11.3.11: Our home library

We rearranged our bookshelves to make a library filled with childrens books. 

The boys laid out the alphabet foam mats on the floor by the bookshelves.

It feels quite cozy now and the boys would usually take out the books on their own and read them. 

10.3.11: Goldilocks and the three bears

Previously, I had read to the boys, the book "Goldilocks and the three bears". Today, I suddenly had an idea to turn it on a more interactive story where they could act out and learn the concept of sizes, such as big, medium and small.

We got 3 different bear sizes to represent papa bear, mama bear and baby bear. The boys also set up different chair sizes - large, medium and small. Then they prepared "bowls" of porridge with different sizes of spoon. E pretended to feed the bears porridge and acted out the story.

Then we used the different sized sofas for the bed - the large sofa for papa bear, the medium size sofa for mama bear and the small size sofa for baby bear.

They enjoyed it very much. From then on, I tried to do interactive stories where they can act out. This way, they learn a lot faster, as it involves their senses as well.

7.3.11: Planting seeds

I bought 2 packets of seeds and the boys tried their hand at planting it. 

Watering the seeds

We waited and waited for several weeks, but just a small shoot appeared, then died. Maybe they had too much rain. It seems to me that it's not so easy to get these seeds to sprout. I had also tried unsuccessfully with another 2 packets of seeds earlier. Will get another packet of seeds and try again. This time, we'll keep it in the shade and not exposed to rain.

2.3.11: Hari Kraf Kebangsaan 2011

We visited the Hari Kraftangan Kebangsaan 2011 which was held from 23 February to 7 March at Kompleks Kraftangan in Jalan Conlay. This is a yearly event, and the first that I've attended. I brought my parents there as well. The parking at Kompleks Kraftangan was full and we were asked to park at another car park opposite Seri Melayu Restaurant. There were shuttle vans ferrying people to and from Kompleks Kraftangan nearby. Normal parking fee costs RM8 and we were given free parking if we got the ticket stamped at the handicraft fair.

There were many interactive activities that visitors could try. Although we arrived at 10.15 am, and the workshops started 15 minutes earlier, there were already many schoolchildren there. There was a group of international school students who were at the clay area. I requested from the facilitator whether E could join in, and he arranged a place on the floor for him. The facilitator taught E how to make the base and the sides of the clay container. S later came in to help his younger brother.

Various types of wau
There were many different forms of weaving. 
Other craftsmen at work. 
There were many stalls selling handicraft items. 
Handicrafts for sale
Looking at the rattan lamp cover
We bought this  bamboo 'tu-wet' that E is holding that can make sounds to call birds.

According to this website, tu-wet is a hunting whistle and can produce a myriad of sounds by modulating the user’s thumb and palm. It is used to imitate bird calls and to signal a good hunt.

Copper cookie cutter / moulds. My mum bought some. She said that it is stronger and lasts longer than the normal ones. 
I also bought 2 of these straw hats for the boys at RM10 each

1.3.11: Mountain School

After Earth Camp, we also went to check out the Mountain School run by Nomad Adventure. It is a few minutes drive from the Earth Camp. There were ropes course and obstacle courses here for corporate team building programmes.

There were several durian trees in the place. The boys collected durians which fell onto the ground.

There were low ropes course.

Walking on the low ropes course

And high ropes course. 

Ladder of tyres to climb up to the platform for the high rope course
Spiderweb obstacle course

1.3.11: Visit to Earth Camp

We dropped by Earth Camp in Gopeng, Perak, after making a prior appointment to view the place. It is owned by Nomad Adventure Sdn Bhd which organises outdoor teambuilding and leadership programmes such as white water rafting and low and high ropes course. Hubby wanted to view the accommodation and facilities and maybe plan arrange some programmes there for his company, if suitable.

We travelled along a narrow road through Kampung Chulek and finally  reached Earth Camp. There are nice tree house accommodation there, which can sleep around 4 pax in their larger treehouses. We were shown around the place by the outdoor trainer there. The bathroom and toilet facilities were rather unique. There are lots of mozzies there, so be sure to slap on lots of mosquito repellent when you are there.

The dormitory which has canvas camp beds and double decker beds
The treehouse even has an electrical outlet to plug in a fan. 
Lots of greeenery
The river nearby

1.3.11: Gua Tempurung

We arrived at Gua Tempurung in Gopeng, Perak at 1.15 pm. We had not taken lunch yet and we were quite hungry, but decided to go ahead to Gua Tempurung first.

Gua Tempurung is Malaysia's largest limestone cave. We decide to take Tour 1 (Golden Flowstone), which was just 40 minutes, as this was the first time we brought the kids into a cave and didn't know how they would take to it.

We bought 6 tickets for adults at full rate and then I noticed a small sign pasted at the counter window pane that senior citizens (my parents) are entitled for a 50% discount. The cashier did not want to return us the fee we paid for senior citizens as she said that we had already paid for the tickets already. When I asked her why she didn't inform us, she rudely said in Malay, "It's already there for you to read." They don't offer to tell you that if you don't ask. Finally, after lots of negotiation, she relented and returned us our change. So, don't make the same mistake we did.

There was a guide to bring us in and show us around

There was a river flowing below. 
Cave window
Certain places, we had to climb up steps and down steps. Tour 1 was quite clean as we needn't get wet. The guide would point out certain stalactite and stalagmite formations on the roof and the wall of the cave and said that it looked like a certain animal, such as horse, dolphin, etc.S said that when he looked up at the roof of the cave, he saw googly eyes, and they looked like aliens to him. Nevertheless, he still bravely plodded on. It was quite humid inside the cave, and we were perspiring as we climbed up the steps. According to the guide, it took 2 years to build the steps in the cave.

Halfway, E got tired to climb up the steps to the top and Kong Kong had to carry him up
Walking to the exit
When we went down, there were a group of people in the river below. They had gone for Tour 4 where they need to wade in the water. We didn't not see any bats at all, which I felt was quite strange. Maybe it wasn't the season yet. 

More info on Gua Tempurung:

1.3.11: Segari Turtle Hatchery

The next morning, we left for the jetty in our rented car. We parked the car in front of the jetty car park, and left the keys in the rented car, as instructed. Then we boarded the ferry. It was just my family and another lady and her son in that boat. The ferry arrived at 8.00 am and we reached Marina Island about 8.20 am (It journey took slightly longer this time). After that, we stopped by Tesco Manjung to buy some food for breakfast.

Then, we left for Segari Turtle Hatchery. For several kilometeres, there were many swiftlets flying low in front of our car, as though they wanted to commit suicide. We somehow missed the signboard and the left turn in and drove straight on for a few kilometres, and then had to backtrack. Its location is so isolated.
It is actually called Segari Turtle Management Centre, Perak. 
Visiting hours
The compound inside. There weren't anyone there, except for one sweeper. 
There were small baby turtles. Their shells look dark and dull coloured.

Then, there were medium sized turtles. 

And then, there were large turtles. 

Turtle pond

The hatchery area. Visitors not allowed to enter without permission.

Pasir Panjang, the beach beside the turtle hatchery
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