Read more to write better

The first step to being a good writer is to understand language, grammar and learn the art of storytelling. At the initial point of their lives, every great writer has started off as an avid reader and fell in love with the art of words and storytelling. There are only two activities that are needed to be a better writer: reading and writing. These two activities are complimentary to each other and one cannot happen without the other. Many famous writers such as Stephen King and William Faulkner will stand by this principle.

To instil good writing qualities in children, it is very important that they read more. The mind is like a sponge and it is even more absorbent at a young age. Therefore, encouraging the child to read more will make them better creative writers. Primary writing skills may be taught in schools, but it is almost impossible to teach someone the finer details of the art of writing. This will depend on the books that the child reads and the kind of language that is in these books. Reading books written by good authors can not only improve the child’s writing ability, but will also make it that much easier for them to absorb the basic fundamentals such as grammar, without it having to be another core subject they have to learn.

Another important point to remember is not to remain in the constraints of any particular genre. It is always better to be someone who thinks out of the box and does not follow the norms of society. A child may tend to choose books that they are interested in and may stick to their comfort zone, but as adults, it is important to encourage the child to explore new genres and options. They will in time find what they most relate with and will want to write more in that genre, but the more they are exposed to different genres, the closer they will come to walking the genre line or even cross it.

The mind is like a mirror – if they only read textbooks, their writing will come across as dry and informative. If they read classics, their work will be more mature and those who read more poetry will have a more fluid and musical form of writing.

Many schools have started calling institutes such as Mindchamps to their playschools. Such institutes help instil a lifelong love for reading that starts at a young age and are experts when it comes to creative writing for kids .

An Early Start Can Help Breed a Lifetime of an Excellence

An important question in the very beginning is how young should your kids be to start school? It has been a controversial question for ages between both experts and parents all over the world. However, many experts recommend that when your children start school early, love for learning lasts a lifetime.

Myths about early starts

Myth 1 Kids are not fond of learning

Modern research shows that this statement is not true at all. In fact, even before a child is born, they respond to music, as stated by Dan Zebeljan, who is a well-known educationalist. He also added that lately, it has been a trend with many new-age moms to play classical music in order to stimulate the babies in their wombs.

Many experts feel that children in the age group of 2 to 6 years are like sponges. That is because they are at a stage when their minds can absorb new concepts very quickly. Moreover, this is a stage when kids are curious to learn anything and everything.

Myth 2 If your children start their education early, they will stop being kids

When a majority of kids do not get exposed to a prepared and structured learning environment even when they are 24 months to two and half years old, they demonstrate symptoms of being bored very easily. If a well-prepared and supervised environment does not exist to address their concerns and issues, keep their energy level intact and socialise with the kids in their age group, they will become irritated and grumpy.

For learning to take place in any good kindergarten or playgroup Singapore , the activities should be fun and spontaneous rather than appear as a burden, nuisance or chore. Real life experiences prove that if the kids start their school late, it becomes difficult for them to look at learning as fun. That is because as they start getting older, the sense of curiosity that was an important part of them starts getting diluted with a sense of responsibility.

Merits of early preschool and playgroup program in the childhood

* The stimulation that the kids receive at their infant level increases their preparedness for school.

* Kids can learn to count numbers as they climb up the stairs. Thus, early skills in mathematics can be taught to them through fun.

* Musical activities and sign language can utilize both sides of their brains, thus promoting better learning.

* Songs, rhymes with actions or finger plays and stories, when learned at an early age, help in enhancing literacy skills at an early age.

Social Robots To Help Preschoolers In Singapore

The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) is currently exploring ways in which they can use robots in pre-schools. Robots have been used for pilot studies but could soon play a bigger role in teaching preschoolers. In future, robots are expected to take up the roles and responsibilities of teachers and teach students in a more fun and efficient manner.

The pilot studies that are currently being conducted in Singapore by the IDA are a closely monitored procedure. People are trying to understand the impact of using social robots for collaborative play and interactive story telling.

These preschools in Singapore, My First Skool and MY World, are collaborating with the IDA and Nanyang Technological University for the pilot study.

Pepper and NAO

Two humanoid robots – Pepper and NAO – have started interacting with preschoolers and are helping them in fun and interactive ways. The six-month trial is an experiment to see whether social robots can take up more serious roles in the future or not. Pepper is a 1.2m robot and has a touchscreen on its chest. Pepper is put up at My First Skool in Jurong Point and has been reading stories to interact with children. NAO is smaller than Pepper and has been put up at MY World in Bukit Panjang. NAO takes a step further by dancing along with story-telling.

Teachers in the two preschools in Singapore have found that with the robots around, kids are interacting more. They love the touchscreen on Pepper and adore its voice. The sight of the robots too has made it easier for the kids to interact with them. However, teachers still want to see how differently-abled children would interact with the robots.

As teachers work with researchers and collaborators from the IDA and the Nanyang Technological University, developers keep developing new lesson plans for the preschoolers.

