Let’s play with… Chalk!

I used to love playing with chalk when I was a kid. There was always some kind of chalk lying around the house back then. My mum used to sew all sorts of stuff. Clothes for my sisters when they were kids, mend her clothes, mend my clothes, make flags, etc. In her sewing kit you will always find triangular chalk meant for marking fabrics. I also made sure I had a nice supply of the white chalk my primary school teachers love to throw at us. I bought the chalks lah, not collected them from being thrown at lah. I was a good girl you know? Naturally, these all became my childhood toys much to their dismay. I drew everywhere and that was how I learnt tailor chalk on mosaic tiles is not easy to wipe off, must scrub. Hard. When my mum needs to burn incense papers during religious occasions, my job was to draw a huge circle around the incense burner or ground to indicate the area we were about to use. I loved my job. Very important to a 6 year old ok?

While catching up on my list of favourite local blogs, I came across one of The Gingerbread Mum’s post about one of her kids’ favourite activity. I never knew Singaporeans can be so yim jim (particular) and boh liao (too free and got nothing better to do). So free until someone used their lousy camera, zoomed in dunnohowmany times to take picture of a suspicious looking family who were having insanely dangerous fun with *gasp* a whole bag of CHALK! Gilah fella said they nair respect the residents and should respect Singapore laws? You angry they nair ask you to join them ah? You is the what I call “eat full nothing to do”. I was totally inspired by it and decided I was going to get us some chalk to commit some criminal acts that weekend too! *rubs hands in with evil glee* Mwahahaha!

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I sumpah (swear) that I wasn’t planning to use our friend’s baby’s full month party as the crime scene. It just happened and seemed like a good idea at the time. Initially the three of us weren’t very sure what to do. The 2 adults haven’t touched chalk in years and the little one had never even played with one before. He was wondering why mummy so giam siap (stingy) bought so few colors. “Why no red, no black Mummy?” he asked. I said “Neh! Got pink! Chalk got no red lah. Black is charcoal already, I’ll get that for you another day. Chalk only comes in these few colors lah.” The lies just keeps growing. Note to self: steer him away from art supplies shops where they have rainbow colored artist chalk for sale. No need to be forever, 10 years can already.

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I’ll be honest with you. We were very worried to kenah Stomped like that poor criminal family so I packed 2 big bottles of water along so we can wash off the evidence when we were done. Xan was only interested to get the attention of the other children to come play with him. At first it was just us 3, then 4, then 6, then a parent joined us. Boy was I glad it didn’t backfire in my face that day. It got messy real quick too. Hands, arms, pants, skirts, shoes, none of the kids stayed clean for long. A few were shocked to see their hands so dirty and got a bit worried. We had to remind them we had water and the powder can be washed off very easily. See? These kids are also concerned with cleanliness hor? After a while when they saw everyone else were just as messy, they giggled and continued with their masterpieces. While they disappeared midway to finish their lunch, rain came and washed off most of the artwork. That didn’t stop the children, they asked me if they could continue inside the multipurpose hall. The kids had a lot of fun and like Xan, some of them have never even touched chalk before that day. Amazing!

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Who would’ve thought chalk could bring so much joy to a group of kids who hardly knew each other? Why would anyone have so much problem with it is beyond my understanding. It is temporary, washable, doesn’t harm anybody’s health. Why so serious lah? I know some of the parents were concerned that their kids were sitting on the floor and getting real dirty by the second but by some strange force, none came to yank the kids away.

We had a lot of fun that day with the kids and plan to do it again soon. Would you like to do the same with your kids too? Or you think it’s too messy and random to amount to anything useful?

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Wordless Wednesday: Label of love

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I was out delivering tickets to my winners from The Megabugs Return! Exhibition last week and stumbled upon this work of art. What a nice surprise! It reminded me of a Hong Kong movie I had watched on the telly a few days prior. Thank you Starhub for the free channels during the long National Day holiday weekend!! We don’t subscribe to the Chinese channels so being able to watch mandarin movies (even the really corny B grade ones) was a treat for me. The movie was called《单身男女 》Don’t Go Breaking My Heart. in a nutshell, the movie involved lots of post-it label messages and miming across office buildings between the main characters which resulted in a love triangle that turned into a rectangle then hexagon, then dunnowatgon and then back into a triangle. So typical of all romantic movies. Anyhoo… I love the unexpected work of art and I wonder if it was also a secret message between 2 lovers too. So romantic right? It totally made my week and I hope it will make yours nicer too.

 

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Let’s make… DIY Yakult Cars

Last year, Pamela from Tan Family Chronicle shared on her blog how she made this very easy DIY car she fashioned out of empty Yakult bottles and plastic bottle caps. Eh I tell you ah, she is really very precise with the details man! You need to see how she made hers then you will know what I mean. I thought the cars looked really cute and easy to make but I always forget to save my Vitagen bottles.

We were at Pamela’s place recently for a play date and she showed us the cars she made. Eh, very cute leh! Fast too! Xan was immediately hooked! Pamela said she still have some materials left and gave me some to kick start the DIY project. Steady! We barely stepped out of her house when Xan insisted we MUST make the cars that very day. Wah lau, the boy kept yakking about it every other minute throughout the 35 min drive home. *faint* However later that night, I managed to convince him we would do it the next day IF he goes to bed early, without a fuss and wake up early the next morning. With a big wide grin and a loud ORH, he had a very quick shower and plonked into bed rather quickly. MIRACLE #1!

