Baking @ The Little Cookhouse

When Cindy asked me if I wanted to meet up to have a baking session for the kids before the the beginning of yet another school term, I agreed. Nothing too surprising about my response because I think it’s fun for the kids to bake and especially so if I don’t have to deal with the mess.

I was a tad worried about the boy though. At home, I’ve observed him to be none too excited about helping out in the kitchen. Each time I invite him to do so, he would reject and prefers to do his reading or engages in pretend play with his animal figurines. Baking? Cooking? Nah….

Is it a boy thing? Surely not? But I left it at that. In any case, if he doesn’t show interest at the Little Cookhouse, I’ll entertain him. The sister would love that session.

Little Cookhouse is located at Alexandra Central Mall and is a humble baking studio for kids. It has a Montessori based bake and cook enrichment programme which aims to teach values and life skills to children between 3 to 12 years old.

I had a short chat with Jean & Yock Song, the instructors, before the session began and they shared that they believed all kids could handle the baking on their own with minimal help from the adults. The kids will be guided for sure but parents can rest assure that they won’t need to help much. I was cynical when it comes to Dan but let’s just try and see.

Teacher Jean (an ex-primary school teacher) gathered the kids to the table and introduced them to the country of Japan using the show-and-tell method. The kids would be making sushi cakes hence the topic on Japan. Jean shared with us that for other workshops, she would use stories or other materials as well to introduce what they will be baking or cooking.

I was excited to see my kids in action. I know that the girl could manage on her own since she has been baking with me and I make it a point not to help her at all. The boy surprised me with his engagement level. He appeared to be all ready for the action and carried out the steps as instructed. At times, he received help from the adults but most of the time, he could manage on his own which was very SURPRISING for me! My heart was jumping for joy as I witnessed him in action. No tantrums, no giving up. Just mere tiredness after each step of whisking, sieving and mixing but that’s about it. 🤣🤣

While the batter was being baked in the oven, the children were ushered to the table again for the second part of the lesson in which they were taught to fold origami papers to make themselves a crown, all decorated by them. It was certainly an age-appropriate task for the younger ones.

When the batter got baked, hungry stomachs rumbled. The next part proved to be both challenging and much satisfying for the kids. They had to cut the cakes into sushi-like shapes with the cutters (duh) but for Dan, it did involve a little more effort and precision. 😅

Picking something to munch while labouring is absolutely valid! I captured the boy’s expressions and knew that he enjoyed his ‘work’.

I’m super proud of this young lady who did almost everything by herself. She must have felt pleased with herself too.

This boy? Give him a round of an applause please! He stayed on task throughout without whining. 🤣🤣

So it’s definitely true: boys can bake too!!! Yay!

Little CookHouse provides a variety of baking classes (donut pops, cupcakes, tartlets, cookies, etc) and it cost $49 per child/ class (free for the accompanying adults). Now you can enjoy a 5% off for first time participants with the promo code ‘myfirsttrial’. This promo code is valid till 30 Sept 2019.

We had a wonderful and cosy time at the Little CookHouse that afternoon. Thank you Teacher Jean and Yock Song for teaching the class!

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Penang for families

Penang is a popular choice for a short getaway for families with young kids (that’s us!) because of the variety of activities available. A quick research led us to decide on the combination of nature walk, water activities, mural art appreciation and places that might interest the kids. We were mindful not to pack many activities within a day because we wanted to allow for more space when travelling with kids since tantrums and meltdowns could happen. 😅

So our 4D3N trip to Penang with two other families started on a mid-week morning. The flight lasted slightly more than an hour and by the time we cleared the custom and reached our hotel, it was already 2 o’clock. We wasted no time and walked to the building next to our hotel and started our first day of activities!

It was this Jurassic Research Center that caught my attention initially. But The Top Penang offers much more than this and we decided on The Top Fun Pass in the end since it allows multiple entries on a same-day visit to all attractions in the Avenue of Adventures and Rainbow Skywalk at The Top Penang except Augmented Reality Virtual, Formula One, The Gravityz & TOP Capsule.

I think the kids were fascinated by the various kinds of dinosaurs but Dan was petrified. He clung on to me for the entire time we were in there so we had to move on quickly. There was no opportunity for me to read the relevant information or to relate it to the girl. I, just had to move on.

Once we were out of the Jurassic Research Center, the kids were treated to an hour of fun at the indoor playground (so pls bring along socks) while some of the adults went for a 30-minute 7D show which was rather uninteresting, I regret to say. We spent the rest of the time having fun dancing, riding on bumper cars, having hands-on Science experiments at Tech Drome (so good!) and ended our time at The Top with a breathtaking view of Penang at the Rainbow skywalk.

Surely we won’t miss the local food when we were here. You won’t too, will you?

Day 1 | Flight –> The Top Penang –> Dinner

Day 2 | Penang Hill –> Street Art Murals –> Ferry to and fro Butterworth –> Dinner

Rise and shine! We were all ready to take the tram up to Penang Hill and hike to the canopy walk. Fresh air greeted us as the tram reached its destination up the hill and we were all ready to go. Mid-way through the walk, the kids cried hungry and tired and we figured it would still be a while before we could reach the canopy walk. Aborted that idea, headed back to the tram station and had our lunch at A&W. ✌🏼

Travelling with a bunch of preschoolers means that our itinerary has to be flexible and allows for changes to be made. There are some who still take naps and as parents, we understand the importance of rest for these young ones. So after a walk around Penang Hill, we checked back to the hotel for a swim and the kids went to nap rather quickly, giving the moms some time to sneak out to the mall. ✌🏼

Once the kids were refreshed, we headed out to explore the mural art. It was fun, and would be more interesting if the kids could join in with much enthusiasm. Alas, they were complaining of hunger, thirst and tiredness as we looked for the various artwork and had to settle for a much needed tea break.

Since the mural art street is near to the jetty, we walked across to take the ferry to and fro Butterworth. We had fun running to catch the next ferry and the kids enjoyed the ride. They were fascinated that vehicles and humans could be on the same ferry. ⛴

Day 3 | Breakfast –> transfer to Bayview resort –> Entopia –> Dinner

Breakfast or all kinds of meals should be enjoyed with folks with the same palate. The whole gang agreed on Dim Sum breakfast and we found our way to Tai Tung Restaurant.

We soon checked out of the hotel and headed to Bayview Resort for a different kind of adventure.

At Entopia, we were filled with amazement as we interacted face-to-face with many beautiful butterflies in the garden as well as bugs and some reptiles. We signed up for a one-hour workshop (RM 16) which enabled us to have a close encounter with rhinoceros beetle (and its larva), hissing cockroaches and …a gentle snake!

Took so many photos but I think it’s best to refer to my IG (I store photos there). Make it a one-day trip! The kids were entralled by the creatures and the adults, too.

The day slowed down as we returned to the hotel and enjoyed a bit of the beach before we headed to a Tze Tchar stall for dinner.

Day 4 | Beach life + departure

We spent the bulk of the morning relaxing in the premise of the hotel. The kids were excited about the waterplay area and had a good workout through swimming.

I wish I could spend more time just bumming at the beach, with a book in one hand and a glass of juice in another. Alas, such a life would not happen as long as our kids are still young. Give us a few more years?

This trip has been a rather relaxing and at the same time, a fulfilling one. We were treated to good food and the kids had one another for company. We weren’t rushing from places to places and thus could slow down our pace to be present for one another.

It was a wonderful trip.