Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Pre Conventional Reading - and kids being kids

I don't know about you, but I'm fascinated when I watch little ones engage with books. It feels like just yesterday that our oldest was "reading" Knuffle Bunny. Now she reads to her little sister.

And now our youngest is doing things with books that amaze and astound me. Just watch what she does with this one --- (yes, it's written in Chinese! Some of her words are Chinese as well!)

Interacting with the characters and following them as they change through the story, imitating them to establish feeling and to understand them better, having her own ideas about what's happening in the book, kinesthetic (hit that ball!), noticing the print is different than the illustrations, verbally "labeling" a picture (picu! = rear-end in Chinese),  noticing when she has missed a page.... and so much more. Yes, pre-conventional children really ARE reading. They are capable of doing so much of the important reading-work before ever learning a single letter. And what fun it is!

It would be a shame if I didn't also show you this ... our BunnyCakes is a real riot:

and... lest she be left out... here's our eldest with her new favorite thing. Roller Skates. (How do you get her to take them OFF?)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

CNY - the lunar new year

Yes, it's that time of year again - glorious Chinese New Year!
Read last year's info-post about it here.

Legend according to our second grade daughter:
"Once upon a time, there was a dragon. And there was a small village. The dragon lived high up in the mountains. The dragon came to eat people in the village.  And there was this woman and so, a man came and the woman said, 'If you want to stay, you can stay in my place but beware of the dragon.' The rest of the village were going to hide in another place and the man refused to go with them. So the man stayed in the woman's house that night and the dragon came. And the dragon saw the light on that house, so he went to that house. The dragon was afraid of the color red because it's the color of fire and he thought he would die. The man wore red, made fireworks, and hung red on the door to scare the dragon. When the dragon came, he just freaked out because he saw so much red. So the dragon left and the next morning everyone from the village thought the man was so amazing. That day was Chinese New Year. The dragon only comes on Chinese New Year."
[actual legend - very similar to ABear's - can be found at this link]

Dad & ABear saw the fireworks with our friends... mom stayed home with sick-belly BunnyCakes

this year - momma learned the Fan Dance - thank you, Chinese Teachers!

New tidbits of knowledge (hopefully these will add up over the coming years):
* don't go grocery shopping during the first 3 days of CNY
* do invite family over (or crash their house) and eat all the food you can find
* do give laisee [lie-see] red packets with $10-$20 (to children, singles, and those who help you)
* don't give any amount with a '4' in it
* don't give laisee to those "above" you in the contrived ladder of life
* do expect quiet streeets (unless you go to a CNY event)
* don't wear white. White means death. Wear it to a funeral. Red is lucky. Bright is best.
* do listen to loud gonging music. Scare away the dragon and the bad luck!
* do eat dumplings. They are designed in the shape of old Chinese money (!) Eat them and get rich, people.
* do expect this will be the BEST school assembly of the year. It's incredible. always.

Wishing you all prosperity and joy in the Year of The Monkey.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

PlaySpaces :: Repulse Bay

Winters in Hong Kong can be great for doing that hike you've been thinking about... but they also can bring 'indoor only' kinda weather. And with flats the size of an acorn, we scramble to find ways to keep the littles entertained.

Enter - Maggie & Rose.

Boy, were we lucky to be invited as guests last Sunday afternoon. Designed for little ones AND the grown ups. A cafe, soft-play-space, nooks & crannies, an art room, movie den, and even a ball pit. No sharp corners or harsh colors anywhere. Peacful. Inviting. Clean. And incredible views of the ocean.

Now to see about that waiting list.