As most of the families I know are staying put in Singapore no thanks to the virus outbreak, one of the best places to go in Singapore to feel some semblance of a holiday is Sentosa. For some who is not willing to spend a whole day there and out in the extreme hot Singapore weather, there is the Trick Eye Museum and Head Rock VR. As the Trick Eye Museum is simplier to review and 1 unique experience, I will share it as an IG/FB post here.
As for Headrock VR, there are my reviews from the eyes of my precious kids and myself too as I had a go at some of the rides related VR.
The only VR experience my kids ever had was a pop up VR game booth we chanced upon at Our Tampines Hub some time back. It cost me SGD 10 for a short probably less 5 minutes of fun, but big J enjoyed it immensely but not pocket friendly.
I have heard of Headrock VR since it opened a year back, but I did not visited it as there is an age requirement (above 7) and a height requirement (110cm). It is really no fun playing on their own without their siblings. So now I have 3 kids (sorry small C) who are able enjoy this attraction and I only have an afternoon to spare and wish not to spend in the hot sun , we had our first experience at Headrock VR
Featuring 11 thematic attractions/games split into 3 thematic zones – Green , orange and blue , we had a tried at every one of them to review from the eyes of the kids and even myself.
Green zone (for newbies)
1. VR room
This experience was pretty similar to the game that I paid at Our Tampines Hub, a lone gamer experience, but its perfect first timer and beginner. There are people who suffers from motion sickness hence if you cant take this you probably cant do the rest.
2. Zombie buster
This is a notch more fun that VR room where you can partner a friend to play it, shooting more zombie. A favourite of the boys too!
3. Robin Hood – archery (above 8)
The olders kids had a taster of archery and in fact the older kids played for a rather long while!
Orange Zone (adrenaline junkie
This was the first ride that caught our eyes so we did that first including yours truly. Some tourists had liken it to the transformer ride in USS but I liken it to the thrill of a roller coaster minus safety issue and the heat. I totally enjoyed my first VR experience!
2. Jungle rafting
This is similar to extreme train but set in a different setting – rapid river with dinosaurs looming over us and escaping from a T-rex. A must try for all dinosaurs lovers and thrill seekers!
In this game, you will have to overcome high altitudes to battle it out with enemy robots. My boys totally love this. It may look odd watching them move from the outside but the experience feel so real being a player.
4. Horror room
Not advisable for younger kids as there are graphic of blood and gore, I didn’t really quite like it personally as I do not watch horror movies myself but I did had a go, only recommended if you are huge horror movie fan!
Of all the rides related VR experience – train, raft and now sleighing in the show, this is my absolute favourite. They even have this big exhaust fans to create the effect of cold. Fur jackets are provided if you feel too cold!
2. Jump Jump
Big C’s favourite!! The kids jump their way through the jungle-like Tarzan in this jungle adventure by being strapped and lifted off the ground!
3. Beat saber
All the kids favourite – hands down! I guess slashing the beats to the rhythm of the music is better than shooting zombies or robots. Reminds of the arcade games where you use your feet to press the beats but triple the fun due to the VR!
4. Flying Dive (above 135cm)
I had a go at this being strapped like in a parachute and lifted above the ground. In comparison to the ride-related rides, I didn’t quite enjoy this – probably more for people who are into buggy jumping or sky diving but don’t dare to do the real deal!
Due to the school holidays, there are more promotions for students and for big groups. They also have tied up with
10% OFF Normal Packages 20% OFF Group Packages (3 Pax & Above) 30% OFF for all Students
Combined with the Trick Eye Museum next door, we were from there from 3pm till 530pm. We had so much fun in the comfort of air-conditioned environment and thanks/no thanks to the virus outbreak, there is no crowd, hence you can take all the photos/video you want at Trick Eye Musuem and no queuing at all the rides/games at Headrock VR.
Do take of new opening hours implemented due to COVID-19 for both attractions before making your visit.
Thanks to the generous sponsors, I will be hosting a giveaway of 2 pairs of big 5 (valid till 31 May 2020) – I will choose 1 winner from FB and 1 winner from IG respectively.
At the start of the school holidays, the good folks at Times Reads have sent a big box of books especially for big J and big C so that can they can indulge in some readings on days when they have no holiday camp/classes to attend.
Here is a sample of the books we have received through our unboxing video
Personally, I am a mega big fan of Sophie Kinsella, and to my surprise, she also recently published her first ever illustrated series for young reader following the adventures of a mother-daughter fairy duo. Big C quickly took into the book set as it is all about magic and fairies (and you don’t really have to read in any particular order) .
The story revolves around Ella, her best friends – Tom and Lenka, her not-best friend Zoe and most importantly, her mother is a Mummy Fairy. In fact, not only her mum but her Aunty Jo and her grandma all can do magic with Computawand W5 which has a fairy apps, fairy mail and fairy games or a fairy wand. All girls in her family turn into fairies when they grow up. However, Ella’s mom cant never seem to remember the right magic code for her Computawand. Many a times, Ella has come to the rescue and learning how to solve the glitches and perhaps one day be a fairy herself.
In the second magical book – Fairy-in-waiting has four more magical adventures with more amazing spells, cheeky monkey and the best birthday party ever. The third magical book -Unicorn Wishes – Ella wants to reach to school the earliest to earn a shiny stickers and adventures like magical ballet lessons and the most unusual playdate ever!
I would say this series is perfect for new independent chapter book readers and for girls who do want to grow up like big C, she still loves this genre which revolves around fairies and magic!
Big C’s review
“I love all of Ella’s adventures as I love fairies and magic tricks. I hope I can be like Ella – a fairy in waiting and being able to do all the spells even though some may not work. I love how much Ella and her mom work together to overcome all challenges that they faced and be the best fairy pair ever!”