MIRACLE #2! He woke up really early but he waited patiently until I opened my eyes. The minute he saw me stir, he kept whispering “Good morning Mummy! Craft time!” *yawn* Ok lor. Leeeet’s do it!

Materials you need:

  1. Empty Yakult bottles (or any plastic bottles you have at home)
  2. Plastic bottle caps
  3. Straws (I used those that came with the Yakult)
  4. Satay sticks/thin bamboo skewers
  5. Penknife/cutter
  6. Scissors
  7. Glue
  8. Scrap paper or coloured paper to decorate the bottle with

How to do it:

  • Poke 2 holes on each side of the bottle to insert the straw and satay sticks. The straw works like a sleeve so if you can get thicker straws, even better! I had to shave my satay sticks a bit so that the sticks can turn turn more better. You understand me? Aiyah, I dunno how to say lah. You do ler you will understand. (Neh! See picture below.)
  • Use the scissors to cut the satay sticks into half. Each should be wider than the width of the bottle
  • Poke a hole in the the middle of the bottle cap first so that it will be easier to insert the satay sticks through them. You can either use your penknife or an ice pick if you happen to have one lying around in the house. I don’t know why you will have one at home but ya, it’ll be easier.
  • I didn’t chisel the satay stick with an extra groove like Pamela did because I’m lazy. Chin chye as long as the satay stick can go through can ler lah.

Here is how it will look like when you put the wheels on. So cute!

If you look closely at the bottle, you will see extra holes. I made the 1st set of holes so perfect until the wheels couldn’t touch the floor *facepalm*. Never mind. The holes will eventually get covered up in the next step.

  • Since I didn’t allow Xan to help me with all the sharp and dangerous tasks, I made him help me tear up some old wrapping paper into small pieces. Instead of gluing scraps of paper, you can choose to use stickers, stick embellishments or whatever that tickles your fancy.
  • After that, he used glue to paste the small bits of paper onto the bottle. Xan was so neat until I couldn’t tahan. I had to remind him it was ok to be messy and that art and craft is supposed to be messy.
  • You could remove the wheels first before you start pasting the paper it doesn’t really matter.

Here is the finished product! Not bad for a first attempt eh? Thanks Pamela for the inspiration, the bottles and the bottle caps!

 

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Happy Mother’s Day

Xan’s school organized a simple Mother’s Day celebration in school on Friday. He kept talking about the card he had made for me with the teachers in school for days. “Mummy I made a heart-shaped card on a stick for you!”, then goes on excitedly to describe it as best as he could. Although I was excited to see the card he had made for me, I was dreading the interaction I have to have with the other mothers. In fact *whispers* I can’t stand a few of them. 😛

Growing up, I’ve always had more guy friends than girl friends. Sure I played masak masak, dressed up my 1 and only Barbie in weird and wonderful outfits and liked puffed up princess dresses (never owned any though). That was only in the privacy of my own room. I preferred to play other stuff when I’m out with friends. Ride a bike, poke some random frogs, pluck weeds, roller skate or whatever activity that will result in a hot and sweaty mess. Girls my age back then don’t like to sweat.

As a result, I’m not usually inclined to interact with other women because I can’t seem to connect with them. I’m not quite a girlie girl who lives for makeup, fashion brands or high teas. No common interests to keep the conversation going leh. My only contact with them so far is when we’re stuck in the lift together or outside the door while we wait for the teachers to let us in at 9.20am or downstairs when Xan spots one of his friends from across the road “HI ASHLEY!!! Mummy mummy! That’s my friend Ashley and her mummy!”

Anyhoo, back to the party. It was a much simpler affair this year. In the middle of the room, there was a table with containers of freshly chopped up fruits and vegetables with a few salad dressing on the side. The kids were supposed to gather some for their mummies and the mummies were encouraged to join in. As soon as the teachers gave the go ahead, the herd of mummies attacked the table of fresh vegetables. Xan had to jostle his way through the sea of backsides just to get his dear mummy some salad. Aww!

The kids were being their usual happy boisterous selves. The mummies were either busy force feed feeding healthy food to their kids or showing off their child’s latest portfolio of headshots to the teachers or pretending every other parent is invisible. Me? I just sat there, get fed by Xan and taking mental notes of everything to tell you here lah!

I was happy to see the kids enjoying themselves and playing with each other. It was an opportunity for me to put names to the faces I see on FB and in school. I was a little peeved when a mother didn’t even thank me when I made Xan gave up his seat for her when her seats were hijacked by another mum. When she saw Xan sniffing away because he had a slight runny nose, she very loudly asked her kids if they were having runny noses too then made them grab their sweaters from their bags. Hello? I’m not more than 20cm from you leh. Don’t be so obvious mah. Anyway, your crappy sweaters ain’t gonna do shit to prevent your kids from the diseases the other kids in school are just dying to spread to your babies. What a donkey.

There was 1 or 2 genuinely friendly ones but like the plastic chairs, they were also quickly hijacked by other mummies. Never mind lah. I was there for my little boy and I’m glad he had a good time. He was gracious to give up the chair for the woman and thoughtful to give mummy a few bites of the salad even though you could tell he was famished! LOL!

Thank you for the lovely gift, baby! I love you too!

My son made this, with the teachers’ help of course but I don’t care lah.