Monday, January 31, 2011

21 Months!

Ashrie is now 21 months! She’s growing smarter and prettier. She’s now very talkative, loves to hear stories about Coco of Chuggington or of Thomas and Friends.  (I wonder where she got the fascination for trains.)  Anyway, she also enjoys coloring, reading, and of course – blowing out birthday cake candles!

Happy 21 Months Ashrie!

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Giveaways for CNY 2011

It’s the season of giving and My Playschool is giving away more than $200 worth of prizes to eight lucky readers.

For kids ages 1 to 3 years old, they are giving away two best-selling Soft Shapes series from InnovativeKids worth $20.00 each. These Soft Shapes books are made of child-safe foam with pop-out play pieces. They are huggable, squeezable, touchable favorites, all dressed up with colorful illustrations. The pop-out pieces are perfect for lots of pretend play and the pieces float in the bath or can be sticked to the sides of the tub or bathroom wall!
Your little boy would love to have this tool box!
A perfect tug-along for your princess!

For kids ages 3 to 6, six sets of Now I am Reading series of books worth $28.00 each are up for grabs. Now I am Reading books use a phonics approach to reading which helps children expand their vocabularies, and strengthens their reading comprehension. There are ten engaging stories in each book; stories about animals or high-interest topics, which allow kids to practice key skills while developing a love for reading.

Other Levels are also up for grabs.

More info on the promotion and the criteria for joining the draw can be found on their website. Please visit

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blues and Pinks (A Stroll at Bottle Tree Park)

My brother is back to Singapore and this time it will be for good. And my daughter found a new buddy in him since he is always at home and his work has not yet commenced.

Last Saturday, we were at Bottle Tree Park in Yishun. The park is just opposite from where we live so it’s very convenient for a short stroll. Both my brother AR and my daughter Ashrie were wearing clothes of the shades blue and pink hence the title of this post.

Here are the shots…

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Top 10 Free Apps for Kids

Kids love our gadgets. That's a fact. And with the emergence of the iPhone, they are ever so interested to have a good hold of our phones. I can still remember reading from the news last year that the iPhone and the iPod Touch were in the Top 5 (to say the least) of  children’s wish list for Christmas 2010. This survey was conducted in the US and probably the same is true here in Singapore.

So how can we make advantage of their fascination with our gadgets? Well, I suggest we fill it with wholesome, entertaining and educational Applications for Kids. I have list down Ashrie’s Top Ten Kid Apps in random order. Please note that my daughter is just 20 months old, so I would probably be updating this list when she got tired or have outgrown these apps. Here they are:

Talking Tom Cat
Category: Entertainment
Developer: Outfit 7 Ltd

There is a certain charm with this playful feline that makes it one of the most downloaded applications in iTunes. He repeats every word you utter in a funny voice. Actually you can try various “talking creature” applications with your child and let him decide which one to keep.

Pocket Pond
Category: Entertainment
Developer: John Moffett

This application will fascinate even adults with its staggeringly realistic visuals. You can customize your pond by adding elements to it; put more lily pads, a dragonfly perhaps and even more koi.  You can also feed the fish or ripples in the water. All in a relaxing nature soundscape.

Lazy Larry for iPhone
Category: Books
Developer: Wasabi Productions

A book and an interactive pet in one. Poke Larry Lizard and watch him lazily and almost in dismay reacts to your touch. A simple story with a sweet ending. We got it free last week, but now as I am writing this post, it is priced at $1.99.

Category: Entertainment
Developer: ustwo

Choose among 31 musicians as your line-up, select the tempo, and watch these colorful creatures play an out-of-this-world techno music for you.


Category: Books
Developer: Jake MacMullin

There are a lot of “mix and match” applications in iTunes but this flip-book is highly commendable. Its simplicity and finely-drawn illustrations gives it a quiet elegance.

