Recommended Windows Games for the Family

~ Posted on Friday, January 22, 2016 at 5:25 PM ~

I had previously written about how we make use of technologies to parent, educate and learn together as a family, shared our family's guidelines on technology usage for our children and also recommended some favourite Windows apps and utilities.

As mentioned before, I'm very blessed to own a reliable Windows computer with the fast processing power of Intel processors that does magic in our everyday lives and so for today's post, I will share with you on some of our recommended Windows games that we use in our family. Here we go, the list in no particular order:

 

Minecraft

(** Click icon below to download the app for free) 

Recommended Windows Games for the Family

You would have to be living on another planet if you have not heard of Minecraft. Minecraft is a game about placing blocks to build anything you can imagine. You chopped off trees, gather the woods and materials, build your shelter, hunt for food and more. You can play in free mode or survival mode (it gets dark at night and zombies and monsters came out so you really need to build/find a shelter fast!) You can play on your own or join other networks/servers and play with your friends.

Some might think it is quite costly to purchase this game, I mean, hubby and I had the same thoughts too prior to our decision to purchase the app. In fact, we delayed for almost a year thinking it through and happy to say, no regrets so far with our decision to get this game. Our 6.5-year-old boy loves Lego, he loves building stuff so to see him blossoming more after playing on Minecraft, just magical.

Recommended Windows Games for the Family

Just look at what he built when he was 5-ish... I am not kidding you, all these were done by himself without any help from us except when he needed help to spell some words (he started kindergarten at 5 years old) so that he could type them onto the sign boards to place into his Minecraft worlds.

Recommended Windows Games for the Family

Recommended Windows Games for the Family

You can research more on this game for the pros and cons, don't need to take our words blindly. For us, this game really does wonder in our boy, he learned a lot from it, building and securing his shelter, sourcing for materials, mining for resources and minerals, combining materials to create new tools and stuff. On the rare occasions where I played together with our boy on our server, I was very impressed as I see him getting straight to source for materials to build his shelter while I was still fumbling around trying to get my direction LOL. Even from time to time as I read news articles to him or share something new that I learned, he will suddenly tell me 'Yeah, yeah I know. In Minecraft we have that!'

 

Agent P Strikes Back

(** Click icon below to download the app for free) 

Recommended Windows Games for the Family

In this game, you have to guide Perry aka "Agent P" and try to locate the other missing agents while battling robotic guards and double jumping your way through Doof's complex. When our 6.5-year-old boy first started playing this game, he was quite frustrated as he was not used to playing games like this. Having had to learn to manoeuvre left, right, up, down all of a sudden is quite a shock to him. I mean, for a child who has absolutely no problems playing Minecraft (twirling around 360 degrees you know!) and suddenly had to slow down to control the directions and to achieve some goals in each level is a challenge but after a few attempts, he got the hang of it and loves the game.

Recommended Windows Games for the Family

I am glad to see him being able to manipulate the controls on our Acer Switch 12 device and was amazed to see him whizzed through levels after levels.

 

Plumber 3

(** Click icon below to download the app for free) 

This is an interesting game that I like. In this game, you need to rotate the pipes to form a path from the valve to the end to let the water flow. Once you complete the path from begin to end, you will go to next level which will be more challenging than previous ones.

Recommended Windows Games for the Family

I used the opportunity from this game to let our 6.5-year-old boy tried out, to see whether he can have a bigger picture and solve puzzles like this. He managed to solve one level all by himself without any guidance from me!

 

Princess Memory

(** Click icon below to download the app for free)

In this Princess Memory game, you get train your mind matching with the Princess characters alone or you can challenge a friend. I like that our 2 girls can play this game together at the same time (awesome way to avoid the girls fighting to play with their favourite Disney princesses LOL). I also like that the game tested our girls' memories and enjoy seeing them trying to recall the pictures being flipped as they tapped each one and tried to find the matching ones.

 

Candy Crush Saga

(** Click icon below to download the app for free)

I am addicted to this game!! Argghhhhh... I can't stop playing this game! It is so addictive and fun to match the candies and solving each puzzles and journey through the game. So so so fun! I'm not even sure I should recommend this game but it is a favourite of mine so I had to share this LOL! This game is completely free to play but some in-game items such as extra moves or lives will require payment, so if you do not want to spend any money, just wait it out and keep annoying friends and players on the game asking them to give you live and chances like what I am doing so far hahahaha...


There are other games which we use for our family of course but the above are the regularly used ones that can be found on our Acer Switch device, computers and smartphone. I hope my recommendation is useful and helpful to you guys!  In the meantime, you can learn more at the Make Magic website

Make magic. Every day.

