My niece is going to have a baby a few days before Chinese New Year. That is going to be my grandniece/nephew (cos I do not know the gender yet) number five! So, we are celebrating with an additional angpow to give to the new arrival.

The thoughts of having so many toddlers and babies who call me grandaunt certainly makes me a lot wiser and smarter, really! When I look at the toddlers and their antics, it reminds me of my boys when they were at that age.

The phase where they ask you endless questions all day long and though you reply, they will always ask another ‘Why?’. Parents of young children will understand how it feels to be the answering machine.

For my older boy who is now eight, he is still going on with the questions but most times, he knows I won’t be able to answer them. He will usually tell himself, “Ok…I know, I have to ask Uncle Google, Uncle Youtube or Auntie Wiki (Wikipedia)….because you definitely do not know who invented the colours of the traffic lights…”

Talking about the convenience of having online sources to answer our questions, I found a video on Connected Tots which is interactive. You can click on the video at http://www.youtube.com/user/AnmumTV and choose the options which will lead you to another video. It shows what problem-solving children do like the little girl in the video. If you have a small child with you, show him or her and I am sure your child will enjoy the different ending to the video.

Though I don’t advocate parents to push their kids to study or learn, I always encourage them to let the child explore. To me, leaving them to explore in a safe environment with our supervision is important. They will learn a lot of things by just being kids, running around with barefoot on the green grass at the backyard, rummaging through our kitchen cabinets, playing with hand painting and etc are not only fun but also educational.

All these promotes brain cell connections as they absorb in the texture they touch, smells they encounter and all the sights and sounds they hear and see. These fun and interactive times we have with our kids not only make them smarter but also braver and more aware of the environment plus the dangers lurking around.

For example, have you shown your toddler the marvel of touching a mimosa leave gently (beware of the thorns) and see how the leaves close? Or does your child have the chance to feel the warm, furry feathers of a chick? How about showing your child how sour a lemon is or what mint leaves smell like?

These experiences will certainly wake up all the senses and get those brain cells fired up for a smarter and brighter kid. If you need more ideas, check out Connected Tots http://www.connectedtots.com.my/ and start exploring the world through the eyes of your child.