Playdate | Tickle Your Senses x Stickiemail

A few more days to Christmas and two more weeks before we march into 2018. How time flies! Why does this school hols seem so short? I guess it’s because our days are full, as in our schedule is really packed and I hardly have time to take a breather. I struggle to record our experiences because there isn’t enough time and I have to prioritise so…

However, one of the most memorable activities that we had during this hols would be the playdate that we attended in late November. It was organised by a few parents in F’s school but sadly I didn’t know them in person since our girl is in a different level that their children. I got wind of it nonetheless and thick-skinnedly asked if I might join because I realised that Tickle Your Senses and Stickiemail would be conducting the session. You see, I could never join in their sessions due to the timing so this time round, I had to make sure we could participate and we did! Yay!

This playdate was conducted in one of the parents’ home and there were more than 10 kids for that session. Awesomeness! It was very well-organised, I must say.

When we reached the house, the kids started to make their nametags with the sticker maker. Such a wonderful idea! The kids were immediately kept engaged!

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The session soon started after all the kids arrived. CC from Tickle Your Senses gave a very lively storytelling of ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’ and captivated the kids with her animated reading.

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All ears

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Soon after that, it’s time for the kids to ‘work’! They would have to design the wardrobe of the Giant using the sticker maker. See the engagement level of the kids.

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Even our 2YO wasn’t spared and he did his task diligently. 😉

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It’s playdough time! Seems like the children were well-trained with using the dough! I love this sight.

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Her creation

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The kids were treated to lunch and then waterplay. Ahhh… kids these days are so fortunate. I don’t recall mine being so fun. ;p

Can we have more of such playdates?

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Playdate + Chicken Stew = Comfort

I love playdates.

When Faith was younger, playdates gave me great relief from the mundane of everyday life with a young kid. I remember the first time Faith went for one with planned lesson, I was the more excited person. I could meet up with my friends at last! Apart from meeting up with friends to have a chit-chat session after the ‘lesson’, playdates enable us to observe how our children behave with their peers and track their development.

My SIL and I started to meet once weekly recently so that the children could have fun swimming together and enjoy their evening with some play time. When they were younger, they played alongside each other, not speaking much. Now, they were truly engaging each other in lively conversations and I  find myself amused by it. How they have grown!

Having playdates in the late afternoon means that I have to make sure that dinner is prepared before we set off so that when we return, we could come back to a decent meal. And, you know I love one-pot meal and I particularly like this chicken stew. I know, I know, chicken stew is so easy to make and there is really no need for a recipe. You just throw everything in the pot, cook and viola, you have one great meal!

Just for record’s sake.

Ingredients
400g chicken thighs (cut into smaller pieces)
2 sausages
1 onion (finely chopped)
2 carrots (cut into bit-sized pieces)
250g peas
500ml chicken stock
baby potatoes

  1. Empty the sausages out of the cases into a large pot.
  2. Cook the sausages for 2 to 3 minutes at medium heat until some of the juicy fat comes out of the sausage.
  3. Add the chopped onions and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until they have softened.
  4. Add the chicken thighs and cook until the chicken is no longer pink.
  5. Once the chicken is lightly cooked on both sides, add the chicken stock, peas, carrots and potatoes.
  6. Set the stovetop temperature to the lowest setting, put the pot lid on and cook for 30 to 45 minutes.
  7. Serve the chicken stew with rice.

Friday Flips: Books on fruits and vegetables

:: Coop #4 & 5

Our coop has moved on from the Chinese New Year theme to Fruits & Vegetables. It’s a refreshing change and one which I welcome because our girl has some issues with greens recently. Hopefully, she will have less resentment towards them by the end of the few lessons! *fingers crossed* image   We would always start off the session with the Welcome song and introduction of the fruits and vegetables. Following that, one of the mummies would read a book aloud and the mummies were happy to note that the children could sit through and enjoy the story. Mind you, the story wasn’t short at all! I must say Mummy Ade has good storytelling skills! image For craft, the children pieced up the pictures of the fruits and vegetables and labelled them accordingly, obviously with the help of their mummies.

