What should a 4 year old know?

I rarely copy-pasted any article in my blog – all the writings and photographs are mine. But this article is too good not to be shared –  Papa Ara shared this to me 4 months ago, and I needed to be reminded from time to time about it, so I reblogged this from Magical Childhood blog:

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I was on a parenting bulletin board recently and read a post by a mother who was worried that her 4 1/2 year old did not know enough. “What should a 4 year old know?” she asked. Most of the answers left me not only saddened but pretty soundly annoyed. One mom posted a laundry list of all of the things her son knew. Counting to 100, planets, how to write his first and last name, and on and on. Others chimed in with how much more their children already knew, some who were only three. A few posted URL’s to lists of what each age should know. The fewest yet said that each child develops at his own pace and not to worry.

It bothered me greatly to see these mothers responding to a worried mom by adding to her concern, with lists of all the things their children could do that hers couldn’t. We are such a competitive culture that even our preschoolers have become trophies and bragging rights. Childhood shouldn’t be a race.

So here, I offer my list of what a 4 year old should know.

    1. She should know that she is loved wholly and unconditionally, all of the time.
    2. He should know that he is safe and he should know how to keep himself safe in public, with others, and in varied situations. He should know that he can trust his instincts about people and that he never has to do something that doesn’t feel right, no matter who is asking. He should know his personal rights and that his family will back them up.
    3. She should know how to laugh, act silly, be goofy and use her imagination. She should know that it is always okay to paint the sky orange and give cats 6 legs.
    4. He should know his own interests and be encouraged to follow them. If he couldn’t care less about learning his numbers, his parents should realize he’ll learn them accidentally soon enough and let him immerse himself instead in rocket ships, drawing, dinosaurs or playing in the mud.
    5. She should know that the world is magical and that so is she. She should know that she’s wonderful, brilliant, creative, compassionate and marvelous. She should know that it’s just as worthy to spend the day outside making daisy chains, mud pies and fairy houses as it is to practice phonics. Scratch that– way more worthy.

But more important, here’s what parents need to know.

    1. That every child learns to walk, talk, read and do algebra at his own pace and that it will have no bearing on how well he walks, talks, reads or does algebra.
    2. That the single biggest predictor of high academic achievement and high ACT scores is reading to children. Not flash cards, not workbooks, not fancy preschools, not blinking toys or computers, but mom or dad taking the time every day or night (or both!) to sit and read them wonderful books.
    3. That being the smartest or most accomplished kid in class has never had any bearing on being the happiest. We are so caught up in trying to give our children “advantages” that we’re giving them lives as multi-tasked and stressful as ours. One of the biggest advantages we can give our children is a simple, carefree childhood.
    4. That our children deserve to be surrounded by books, nature, art supplies and the freedom to explore them. Most of us could get rid of 90% of our children’s toys and they wouldn’t be missed, but some things are important– building toys like legos and blocks, creative toys like all types of art materials (good stuff), musical instruments (real ones and multicultural ones), dress up clothes and books, books, books. (Incidentally, much of this can be picked up quite cheaply at thrift shops.) They need to have the freedom to explore with these things too– to play with scoops of dried beans in the high chair (supervised, of course), to knead bread and make messes, to use paint and play dough and glitter at the kitchen table while we make supper even though it gets everywhere, to have a spot in the yard where it’s absolutely fine to dig up all the grass and make a mud pit.
    5. That our children need more of us. We have become so good at saying that we need to take care of ourselves that some of us have used it as an excuse to have the rest of the world take care of our kids. Yes, we all need undisturbed baths, time with friends, sanity breaks and an occasional life outside of parenthood. But we live in a time when parenting magazines recommend trying to commit to 10 minutes a day with each child and scheduling one Saturday a month as family day. That’s not okay! Our children don’t need Nintendos, computers, after school activities, ballet lessons, play groups and soccer practice nearly as much as they need US. They need fathers who sit and listen to their days, mothers who join in and make crafts with them, parents who take the time to read them stories and act like idiots with them. They need us to take walks with them and not mind the .1 MPH pace of a toddler on a spring night. They deserve to help us make supper even though it takes twice as long and makes it twice as much work. They deserve to know that they’re a priority for us and that we truly love to be with them.

And now back to those 4 year old skills lists…..

I know it’s human nature to want to know how our children compare to others and to want to make sure we’re doing all we can for them. Here is a list of what children are typically taught or should know by the end of each year of school, starting with preschool.

Since we homeschool, I occasionally print out the lists and check to see if there’s anything glaringly absent in what my kids know. So far there hasn’t been, but I get ideas sometimes for subjects to think up games about or books to check out from the library. Whether you homeschool or not, the lists can be useful to see what kids typically learn each year and can be reassuring that they really are doing fine.

If there are areas where it seems your child is lacking, realize that it’s not an indication of failure for either you or your child. You just haven’t happened to cover that. Kids will learn whatever they’re exposed to, and the idea that they all need to know these 15 things at this precise age is rather silly. Still, if you want him to have those subjects covered then just work it into life and play with the subject and he’ll naturally pick it up. Count to 60 when you’re mixing a cake and he’ll pick up his numbers. Get fun books from the library about space or the alphabet. Experiment with everything from backyard snow to celery stalks in food coloring. It’ll all happen naturally, with much more fun and much less pressure.

My favorite advice about preschoolers is on this site thoughWhat does a 4 year old need? Much less than we realize, and much more.

The One Who Has Got Something To Give

This is the second interview that I had this year and was published last July – it came from this cool momma blog. I was delighted to be interviewed by Deb, and love how she compiled the interview and made it into a nice piece of article..! Thank you for the opportunity to be one of the “Badass Mommas” and friendship given, Deb..! Let’s make our “project” ready for 2015…! 

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The idea of being away from a career, a precious little world made of lifelong best friends, and all of the familiarity of a home country might often seem to outweigh one’s need to be with her husband abroad. As you might know, a lot of women choose to do a long-distance marriage for such reason (among many others, I don’t judge, really). However, moving abroad might still be ‘appealing’ if your husband is being assigned to work or to study in big cities like New York or London. But what if he is being allocated somewhere more remote and unpopular? Will it be a deadend?

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Not to this hijabi mother-of-two, it’s not! She bravely decided to follow her husband from Indonesia all the way to New Bedford, Massachusetts (never heard of the city before? Same here! -moz) about 4 years ago with a 4-month-old baby under her care. She is not afraid of the unknown. Even better, she subdues the uknown and make it familiar.
She has inspired me to be proactive in enjoying the city I’m in. And I hope she’d inspire you too, as you read along.

A lionhearted wife, a dedicated mother, and a charming blogger, Here is Chica.

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On being a Momma

I am the oldest of 6. My youngest sibling is 13 years younger than me. So I am used to the responsibility of being my mom’s right hand when it comes to taking care of younger kids. Even so, becoming a stay-at-home mom has never occurred to me before. In fact, up until I was in year 6 of elementary school, I didn’t know what a stay-at-home mom was! Because the mother I knew growing up was the kind of mom who was very much a career woman.

Many years later, at the start of my relationship with my husband, Ara (then-boyfriend) expressed his desire to marry me under one circumstance : I should be a full-time mom. I clearly rebelled against this! I was a student at one of Indonesia’s  top universities, dreaming of working for an oil company with a paycheck of thousands of dollars after graduation! I couldn’t end up staying at home!! Besides, I have always been active, I could never sit around at home all day! (turns out, being a SaHM never allows you to just sit around, right? hehehe). Anyway, we got engaged and then got into a 2-year long-distance relationship when my then-fiancee decided to pursue his master’s degree in Germany.

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As time passed us by, I started to realize that being a full-time mom does not mean forsaking my degrees (she got a master’s degree from University of Indonesia, and her bachelor’s was from ITB – moz).  There is a greater cause to fight for here! I am obliged to excellently play my role as a wife and as a mother, especially during these golden years of their growth as children, and our development as a family. This does not mean forgetting my long-term dreams and goals either, for Ara fully supports them. He has been my bestfriend since we were in college, by the way.

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We finally got married! Our firstborn Malik Azka Sagara Hakim (4 y.o) came when we were about to move to the U.S. Ara went first, then Azka and I flew together a few months after (yes, that long flight, just the two of us!). Afterwards, Khalif Arana Razzaq Hakim (2 y.o) came into this world, being the first American in the family.

