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Quick Ideas For Preschooler Homeschooling’s Activites

Hanz’s Note : This is schedulled post.
Am away for 2 days in a row for outstation.
Will miss chit-chat & chat-hop to others.

You can do homeschooling for your preschooler & have some get-together activities without cracking your brains too much. Here’s some ideas for you.


1. Lots of writing materials in different medium (pen, pencil, magic ink, chalk)

2. Painting in different medium (finger-paint, nature-paint, stencils from vegetables, food colouring made from raw materials)

3. Art & Craft books (cut & paste, origami, many ore)

4. Toys with purpose (specific for lesson to be learn). You can even create toys.

5. Television with supervision by parents.

6. Child’s tennis or badminton racquet set, ball, balloons, etc.


1. Keeping a scrapbook especially for occassions, events, trips & celebrations & even special subjects.

2. Read-aloud

3. Give notebooks & journals for them to write in their thoughts & ideas.

4. Let them copy good writing – to improve handwriting, spelling, grammar, punctuation & enjoying the content & getting the message across.

5. Give them time to read, talk & play.Let them pick whatever books they like & we should read to them as well.

Hanz’s Share : Homeschooling does not mean that you need to spend lots of money. A dash of creativeness & improvised things available around you is a classroom and lesson for your child.Encourage your child to be an inventor too.

November 6, 2009 Posted by | Homeschooling, Just Preschooler, Parenting in General | 2 Comments

Review on Baby & Toddler Educational Videos

Baby Hambali is also homeschooling & among age-appropriateness tools we used for his HS are books, toys and educational videos. Initially, he was not so into watching videos as he is more mobile & active than his brother at this age. Plus, Baby Hambali’s attention span is lesser.But, I’m still keen on getting him to sit still (fully focus) for few minutes to enjoy the show & educational purposes in mind.Finally, now he’s addicted! Ha! Ha!

Baby Hambali : Tulah Mama nak sangat Adik tengok VCD, kan? Kang adik dah ketagih. Asal balik rumah vcd adik mesti on..bangun pagi pun vcd adik mesti on. Padan muka Mama tak dapat tengok tv…he,he..

This review is based on Baby Hambali’s preferences & from the eye of certified educator cum mother. :D

Bee Smart Vocabulary Builder

Age range : 2 months to 36months

Duration : 28 minutes

Features : This video series will helps infants begin to categorize objects & to build word meanings by providing multiple & varied examples of examples of each vocabulary word. These cognitive skills will impact your child’s language development for years to come. It is a great intoduction starter pack for setting your child on the road to learning & discovery with wonderful classical music by Mozart, Handel, Haydn & more.

Verdict: Baby Hambali can stay watching those for 5 minutes then off wandering about. I found it bored too as the background music a bit slow & no graphic illustration with bright pictures to pass on. And, I don’t get it why it must be repeated the whole session before the videos end. Baby & toddler must do revision, is it? Gosh! They should know that a very young child’s attention span is very short.

Rating : 2 star out of 5

Brainy Baby

Age range : 6-36 months

Duration : 45 minutes

Features : The Brainy Baby Learning Library is the pioneer in infant development videos. It is the first video series that can help stimulate cognitive development.

Verdict : Though the duration is long, we found it never bored us till the end. We love that it features other babies as we know babies love to watch & learn from other children at play. Also entertining as brightly colored objects help develop cognitive skills & spatial reasoning. Additionally, featuring fascinating animation with real life objects babies recognize.

Very entertaining, simple, straight to the point. I love it that the fact it has range topics chosen age-appropriateness. The background music too is catchy. Baby Hambali will dance when he heard upbeat music is on.

Rating : 4.5 star out of 5

So Smart

Age range : 3 to 36 months

Duration : 30 minutes

Features : Bright, bold animated scenes & an appropriate pace for little ones totally suits young babies. A playful music soundtrack young children & parents will love. Simple stories without any voice / narrator as it needs the parents / child-minder to do the interpretation, interaction & improvise the subject that grow with the child’s age.