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We also got the children to grow their own beans and to track their growth. They were so excited upon receiving their beans. How fun!

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Our children have grown! It’s always a joy to see them play and learn together. May they continue to enjoy learning and exploring.

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For Practical Life, the children worked on their motor skills and coordination, just to name a few. We got them to pick up balls using training chopsticks, pour beans onto cups, stack blocks according to the sizes, threading and matching of cards.

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The mummies decided that we should not change the stations every week as we want to track their progress in the various stations. Makes sense!

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A few months back, Faith would have absolutely no idea on how to stack these blocks based on their sizes. Now she could, with the knowledge of her numbers. It gave me joy to see that she has progressed at her own pace.

These are some of the books that are related to the Fruits and Vegetables theme. Faith and I read the books a few times and we could talk at length about the story based on the pictures. The story itself isn’t long but there’s much to discuss! And, all these books could be found at our local libraries.

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You could sing to the tune of ‘Old Macdonald Has a Farm’ but what I like more about this book is that we can talk about urban gardening. We don’t have space in this city state but there are certainly ways in which we could grow our own herbs, for example.

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Oh, I love Farmers’ Markets! Sadly, we don’t have a lot of that in Singapore. The closest one that I think resembles that one that I’m familiar with is the Farmers’ Market at Loewen Garden. Go check it out one day!

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Granted that this is not really about fruits and vegetables but there is information about the orchard and fruits that you can talk about with your kid. This book makes me think about the farm and the apple-picking session that I have had visited and experienced. I want to go back again!

Linking up with

Growing with the Tans

CO-OP ’15 #1

Our weekly playdate resumed in 2015 with the first session just over. I promised to dutifully record every session so that I could track the children’s progress.

For the first few sessions, the moms have agreed to go with the Chinese New Year theme since the festival is just round the corner. It would be fun having them learn the words of the greetings and related items together as a group.

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Mummy Ade led us to sing a new ‘Welcome’ song and started introducing the CNY items such as couplets, red packets, dragon and lanterns. She even prepared a worksheet for the little ones to match the pictures to the words. Hah, she’s very much a teacher at heart!

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The beauty of our sessions is that the children are accompanied by their mums and the latter could guide the young ones into working on the tasks and at the same time, reinforce some of the learning.

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Following that, I read the book ‘Lanterns and Firecracks – A Chinese New Year Story’. It’s really a treat to see the children automatically sat before me as I started to read the book aloud. The kids knew what to expect!

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After the story, Mommy E got us to work on making a craft. Obviously, the children won’t be able to work on it themselves but I must say they did a good job in pasting the straws on.

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Proud of their work!

imageThis time round, we managed to take a decent photo off the kids. Say cheese!

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Next up, Mommy Tri gave the kids Chinese lessons by sharing with them the names of the items commonly associated with CNY. The children were all ears. Awesome job! We should have more Chinese lessons!

imageThe children learnt to ask for red packets respectfully. But I think Faith only knows how to utter ‘Gong Xi! Gong Xi!’ properly.

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Practical life segment includes matching of cards, picking up of pom pom balls with tongs, working with shapes, rolling balls with playdoh and cutting.

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We also celebrated our first birthday for the year. Belle turned 2YO! Yay!

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A simple totoro-themed cupcakes for the children but I have them packed into boxes because it’s too near to dinner time and I didn’t want to spoil the appetite of the kids! So, this is our first session. The kids definitely needed time to warm up since they have not met up for a month. That’s a long time for young people! Hopefully they would enjoy themselves more with subsequent co-ops.

Faith graduated!

On the third week of December, the mummies of our regular playdates came together and threw a Christmas cum graduation party for the little ones. Oh my, I still remember the first lesson that we had, with only three children. By the end of the year, the group has enlarged to 6 (full strength). When Faith first started the coop/playgroup, she was only 16 months and now she is already 2 years old!

I regret not being diligent in recording EVERY single coop because they really are sweet memories. I MUST blog about this Christmas party!

