailand:  Wan Dek (Day Children, direct translation)

 

It is celebrated with so much fun in mind. It is a big celebration for Thailand. Local governments, public and private institutions, and even schools prepare games and surprises for kids. Free food, milk, and goodies are aplenty during this day.

Local governments give kids a free tour and try program.  For example kids are given a guided tour in a government house and are actually allowed to sit at a government official’s desk; Royal Thai Military allows children to explore their aircrafts, and private institutions give free toys, and school supplies. Aside from these,  various activities are prepared for kids watch and learn.

 

Wan Dek 2018 (2561 in Thai Calendar)

Some schools celebrated Wan Dek a day earlier as the occassion fell on a Saturday.  This is how my son and his friends spent their day. Please the short clip we made of the entire event below. Thanks.

And here’s how my daughter celebrated Children’s Day in her school. Enjoy.

 

How did you spend Children’s Day?

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Kidz Newest Craze:Central Festival Hatyai

$2 worth of fun:robot rides

To be able to do what you have been dreaming about is an ultimate euphoria. As a kid driving fascinated me, so when my Dad bought me a miniature car I was thrilled beyond measures. Now, my kids are into gundam models. They have got more than enough to fill a large size display cabinet. They have been collecting and assembling these Japanese plastic models for some time now. However, being able to be in an actual gundam and pilot it yourself brings the game to a whole different level.

Fun Planet @Central Festival Hatyai has these fun-size gundam models that children could get on and drive around for a teeny bit shy of $2.

So what are the features?

1. Single-person cockpit. A child could sit comfortably with a seatbelt for safety. For very young kids, a parent is allowed with the child sitting on the lap.
2. Dual joystick control. Joystick controls emulated from gundam models allow full manuever of the gundam movements- forward, backward, turn left and right, 360 degrees turn, and buttons that give off a shooting sound. Look at the video 6USD worth of fun for a better look.
3. Collision avoidance system sensors around. This is a pretty intelligent feature especially that some kids might be too excited to mind whoever is around them. So the gundam stops moving automatically when it senses persons or objects near it.

Is it worth it?

Yes definitely!
My kids had so much fun. My son was ecstatic, it was priceless.
Aside from these, it gives them a rough feel of how it is to be in it, touching the joystick, making it move themselves, something that they only imagine while watching the anime.

Would your kiddos enjoy this ride?

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Creative Minds

It is just so incredible how people can be so creative and ingenious. This, my friends,  is definitely one.  They turned a mini-truck into an awesome, moving restaurant.

A moving restaurant

As you can see the top is converted into a mini kitchen. A cute lift is attached at the side to serve the food down in the main part of the car which serves as the dining area.  Ingenious!

How amazing is this huh?!

Earlier that day my kids were on a Mr. and Miss Maker mood (inspired by The Mister Maker kiddie show).  They turn this tiny plastic medicine bottle into a prop plane, with a spinner toy for a propeller and pikachu as the pilot….hmmm.


Creative?  Imaginative?

How do we encourage creativity in children?

  1. Allow ample amount for play time – play pretend with others, or extracurricular and outdoor activities.
  2. Often children talk to themselves, assume a role and act like they are in a different world. Do not disrupt this or give a negative feedback.
  3. Appreciate their drawings, crafts, or creations.
  4. Let them do things on their own.  Do not provide easy answer let them find it.
  5. Buy toys that needed to be assembled or built like Lego or Plastic Model Gundam.

 

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Moon Gazing at the Night Market

Taken by OPPO F1 selfie as viewed from the telescope

Moon gazing at the night market, that’s right at the night market with real telescopes amidst the hustle and bustle. How amazing is that?

We don’t frequent the night market for one reason and that is, it’s just way to crowded.  However, tonight is an exemption.  NARIT or National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand is here, and their bringing 5 telescopes for everyone. I wondered how it would go considering how busy the place is.  But amazingly things went smoothly – no pushing and shoving, no shouting and rowdy behavior . Everyone queued and waited for their turn. The kids had a great time,  and was blown away by what they saw.

It was indeed educational and precious. An experience they would cherish forever, and be grateful of.
NARIT has been totally generous. We appreciate their effort of going out of their comfort zones and reaching out to as many people as possible; and where else would you find tons of people than the night market, aye?
I think it is just incredibly wonderful to allow precious Science equipment like these to be out in the open where they could be vulnerable to damages for the sake of sharing Science to everyone. I’m in awe.

This unusual outdoor activity is great for kids for the following.