#makemagiceveryday

 

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Breadmaker Recipe - Italian Breadsticks

~ Posted on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at 5:56 AM ~

It's been a long time since I shared any recipe that uses breadmaker. For this post, I am sharing another recipe I tried and tested, Italian Breadsticks.

Ingredients:
* 200ml room temp water
* 3 tbsp of olive oil (with extra for brushing later)
* 3 cups of bread flour
* 1.5 tsp of salt
* 1.5 tsp dried yeast
* optional for coating - poppy seed, chia seed, sea salt

Italian Breadsticks

Methods: 
* The key is to put in the liquid ingredients, followed by semi liquid and finally the dry ingredients. So add water follow by oil, flour, salt and finally yeast.
* Set the program to "Dough" function.
*  The bread maker will complete the task in 1.5 hours.
* Lightly oil 2 baking sheets and preheat oven to 200°C
* Once the dough is ready in 1.5 hours, take out the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface and punch down the dough. Roll into a rectangle and cut into long strips. Sizewise and lengthwise is really up to you to roll and flatten up.

Italian Breadsticks

* You may roll in the poppy seeds or chia seeds or sea salt if you like. Space well apart each sticks on the baking sheet. Lightly brush with olive oil and cover with clear film (plastic wrap) and leave in a wam place for 10-15 minutes.
* Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden, turning each sticks once. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Outcome:

Italian Breadsticks

Our kiddos love this! I actually think the breadsticks tasted like pizza dough, you know the crust part?

Awesome, I will try this again to make pizza base hehehe...

This recipe is definitely for keeps!

To view my other recipes, feel free to hop over to my Recipe Library page for more info!


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Using Calendar As A Teaching Tool

~ Posted on Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 7:15 AM ~

I like to make use of every opportunities and scenarios as a teaching and learning moments for myself and our kiddos. Whatever tools on hand that might serves the purpose to teach, I will not hesitate to use it. And so happened one fine day, I was looking at this piece of A4 paper with the 2015 calendar printed on it and my 6.5-year-old boy and I had a quick learning session using the calendar.

And this is why I am sharing with you guys today, how to use a calendar as a teaching tool for your kiddos. Of course, as a parent, you should know yourself whether your child is capable or mature enough to understand and learn this.

You don't need any fancy smancy calendars. In fact, I just opened up my Microsoft Word, choose the create new document and look for calendar template, choose the ones with nice and easy on the eye layout and printed one out.


Lesson #1 - Name of the Days & Month

Looking at the calendar, just pick one month and teach your child the name of days in a week. If they are old enough to write things, teach them to write the days down.

Using Calendar As A Teaching Tool

I also teach our 6.5-year-old boy that calendars we see usually have short name for the days such as M for Monday, T for Tuesday and so on. In addition to that, I also explained to him that some countries in the world treat Sunday as the first day of the week while there are countries that considers Monday as the first day of the week.

You can then proceed to get them to count how many months are there in a year and get them to write down the name of months in a year.

 

Lesson #2 - Concept of Rows and Columns

Based on the calendar, I proceeded to use a sample month (January 2016 for this example) and write out the days accordingly. I explained to our boy what is row and what is concept and how we make use of the rows and columns to figure out say, how many Mondays in a month, or how many days in a certain week of the month.

Using Calendar As A Teaching Tool

 

Lesson #3 - Concept of Dates, Days, Months in a year

Based on the calendar, I then slowly explained and asked our 6.5-year-old boy to circle dates such as birthdates, special occasions date, writing down the day of certain dates and more.

You can then teach your child to figure out what is the first day of the month, the last date of the month, what day is 15th of the month and so on by referring to the calendar template. Once I can see our boy gaining more confidence, I asked him to circle the months with more than 5 Sundays and so on.

Using Calendar As A Teaching Tool

 

Again, I'm just sharing one of the fun ways to teach your child using a calendar although I need to stress that it differs from child to child. Some of you might also think that a 6.5-year-old boy should not be learning this at this stage. There are children younger than mine who learns way more advance things than him (I just read in a parenting group that a mother shared her 3.5-year-old girl is reading book way faster than she can supply new ones for her, not that I'm pressured to get our boy to be like noooooo...). Again, no right or wrong. This is how we do it our way in our family. I hope my sharing is helpful to you guys!

 

** Note: I have disabled the commenting feature on my blog engine thanks to all the spammers who happily spam my blog every day. If you wish to ask me any questions, you can find me at my Facebook page (I'm there almost everyday) or just drop me an email if you wish to maintain some anonymity.