IMG-1628-1We were a tad early for the celebration and did the usual – photo taking! Mummy Ez had kindly bought the Christmas decors from Daiso as she wanted the function room to be more festive-looking.

IMG-1639-1Children love balloons and what’s a party without balloons? The kids were thrilled, of course, while the mummies laboured.

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Faith loves balloons and has recently discovered that they can burst if she continues to use her fingers or fingernails to scratch on the surface. Such a terror!

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We had snacks and I baked the group a Hello Kitty strawberry-flavoured cake. F, as usual, was my fan, but the cake was well-received! I baked this cake for one of the mummies who is crazy over Hello Kitty. It’s always a pleasure baking cakes for friends!

IMG-1726After everyone had arrived, I started reading the Nativity story, complete with some cardboard figurines. It’s difficult to find a big book on Nativity and one that is easy for the toddlers to comprehend. So I hope the extra materials would help!

IMG-1732Cute eh?

IMG-1741Mummy Ade went on with craftwork and the children were supposed to make angels!

IMG-1753Mandatory photo – the kids with their completed work.

10881477_10152666605599234_5186933916461912703_nWe had a game of musical chairs (replaced by coloured papers). Our dear girl couldn’t catch the concept and was the first to be eliminated. Sigh! Her mum was queen of musical chairs when she was a kid but she clearly didn’t take after her. ;p

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Balloons again!

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We had Christmas gift exchange and Noah gifted Faith with a toy she likes!

IMG_20141218_125958Faith received her graduation certificate (done by mummy C) that day and she was immensely proud of that certificate. In fact, she was beaming with joy when she saw her photo on the sheet of paper. We had only missed one session thus far and it’s just so heartwarming to see how she had developed over the months. A special friendship was formed too among the mummies and I really appreciate every one of them.

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😉

Memories of our playdate (today)

I’m writing this post with quite a heavy heart. You see, over the course of this year, I have grown attached to this group of mothers who come together to plan lessons for our children’s weekly playdate. I love the dynamics of this group and appreciate their care and concern for the children. We pool our resources and chip in whenever one couldn’t make it or have difficulty with any segment of the playdate. And I also love it that our children have forged friendship with one another.

But it would be a different story come next year.

All but one of the children will be going to school the following year. And yes, that includes Faith (that is another story in itself).

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I’ll miss the ‘Good Morning’ song that we know so well by now.

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And Circle Time in which the mummies will think of creative ways to introduce the farm animals (our theme for this term). There is always something new to learn each session.

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Love Mummy Ade, the lobang queen and one avid blogger. We love her outgoing spirit and she is always willing to take on new segments even if it is out of her comfort zone. Part of the objective of having the mummies to lead the various segments is for our own development too. We grow in love and knowledge together!

It is really heartening to note that the children could sit down and enjoy the storytelling session. When we first started during the earlier part of the year, our children couldn’t sit still and were distracted by things around them. But now, they can and even respond to the story! Yahoo!

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Mummy C and I have been friends for almost two decades and since the days of our youth, we have known her to be one ‘crafty’ lady. She would send homemade encouragement cards to us and they were always so pretty. So, it is no surprise that the children learn some useful art and craft skills from her. Mummy C has a lot of creative juice in her and it is a pity that she doesn’t have the time to blog about them. ;( Thankfully, she shares her ideas and knowledge to fellow mummies and those who come into contact with her. A very wonderful and patient mother.

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We had full attendance today!

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Mummy Jenna, the best Chinese storyteller in my humble opinion! She is so animated and speaks with clear, crisp Mandarin. As you can see from the picture, everyone was all ears!

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Our little girl led her peers in giving thanks for the food.

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Since today we had our lesson in the outdoor, we decided to get the kids to play with the balloons and balls. They had great fun despite the heat and we ended off with the feeding of the fish at the nearby pond, thanks to Mummy Jenna.

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We had such great times together and I believe we have provided our kids with a fun and safe environment to learn. Faith would come back and hum the songs she has learnt during the playdates and would often utter the names of her playmates. I’m thankful that the mummies help to correct the behaviour of the kids if anyone misbehaves and would not be stingy with encouragement for the kids and fellow mummies alike.