Verdict : The first & foremost videos I’ve introduced to both my boys & it never failed to educate & entertain them! Hanafi loves it since the age of 4 months till now at 5 years old & his little brother feels the same way too since 6 months old till now. Feeding time would be less stressful if we just on this videos for Hambali & he seems ‘moved’ by it. I must emphasise it’s the bright illustration that captures any child’s attention span. No interruption of human voice in it!

Rating : 5 star!

Baby Einstein

Age range : Varies according to topics

Duration : 20 minutes

Features : Combined topics with funny puppet shows & sound effects, computer animated clown & captivating real-world visuals & accompanied by the beautiful classical music.

Verdict : I enjoy it too! Simple, catchy, bright illustration & this is the videos that Baby Hambali can stay watching till it ends. Very,very entertaining & educating.Must get more as varieties of topics available & age-appropriateness!

Rating : 5 star!

Hanz’s Note : Previous chat, I have shared on tips to introduce & getting your child to utilise the videos wisely. Click here :=> The Idiot Box Can Babysit Your Child.

October 23, 2009 Posted by | Hanz's Products Reviews, Just Baby, Just Toddler, Parenting in General | 9 Comments

Toddler Monthly Notes: Your 17-Month-Old

Separations & that special blankie

Has your toddler yet chosen a special teddy or blankie to help him weather life’s more stressful moments, like your leaving him with a babysitter or taking him for shots? If it hasn’t already, that special lovey or ‘comfort’ object will become one of the most important, if not the most important items in your household for some time to come.

Somewhere between the ages of 15 & 19 months, a toddler becomes capable of forming a mental image of you that he can conjure up when you’re around. Unfortunately, that mental image may not always be sufficient to sustain him emotionally during even the briefest separation like you need to run upstairs to grab a diaper.

A comfort object won’t magically stop child’s tears or prevent your child from feeling anxiety, but once your’re away, it can make your absence that much more tolerable.If she can’t always rely on you to be next to her at every waking moment, well then your child may as well turn to the comfort object.

To enhance your toddler’s comfort factor when you’re not around, encourage your child to use the object for role-play. Say,”Time for Teddy to go to sleep.” Together, tuck the teddy inside a blanket, read him favourite book & give him a hug & kiss. Then allow him to help you turn off the lights & say good night.

Let your child take the comfort object along with him on those errands & trips that can seem disconcertingly unpredictable to your toddler. If you deprive him of a comfort object, you send a message that he’ll just have to cope when he’s feeling uncomfortable or you’re not around. Your child is unlikely to outgrow his object of affection at any time soon.

More comfort

Sometimes, it can seem as though your 17-month-old is on a roller-coaster ride with his emotions- deliriously happy one moment , cranky & distressed the next. That’s perfectly normal & what he needs is for you to stay close to him on that ride. At 17month, your child obviously has an intense need for a great deal of attention & affection from you. Here are few more ways to achieve that:

* Graduate to hide & seek. The simple peek-a-boo game that your child adored as a baby does’nt mean that it does’nt appreciate it any more.Chase your toddler from one room to the next. Act extremely surprised & delighted to see him.

* If you’re pregnant, feel free to talk about the new baby coming. Your 17 month old may not comprehend the event, there’s no harm in talking casually about it & sharing books with your toddler that may help familiarize the concept of becoming a big brother.

Hanz’s Share : The Lion, the soft cuddly toy & 2 pillows are Baby Hambali’s comfort object. Orang tua2 panggil bantal busuk, kan? The bantal is more towards sleeping & substitute of Lion at his Nursery as we don’t want him to bring the Lion there due to many reasons. But, to other places, yes, we bring the Lion.It does help him to understand as sometimes, we use the The Lion to teach. For example if he is reluctant to sleep, we said out loud,”Lion nak tidur.Adik tak nak tidur dengan Lion?” This gesture, to the extent, he handed his Lion to my boob so the Lion can get fair share of Nenen as well. Hilarious!! But, it does make sense.

October 21, 2009 Posted by | Hanz's Notes, Just Toddler, Parenting in General | 12 Comments

Be careful when choosing baby bottles

Getting a bottle for your baby, do look for those BPA free one.

