Vocal play was the “call” of most of this term’s Kindermusik lessons. Nice timing as B is also acquiring language – a gradual development process that includes listening, facial interaction, symbolic play, means-to-an-end behaviour, object permanence, imitation and vocal chord development. Vocal play engages the vocal muscles intensely and is great preparation for expressive speech. Exploration with sound also increases spatial reasoning, which is the ability to understand how things relate in space and time, to visualise the world accurately, to form mental images of physical objects, and to recognise variations of objects.
We were encouraged to keep up vocal play by exaggerating the shape of the mouth, using animated facial expressions and eye contact via mirrors and/or positioning yourself within his view. In addition, we should sing often and invite him to accompany on instruments. Kids actually start singing early by babbling, repeated words and fragments, and finally adding rhythmic features and pitch components. Singing is enjoyable AND beneficial in both cognitive development (abstract conceptual thinking, verbal abilities, originality) and motor development, esp. coordination. Besides sounds, we did some symbolic play too with feathers, toy birds and paper “leaves” to teach that one thing can represent another, starting with familiar items. This correlates to language acquisition in that a word represents an object. The first stage of symbolic play usually manifests from 6-8 months and becomes more sophisticated as they grow with imaginary and role play. This time there were new syncopated swing and jazz song-and-dances! “Sing a Song of Sixpence” (dig that groovy intermission!), “Gee, But It’s Great to Meet a Friend” and “Once I Saw a Little Bird”, “Hop To It” and “Duck Dance” which explored the tribal calls of the muskogean people and combines vocal play with singing in a fun way. 😀
- Feathers for lunch. Lois Ehlert, Harcourt Brace and Jovanovich Co.
- Baby Steps. Claire Kopp, WH Freeman and CO.
- Singing Bee! A Collection of Favourite Children’s Songs. Compiled by Jane Hart with pictures by Anita Lobel, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books.
- Trees, a poem. Harry Behn, illustrated by James Endicott, Henry Holt & Co.
- CD. Brahms at Bedtime: A Sleepy Serenade.
On a side note, I renewed B for one last term at Chengzhu Playnest and Kindermusik Village to supplement mama’s morning “right brain class” (plus books, numbers, phonics, music and outdoor activities where possible). He also had his MMRV booster shot yesterday. Thankfully there’s only 2 more jabs till the next series at 10 years old. Pheew! He’s now 11.3 kg, 81 cm at 15.5 months, understands lots of words, vocalises some, learning to self feed (patience and mess are a challenge for me!), naps ~2 hours once a day, sleeps from 830p to 730a with occasional waking (argh), and works on his gross and fine motor skills every chance he gets. What a busy boy!
These past few weeks, B seems to become more and more like a little man 😀
– Got his first haircut! Quite stylish, and actually complements his big head that’s slightly flat on the back, hehe
– Drinks his own sippy cup, self feeds cookies/biscuits/fruits, eats slightly mashed foods (no more purees)
– Verbal diarrhea and cognitive milestones! Responds to cues by looking, pointing, signing and occasionally doing the right actions. He can “show me the cars/wheels/balls/etc”, turn on the light switch, aircon and fan buttons, goes to and picks up books/bottle when he wants to read/drink, shakes his head, waves his hands, raises his arms…. Also coos, gurgles, babbles all the time!
– Stands upright, letting go briefly. Cruises more confidently, holds onto and pushes objects while on the go
– Loves music and movement so I’ve started him on Monday bounce & rhyme sessions in the park, including circle time in our Wednesday playdates and signed him up for Friday Kindermusik Village classes in early October (each term lasts 8 weeks)– Going for his first Chinese immersion class at Julia Gabriel’s Chengzhu Mandarin holiday programme. This should be quite an experience as my Chinese is terrible, and he’s mainly been exposed to English (and Malay/Bahasa) at home. If he takes well to it, I may consider signing up for regular classes there
– Finally met his maternal uncle on a surprise visit from San Francisco (via Seoul) — hooray!
– Got his Singapore passport (along with mommy!) in time for his first overseas trip this weekend. Wish us luck! I suspect we’ll have to bring more stuff for him than all of our own combined 😉
The maternity checklists available these days give me a (temporary?) sense of sanity and progress about our baby/parent preparations, esp. with the pending 3rd trimester. Time flies! This week, I discovered a comprehensive pregnancy checklist from The Bump — part of the same umbrella site we used for our wedding 6+ years ago, The Knot. Pretty cool.
Notable checks for this week:
- Long term visit pass for parents – Application sent and under review.
- Accomodation for parents – Rental bid accepted. Letter of Intent received.
- Baby crib and mattress – Thanks, Kenny!
- Newborn suits/hats/mits/booties/bibs/sleeping bags/blankets – Yay for friends, Mothercare and Kiddy Palace
- Upsized exercise tops, dresses and work pants – Sales at Vivocity, Novena and Marina Square 🙂
- Little one is ACTIVE. Hmm… many sleepless nights and days ahead?
Our hospital antenatal class just finished part 1 of physiotherapy with the highlight being the massage section. Hubby now knows how to give great back massages. No more excuses 😉 Also, I have somehow developed the biggest bump in my prenatal pilates class. How did this happen?!
It’s been pretty much routine sleep-eat-work-eat-sleep. The highlight (or rather, lowlight) being a nasty bout of allergies – mainly a runny/blocked nose – since Thursday night. Called the doc on Saturday morning for some pregnancy-safe antihistamines. She suggested chlorpheniramine which cost peanuts from the nearby pharmacy AND worked beautifully, except that it knocked me out pretty good! As hubby had also just completed his Lasik operation, we both ended up recovering at home and eating home-made chicken soup most of the weekend. On the plus side, after a string of busy days, we both got some R&R and felt the baby kick several times! On Sat afternoon, we also went for part 1 of our church’s Christian parenting course though honestly, I was so groggy from the meds I barely remember most of it. Thankfully, hubby took copious notes 🙂
Oh yes. Happy Independence Day, America!
Hubby’s been complaining of the heat so this week’s soup is especially for him: 绿豆汤 – green bean / mung bean soup, served chilled. Since our babymoon, I’ve also decided to swim more (when it stops raining, that is) now that our condo pool is finally “fixed.” I do feel quite self-conscious about my body lately though – definitely look forward to start my prenatal pilates class on Monday!
Meanwhile, received a confirmation email for our childbirth education classes in August (starting week 24 onwards). The Parentcraft Centre also included details on confinement nannies trained by the hospital plus home delivery/catering options. Gotta admit the sample menu (see below) looks terribly UN-appetizing even if it’s 100% nutritious for recovering moms. Maybe I can convince folks to join me on those liver/kidney/ginger days – misery loves company, right? =8