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Life Skills: Lunar New Year Edition

Remember my last post on children loving to help in the kitchen? We tapped onto the celebratory occasion and created more chances for our After School Care Services students to help out in making some goodies for their families. To be honest, I never knew these yummy goodies were so easy to make at home, and the kids just enjoyed making (& eating them!). Do try them at home, they're makable with an air-fryer or an oven. I promise it's unbelievably easy!!!

For the first goodie, we found a recipe on Instagram: Crispy Seaweed Fish Fillet Snack. This was initially a little tricky for the kids as the seaweed would tear easily, and they had to understand the idea of using water to stick the ends together. This definitely required a lot of coordination from the children. We showed and guided the children and they persisted through!

Next up, we made my personal favourite goodie - Snowflake Popiah Crisp. It was an adapted version of this recipe, except that we skipped the egg wash step. Using the chopstick as a tool helps the children work on their fine motor skills too! The children were so excited to work on this activity because they knew that they wanted to bring some home to share with their family and cousins!

It was amazing to have the kids follow through the process of listening to the instructions (this builds their working memory of what to do and focus), working on the given task (task initiation and problem solving), managing their emotions as the task may be challenging initially, perservering to complete the activity, and the act of patience as they waited for their turn to air-fry their goodies (inhibitory control). There were some kids who, in the process, got impatient or wanted to give up, but as we chatted and guided them, they persisted through and finished. Nothing beats watching them develop these executive functioning skills. It slowly shapes them, and shifts their mindsets that we are all in it together!

One of the children made a remark that he's probably the fastest and there's only one other student who was close to his pace. We then highlighted the idea of process - where everyone has fun and learn something new. There we noticed that this child changed his focus from competitive to being in the moment and doing the activity together with the group. We saw so much more joy and happiness from the kids.

While we recognise the importance to excel and do the best, we strongly advocate children to recognise the process and acknowledge every good & bad. We cheer for every good and brainstorm to work on the 'bad'. Through these opportunities, we witness the development of their growth mindset.

Another particular student was just so excited to show his mummy and share what he has made that he zoomed off when it was time for him to head home - the exhilaration on his face as we were walking out together, was exactly what we were working for! I'm so proud that through this goodie-making process, the kids felt competent and proud of themselves!

We wish you all a prosperous and blessed Lunar New Year, a year filled with joy, happiness and good health!

Getting back to more FUN activities with the kids,


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