2. Archie’s cloud
I guess the audience is not only for angry boys and girls but also me as parents on how to manage such kids with their emotions. After every Archie’s story, there is a section aimed at parents, teachers and child support experts which they can use to to reinforce the messages in the preceding chapter through a guided conversation and a mindfulness exercise.
Big J’s review
” I like this book a lot as it helps me to know the importance of not being angry. It also helps to control my anger when something does not go my way. The main character in this book is Archie. He often gets angry just like me when things do not go his way, he gets angry. As he walks into a forest with friendly animals, his adventure begins. First, he met a rhino named Three Toes and they shared their experiences with each other and how they react when they lose a game! Next, he meets an owl named Plume who shared his cleverly problem-solved by asking for help instead getting mad, a donkey named Fuzz which centre around resolving conflicts with friends and a rabbit named Twitch and the power of positive self-talk. I learned about ways to manage my emotions and anger better! “
3. Michael Murpongo’s The Snowman
This is perfect for the year end festive season and for some of us who will be heading for a winter holiday. This book is inspired by the original tale by Raymond Briggs written by my favourite kid author of all time, Michael Morpurgo! One of the most heartwarming tales ever especially with the festive season upon us and many of us are scooting for a winter vacation, this is THE perfect book!
One December morning, James is thrilled to wake up to see snow falling and went out to build his perfect snowman with coal eyes, an old hat, a green scarf, brussel sprouts buttons and a tangerine nose, just like the snowman from his favourite story. That night, something magical happens- the Snowman comes to life! The Snowman takes James take to North Pole on a magical adventure where they meet someone very special.
Big C’s review
“As I am going for a winter vacation, this was a good prelude for my holidays where I get to play with snow and build my own snowman too. It may not be as big as James’ snowman but it will be beautiful in my eyes and I hope I can have a magical adventure just like James “
4. The Trials of Apollo -The Tyrant’s Tomb
The Percy Jackson’ series is the next best series after finishing Harry Potter. I know that most of the upper primary boys are into this series and there are many books written by Rick Riordan on Percy Jackson and The Trial of Apollo being the latest. In fact, big J just started on the initial series before this came.
Big J’s review
This book is about a teenager named Percy Jackson and his friends – Meg, Frank , Reyna and Lester. Percy Jackson was once an all powerful god Apollo but now an awkward mortal teenager forced to do deadly trials, rescue oracles and save the world. things are getting from bad to worse. Nero, Galigula and Commodus are going to San Francisco where Camp Jupiter is at to destroy everything and everyone is in it. Will they be able to destroy Camp Jupiter? I rate this book 5-star!
5. Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl
This series is so popular that the first book will be a major Hollywood film in 2020. The story follows the adventure of a twelve-year-old criminal mastermind and millionaire Artemis Fowl whose father has disappeared along with with the family’s fortune. His mother also went into a mental state. Along with his friend and bodyguard Butler, Fowl discovers the existence of fairies and in order to decodes their Book, they captured LEPrecon officer Captain Holly Short but under-estimated the power of the fairies.
6. The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch
This book is the continuation of the bestseller, The Christmasaurus where William Trundle had an incredible adventure with an extraordinary dinosaur: the Christmasaurus, however, you do not need to read the first book in order to enjoy this book.
In the book, William is about to be transported to the North Pole, and meet the icy, mysterious and magical Winter Witch, whose power to control time which allows Santa to travel all around the world on Christmas Eve. William and the Christmasaurus must risk everything to save Christmas as Winter Witch is so powerful that Christmas itself would not exist without her.
7. Sam Copeland’s Charlie series
The stories are very funny, silly , hilarious and wildly entertaining all in 1- good for lower primary boys and girls. The book follows a young boy called Charlie who keeps changing into animals and he can’t quite work out why until his friends try to help him to deal with it. This is a sure hit with fans of Kid Normal, David Walliams and Roald Dahl as well.
All these amazing books can be purchased from Kinokuniya, Popular and Times Bookstores.
The kind sponsors at Times Reads have sponsored two sets of books – Mummy and Me book set from Sophie Kinsella and Sam Copeland’s Charlie series to be given to two readers (1 one set each).
Did you know that the onset of presbyopia (or better known as lao hua) could be as early as 37 years old. The good news is it is not because of bad reading habits but a natural part of aging, hence it will occur in every one (unlike myopia which is due to genetic, bad reading habits and less exposure to outdoors).
My husband who is the same age as me and has myopia corrected via spectacles has been complaining that he need to remove his specs in order to read books and handphones. I was happily announcing that presbyopia has not hit me as I can still read near sight with no issue. Little did I know that the reason why I am still able to read nearsight was because I have a slight myopia which helps to balance the onset of presbyopia.
I had lasik done 12 years ago and it has been 12 years of freedom, I do know that my myopia is creeping though it has not disrupted my lifestyle in a huge extent. But in recent months I do notice that whenever I go for shows, I have a hard time making out the facial expression. The most recent, I could see the dinosaurs in The Walking with Dinosaurs clearly but I can hardly make up the paleontologist/ commentator.
I guess it left me with little choice but to find out about my current eye condition.
Recently, I dropped by W Optics in Suntec City. Till date, it is still the largest optical store in Singapore since 2013. Apart from a wide variety of eyewear from pocket friendly to luxury brands and contact lenses, they also houses clinical grade diagnostic equipment for a comprehensive eye examination.
