Friday, March 9, 2012

Attacking the Alphabet : D

Hello, D! Thank you for providing us with so much fun! Here's what we did with Ds this week


D tracers
As usual, we started off the week with a tracer. These were from DLTK.

Dinosaur feet
We revived a nice memory of having friends over for Crafty Afternoon, and made dinosaur feet together. I got the idea from Activity Village, and improvised with the materials I had on hand. In all honesty, they were the most uncomfortable slippers ever made by mankind, but the kids had lots of fun making them :)

D is for Dino
That's a something-saurus, made with leftover 'toes' from the dino feet we made in the same craft session. Special thanks to Ethan for his gift of the little dinosaurs! They now provide Poppy with lots of entertainment when we eat out :) Thank you Family Fun Tips for this ingenious idea

Dotty Dinosaurs, and Dinosaurs in Disguise
I gotta admit that I'm really bad at dinosaur names. I think I only knew T-Rex before this. Watching Jurassic Park in my teens didn't really help much! The original idea was to paste dots on the dinosaurs, to give them a sort of design/pattern. But Poppy chose the bigger dots, and we had a good laugh because we decided that the dinos were trying to disguise themselves to hide from the others. Then we got to talking about disguises (hey, another D word!), and talked about Snow White and the 7 Dwarves, where the wicked queen disguised herself as an old woman to give Snow White the apple. I love how things link up :)

Spotty Dotty Ducks
This was really easy to make. I simply cut out 5 ducks from yellow paper, and let Poppy choose the colours to dot (D for Dot!) them with. We used paints and cotton buds. Again, another thing that grown-ups take for granted. Kids need to be taught that when they dot with paint, they have to do it slow so that the dots will remain as er, dots, and not morph into lines or smudges.

Then we simply threaded a ribbon through the ducks and let them decorate Poppy's chest of drawers.

Foamy Ducks on the WaterThis is a good craft to consider if you want to revise shapes or teach (gasp!) fractions. I simply did '1 circle is made up of 2 half circles, or semi circles', then I put them together and took them apart to demonstrate. It was good that she could finally visualise a 'half', because now she knows what I mean when I ask her to only take half a cup of water to gurgle when she brushes her teeth!

Oh by the way, the circles under the ducks? Ripples :)

Paper Plate Dinosaur
Yet another something-saurus. Apparently it looks like a turtle. Turtlesaurus perhaps? Poppy really enjoyed the way we got the paint on the paper plate. I stuck it onto the bottom of a basin (you can use your tray if you're confident that your child will not get over excited and use extra force), and she used marbles that were dipped in paint, and rolled the painted marbles around. I have a feeling we'll be doing this kind of painting alot. We actually did this almost exactly a year ago, but Poppy enjoyed the activity more without the paints and paper. We simply called it Marble Chasey :)

Brushy brushy clean
I printed out a drawing of a set of teeth (of course, those who can draw, please do!), and put a piece of plastic over it, and stuck it with little bits of coloured paper to represent food and dirt. Then got Poppy to use an old toothbrush (hers) with toothpaste to brush the yuck off :) To represent "gargling", we simply used a water spray to squirt all the stuff away. That, she really enjoyed.

Just for fun, I asked her "What do you think the coloured bits are?". I thought she'd simply shrug and give me a "Paper, silly Mama" kind of answer with eye roll inserted. But she said without skipping a beat, "Orange is carrot, green is veggie and blue is blueberry." Wow


Is there a Doctor in the House?
Why yes, there is! We had the pleasure of inviting Doctor Pop this morning to check out the general health and well-being of the home's stuffed animals. We're happy to share that everyone is in good shape.

Sidenote: Poppy loves the little feedback forms they give out at IKEA's Smaland after the play session, so I made one for her by drawing the animals and happy/not so happy/sad faces next to them, and it was her job to circle how they were feeling after checking on them :)

Picture Puzzle
Thanks to the Isetan sale, I managed to get a set of Infantino's "When I Grow Up" puzzle for Poppy (a 'gift from Lil Miss') at a discount. Poppy loves puzzles and it's usually Max's job to build them with her because I'm so not a puzzle fan. But this one was particularly interesting. It's got an outer circle of A-Z occupations, as well as an inner circle of pieces which show the places in which these people work. We had a lot of fun putting them together (actually she didn't need my help at all) and talked a bit about each of the occupations, particularly Doctors, and where we could find them.

