Books, Learning Through Play, Picture Books

The Story About Ping

Honour the Lord your God. Obey all his rules and commands. If you do, you will enjoy long life. Deuteronomy 6:2

敬畏耶和华你的神,谨守祂的一切律例诫命。申命记 6:2

From the same author of “Angus Lost”, Marjorie Flack, wrote of another animal who kind of got lost. Ping, a duck, who lives on a houseboat by the Yangtze River was late and decided not to go back to avoid being punished. After a series of encounters, one of which almost landed him as dinner for a family, Ping decided to face the consequence of being punished.

“Promoting” younger Gem to rowing FIAR series, this is a story of being accountable for our own actions. We went through a series of activities and had them documented in a lap book.

  • Memory verse; Deuteronomy 6:2
  • Identifying wildlife on along the Yangtze River by visiting River Wonders at Mandai Wildlife Reserve
  • Exploring Chinese cultures through making snow skin mooncakes, Chinese calligraphy, etc.
  • Differentiating male and female mallards
  • Building a LEGO wise eyed boathouse
  • Rational counting using stickers
  • Buoyancy experiment
Younger Gem drew a picture of a boy messing up his play area while his mummy was busy at the kitchen.

China and the Yangtze River

Since story was set in China, we explored China through traditional costumes, food, calligraphy, etc.

While we can’t physically visit the Yangtze River, we headed to the River Safari’s (now known as River Wonders) section of the Yangtze River where they house wildlife which depend on the river for their survival. Younger Gem’s task was to identify three animals whose survival depends on the Yangtze River. Older Gem’s was to elaborate on the three selected animals.

Mallards, Male vs Female

Mallards are similar to peafowls, where the males (peacocks) are more colourful and attractive than their female counterparts, the peahens.

Building the “Wise Eyed Boat” with LEGO

Daddy and younger Gem spent some time building a LEGO wise eyed houseboat.

Books, Travel

NY is for New York

Picture book by Paul Thurlby

September reminds me of New York. A decade ago, hubby and I made a trip to “The Big Apple” to attend a dear friend’s wedding, celebrated his birthday and caught the US Tennis Championship.

I found Paul Thurlby’s NY is for New York while browsing in the library and flipping through the illustrations brought back so much fond memories. Here are my top five from the book!

A is for American Museum of Natural History

One of the many museums we visited in NY and this place is huge! We tried to explore as much as we could. I cannot wait to bring older Gem here since science is her favourite subject!

The iconic blue whale model gets it annual clean up and we were lucky to witness it!

Click here to read more on the blue whale model.

Check out this link ; a science website for kids by AMNH, which has games, videos and other activities to keep your curious kids busy!

B is for Brooklyn Bridge

Manhattan was our base for most part of the trip although we made multiple trips to Brooklyn since our friend lives there. Brooklyn Bridge reminded me of the wonderful time spent there. From dollar cab rides to the purpose of the trip; the wedding!

M is for The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met is one of my favourite museums on planet earth. Yes, I love museums, especially art museums!

The Edgar Degas collection at the Havemeyer Gallery was quite a sight to behold; “The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer” sculpture surrounded by paintings such as “The Dance Class” and “Dancers Practicing at the Barre”.

“The Little Dancer” got herself a new tutu in 2018.

Q is for Queens

We took a long subway ride to Flushing Meadows Park for the US Open Tennis Championships. Caught a few matches with the most memorable between Andy Roddick and David Ferrer. Arthur Ashe for some matches of top seed like Nadal and Djokovic. Was a pity we could not catch Federer in action in the night sessions since we could not fit them into our schedule.

U is for Uptown

We spent a lovely day at Uptown Manhattan covering Central Park and The Guggenheim Museum.

Till the next time!

Books, Learning Through Play

Why Do Snails Leave a Silvery Trail? Why Do Whales Get Stranded?

: The Snail and the Whale : The Stranded Whale : The Mystery of Whale Strandings :

As I was walking younger GEM towards her school gate one wet morning, I saw a snail slithering up the side wall leaving a slimy trial behind and I immediately thought of “The Snail and the Whale”. The both of us stood there for a good ten minutes watching the snail in action and I told younger GEM we will read the book together after school that day.

After reading “The Snail and the Whale” with younger GEM that afternoon, we got down to “creating” some snails using Spielgaben and a whale with LEGO!

So why do snails leave a trial? Snails produce mucus to help them stay wet and avoid drying out. The mucus enable the snails to stick to things and to move more efficiently, leaving a trail behind. I found a short, informative and easy to understand video for the girls to help with the explanation. 

While the story of “The Snail and the Whale” needs no introduction for older GEM, I got her to research on whale strandings. “The Mystery of Whale Strandings” borrowed from the library was her main source of information. Check out the video below as she summarised her findings on why whales get stranded and how we can help!