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Raising two boys can keep you really busy. Alhamdulillah my dear husband accommodates my need of some “me time” by allowing me to have at least 1 hour away from home chores and the kids. You know, to work out, ride a bike, take photos, and to write. It helps keeping me balanced.

On Moving to the U.S.

I was so excited to move to the U.S. ! I can clearly recall that one time back in 2005 when I told my friends that I wanted to live in America with Ara and our own little family when they asked me “Where are you going to be in the next 5 years?” Alhamdulillah, by the power of dream, the universe conspired to make it happen!

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To be honest, the early days of living here were not easy at all. I was thrilled to go on an adventure in America, but then I had to adapt with my life as a new mom, which could be really stressful. Besides, the absence of relatives and family really made it harder. I was overwhelmed. Back then, we lived in an empty apartment, we couldn’t afford a furniture so we needed to borrow our landlord’s. I couldn’t even cook while eating out would be expensive. We didn’t have a car so we had to ride buses everywhere. Ara even had to walk to his campus during hailing snow in winter back then! And in summer, our non-air-conditioned apartment would get very hot. Can you imagine?

But through all of these tough times, Ara would always say to me “enjoy the process”…

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So we did, and we are stronger for it today.

On Enjoying New Bedford

It’s a good thing that I have once worked as a researcher and that I am always eager to check on things. So for example, when the management of an apartment we wanted to move into told us that we were not illegible to do so because of our citizenship, I went online and looked for legal statutes to prove them wrong. As a result, the management agreed that they were being unfair and that we could move in to that apartment! It is much cheaper and it comes with good amenities and benefits! Thank God, I did the research right?

I then looked up ways to get involved in my community and to make the most of my time in this city. I started going to public libraries and museums while volunteering here and there, like in the picture below for example, when I volunteered for the National Park.

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I signed up to various different communities and I just try to connect and make the most of everything that I have on my plate now. Volunteering is a great way for me to channel my energy and skills on a positive outlet, and in the future I really want to establish a volunteer-based organization to make changes, because I believe everyone has got something to give.

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On Going Back to Indo
I miss Indonesia, I miss my parents and I definitely miss Indonesian food. But in the last 4 years since we moved here, my family and I have not gone back home yet, the tickets are so pricy!
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My husband will be done with his PhD soon, but we might want to stay here just a little bit longer. So we’ll see. I will just go on and enjoy the ride.

Interviewed by Living Loving

I had a chance to share a bit of New Bedford in livingloving.net under “One Day In” section last March 2014. It was my very first time to be interviewed and made me feel like a “real blogger” (haha). Also, because of this article that I shared on New Bedford Guide Facebook page, some people started to “recognize” me in New Bedford. One day, 3 months after the article published, someone in downtown New Bedford called me “Chica..!! Are you Chica??”, I wasn’t sure how she knew my name “Chica” – because people either call me “Puti” or “Ceniza” in here. Then she approached me “Oh My God! I’m your fan…!! I read your blog, it is lovelyy…!”, then she gave me a hug and told me that the City should published some of my photographs for marketing purposes (I was flattered). At that time, I was feeling content that my photographs bring such a joy to some people and my writings inspired some others too. Thank you for visiting my blog and follow it all along, friends…! 

ONE DAY IN NEW BEDFORD (by Nike and Miranti  MARCH 6, 2014)

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Some people dreamt about living overseas in a big metropolitan city like Paris, New York, Tokyo, or London. But actually, small cities around the world also has a lot of interesting stories. One of them is New Bedford in America. When we first saw the photos of the city through our friend,Chica’s blog, we love the heartwarming atmosphere of the town. Want to take a closer look? Here’s the delightful story of New Bedford according to Chica.

Tell us about you and where you live

Hi! My name is Puti Ceniza, but most families and friends in Indonesia call me Chica. I’m a homemaker with two little boys that keep me busy all day long (they are 4 and 2 y.o). In my spare time, I do volunteer at local national park and communities, I also part of a non-profit organization called Books For Indonesia, and like most of you I enjoyed taking picture, watching gigs and explore interesting places.

Since September 2010, my little family has been living in the US – in the City of New Bedford, Massachusetts (it is about 55 minutes going south from Boston – to give you the idea where-the-hell-is-that :D).

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Why you moved to this city?

We moved (not permanently) from Bandung to this small historic city because my husband, Aradea Hakim, got a fellowship from School of Marine Science in UMass Dartmouth to continue his PhD. But his office is not in the main campus (which is located in Dartmouth town – just 15 minutes from New Bedford), but in New Bedford because it’s closer to the sea – given the fact that the city is US no.1 seaport.

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5 things you love about your neighborhood

Before I tell you, let me tell you something: most of my friends (mostly international students) hate New Bedford – because many of them imagined “United States” is all like: New York/ Boston/ San Francisco or other metropolitan cities. The truth is, New Bedford is far from all those glamorous life and hustle-bustle of the big city like what we usually watched in most Hollywood movies. But for me, New Bedford has been a dream. So five things that I love most are:

  1. It’s a small city with a good public transportation access.
  2. Has many public parks, playgrounds and libraries.
  3. Everything is considerably well-preserved due to historical values (NB used to be the most important whaling port in the world during 19th century) – especially the beautiful greek-revival and victorian houses from the 19th century.
  4. Relatively near to go to other major cities for weekend getaways.
  5. And the local communities are great in making events, there is always something going on in the Downtown.

When is the best time to visit New Bedford?

I would suggest April-May (spring) or September to November (fall). The soft wind breeze, the cool and just right temperature, and the fiesta of the nature perks with all the colors of the trees. We love to do leaf-hunting or just strolling around the neighborhood for afternoon walk. Summer and winter could be harsh in here, unless you like the idea of heat wave or snow storm (I’m talking about extreme weather that occasionally going on). But if you happen to be in another months than that, come to any second thursday in every month where there is AHA (Art. History. Architecture) Night! It’s a free arts and cultures event in Downtown NB.

Tell us the best place to have a breakfast, lunch and dinner

There are many hidden gems in New Bedford – even the locals might not aware of that. I’d suggest to eat in a diner at Angelo’s Orchid – the taste is not that extraordinary, but given the fact that you’re eating in a “diner” is totally giving a different sensation (oh-so-50s!). Lunch in No Problemo which is a perfect place to enjoy your burritos, tacos and quesadilla, and Dinner for fresh seafoods in Margaret’s.

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You love cooking and stuff, tell us your  favorite cake shop/bakery

If it has to be in New Bedford, I love Beira Mar Bakery. It is a Portuguese artisan bakery – if you visit there, you won’t feel like you’re in US – rather it feels like you’re in a small city in Portugal; the atmosphere is very homey with the owner are two middle aged woman who speaks portuguese all the time. If in anywhere else, I like Bova’s Bakery in Little Italy, they have the best cannolis and array of baked goods.

Is there any thrift store/second hand market there?

There are plenty of them…! My favorite for specialized vintage items is in Circa (GQ Magazine made it 1 out of 25 best vintage stores in the US). For thrift store, my favorite one is in Gifts to Give (clothes and home decor), Cottage Antiques (knicks knacks) and Artificial Marketplace (vinyls).onedayin-chica-newbedford8

Do you have any favorite shops for home decor and stuff?

Any thrift stores I mentioned earlier would do – given the facts that most of my home decor I got from there. Apart from it, Marshalls, IKEA, Details and Design, and The Green Thumb for plants.

Give us your mix tape (5 songs) when you’re walking around the neighborhood

The Fall – Rhye. Dirty Paws – Of Monsters and Men. Up up up – Givers. Us – Regina Spektor. No Fruit for today – Sore

Where’s the best place to have a picnic or an outdoor getaway?

There are many options to do that, my fav is in Fort Taber, Fort Phoenix, Hazelwood Park, East – West Beach and Buttonwood Park – they have grill, picnic table, and wide field to do anything you want. For outdoor getaway, we can visit farms (apple-picking, corn-maze, pumpkin patch) or do something sporty like kayaking or light hiking in Dartmouth.onedayin-chica-newbedford3

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Actually there’s so many interesting photographs on Chica’s blog and Instagram. We adore the breathtaking winter scenery at New Bedford. Take a look at these pictures.

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New Bedford may not be a metropolitan city with the hustle and bustle. But it surely is a beautiful city. Thanks a lot, Chica for sharing the story with us!

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Pumpkins, Pumpkins, and More Pumpkins…!