Once arrived, I was recommended to do a comprehensive eye check examination instead of an ordinary eye check with most of the optical does (as it is my first visit). It is highly recommended to go for yearly eye examination as sight is one of the most important sense that we need to safe guard. The bad news is that I do have presbyopia and the good news it is at its on-set only at 100 and my myopia is at 100,125 respectively which explained that I could still go on with my day to day activities with little difficulties. The only times when I struggled a bit is when I am driving at night and when I am watching shows. So the optometrist recommended to me that it is time for me to own a pair of progressive lenses to correct my vision.
Apart from getting the eye prescription, W Optics comprehensive eye examination also include checking of cornea and eye health, eye pressure and retina health.
The entire eye examination will not take more than half hour (do remember to make your appointment to avoid waiting time as it may get busy during peak hours).
The next part would be to pick up a frame of my liking. Having not made spectacles for the past 10 years, I was amazed by the latest look and trend for spectacles. They are more into bold and black frames. Given that I am not so much into bold and black frames, I settled for a Kate Spade with purple tortoise shell motive. Fitting of the frame is as important as the design. A good fit of frame will ensure the optimum performance of the lenses such as progressive lenses.
And now, back to the most important part of it all, the lenses which are the most expensive component of this pair of spectacles.
Most people may more familiar with bifocal lenses. Bifocal lenses consist of two lens segments separated by a visible line. They’re used to correct vision at two distances, including reading distance lost to presbyopia, but they don’t offer the same fluidity as progressive lenses. You have to adjust your position to find the right zone all the time and cope with the lines between the lens segments.
However, progressive lenses are equipped with a correction power that varies smoothly and seamlessly over the entire surface of the lenses. At the top they adapt to far vision; in the middle, intermediate vision; and at the bottom, near vision. The result is a simple and effective solution to presbyopia and compatible with all visual corrections.
Did you know the very first progressive lens was invented in 1959 – it was a Varilux lens. This lens was conceived with 2,742 spectacles wearers across the world . Do you know that there are over 400 million Varilux® wearers in the world, and 1 progressive lens out of 2 is a Varilux® ?
The biggest improvement to the Varilux range in the X series is the Xtend™ technology which by extending vision for the near and intermediate zone. Simply put it, I do not need to move my head too much to achieve my sweet spot as I am able to see at arm’s reach.
The Essilor’s Varilux X series comes in two variations – Clear lenses or Transitions light adaptive lenses. I choose the Clear lenses and added on Crizal Prevencia for blue light protection. Blue light protection is important as I think it will help in my daily office work as I am constantly exposre to blue light produced by computer monitors, smartphone screens and other digital devices.
Finally, the frame and lense are ready for collection. Mixed feeling, happy that I finally found a permanent solution for my vision, apprehensive as I do not know how well I can adjust to Essilor’s Varilux X series progressive lenses.
Two things to take note, is to always move my head down when I am going down the escalators instead of peering to the bottom of the lense and also when I am driving when looking to the side mirrors. At the side angles and at the bottom, my far sight will be compromise as those areas are not meant for far sight.
In the first week, I have worn it to my third child’s primary 1 orientation , with my perfect vision I can spot my child from afar. I also worn it for driving at night to crystal clear vision. In fact, transition to near sight was also quite seamless too without much head movement too!
After 1 week of usage, I am proud to announce that I am been able to adapt to my new pair of spectacles without much difficulties . I can see better for sure to maintain my active lifestyle and adjusting to progressive lenses has been quite second nature in fact! I am thankful for my improved lifestyle, all thanks to Essilor’s Varilux X series progressive lenses.
W OPTICS at Suntec City 3 Temasek Boulevard #01-400, Suntec City Singapore 038983Mon – Sun:10:30 AM – 9:30 PM
This is my third time procuring a school bag for my p1 going child from Ergoworks. You can read about my prior two experiences here and here with big J and big C. In fact, big C’s school bag is still in superb condition, no visible wear and tear and it will probably last her for another year. I was quickly reminded during my recent visit, that big C’s backpack is adjustable for height (selected models), so she can still use it for next year as she goes to p3. Frankly, the price may be steep ie >SGD 100 but to be depreciated over 3 years, I think it is money well spent.
As I made my biennial visit to Ergowork’s showroom at Marina Square, I was pleasantly surprise that they moved to a unit twice the size of the previous unit showcasing even more ergonomic products for your every need from junior, office and now even to sleep!
You might think that I am very experienced in choosing a correct school bag as it is not my first child, well I am still am not. Perhaps it was this wall of ergonomic school bags that made my decision very very difficult. Look at how many choices and models of ergonomic school bags Ergoworks carries! One thing for sure, which ever model I finally settled with , I am assured that IMPACT is the ONLY ergonomic brand internationally endorsed and recommended by Singapore Physiotherapy Association and The Chiropractic Association (Singapore).
The most important tip in choosing the right school bag for your child is to bring your child along as you shouldn’t buy a bag that is too big for his stature. Of coz being all 6 years old , they may have their own opinion of print or colour over the functionality, so being parents you really have to weigh functionality over fashion. Small J was quite attracted to the army print bag, but it may not be as sturdy and as lasting as other models.
Some models are super compact but putting in an A4 folder maybe a tight squeeze. Some models are heavier and I do worry that small J given his petite size may be too overwhelming. Thanks to the huge range, small J has a fun time shopping for his first primary school bag.
The most important thing to note is that the bag should be align to the shoulder of the child. The backpack should not be significantly wider than the shoulders for a proper fit . The base of the backpack should be not lower than the top of the hip bone. There is also a chest belt to distribute the weight evenly on the wearer.