The impact of robots on preschoolers

Up till now, the results of the pilot study have been amazing. Kids are showing great response towards the robots and together they are exploring many things through play. One of the best parts of using robots as preschool teachers is that they will never lose their temper, which can be common while handling naughty kids. Overall, it seems that IDA would want to take the next step as far as the results of the pilot study are concerned. It will be interesting to see how these robots handle tougher responsibilities.

Hygiene Lessons That Your Young One Can Learn At a Preschool

As we all know, maintaining good hygiene is very important for good health. These habits should be inculcated both at home and at school. Good hygiene is very important when it comes to Singapore infant care . Here are a few activities that can help the children understand the importance of good health and hygiene.

Dental Health

Healthy white teeth are the key to a great smile. However, it is a major task getting children to brush their teeth every morning. A simple experiment using a hardboiled egg, some dark soda, toothpaste and a toothbrush can teach children the importance of brushing their teeth every day. Keep the hardboiled egg in the dark soda overnight. The next morning it can be seen that the shell of the egg will be pigmented from the soda. Using a toothbrush and a little toothpaste tell the children to start cleaning off the egg. Make sure to mention and make the children notice that the stain on the egg is being removed by the toothbrush and toothpaste. Relate this to real life and explain why it is important to brush teeth every day.

Hand washing

Clean hands are the next in line. During the day, children touch and play with everything that they can find. Using a working sink, soap and a towel, show each child the correct way of washing their hand. Discuss when it is most important to wash their hands, such as before eating and after using the toilet. Discuss how clean hands can help them stay healthy and avoid germs.

Bathing

Bathing everyday is another good hygiene habit that should be taught to the children. Using a doll and a sink, show them the correct way to apply shampoo to the hair and spread soap on the body. Later, the importance of staying clean should be discussed with the students.

Nails

The next topic to be discussed should be keeping nails short and clean. A rubber hand and some fake nails can be used to show the children how to cut their nails, but always insist that they do it only with the help of their parents or an adult. Explain that biting nails is a bad habit.

Food Hygiene

Discuss the importance of washing hands before eating. Also discuss how it is important to eat using clean utensils and never eat anything that was on the floor.

How The Changing Lifestyle And Social Attitude Has Helped The Boom In Child Care Centers

Child care centers have spread like wild fire all over Asia and the main reason is the changing lifestyle and social attitude among parents. Gone are the days when women would spend their time at home, looking after the young ones. Nowadays, women have become bread earners for the family too. They are changing the way society views them and are sometimes achieving more than their male counterpart. But the lifestyle change is affecting children because parents don’t know how to work things out when they have children. For this reason, child care centres in Singapore have been established in order to take care of infants and kids until either of the parent becomes available.

Parents are now able to breathe easy because the child care centres in Singapore are safe and certified to take care of children. The nurse and teachers present at the center are well trained and experts at their job. Moreover, the children seem to enjoy going to such centers as they get to do loads of fun activities and make friends.

The growth of the child care industry

In Singapore, the child care industry has witnessed a substantial amount of growth in the last decade. Centers are offering different flexible programs that parents can choose from, according to their own timings.

The child care centers have different activities for children. Not only does it keep them engaged but it also improves their learning ability and cognitive functions. A typical day’s routine at My First Skool involves feeding milk to infants, changing diapers and getting naptime. For kids who are older, a range of activities is available. The activities include reading, drawing, singing and playing. Through these activities, the children learn basic things that prepare them for tackling bigger problems in life.

The parents are happy with how the child care centers treat their children. The centers, on the other hand, upload photos of children to their respective parents to ensure that they are doing fine.

Gaining the trust of parents

One of the major obstacles faced by child care centers when they first started out was gaining the trust of parents. Parents, too, were skeptical about leaving their children in the hands of unknown people. But in time, the centers gained the trust of parents through constant communication and assurances. Now, parents don’t have a problem sending their children to child care centers before heading off to their workplace.

Top Tips for Health Care of Toddlers

Watching TV, helping them in potty training and managing play dates is not the end of your responsibilities when you have a little kid at home. According to experts of child care in Singapore, there are lots of things that add to big worries at a later stage for parents; here are a few important things new parents should know that can help them in managing the growth of their child in a better manner.

Top Tips for Toddler Health Care:

Head Bumps:

One of the biggest worries parents are the head bumps that a few months old kid starts developing when he starts to learn how to walk. Kids often bump their heads while trying to move from one place to another so parents need to pay attention to this trouble. If the bumps are mild, then there is nothing to feel worried about, However, for big falls, there are chances of serious head injuries. If you notice something serious then it would be preferable to call a doctor as soon as possible.

Social Skills:

Sometimes parents feel their child does not like to play with other kids or prefers being by himself whereas other parents have problems like their kids are always busy playing with other children around. Don’t worry about whether your child is anti-social or social at this stage because before 3 years of age, kids usually do not like to interact with other kids whereas after this age, they prefer to get involved naturally. When your little master is doing things purposefully then it is completely fine.