Okay, maybe I’m over excited about this year’s autumn (this could be our last year autumn in here, just let’s hope not :p), if last year I was obsessed with the array colors of autumn leaves, this year my obsession is pumpkin…! Gee, I’ve never been so excited about going to pumpkin patch over and over again;  First, we went to Keith’s Farm in Acushnet with Artworks! playgroup on last week of September (was raining when we were there, it was a nice trip though!). Then, the following week to Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off in Frerichs Farm in Wareham, the week after to a small pumpkin patch in front of a Church in Kempton St, New Bedford, and last week we went to Keith’s again with the whole gang (with Papa Ara who was smitten with the color contrast of the sky and pumpkins).

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Happy Halloween..! Enjoy the rest of the gorgeous weather..!

Idul Adha in The Beginning of Autumn

IMG_0369This year Idul Adha felt a lot more festive than the previous years – though in 2013 we celebrated it with Angke, Igun and Rakeem, in 2012 we had Dita stayed with us for 2 nights. This year we celebrated it in three different places. After we did our Ied Prayer at Masjid Al-Ehsan, we went to Provost of UMassD apartment – which in there they served a very delicious Bangladesh main dishes and desserts, then we headed to Wellesley a town west from Boston to Uda Lino and Uni Olla’s beautiful house, and at night we went to Shamim and Nabil’s apartment just 3 mins walk from our place. We had a great time and bunch inspirations as well from our interaction with all the people we meet and chatted. Especially the very humble Provost and successful Indonesian families that lived and worked in US for more than a decade. I appreciate their kindness and warm gestures, it feels so much different if I met people in Indonesia with the same position – not trying to judge, but in Indonesia I felt position in job so much matter that create this hierarchy and superiority when we interact with them. In here, everyone is just equal. I love it. And what made it even better is…. The leaves are changing and autumn is here…!

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My Favorite Time of The Year is Now

There are two reasons why I love October so much: the leaves and trees at its most beautiful form in New Bedford (and New England region), the Halloween spirit is here (I just love seeing pumpkins, Halloween decorations, and people wearing weird and silly costumes). But this year I have more than two: I got to see my parents and sister for very first time after 4 years and 1 month..! It seems like a very long time, especially for us – since my family and I are rarely kept in touch with Skype (we had our WhatsApp group, but that’s it). This is because my parents aren’t tech savvy – after years, they still couldn’t figure out how to use Skype by themselves for some reason. And my siblings are living scattered away from them, so they had no hope to do a Skype routine (apart for the fact that my parents, especially Bunda, is a very busy person as she always be). With this kind of situation, Malik (as my family always refer, my parents didn’t fancy “Azka”) and Khalif didn’t know their grandparents that much. They of course know Akiya and Eni better than Inyik and Uci. They were really excited to meet their Inyik and Uci…!

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Long story short, they only stayed in here for 5 full days. I KNOW that was very very short. It felt like a dream to have them here….I love to see how Azka and Khalif could feel connected to them just right away – especially Azka who loves Tante Ozu very much (that he refers her as ‘Chicken pox’ and Ozu refers Azka as ‘Chubby chick”) – I don’t know what that means, but its just cute to see their interactions, hehe. Though sometimes Azka could be clingy to Ozu and Inyik, I guess it’s just the way he showed his affection to them. 
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During their short stays in here, I tried my best to showed them our family favorite places around New Bedford,  Fairhaven, and Dartmouth, then a short trip to Providence, Boston, and New York City. The schedule was a bit packed and we had to deal with jet lag, tiredness, and traffic. Oh, and speaking of traveling with two kids under 5, it was a lot of work – good for us, the minivan that we rented had a DVD player and TV, so within that 5 days without any doubt I let them watched as much as they want , as long as they’re happy – and everyone happy x) *A good excuse since I didn’t prepare any kind of road trip games materials.

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However, I still feel a bit guilty because maybe (just maybe), we supposedly could see more attractions and places if I was more prepared with day to day schedule – or something like that. But again, that was me being ambitious, then I remember Bunda said “We only have 5 days, our main intentions to come to US is visiting you, Ara and see Malik and Khalif. Don’t worry about taking us to many places, it’s secondary. I want to see New Bedford and your favorite places like the ones you showed in your Instagram”. Aha, so I was more “go with the flow” and not too anxious going from one touristy places to another. Still, we got enough time to enjoy New Bedford best places like Fort Taber, Fort Phoenix, Antiques, RJD House, Whaling Museum, Downtown, and South End, picnic in Boston Public Garden, strolling around in Beacon Hill, Newburry St and got a sight inside Boston Public Library, MIT and Harvard, had a evening breeze in Upper West Side while in Manhattan, sight seeing in Strawberry Fields, Central Park, Carnegie Hall, and Times Sq (including a verrrrrryy long walk in Times Sq subway at 10.30 PM – a nightmare for my mom because it was very long walk – Maafkan ya Bunda, next time we used the yellow cab!), an afternoon glory in DUMBO Brooklyn, Grand Central,Ground Zero, and little lost in New Jersey. The weather and traffic could be tricky inside Boston and Manhattan, but Ayah said it was nothing compare to Jakarta traffic, hehe. I agree with that.

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IMG_0064And all of the sudden the time flew, and they’re gone. Sedih. But, I’m sure there will be another visits, let’s hope it is not 4 years from now. Until we see you again Uci, Inyik, dan Tante Ozu….!

IMG_9760Ps: If you want to see a glimpse of New Bedford from my sister’s eyes, kindly check her blog. It’s sure beautiful!

#5 Main Yuk!: Play with Alika

I used to work, now enjoy being a stay at home mom with one little cheeky girl. Begitu Fenny menuliskan bio profilenya di akun Instagramnya: @fennymasudah. Melihat sekilas aktivitas Alika (2 tahun 6 bulan) yang disiapkan oleh Fenny, saya merasa rendah diri – sekaligus terinspirasi tentunya. Sebagai sesama Ibu yang tinggal di perantauan, saya bisa merasakan susahnya membagi waktu dan energi, agar: urusan anak, suami, rumah tangga, dan aktualisasi diri bisa berjalan beriringan dan tidak ada yang keteteran. Sehingga saya sangat kagum dengan kreatifitas dan energi Fenny yang bisa memfasilitasi Alika setiap harinya dalam mendukung fase tumbuh-kembangnya.

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Hi Fenny..! Interview ini akan sangat panjang, hehe, sebelumnya bisa ceritakan tentang dirimu dan keluarga?

Nama saya Fenny Masudah, anak pertama dari 3 bersaudara, hobby saya masak makanan Indonesia, belanja, menggemari dunia fashion, menari dan suka anak kecil. Saya sendiri lulusan S1 jurusan Manajemen Pemasaran di Universitas Negeri Jakarta,  setelah lulus kuliah saya bekerja di salah satu perusahaan outsourcing di Melbourne, Australia sebagai staf marketing hingga menjadi Marketing Coordinator -posisi terakhir sebelum melahirkan. Selama di Melbourne, selain bekerja saya mengambil kuliah-kuliah pendek mungkin hitungannya setara diploma 2 atau 3 di Indonesia yang mendukung dengan pekerjaan saya.  Saat ini saya dan Ramanda (suami) sudah tinggal di Melbourne selama kurang lebih 9 tahun – yang bermula dari sponsor perusahaan untuk bekerja sampai akhirnya kami memutuskan untuk mengambil permanent resident. Kami berencana untuk berkeluarga dan membesarkan anak-anak kami di Melbourne.

Wah, senangnya..! Nah, pada beberapa postingan Main Yuk! terdahulu, kebanyakan permainan di rumah adalah untuk anak usia 18 bulan ke atas. Aku lihat Fenny sudah mulai posting aktivitas bermain dengan Alika dari dia masih 0 tahun, apakah Fenny bisa sharing untuk Ibu-ibu yang punya anak di bawah usia 1 tahun mengenai aktivitas bermain dengan bayi? 

Sosialisasi dengan Alika ketika dia masih bayi adalah dengan tummy time dan baby gym dengan menggunakan play mat warna warni, suara-suara, cahaya, cermin, mainan soft toys dari berbagai bahan untuk mengenalkan tekstur sejak dini,  mainan-mainan edukatif  seperti basic puzzle, learning alphabets, basic warna dan lain sebagainaya yang berbahan safe untuk bayi dimana saat itu saya belum sempat membuat jadi masih membeli, memperkenalkan buku-buku dimulai dari soft book, bath book sampai dengan yang hardcover.   Selain itu dia saya ikut sertakan dalam mom’s group, yakni kumpulan ibu-ibu yang mempunyai anak pertama yang tinggalnya berdekatan.  Di sana, alika belajar bersosialisasi dan bermain bersama sama dari bayi lain.