Finally, we chose IMPACT IM-00337 Ergo-Comfort Spinal Support Backpack. Winston from Marina Square branch (do look for him as he is super knowledgeable) explained that even though this bag may weigh heavier than many other, this bag comes with Stress-free Backpack Straps and Comfy U Neck Fit Back straps which will evenly distribute the weight. I also love that boxy and roomy feel as the child will be able to see what he has instead of rummaging through his bag. Some of the other noteworthy features of the bag includes Comfy U Neck Fit Back straps, USA 3M Scotchlite Reflective Safety Materials , Patented Chest Stabilization Belt and High Quality Self Repairing Recoilless Zipper with Loop Lock Design.
This model is priced at SGD 149 and comes into two colours – royal blue and pink. All backpacks from Ergoworks comes with a 180 days warranty and an exclusive trade in program, whereby you can bring your old Impact school bag for a 20% trade in discount for the next purchase. So based on my previous experience, if the bag can last 3 years, I only have to buy 2 bags for the entire primary school and the second bag comes with a 20% too!
Ergoworks also has a tie up with SAFRA card to offer 15% discount for IMPACT ergonomic bags (applicable to regular priced models of bag) , valid till 31/12/2019.
Even the range of water bottles is mind-boggling, different sizes, colours and some comes with Ion Energy. I chose IMPACT 700-5061 700ml NANO IONIZER which is contains advanced Japanese Anion technology elements, effectively ionize & improve the fluid molecular structure, provides healthier & softer water with antibacterial activation function for better living lifestyle
Besides ergonomic school bags, Ergoworks also carry a huge range of ergonomic tables and chairs.
This is an entirely new section, showcasing their range of sleep products – mattresses and pillows. They never had this section at the older unit.
Can you give it a guess what this is ?
This is a pillow which is height adjustable – both for adults and kids to achieve the optimum height of pillow, it is the MOTEX 1’mm – World’s first individually custom-made adjustable pillow by controlling the height by 1mm. Both small J and I even had on the adjustable pillow and different section of the pillow cater for different type of sleepers too – side sleeper or back sleeper! This is a pillow you can truly consider if you often find yourself having a restless night or waking up with aches.
The huge showroom also showcases other ergonomic lifestyles products that can improve your lifestyle.
I had wanted to give an update after small J’s first month of formal schooling as a followup to this blog post but with daily routines, schedules and also the virus outbreak it actually slipped my mind entirely until this came in my letter box last week.
For a good start, there were no calls from his form teachers (no calls equate to good news as from experience, teachers only call when there is trouble). I also don’t want to ask the teacher so early in the term to give feedback on small J.
With the exception of small reminders, small J is adapting formal schooling very well (evident by the sweet note from his form teacher last week).
He packs his school bag everyday, bring out papers for me to sign, write on his journal (of course teacher will guide them), ensure there is enough pocket money, very aware of the on-goings in school (in fact he reminded his older sister of her activities in the school bus as the sister almost took the school bus home) and generally very happy and well-adjusted. He is even appointed the PE ranger and very happy to have this responsibility. I know he has been eating the same kind of food at the canteen , slowly encouraging try more variety. There are days when he dozes off in the afternoon after a long day but other than that he is seems to have grow from a preschooler to a primary school kids almost overnight! I think that The Little Executive P1 Prep Camp has really give small J a taster, a good start and a foundation of the demands of formal schooling hence he was better prepared and well adjusted. I hope that he will continue to improve on all the 10 essential skills as outline by the camp!
Finally, the day has arrived for small J to spend almost 2 full days with The Little Executive. He was super excited to spend two days away from his child care (though he only has less than 1 month with his childcare that he has been with since 18 months -super bitter sweet -sorry for the digression). I do not believe that I need to prep my kids academically for primary 1 as they may lose interest in what is taught in primary school. School is for learning and I would like to keep it that way and not to learn ahead of the school curriculum, so long the kid can read and count, I think these are sufficient academic knowledge to handle the rigour of formal education especially in the first year, especially with no exam in primary 1 and 2, I think we can let loose a bit on the academic front of formal education.
What I am more worried is the emotional side of the transition. From a smaller class setting to a bigger one, where there is less attention from teacher as it is 1 teacher to 30 as compared to a way smaller ratio in childcare, some kids may find it hard to have themselves heard.
At the get-go, the kids were given a school journal/diary – scheduling and timetable skills. At the end of the day, they will have write down the timetable of the activities they had done for the day. Later, this will be further develop into planning and prioritizing which is a skill that is required even as a working adult!
To introduce the concept of emotional regulation , the kids were introduced to the “emotion wheel” where they need to be able to express their own emotions and communicate their needs, ie simply put it not to show their unhappiness through tantrums and cries.
I love how each kid has been given responsibilities and roles within the small class setting on the onset. The first thing small J shown me when I went during his lunch break was that he was proudly announcing that he was the “whiteboard monitor” ! (develop responsibility and leadership )
We as adults and parents often overlook and take for granted simple things like asking for helping (it is not a sign of weakness but this is vital especially when the level of independence up many notches above child care), raising your hands when need to answer questions take time to do your work carefully, my shirt is always neat and tidy (personal grooming is important for work and school too) and finishing their work on time (this is super important, kids like to “kepo” and chit chat with other pupils).
The ability to get organised and to pack their bags is also a very important skill set that I often overlook. Hence, as part of the 2-day camp they will discuss items to bring, whose responsibility is it and what if the child forget to bring something to school. (independence)
Initially, I didn’t quite grasp what skills you will get from playing games , and I quickly found out that by playing team games is also one way to develop social skills and sportsmanship. The kids learnt how to play fair, what happen if they win or lose , how to be a gracious winner or how to persevere.
