Ever felt like you had a great idea to share with others?
One mom did, and acted on her ideas.
Mom-of-one, Jacqueline Zhang created activity sheets that she could do with her son and nieces. Taking it further, she submitted her ideas to us at Little Day Out. We loved them and they can now be found on our new Little Day Out Shop.
LDO Shop Author Jacqueline Zhang’s activity ideas cover everyday topics like food and the neighbourhoods we live in. They introduce kids to the world around them and are creative and fun to do.
We spoke with Jacqueline to find out more about where her fount of creativity bubbles up from and what led her to share her activity sheets on the Little Day Out Shop.
Hear from LDO Shop Author Jacqueline Zhang
Little Day Out: You have developed a series of practical activity packs with hanyu pinyin guides. What inspired you to create these bilingual activity packs?
Jacqueline Zhang: My nieces, Renee (aged 6+) and Sophie (aged 4+), and my son, Reef (aged 2+), are my inspiration!
I play with them and teach them, and these interactions give me ideas on activities I can do with them. I added the bilingual element as I feel that children (including my son and nieces) need more exposure to the Chinese language.
LDO: What do you hope to achieve through these activity packs? What is the main takeaway for the child?
JZ: I believe a lot of parents (including myself) would like to outsource the learning of Chinese to the experts because we are not too confident of the language. I hope that these simple activities will encourage parents to impart to their children some life skills in both languages, have fun with their child and teach values as well.
The child will definitely benefit from the time spent with the parent. More importantly, the child will learn that his/her parent is interested and personally involved in his/her learning, and is not afraid to learn and master the Chinese language together with the child.
Editor’s Note: Check out Jacqueline’s range of bilingual printables.
LDO: We’re sure you’ve experimented with using your activity packs with your son or with someone’s child. Tell us which is their favourite activity pack and why it was so?
I am using the exploring my neighbourhood activity pack with my son. He loves exploring and learning about the neighbourhood! I will be trying the Xiao Wan Mian (noodles) and Ji Fan (chicken rice) activity packs with my nieces soon. Those two activity packs are designed with preschoolers in mind.
LDO: Do you have a personal favourite? Why?
My personal favourite is still in the making. It will be called Conversations with Grandma. (You can use it with Grandpa too.) I like it because I enjoyed talking to my grandmother. As my grandmother has dementia now and is very old, I really miss those days. I hope that with that activity pack, many children can create beautiful memories of conversations with their grandparents and learn from them.
LDO: What other new Singapore-inspired digital product can we expect to see from you?
We (Jacqueline and her collaborator, Angeline) just launched an activity pack called “Knowing Singapore” as a build up towards National Day. It will be designed for toddlers.
We also intend to launch a learning package called “How much is it”, to teach children about understanding the cost of items in English and Chinese and paying money when buying something. It will be suitable for both preschoolers and toddlers.
LDO: Why did you decide to publish with Little Day Out Shop? Did you consider other avenues?
I have been following your weekly eNewsletter for more than a year now. When you launched the Little Day Out Shop and invited readers to submit ideas, I decided to give it a try as I really love coming out with ideas. It was all rather spontaneous, and I never thought of coming up with children products until the invitation came. I was pleasantly surprised and very excited that you were willing to publish my first idea, Xiao Wan Mian.
LDO: Tell us more about yourself. Are you a stay-at-home mum now?
I started off as a secondary school teacher. After that, I did curriculum work with MOE, and went on to work with the youths in my church. Teaching and working with youths has always been my passion. However, the nature of such work requires a lot of time and dedication. I decided to switch to part time admin work to spend more time with my son since he was born. Now I work for 2.5 days, and I look after my son on the other days of the week.
LDO: How do you usually get new ideas?
I like to think about ideas when I am on the bus or MRT train. Sometimes, the ideas come suddenly in the middle of the day as well! Sometimes, the ideas are a bit raw, and I will write them down and think about them once a while to refine the ideas until I am happy with them. I also enjoy talking to friends about my new ideas, and sometimes they give me good pointers to think about.
LDO: What’s a typical weekend like for you and your family?
On Saturdays, my family likes to head out to explore a new place or try a new activity in the morning. On Sundays, we spend the morning and afternoon in church and with church friends. In the evenings (Saturdays and Sundays), we spend time with my in-laws and my nieces.
LDO: Name three of your favourite spots in Singapore and three activities you enjoy as a family.
My family loves the Jurong Bird Park, the Keppel Centre for Art Education at the National Gallery and Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. We also love going to all the different playgrounds in our neighbourhood, cycling at the East Coast Park and spending time with family and friends.
Take part in our giveaway and stand a chance to win one of LDO Shop Author Jacqueline Zhang’s activity packs.
Jacqueline has developed the following activity packs:
Knowing Singapore: Teach your child how to recognise the Singapore Flag, know where ether stay and learn a simple greeting in different languages. Available for $1.50 on the Little Day Out Shop.
Exploring My Neighbourhood: Acquaint your child with your neighbourhood. Help him or her learn what key facilities and services in the community are called. Your child can also learn what they can do there and how to get there. Available for $2.50 on the Little Day Out Shop.
Ji Fan (Chicken Rice): Teaches your child how to order food through play. Play-pretend as chef and customer to build up their confidence interacting in Mandarin. Available for $2.50 on the Little Day Out Shop.
Xiao Wan Mian (Noodles): Help your child gain confidence to order his or her own meal in Mandarin through play. The game also promotes parent-child bonding, hones listening and oral skills. Available for $2.50 on the Little Day Out Shop.
Little Day Out is now giving you a chance to win one of these activity packs. Simply submit your details and answer the question below by 7 August to take part. Double your chances of winning by liking and sharing this Facebook post.
Congratulations to the five winners:
Gwee Leng Leng
Seet Wen Hao
We trust you will enjoy the activity packs with your children!