  • Certainly it is educational. Looking at the moon up close was amazing and stirred so much curiosity and interest in children. It gives kids a new perspective of the moon and somehow relate this with what was taught in the classroom.
  • A whole new experience. Schools usually only have microscopes and the likes but never a telescope.  To be able to touch and use it is surely awesome.
  • An unusual outdoor activity indeed. Anything outdoorsy is appealing to children. May it be because of the new place, a different ambiance, or being with other kids is almost always treasured and appreciated.
  • A good time to put “how to act and mingle in public” lessons to the test.

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Explore and Experience

It was Visakha Bucha,  a Buddhist holiday where Thais visit temples to pray, when we decided to drive and visit Nakhon Sri Thammarat, the largest city in the South of Thailand. This one day road trip had been educational since our kids hadn’t only gotten to experience a Buddhist religious practice. We did not stay in some fancy hotel with kids pool which by the way is their most favorite activity. Instead they explored some ancient artifacts in the temple’s museum dating back to Bangkok period. This may not as outdoorsy as spelunking Phu Pha Phet or swimming at Wang Sai Thong Falls but it certainly is informative and insightful in terms of Thai culture and religious belief.

This is Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan, the main and oldest buddhist temple in Nakhon Sri Thammarat.  Directly in front of the temple’s right wing entrance is the museum.  Inside, you’ll find three large chambers where ancient artifacts that date back to Bangkok period were exhibited. There were hand painted metal cabinets of varying sizes, brasswares,  copperwares, glasswares, and chinas.  Aside from these, there were weapons,  textiles, a few preserved sea creatures, and numerous sea shells.  It is a great place to explore and a good reinforcement for kids studying history and marine life. Taking of photos are not allowed here.

This was taken just outside the museum.  A row of seating,  golden Buddhas outlined the entire length of this side of the temple. On the same chamber,  were displays of huge whale remains and other marine life.

Summer and Derick offered incense and flowers, and said their prayers.

 

Despite the scorching heat of the sun, exploring Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawin was a great experience.

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Spelunking Phu Pha Phet
Freedom and Control is Possible with KidsEmail

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Freedom and Control is Possible with Kidsemail

Responsible freedom is what kidsemail is.

Today, it is just nearly impossible to not let kids get their hands on technology. The more they are prohibited the more curious they become. If this brings them positive results well and good, but if it swings them on the flip side of the coin, well it spells trouble. And we all have seen unimaginable things happen and are still happening if we let down our guards. Of course, this is something we all don’t want. So be on the guard all the time.
Yet you don’t want to tighten your grip that much, as sand trickles through your fingers as you squeeze on it too tightly.

Kidsemail is just the right mixture of freedom and control. It is a great way to let children have a taste of freedom in using technology and interact with friends through email, while parents gradually instill in them necessary values and attitude to keep them safe in this time of the internet.

Kidsemail safeguards children and teens from unwanted elements that parents dread so much. It is the most kid-friendly website in the entire internetland. One of the features which I love immensely is the parental control, with it parents are able to manage contacts, filter offensive words, and approve or deny emails sent to your children. Emails notifying parents of incoming and outgoing emails are sent directly to parent’s email. It can be used on relatively all devices as it’s supported by iOS, Android, and Web platforms.

For more details about its amazing features read HERE, and HERE on how to register for FREE on your first month.

Now, here’s a time lapse of Summer sending an email to her Aunt in Dubai. She had previously written the letter on her diary.

I encourage parents and schools to avail of kidsemail. It is parents’ greatest partner in keeping children from harms way, and an excellent tool for schools especially that some teachers give homework, other activities, and communication online.

 

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Spelunking Phu Pha Phet Cave

Derick and Summer were the youngest in the group of tourists in Phu Pha Phet cave. I thought they won’t survive the two hour walk inside the cave, well I thought wrong. As a matter of fact they enjoyed it, Summer got so fascinated by the things she saw and Derick, oh well, because it’s so dark and he gets to use a flashlight.

We came as a side trip since the cave is within the vicinity of the waterfalls we went to earlier that day. Although unprepared it turned out successful. They love it and are looking forward to spelunk again.

This time though we have to prepare some things before-hand like.

  • Face mask especially if your kids are asthmatics. It might be dusty inside from loose soil or bat droppings.
  • Tiny backpacks for water bottles, face towel, and the likes
  • Comfortable rubber shoes are definitely better than open loose slippers
  • Long stretchy pants would be comfortable and it would be easy to crawl or duck if there is a need to.
  • Wear mosquito repellent lotion for protection.

For more details about Phu Pha Phet Cave Satun Thailand.

Here’s a slideshow of them in the cave

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