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Mengenalkan spring melalui kegiatan menempel cupcake casing sebagai flowers, daun2 dan ranting2 di contact paper. Selain itu mengenalkan warna, tekstur dari object natural serta mengembangkan imajinasi dan fine motor skill nya

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Finger painting using homemade paints

Untuk permainan sensory ketika dia sudah sudah belajar makan full yaitu sekitar 6 bulan.  Sekitar 7 bulan dia sudah saya berikan potongan-potangan makanan kukus, buah-buah yang lembut dari situ dia bisa merasakan sensasi dari buah dingin, es batu, ubi hangat, yogurt yang cair. Seperkembangannya, saya berikan potongan kukusan daging yang diiris tipis-tipis, toast jadi dia bisa merasakan tekstur yang kasar, solid dan agak keras. Terkadang saya bawa ke pantai dan taman sehingga dia bisa merasakan tekstur alami dari pasir dan rumput-rumputan.  Setelah usia 9 bulan saya masukan dia ke Minimaestro dimana dia belajar untuk bermain musik, selain bersosialisasi untuk mengembangkan otaknya melalui musik.  Mulai main dengan diy toys seperti homemade playdough sekitar umur 12 bulan dan saya juga sudah memasuki Montessori parent and toddler.

Acara perkenalan dengan makanan padat memang seru ya..! Sepertinya Alika juga menggunakan Baby Led Weaning kalo dari penjabaran Fenny di atas. Dan acara sosialisasi, sama seperti di kota-kota Amerika Serikat kebanyakan memang terasa lebih mudah aksesnya, karena bisa dipastikan di setiap perpustakaan, dan komunitas-komunitas Ibu lain terdapat acara playgroup serupa (dan gratis). 

Sesama ibu perantauan, aku kagum dengan kegiatan-kegiatan Alika di rumah (maupun di luar, seperti balet, renang dan Early Learning Montessori school) dan juga dirimu yang ada waktu untuk mempersiapkan (dan membereskan setelahnya, hehe). Apakah ada waktu khusus untuk mempersiapkan permainan untuk Alika?

Waktu khusus tidak ada, prinsipnya tidur lebih telat bangun lebih pagi :P  Di sela-sela mengerjakan pekerjaan rumah atau ketika dia sedang tidur siang saya memikirkan aktivitas-aktivitas apa saja untuk alika, saya catat lalu kumpulkan barang-barang karena saya berusaha untuk memberikan permainan baru setiap harinya.  Malam atau paginya sebelum dia bangun mainan tersebut sudah siap.  Sistem aktivitas saya kebetulan mengikuti sistem Montessori semua di display di meja satu persatu, dia memilih apa yang dia ingin mainkan dan ketika bermain harus dibalikan kembali ke tempat semula jadi lumayan terbantukan.   Terkecuali seperti permainan sensory yang mengunakan air atau tepung terkadang berceceran di lantai saya perlu membersihkan dan saya libatkan dia juga untuk membersihkan untuk sebagai part of practical life activity.

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Practical life activity: Snack time saya hanya kasih semangkuk strawberry di meja aktivitasnya plus pisau keju yg tumpul dan tong, Alika tinggal memotong buah strawberry sendiri dan memindahkan buah tersebut ke mangkuknya

Have a picnic in our backyard sambil makan kue belajar menggitung dan juga belajar tuang air as well as cutting wooden cake as part of bilateral fine motor skill development.

Have a picnic in our backyard sambil makan kue belajar menggitung dan juga belajar tuang air as well as cutting wooden cake as part of bilateral fine motor skill development.

Semua sensory bins Alika sangat menarik..! Dan sepertinya Fenny ada banyak kegiatan untuk melatih fine motor skill: Bisa ceritakan manfaat dari aktivitas bermain dengan sensory bins, tracing, gunting, peg exercise, dll.  

Saya coba memberikan sedikit informasi mengenai manfaat dari permainan sensory bins karena  dari 1-3 tahun merupakan masa dimana mereka menyerap ilmu melalui pengalaman-pengalaman sensory, dan 2.5 -6 tahun masa peneguhan sensori, jadi kalau kita berusaha terus memberikan permainan sensoris dimasa ini dapat mengembangkan intelektual dan kognitif pada anak serta merangsang motorik halus mereka dan manfaat lainnya seperti dibawah ini : 

  • Perkembangan indera dari perasa sampai dengan penciuman, seperti dapat membedakan halus-kasar, lembut-keras dan sebagainya
  • Perkembangan bahasa, dimana dengan memberikan benda atau objek baru di dalam permainan ini dapat menambah kosa kata mereka, tidak hanya itu kita bisa juga menambahkan objek-objek yang mengarah kepada pembelajaran huruf-huruf
  • Pengetahuan akan dasar ilmiah – sebab akibat
  • Perkembangan dalam berhitung apabila kita memasukan media-media di dalam permainan sensory bins yang berkaitan dengan angka-angka maupun berhitung
  • Perkembangan sosio dan emosional anak seperti menumbuhkan rasa percaya diri, inisiatif, memecahkan masalah dan sebagainya
  • Meningkatkan kreativitas si anak, karena sensory bins merupakan permainan yang bebas, tidak terbatas dan tidak ada penyelesaiannya disini anak bebas bermain dengan daya imajinasi mereka tanpa harus menyelesaikan atau memberikan hasil akhir seperti permainan puzzle.
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Learns about monkey and apes

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Learn about polar animals – using ice cubes, food coloring based water

Selain itu Alika sangat menyukai permainan sensory bins makanya saya sering sekali memberikan kepada dia, karena metode ini anak akan lebih belajar dari apa yang mereka sukai :).  Sebelumnya, aktivitas menggunakan gunting dan tracing adalah salah satu favorite Alika; dia suka sekali tracing menggunakan benang wool dan jarum plastik dia membentuk jaring-jaring seperti sarang laba-laba, tracing sambil membuat roncean kalung dari pasta, sedotan atau cupcake casing. Selanjutnya, baru dia menyukai pegs dan gunting.  Manfaat dari aktivitas seperti tracing, bermain dengan gunting dan pegs yaitu mengembangkan motorik halus, mengkuatkan otot-otot jari dan tangan mereka,  melatih memegang gunting dengan posisi jari yang benar serta melatih jari dan tangan mereka memegang posisi pensil dan menulis dengan benar ketika mereka sudah mulai belajar menulis nantinya.

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Today’s about shapes – i made shape penguins and fishes. She should feed a penguin a fish and match them by a shape. For more interesting i combine this activity with sensory bin which i put some shredded paper, blue gems, cotton balls, gator tong, and her cartoon image as zookeeper

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Membedakan hewan berdasarkan tempat kehidupan melalui sensory bin activity

Shadow puppet show based on one of alika's favourite nursery rhymes "hey diddle diddle" i made the main 6 characters from diddle song (cat, dog, moon, spoon, violin and dish) and also the cardboard mini theatre

Shadow puppet show based on one of alika’s favourite nursery rhymes “hey diddle diddle” i made the main 6 characters from diddle song (cat, dog, moon, spoon, violin and dish) and also the cardboard mini theatre

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Belajar mengenal shape melalui sensory bin dan inserting activity

Well-explained..! Fenny sering merujuk pada aktivitas bermain ala Montessori, bisa ceritakan tentang metode ini? Dan apakah ada buku yang bisa dijadikan rujukan bagi Ibu lain untuk mempelajari tentang Montessori? Aku pernah baca buku The Discovery of the Child dan Maria Montessori – The Montessori Method – tapi mungkin Fenny ada buku rujukan lain.

Iya, saya memang suka sekali dengan metode dan konsep Montessori, jadi saya terapkan beberapa metode-metodenya untuk aktivitas alika (salah satunya aktivitas sensory di atas).  Saya sebenarnya bukan expert atau guru dari sekolah Montessori, jadi kalau ditanya manfaat saya hanya tahu bagian luarnya saja ☺ kebetulan saya sering membaca buku-buku, blog, teman yang berprofesi guru dan sekolah Montessori yang ada di Melbourne.  Walau demikian, saya tidak sepenuhnya memakai metode ini, saya selalu sesuaikan dengan keahlian dan kapasitas si anak. Selain Montessori saya juga suka metode dari  Reggio Emilia dan Waldorf Steiner.

