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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Product Review - Kinderhands Monster Theme Book Box

~ @28 months ~
Disclaimer:  This review is not influenced by the fact that the product was sponsored.
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'绿色大怪物' was the first Chinese book Sweet Butterfly's school introduced to her.  I promptly went to the library to borrow this book.  I remembered clearly how happy she was when she saw the book. She told me it was her teacher's book.  Since then I'd constantly find ways to tap on her interest in the book.  Just imagine my excitement when I saw Kinderhands launched their first box with a Monster Theme.  The best part is, it is based on the storybook!  I contacted Kinderhands for a review of their box.


What's in the box
  1. A stor book.  (There are 2 box versions.  One without the book and one with.)
  2. 3 projects.  I call them activity bags and they come with suggested ideas on how to use the activity.
  3. 2 monster stickers
What we love about the product
  1. There are photos to guide you through each activity. 
  2. The activities are so open-ended.  One bag can be used to learn different things.
  3. The learning definitely covered Kinderhands' purpose.  It includes Fine Motor, Hand-eye coordination, Colour, Counting, Sorting, Shapes, Size, Facial Features, Story Sequencing, Cooking with Tots, Music, etc.
  4. Imagination play is promoted.
  5. Unlike craft works, the activities are not ‘cast in stones’.  We get to play with them every now and then.
  6. The activities don’t stop here.  Follow their blog and gallery for more learning activities using the things included in the bags.

Not convinced?  Read on. 

-------- Opening the Box --------
Sweet Butterfly with her box.  I told her she got a parcel.  It's her first time receiving one.  Kinderhands even wrote her name on the parcel.  Very much appreciated.
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No prompting needed.  She just opened and explored everything in the box.
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She was so happy to see the book.  And told me she got 2 books.  I went to the library to borrow the Chinese version while the box was ‘On Delivery’.
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She wanted to read the Chinese book first.
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Then I read the English book while she tried to follow by reading the Chinese book.
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-------- Activity Bag 1: Monster Bells Sing-along --------
What we learnt
  1. Colour
  2. Size (Big and small)
  3. Counting
  4. Sorting
  5. Threading (building hand-eye coordination and fine motor)
She explored the bags and immediately jumped on the beads.  "I want to play this."  It's her first time doing beads threading.  I showed her how.  And she started work.  The beads came in different colours and size.  So we practiced our colour recognition, sorting and worked on differentiating between big and small.DSC08364
She loved threading the beads.  And I loved how this activity got her really engrossed.
Beads
There are 2 suggested ways to use the beads.  I tried asking Sweet Butterfly what she wanted, but she was too engrossed to listen.  I'm sure if you have an older child, he/she will tell you what to make.  We ended up with this.
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Did I mention the song? Kinderhands provided a song to sing while shaking the bells.  We ran around our living room singing the song.  I did a Chinese version too.  “走开,绿色大怪物, 走开!”  Sweet Butterfly suddenly decided to play the game differently.  The monster hid the beads under the sofa.  And she got her toy umbrella to hook it out.
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-------- Activity Bag 2: Create Your Own Monster Face Puppet And Story Tell --------
What we learnt
  1. Colour
  2. Facial features
  3. Story book sequencing
  4. Shapes
  5. Creative play
  6. Body parts
On another day, we did this felt activity.  We read the book and placed the felts on the black cloth.  I personally thought Kinderhands had done well in providing the black felt.  It matches the book and brings out the colours so well.
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In case you are wondering how I managed to cut the felt pieces out so nicely,  Kinderhands gave the brilliant idea of using the die-cut pages to trace the pieces.  I prepared all the felt pieces and re-packaged them back into the box for Sweet Butterfly.  Of course if your child is good at tracing and cutting, let them do the work.  And I strongly suggest you to use the page in black for the tracing.  If you trace out, the lines will be hidden by the black colour.  The eyes are slightly tricky, I had to use glue to stick them together.  You can choose not to do so.
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Sweet Butterfly kept asking me to read the book while she lay out the felt pieces.  We played out the story and read in both English and Chinese. 
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It got tricky when we reached the page on the ‘green face’.  Had to remove everything and place them back.  So we practiced recognizing the facial parts again. 
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We read both books at least twice.  Slowly, I introduced the body.  This is not part of the book. But Kinderhands had provided so much felt and velcro.  So I cut various shapes.
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We made different monsters while practicing shape recognition.  I also used this opportunity to teach her shapes in Chinese.
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We tried to make the puppet as suggested by Kinderhands.  But Sweet Butterfly was more interested in making the entire Monster (i.e.: Head and Body). 
 
-------- Activity Bag 3: Monster Munchies --------
What we learnt
  1. Colour
  2. Cooking (Practical life)
  3. Creativity
Didn’t followed the suggested activity.  Instead, we made Monster Tang Yuan as the school will be celebrating Racial Harmony tomorrow.  I’m pretty sure this activity will turn out better if you use bread.
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We used the candy eyes provided to make our monster.  Once again, I felt Kinderhands had really thought through this activity really well by providing 2 pairs of candy eyes.
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Finally got round to rolling the Tang Yuan and named them Monster Balls.  You know the Monster Theme is deeply rooted when your child keeps repeating "I making Monster Balls."DSC08640

-------- Go grab you box NOW! --------
This box is created for children 3 yrs old and above.  But we still had so much fun and learnt so much.  If your child is around Sweet Butterfly’s age, you would probably need to do some preparation work.  Also, depending on your child’s attention span, you may wish to break up the activities.  Do them on different days like what we did.

Like what you see? Go to Kinderhands and get your first box!  They are currently offering a $3 off their Launch Special.

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