Tuesday 29 May 2012


Montessori Activity: Spelling Own Name with Pasta Sensory Tub & Letter Magnets

Age: 3 years old

Objective(s): To provide a fun way to teach spelling.

1. 2 sets of letter magnets spelling the child's name, e.g. J, O, S, H, U, A for our child
2. Whiteboard
3. 4 packets of pasta
4. 1 transparent tub (I use transparent Smartbox 40 x 30 x 19cm)
5. Some cup, spoons, scope, etc.

1. Spell your child's name, e.g. Joshua, on the whiteboard.

2. Hide another set of each letter magnet of J, O, S,H, U, A in a big tub full of dried pasta.

3. Tell your child to his name is hidden in the tub and invite him to have fun dishing it out.

4. While he is digging and finding, you can sing or say, "Where is letter a, where is letter a? Please come out, please come out" for example.

5. After he has found all the letters, ask him to say its name and pronounce its sound.

6. Ask him to place the respective letter that spell his name underneath the Joshua magnetic word already placed on the white board.

Additional Information:
You don't have to use pasta. You can also use rice, beans, etc. as base for the sensory tub. If you are not a fan of sensory tub, you can also put the letter magnets in an envelope each and hide them around the house for your child to find. Then ask your child to hunt for them, each letter making up his name.

Here is a great video by Momtessori on the sounds of letters.

Joshua isn't so keen in learning letters. So, I tried this idea today. Joshua enjoyed playing with the sensory tub. He was more interested in scooping the pasta out, than saying the sound of the letter after finding it. But at least he did did one round of repeating the sound of all the letters after me, and sub-consciously, I hope that he has learned something, while having fun. I have to be patient and allow him to play the way he likes, rather than the plan I have in mind. He wanted to use some of the letters to make a face instead, although I had intended the letters to form his name. This is how it is with children. It hardly ever go perfectly according to plan. But the good thing is that some learning has taken place.

Joshua chose the letter o for the eyes, and we made a face instead

I love to use transparent storage boxes for sensory tubs. I am using a Scandinavian brand, but you can find very good ones and the rest of the materials from Amazon:

Sunday 27 May 2012


Nursery Lesson Plan: Kindness - 24th June 2012

Lesson Plan

FIBC Nursery (0-4 years old)

Date: 24th June 2012, Time: 1 – 2.15pm

Concept Area: Family – God wants family members to be kind to one another

Bible Verse: Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another.”

Teachers: Elaine, Chen Ying, Stephen and Frieda Nielsen

12.50 – 1pm: Preparation Time

·         Teachers to arrive 10 minutes earlier to prepare and set up the room.

·         Bring a jug of water.

·         Mark Attendance.

·         Fill in Food Allergy Alert Chart for new children.

1-1.30pm: Early Arrival Activity Time

Activity Station 1: Spell Kindness with Fridge Magnets (for children from 2 - 4 years old)

Activity Station 2: Kitchen Play

Activity Station 3: Helping the Hurting together with pictures of Kindness Colouring Pages

(For the children to bring home to do during the week to reinforce the learning on kindness)

1.30 – 1.40pm: Bible Lesson & Story Time

Gather the children to sit around in a circle.

Bible Lesson to be Incorporated into the Activities and Bible Verse: Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another.”

The Bible teaches us to be kind to one another. (Hold up the Bible, open it and read Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind to one another.)

Do you know what kindness is?

Definition: Kindness is an attitude that shows a true spirit of helpfulness toward people, just as God is helpful to us.

Kindness means thinking of others first – their needs and wants before your own.

God might help us to be kind to someone who really needs it and we're not even aware of it. For example, maybe you feel like you should write a letter or call a grandparent. God might be urging you to do that because they are having a bad day and that's exactly what they need to cheer them up. Sometimes your kind deed to someone else is all they need to remember that someone special loves them.

How do you show kindness? How do you help others? Can you tell me 3 ways to show kindness?

1.     We can show kindness by serving others.

2.     We can show kindness by helping at home such as helping mommy to care for newly arrived baby, baking, cleaning, cooking, etc.

