Tag Archives: preschool

How to talk to your children when they are upset

Children are capable individuals. Do not underestimate what they can do. They should be taught how to solve their problems through scaffolding. This is the start of teaching them how to think independently as we do not want them to everytime rely on us. We should give children the power to think and make smart choices by themselves.

There are many issues that children encounter in their day to day life. Some of these are simple ones and others might not be that easy. No matter how plain or difficult it is, it should not be disregarded when it bothers our children.

Here are the four steps to guide us when talking to our children regarding their problems:

1. Let children talk or explain the whole situation. When you see your child is upset, angry or sad, let them share what disturbs them. If they are not ready, allow them to calm down or cool down and let them explain later when they are ready. Avoid judgment.

2. Ask processing questions. Children will not give all the information that you need. For example, they will say “I do not like my sister! She took my toys!” So, your job is to elicit all the information that you need. Acknowledge the child’s feeling like “Oh… You are upset because your sister took your toy”. After acknowledging the child’s feeling, start to ask questions to draw the precedent behavior or what causes the sister to take his toy. Is it because he does not share? Is it because he played for so long? Or is it because the sister does not know how to wait for her turn?

3. Help the child to see what went wrong. After listening to the child and assessing what went wrong, talk to the child. If the child is the one at fault, ask him questions that will make him realize what went wrong. If it is the sister’s fault, talk to the sister and explain what was wrong and let her apologize to her brother. If both children have mistakes, talk to them and ask questions that will make them see what went wrong.

4. Allow the child to identify socially acceptable ways to address the issue. Let the children conclude the talk by stating what they have learned from this scenario or what they will do next time when they face the same problem.

Empower children as they solve their own problems by guiding them until they are fully ready to tackle their own challenges. It is the best thing that we can do for them. Later on, you will feel relief raising a child who is capable to think for himself/herself.


Santa Claus Craft for Christmas

Santa Claus is one of the symbols of Christmas, and so, making a Santa Claus craft is a good activity to do with your preschool children.

The materials for this activity are accessible and easy to find. What you need are colored paper, pompom balls, cotton balls and colored pencils or markers.

Here are the steps on how to make an easy Santa Claus craft:

1. Let the children draw a hat on the red paper and cut it.

2. Allow the children to stick the “hat” on a circle-shaped paper.

3. Encourage children to draw eyes, nose and mouth on the circle-shaped paper to make it appear as Santa’s face. For variation, you may use moving eyes and pompom ball (for the nose) if you prefer children to paste items rather than to draw.

4. Let the children paste cotton balls around the chin and lower cheek of the “face”.

Santa Claus
Voila! Santa Claus is ready to come to town!

This activity is good for children from 4 to 6 years of age. However, you may want to use pre-cut shapes for younger groups as their fine motor skill is not yet fully developed for controlled cutting.

Five good values that should be inculcated among preschool children

It is important to start instilling good values to children as early as preschool age because it will be a part of them later on as they grow and develop.

There are many good values out there, but here are five of them that should be emphasized among preschool children:

1. Autonomy – Sure children need our help and guidance! However, there are things that they can do on their own, and we should allow them to do those things. Not letting children to do things that they can do all by themselves will have effect on their confidence, which will subsequently affect their development. Let your child start doing the things that they can do such as carrying their bags, wearing their clothes and eating their own meal.

2. Respect. Respect is not only the way how you should treat adults or how you should treat the rights of your peers. Respect is also knowing how to use polite expressions like “thank you”, “sorry” and “excuse me”. Teach your child to automatically say “thank you” when someone did nice things to them and “sorry” when they hurt somebody accidentally or unintentionally. Also, teach children when to say “excuse me”. When two adults are talking, let your child say “Excuse me. Can I talk to you first?” Rather than just blurting out while adults’ conversation is going on.

3. Friendship. Friendship pertains to being kind, caring and loving to peers. Let your children understand the value of friendship so as not to hurt their friends whom they interact with most of the time.

4. Determination. There are some children who easily give up when facing a problem. Teach your children to persevere and not to give up. When they imbibed the value of determination, there will never be a problem that they cannot surpass!

5. Honesty. Honesty is not only to tell the truth, but also to do what is right. Teach your children to be honest, not just in words, but also in their actions.