In the camp, they also simulated recess time, about making the right choices (small J chose to buy stationery!) and most importantly , money skills and counting the right change.
Another important skill is classroom skills – manage work and behaviour in class – learning to check one’s work, learning how to be careful , having a growth mindset and most importantly if an activity was difficult, how can they be resilient and persevere.
They are also taught how to handle bullies in school and what they must do when they are faced with a bully – social skills
I had the opportunity to catch up with the facilitator at the end of day 1 on small J’s progress and weaknesses that we need to focus and manage. He was unable to regulate his emotions well and he tends to walk around the class as he completes his task very quickly. It is really good feedback as this is not an observation from child care (perhaps he is very too used to the routine/rules in child care as he has been there for 4.5 years) unlike the P1 prep camp or Primary 1 which are entirely new settings.
On day 2, small J being more familiar with the other kids and facilitators was able to regulate his emotions better and even check his work carefully before handing it up. Phew, seems like he did managed to adapt quite quickly to the new environment and hope it will be the same when it comes to the real deal!
The Little Executive 138 Bukit Timah Road Singapore 229844 T: 69081889 Email: email@example.com
There is only one final camp left which is from 17 to 18 December from 10 to 5pm, do sign up here . I may even do a follow-up post a few months after small J enter primary 1 , to see how well he has transition to primary 1 with the help of the P1 prep camp by The Little Executive.
Given that I have two kids in primary school, you might think that I have an idea how to prepare no 3, ie small J well for primary school. I had two very different experiences with the older two. With big J, given his easy going nature and he was well-liked in child care, I thought that he will transition to primary school easy. I was so wrong as he has a hard time getting himself heard in a class of 30 ( much bigger than his child care class size) and I often get complain from his form teacher of his misconducts. I couldn’t understand why he was behaving the way he was, I guess it is partly his nature of dealing with handle his own emotions and his form teacher was not the most caring of teacher. She couldn’t really handle the pupil well but I can’t really choose the teacher. Luckily, it did resolved after having new teachers in P3 (yes, it was 2 years of emotional rollercoaster with big J, almost like walking on egg shells)
When it was big C’s turn, she is very fortunate as she has one of the most caring teachers in school. And being a girl (more obedient of the two gender), I had zero complain. If there was ever any weakness is that she is very shy, unwilling to speak out loud enough for her class to hear her especially in the initially days as she is more introverted in nature. However, she did blossom well under the teacher and even was nominated as the model pupil too! The teachers were also happy to see her slowing gaining her confidence but it did take many months.
I guess, different child (ie different gender) and different teachers do make some differences in how well the child transition into primary school. For no 3, small J who is a boy, I am not leaving it to chance. I hope to prep him well emotionally to primary school (in hope I get less or zero calls from the teacher).
I am not looking for an academic preparatory class which is also offered in my child care as well, as they can read, write and count, in my honest opinion sufficient to start primary 1. However, I am looking more of the softer skills- emotion, communications , social skills and even the new buzz word – growth mindset.
Most P1 prep camp offered in the market are academic in nature. I think The Little Executive (“TLE”) has one of the most unique P1 prep camps in Simgapore – it is non academic, hoping to equip the P1 going kids with soft skills and confidence. If you have seen my initial sharing on social media on TLE, you would have heard of the 4Q (IQ, EQ and Executive Function, Resilience) which forms the core of TLE’s curriculum.
TLE hopes that after completing the 2-day camp, the P1 going kid will be equipped with problem solving skills (simple things like friend taking your eraser without your permission), take on challenges and simply to try new things (growth mindset) , independence (especially in a bigger class setup and less hands-on care givers unlike child care teacher), overcome fears of speaking up (this was what big C faced) or more vocal kids, when to speak , how to develop responsibility and leadership , money skills (choice between food and the lures of the bookshop), emotional regulation, social skills (new friends or even bullies) , classroom skills (focus and listening to teachers and executive function skills (set goals, self motivation).
These are the top 10 skills that they hope to equip the kids in the 2-day camp.
There is only 2 camps during the school holidays : 28/29 November and 17/18 December from 10 to 5pm, as the spaces get filled up quite quickly, do sign up here .
Frankly, I think preparing them emotionally is as important (if not more important ) as preparing them academically to face the challenges of primary school education.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.
I always loved dressing up my kids and the best celebration/event of the year is definitely Halloween and my kids volunteered to any form of dressing up as it will be an event that they return with sweets and candies of all kinds!
And that was what we did last weekend when we were invited for the preview of Kidzania Singapore’s SpookyTown 2.0 and the masquerade hunt. After last year’s successful debut of Kidzania’s Halloween Night event Spookytown , they are back by popular demand with a sequel titled SpookyTown 2 and The Masquerade Hunt. With all the quirky characters created for the fictitious town called SpookyTown, this is one event that is extremely suitable for families with kids age 3 and above (my 4 year was unfazed going into the “most scary” location – Mayor Fabiola’s Mansion – so its tried and tested).
It was also our first time visiting Kidzania past its operating hours -at 6.30 pm. I loved how they decorated the entire venue to the Halloween spooky theme and yet still not too scary for the younger ones!
For those who had been to the first installment last year, the story ended when the cure was found and all citizens were transformed back to their usual selves. But Mayor Fabiola who caused the explosion has disappeared! With 3 new characters – Quinn, the grumpy leader, Ginn, the hysterial doll and Tinn (the monkey reminded me of the monkey in the music box in Phantom of the Opera), they will help guests embark on The Masquerade Hunt to find Mayor Fabiola with the help of the Spooky Case Files (which you will receive upon admission). I loved there is an element of “treasure hunt” for the older kids who love solving puzzles.