Beside montessori I also inspire Steiner's philosophy so today i made an activity using a few things from his concept. I provided alika with wooden chips and sticks, some australian's native plants, shells, pines and dried seeds. I also made people and a kookaburra (australian native bird) from those materials. She can do whatever she wants, she can build a house from wooden chips and sticks, leaves etc. This activity is not only encourages her creating, exploring, imagining something but also teaching her about the Creator who made all of those and appreciate people and natures.

Beside montessori I also inspire Steiner’s philosophy so today i made an activity using a few things from his concept. I provided alika with wooden chips and sticks, some australian’s native plants, shells, pines and dried seeds.

She was making flowers from rounded chips, and starting with the story that butterfly was eating the flowers and leaves, and the ballerina is dancing around the garden. She was also doing gardening and mentioning each name of flowers and leaves. Reggio Emillia-inspired activity.

She was making flowers from rounded chips, and starting with the story that butterfly was eating the flowers and leaves, and the ballerina is dancing around the garden. She was also doing gardening and mentioning each name of flowers and leaves. Reggio Emillia-inspired activity.

Lagi-lagi saya bukan expert nih, saya cuma memberikan informasi yang saya tahu saja yah :P;  Montessori diciptakan oleh Dr. Maria Montessori.  Sistem ini mempunyai prinsip dasar yaitu memandang anak apa adanya dan menciptakan lingkungan yang memberikan penyaluran potensial tertinggi anak (fisik, spiritual, emotional dan intelektual). Tujuan model pendidikan Montessori yaitu ada di dalam diri anak tersebut dan rancangan bangunan individu setiap manusia harus dibiarkan berkembang (ini yang saya suka dari konsep mereka membebaskan memberikan kebebasan tetapi tetap pada jalurnya). Ada 2 pendekatan yang digunakan dalam metode Montessori untuk membantu perkembangan anak dalam lingkungan yaitu : Sensitive periods dan Absorbent mind (bisa dibaca dibuku-buku Montessori, menarik lho setiap detailnya mengenai 2 pendekatan ini). Sistem pembelajaran metode Montessori menekankan 5 area yang menjadi pusat pelatihan di sekolah-sekolah Montessori yaitu practical life, sensorial life, cultural activities, language art dan mathematics.

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Run alika run! Today she made some flowers from cupcake casings and wooden sticks, and i utilised those for playing outdoor activity with gardening theme. The story is alika the gardener who loves running. first she should put soil using scissor scoop then continue to insert the number of flowers according to number listed on the plastic cup, but she should run and pick the flower first before inserting it one by one to to each pot.

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Our sensory activity before she goes to nap. She has to sort which item is soft and hard, i explained her first about soft and hard and sorting trays. she tried by squishing each item, she put the dino in hard tray then continue picking other one. This activity encourages skills like making decision, solving problem, language, observation, practical life, gross motor skills.

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Gardening time! She was putting the seed, soil and putting the alphabet flowers in order (her name) into pots as well as saying the letter. She was spraying the flower as per my instruction eg spray A flower she would do. At the end she was spraying all flowers

Beberapa praktis yang di terapkan di kelas Montessori (berdasarkan pengalaman dan pengamatan saya melalui sekolah alika)

  • Menekankan pada kemandirian, kebebasan dengan batasan tertentu, dan menghargai perkembangan anak sebagai individu yang unik.
  • Mixed ages group dimana mencampur usia anak 3 tahun sampai 6 tahun dalam satu kelas.  Mereka menerapkan metode dimana anak-anak yang usia lebih muda akan belajar dari anak yang usianya lebih tua, karena mereka percaya  ada hubungan kerja sama dan saling mengisi antara anak-anak yang lebih muda dengan yang lebih tua.
  • Murid boleh memilih kegiatannya sendiri, yang sudah dirancang untuk rentang usianya.
  • Guru tidak memberi instruksi, tidak seperti pada umumnya sekolah, mereka hanya sebagai fasilitator ketika si anak muridnya bertanya
  • Memberikan fasilitas ruang lingkup belajar dengan mengikuti gerak fisik yang dibutuhkan si anak dimulai dari peletakan bahan-bahan pelajaran atau aktivitas diletakan di rak dimulai dari bagian bawah sampai atas, membuat fasilitas sesuai dengan ukuran badan anak-anak pada umumnya seperti toilet, dapur, rak piring, meja makan, tombol lampu, wastafel dan lain sebagainya.  Metode ini untuk menerapkan kedisplinan dan kemandirian pada diri anak sejak dini.
  • Tidak ada sistem nilai atau rangking

Buku buku Montessori yang patut dibaca kalau memang suka dengan konsep ini: The Absorbent Mind – Maria Montessori, How to Rise the Amazing Child the Montessori Way, Understanding the Human Being, Teach Me to Do it Myself , The Secret of Childhood by Maria Montessori, Montessori from the Start -Paula Lillard. So far ini yang sudah dibaca sebenarnya masih banyak lagi :)

Menarik sekali ya metode Montessori. Aku sendiri sekarang jadi penasaran dengan metode Waldorf dan Reggio Emilia – setelah seorang sahabat sempat kuliah di Aussie dan mempelajari tentang kedua metode ini. Baiklah, next question, apakah ada Web khusus atau blog yang Fenny rekomendasikan untuk Ibu lain -dalam mempersiapkan akttifitas untuk Alika?

Ada banyak sekali yang blog – blog yang menjadi inspirasi aktivitas Alika: The Imagination Tree, 1+1+1 =1, Living Montessori, How We Montessori, Daily Montessori, SAHM Survival Guide, dan blog teman saya Busy Little Bunnies. Kebetulan saya mengisi beberapa artikel di media online Australia http://samara.kopitoebruk.com/ dan di Media Online Indonesia http://theurbanmama.com/. Alternatif lain, adalah Pinterest dan Instagram is my favourite source, selain mencari aktivitas,  juga dapat “bertemu” dengan teman-teman yang mempunyai hobby yang sama. Saya kagum sama ibu-ibu di Instagram, mereka sangat kreatif banget – masing-masing aktivitas mempunyai karakter yang berbeda. Jempol besar buat ibu-ibu yang aku follow (dan yang belum di follow)…! 

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Alika membuat aliens yang sudah dibuat patternya oleh suami, alika tinggal menempel mata2 sesuai dgn jumlah angka tertera di badan aliens lalu sematkan badan monster dgn paper clips ke wooden stick dengan mencocokan warna yg sama juga. Belajar berhitung dan pengingat warna sambil bermain 😄

Alika membuat aliens yang sudah dibuat patternya oleh suami, alika tinggal menempel mata2 sesuai dgn jumlah angka tertera di badan aliens lalu sematkan badan monster dgn paper clips ke wooden stick dengan mencocokan warna yg sama juga. Belajar berhitung dan pengingat warna sambil bermain 😄

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Alika memilih order cupcake sendiri spt digambar memilih order no2 Pengenalan bentuk bangunan dan belajar counting one to one correspondence, color recognition

Fenny dulu sempat bekerja, what things do you miss from your job? What things do you love – right now, for being stay at home mom? And what’s the hardest thing to be a mama in abroad?

Yang saya kangen dari pekerjaan adalah masa-masa sibuk seperti bikin produk baru diburu dengan date line yang ketat harus lembur, momen bekerjasama dengan team yang membuat saya kangen, selain itu yang paling kangen mengkoordinasi event kantor, kemudian ikut seminar-seminar atau event dari relasi atau supplier, senangnya karena saya bisa bertemu dengan orang-orang baru dan mendapat ilmu baru, pada dasarnya saya suka mingle kali yah :P.

What I love today rasanya klise tapi yang membuat saya bahagia yaitu become a full time mom dimana hari-hari saya ditemani dia (Alika), selain suami lebih beragam warnanya, apalagi setiap saat Alika selalu bilang I love you mama, I miss you mama, dihujanin ciuman, kalau saya masak “hmm yummy mama”, ini anugerah dari Tuhan yang indah sekali, rasa bersyukur dan bahagia tidak bisa bisa melalui kata-kata.  Apalagi kalau melihat perkembangan dia membuat saya tambah takjub dan selalu bersyukur  diberi kesempatan untuk merawat dan mendidik dia setiap harinya.

