Thursday, 31 January 2019

KooBits Maths Digital Learning [GIVEAWAY]

1 in 2 Singapore primary school students are using KooBits problem sums to improve their Maths. That is about 8000 plus Singapore primary students. In the case of our household, the daughter isn't using KooBits in school, but the son is. Ratio of 1:2 indeed. 

KooBits develops digital tools and platforms to help children learn better. They engage children with beautifully designed software and learning content. KooBits software tools are intuitive, interactive, media-rich and highly motivating. Co-developed with top educators and experts in child development, KooBits learning contents are age-appropriate, relevant and aligned to the latest education curriculum and syllabus. One of the top Maths learning platform in Singapore.


How do you like the idea of going beyond the traditional classroom barriers? I love that we do not have to travel in and out for enrichment classes, love it for being flexible and self paced. And of course, it takes lots of independent learning. But that is where we are gearing our kids up to, isn't it?! Assignments can be assigned within KooBits by their, yours truly, Mama. As a Mum who doesn't send my kids for any academic enrichment, I love this fantastic idea. 


Such learning platform is perfect for our family dynamics. 

How KooBits help with the learning journey 
Proven Maths Learning Method: Singaporean Maths model method is highly recommended by educators worldwide. Because it helps pupils understand maths questions clearly and solve word problems effectively.

Questions breakdown and walkthrough: KooBits breaks down the question and walks through entire solving process with video tutorials so your child knows exactly what to do and feels confident implementing every step. 

Great solving details shown in the video below, a primary 3 Maths question. It breaks down word problems using bar model method learned from the video lessons. 




Every child learns differently, and we make decisions differently. This digital platform may be used as an additional supplement or even more perfect if your child isn't doing any Maths enrichment. I like that it helps reinforce what they have learned in school. It definitely helps us see the value of flexibility and potentially exclude commuting hours in our schedule, if we ever do Math enrichment.


OVERVIEW
Upon log in, you will find these tabs on the Dashboard:
- Brain games: Games that give that brain a workout and a breather from work. This mini arcade section is only available from 8am to 6pm daily. It only allows a maximum play time of 25 minutes daily. And to play, your child needs 1 Koko credit per day. That is earned by doing assignments! 



- Challenge: There are 10 bite sized challenges for complete daily. A daily task for the kids. This portion of work is only available from 6am to 10pm. Just so the kids do not compromise on sleep hours, I guess.



- Homework: I am able to assign homework and deadline based on the schedule of MOE (Quick creation) or customise (Custom creation) by selecting specific skills and questions. I prefer the latter, so I can assign based on her school's learning pace. Best part, I do not have to self mark the work. Everything is automatically marked and explained, if there are wrongly answered questions.

 

- Self Practice: This is very much self led and allows independent revision. The practices are all topical and each skill level comes with both lesson and practice. Lessons are usually short videos of detailed explanation and diagram visuals. The practices are also categorised into mechanical sums, problem sums and high ability questions. It covers a wide range of questions from easy to challenging questions, to stretch minds of the little learners. And if there is any question our child stumble upon, a video tutorial with step by step solution of models and diagrams is just a click away. 

So yes, it is a whole lot of independent learning and discipline with KooBits.





- StoryMath: A comic story that tells of the adventure of a fox. And the chapters are unlocked gradually. Just so the kids do not get to captivated with reading, and forgot about Maths practice. 




We love this whole idea of practicing Math with the element of fun. It is nicely presented and extremely enticing in engaging a child to learn Math. Even for one who has Math phobia. This subscribed package has all topics and practices covered. The subscription is only at $8 per month or $99 per year. Get a 10% discount off a year subscription if you sign up with this paypal link. After discount at $89. Readers exclusive discount! 


GIVEAWAY
We have a 2 months of KooBits subscription for giveaway to 4 winners. 2 on Facebook and 2 on Instagram. Do ensure that your child is not subscribed to the school's KooBits account to participate. Your child only needs one account for all access.

FACEBOOK
To participate, simply: 
1. Like Mum's calling on Facebook
2. Like KooBits on Facebook
3. Tag 3 friends whom you think will find KooBits useful, in the comment section of this Facebook post

INSTAGRAM
1. Follow @mumscalling
3. Tag 3 or more friends in the comment section of the post (ONE tag per comment please)

You may try your luck on both Facebook and Instagram. Giveaway ends on 08 Feb 19, 2359hrs.


