Author Archives: Joan

Montessori child at work with syringe

Montessori Practical Works for Toddlers

This is a sequel to my previous post on montessori for toddlers. Some friends requested to see how our shelves with the materials looked like. We were able to cater one room for teaching purpose and this is also my helper’s bedroom with her foldable mattress kept aside in the day.

We have 2 BESTA shelves from Ikea. One for practical works and one for math works.

Montessori practical work shelf

Shelf with practical work materials

Montessori Shelf with limited spaceShelves for math and practical work materials


Last month, we replaced some works with the following materials…

Montessori practical works keys and locks

Unlock to collect the rings

Threading the beads

Threading the beads

Montessori practical work Wooden puzzle and using a draw string bag

Wooden puzzle and using a draw string bag

Montessori practical work Pouring dried corn kernels

Pouring dried corn kernels

Sweeping rice within tray

Sweeping rice within tray


We have 2 sets of 3 containers filled with beans, rice and buttons. These materials can be played as a game of sound matching. Keep one set of 3 containers with you and the child, while you leave the other set of containers in another room. Shake one container and let the child go to the other room to find the matching container and bring it back to you.

Montessori sound matching

Sound Matching

Montessori sound matching

Shake and match the 2 containers that sound the same


The orange colored water is simply water mixed with a bit of food coloring.

Montessori practical work water transfer with a syringe

Water transfer using a syringe

Kids at work together
Kids at work… One of the good times doing lesson together…
Montessori child at work with syringe
Working with a syringe




Perth Trip – Day 2

Day 2… All in the farm…

This is where we had our farm stay experience… Settlers Rest Farm Stay.

We stayed here for 4 nights and used it as a base to travel around the Swan Valley region.

When we were searching for a farm stay accommodation, we chose a private farm stay with no other visitors and no planned activities.

Just wanted to experience life on a farm the way it is.
Settlers Rest Farmstay

Settlers Rest Farmstay

Path to settlers rest farm stay

Pathway to the cottage...

Cottage at Settlers Rest Farm stay

The Cottage...

Settlers rest farm stay

Surrounded by a peaceful atmosphere...

Just love these

Corridor of settlers rest farm stay


Settlers Rest Farm stay

The name says it all...


View of the living room with the TV set and DVD player hidden from view. There were some movies and cartoons DVDs provided. There were also some toys and games for the little kids to help themselves to.

Living room at settlers rest

Living Room

Cozy corner...

Master Bedroom in Settlers Rest

Master Bedroom

Bedroom with a Queen sized bed and a Single bed at Settlers Rest

Bedroom with a Queen sized bed and a Single bed

Settlers rest farm stay bedroom

Bedroom with 2 single beds

Kitchen in Settlers rest farm stay

Vintage Cooking Area


This cottage is fully equipped with cooking facilities… oven, cooker, fridge, microwave, toaster, sandwich maker, pots and pans, tea set, wine glasses, porcelain and melamine dinnerware, knife, can opener etc… Everything that you need for cooking! The only thing we brought was a new sponge for washing dishes and food supplies that we need.

Kitchen in Settlers Rest
Dining Area in Settlers Rest

Dining Area... Filled with our snacks!


The cottage has a washing machine and a dryer… and even a fishing rod if you want to try fishing at Swan River which is situated at the end of the farm.

Laundry area at Settlers Rest

Laundry area

Doorway to Backyard at settlers rest

Doorway to Backyard


This is the first time we use a hammock and we all loved it! The kids would come here first every morning the moment they step outdoors. Wish I could have a longer time on it so that I could laze and read a book.

Hammock for kids
The spot in the farm which the kids miss most…

Enjoying the sunlight... the cool air... the sounds of the animals...


It’s so comfy to sit out there in the natural air con, on the grass, with some popcorn… and enjoy the view of God’s creations…

Enjoying the farmstay
Popcorn with the scenery… Perfectlicious!
Settlers Rest Farm stay
Nature is wonderful!
Settlers Rest Farm stay

Nature Study

The Farm on Settlers Rest farmstay

Good to be away from the city...


We are free to feed the animals anytime of the day as we are the only guests on the farm. Instructions on how and what to feed the animals with are provided in the cottage. So we prepared the food accordingly to what is indicated. The owners feed the animals at 5pm daily and would invite us to join them when we are around.

Feeding the sheeps


Farmer at work

Grape vine at settlers rest
Finding treasures among the grape vines


Jeanne fell in love with horses during this trip. She is afraid to go near all the animals except the horses.

Horse Equestrian Training

Watching the horse...


The owners’ daughters are into horse equestrian and would bring the horses around for competitions. They diligently care for the horses and we admire the parents’ spirit in supporting what the kids love since young.

Equestrian Training
Equestrian Training


When everyone comes together to help in food preparation, the meal will be extra tasty…

Kids helping out during lunch preparation

Lunch Preparation...