Toddler Teeth:

One of the common issues in the early growing stage of kids is the growth of their teeth as this duration becomes a little painful for the child as well as parents too. As soon as your child starts developing his first tooth, it is right time to consult doctors for directions to be followed. Sometimes doctors offer special treatments to toddlers for better growth of teeth and it also assists them in pain management.

Toddlers and TV:

Child care centres in Singapore have advised parents to keep kids away from the TV until they are of 2 years old and even after this age, you must allow them to watch only educational programs. The time for games, TV, computer and studies must be well managed so that the kids can develop equal interest in all things. What kids watch on TV is going to have great impact on their overall development so try to be very careful about the TV hours of your little child.

Eating habits:

Parents are responsible for developing better eating habits in kids so that they can have all the necessary stuff for growth in their body. One must get milk on time and try not to develop choosy behaviour for food items in your kids. Otherwise, it will create trouble for you. It is preferable to consult your doctors to get an idea about what is good to eat and what must be avoided by your child.

How to Organise a Party at Home for Kid’€™s Birthday

If you are planning to organise a birthday party for the coming birthday of your child then there are lots of things you need to plan. Celebrating a birthday at home leads to a lot of effort required and preparation needs to be started early. Here are a few tips from Chinese kindergartens to make this birthday bash a big success:

First of all, you need to ask your child about the type of birthday party he/she wishes to have because it is their special day and it is important to know their opinion. The theme of the party made according to your child’€™s guidelines will help you to narrow down your decoration choices and steer the other activities into right direction.

Make decisions about who will be the guests for the party; your child may wish to invite some of his/her close friends so make your list accordingly. Also make a decision on how you can host the children in the party so that it does not become a mess while managing their activities.

Line up the type of entertainment you wish to have during the party and make sure it is entertaining for all age groups that you are thinking of inviting to the party.

It is important to send invitations on time so that your guests can manage their schedules accordingly. It is also good to make some creative invitations that fit with the theme of the party and clearly indicate the timings of party because most of them will come with toddlers and they may need specific timing details that will fit their baby’€™s schedule.

The list of items that you need for party must be prepared carefully. If you are thinking of cooking food for all the guests at home, you need to buy all the items and ingredients for cooking. If you are planning to order it from a caterer then you have to search for the best caterers in town. If you have to, plan for cake and decorate on items as necessary.

Make decisions whether this party will be celebrated in the lawn or inside the house. Outdoor parties are suitable for specific timings and seasons as a rainy day can spoil all your plans.

Find some time to decide on the menu for the day. It would be better to decide something palatable to kids because there will be numbers of kids in the party and you need to care about their preferences to make them happy on the day.

Before the big day, you have to set up your house for party mode and it will demand hours of cleaning and decoration. Call up those who can help you in this task and try to finish all the decoration work one day before the party.

On the day of party, prepare the food on time and then get ready along with your birthday baby. It is time to welcome all your guests and have a lovely and memorable time together.

Never forget to send thank you cards to all those who made your party awesome.

Excite The Taste Buds With Fish Ball Noodle

If one it looking for an entirely different dining experience, cuisine from Singapore takes Asian food to a whole different level. Entrees like Hainanese chicken rice, fish ball noodle, rice balls and many others bursting with flavors not found in fast food restaurants. These dishes, filled with fresh seafood, poultry, and many aromatic broths and curries blend together for unforgettable dining. They can be complemented by a ginger tea or calamansi limeade to wash everything down.

However, it is the quality and passion for the right seasonings, as with any dish, that makes this stand apart from the competition. This is especially true when it comes to garlic laden sauces and shellfish stock that top rice or noodles made with egg or rice. When one can taste good solid pieces of meat and seafood, it is not only more filling but enjoyable.

Upon its inception, fishball noodle was made from an entirely different recipe. Instead of sitting atop rice noodles, it was combined with a savory broth. It was still popular but the original recipe called for recycled fish parts that came from haddock and others edible types available. Some people even used fillers like white flour to extend the ingredients but over time, the use of fish paste as a binder took this dish to another place, making it a must for tourists and those looking for something different.

While Singaporean dishes have a strong Chinese influence, these dishes have their own twist when it comes to flavor. Similar to Thai cuisine, the use of spice, fruits, and shellfish is common. However, one ingredient that gives the rice dishes something special is chicken lard. Another wonderful cooking companion is the Thai coconut, which gives dishes a sweetness that goes well with the spiciness.

With meals comes a wide selection of desserts and after dinner fruits. Lychee, mangosteen, and the intriguing durian are great as a snack as well. Durian, with its dark spiky shell, brings quite a surprise. Upon opening, those nearby are welcomed with a strong aroma that can be offensive at first. However, this fruit with tastes of almond and apricot, can be combined with shaved ice, mango, or by itself and is one of the most popular.

There is a wonderful assortment of flavors to try when visiting Singapore. These range from citrus to intense herbal to a spice that is not quite as overpowering. In other words, there is something for just about every palette.