Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Know your 4-year-old kid

This is an interesting article from NNCC  (National Network And Child Care, USA) on Ages and Stages.

Now, let's us know our 4-year-old children better so that we will be able to understand them and provide them with the necessary.

"Energetic" and "imaginative" best describe the 4-year-old.

Often impatient and silly, they discover humor and spend a great deal of time being silly and telling you "jokes."

A 4-year-old's language may range from silly words such as "batty-watty" to profanity. Loud, boisterous laughter may accompany such language.

Imagination suddenly becomes greater than life for the 4-year-old, who often confuses reality and "make-believe." Wild stories and exaggerations are common.

Four-year-olds feel good about the things they can do, show self-confidence, and are willing to try new adventures. They race up and down stairs or around corners, dash on tricycles or scooters, and pull wagons at full tilt.

You still need to watch them closely as they cannot estimate their own abilities accurately and are capable of trying some outlandish and dangerous tricks.
 And these are some ideas for caregivers:


  • Read aloud each day and encourage children to look at books on their own. Provide alternative reading material with a collection of outdated coupons, junk mail, newspaper ads, and old cereal boxes.
  • Say nursery rhymes and fingerplays together. Encourage 4-year-olds to tell stories to younger children.
  • Encourage interest in writing and words. Provide children with paper and notebooks for writing. Print letters and numerals on art work, and label toy shelves with pictures and words that describe objects.
  • Provide a variety of art experiences. Make play dough. Create collages from magazine pictures, fabric, wallpaper, and newsprint. Encourage children to experiment with new media like wire and cork, soda straws, string, or yarn. Teach children to mix different colors with paint.
  • Teach important number and space concepts. Sort and count everything in sight, like silverware, socks, rocks, leaves, etc. Talk about things being in, on, under, behind, beside, before and after, larger than, too far, etc.
  • Teach children the correct use of the telephone.
  • Four-year-olds have a strong need to feel important and worthwhile. Praise accomplishments, and provide opportunities to experience freedom and independence.
  • Teach the use of landmarks to find their way around your neighborhood.
  • Encourage physical development. Play follow the leader. Pretend to walk like various animals. Set up an obstacle course indoors with challenges such as crawling, climbing, leaping, balancing, and running across stepping stones. Encourage walking with a beanbag on the head.
  • Promote respect for life and living things by letting them help you build a bird feeder and hang it up. Record the kinds of birds observed, and teach them to identify birds by significant characteristics like the red male and green female cardinals, the black caps and white cheeks of the chickadee.
  • Encourage 4-year-olds to help you plan and plant a garden. They will love to water plants daily and will enjoy measuring plant growth.
  • Encourage multicultural awareness through representative dolls, puppets, pictures, and books. Encourage cultural aspects of all the families, and learn recipes, songs, and information about cultural celebrations.
  • Expand dramatic play by providing a variety of props for themes like grocery store, pizza parlour, birthday party, and firefighter.

Read the source more to know the details of the intellectual, physical, social and emotional development.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Parachute Play

You want an inexpensive toy for your kids? You want to enhance their creativity and imagination and yet you have no idea on what to do?

Well, opt for parachute play. In one of the ALIMKids Playgroup component, we let the kids play the parachute play.

Active Play

Vigorous activities for the children where they can run, jump, roll, romp and balance. They also get to play with props such as balls, bean bags, parachute play and ribbon streamers.

Parachute Play in Action:

Benefits of Parachute Play:

* Encourages cooperation - Strengthens upper torso
* Non-competitive - Differing abilities are non-issue
* Refines perceptual skills - Reinforces turn-taking/ sharing
* Develops a sense of rhythm - Requires following directions
* Promotes social interaction - Enhances language development

Other than that, parachutes are a great addition to any game session as it can be used to teach teamwork, cooperation, strength, agility, body movements, coordination, and endurance.  It encourages positive cooperative group experiences. Any group six to forty can play. 