Tip no 1: Don’t be late as the first show to set the story was The Masquerade Ball which is at 6.30pm sharp! and playing my favourite song from Phantom of the Opera – Masquerade!
Even though I know the layout of Kidzania at the back of my head, the map for SpookyTown is completely different, as they used a handful of the rooms as the event is a smaller but more intimate setup. So do refer to the map in the Spooky Case Files to navigate your way around SpookyTown.
Tip no 2: Please go to Mayor Fabiola’s Mansion (Stadium) as your first stop as it is the most popular and it is one of 4 must go venues to get the clues and to answer the mystery question – who is Mayor Fabiola? as the queue can get rather long.
The other 3 must go venues to solve the mystery are Marvellous Mask Shop (Job Info Centre) where you can design your very own Masquerade Ball Mask and clue, Hector’s Wacky Hat Shop (Marketplace) where you will get your next clue if you solve a riddle and Whimsical Garden (Shopping Alley) where you need to find out what Mayor Fabiola took from there!
Depending on the queue, it wouldn’t take too long to visit the 4 must go main activities to gather the clues to solve the mystery. Thereafter, you can join the masquerade ball, shows and fringe activities.
Tip no 3: Be at the Main Square to join the Masquerade ball at 8pm where you can spot Mayor Fabiola based on the clues we have gathered from the 4 venues.
Tip no 4: Join the Spookytacular Street Show (Hotel Flamingo ,where the firemen put out the fire! ) at 7pm, 7.30pm and 8.30pm where they will reveal the 3 puppets Quinn, Ginn and Tinn! Or Time-out with Ginn at 6.45pm, 7.15pm, 8.15pm and 9.15pm. (Theatre).
Besides that, there are also many fringe activities to indulge in where the kids do not earn Kidzo but candies (hey, its Halloween after all!). The noteworthy ones is the Ballroom Dance at the Spooky Town Dance Academy (driving street) and Fear Box Challenge (Newspaper Edition).
There are still 4 themed role- play for those kids who wants to experience Kidzania pretend play occupation – at the Mountaineering school where you overcome your fear of height, SpookyTimes delivery (my kids just loved delivering goods/newspaper where you don’t get Kidzo but candies) SpookyTown Tour by WTS Travel and SpookyTunes by Music Lifestyle.
There are also many carnival games at The Marketplace and the redemption booth to redeem your prize once you solved the mystery.
Tip no 5: Comes dressed the best as a family and stand to win prizes more than SGD 300! Remember to hashtag #spookytownbestdressed and even if you don’t win, you get lots of photo ops with all the quirky characters! So do come dressed to your part to have a more wholesome Halloween experience!
Date: Friday to Sunday 25 to 27 October 2019 Friday and Saturday 1,2 November 2019 Friday and Saturday 8,9 November 2019
Time: 6.30 to 10pm
Venue : Kidzania Singapore
Prices: From SGD 43 onwards (on-site purchase is SGD 48) , link below
After uncountable visits to Kidzania, and probably my kids had done it all – all occupations offered at Kidzania, we entered Kidzania for an entirely different experience and feel for the very first time. The entire venue was decorated with a spooky feel and dimmed lighting but yet, it is not so scary, perfect for the little ones. For kids who loved Kidzania (which kid doesn’t), this is one Halloween event perfect for families with young kids! So if you are looking for a Halloween events for your family and worry about it being too scary for your younger ones, I have tried and tested Spookytown 2.0 with my kids age 4 to 10 and they had so much fun, they are asking to go back next year’s Halloween!
After watching The Gingerbread Man, I was once reminded why I loved SRT’s The Little Company productions for the past 8 years. After a slight deviation in recent productions, we are back with all the elements of a true TLC productions – catchy tunes, awesome backdrop and cast and the “awww” moment with the moral of the story at the end. Even as an adult watching I am wildly entertained and “energised”!
While it does not follow the original storyline, I loved it for the originality and of course with all TLC’s production, I loved that there is a very strong message at the end for the show. The kids realised the importance of teamwork as champions would need a team for the champions to be successful and of course always listen to your mother!
Worthy mention was Alyssa Lie as the nefarious Fox , she did such a wonderful interpretation of the fox that she is my favourite charactor – totally foxy. Of course, kids all unanimously love Ginger portrayed by Juni Goh (we last saw him as Badger in Fantastic Mr Fox) as his character totally speaks to the kids who only want to do what they insist and going out of their way – unfortunately often into unknown danger.
The non-stop tunes and catchy once that my kids came back humming through the weekend! The audience were also part of the action as we were constantly invited to help “create more energy” (you have to catch it in order to know what I mean) and also participated in the warm-up before the big race!
Review by Big C :
I like Ginger. He has lots of energy just like me. He wanted to run in a big race and I feel like it too. I learned that working as a team is very important to complete a very big job!
For the final show of the year, after a marvelous 2019 season comprising Fantastic Mr Fox and Gretel and Hansel, we moved on to another classic – The Gingerbread Man but not quite the storyline that we are familiar with!
Ginger is a giant cookie who walks, talks and loves to run as fast as he can! Teamwork is important on the farm where Ginger lives. Unfortunately, he prefers to do things on his own, and ends up making a terrible mess. Worst of all, he broke his mother’s most prized possession, the oven. Under the influence of Fox, Ginger leaves the farm to join the local race, hoping to win a brand new oven for his mother. When Anya and the farm animals realise Fox’s real aim is to gobble Ginger up, they hurry to his rescue. To defeat Fox, Ginger must now learn how to work as a team. With rousing music and lots of action, this fun-filled musical is sure to delight children of all ages.