Homecooked lunch at Settlers rest



Julian spotted this whimsical, old fashioned weather vane on the rooftop of the stable… North, South, East, West… Where is the wind blowing today?

Where's the wind blowing today?

Horse Stable at settler rest farmstay

Horse Stable


The area of the farm is about 13 acres! So big that they need to use a tractor to send food to the horses in the farm! If you are wondering how big is 1 acre, it’s about 4047sqm. That’s about 37 HDB 5-room flats in Singapore! With 13 acres, that’s about 480 5-room flats!

Tractor on the farm

Tractor on the farm

Goats in the pen

Goats in the pen...

Goat at settlers rest farmstay

With the goats...

A walk through settler rest farm

A walk through the farm...

Cow on the farm

Xena the working cow...


This cute looking animal standing behind Julian is an alpaca. The owner shared with us that alpacas are there to guard the animals from foxes and wild dogs. They are very protective over the other animals like sheep, goats and chickens. So during the night while the other animals are locked up, the alpacas are left roaming around to protect them.

We are standing outside the chicken coop waiting for daddy to open the gate for us to go in and collect fresh eggs! Looks like the animals are as eager as us… There is a tub of food in the chicken coop and the animals are eyeing on it!

Any eggs for Julian today?


There was a chicken standing right in front of Julian watching him, clucking non stop as if telling him.. Are you going to take my eggs???

Looking out for the chicken...


Coast clear! Feel like we are stealing eggs from the chicken! Hahaha…

Collecting chicken eggs

Collecting eggs before the chicken comes again!

Collecting chicken eggs

Yeah! I did it!


Walking through the farm to the end where Swan River is… it was a long stroll… but a good family walk in the nature, collecting treasures as we go… Simply love it…

Walking to Swan River

Walking through the farm to Swan River

path to swan river

Nature Walk

Nature walk...

Collecting rocks...


Look at the rocks the 2 kids had collected… Julian got the bigger ones and Jeanne found the smaller ones…

Rocks collected by Ju and Jeanne...


The owner shared with us that these are competition show horses, so they cover them with 3 layers of cloths of different materials to keep them warm. This will ensure that their hair will remain short and beautiful instead of growing too much.

Horses on the farm

Horses on the farm


Every different kind of birds that flew by amazed us. We rarely see this kind of creatures other than in the zoo or Bird Park. Beautiful!

Galah Cockatoo on the Farm

Wildlife on the farm

Galah CockatooGalah Cockatoo
Australian Shelducks

Australian Shelducks

Australian White Ibis

Australian White Ibis


After about 20mins walk, we finally reached the river. Stayed there only a short while as the sun was setting soon and we went back for the 5pm animal feeding time.

Swan River

A Panoramic VIew of Swan River

Swan River

How deep is this river... Are there alligators...


Feeding time is what Julian was looking forward to!

This lady in the picture is Corinne, the owner and host at Settlers Rest Farmstay… Can see how friendly she is?

Feeding time on the farm...

Feeding time with Corrine...


Ju's favourite animal on the farm... the Alpacas

Perth Trip – Day 1

Yes our photos taken during our Perth trip are finally sorted!

Day 1… Here we go!

Setting off to airport

Setting off!


Squeezed all we can into one luggage for the whole family for this 11-day trip.

weight of luggage

One luggage for a family of 4!


This is the first time Jeanne is taking a night flight. It’s 1 am and she is not showing any signs of tiredness… Totally excited!

Toddler on the plane
We are in an airplane?


Yep! Finally knocked out! The beauty of taking night flight with kids 🙂

Toddler on night flight



We are reaching Perth very soon!

View of Perth from Plane
Touching down at Perth


We are in Perth!

Perth International Airport
Perth International Airport


This is an area on level 2 with a few shops and cafes. We visited one of the shops called Newslink to purchase a prepaid SIM card. We got a Telstra $30 starter kit as we heard Telstra has a better coverage than Optus and Vodafone if you plan to travel out of the city. It comes in 2 sizes: Micro-SIM (e.g. iPhones) or SIM. All you have to do after that is to put the SIM card into the phone and call the number in the instruction manual to activate it. An operator on the line will get some details from you and ask you what plan you would like to be on. We chose the Cap Encore plan that allows calls, SMS and surfing. Once activated, you can use your phone till you run out of credit. If you wish to top up your credit, you can just buy it from the cashier counter at Coles Supermarket and the instructions to top up are all printed on the receipt. 🙂

Shopping Area at Perth International Airport
Shopping Area at Perth International Airport


Julian was so happy when he got out of the building and the air was cool!

We took a cab from the airport to collect our rented car from Baywater at Guildford Road, Bayswater. John’s friend recommended us to rent our car from Bayswater Car Rental. He did a research on the rental price and found that it was about AUD$500 less for the period of our stay as compared to renting a car from those at the airport. A taxi ride to Bayswater Car Rental costs AUD$30.