It is entirely possible to plan regular playdates such as ours. All you need are like-minded mummies who are willing to do a little bit of homework in planning for the lessons. Mummy Ade had written a very useful post on organising playdates. Do check it out!

Playdate with little distraction

Our last playdate was held in a function room of one of the mummy’s condo. Turned out to be awesome because there was little distraction from toys and the kids were more attentive.

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After storytelling, we got them to create a lion’s face using the tines of the fork. Again, this was designed with kids who don’t like to get their hands dirty like Faith.

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Faith’s lion is the one of the left and the right is mine which I used to demonstrate to the kids. Again, Faith wasn’t that interested in craftwork but I shall persevere!

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Practical life segment

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Playground time: The Children’s favourite!

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“I wonder where we will be going next week?”

Co-op at the reservoir

For our last co-op, we had it at the reservoir. It’s been so long since we had an outdoor lesson and thankfully, that day, the weather was fine though it threatened to rain initially.

That morning, the little one woke up early and since she had nothing much to do, she got bored and threw a tantrum. Going to the park earlier than expected seemed to be a desirable choice and off we went, with the skate-scooter in tow.

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Faith spent the bulk of the time observing the joggers and cyclists and broke into smiles when she saw her playmates. Thank God! We started off with the introduction of the farm animals and Mummy Ade brought along a puzzle to get the kids to match the animals.

The kids eagerly awaiting their turns

The kids eagerly awaiting their turns

For storytime, I chose the book ‘Do Cows Meow?’ by Salina Yoon and I thought it would spice things up if I bring some puppets along. Because the story is really straightforward and simple, I thought I just had to read it with much enthusiasm and I though the puppets helped in getting the kids interested. The children were all ears!

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For Craft, since we were in the natural environment, I thought of getting them to paint leaves on the trunk. Knowing that some of them (especially Faith) did not like to get their hands dirty during painting, I got them to use clothes pegs and the pom pom balls to ‘paint’ the leaves.

Explaining the steps to the children

Explaining the steps to the children

Engaged in the art work

Engaged in the art work

Group photo

Group photo

After Chinese time, we had snacks as usual before getting them to work on their big muscles. Mummy C had brought along various types of balls and we got the kids to learn to throw the balls upwards and sidewards and of course, not forgetting the kicking of the soccer ball.

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10676340_10152542501554234_7922960652791048130_nThe kids had an enjoyable time for this Co-op and the moms too!
Read a more comprehensive account at Mummy Ade’s blog here.

 

Fun For Free Friday: Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden

The weather these days hasn’t been too good. Hazy, to be precise but the little girl desperately wants to go out and play. So, when the PSI shows an OKAY level, I will normally bring her out and just recently, we went over to Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden to have a little bit of fun and be close to nature.

Jacob Ballas is Asia’s first children’s garden and it aims to provide a place for children to play, explore and be happy in. The two-hectare garden is open to children up to 12 years old. Admission is free though the children have to be accompanied by an adult.

Faith and Belle spent about two hours in the garden and we learnt about the magic of photosynthesis and the Epiphytes and spent some time in the Fantastic Forest.

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So, oxygen is given out during photosynthesis…

 

Plucking up the courage to walk across the suspension bridge

Plucking up the courage to walk across the suspension bridge

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Water plants!

Whoah! The enchanted forest!

Whoah! The enchanted forest!

Sandplay at the Treehouse

Sandplay at the Treehouse

Of course, waterplay is very much part of the package when I go out these days. Faith kept chanting ‘waterplay’, ‘waterplay’ and well they had fun with the water all right.

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Since Food for Thought is just round the corner, we popped by for lunch. By then the kids were getting a tad restless but we did have a good meal. I recommend Chicken Laksa, Slow Roasted Pulled Pork and Laksa Leaf Mushroom Risotto. Yummy!

Note: There are a few more areas in the Garden that we haven’t explored! Oh my!
Nicer photos taken by my mommy friend, Trisa!

Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden
1 Cluny Road
Singapore Botanic Gardens (Bukit Timah entrance)
Bukit Timah, Central
S259569

Playdate, Sharing & an Orange Almond Cake Recipe

We resumed our regular playdate this week and initially, we had planned to have it in the outdoors but due to the haze, we had to abandon that idea.

Ade hosted us and since we were early, we took the time to explore some of the materials that the host had kindly set up for the kids. Among them was the LeapFrog farm animal mash-up kit which Faith was attracted to. She had to identify parts of the animals and if she has done so correctly, the sound made by the animal would be played. Cool eh?

20140918_092546 Ade started the session with the recap and introduction of the farm animals using materials like this and this. I think the kids especially liked the Melissa and Doug‘s farm animal sound puzzle. You can see them inching forward to piece the animal so that the relevant sound was made.

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After that she read the story ‘Barnyard Dance’ by one of my favourite authors, Sandra Boynton. Faith has read this book before and we love the story. This time round, we did the actions! So fun!

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We missed craft time for this week and shifted Practical Life up to replace it. We had five stations – snake button, sorting of coloured animals, practising of pincers’ grip, matching of animals’ parts and stacking.

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Sorting

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Snake button

Practising pincers' grip

Practising pincers’ grip

Matching of animals' parts

Matching of animals’ parts

Stacking

Stacking

When I put myself in charge of this segment, I was worried that I might not have enough ideas and resources. Thankfully, friends lent me stuff prior to this day and in the end, I was able to set up the various stations, each requiring the kids to work on different skills. I am indeed thankful for their generosity and I am reminded that this is a quality that I want the little one to learn from young. I don’t embrace the idea of buying things for her just because she likes it. Most of the time, we borrow from others and she has to learn to lend her belongings to her friends too. And I’m heartened to note that the mummies in this group share their resources all too willingly. Yay to such a spirit!

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Chinese lesson – Jenna shared the Chinese terms for the various farm animals and we sang ‘Row, row, row your boat’ in Mandarin, and this we did the action too! The children had fun and I really feel that the kids want to have fun with their mommies too and not just learning with their peers.

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For big muscle activity, I got the children to have relay with the bottle caps that were given to me by a dear friend. Just in time! The kids were supposed to run from one end to the other, gathering as many bottle caps as they could within a certain time frame. I think they like it and this item could be kept.

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After the activity, Maths came in as the mummies counted the number of bottle caps that the kids could gather.

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Just the four of us today!

Below is the recipe for Orange Almond Cake which I have baked for the mommies. Got the little one to help me carry the baked goods to Auntie Ade’s place! Hopefully, the girl will catch on the spirit of giving and serving from young!

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Group A
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
150g sugar

Group B
190g unbleached flour/ plain flour
50g ground almond
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Group C
40g Orange juice
1 orange zest, grated
200g unsalted butter, melted

Almond slices

1. Whip (a) until sugar is dissolved and the mixture turns thick. Fold in (B) and mix until well blended.

2. Stir in (C) and mix until well incorporated.

3. Pour it into greased cup cake moulds ( I used square ones) and sprinkle some almond slices on top.

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4. Bake at 190C for 20-25 minutes or until the top turns golden brown. Remove them immediately from the moulds when done.

😉

Rainy day on an outdoor playdate

Once a week, some moms and I would plan outdoor playdate for the kids. Prior to that day, we would pray hard that it wouldn’t rain but obviously we couldn’t control the weather and this week, it rained cats and dogs.

What a dampener!

We had wanted to go to Jacob Ballas but adjourned to seek shelter at Food for Thought at the Botanic Gardens. We love the restaurant for its wide space and a playground just outside the premise where the children could play.

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There were about 10 children on that day and what could we do to occupy the energetic kids?
We were disappointed that the restaurant doesn’t provide colour pencils and paper for the kids anymore but hey, there’s bound to be someone in our midst who brought something for the toddlers!

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The kids went out to play once the rain had stopped.

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Lester and his mummy.

