Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Kids Wanna Have FUN!

All legs and high above my head

The children laughed when I put the giraffe hat on my head. I think they thought I looked out of place to sport what I called my party hat. But I played along with them. Soon, they knew I 'owned' the hat and was happy wearing one. But honestly, when I'm with kids, there's no counting the minutes especially when we are enjoying ourselves.

The poster at TIMES, Pavilion, was up again - I'm on the loose -watch out!!

We had much fun at our craft session after I told the story about The Lonely Giraffe by Peter Blight and illustrated by Michael Terry. The bright, bold illustrations make for such a lovely telling. The giraffe's plight is also well told to draw empathy from the audience. The animals in the jungle have friends but giraffe is always left out . His long neck means that he's just too far away from the action . Things change when the river bursts its banks and the animals climb on to his neck and are safe. No more lonely, the giraffe is happy - the animals grow to know him and not be afraid of his big head nor his long legs.

When the craft session was over, one by one , the kids came to me to have it adjusted for their heads. And they went away sporting a giraffe hat. Heads in the air! Suddenly, they seemed taller than the giraffe!!

My favourite among other traditional stories from China is about the Chinese Zodiac calendar, titled ' How The Years Were Named'. This Chinese New Year, the Tiger roars in to take its turn among the 12 animals. Over the years, whenever this story is told, it always elicits interest as the race of the animals to Wizard Mountain unfolds. Of course, the children couldn't help but shout out ' The rat is first!' when I swept him in with the words ,'... the ox said,' Moo! I'm first!' But the rat who was hanging from the ox's tail, swung himself forward right in front of the ox. Hitching a good ride made him the winner !

Roaring in to wish you 'GONG XI FA CAI!'

So the year of the Ox has gone by to usher in the year of the Tiger who came in third in the race. We had a song about the tiger. The children enjoyed the catchy tune to it and sang along. We also played a game of the 12 animals. The children picked a card each . The fun started when an animal was picked. They were encouraged to make the sounds of each animal, move like them for their friends to guess.

The tiger stripes were torn from pieces of black paper. Tearing it into longish strips needed some attention from the kids. That session I had a very good turnout - 24 kids at the MBPJ library. The kids were playful with the tiger craft . Not any time you can be up close with the big cat and have a roaring time!

Now, which animal year were you born? Wait for this - ROAR - this is my year! I hasten to add, I'm also a LION ( Zodiac Leo). Gosh, I'm 2 big cats in one! A friendly one, I assure you. Please stay and listen to my stories :)

GONG XI FA CAI! Have a splendid year everyone!

Making the dragon dance

In good company. Let the tiger roar in !

Up close with the tiger - in his own comfort zone

We certainly love our big cat! Love him always, I say!!


  1. We gotta watch out when Keats is on the loose would not want to be "eaten alive" haha. Have great fun btw why the cat lost its way to Wizard Mountain haha? TQ

  2. lovely post
    I wish I could make creative things
    with those kids!!
    Love the giraffe hat :-)

  3. Those are such cute kids! It looks like they were really having fun creating. I am sure they will have fond memories of these experiences, for sure.


  4. Hi
    Bananaz,yeah, I forgot I've a ferocious appetite!!!LOL. In the story, the cat was late as he overslept. So the gatekeeper did not allow him in. Besides there were already 12 animals. So the tame cat did not get to run with the wild in the race!!

    Anya,make way! we, the giraffes are striding to you!

    Rosey Pollen, I honestly think they do. Holding their little craft in their hands, before leaving, they'll say a nice 'thank you' , either by themselves or prompted by their parents.

  5. Very lovely crafts. Next time, if I have grandchildren, I can make them the giraffe hats. :)

  6. Happy Tiger Year...Roarrrrrr!

  7. I love this post Keats..and next time you go on a storytelling, do give me a tinkle in advance as I hope to bring my kiddies along to see you in full action :)

  8. Hi
    alicesg, thanks! it's easy. Just get an outline of your favourite animal and make them join, in a chain . There you've got it!

    Pete, Happy Tiger year to you too! BTW, what animal year are you?

    M. Kate, Sure, will give you a tinkle. The more the merrier:)

  9. How creative and the kids are so cute. Love the tiger crafts.

  10. What fun, Keats! You should have posted a photo of you in the giraffe hat. I liked the story, although I feel the animals should love the giraffe for who he is, not what he can do for them when they are in need! Tigers are awesome. I am going for the MYCAT Tiger Outreach next Sat at the Dong Zen Temple in Jenjarom. The last time I participated in a wildlife outreach, the old timers kept coming to our booth to look at the tiger parts medication and tiger bones and asking us "How much"? Oh dear! Those aren't for sale! Those are to let them know that they must report to us if they see wildlife medicine being sold!