3.     We can show kindness by taking care of a younger sibling while mommy is cooking, helping with household chores such as doing laundry, baking and walking the dog together.

4.     Visiting or writing a card to grandparents who may be lonely.

5.     Write a card to someone who is sick.

6.     Help the hurting.

7.     Pray for someone if you feel helpless to assist.

It should be easy to be kind although sometimes it's not. Is it easy to be kind to someone who has been mean to? How tempting is it to want to hurt others when they hurt us? Do you think kindness can be the answer to someone who hurts you? For example, someone who doesn’t want to be your friend, or someone who doesn’t want to share his toys with you. Why and why not?

The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:15 “Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.”

When someone hurts us, we usually react back right away. God wants us to respond back with kindness. God wants us to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). Striking back or hurting others will not bring people to Jesus Christ. We want others to come to Jesus and be filled with His love.

When we are hurt by others and need encouragement, we can seek help. God sends moms and dads, friends and neighbours, teachers and pastors to encourage us. In their wisdom, they can help us sort out the trouble without taking revenge.

We can learn from Jesus. As sinners, we have offended God. Although God has every right to be angry with us, he showed how great His kindness instead by sending Jesus to die on the cross to save us. In God’s kindness, He offers everyone here complete forgiveness.

Let’s show the kindness to others that God has shown to us! This is possible only if we remain in Him, if we get to know Him more and more through praying, learning His Word, and following Him. We look to Jesus to help us.

Distribute the foil mirrors that you have prepared before class. Tell the children to mark a bold cross in the centre and say, “Let the cross always remind you that Jesus’ death on the cross paid the price for all sin, including our desire to “get even” with others. Instead, let’s reflect God’s forgiven love.”

Can you do 3 acts of kindness this week and tell your teacher at the nursery class next Sunday, what 3 acts of kindness you have done?

Close with prayer. Remember the specific situations your children are going through. Invite them to share their needs and praises. Praise God for the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the kindness we are able to have because He lives within us.

Special Delivery from Guest Speaker Frieda Nielsen

Photo of 2 siblings not getting along and 2 siblings getting along very well.

Sharing of some personal experiences.

1.40 – 1.50pm: Singing

Use musical instruments, hand motions and songs as follows:

·         Clapping Hands

·         These Are Helping Hands

·         Beloved Let Us Love One Another

1.50 – 2pm: Snack Time

·         Ask the children to queue up.

·         Ask the older children to be kind and give out the cups, plates and rice snack.

·         Sing the “Say Grace Song

·         Ask each child to recite: “The Bible is right and true.” Psalm 33:4

·         As the children to help to clean up before moving to game time.

2 – 2.10pm: Game Time (if there is time)

Physical Game: Be Warm & Kind to One Another

Contingency Activity: Kindness Colouring Pages

2.10 – 2.20pm: Clean up Time

·         Clean up together and sing the song “Time to Clean Up

2.15pm: Parents pick up kids

Resources & References:

- More Toddlerific by David Cook

- Ifs, Ands, & Buts Children’s Sermons by Becker/Miller


Activity Description

Activity Station 1: Spell Kindness with Fridge Magnets (for children from 2 - 4 years old)


1. 8 letter magnets with one letter written on each: K, I, N, D, N, E, S, S

2. Whiteboard

3. Whiteboard marker


1. Write Ephesians 4:32 on the whiteboard.

2. Use one set of letter fridge magnets to spell KINDNESS on the whiteboard.

3. Hide another set of each letter of KINDNESS in an envelope around the room.

4. After the children arrive, explain to them that there are eight letters hidden around the room that spell the fruit of the Spirit you will be learning about today.

5. After they find all of the letters, ask them to say its name and pronounce its sound.

5. Ask them to one-by-one spell the kindness by placing the respective letter underneath the KINDNESS magnetic word already placed on the white board.

ASK: Can anyone tell me what the word is? (Allow them to respond.) Then ask what kindness is?