Taking a cab from Perth International Airport

Taking a cab from Perth International Airport


We do not own a car in Singapore. So this part of the trip where daddy is going to drive us around throughout is something which we really looked forward to!

Collecting car at Bayswater car rental

Waiting for daddy to collect the car key


Here is the car which we are going to own for 11 days!

Bayswater Car Rental @ Guildford Road, Bayswater

Bayswater Car Rental @ Guildford Road, Bayswater


This is the web address of Bayswater Car Rental. Why no birds??? Click on the link and check out 🙂


It was a beautiful cool day…

Bright cloudy day
Bright cloudy day…


and 5 mins through the drive, it rained for only a short period of time and the weather was good again.

Rainy day in Perth
Shower of blessing as we head to our first destination


Our first destination… Lunch and shopping for groceries at The Shops at Ellenbrook. This place is only about 15minutes drive to our farmstay. There were 2 huge supermarkets in this building and we did our shopping at Coles Supermarket.

Woolworths at Ellenbrook

Woolworths at Ellenbrook


We signed out a miniature trolley for Jeanne, so she was happily shopping for snacks!

Miniature Trolley for kids in Coles Supermarket
Miniature Trolley for kids in Coles Supermarket


Julian was tired from the night flight, now sleeping in the trolley while we did our shopping. He was kept awake by SQ’s in-flight entertainment and hardly caught any sleep.

Shopping in Coles Supermarket
Shopping in Coles Supermarket


On our way to our farm stay, we saw some vines along the road and stopped to explore. Bunches of raisins hanging on the vines! Looking through, we found lots of watermelons! Corinne from our farmstay told us later that when they can’t sell their grapes, they will just leave them out there to dry.

Watermelon Farm
Watermelon Farm


Julian plucked one and wondered whether he should eat it…

Dried Bunches of Grapes
Dried Bunch of Grapes


Settlers Rest Farmstay

More photos will be posted on Day 2

Settlers Rest Farmstay
Settlers Rest Farmstay


We drove out again after checking in at the farmstay. This time, we went to Midland to shop for additional groceries that we missed out and we ended our day with my favorite for dinner 🙂

KFC at Swan ValleyKFC at Swan Valley
Montessori work on color matching for toddlers

Montessori for Toddlers

Last month, we started a new term of homeschool. In an attempt to keep Jeanne occupied with meaningful things to do while I am teaching Julian, we set up a shelf of Montessori practical works for her. That’s a corner she can call her own. At 26 months old now, her inner need for independence is growing. We frequently hear this little girl says “Jeanne do! Own!”

Before introducing the individual works to her, I showed her how to choose a work, hold the tray with 2 hands, walk slowly to the table and leave the tray on the table, gently pull out the chair and sit on the floor to start working. Thereafter finish the work, keep the materials back into the tray, bring the tray back to shelf and tuck in the chair at the table. This is the process she will go through when she chooses to do a work from the shelf.

Here are the works that we prepared for Jeanne on the shelf.

Montessori work on color matching for toddlers

Color Matching with Buttons

Montessori cutting work

Cutting Paper Strips

Montessori Matching Game

Matching Game

At a Van Gogh Exhibition few months ago, I bought 2 sets of Van Gogh paintings stickers and laminated them. This set of laminated stickers has created variety of fun time for us all. We played SNAP, memory game and matching game with them, at the same time introducing the name of the paintings to them.

Montessori work for toddler screwing nuts and bolts

Nuts and Bolts

Montessori works for toddlers opening and closing containers

Finding Treasures from Opening and Closing Containers

Montessori work for toddler treasures in containers

Treasures Within

Montessori work playdoh sculpting setup

Playdoh Sculpting

Montessori pouring seashell work for toddler

Pouring Seashells

These seashells were given by my cousin who picked them from the beach while at work… How blessed we are!

Montessori scooping work for toddler

Scooping Corn

Montessori sweeping work for toddlers

Sweeping Paper Scraps

Montessori threading work for toddlers

Threading with Needle and Wooden Spools

You may be wondering is that a real needle in the photo… Yes it is. On presenting this work to Jeanne, I specifically showed her that it is a sharp needle and it hurts when I gently touch the tip of the needle. This is the work she choses to do most of the time. From threading the wooden spools and removing the spools from the needle, she has never poked herself with the needle.

Montessori transferring work for toddler

Transferring Pom Poms with Forcep

Montessori work for toddlers to train fine motor skills

Inserting Toothpicks into Shaker



Looking Back On 2011

My absence in blogging has mostly been due to our transition into the new homeschooling life. Since August, Julian stopped going to school and that marked the start of our journey in homeschooling.

While 2011 has been a year full of changes, it has been a good year after all. We are thankful for everything that happened and we look forward to an exciting year ahead.

May this new year bring you joy and peace. See you in 2012!!