  11. Hi
    Veronica Lee,had a great time with the kids - they were pretty active - more than the tiger!!!

    ~Covert_Operations'78~,ha!Ha! you had a lot of explaining/educating to do. Never mind, by creating awareness, things will change for the better. Enjoy the event at Jenjarom . It's a pity I can't go with you as I'll be occupied with storytelling etc. Ravi is a WWF member - don't think he's aware of the event.

  12. What a colourful post!
    I'm so happy kids can create with their hands - not only with computers...

    Sunny greetings from Cairo! :)


  13. Hello Keats and thanks for visiting my blog. You are very colorful and bright as usual. I always like visiting your blog.

  14. Hi BLOGitse, thanks! yah! an outing with parents to the bookshops/ libraries can bring surprises too.

    Lucy, glad you're here! Though it's snowy and cold, keep your spirits up:)

  15. Oh! They do look like they are having a good time. You are so talented with kids.

  16. Hi
    Zue Murphy, we had a great time - playing and learning to love the tiger. The numbers are getting low for this lovely animal and awareness is so important.

  17. This is really a lovely post. You've had a wonderful time with those lovely and cute children. What a wonderful way to make them active and creative. I really enjoyed this post.

  18. Kong Hee Fatt Choi Keats. And I truly love the giraffe hat. The children looked engrossed in their work. You must have wowed them!

  19. A very happy New Year to you, hope it is a good one.;) Lovely kids.;)
    Thank you so much for your visit and kind words,

  20. Oh my goodness, when Keats is on the loose it seems like a lot of fun ;). I always your creative sessions with the kids. Very inspiring moments. Hugs and love. Have a wonderful holiday.

  21. Hi
    MedaM, as mothers, I know we can find ways to make things fun and hopefully the kids will ask to come back again for more fun!

    Ocean Girl, it's good to know the odd bookshop wants storytelling as one of their in-house activities. Parents play an important part in the success of the session - allowing the kids to stay and enjoy. When they are with me, I 'm the BIG kid and I lead the way!!

    Protege, welcome to my blog too! thank you for the New Year wishes. Red is THE colour to wear and have for things during the Chinese New Year. So, I'm ready!

    Rosidah Abidin, thanks so much !quite a number of kids have not played with the paper dragon nor the Chinese lion hand puppet which I brought along too. They tried and were amused. Take good care and love, my friend.

  22. The giraffe hat is interesting, though the originator hid and let a model stand in. With children, fun is limitless and tiresome disappears. How many parents are having fun with their children.....at least until age 10. Then the fun must continue until age 18 differently, in accordance with maturity. Fun does not stop as parent and child. Fun should continue as husband and wife as well. By the way, is your boss having fun with you. Has your boss made that work place a fun place to be around, learning all the time; improving all the time; growing bigger and becoming better. Sshh!!!! are you fun to be around with?

  23. Gong Xi Fa Cai to you and your family, and may the year of the Tiger brings lots of luck, peace and harmony to all of you! Hope to bring some of my nieces and nephews to one of your story-telling sessions one day.

  24. I would like to be those children and listen to your story about wizard mountain all over again. I won't be bored no matter how many times this story is told. Happy Valentine's Day and Gong Xi Fa Cai!

  25. Wishing you a Valentine's Day
    filled with love
    and the tender sound
    of a voice that gives you comfort.....

    Happy Valentine's Day :-)


    Kareltje =^.^=
    Anya :-)

  26. HI
    K.Thiruselvam, welcome to my blog. From my observation, kids up to 10 years still enjoy storytelling. Whatever age we are, if we know how to have fun,it is always there for us!
    I think the staff and I get along fine as we prepare the activities for the children. The boss, I'm pretty sure is aware of this:) Thanks for the reminder to have fun in whatever we do.

    petite nyonya, please introduce yourself for me to say 'hello' when you're around. I'd love to have your nieces and nephews participating in my session. Children need just a little encouragement even if it is to sit in with them. This is a small but important step to start the enjoyment.

    Autumn Belle,I'd be delighted to have you with me. I can also have your feedback and improve. Have a lovely day yourself too.

    Anya, thanks for popping in with your lovely wishes. Do give Kareltje hugs from me for a great Valentine's Day.

  27. Very nice post .. I love the paper tiger!

  28. The kids are cute specially in the first picture. And they are having fun too, excitement is spilling from their faces.

  29. Hi
    Laura in Paris, thanks! this Chinese New Year the tiger roars in and I'm glad we could 'play' with the tiger. We must teach our children to respect our animals as poachers are one of the culprits who maim them and cause unnecessary deaths to our beloved cat.

    Muhammad khabbab, welcome to my blog! thanks so much for your kind comment. Do pop in again. I love to chat about my various interests and our Malaysian culture too.

  30. OOh ... I missed. I wish to bring my daughter next time.

  31. Hi
    Lay Hoon aka mescrap,gosh! am so sorry I missed this comment of yours. Like the White rabbit said, 'I'm late! I'm late!'. Thanks so much for popping in. Do email me for dates of the storytelling sessions.


Great to have you popping in!