Teaching children good values is the best thing that we can do for them so that they grow responsibly and soon become a good citizen of the society.

Setting up your classroom for the new school year

Teachers are not only teachers. They are interior designers, too. They plan and organize how their classroom would look like before welcoming a new batch of children. You might ask “How do teachers set up their classroom?”

Well, teachers setup their classroom based on what the school asked, what is appropriate to children, and of course, done according to the teacher’s personality.

As for me, I like a classroom that evokes positivity. So, I would put positive quotes around my classroom.

Take a look at the pictures below of how I designed my classroom in 2012, my first year in Singapore:

The section I handled from 2012 to 2015… ūüôā
A positive note to welcome my children and parents
Our Meeting Area…
Library Centre
Discovery Centre
Construction Centre
Table Toys Centre
Computer Area
Music Centre
Art and Craft Centre
Dramatic Play Centre
Our door…
A closer look on what was written on the door…

Children, parents and teachers who enter my classroom are greeted with positive notes, and they also leave with positive thoughts in mind, because I, myself, is full of optimism in life!

Have fun designing your classroom!


Jurong Frog Farm


Our school visited Jurong Frog Farm to know more information about frogs in real life context. Activities conducted by the staff of Jurong Frog Farm were age-appropriate.

The first activity was introducing the American Bullfrog to the children. The kids were able to touch and feel the frog.


At the next station, the kids were given the opportunity to feed an army of frogs.


Then, the children were able to see the life cycle of a frog in real life.

At the fourth station, the children had the chance to catch tadpoles.


Finally, the children eagerly listened to the story “The Frog Prince”.


Overall, the trip was informative, and at the same time, fun and engaging for the children! The programme offered was carefully and meaningfully designed for children. It’s definitely worth a visit!


Requirements for Preschool Teachers in Singapore

Singapore is very particular with teaching requirements before one becomes an eligible teacher or an educarer. A qualified teacher or an educarer should meet all professional and academic qualifications and language proficiency requirement. What does it mean?

For Singaporeans and PRs, qualified teachers should have:

  • Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education (professional qualification)
  • 5 ‘O’ level credits in 5 different subjects (academic qualification)
  • B4 in GCE ‘O’ Level English Language 1 (language proficiency)

When you meet the above requirements, you will be considered as L2 teacher. L2 teacher can teach all levels in preschool such as Kindergarten, Nursery, Pre-Nursery and Playgroup (18 months – 6 year old children).

Those who have Certificate in ECCE, 3 ‘O’ level credits in 3 different subjects and C6 in GCE ‘O’ Level English Language 1 will be considered as L1 teacher. L1 teacher can only teach Nursery, Pre-Nursery and Playgroup (18 months – 4 years old). For more information, click here.

For foreigner English teachers like those preschool teachers from the Philippines, Malaysia and other country, they should also meet the teacher certification requirements. This means that they need to have Diploma in ECCE and should get an IELTS band score of 6.5 or better in order to be categorized as L2 teacher. Those who were assessed at certificate level will be labeled as L1 teacher, and can only teach early years (up to 4 years old). To know more details on teacher certification with foreign Early Childhood qualifications, click here.

If the foreign English Teacher has degree in his/her home country, it will be assessed whether it covers the following topics:

  • Principles and ¬†Practices ¬†in ¬†Early Childhood ¬†Care ¬†and ¬†Education
  • Child ¬†Development and ¬†Learning
  • Curriculum ¬†Studies ¬†and ¬†Pedagogy
  • Personal Growth and ¬†Professional ¬†Development ¬†: ¬†The ¬†Reflective ¬†Teacher
  • Safety, ¬†Health, Hygiene ¬†and ¬†Nutrition
  • Partnership ¬†with Families ¬†and ¬†the Community
  • Supervised ¬†Teaching ¬†Practice

If it does and it qualifies as diploma or certificate in Singapore, then he/she does not need to study DECCE or CECCE.

Once you become a full-fledged preschool teacher, you are required to complete at least 20 hours of Continuous Professional Development per year. You have the option to attend CPD courses or participate in Professional Development (PD) programmes conducted by ECDA. You can also consider other modes of PD such as web-based learning, learning journeys and sharing sessions amongst peers.