SAY: Kindness can be shown with our thoughts, our actions, and our words. How many of you are kind all of the time? (Allow time for response.) None of us are kind all of the time! It is very easy to be unkind to our family and our friends because we are sinners. How can we discover more about kindness? (By reading God’s Word!) Let’s go to His Word now! (Open the Bible and Read Ephesians 4:32)

Activity Station 2: Kitchen Play

Children could play and learn at the same time while teachers guided them in their learning of how they can be helpful at home, such as baking and cooking with parents and siblings.


1. Serving trays

2. Plastic plates

3. Kitchen play set

4. Teddy bear or dolls


1. Show the children the serving trays.

2. Explain that these are serving trays.

3. Let the children know that they can use the trays to help serve each other.

4. When they serve the teddy bears and dolls, have them say, “God wants us to be kind to one another.” and have them say, “Thank you,” when they have been served.

SAY: Serving is one way to be kind to one another.

Activity Station 3: Helping the Hurting together with Kindness Colouring Pages


1. Pictures of someone who is hurt and someone helping her with bandages

2. Cloth

3. Adhesive bandages

4. Teddy bears or dolls


1. Show the items to the children and the picture.

2. Tell them people who are hurting need our love and kindness.

3. Tell them that Jesus wants us to be kind to the hurting and help them.

4. Give the children time to play with the items.

5. Encourage the children to act out the scene depicted in the picture with the dolls and bandage supplies.

6. As they play, talk about ways they can show kindness to others.

7. Have them practice what they might say or do with the stuffed animals or dolls.

SAY: As God produces kindness in our hearts, we begin to see other people as more important than ourselves. Remember Jesus, who died on the cross for our sins to save us. We are to emulate Him. When we are struggling to be kind to another person, we should remember God’s great kindness toward us. As sinners, we have offended God. Although God has every right to be angry with us, he showed how great His kindness instead by sending Jesus to die on the cross to save us. In God’s kindness, He offers everyone here complete forgiveness.

Physical Game: Be Warm & Kind to One Another

Children can practice the skill of showing others warm and kindness and at the same time be physically active.


Masking Tape


1. Use the tape to mark a circle on the floor approx. 1.8m in diameter.

2. Gather the children together and invite them to stand outside the circle and walk around it saying the rhyme:

I can show someone I love them by being warm and kind.

I can show someone I love them, they won’t be hard to find.

3. When they have finished saying the rhyme, tell the children to all move into the circle and find someone to shake hands and say Ephesians 4:32 - “Be kind to one another”.

4. Move out of the circle, walk around it and say the rhyme again.

5. After saying the rhyme, tell the children to move into the circle and find another person. This time have the children give a hug and repeat the verse again.

6. Continue saying the rhyme and having the children show different ways to be warm and kind.

7. Examples of actions: give a high five, thumbs-up, give a smile, put arm around the shoulder, pat on the back, say “Jesus love you.”

8. When the activity is over, remind the children to be warm and kind to others.

Parent Newsletter

June 24, 2012

Dear Parent

Concept Area

This week we focus on Family – God wants family members to be kind to one another.

Your child learned about ways to show kindness at the Nursery. You can follow-up with your child by asking your child what 3 acts of kindness they will be doing this coming week.

Bible Verse

The Bible verse used is Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another”. You can recite this verse to your child at home during the week.

Special Delivery

We have special guest speaker, Frieda Nielsen to share a Bible Lesson and personal faith experience with the children on the topic kindness.


We sing the songs Clapping Hands and Beloved Let Us Love One Another and rhyme These are Helping Hands.


We did activities that touched on God’s creation such as animals, food, water, etc.

We hope this helps you to keep up with the education your child received at the nursery this Sunday.

Thank you for entrusting your child with us.

In His Service,

FIBC Nursery


Clapping Hands

Sing to the tune of “Jingle Bells”

Clapping hands, pounding hands,

Joining hands to help.

Others need to follow us

In helping out our friends.

These Are Helping Hands

Gather the children to say this simple rhyme together and add the actions to the rhyme:

These are my helping hands (shaking hands)

They’re as helpful as can be. (Open hands stretched out front.)

These are my working hands (pounding),

They’re happy as you see. (Wiggle fingers.)