Dog related activities
I am so glad I chanced upon One Plus One Plus One Equals One. They have this absolutely wonderful FREE downloadable printable pack for dogs, and I printed out some of the pages for Poppy. She really enjoys activity books, and sometimes when I leave her alone, I'm amazed that she can do them without my guidance.

We did some "one of these things doesn't belong here" sheets, read a one-page summary about dogs (then I made her circle all the 'd-o-g-s' words) and again, she surprised me by saying "I want to write "d-o-g" and did, without my help or demonstration.

It was also my first time to do sequencing with her. I suppose it's something that we as adults take for granted. "What comes next?" is such an easy thing for us, but not necessarily so for a little one. I found it a little hard to explain, but once I started using words like 'before' and 'after', she quickly got the hang of it.

Hidden Pictures
We also got this wonderful activity from It was also Poppy's first time to do such an activity and she really enjoyed it. I suppose the younger the child, the lesser colouring there should be, to keep her attention. The dinosaur was fun but we had to break it up into 2 sessions cos she kind of got tired of doing the same thing after a while.

Dog walking
Have you heard? We are dog owners now! Thanks to the wonderful brain of Joel from Made By Joel, I improvised a little and made this for Poppy with a tissue box during her nap, and she was happy to bring it out for a walk yesterday. We even stopped for pee breaks for Frosty the Doggy (yes, that's his name)!

Doggie Matching Game
I'm not a dog fan, but just for fun, I thought we'd learn the names of some of the more common breeds of dogs. So I printed out about 10 pairs of dog pics, with their names (for easy recognition for me!), and let her match them, memory game style.

Doggie Park
We went to Labrador Park! Haha. We (especially the 3.5 year old) loved the playground! It's a really pretty place for an evening stroll, but not the most accessible of places.

The Polka Dot Door
I think I grew up watching The Polka Dot Door. But strangely, I don't remember a thing from the show, except the theme song. In our house, it's also known as my cheat song. It's what I sing to appease Poppy when she asks for one more song on top of the 20,000 I've sung past bedtime. Needless to say, I've sung those 4 famous lines countless times. She was thrilled when I told her I had a polka dot door game for her. I simply cut out 'doors' (decorated with polka dots of course) from a piece of drawing block and glued them to a piece of hard cardboard, and pasted shapes of different colours under them. It was like a memory game, only she had to open and close the doors instead of flip cards. We can re-use this over and over, just by changing the items under the doors. I look forward to using it more for future letters!

Caring for Our Dental Health
I'm so happy I found Kids Soup - What a wonderful website, and it had a section specially dedicated to Dental Crafts! Whoopie! Not all the crafts are free but I managed to find this for Poppy, for her to tick all the things that were good for her teeth, and to put a cross on those that were bad.

Health Zone, situated within the Singapore General Hospital at Outram Park, has a decent section on dental health if you're keen. You can even go into a giant mouth and jump on a bouncey tongue. It's only $3 for admission for adults, and $1.50 for kids aged 3-18. Read about our previous visit here. We've been twice but apparently not enough for her. So we rounded up her pal Gordon and scooted off for a third visit. How cute that she knew her way enough to guide him around :)

This is the Way We Brush our TeethWe've had the book Open Wide for a while, and it's a little hard to read it cos 1) it's not a story book and 2) it's got jokes that are too advanced for a 3.5 year old. But it's allowed me to re-learn the names of the teeth, and what they're for, and now when I brush her teeth (she does one round, and I do another), I tell her which teeth I'm brushing as I'm doing them (molars... premolars... canines ... incisors...)

Happy Tooth, Sad Tooth
Thanks to the lovely ideas of an ex preschool teacher, now a fantastic mummy blogger, we found this really cool idea. Check out From the Hive.