What is BPA & why?

Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that mimics the action of the human estrogen, can leach from polycarbonate plastic. A lot of studies has been conducted & briefly among the findings of effects of BPA found is as follows:

1. Early onset of puberty & stimulation of mammary gland development in females

2. Changes in gender-specific behaviour

3. Changes in hormones, including decreased testosterone

4. Increased prostrate size

5. Decrease sperm production

6. Altered immune function

7. Behavioral effects including hyperactivity, increased aggresiveness, impaired learning & other changes in behaviour.

8. Linked to impaired female reproductive development

9. May lead to miscarriage

10. May lead to obesity & diabetes.

If you like to read an in-depth about this, you can go to this link:-

Hanz’s Note : Orang dulu2 pakai botol kaca susukan anak. I saw one at Bangi Kopitiam among Kid’s Search Collectibles. It’s your safer bet but inconvenience somehow for out & about. Your child still needs milk eventhough you have stop breastfeeding. So, try train your child to drink milk in a cup as soon as can be.If finding BPA free is not easy, glass-based cup is the best!

Mama to Adik : Adik, Mama dah dapatkan adik botol baru, straw punyer.Nanti mesti minum EBM Mama tau! Jangan takmo2 aa…Mama pening kepala Adik takmo minum EBM tapi nak ‘fresh’ container jugak…Camno dik, Mama kan keje…sedih Mama bekalkan Adik EBM tapi Adik liat nak perabihkan…

October 19, 2009 Posted by | Just Baby, Just Toddler, Parenting in General | 10 Comments

HS505 : Teaching your child Empathy & Tolerance when interacting with others.

Hanz’s Note : It’s been so long I have not updating Hanafi’s HS progress. Blame it for festive season. Ahaks! Anyway, alhamdulillah, his HS is still ongoing despite this festive mood & that’s the beauty of HS. You decide when can take a break rather follow the school’s standard break!

This update however is an ongoing process and likely different from previous HS updates. Here I like to share on some guide & tips on how to teach a child about empathy and tolerance. Read on. Remember, teaching values is an ongoing process for any children.

Teaching Empathy

Empathy is how us as human being being aware of and being sensitive to another being and able to understand other people’s state and situation. To emphatise, children must be able to read emotional cues such as facial expression and body language.

I’ve drawn those several facial expression (and a lil touch-up by dear hubby) to introduce in-depth several facial expression of people. Then, I asked Hanafi to match those caricatures with real-life faces that match similar facial expression. After that, we discussed why and how those expression occurred.

Another way is through:-

* Example – Experiencing it firsthand by your child is beneficial and you can help him understand by explaining about the situation he just experienced. Develop a feeling vocabulary whereby children can learn to identify & label their feelings.

* Describing feelings to help kids read emotions by :-

Watch television – Be careful though on allowing your child which tv programme is most suitable for your child based on his age. Like us, we prefer to allow our boys watch children’s videos instead as we seldom watch tv due to time constraint.

We love Barney & Bear in the Big Blue House as it has many good features on values!

Listen to books being read – I can’t say enough there’s many books out there that you can always ‘invest’ it for your child. Siri Kisah Rasulullah, Siri Kisah Para Sahabat Nabi, Siri Kisah-kisah Al Quran, all is such a thumbs-up selection. Another alternative is from Grolier. They have a whole set on values which I highly recommend it. Scholastic too is good. All you need just a little effort to ‘look’ them the bookstore or your local library.

* Asking questions

Ask your child a real life situation for any values you want to highlight. If your child answer with “I don’t know’, you can ask your child to make their best guess. Always have an open discussion with your child.