Terms and Conditions:


  • Winners will be picked by random.org
  • Winners will be announced on Facebook and this blog post
  • Winners will have 24 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn
  • Date and Time of workshops are firm
  • All incomplete entries will be disqualified
  • All entries will be verified before the winner is announced 
  • To be fair to our sponsors, social media accounts set up purely to take part in contests will be deemed ineligible to win.
  • Giveaway is no way sponsored, endorsed, administered or associated with Facebook or Instagram 

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

CNY Delivery - Poon Confectionary

Poon Confectionary is one of the oldest makers of homemade tidbits and Chinese New Year Goodies in the market. They came from a long line of family bakers, and were famous for Muah Chee and Pineapple Tarts, long before 1971. The Poon Family baked goods from home and sold them at hawker stalls in the streets of Malaysia.  

Poon expanded to Singapore in 2018. Keeping in line with the trend of buying goods online in today’s times, they have decided to launch operations online for the convenience of shopping and gifting. If you have tried them before you will know what to come back for, if not, hop down to their location for a time of free tasting!


FREE TASTING LOCATION
502 Macpherson Road
S368204 (Opposite Caltex)
Opening Hours: 1pm – 10pm Daily
Open on Weekends too
Contact Number: 9762 6523 / 9663 4314


We say food tastes its best being homemade and handmade. Made with natural ingredients without preservative or artificial flavours. As the years went by, many traditional bakers turned to automation and machinery to increase the volume of their goods. Poon knew that the taste of each cookie is maintained and upheld by their family tradition of hand-making each cookie by hand, with only light machinery used.

And here are some mouth watering goodies Poon Confectionary had sent us.




Needless to say, we had a prelude to CNY feasting even before the actual. And here's our verdict of the cookies.


1. Golden Pillow Pineapple Tarts ($15.72)
These pineapple tarts melt in your mouth. Soft, buttery and not overly sweet. They are lovingly shaped to bite sized without being messy. I am usually one who would always opt for an opened face tarts over closed, but I realised this is not a bad option too.

2. Hae Bee Hiam Sambal Prawn Roll (虾米条) ($14.41)
This is our all time favourite! Almost hard to stop the moment you start. Sambal Prawn Roll, also known as Shrimp Roll, is spicy but filled with astonishing goodness. Each bite crunches in your mouth and fills your taste buds with awesome tasting shrimp. I find this slightly more spicy than the commercial ones. It was not too bad for me, but it sent the kids jumping up and down. If you had like something richer in spice level, this is definitely the choice.

As a side note, their prawn roll is made with shrimp but it is more commonly called a prawn roll. Most prawn rolls are also made with shrimp.

3. Green Pea Cookies (青豆饼) ($14.41)
An alternative for those who do not like almond cookies, green pea cookies are equally good. Being green pea, they are sometimes an acquired taste. I find them great tasting, but not the kids. Oh well, they remove the peas from their fried rice all the time. No surprise.

Poon confectionary assures that there is no better green pea cookie out there in Singapore! Fragrant and crunchy with a light, buttery aftertaste of green pea. This delightful cookie’s recipe was one of the first in their family tradition. It has since been perfected many times, resulting in the splendid Green Pea Cookie.  


Prawn rolls, pineapple tarts and green pea cookies

4. Salted Egg Chips (咸蛋薯片) ($14.41)
This is a must-try for salted egg lovers. It is flavourful, but we felt that it lacked some crunch and crisp. Or perhaps, we have not eaten enough salted egg chips for compare.



5. Kuih Kapit Love Letters (Peanut Butter Filling) (花生鸡蛋卷) ($14.41)
Love Letters with delicious peanut butter fillings. This was our best and most well liked at home! And you won't believe that the peanut butter is 100% Homemade by Poon, with a slightly salty, not-so-sweet taste. Soooo good!

Each love letter has been folded and baked to be buttery, slightly sweet and deliciously tasty. The peanut butter filling makes it all the more glorious. And though it looks thickly filled, it is not at all jerlat. You won't get sick of it.


