Tag Archives: playing

Snow? Snow!

It’s only October 1st, but it snowed. Not here, though. You see, in northern Alberta and British Columbia, it snowed in many places. Here, it was too warm, so it rained a lot.

In a way, I’m excited about seeing snow. My daughter will get to play in the snow for the first time. She’s seen it in Japan, but that stuff was very wet and she’d get soaked if she tried playing in it. Sometimes, she says she’s excited. Other times, she says she doesn’t like the cold, so doesn’t want snow.

My daughter wants to make a snowman. She also says she wants to make snow angels. I wonder what she’ll think after being in the snow for five minutes. But when will it snow here? Probably sometime this month. But no idea.

Who likes snow?

My Daughter Will Be a Rock Climber

My daughter is a climber. She’s fearless. She will climb anything, and will get up pretty high. She has a very strong grip and sure footing. I think she’s going to be a rock climber.

Although she’s only four years old, she seems to have little trouble getting up anywhere. She played with a boy who was about a year older than her, and his father had him wearing a bicycle helmet to climb onto anything. But I noticed that my daughter climbs faster than him, and has far better technique.

You may ask if I’m afraid if she’s going to fall. Sure, I’m worried about if she falls, but I can’t hover around her. She needs to learn to be independent on the playground, make friends by herself, and resolve conflicts on her own. I’m not going to be the kind of parent who micromanages his child. I’ll make sure she knows when she’s doing something she shouldn’t be doing, like throwing sand or pushing other kids. I’ll let her climb up the slide backwards. Lots of kids do that, and it allows her to use the playground equipment in her own way. I’ll let her make her own mistakes. If she falls and gets a scrape, this only helps her learn. I sit back and just watch.

I want her to become independent, use her own judgment, and learn how to take care of herself. And maybe she will become an amazing rock climber.

Pirates of Japan?

Continuing my From East to West video series, I talk a bit about Japanese pirates. Actually, my daughter was pretending to be a pirate in the park while I talked about packing and throwing out garbage. Enjoy the video!

I’m going to try to get these videos done over the next month. Once I’m all caught up with these, I can work on the more travel-related Japan videos that should have a much broader appeal.

Let me know what you think about these videos in the comments below. If you want to see the entire playlist, you can go here. It’s in reverse chronological order.

The Kindergarten Follow-Up

We went, we played, we cried. Well, my daughter cried.

So, everything went well at my daughter’s school at first. She tried playing with a lot of toys. Amazing how she just picks something up and starts playing with it. About halfway in, the kids went to the library where the kindergarten teachers did story time. The parents went back to the kindergarten classroom to listen to the Principal talk. Nothing new, but some parents asked questions. That’s when it happened.

The kindergarten teacher brought our daughter to us. She was crying. Why? Because we were gone. She had no idea that we’d left her there without us. Well, the meeting was over anyway, and it was time to leave. But she didn’t want to go. She cried again, saying she wanted to keep playing. I explained to her that everyone is going home, so we can’t stay. She was angry.

Hopefully, when school starts, she won’t be crying when it’s time to go home.

Using a Child’s Imagination for Writing Children’s Books

My daughter has a big imagination. Some of the things she comes up with are silly, crazy, or unbelievable. I already have an idea of hers that I’d like to develop into a children’s book about dinosaurs.

I sometimes think that adults make things overly complicated. When we think of ideas for a story, we make it more complex. But to think at a kid’s level, we need a kid’s mind to give us the best ideas.

I find that a lot of my daughter’s ideas are linked to reality. The things she thinks of are related to recent events, TV shows she’s watched, or topics she’s interested in. At the moment, she likes to play princess. But she’s also interested in driving recently. She loves making the turn signal sound now. Not particularly useful for a story, but she includes these little things in her play.

Tonight, we went to the playground, and the entire theme of her imaginary life was a princess going to McDonald’s for hamburgers and chicken nuggets. At home, she’s often a pony with a towel for a tail. She especially likes unicorns. And now, she’s got a pony flying around (My Little Pony) fighting with Anpanman.

I’ll have to keep notes of her ideas. Maybe someday I’ll write about them.

For those of you with children, do you have any funny stories about your kids’ ideas? Let me know in the comments below.

English Language Development of My Japanese-Canadian Daughter

A brief update on how my daughter is doing with English. After a week in Canada, she’s still speaking mostly Japanese, but she’s been using more English. She speaks a lot of Japanese with other kids, and they just don’t understand her.

Her first time at the nearby playground, the kids mostly just ignored her. She couldn’t get them to listen to her because she kept speaking Japanese. But because of some time alone with my mom and sister, she’s been forced to use English, or at least try.

Today, we went to the playground again, and she actually managed to start playing with three other little girls her age. While she still used Japanese with them, she did attempt some English. They also didn’t mind her not speaking much English.

Although it’s not much yet, she does seem to be trying to use English. She’s said some surprising things, like “Speaking English daisuki (I love speaking English)” and “I can’t see it.” She’s finally figured out “me” and “you” and uses them correctly.

So, how long do you think it’ll be until she speaks English fluently? Remember that she understands English. Let me know in the comments below.

Culture Shock of a Four-Year-Old in Canada

My daughter has spent only two nights in Edmonton now, and there are so many changes for her, I have to wonder what’s going on in her mind. She’s had a tough, yet exciting couple of days. But there are some things that she hasn’t been able to adjust to yet.

She now has her own bedroom. She loves it. She loves her new bed, desk, and shelves. She’s slept in the room for part of the last two nights, but due to jetlag, she’s woken up in the very early morning screaming. She was alone. She’s not used to waking up in bed alone at night. This will take a little time for her to get used to.

She went to the playground yesterday. It’s a big playground with many children playing. I heard several languages there, including English, Punjabi, and Russian. There are a lot of Sikhs living in this part of the city, and it’s very multicultural. My daughter was told that she needs to speak English, and she understood. She knows that English is a language that she understands, but she doesn’t speak it much. She went up to kids, said “Hello” in English, then continued to speak to them in Japanese. No kids would play with her, because they couldn’t understand her. It’ll take a little time, but she’ll eventually be speaking English fluently.

The water may have made her sick. She was used to drinking filtered pure bottled water. Now she’s drinking filtered hard water. She threw up three times last night, and I had to go to the drugstore to get an electrolyte drink for her. She’s been fine all day, though.

She actually ate regular meat yesterday. For dinner, we had pork chops, and surprisingly, she ate a lot of it. Normally, she doesn’t eat meat like that. She’ll only eat ground meat or chicken, because they’re easier to chew. But she had no trouble with the pork chops.

She’s also not completely sure of my mother yet. She’s only talked to her via Skype before, but now she has her in person all day to talk to. My wife and I went out briefly to get some salad, and we asked her if she wanted to come or stay home. She decided to stay home. Well, she cried, spent time at the den by the front door waiting for us, and then went to bed holding a book. She fell asleep and stayed asleep until about 11 pm tonight. Now she’s wide awake, watching Disney Junior.

Have you ever had a child have difficulty adjusting to a new living environment? Let me know in the comments below.