The Toilet Monster - A Lola Grows Up Series Book
Category: Entertainment
Developer: Tusitala Pte Ltd

Initially, I wasn’t sure whether I will show this to Ashrie. As you know she’s already potty-trained, and I’m wondering how she will take the “monster in the toilet” thing. But I still gave it a try.  Fortunately, she liked it, especially the green monster which looks like one of her favorite drawn animals – an octopus! By the way, it's now $1.99, but we got it free weeks ago.

Animal Chatter
Category: Education
Developer: Susan Andryk

If your child likes animals, why not try this one. It is loaded with more than 60 animals. Just touch the photo to hear the animal sounds. It has mammals, birds and insects. There are also  farm, jungle and safari soundboards.

My Coloring Book Free
Category: Games
Developer: Jeff Pedersen

Although real crayons and a piece of paper are the best tools to develop your child’s creativity and skills in coloring, this is a good enough substitute while on the go. Choose from 37 hand drawn illustrations to keep your little one occupied. 

Chuggington: Roundhouse Romp
Category: Games
Developer: Ludorum

My daughter likes Thomas and Friends but I cannot find any application about them. Good thing Chuggington released a free version of their hit animated series. Just tap all the Chuggers as they pop out one by one from the roundhouse and be rewarded with a video clip from the show.

Category: Music
Developer: allm Interactive

Simply wind up and enjoy Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star played in a classic music box way. It’s mesmerizing! Who would not fall in love with this beautifully-designed and fine-crafted application?

If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to write it in on the comment box below. Thanks and Happy Hunting!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Thank You Card from CGM’s YMG

This is a thank you post for a Thank You card that we received from the Young Ministers of God. They are the youth arm of our church in the Philippines, the Church of God's Miracles Bulacan Chapter. You have greatly encouraged us with this beautifully crafted card with an even heartfelt message inside.

May you continue to work for the Lord and may He bless the works of your hand. May He empower you to do greater exploits for His glory and for the furtherance of His Kingdom.With that we would like to leave you with this verse from Hebrews 6:10.

For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ashrie's Victorian Doll House

Although I am a son of a great craftsman, my Dad that is, I have never built anything “wooden” apart from a folding stool which was a project in highschool wood-working class. But if you would count IKEA furniture, I have assembled quite a number of their products for our home. And thank God for do-it-yourself furniture, I am able to own something which is a personal handiwork and take pride that I build it myself.

Just like the two-storey Victorian Doll House my brother and I “built” for Ashrie. It’s complete with an entrance porch, tiled gable roofing with decorative finials, dormers, French doors and windows and even a bay window on one side. It is now exhibited atop our “prized” console table. Of course it’s also one of those DIY crafts made with pre-drawn, pre-cut, but unassembled thin sheets of wood. The doll house that we bought is from Cotton On Kids, it’s originally priced at $39.95 but we got it on sale at $10 after buying an item. There is no rear wall since it is intended for play, but I think the construction should be reinforced with strong glue before it can be suitable for that purpose.  And since Ashrie is too young for that, let it be my architectural model for a while. By the way, there is a T-Rex puzzle too, perfect for your little boy’s bedroom!

We don't have the "before" photos because I just had the idea of blogging this after I saw the finished product. But I definitely have the “after” shots and here they are.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ashrie's Potty Time

This is in response to my post last year entitled Elmo’s Potty Time. Although I will be breaking the news a bit late, because I think she did “it” a few months back. But to confirm, about a week before Christmas, our daughter Ashrie is already potty-trained! And we are so proud of her.

Of course, accidents still happen, but generally, she calls for Mommy or me when she has that “got-to-go” feeling and would say “Potty! Potty! Potty!” until she reached the throne. She doesn’t go to her potty though, (technically speaking) but to the toilet bowl instead. Probably she thought it was another of those fancy ride-ons so she would not want to mess it up, or maybe because of  personal reasons that she wants to keep to herself. She calls it Mommy’s Potty, by the way.

The photo is for illustration purpose only. She actually uses Mommy’s potty. But even in the potty she reads a book!
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