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Hardest thing to live far from family Paling susah kalau saya sakit, terus Alika sakit juga. Di mana mengharuskan badan saya yang lemas lunglai harus tetap siaga menjaga Alika, belum urusan pekerjaan rumah yang tidak bisa ditinggal, semetara badan saya sudah tidak kuat, walaupun ada suami yang membantu dimasa seperti ini, tetap terkadang saat seperti ini terlintas di pikiran saya rasa sedih pingin adanya orang tua atau pulang dulu sebentar ke Indonesia (coba ada pintu Doremon yah ☺).

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Playing with Light table- matching games with transparent paper

, I wrote an initial letter into each coin, so she need to put the right initial letter belong to each animal. She loves it and asking more animals

I wrote an initial letter into each coin, so she need to put the right initial letter belong to each animal. She loves it and asking more animals

Huhuhu… I feel you Fenny. Aku pernah ada waktu-waktu seperti itu juga (sakit dan saat setelah melahirkan, dan tidak ada keluarga), tapi saat seperti itu menjadikan keluarga kita makin kompak dan mental kita semakin kuat ya.. ! Nantinya, akan ada rencana kembali bekerja kah? 

Untuk saat ini saya belum memikirkan untuk balik kerja, saya lagi menikmati profesi menjadi ibu rumah tangga, ternyata rasanya nano nano penuh dengan kejutan yang indah dan berbeda setiap harinya :P Kalau untuk balik kerja mungkin kalau Alika sudah sekolah tingkat pertama (SMP), saya mulai memikirkan mencari pekerjaan hanya untuk mengisi waktu luang ketika dia bersekolah. Mungkin saya bekerja part time atau casual atau bisa juga saya usaha online (tapi kalau ada adiknya yang kedua dan ketiga mungkin ditunda lagi :P).

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Hahaha.. Amin, amin, semoga ada rezeki untuk tambah anak, energi dan usia panjang untuk merealisasikan mimpi-mimpi ya Fen. Meanwhile, keep posting Alika’s activities, she’s so lucky to have a very caring, creative, and thoughtful Mom and Dad like you both…! Terima kasih atas penjabarannya tentang metoda dan manfaat bermain, juga tentang Montessori. Semoga postingan ini bermanfaat bagi para ortu dan calon ortu, bahwa dalam acara bermain dengan anak bukan hanya sekedar membentuk dengan playdough, menggunting – tempel prakarya, acak-acak tray makanan, tuang beras warna-warni – tapi manfaat besar dari semua itu: bahwa dalam tahapan awal kehidupan seorang anak, mereka belajar, berimajinasi, menambah kosakata dari kegiatan floor time, meningkatkan curiosity dengan mengajak bermain eksperimen sederhana, meningkatkan kemampuan motorik halus yang dapat membantu mereka menjadi pembelajar ( mengembangkan skill menulis, membaca, fokus, disiplin, dll) lebih baik di kemudian hari, kemampuan motorik kasar yang membuat mereka lebih aktif bergerak: dari mulai terstimulus merangkak, berjalan, lari lempar-tangkap, keseimbangan, dan bergerak…! Jangan sampai anak-anak kita disebut sebagai “Generasi nunduk” karena kebanyakan nunduk bermain gadget - Main Yuuuuuk..!

#Azkhaltivity

Beberapa Ide bermain untuk anak usia 2-4 tahun – yang Azka dan Khalif mainkan dalam 3 bulan terakhir (dan terdokumentasikan) – saya baru sadar bahwa sebagian foto hanya saya upload di Facebook saja, atau di Instagram saja, tapi belum ada di blog. Sejujurnya semenjak interview Main Yuk! saya jadi agak minder setiap mau upload main di rumah #Azkhaltivity, hehe. Abisan ya, kok kayaknya keliatan banget kalau saya memang ga segitu niat bikin acara bermainnya x) WELL anywayy…. Captionnya menyusul ya ;)

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IMG_9409PirateKeliatannya seru ya? Tapi aslinya sih, kadang acara bermain ini berlangsung sangat heboh sehingga rumah sangat berantakan – ya beras bertebaran, beans di mana-mana, lantai lengket karena main dengan foam, bubble tumpah, cat belepotan, kertas berserakan, sampah daur-ulang (aka botol, kertas, tempat tissue dan kaleng bekas macem-macem) menumpuk, dll. Tapi begitulah adanya x) Kemudian, ada juga permainan yang ternyata hanya terlihat seru, padahal menurut saya jadinya buang-buang makanan: kayak spaghetti sensory play itu enggak banget menurut saya. Usahakan selalu pilih peralatan dan perlengkapan yang bisa dipakai berulang. Dan selalu ingat, hakikat dalam bermain: anak senang, ibu-papa senang, dan ide spontan jauh lebih menyenangkan dan seru…!

Some Memories – Not To Be Forgotten Along Summertime

Well, that’s the longest title I’ve ever posted in this blog! Autumn is here with rainy days in the past week and odd weather, talk about some days it was already 2 Celsius in the AM and some other days was like 23 Celsius. I wish I could stop complaining about the continuous odd weather that happen in this planet and focus to the memories we made every single days. Oh well, these are some of pictures that are too good to be kept in my cluttered folders.

We spent most of evenings at the playground or park – ride along and enjoyed the cool summer breeze:

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IMG_9697 IMG_9637 IMG_9033IMG_9155IMG_9076Azka is now going to school for full days, as this is his second year of preschool – five days a week, from 8.10 AM to 2.10 PM, except Friday until 11.10 AM. This is one of the hardest decision for me to let him in the school for 6 hours (?!). He’s only 4.. I didn’t want to overwhelmed him with school. And this program is new at his school: they put together 7 role models students and 7 special needs students. My concern was mostly because during his first year of school, Azka seemed didn’t really enjoy it that much – even it was only for 2 days and only for 3 hours each days. But then, he surprised me every time I pick him after school with a big smile and non-stop chattering about what happened at school – seems that he had a great day playing with his best friends: Mason, Jayden and Rylee. Oh, Rylee is a beautiful girl and I think she’s Azka’s first love. Azka always says “I love Rylee”. Puppy love is cute, but actually I didn’t expect him to experience it at this age (heehhh).

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From last day of school – last June. And that blonde girl is Little Miss R :)

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First Day of School, Sept 8 2014. Always have to use his scooter.

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This year, we feel very lucky and grateful because Mr.Frank a.k.a Chico gave us weekly supply of fresh produces from Brix County Farm! He joined the Community Sharing Agriculture program, and seemed to get plenty of it – so he always gave some to his friends. Thank you Chico..! And of course, we spent lots of weekends by visiting some of the farms nearby for Pick Your Own and buy fresh eggs and fruits..!

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Some of the foods I (we) cooked in Ramadhan – 17 hours fasting with two energetic kids and HOT summer days. Alhamdulillah ;)

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IMG_9518Yard sale are everywhere, and I love to find these vintage board games!
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IMG_9303This summer we hosted more than 20 guests from AirBnb, 1 from Couchsurfing , and 1 from Grass Root Summit from Japan. We had a wonderful time with our guests, the talks about histories and cultures especially – made me want to explore many places on earth even more..! I love that they are very open to us (knowing that we’re Muslim family with 2 kids) and comfortable with the very humble room we provide them. Oh, and our first Couchsurfing guest is a Muslim from Paris…! The very first minute I met her, we talked like we knew each others for ages. I really love this sharing economy and places idea – to connect people and be inspired.

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Some souvenirs from Lynda

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Origami session with Hiroko:IMG_9425 IMG_0071IMG_0078 Thank you for the fond memories, summer..! See you next year (I hope!)…!