Photo credit: Poon Confectionary

Kuih Kaput Love letters

This gives a good idea of the choices you can make when carting over at Poon confectionery, https://cnydelivery.com. And of course, they have many more other CNY goodies choice for your hosting and gifting options. Delivery fee is at $6.90 if your orders are less than $100. And yes, they deliver to anywhere in Singapore.


DISCOUNT CODE
Cart out with code mumscalling for a 10% discount. Happy Shopping!


Poon Confectionery
Facebook (@cnydeliverysg)
Instagram (@cnydeliverysg)
Contact:  9762 6523
Email: admin@cnydelivery.com



Disclaimer: Goodies were sent for the purpose of this review. All opinions and photos, unless otherwise stated are solely ours. 


Monday, 7 January 2019

Baking class with Little Bakers Lab [GIVEAWAY]

The kids and I spent our weekend baking pineapple tarts with some blogger mummies and kids over at Little Bakers Lab. Not the ordinary tarts, but cute piggy pineapple tarts to welcome the year of oink oink! The baking studio is a nice and cosy space in Serangoon Garden Way. I love how beautiful and bright its baking environment is with everything laid out neatly before putting us to task. With chef hats, aprons and takeaway containers provided, there is nothing we have to come in with, except enthusiasm.

Baking Family Fun

Check out this simple and yummy recipe we did with their founder, Janice Tan. More than the outcome, we had a fun time bonding through baking. Baking with the kids not only provides a practical experience, it is a great way to spend family time. And here, we can leave the mess out of home.


INGREDIENTS
25g all purpose flour
25g cake flour
25g corn flour
10g milk powder
9g icing sugar
1/2 egg yolk
1/8 tsp vanilla essence
38g cold butter
12 pieces of pineapple jam ball (Poon Huat)
black sesame seeds


METHOD 
1. Sieve all flour, milk powder and icing sugar together.
2. Cut in cold butter and rub with fingertips until mixture becomes coarse crumbs.
3. Make a well, add egg yolk and vanilla essence, and knead into soft dough. Place dough in fridge for 20 to 30 minutes.
4. Roll dough into balls weighing 10g each.
5. Flatten a piece of dough, place pineapple jam ball in the middle and wrap it up. Roll it in between your palms to shape it into a ball.
6. Use dough to shape ears and nose. Shape nose nostrils with toothpick and add sesame seeds as eyes.
7. Bake them at 165 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.
8. Cool completely before keeping them in air tight container.


Extra ingredient - Fun!

And Jazz arranged her piggies to be doing circle time in the oven.

Into the oven!

Baked piggies

The kids love it so much that they asking to bake more at home!

And while waiting for the dough in the fridge, Janice thoughtfully baked some cupcakes for the kids to decorate on. It was a pleasant surprise and treat for the kids!



Little Bakers Lab is a baking studio that conducts kids baking workshops, parties and events. It is less than a month to the Lunar New Year! And there is no better way to prepare for the festive season other than making our own handmade Chinese New Year goodies with our little ones. 

Parent and Child CNY Baking Workshop is now open for registration at Little Bakers Lab. Grab this opportunity to bond and have fun with our little ones by making your very own Piggy Pineapple Tarts.

Only 5 workshops available, so grab your slots to avoid disappointment!

Try too, our giveaway below. As well as these Mummy bloggers who will be/are hosting their giveaway on blog, facebook or Instagram:

Raising Faith
Family.Stay.sg
The Perfect Father
Instagram: @xincilovesyou
The Hooting Post




Piggy Pineapple Tarts Baking Workshop

Dates:
19 Jan (Sat): 10.30am to 12pm
20 Jan (Sun): 2pm to 3.30pm
25 Jan (Fri): 4pm to 5.30pm
26 Jan (Sat): 10.30am to 12pm
27 Jan (Sun): 2pm to 3.30pm

Fee:
$58 per pair (Parent+child)

Venue:
Little Bakers Lab
87A Serangoon Garden Way S(555983)
To Register:
Pm via their Facebook page or Whatsapp to 9389 6066.