God wants me to use my hands to help each other out. (Swing your arms.)

I can use my helping hands to help and clean and shout! (Have the children raise their hands in the air as they shout.)

Beloved Let Us Love One Another

Beloved, let us love one another,
For love is of God
And everyone who loves
Is born of God and he knows God.
The one who does not love, does not know God

For God is love!
Beloved let us love one another
For love is of God

Say Grace Song

Thank you for the world so sweet, Ho Hum

Thank you for the the food we eat, Yum Yum

Thank you for the birds that sing a-ling-a-ling

Thank you God for everything, Amen!

Time to Clean Up

Time to Clean Up (2X)

Boys and Girls (2X)

When we are good helpers (2X)

God is glad (2X)

Saturday 26 May 2012


Fascinating Science E-Book

I just want to share this fantastic Science resource given so graciously for free by I Can Teach My Child blog. It contains 15 fun and easy to implement Science experiments that you can do with your children. You can download it for free from her blog with direct link below:


Wednesday 23 May 2012


Work Bench

Age: From 2.5 years old

This is quite a fun toy that helps fine motor skills development with screwing and hammering, but not totally necessary. I got it second-hand for Joshua (or rather for myself, ha ha), so it did not cost us much. You can also make your own from inspiration from Counting Coconuts. The electric drill works with the screws and nuts. Joshua learns about how to change direction for the drill to screw and unscrew. Alternatively, there are also some good ones from Amazon:


Montessori Activity: Ring, Ring, Hello Mommy!

Age: From 3 years old

1. To enrich your child's language development with conversation game.
2. To develop your child's ability to express himself.
3. To train listening ability.
4. Provide a fun way for your child to follow instruction and complete his chore.

1. 2 plastic or paper cups
2. 1 string of approx. 1.5m long.

1. Hold a telephone receiver each and find a spot to sit down.

2. Ask your child, "Where are you?"

3. Your child would answer for example, "I am sitting on the sofa calling you."

4. Invite your child to ask, if he does not do it himself, "Where are you, mommy?", to which you answer, "I am in the kitchen" for example.

5. Invite your child to find another place and continue the telephone call game.

Provide a fun way for your child to follow instruction and do his chore:

1. Mommy phone child and give him a simple instruction and ask him to your instruction to complete the task, e.g. Could you put on your clothes please? or Could you bring the newspaper to Daddy please?

2. Child complete the task as instructed.

3. Child phone Mommy back to inform Mommy and invite Mommy to give instructions for another task.

Additional Information:
This is a very simple activity and cost next to nothing. I learn of this idea from a Chinese Montessori book, which I hope to try with Joshua.

Friday 18 May 2012


Easy Colouring Activity

Age: From 3 years old

While waiting for me to prepare breakfast, if I remember, I will try to occupy Joshua with colouring activity, so that the time is not wasted in waiting.

According to the book, On Becoming Preschoolwise, colouring is a good activity to train Joshua's character development in patience and perseverance, and I agree. But it is not always an easy task, and can be an uphill task sometimes. It requires consistency and determination from parents, but I will try my best.

Colouring is also a good activity for preschooler to practise pencil grip and control, which is a pre-requisite skill to writing.

If your child doesn't like colouring, you can try this.


Montessori Activity: Pruning Flowers with Scissors/Skæring med Saks/使用剪刀 [shǐ yòng jiǎn dāo]

Age: 3.5 years old

Activity Duration: 5-15 minutes


1. To train the child’s fine motor skills
2. To inculcate life skills
3. Teaching the Science of pruning flowers


1. 1 pair of scissors
2. 1 pot of flowers ready to be pruned
3. 1 container to contain the waste


1. Demonstrate to your child by cutting the withered flowers with the scissors slowly one by one.

2. Explain to your child that most plants benefit from some sort of regular pruning and maintenance. The flowers will start setting new buds as soon as the old buds have fallen.  