Director Kate Golledge (Chicken Little, 2017, Red Riding Hood, 2013, Fantastic Mr Fox, 2012) returns to direct the wonderful cast, with Juni Goh (Fantastic Mr Fox in Mandarin, 2019) as Ginger, Natalie Yeap (The Nightingale, 2018) as Ginger’s mother, Anya, and Alyssa Lie (Chicken Little, 2017) as the nefarious Fox and Ryan Ang (LiaoZhai Rocks!, 2019) as Weasel.
From 23 Oct 2019
Weekdays: 10am Weekends & Public Holidays: 11am & 2pm Venue : KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT
Prices from SGD 26 onwards (excluding SISTIC fee) For booking , please click here
I am sure most of us parents grew up watching Sesame Street on the telly. I can’t tell characters of the newer cartoons like Paw Patrol, PJ Masks but I definitely know which is Elmo, Oscar, Cookie Monster from my childhood of watching the telly and singing to
Can you tell me how to get? How to get to Sesame Street
And Sesame Street celebrates 50 years! yes older than most of us and its everlasting popularity is still evident especially in Universal Studio. Here mypreciouzkids at Universal Studio Osaka where we took so many photos with mascots!
Now we get to run with the Sesame Street mascots on 17 November 2019 at the world’s first ever Sesame Street Run. Sesame Street Run Tour making its stop in Singapore as part of its Southeast Asia tour following a successful run in the Philippines earlier this month. Besides the opportunity to run along side my favourite characters, I am also taking this opportunity to start a new lifestyle with the kids just like the motto – healthy and strong with every steps. A 5km maybe a tad daunting for my 4 year old but I am sure all of us will be able to cross the finishing line together. If you have been following my IG, recently we walked 4km in total from Gilman Barrack to Henderson Waves and back! That walk inspires me once again participate in a fun run with all my kids!
At the media launch at Our Tampines Hub which is also the venue of the run, Aaron Goh, founder of Heroes Pvt Ltd explained that “This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is not to be missed. Like the iconic television show which has educated and entertained children for over three generations, the run celebrates 50 years of bringing people and the community together through interaction with our favourite Sesame Street characters.”
In contrast to other running events, the Sesame Street Run promises a fun-packed day with loads of activities for the whole family! The five kilometre family run caters to all ages, from first timers to experienced runners. Witness the star studded line up of your favourite Sesame Street characters such as Bert and Ernie, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Grover and many more! Aaron also told us that you get to learn your ABC while covering the entire 5km from A for Abby all the way to Z for Zoe.
For families with younger children and grandparents in tow, the run will also have separate three and one km leisure walks so everyone can cross the finishing line together!
With categories ranging from SGD42 to SGD126 for the same 5 km fun run, each ticket category will come with a myriad of colourful items that will have you squealing with delight such as a dri-fit Sesame Street t-shirt, a Sunny Day’s medal, a smart scarf, a pair of socks, a sweatband and more. So you get to choose how much of the memorabilia you will want to keep. So you main purpose is to do the run, the tickets goes to as low as SGD 42. I will be sharing more of the other promo codes on social media which is especially useful if you have a big family like mine!
The 50th year run will have all participants witness a giant birthday cake blowout and be flagged-off with a countdown by Sesame Street’s very own Count Von Count. Additionally, guests signing up will also get to experience fun activities and themed Sesame Street carnival games and quizzes as well as photo opportunities with their favourite Sesame Street characters.
When I reached the venue I was surprised that there were many in the audience who were there without kids in tow ie grown ups. I would have thought this production would appeal to kids and young family. I was so WRONG! From the get-go, I knew the reason why. Based in the BBC’s Walking with Dinosaur series with the content is like what you will see from watching National Geographic, reliving the time from the start Pangaea till the extinction of dinosaurs. Totally informative and brought to live with 18 life size dinosaurs with the small and agile ones like Liliensternus and Utahraptor, fully-armoured Ankylosaurus and Stegosaurus to the huge and scary ones like the T Rex and the tame ones like Brachiosaurus.
Amazingly real that for the entire duration of the show, yours truly who has walked on Earth for more than 4 decades believed that dinosaurs still roamed the Earth. I was constantly bombarded with questions by my middle two kids….. How did they make the dinosaurs moved, is there a human inside the dinosaurs moving them ? Frankly I have no idea (except for the smaller dinosaurs where we can see there is a man inside), the rest of them especially the gigantic ones, i will put it as an engineering genius, puppetry at its best and perhaps don’t try to hard figuring it out and just enjoy the live experience.
I have not watch the BBC Walking with Dinosaurs series (it’s next on my to do list). The paleontologist /storyteller spend the entire 1 hour 40 min (20 minutes intermission) explaining to the audience the evolution of dinosaurs from the very beginning, Pangaea and they even illustrated how the 7 continents that we have today came about. I would say the content is more suitable for lower primary kids onwards. That said even though my preschoolers couldn’t really appreciate the contents fully, they totally enjoyed all the sequences when the dinosaurs appeared in, predator, herbivores, defending their turf and was tickled to their funny bones when the paleontologist examined dinosaur’s dung! We were treated to different types of dinosaurs – a total of 9 species, I didn’t keep count but there is 18 life size dinosaurs throughout the live experience. Not to be missed are the backdrop which changes from splitting of the earth’s continents to arid desert of the Triassic period, to the lush greenery , volcano eruption, forest fires and ultimately the comet that ended it all.
I was in awe how real the dinosaur were done up that the entire production cost over USD 20million and over 1 year to build. This is one show not to be missed and I have to live till this old to watch these “real” dinosaurs right before my very eyes. This is one live experience that every one should not miss. Those who watched the BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs show, those who love National Geographic, kids who love dinosaurs and for all the rest of us how is it like if dinosaurs still roam the Earth and see it with our very own eyes.