Decoupage: An art technique perfect for developing your child’s fine motor skills

Decoupage is an art technique used to decorate an object using paper cut outs and glue. This is a great activity to develop your child’s fine motor skills. Older preschool children can use scissors to cut magazines, newspapers or colored papers while younger preschool children can use their fingers to tear paper (instead of cutting).

Here are the materials needed for decoupage:

  • glue
  • brush
  • magazines, newspaper or colored paper

It is easy to do it. Let your child cut or tear paper. Next, allow them to use brush to spread glue on the object they are decorating. Then, let them stick the paper on the object.

Below is an example of how decoupage looks like. The children decorated the tissue roll using colored paper and magazine.


Happy making!


Make your own rainstick using recycled materials

Our topic for this term is “Rain”. One of our activities include making a rainstick using recycled materials.

The materials needed are the following:

  • tissue roll
  • clear plastic bag
  • rubber band
  • paper cut outs (coloured paper, magazines, newspaper, etc)
  • glue
  • aluminum foil
  • rice, macaroni and/or beans

Here is how to create your DIY rainstick:

  • Decorate the outside part of the tissue roll. My K1 children used decoupage as an art technique to beautify their rainstick. 20170407_160805
  • Roll and twirl the aluminom foil and put it inside the tissue roll to make the beans/rice/macaroni twirl slowly.¬†20170407_161402
  • Cover tissue role’s one hole with clear plastic and rubber band.¬†20170407_161810
  • Put the sound source or sound maker inside. Do you want rice? Beans? Macaroni? Or combination?¬†20170407_161938
  • Cover the other hole… and there you have it! Your very own rainstick!¬†20170407_162206

Creating a rainstick is a good activity for Music lesson or when your topic is about rain or saving the earth.


Have fun! ūüėČ

Rain Cloud Experiment

Why does it rain? Conduct a simple experiment to show your preschoolers a visual representation of the rain concept.

1. Pour water in a tall, transparent container or jar.


2. Squeeze shaving foam.


3. Add food colour.


Observe as the streaks of food colour drops to the bottom of the container. Let the children know that the shaving cream is the cloud and the food colour is the rain… when the cloud turns dark or grey, it will rain!



Ten cooperative learning strategies for preschool children


Cooperative learning strategy (also known as collaborative learning strategy) is based on the Social Constructivist theory whereby learning happens with the guidance of or through collaboration with others. Cooperative learning strategy is done in pair or small groups after presenting a topic to discuss solutions to a problem or to brainstorm for ideas. Below are some of the cooperative learning strategies which you can employ in your preschool classroom:

  1. Round Robin – Each child will take turn answering a question. For example, if the class activity is to give words that begin with /s/, the first child will give one word, then the second child will give another word and so on until everyone has contributed a word.
  2. Roundtable – Rountable is similar with Round Robin. However, the main difference is the children write their ideas.
  3. Jigsaw – In Jigsaw, children are assigned with a number. Each number is given a part to tackle. For example, Child 1 will think of an action for stanza 1 of a poem, Child 2 will do stanza 2, an so on. Then, all of them will come together and share the actions to their group to have all the actions for that one poem.
  4. Give One, Get One – Children will go around and ask one idea from a friend. In exchange for that, he/she should also give one idea to his/her friend.
  5. Think-Pair-Share – The teacher will pose a question for the children to think. Then, they will find a pair and share their answers to their partner.
  6. Numbered Heads Together – In a group, each child will have a number. The teacher will call out a number, and all children in each group with that number will come together to answer a problem. After their discussion, they will go back to their own group and share the answers to their own group.
  7. Tea Party – Children will be in two circles or two lines. The teacher will pose a question. Those children who are facing each other will discuss the answers. After that, the outside circle or the one line will move so that they will have a new partner to discuss with.
  8. Writearound – This is good for creative writing. The teacher will give the beginning of the story (For example, “Once upon a time, the bear went to the forest and he…”). Each child will write something to continue the story.
  9. Gallery Walk – Children’s work will be placed on the wall or on the table for display. Children will then walk around and each child will explain their work. Other children may give comments on their friend’s work.
  10. Quiz-Quiz-Trade – Each child will have a partner. One child will ask a question and the other one will answer. Then, they switch roles.

There are a lot of cooperative learning strategies, but you can start using these ten strategies to jumpstart a collaborative work in your classroom.