In parachute games the focus is on playing and not winning. Enjoying the moment and the time spent together in joyous activity. There are competitive games but the players are having such a wonderful time, they simply want to get on to the next round. In parachute play everybody wins.

Playing is fun, should be fun and stress free for everybody.


2. http://www.naturalphysiques.com
3. http://www.childcarelounge.com

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Khalifah Method: Tips 1

Apakah itu Khalifah Method?

Menurut articlesbase.com dan juga blog Puan Sharena (http://acespiretribe.wordpress.com), pengajaran menggunakan Khalifah Method adalah berdasarkan kepada tiga formula ini,

1. Mengajar anak-anak kefahaman dan kecintaan terhadap peranan serta tanggungjawab mereka sebagai Khalifah Allah.

           "Dalam Surah Al Baqarah, ayat 30 ‘Dan ketika Tuhanmu berfirman kepada para malaikat;   
           “Aku hendak menjadikan khalifah di muka bumi”
Istilah khalifah ini bermaksud ‘wakil yang dipertanggungjawabkan mentadbir bagi pihak Raja/ Ketua’."

2. Memberikan kasih sayang, puji-pujian dan ganjaran bagi setiap perbuatan baik yang mereka lakukan dan karektor baik yang dipamerkan. 

3. Meletakkan batasan yang munasabah serta melaksanakan batasan-batasan itu dengan konsisten melalui cara tegas tetapi berhikmah (Kind dicipline)
Maka, di  ALIMKids Playgroup, kami percaya yang anak-anak kecil ini boleh mula dididik menggunakan acuan ini.

Khalifah method is used in all lessons.

Disini, anak-anak

  • diperkenalkan dengan Allah Yang Esa dan Nabi Muhammad s.a.w sebagai pesuruhNya.
  • dibiasakan dengan kalimah permulaan "Bismillah", kalimah syukur "Alhamdulillah" dan banyak lagi. 
  • penerapan nilai-nilai murni seperti kasih-sayang sesama keluarga dan rakan, serta mensyukuri segala nikmat tuhan seperti anggota badan (modul 1), nikmat deria (modul 2) dll. 
Walau bagaimanapun, khalifah method ini tidak akan berpanjangan kesannya jika ia hanya digunakan dan diamalkan di ALIMKids Playgroup (atau taska, tadika, sekolah-sekolah yang menggunapakai kaedah ini).

Satu tips daripada Puan Sharena Abdullah (Trainer Khalifah Institute) yang saya dapat secara langsung daripadanya,

"Ingin saya berkongsi tip saya untuk penyerapan Khalifah Method yang berkesan: mula gunakan untuk diri sendiri dahulu!

Asas Khalifah Method ini berpandukan firman Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala yang meningatkan bahawa setiap kita adalah seorang khalifah. Apabila kita, sebagai ibubapa, mula percaya kita adalah khalifah dan start to think, talk and behave as khalifah, then it becomes easier for your children to understand who a khalifah is and what it means to be a khalifah. Please remember that children don't understand and begin to mistrust parents who practice double standards.

This is one example that happened to me.
Mummy, 'Adam, Daniel. Have you done your prayers?'
Adam answered, 'Have you done yours, mummy?'
Mungkin jawapan Adam ini sukar diterima oleh kebanyakan ibubapa tetapi ia sangat rasional dan berpatutan jika anak itu di besarkan memahami konsep 'Ammar Ma'aruf, Nahi Mungkar'. Allah knows Best"
 Semoga kita sama-sama mendapat faedah daripada tips beliau.