These are some stills from the opening show on 29 August showing the 9 different species in the live experiences. For some of the video highlights, you can view my IG stories but as always , if you are planning to catch the live experience and be awe for the very first time, skip the videos!
After a fantastic month of July , August has beckons with no less fanfare with 18 big life size dinosaurs roaming right here in Singapore Indoor Stadium! This is one for all the dinosaur lovers, and I have 2 at home! The dinosaurs are so real , I suspect for the entire duration of the show adults and kids alike will believe that dinosaurs are still roaming on earth!
Walking With Dinosaurs opened its World Tour in the UK in July 2018 and has embarked on an international tour, taking over arenas across Europe, and now heading into Asia with a stopover in Singapore. The $20 million production features updated, state of the art technology, underlining its position as the biggest and best dinosaur show in the world.
This updated production will
showcase spectacular and colourful changes to the dinosaurs based on the latest
scientific research including the likely feathering of some species. The
one-hour, 40-minute show depicts the dinosaurs’ evolution with almost cinematic
realism. Walking With Dinosaurs – The Live Experience has scenes of the
interactions between dinosaurs, how carnivorous dinosaurs evolved to walk on
two legs, and how the herbivores fended off their more agile predators.
Nine species are represented from
the entire 200-million-year reign of the dinosaurs. The show includes the
Tyrannosaurus Rex, the terror of the ancient terrain, as well as the
Plateosaurus and Liliensternus from the Triassic period, the Stegosaurus and
Allosaurus from the Jurassic period and Torosaurus and Utahraptor from the
Cretaceous period. The largest of them, the Brachiosaurus, is 11 meters tall
and 17 meters from nose to tail. It took a team of 50 – including engineers,
fabricators, skin makers, artists, painters and animatronic experts – a year to
build the production.
The history of the world is played out with the splitting of the earth’s continents, and the transition from the arid desert of the Triassic period is given over to the lush green prairies and forces of the later Jurassic. Oceans form, volcanoes erupt, a forest catches fire – all leading to the impact of the massive comet, which struck the earth, and forced the extinction of the dinosaurs.h
Truth to be told, as family it was the first time we visited Jewel Changi Airport after it opened to the public in April. We even had obtained preview tickets which I gave up given that the crowd was too massive and not fully operational yet.
Finally after 3 months since its opening, we made our maiden visit as a family. I have visited a few times on my own as I was at the airport to drop off hubby for his business trips and have been waiting to bring the family to visit Jewel. Even after my personal visits, I am still in awe with Jewel more so for my kids who have not been there before.
With the opening of Changi Experience Studio and Canopy Park, the game has been upped several times as Jewel is no longer a big shopping mall next to a world class airport but a tourist attraction in itself.
I decided to choose Changi Experience Studio to be part of our first visit as there are certain height limitation at the Canopy Park which did not allow my younger ones to participate (we will visit when the younger boys are taller) and also coincided my trip as it is final weekend of the Pokémon Parade at Jewel.
Upon stepping into Changi Experience Studio, we went immediately a very futuristic place. Each visitor is given a card which will be used throughout the entire visit.
After the short introduction, we came to a time tunnel showing the entire history of Changi Airport from the raising of the control tower and each and every of its terminal all the way to the new Terminal 5 which is in construction as we speak.
After the time tunnel, we were by a beautiful section filled with live plants and flowers provided by Changi Airport’s own nursery which is a fact we learnt at Hanging Garden. Besides that, kids learn the difference between a road and a runway, the nursery maintained by Changi Airport, the different terminals at Changi Airport using the card and matching it to the different touch points. There are so many facts that we didnt know about Changi Airport that we had learned from this section.
Another super futuristic area and where you can break a sweat is the Amazing Runway where you can choose between powering a car or plane. The faster you pedal, the vehicle of choice will prevail. For shorter kids, you can also use the hand pedal to power the vehicle of choice. A mega thumbs up for family bonding as well as we raced to challenge each other!
At Sky Deck, we can get to know many of the cities flying from Singapore included flight time and get inspirations for your next city of travel. Big J said that he wanted to visit Houston as it is a whopping 25 hours flight time from Singapore!
Another section that we spent quite a far bit of time and family bonding was at the Smile Challenge where your smiles are given point and ranked. You can even get into the Hall of Fame. This challenge made me realised big C has the nicest smile as her scores appeared into 3 of the Hall of Fame. I gave a few tries and it’s not easy as I didn’t even get into the Hall of Fame, not 1 time!
The next two sections was the Arena and Backstage where there are many interactive games relating to the airport operations.
You get to collect trolleys, guide taxi to the passenger queue, identify prohibited items in the carry on baggages, identifying fingerprint at immigration, sorting baggage, loading passenger and turning around planes.
The penultimate which is the most beautiful is the Garden of Harmony where you get to make music with different instruments through interactive means and be treated to a beautiful symphony at the end.
Finally, we are treated to a 3 minutes Finale showing the past, present and future of Changi Airport – something that we should be immensely proud of!
A truly informative and interactive experience with lots of hands-on interaction and in my honest opinion this is the way museum for the future should be like, fun and interactive for its visitors!
We spent a good 90 minutes there and could not stay longer as we were rushing to beat the weekend lunch crowd at Jewel and went off with some photo momentos of our visit. We even managed to spend time at Pokemon Centre, played the Jewel Pokémon game and also joined in the Pokémon Parade after lunch!
Now it’s time to plan for a return visit to Jewel and covered areas that we didn’t visit.