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How long can they be content with the small playground?

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“Mama, I’m bored!”
Mama panicked.

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Yay, someone brought the bubbles!
All the children perked up!
Moms went ‘phew!’

Lesson learnt: When you are going on an outdoor activity, always bring the busy bag along and storybooks. Playing with bubbles is fun for the kids, so always have it in the bag.

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These pictures make me smile.

*Thank you to the one who brought the bubbles for the children to play with.
* Nicer pictures taken by one of the moms, Trisa. The not-so-nice ones are taken by yours truly.

PLAYDATE @ Bishan Park 310714

We had our playdate in the outdoors today and it was great fun! Decided to let the pictures tell the story.

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It was a beautiful morning and we are indeed grateful because for the past few days, it had been raining and we were wondering if today’s playdate could happen in the outdoors. And the sky cleared for the little children. Thank you, God!

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After the welcome song and circle time, we proceeded to story telling and this time, I picked Eric Carle’s Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?. I think the children were paying attention especially to the sounds of the various animals in the book. Time for Faith to visit the zoo too!

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We had a total of seven kids today because we included the slightly younger ones to join us for this day. Got the children to pick up the leaves on the ground and use them for leaf printing.

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I love this picture. Every one of us was engaged. The children had great fun with the water telematch and we were pleasantly surprised that they could scoop water from a cup and transport it to the other end before pouring it into another container. Well done!

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From this activity, we could observe a child’s character. Some are really cautious and proceeded very carefully and slowly, not wanting any drop of water to drip while others just wanted to complete the fun task.

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Wonderful big muscle programme!

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Look at all the encouraging moms with their tots. Beautiful, isn’t it?

20140731_121902Went over to Grub for lunch and had a relaxing one with the group.

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All of us had a wonderful time and wanted more!

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🙂

The Animal Resort

The number of children for our weekly playdate has grown! Normally, it would be C and I bringing the kids out for some playground and waterplay fun but today, we had three more kids joining and that means more company for the little ones!

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We went to The Animal Resort as suggested by C. This place is more accessible by car and is located near Jalan Kayu. We were there at around 10am and there was a group of kindergarteners being briefed by the staff on the food that they could feed to the animals. Since we were there, we joined in to listen to the short ‘talk’. Here, she showed us a skinny pig and we could purchase some food to feed the animals – $2 for every 3 packs. Oh yes, before you enter the premise, do put on the mosquito patch or spray some mosquito repellent!

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The area is big by Singapore’s standard, I feel. There is a good selection of animals and the wonderful thing about this place is that some of the animals like the geese, hens and chicks are free to roam and the children can get up close and personal with them. Faith has been reading on animals and this trip is such a good opportunity to meet them in real life. Hah..

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The geese, peacocks, parrot, hens, roosters, Marabou stork, ducks….

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Noah and Faith fascinated by the guinea pigs and the skinny pig. 😉

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Faith and the real life bunny…

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The children love to gaze at the fish or is it just the water that attracts them? I can’t tell…

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Getting really close to the horse! The children got scared by this big animal.

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I’m not sure about the other kids but I think Faith enjoyed the animals a lot. She was intrigued by them and kept observing them. No prize for guessing what I will be doing with her at home after this trip. ;p

There is a small simple cafe if you need some refreshment. For us we went over to the nearby Greenwich mall for lunch. Parking space is available at The Animal Resort though it can be limited (at most 15 cars?). But I like it that we don’t have to pay entrance fee for this. #funforfreesg

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The Animal Resort
T81 Seletar West Farmway 5, Singapore 798061
Opens 10am to 6pm

#holidayfun – Indoor playgrounds & some lessons learnt

These days, it has been raining and we decided on indoor playgrounds for our playdate. We went to the Fidgets World @ The Grandstand on Wednesday. I’ve heard good review from C who has been there a few times and I hope Faith would love it though I very much prefer the kids to be out in the open. Oh well, what can we do since it’s raining?

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I appreciate that it has a big space and therefore the playground has quite a lot of equipment that could entertain a kid for long. They have a small art studio for those who have creative minds and a baking area too!