Teaching Tolerance

This one comes in a list which me, myself & dear hubby are giving our best shot to follow do’s & don’ts. Read on!

i) Notice your own attitude. Parents who want their child value diversity can be sensitive to cultural stereotypes, they may have learned & make an effort to correct them.

ii) Remember that kids are always listening. Do not make jokes that perpetuate stereotypes though how harmless fun it is, it can undo tolerance & respect.

iii) Select books, toys, music, art & videos carefully. Keep in mind the powerful effect the media & pop cultures have on shaping attitudes.

iv) Point out & talk about unfair sterotypes that may be potrayed in media.

v) Answer kids questions about differences honestly & respectfully.

vi) Acknowledge & respect differences within your own family. Demonstrate acceptance of your children’s different abilities, interest & styles. Value the uniqueness of each family member.

vii) Remember that tolerance does not mean tolerating unacceptable behaviour. It means that everyone deserves to be treated with respect & should treat others respect.

viii) Help your child feel good about themselves.

ix) Give your child opportunities to work & play with others who are different from them.

x) Be enthusiastic about his response when he is in conversation and keep an eye contact with him.

October 2, 2009 Posted by | Early Childhood Education, Hanz's Notes, Homeschooling, Parenting in General | 3 Comments

How to handle Squabbling Sibblings

Google pictures courtesy

Here are some pointers on how to handle sibling fights:

  • Do not get involved too quickly. Whenever your sons approach you to complain about one another, listen but do not comment. Stay out of the fight and let them deal with it on their own.
  • Do not ask who started it out first or who is at fault. When the brothers fight with one another, hold both children accountable for their actions. If you try to prove that one child is to be blamed, you will make your children more resentful on one another. You will be accused of playing favourites.
  • Do not tell your children that they are grown up and should know better than to fight with one another. Accept that your boys will have differences of opinion and different ways of doing things. If they cannot get along, they can at least try not to interfere with each other activities.
  • Do not declare openly that you can no longer tolerate their behaviour.They may even fight more, realising that their negative behaviour can affect you.
  • Do not feel guilty or take a blame for your son’s fights because you are alone and holding a full-time job.You will be able to handle the sibbling conflicts better when you are confident that you are doing the best you can.
  • Do not lecture your children on fairness or the importance of keeping harmony in the family. You need to help each child find outlets for his emotions rather than fighting with his brother.
  • Do not try to justify that you don’t play favourites.If your eldest son complains that you are not being fair,listen to him and help him work out ways on how everyone in the family can get along with one another.

Hanz’s Note : Thank you so much to Ms Ruth Liew for sharing this great tips in Childwise.

October 2, 2009 Posted by | Parenting in General | 2 Comments

Toddler Monthly Notes: Your 16-Month-Old

Teaching the rules

* Be clear. Learning social rules, such as “Don’t bite”, “Stop making a mess” is particularly long & ongoing process. Toddlers have a short attention span, they respond best to concise & straightforward language that honestly convey your feeling.

* Let him experience consequences. Let’s say your toddler had just hurled the cereal bowl to you, rather you immediately clean up the mess, handed a napkin to your child & tell him to clean it up. It is best he can feel the effect of any havoc he wrecks.

* Redirect. If your child is making bonkers over some thing, move on to something else.Let your child go on with the tantrum & simply ignore while at the same time, you show he can have another thing or another choice to do something else. Don’t let him get his way all the time because you can’t stand the tantrum.

* Try a time-out. When all the former strategies fail, set time-out for two minutes in any designated time-out spot.Sometimes, you need two minutes away from your child too to cool off & collect yourself.

Building your toddler’s confidence

Your toddler always craves your approval. Here are few constructive ways to give it to him.

* Show him how to help you. An example is like cleaning up. Plenty of praise & positive feedback can influence child’s behaviour. It is also can give confidence boost from the feeling of mastery he achieves.

* Show him how to be resilient. Your toddler learn from how you react to certain situation when emergency or crisis arises. Show him to be quick to administer the hurt & pain like getting help rather than crying of self-pitiness. This builds his character on how to handle difficult situation.

September 30, 2009 Posted by | Child's Play, Early Childhood Education, Hanz's Notes, Just Toddler, Parenting in General | 1 Comment

My Little Bookworm :HKS Little Bookworm & MOBS Contest

How can I convince you if I emphasises that my lil tot, Baby Hambali is a little bookworm?

Perhaps some pictures & some ‘story’ might convince you….

Every nook & crannies, you can catch him reading….