#4 Main Yuk!: Dunia Katya

Finger Puppet Show

Ibu pertama di feed Instagram saya yang rajin posting aktifitas bermain dengan anak di rumah adalah: Reti; yang karena dia juga saya jadi nyobain beras warna-warni untuk sensory play dengan Azka dan Khalif. Perkenalan saya dengan Reti berawal di tahun 2009 ketika kami sama-sama nonton Coldplay “Viva La Vida Tour” di Singapore. Setelah konser tersebut, nampaknya kami belum pernah ketemuan lagi dan hanya saling update kehidupan keluarga kecil masing-masing via Fb dan Instagram. Minggu lalu, setelah melakukan riset mendalam (alias mengkepo akun Instagram Reti (@retioktania) dan blog suami). Jujur saja, saya sangat kagum dengan Reti dan Rifqi yang sebagai working parents yang selalu menyempatkan bikin dan mendokumentasikan aktifitas bermain di rumah untuk Katya. Kekagumannya tidak sebatas dalam mempersiapkan dan mengajak bermain Katya saja, tapi bagaimana Reti tetap bisa perform bagus di kantor (tahun lalu menerima Asia Pacific Recognition Award winner dari PT Ford Motor Indonesia -ini hasil kepo LinkedIn-nya Reti *sayah memang niat kalo interview orang, hehe*) dan juga aktif sebagai konselor laktasi bersama AIMI (Asosiasi Ibu Menyusui Indonesia).  Jadilah, saya semakin semangat ingin interview Reti untuk sharing di Main Yuk!:

Hai Reti..! Thank you udah bersedia sharing di Main Yuk! Bisa cerita tentang latar belakang dirimu? Hi Chica apa kabar? Ah senang sekaliii diwawancara sama Chica, aku pun suka sekali dengan keluarga kalian, selalu suka sama cerita dan foto foto Chica (maaci Reti..!). Baiklah, namaku Reti Oktania, anak pertama dari 2 bersaudara, usia (hampir) 28 tahun. Suamiku Rifqi Harimuji, lulusan Teknik Industri ITB dan anakku Katya Kirana Azalia usia 2 tahun 4 bulan. Aku sendiri lulusan Psikologi UI. Kebetulan saat kuliah aku suka sekali peminatan psikologi klinis dan perkembangan, termasuk keberbakatan pada anak (dan di sanalah aku bertemu dengan bundamuuu..! —> pasti killer ya beliau, eheheu). Saat ini aku bekerja full-time sebagai HR Manager di PT Ford Motor Indonesia.

Kegiatan bermain Katya selama bulan Ramadhan kemarin A-Z Islam: dibuat aktifitasnya oleh Mama Reti

Boleh cerita bagaimana pembagian waktu Reti dan Rifqi sehari-hari - Mungkin banyak juga para orang tua kantoran lainnya yang mengalami kendala dalam manajemen waktu bekerja dan membagi waktu beraktifitas dengan anak. Seneng sekali liat kalian yang sangat passionate ajak main Katya

Kunci dari pembagian waktu yang berjalan mulus selama ini ada 2: 1. Katya yang waktu tidurnya disiplin, sekitar jam 20.00-20.30 dia sudah tidur. 2. adalah waktu kerja yang flexible-working hour (thanks to kantor yang memberikan fleksibilitas untuk datang ke kantor jam berapapun asal kerjaan selesai). Pembagian waktunya kira-kira begini:

6-7.30 AM: Aktivitas bermain bersama Katya | 7.30-8.30 AM: Katya mandi dan dilanjutkan dengan bersama-sama sarapan di meja makan | 8.30-6 PM: Kerja | 6-8PM: Ngobrol sama Katya, bertanya aktivitas apa saja yang dia lakukan, dan ditutup dengan membaca bersama buku yang Katya pilih sendiri sebagai cerita pengantar tidur | 8 PM: Katya tidur | 8-10 PM: Membuat mainan untuk dimainkan bersama Katya besok pagi sambil quality chat bersama Rifqi. Kalau hari Jumat-Sabtu, jam 6-8 PM biasanya kita “open house” untuk anak-anak tetangga di Gang Raiman bermain di rumah Katya).

Dengan Teman Gang Raiman

Dengan Teman Gang Raiman

Selama Reti dan Rifqi bekerja, yang menjaga dan ajak main Katya siapa? Dan bisa share jadwal harian Katya sehari-hari bagaimana? Selama aku dan Rifqi bekerja, Katya di rumah bersama Asisten Rumah Tangga yang sudah ikut bersama kami sejak Katya baru lahir, bernama Mbak Endang. Tugas Mbak Endang memang mostly mendampingi Katya, karena untuk pekerjaan rumah tangga kami ada ART yang pulang hari. Disamping ini, mamaku seringkali datang ke rumah secara random, tanpa pemberitahuan sebelumnya. Selain Mamaku dan Mba Endang, kami punya banyak sekali anak tetangga yang usianya tidak jauh dari Katya, mereka sering main bersama di garasi rumahku atau di depan rumah. Dan yang terakhir, untuk dapat memantau kegiatan Katya sehari-hari, aku pasang CCTV di rumah.

Miniatur Bawah Laut Katya

Miniatur Bawah Laut Katya yang bisa digerak-gerakin – dengan peralatan sederhana + imajiasi = mainan interaktif..!

Jadwal Katya: 6.00: Bangun Pagi | 6-7.30: Aktivitas bermain bersama Mama dan Papa | 7.30-8.30: Katya mandi dan dilanjutkan dengan bersama-sama sarapan di meja makan | 8.30-10.00:   Main outdoor bersama teman-teman, mostly di garasi rumah sambil makan snack siang seperti buah-buahan| 10.00-11.00:  Nonton DVD (Dora, Hi 5, Finding Nemo, Frozen – Katya nggak kami biasakan nonton TV bebas, semua ditonton melalui DVD dengan pilihan tontonan yang kami seleksi) | 11.00-12.00: Makan siang | 12.00-12.30: Mandi siang | 12.30-14.30: Tidur siang | 14.30-16.00: Aktivitas indoor didampingi mbak Endang (menggambar, baca buku, main masak-masakan, etc) | 16.00-16.30: Snack sore | 16.30-17.00:  Mandi sore | 17.00-17.30:  Makan malam | 17.30-18.00:      Nonton DVD sambil menunggu Mama dan Papa pulang. Kami tidak meninggalkan gadget di rumah, jadi sehari-hari saat kami kerja Katya tidak pernah bermain melalui gadget. However, Katya familiar dengan penggunaan gadget, karena kami kenalkan melalui aplikasi permainan puzzle dan dia suka sekali nonton video buatan papanya di hp kami. Bagi kami, kunci pengenalan gadget kepada anak ada 2: batasi dan dampingi

Percobaan Minyak vs Air

Eksperimen sederhana: Minyak vs Air

Klasifikasi Habitat Hewan

Klasifikasi Habitat Hewan

Bikin Bubble

Meniup Bubble bikinan sendiri

Sejak kapan mulai “bermain” dengan Katya? Bisa cerita pertama kali bikin DIY apa, dapat motivasi atau inspirasi dari mana? Hmmm, awal bermain dengan Katya itu saat dia usia 1,5 tahun, saat itu dia mulai lancar berkomunikasi dan mulai bisa berkonsentrasi mengerjakan sesuatu. Permainan pertama yang aku dan Katya mainkan adalah menggambar bebas aja pakai crayon, sambil melatih otot tangannya dan membiasakan dia mengunakan kertas untuk tempat coret-coret (bukan di dinding atau di tempat lain). Motivasi pertama lebih dari Katya nya sendiri, kayaknya kok udah mulai bisa dikasih stimulus lucu-lucu untuk mengoptimalkan perkembangannya. Kalau inspirasi, tentu banyak terinspirasi dari orang tua kreatif lainnya, semacam dirimu, Mbak Stella, dan Iput ☺

Eksperimen sederhana:  Baking Soda dan Cuka

Eksperimen sederhana “Gunung Api”: Baking Soda dan Cuka

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Apakah ada Web favorite untuk playschool/ homeschool activitiesYang pasti Instagram! Banyak sekali di Instagram yang menginspirasi, mungkin saking banyaknya lebih baik lihat di following list aku yang kebanyakan memang ibu-ibu kreatif. Selain itu juga Pinterest orang-orang. Untuk websitenya ada beberapa yang suka aku jadikan referensi: Play Create Explore here, Learn with play at home here, Gift of curiosity here, The imagination tree here, dan untuk yang sifatnya eksperimen kecil-kecilan bisa lihat di Arvind Gupta Toys sini.

Shaving Foam Art

Shaving Foam Art

Running Colors: eksperimen sederhana

Running Colors: eksperimen sederhana

Apa saja perlengkapan dan peralatan yang menunjang dalam bermain? Aku punya “treasure box” yang isinya peralatan tempur untuk bikin mainan Katya. Isinya yang pasti ada: lem, gunting besar, gunting untuk anak, selotip, kertas origami, krayon/pinsil warna, manik-manik, pewarna makanan. Itu adalah perlengkapan penunjang yang paling utama. Sementara bahan-bahannya lebih banyak menggunakan kardus bekas, stik eskrim, tepung terigu, gelas dan botol plastic, dll. Intinya permainan yang aku buat adalah yang bahan dan alatnya ada di rumah, jadi nggak usah repot-repot cari bahan dan alat :D

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Karena kasus di “JIS” Katya belajar menutupi bagian tubuh “Malu ihh..” kalau sampai terlihat.