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Art and craft studio

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Baking studio

We thought that the crowd would not be large but it so happened that the preschools in the vicinity are going there as part of their holiday programme. Arghh… so we had peace until about 30 minutes later and that’s when things got interesting. The playground sprang to life with happy voices of children and the stamping of feet. The toddler area was much quieter as compared to the other areas but the former was soon filled with young children who came with their parents (few) and domestic helpers (a lot).

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So, our little girl was just playing by herself, picking up the balls and putting them back into the proper place (Goodness! I must teach her how to PLAY!). She was contented just doing that when a boy about the age of 2 years old came and went charging at her, pushing her to the ground. I was like, “WHAT on earth is he doing?” Faith was more shocked than physically hurt and started crying. The domestic helper quickly asked the boy to apologise in which he did and went off to play. I thought this was an once-off incident and since this does happen in a playground, I told Faith to be ready to receive such actions from the children since it’s all part of playing. But honestly, I was a little taken aback. Does the boy have to do that? There is so much space but he just came charging at her and shoving her to the ground.

And then, the same boy had to do the same thing to her again and again. I was peeved! Each time he did that, the helper got him to apologise but in the end, the educator in me couldn’t take it anymore and I asked the boy in the face to apologise to Faith, and not the toys!

The cousin came and explained to me that he had already apologised but I told him that the little boy didn’t know what he was sorry for and he remained quiet. My senses came back and then I realised that he’s a boy with a lot of energy in him. He probably didn’t know that what he did was wrong. He did express his apologies but does he really mean it? It’s so flippant!

You may think I’m over-reacting since the boy is still so young. But I believe kids as young as him or even Faith can understand if you take time to explain. They are really smarter than we think they are. Of course, it also depends on the personality of that child but letting certain behaviour go ‘just like that’ is a no-no to my parenting or teaching philosophy/beliefs. More often than not, kids can understand and if we teach and model the right behaviour, they will get the idea. That’s what I have derived from a decade of working with children. No need scientific research to prove that.

This is actually a teachable moment and I seized it to explain to Faith that such behaviour will exist in a play environment and what we can do is to avoid the boy and play somewhere else. She did so which I’m glad. Anyway, I don’t think she’s that fond of the indoor playground; she prefers the outdoors.

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Lunch was at the site itself and they serve decent food. C brought her boys homecooked healthy food! Well done! Faith ate the blueberry muffins baked by her auntie and she finished them all, leaving only a small bite for me.

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Fidgets
200 Turf Club Road
#03-10 The Grandstand
Singapore 287994

The next day, Faith and her cousins went to the airport for an outing. We had wanted to go to the beach but the weather wasn’t kind to us, AGAIN! Thankfully, the airport has indoor playgrounds and it’s no surprise at all, that they are crowded with kids from the preschools. Sigh!

The small playground at T3

The small playground at T3

The bigger and more attractive playground at T1

The bigger and more attractive playground at T1

Despite being crowded, I’m thankful that the children were more polite and would give way to others even though they were all very engaged in the play. Very rough! And I’m also a proud auntie because my older nephew was looking out for Faith in the playground. 😉

Before the crowd came

Before the crowd came

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We ended with a mini picnic just outside the playground. Simply joy!

Where shall we be exploring next?

😉

#holidayfun – National Museum of Singapore

Play is in!

This got me all excited because in the month of June, my mother friends whom I have grown up with since youth days are coming together to plan outings for our kids.

C and I sat down to plan the places that we want to visit and come up with a list – Airport, National Museum, Indoor playgrounds (in the event of rain), Gardens by the Bay, Cafes (such as Eat, Play, Love), Jacob Ballas, Botanical Garden, Farm visit, etc.

Our first stop is the National Museum of Singapore and I must say we enjoyed the visit especially since it coincides with the Children’s Season – more activities catered to the kids.

We were there at around 9am since we didn’t want to meet with the crowd and once the kids were inside, they were captivated by the various stations found on the first floor.