He has a Book Box which he prefer more than his Toy Box.

Scene like this is a pretty norm to us. 😛

Still not enough so he intend to get more from than higher shelf!

He demanded to be read every morning in the car
so it is part of his Mama’s daily routine.

And, these are some of his books’ collections
that only
would be read to him
every single day & it is kept in the car.

Our family outing shall be incomplete
unless we visit the Bookstore

& allocate some time reading
at the children’s corner for a while

Though any books still would be pick by my lil tot,
he comes to prefer one particular book

& it became his FAVOURITE BOOK.

My Quiet Book is Baby Hambali’s Favourite Book.

Let’s take a peek inside the book…

This book is made from cloth so it is safe & durable. Bright colours & special features in each page would surely captivate any child & motivate little hands to go busy manipulating each fine-motor skills features.

Less words is good to avoid confusion for very young child who simply unable to read yet. Merely to encourage reading for baby & toddler to be familiar on books & how to handle books.

This book is zipped along it’s edge & there’s a handle on the upper middle so it can be hang in a craddle, stroller & such.

Now, let’s see how much Baby Hambali love this book…

Hanz’s Note : Apart from sharing a story of my little bookworm, this is also my submission on this contest. : MOBS & Huiwearn Kids Store (HKS) Little Bookworm Contest

Just click either the contest title or the banner below to obtain all the contest details. Interesting prizes to be win. Contest ends on 1st of October 2009. So, hurry!

September 28, 2009 Posted by | Early Childhood Education, Hanz in Contest, Hanz in Reading, Hanz's Boys, Parenting in General | 2 Comments

~Jom Main Air Bersama….Contest by Kakyong ~ : Double Water Fun

Q : What do you get when you put one hot mama and a cheeky toddler into one small kiddies pool?

A : The answer is DOUBLE AWESOME FUN!!

The Hot Mama : Hanz
The Cheeky Toddler : Hambali (aged 1+)

Read : The Mama was trying to persuade the curious yet scared toddler to enjoy the water. Luckily, Mama had this ideaa bubble pump to the rescue!

To those Mama or Papa out there who might having some issue on getting your kids to love water, here’s some idea that might be a solution. All these ideas applies to either toddler or preschooler or both:-

  • Make bath-time fun by getting some bath toys for your kids to play with
  • Bubbles – lots of them. Give your kid to try different medium to make bubbles such as sponges of different sizes, varieties plastic pots to fill with and even wooden spoon so that your kid can reduce the bubble foam to water again by stirring.
  • Empty shampoo and washing up bottles with lids so your kid can work out how to get the water in the bottles by squeezing it and letting go, then have fun squirting the water out.
  • Explore floating and sinking – Have many items even natural materials such as sticks, barks, leaves and pebbles and ask your kid to predict which will sink and which will float.
  • Washing stuff – Any toy that needs a wash can go into the water for a scrub. Your toddler even your preschooler will enjoy doing this important work. He can use a washing up sponge or soft brush.

Be alert however parents that water, how cheapest source of activity and easily available can impose danger to your kids. Safety precaution must be taken note as listed below:

  • Younger children shouldn’t be left unsupervised around water even if they know how to swim.For toddler, he could drown in a few inches of water in a few minutes!
  • Put old towels on the floor under your kid’s water-play area. This will prevent him slipping and also aid cleaning up.
  • Do not let your child play around any water (lake, pool, ocean, etc.) without adult supervision (even if he is a good swimmer).
  • Don’t allow running or rough play around the water.
  • To those who has swimming pool, childproof your swimming pool with a fence around your backyard and a fence (at least 4 feet high) around the pool, with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Also consider having a phone poolside and learning CPR in case of emergencies.

Hanz’s Note : The chat above is for sharing & our submission for the contest organized by Kakyong. For details, just click the banner below, also available on this Chatterbox’s left sidebar.

A peek on contest gift sponsors…..

August 24, 2009 Posted by | Child's Play, Hanz in Contest, Hanz's Boys, Just Preschooler, Just Toddler, Parenting in General | 4 Comments