Katya's Closet 2

Space Numbers 1

Space Numbers 1 – Number recognition

Space Numbers 2

Space Numbers 2: counting

Aku liat Reti suka banget bikin homemade playdough atau paint, ada resep andalan kah? Aku pernah beberapa kali bikin, cuman suka sayang – karena ga kepake lama, baru 2 minggu trus jamuran -__-, mungkin salah penanganannya ya? Iya, Katya suka sekali main playdoh, termasuk proses membuatnya. Suka sekali lihat tangan tangan kecilnya mengaduk adonan dengan semangat tanpa risih kena kotor atau lengket-lengket. Resep andalanku lumayan simple: 1 cup tepung terigu + ½ cup garam + ¼ cup air hangat + aneka pewarna makanan tetes. Cara buatnya: Campur terigu dan garam sampai merata, masukkan air hangat perlahan-lahan. Uleni adonan pakai tangan sampai kalis alias sampai tidak terasa lengket. Setelah menjadi adonan besar, tinggal dibagi menjadi bagian yang lebih kecil dan beri aneka pewarna tetes sesuai keinginan. Supaya nggak mudah berjamur, setiap habis main simpan playdoh di tempat makan kedap udara. Kalau mulai keras, masukkan ke microwave selama 30 detik ☺ (Wah, ini resep playdough yang paling simpel – tanpa cream of tartar, minyak, dan air mendidih. Nanti dicoba..!)

Playdoh Animals Fossil

Playdoh Animals Fossil

Lalu, selain kegiatan-kegiatan selama weekdays, apakah keluarga kalian ada kegiatan bersama yang sering dilakukan? Aku selalu ingat pesan ibu mertuaku yang bilang “lebih sering mana, orang tua mengantar anaknya, atau anak mengantar orangtua nya?”. Sejak dengar kalimat itu, setiap ada waktu luang bersama keluarga atau saat weekend, aku dan Rifqi putar otak cari lokasi yang nyaman untuk Katya dan pastinya bermanfaat untuk perkembangannya. Aku dan Rifqi berkomitmen kita ambil 1 hari cuti bergantian setiap bulan untuk dihabiskan seharian full bersama Katya – tanpa ada orang ketiga. Itu sebenarnya untuk meningkatkan bonding antara kami dan Katya, untuk memahami tahap perkembangan dan kebutuhannya. Kebetulan memang kami tidak punya baby sitter, jadi kalau kemana-mana saat weekend pun selalu bertiga saja. Kebetulan Rifqi suka fotografi, jadi sebagai fotografer amatiran, Katya adalah objek foto yang paling sering diambil gambarnya. Hehehe. Lokasi favorit kita adalah:

Perpustakaan: so far ada 2 perpustakaan di Jakarta yang pernah kita kunjungi yang child-friendly, yaitu Rimba Baca dan The Open Book

Weekend at Rimba Baca

Weekend at Rimba Baca

Weekend at The Open Book

Wisata Satwa: Ragunan (karena dekat rumah), Taman Safari, Kuntum Farm Field (Tajur, Bogor), Jendela Alam (Bandung), Seaworld, Ocean Dream Samudera Ancol, Istana Reptil TMII. Sejauh ini yang dekat-dekat Jakarta hanya itu sih, selebihnya ada yang di luar kota seperti Batu Secret Zoo di Malang.

Weekend at Taman Tanjung

Weekend at Taman Tanjung

Olah Fisik: kolam renang (paling sering ke Citos karena dekat), playground yang outdoor semacam Playpark dan Playhouse.

Weekend at Swimming Pool

Weekend at Swimming Pool

Taman: Alhamdulillah sekarang ada Taman Tanjung yang ada di dekat rumah, jadi kita juga lagi suka main ke taman ☺

Yeay, tempatnya seru-seru. Nah, kemarin sempet liat tentang Kembang Gula, bisa ceritakan tentang kegiatan ini? Whaaaa, senangnya Chica tau tentang Teman Bermain Kembang Gula (aku terharuuu). Jadi Teman Bermain Kembang Gula ini adalah project social yang aku inisiasi untuk anak dan orang tua yang tujuannya meningkatkan kesadaran akan pentingnya quality time bersama keluarga. Idenya simple aja, karena namanya “Teman Bermain” (bukan taman bermain), kita fasilitasi sesi playdate di Kembang Gula, dimana di sesi ini akan ada kegiatan sederhana yang melibatkan anak dan orang tua. Kegiatan yang ada di Kembang Gula sangat simple, seperti melukis bersama, membuat playdoh, bermain mencocokkan warna, bermain air, etc. Yang pasti, orang tua terlibat aktif mendampingi anak-anaknya.

Kembang Gula Sessions

Sesi Kembang Gula

Sesi Teman Bermain Kembang Gula kita buka setiap Sabtu pagi jam 9-12 siang di Rumah Katya. Karena keterbatasan tempat parkir, sesi ini kita batasi hanya untuk 3 keluarga per pertemuan. Daan yang paling penting adalah, sesi ini gratis lhooo.. Orang tua cukup membawa makanan untuk potluck, karena kita nggak menyiapkan konsumsi ☺

Kembang Gula

Kembang Gula

Kembang Gula Sessions 2

Wah! Menarik banget acaranya…! Semoga sukses selalu ke depannya ya Kembang Gula..!

Ada rekomendasi 2-5 buku yang wajib dibaca dan dimiliki untuk para Ortu atau buku favorite Katya saat ini? Aku akan bagi TOP 5 books jadi 2 bagian yaaa.. 2 buku favoritku, dan 3 buku favorit Katya.  Buku parenting favoritku: 1. The Optimistic Child by Martin Seligman Ph.D (Martin Seligman adalah psikolog yang terkenal dengan aliran positive psychology. 2. Raising Kids with Character That Lasts by John Yates & Susan Yates. Sementara buku favorit Katya saat ini: Dora The Explorer: Potty Time by Kathy Broderick. Brush Your Teeth Please by Leslie Mcguire, Jean Pidgeon dan Brain Quest for Threes Ages 3-4.

What is the most amazing thing about Katya (or what do you like most about her)? All of her. Hehe.

Aku suka karena dia menunjukkan cinta nya dengan sangat polos dan tulus, dia yang selalu kasih pelukan hangat pas aku pergi dan pulang kerja. Dia yang bisa tiba-tiba minta pulang ke rumah pas kita lagi jalan-jalan karena ingat anak ayamnya. Semua dilakukan dengan polos dan penuh ketulusan.

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Katya dan Ayam kesayangan

Aku suka bagaimana dia di setiap tahap perkembangannya, it never fails to amaze me, to surprise me. Dari dia mulai bisa berdiri, bicara, menyanyi, jalan, sampai sekarang bisa segala macam, rasanya bersyukur walaupun dengan waktu yang terbatas aku selalu bisa menyaksikan perkembangannya.

Katya Loves Animals

Aku suka Katya yang selalu memperlihatkan keceriaan. Saat bangun tidur, makan, mandi, main, dia selalu menunjukkan keceriaan, it brings positive energy to her surroundings.

Aku suka Katya yang generous. Kita tinggal di sebuah kawasan yang namanya Gang Raiman, dimana kebanyakan teman Katya berasal dari kelas ekonomi menengah-bawah. Saat dia punya sesuatu yang lebih, makanan misalnya, dia akan dengan senang bilang “ini untuk kakak kakak Raiman!”

Aku suka Katya yang selalu buang sampah di tempatnya, hehehe. Bahkan pernah di pasar tradisional, dia beli telur puyuh rebus dan langsung dibuka di tempat. Kulit telurnya dia pegang sepanjang jalan sampai ketemu tempat sampah XD

Dan di atas semua itu, aku suka bagaimana kehadiran seorang Katya bisa banyak merubah hidup aku dan Rifqi menjadi lebih baik. Bagaimana dia menjadi keajaiban di tengah-tengah kita karena sejak ada dia, kebahagiaan kita menjadi berlipat ganda ☺

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That’s very lovely, Reti :) Thank you for sharing a glimpse of your life as a working and devoted mother to us…! Semoga Katya tumbuh jadi anak dan wanita cerdas, sehat, santun, kreatif, dan senang berbagi seperti Mamanya yaa…! Sukses selalu untuk Reti dalam menikmati peran menyenangkan sebagai Ibu dan wanita karir yang bersahaja. Kapan-kapan kita nonton konser Coldplay lagi sama Katya, Khalif, Azka, Atlas, dan Nara (Amiin…!).