And may Allah bless us all.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Early Childhood Growth Chart

What Many Children Do In Language

Toddlers 18 to  24
Toddlers put two or more words together to make short sentences like "want juice" or "car go." Toddlers learn new words quickly. They can copy adult sounds, words, and motions. Toddlers ask and answer simple questions. They can use crayons and markers for scribbling. If your 20-month-old cannot follow simple request, such as, "Come to Daddy." If your 24-month-old does not use two words together.
24 to 36
Older toddlers listen to stories being read. They like to play pretend games. They love asking "why" questions. They use "no" and "not" a lot. Toddlers enjoy looking at picture books, turning pages, and naming objects they see. Their scribbling is becoming more like writing. If your 2-year-old does not ask questions or respond to simple questions with "yes" or "no."
Preschoolers 3 to 4
Young preschoolers make comments and requests, and tell others what to do. They can talk about things that happened and make up stories. They listen attentively to stories and retell stories themselves. They enjoy books that tell about real things as well as make-believe. They may revert to toddler behavior when feeling upset or shy. They make shapes such as circles and squares and pretend to write the way they have seen adults write. If your 3-to-4-year-old does not use language freely, experiment with verbal sounds, and begin to use language to solve problems and learn concepts.
4 to 5
Preschoolers know the names and sex of family members and other personal information. They play with words and make up silly words and stories. They are beginning to draw figures that represent people, animals, and objects. They understand that pictures, numbers, words, and letters are symbols of real things and ideas. They "write" as a way to tell stories and offer information. They enjoy "reading" on their own. They may recognize a few words such as their name or words on signs. If your child is embarrassed and disturbed by his or speech, or if you or your child's caregiver have concerns about your child's language skills.

Remember, every child is different and the development may vary. :)

source: http://www.kidsource.com/Kidsource/content4/growth.chart/page1.html

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Toddlers: learning by playing

I found an article on why it is important to toddlers to get active. It is because they will learn a lot while playing and being active. Read the article if you want to know more about it.


Encourage Activity

It might look like just child's play, but toddlers are hard at work learning important physical skills as they gain muscle control, balance, and coordination. Each new skill lets them progress to the next one, building on a foundation that leads to more complicated physical tasks, such as jumping rope, kicking a ball on the run, or turning a cartwheel.

Toddlers always want to do more, which can motivate them to keep trying until they acquire a new skill, no matter what it takes.

Take advantage of your toddler's natural desire to keep moving. Even at this early age, kids establish patterns of activity that carry through the rest of childhood. So an active toddler is likely to remain active later.

Developing Skills

Playing and learning are completely natural for toddlers, so mastering the skills below should be fun and games for them. Parents should give toddlers many opportunities to practice their developing skills while providing supervision so they stay safe while they learn.

In addition to these physical accomplishments, toddlers are developing in other ways. Provide opportunities for yours to explore, ask questions, use his or her imagination, and practice fine motor skills, such as stacking blocks or coloring.

Older Toddler Skills (24-36 months)

  • balances 1 to 2 seconds on one foot
  • climbs well
  • bends over easily without falling
  • runs well
  • kicks ball forward
  • both feet on step, up and down stairs
  • starts to pedal tricycle
  • throws ball over head

 How Much Activity Is Enough?

For children 12-36 months old, current National Association for Sports and Physical Education (NASPE) guidelines recommend this much daily activity:
  • at least 30 minutes of structured physical activity (adult-led)
  • at least 60 minutes unstructured physical activity (free play)
As a general rule, toddlers shouldn't be inactive for more than 1 hour at a time, except for sleeping. That's a lot of work for parents and caregivers, but a lot of much-needed activity for toddlers.
Encourage your toddler to be active, and remember how much he or she is learning along the way.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: May 2008

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Early Letter Recognition

In ALIMKids Playgroup,one of the components is early alphabet/letter recognition. Although a 2-4 year-old kid might be too young to learn and memorize the letters, but teaching a child about letters before he attends school will give him an advantage as he already understand the concepts that are being taught. It will also enable them to read earlier and may have more interest in books.

Learning to read starts in the beginning with learning to recognize each individual letter. This is a process that can take anywhere from a couple of months to years to master, depending on the age of the child, the time spent on teaching the letters and the individual child's aptitude toward visual learning.