Earlier, I asked her as we shared a brownie with ice-cream:
"Are brownies good or bad for our teeth?"
"Bad," she said.
"So what do we have to do after eating brownies?"
Without missing a beat, and with her mouth still full of brownie crumbs, "Brush and brush and brush and brush!"


Duckie breakfast
I am very blessed that Max works rather close to home, so he leaves late enough for me to prepare breakfast on some days, while he chats with Poppy while she is drinking her milk. This breakfast meal idea was a very timely one - I was just wondering how I could jazz up Poppy's breakfast menu (which is really the same couple of things rotated over the week), and decided to make her French Toast (I used raisin+grain bread dipped in milk+cinnamon) and cut it into duckie shapes. I also remembered we had alphabet cookie cutters so made some Ds for her with the leftover cheese. She was really excited when she saw the plate and finished most of it :) Apart from that, she also had some mango, and prune yoghurt, to complete the breakfast. A breakfast for champions indeed!

Five Little Ducks
Five little ducks that I once knew
Fat ones, skinny ones, just like you
But the one little duck with the feather on his back
He ruled the others with a Quack Quack Quack

Down by the river they would go
Widdle waddle widdle waddle to and fro
But the one little duck with the feather on his back
He ruled the others with a Quack Quack Quack

How Much is that Doggie
How much is that doggie in the window
The one with the waggly tail
How much is that doggie in the window
I do hope that doggie's for sale

Dora, Dora, Dora! Who else :)
BOOKS/STORIES- The Funny Duckling by Pippa Goodhard
- The Ugly Duckling
- Show Me Your Smile (a Dora book)
- Dog and His Reflection (from Aesop Fables)
- How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight by Jane Yolan
- How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You by Jane Yolan
- Going to the Dentist by Kate Petty
- Snacks for Healthy Teeth by Mari Schuh
- Open Wide! - My First Trip to the Dentist by Jen Green
- I Don't Want a Posh Dog by Emma Dodd
- Dogs Don't Do Ballet by Anna Kemp
- Daniel's Dinosaurs by Mary Carmine

It's going to be a very very busy next couple of days because I am starting to put together materials and ideas for letters E, F, G and H in anticipation of my coming upgrade in status (you know, from mum of one to mum of -goodness gracious, great balls of fire, seriously?- two), and the realisation that I will not have the time to do anything but be milked for the coming weeks.

Hey we're featured on My Play School !


  1. Wow thats a very complete list of D activities that u did. Could I feature your post in I think many moms will benefit from the ideas that u have shared ;)

  2. Sure Rachel, I'm flattered! I hope I managed to get all the proper credits and links!

  3. Hey we made the pull toy too! Ours is a cat named Nut. (

    1. Nut! What a gorgeous name for a cat! Love it.

  4. Once again I really love the well rounded approach. :) How long does it take for you to go throiugh one letter? Are you fully homeschooling Poppy?

    1. Thanks alot for the kind words :) I say a week but it really depends. With D I think I went a little overboard and had to tell myself to stop! Usually 7-10 days. I try to cap it at 10 days; if not, she'll get bored. Homeschool? Me? Oh no, the idea of it totally freaks me out. I'm neither qualified nor disciplined enough. Plus, with baby on the way, I don't think I would be able to give Poppy enough attention to justify total homeschooling.

  5. Gosh you really did ATTACK the letter D! Haha. The teeth idea is fantastic n at first I thought, how is that a 'd' word, and then it hit me, "oh right, DENTAL!" I'm so dumb right haha

    1. Haha no la. It's a bit abstract! But since it was D for Dentist, I thought I would follow through with Dental stuff. Always good to fit in opportunities to remind the youngins about teeth-brushing and good food, bad food! :)

  6. Adora,

    I have uploaded your article, it can be found here Thanks for your contribution!

  7. Wow, this series of D activities is amazing! I am learning a lot and shall try it out with my preschooler. What a great way to learn!
    I should link you to my blog which is an educational blog! The mummies will love your ideas! :)


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