3. Encourage your child to try.

Additional Information:

The sun was shining this morning. We were off from work. What a joy in life it is to be able to spend time with your child and your the other half! I didn't discover this joy, until we decided to have a child, and we have never regretted ever since! It is far better than buying expensive handbag, branded goods, going to expensive restaurants, etc. I would not exchange it for other so-called more sophisticated pleasures in life. The only thing is... this would not last, as we will not live forever on this earth. J is fast growing up, and we are fast growing old... In the midst of joy, I have been reminded about the transience of life... and my melancholy reflective mood took over. Shutting off that thought, let me be reminded to count our blessings, our health that allows us to enjoy the simple joy in life, and be thankful.

This pruning idea was Daddy FECSs'. We needed to prune the Margarethe flowers that we bought. And Daddy FECS thought why not turn it into a Montessori's activity!

I didn't get to do this when I was a child in Singapore, as it is such a academic chase life there! I am torn, between the culture I come from and the childhood that I would like J to have. I pray for God's wisdom to strike a good balance, and avoid the tendency of becoming a "Tiger Mom".

J (3Y2M12D) did very well. There were mishaps though - he cut two nice flowers! Well, he gave them to mommy instead :-)


Look of the flowers after pruning by Joshua :-)

Two mishaps cut by Joshua, given to me :-)

Saturday 12 May 2012


Big Enough to Overlook the Offenses of Others

Jua (3Y2M7D) entered kindergarten about a month ago and I had the privilege of following him for the first two days. J wanted to sit beside A during Circle Time. However, she went away to another spot taking another friend along without taking J along. I was for a moment worried about feelings of rejection that J might experience, but I resisted intervening. J needed to handle the real world courageously. J did not take offense. He paused for a moment calmly, thinking whether he should follow or not. He did not follow suit. A day later, I asked him whether he would be glad to play with A. He gladly said yes. He was large and gracious, no trace of being offended by what happened the day before. J always comes home from the kindergarten full of joy (although given the choice of choosing staying at home with his parents or going to kindergarten, he would choose the former.) Far more important than intellectual development is character development. I am glad that J has shown to be emotionally and mentally strong and large to deal with the children at the kindergarten. He is by nature a kind, sweet, big-hearted and generous boy. I hope he will grow up as such as an adult too.

I look at J. I look at myself. I am quite a world apart. How could I be a good model to J? J spurs me on to pursue with greater determination my own character development. I want to be a good influence on J and not to ruin his sweet, kind and gracious nature. I hope I will find myself worthy to be his mom.

Recently some incidents in my life have put me to the test and I struggled. I took comfort in King David’s experience: “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.” and “for it is not an enemy who taunts me—then I could bear it... But it is you... my familiar friend. We used to take sweet counsel together...” (Psalm 41:9; 55:12-14)

I struggle to deal with it God’s way versus the man's way. The world says, “If people mistreat or insult you, get even, lash out, make them pay, give them back what they deserve, bite back. Why should you suffer a wrong?” However, God showed me this verse from the Bible:

“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” ( Proverbs 19:11)

I did my quiet time using the Daily Bread on the train on the way to work, and the passage on April 28 spoke to me. There are many great men before me whom I could learn from. One of them was George Washington Carver, who “overcame terrible racial prejudice to establish himself as a renowned educator. Rejecting the temptation to give in to bitterness for the way he was treated, Carver wisely wrote, “Hate within will eventually destroy the hater”.”

There and then, I got off the train and walked to take the bus. The bus came. I stood at the entrance of the bus. The bus-driver shut the door right after the person before me, just as I was about to board the bus! The bus was not at all full. I knocked the door. The driver ignored me. He drove off right in front of my eyes. The other people at the bus-stop sympathized with me. My first reaction was to curse and get mad at the driver. I was about to shout B******, but I stopped myself.

But then I got mad at God.

I told God, “I have been struggling with overlooking offenses and do not need another one, God!”

He said to me, “You have just read the Bible and the passage from the Daily Bread, and now I am giving you a chance to practice. I had a purpose. You are one of my chosen people - You are a Christian. The driver is not. Perhaps the driver had been offended by someone else earlier. Perhaps he had a bad day. He was taking it on someone else, and I have chosen you to be that someone else. Because you are a Christian, you can pray for him. Pray and do not curse. If this incident had not happen, you would not have a chance to pray for him.”