  1. Until letters can be recognized by sight, a child cannot add several letters together to build words or add words together to build sentences. This can take a great deal of work in order for a child to remember each individual letter. This process often begins at home with letter cards or by pointing out individual letters in books. Preschools and kindergarten classrooms employ several tools to teach visual letter recognition, including flash cards, puzzles and letter art.
  2. Function

  3. After a child can recognize the letters and has no trouble with visual cues for each letter, the next step is for the child to recognize the letters by their sound. This means that saying the sound will make the child think of the letter and seeing the letter will make the child remember the sound. To do this requires both saying the sound of each letter out loud and requiring the child to say the letter sounds. The child may not be able to make each of the sounds, but attempting the action is an important learning tool for many children.
  4. Identification

  5. There are a number of computer programs that display letters for children to learn and can even enunciate each letter correctly. Some websites also have resources for teaching letter recognition. Literacycenter.net has pages of large, colorful letters that are displayed as a voice speaks the name of each letter. This allows children to learn at their own pace and allows them to hear the name of the letter clearly. 

You may want to read an article on Early Letter Recognition By Lizz ShepherdeHow Contributing Writer to know more about this idea.

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010

    Playgroups—An Alternative to Preschool or Child Care

    by Bettye M. Caldwell, Ph.D.
    Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education

    Many parents do not want their young children to be in group programs—either preschool or child care—that keep the children away from home for long hours, perhaps 20 to 40 hours a week. They worry that so much time away from the mother and father will dilute the impact of parental teaching and draw the children away from parental values. (Actually, there is very little evidence that any such thing happens, as almost all the research on child care shows that its influence on the development of children is minimal compared to the influence of the parents.) At the same time, they read and hear that the early years are critical for brain growth and for the development of pre-literacy skills, and fear they cannot provide the full array of learning opportunities found in a high-quality educare program. This raises their anxiety level about whether they can give their children the ingredients needed for development and still keep them at home most of the time.

    Fortunately it doesn't have to be either/or, preschool or home. There is a middle ground which can happily meet parental needs for keeping their children at home most of the time and, at the same time, fulfill the children's needs to spend time with their peers and learn to function effectively in a group setting. This middle ground is usually referred to as the Playgroup Movement, and the groups established within it are called simply Playgroups.

    What are Playgroups?

    There is no one formula for a playgroup, and you may want either to find or found one to meet your needs. In general, they can be defined as follows: Playgroups are relatively informal groups of young children (close to one another in age) and their mothers (or fathers) who meet on a regular basis to allow the children to socialize with one another, to have a good time, and to learn through play.

    They may meet once a week, two-five times a week, or maybe only once or twice a month. Parents may be required to remain with the children, or they may take advantage of the playgroup period to do activities of their own choosing. Sometimes, parent discussion groups take place while the children are active in the playgroup. The groups may meet in the homes of participants on a rotating basis, or they may meet in a public place such as a church or a YWCA building. The participating parents may take turns as group leaders, or they may hire a professional to play and lead the activities. If the latter, you will have to arrange for an appropriate fee for the person you hire, and someone will have to handle checks for payment and possibly tax and Social Security withholding. If parents take turns supervising and conducting the group, the only expense may be for juice and cookies and toy purchase and replacement.

    What Do You Need for a Playgroup?

    You need at least four things:

      1. A group of like-minded mothers or fathers with children of similar ages to your own. 2. A place to meet that has a good-size playroom, plus outdoor space for active play. 3. A pretty good idea of the developmental needs and skills of children of the ages that will be in your group. 4. An assortment of toys and learning materials that will interest and stimulate the children.

    Di ALIMKids playgroup, setiap sesi dikendalikan oleh guru yang terlatih untuk mengendalikan playgroup.  Tempoh masa selama 1 jam setiap sesi nampak singkat tetapi itulah tempoh yang sesuai untuk anak-anak berusia 2-4 tahun bermain dan belajar. Lebih lama dari itu, mereka akan hilang fokus dan konsentrasi.

    Marilah sertai kami di ALIMKids Melaka. Sesi Percubaan akan diadakan pada bulan Oktober. Email kami untuk pra-pendaftaran.