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Faith loves balls and this station is one of her favourite. Initially she just threw the balls in any fashion she liked until the ‘gor gor’ (brother) advised her on what to do and I’m proud to say that she could aim the ball at the designated hole! Sheer luck? I say NO! 😉

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Remember the game – pick up sticks – that we used to play when we were young? This is the adapted version in which the ‘sticks’ have velcro on them and the kids will create the shape or canopy of the tree using those sticks. Faith obviously didn’t understand anything but was just fascinated by what the velcro can do.

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This is the enlarged version of the five stones and Faith and her little friends do not have the energy to do well in this station. Faith got tired of it within minutes and moved back to the ball game.

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I love The Salon, the station where children get to do some craft work and this area is beautified by cardboards! The older kids were excited at the station and they got to decorate their own cardboard house using materials that could be purchased for $2. The younger kids just sat around watching their older siblings do the job. Wonderful!

IMG-20140602-WA0020The mama was trying to encourage the lil one to play with craft but she just wanted to observe.

We had our lunch early at 11am at Food for Thought. We love the branch at the Botanical Gardens but couldn’t say the same thing about this one at the museum. They had the details of our orders mixed up and the folks who came after us were served first. Also the servers wore stressed-out expression. Oh well.

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While waiting, we kept the children busy with these…

20140602_124408After lunch, we continued visiting the other stations. This is Rouleaux – Paper Art. C’s sons like craft and the older boy got down to work very quickly. Not bad for a boy his age! The other kids just joined in doing various stuff like our lil girl who just opened and closed the cap of the glue stick.

20140602_125740The kids were in here for just 5 minutes. They used light to draw on the screen.

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This is the station where children learn about local food. Surprisingly, the boys were very engaged with ‘cooking’ and occupied the area for a long time.

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The children had an absolutely fun time at the museum and we have not visited ALL the stations! But since the kids were visibly tired (nap time was looming), we decided to call it a day. I must say the result would not be the same if it wasn’t a big group like today. The kids were learning from one another and having fun interacting.

IMG-20140602-WA0018All these are born in the year of the dragon. Going up the flight of steps together. Cute eh?

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Do visit the National Museum soon before the Children’s Season is over!

Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden – Fun for all!

C and I decided to go to the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden since Sab can’t join us for the weekly playdate. I have not been to this garden before since Faith was too young to enjoy the facilities then but I have heard wonderful review about it! Today is the day! Faith should be able to enjoy some of the facilities.

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Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden opens at 8am and after breakfast, Faith and I went over to meet C and her two boys. There were busloads of kindergarten children visiting the garden today. Boy, it’s going to be crowded!

There are 8 magical spots in the garden but we only managed TWO in a span of 2 hours. Our first stop is the sandplay area at the tall tree house. The boys got down to play quite immediately while Faith still could not appreciate sand and stood on the mat for a mighty long time.

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After half an hour or so, we proceeded to the waterplay area. Faith followed the sound of the water and got to the right place! Good sense of hearing, you’ve got there!

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The waterplay area isn’t fantastic but they have a few small fountains which got the children all excited. Children just love water, don’t they? We spent an hour just in this area. Amazing!

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Soon, the waterplay area got crowded because the kindergarteners joined in. What fun! So much happy sound!

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Our outing was cut short due to an overcast sky. It’s going to rain soon! We quickly gathered the kids, cleaned them and proceeded to the entrance for our ‘picnic’. We had wanted to do so at the Botanic Gardens but had to abandon that idea due to the impending rain. Do note that food is not allowed in the garden but there is a small cafe good enough for some bites. The staff kindly allowed us to have our ‘picnic’ as we explained to them that our kids were hungry. ;p

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We had quite a feast – salmon sandwiches, carrot muffins, blueberries, bananas, avocado and raisins. Awesome, isn’t it? I brought along the new feeding range from Fisher Price and the bright colours did cheer us up!

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Would we come again? Oh, most definitely! We still have the other 6 magical spots to discover!

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To be honest, I actually enjoyed myself. I feel like I’m a kid again! #Idonthavechildhood