Alright God.

I made a conscious choice to pray for that driver. I no longer felt angry, but sympathy for the driver, and hoping that he would one day get to know the good God, the God who wants to reach him and bless him, and got my attention to pray for him that day.

I had passed the test that morning, but there are more challenging ones to come. As I quote from a text I read somewhere, "Living in a fallen world with imperfect system that is less than fair comes with a guarantee: somebody, somewhere, is going to do you wrong. If not, the system is going to treat you unfairly."

"Am I big enough to overlook the offenses of others? Do I have a thick skin when it comes to the little barbs that inevitably come whenever people are working together? Do I turn bitter? Does it stop me dead in my tracks and take me out of commission for weeks."

“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” - Proverbs 19:11

What does Proverbs 19:11 really mean and how I can truly practice it? I want to know and understand it more, so that I can truly put it into practice. I pursued this verse and studied it. The following are not my own words, but from my internet research (see references below):
What does it mean by wisdom here? It means discretion. It means good sense.
What is an offense? An offense is disrespect, rudeness, insult, humiliation, unfair treatment.
What is this patience here? It is similar to showing grace. We are to respond to offenses by giving evidence of the grace of God. It is being slow to anger. It is restraining one's anger. Other version of Proverbs 19:11 shed more light:

"The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression." - Proverbs 19:11
"Good sense makes a man restrain his anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression or an offense." - Proverbs 19:11
The first thing we have to do when we are offended is to pray for patience and grace that comes from godly wisdom.

To overlook an offense is to be big enough to excuse it, disregard it, to pardon, to forgive, to shrug off "without the transacting of any communication with the offending party" (quote unknown).

To overlook an offense means "to refuse to give notice, to refuse to consider, to refuse to judge the actions or attitude of another, to refuse to take revenge, to even refuse to get stirred up, to look beyond the offense to Jesus". (mixture of quote from references below)
To overlook an offense is to entrust it to the sovereign God and trust Him for justice*. The God who bore my offense through Christ on Calvary. Jesus, who did not retaliate when he was hurled with insults, and who made no threats when he suffered. He was treated harshly, He was beaten, ultimately crucified and through it all “he never said a word”, “he did not open his mouth“. Jesus is an amazing example to us and set the pattern for dealing with offenses:

"But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. When they hurled their insults on Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly" - 1 Peter 2: 20 - 21, 23

"When we bear the burden of justice, it constantly stirs in our soul. But when we release that burden to God, then we experience the light air of peace. God is able to work together all things for the good." (mixture of quote from references below). We can learn from Joseph’s experience:

Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” (Genesis 50:19–20)

Choosing not to get offended is glorious according to Proverbs 19:11. The glory is found in the fact that this action reflects God’s grace. By so doing we will reflect the glory of the gospel in our lives like few other things can. We become more beautiful when we overlook an offense, despite what our fallen nature screams at us. Exacting revenge not only robs us of our peace, it robs us of our splendour. Only feelings rule our hearts in moments like these, not glory. The wise, even in their anger, overlook an offense.

That means that we can surely have the chance to get glory today, for someone will certainly offend us. Tongue-in-cheek :-)

According to http://preacherstudy.com/premium/david25.html, to be a good leader, one has to learn to be big enough to overlook the offenses of others. The greatest leaders are not easily offended. Instead, they are big enough to overlook the offenses of others. They develop rhinoceros hide when it comes to the words of others. They show grace and practice the habit of overlooking offenses. They take the high road, give the offender the benefit of the doubt, and move on. If you do not, then you are not going to last long in the service of God. Sooner or later, someone is going to offend you, and that will shoot you down. This is especially if you have aspirations to do something special for God. And the best management style is servanthood - having the heart of a servant and lead by serving, lead by example.

I will try again God. Please help me God. 

* Note though that the justice may not happen in this life, but it should not be measured in this regard. What God "takes away", He gives us blessings in other areas of our lives, if we open our eyes and count them, and that in itself is also justice.

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