GIVEAWAY
We have one parent and child (above 3 year old) slot for GIVEAWAY to 1 winner for this CNY workshop! All you had need to do is:

1. Like Little Bakers Lab on Facebook
2. Like Mum's calling on Facebook
3. Tag 3 friends whom you think will love to attend this parent and child baking class, in the comments section of this Facebook post.
For an additional entry chance:
4. Follow Little Bakers Lab on Instagram and
5. Follow Mum's calling on Instagram
(Leave me your Instagram account in the comment section of this Facebook post too!)

All the best! Giveaway closes on 15 Jan 19, 2359hrs.

This GIVEAWAY has ended. Congrats Priscilla Quek! 


Terms and Conditions:

  • Winners will be picked by random.org
  • Winners will be announced on Facebook and this blog post
  • Winners will have 24 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn
  • Date and Time of workshops are firm
  • All incomplete entries will be disqualified
  • All entries will be verified before the winner is announced 
  • To be fair to our sponsors, social media accounts set up purely to take part in contests will be deemed ineligible to win.
  • Giveaway is no way sponsored, endorsed, administered or associated with Facebook or Instagram


Friday, 4 January 2019

Safari Zoo Run 2019 - Early bird registration extended!

The Safari Zoo Run is back, and for the first time, you will get to traverse through the River Safari as part of the run! The race is running into its 11th year, but we are excited for it being our first!


Safari Zoo Run 2019
Date: 24 February 2019  (Sunday)
Time: 0700hrs – 1100hrs
Venue: Singapore Zoo, 80 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729826


This is the only run where participants get the unique opportunity to journey through Singapore's Wildlife parks, say hello to the animals on your way, with families and friends! New green initiatives will lead the way for runners taking part in Safari Zoo Run 2019, with Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) encouraging participants to bring their own water bottles to reduce single-use plastic. In keeping with the theme of the race—Run for Wildlife—WRS will also do away with plastic wraps for race tees and finisher medals. We applaud these moves!


A = Adult (13YRS & Above)
B = Child (8-12YRS)
C = Child (4-7YRS)
D = Child (3-12YRS)


What's New in 2019? New Race Routes & Categories!
  • Safari Zoo Challenge – Competitive run is now 2km longer at 12km! It’s time to put your endurance to the test.
  • This year, we are introducing Safari Zoo Duo Dash and Safari Zoo Junior Dash for adults to pair up with their kids to form a team, for a competitive 2km race.
  • Safari Zoo Fun Walk for those who want to enjoy a leisurely pace with the family, good for little ones in strollers too! A wild 4km stroll to appreciate nature and wildlife.
  • River Safari will be open as a route for Safari Zoo Walk! Here’s your chance to visit the river dwellers and say hi to Canola in Amazon Flooded Forest.




Early bird registration with discounted rates has been EXTENDED TO 15 JANUARY 2019. Wait no more! Promotional rates continue from 15 to 31 January 2019. Normal registration will run from 1 to 15 February 2019.

For more race information and registration, visit: http://www.safarizoo.run/

Go Green and Bring Your Own Bottles (included in race pack) as the Safari Zoo Run features a new initiative to encourage participants to be more environmentally conscious. Race pack entry collection will be on 16 and 17 February, 11am to 7pm at Velocity (Novena Square).

Save the Earth!


Friday, 14 December 2018

KL Day 1 - Aquaria KLCC and Petrosains Discovery Centre

We spent a near 2 weeks of road trip, travelling Malaysia.

Our journey began with a 4 hours non-stop drive to Kuala Lumpur. Drive was smooth while the children cooperated by playing, sitting and sleeping throughout in awesome peace and quiet. I prepared fried rice from home to settle lunch in the car. Saved time with easy food.

The daughter had a gymnastic competition in KL, and that was the reason that sparked our road trip. While she was being parked with her friends and coach for a few days without parental involvement, the man and I brought the boys out for some play.


SOMERSET DAMANSARA UPTOWN PETALING JAYA
We booked a 2 bedroom premier at Somerset Damansara Uptown Petaling Jaya, by the Ascott group. Service apartment that has full set of facilities like a hotel, with even a kids' playroom. It may not be extremely strategic if you plan to frequent areas near the heart of KL. It takes about a 20 minute drive to reach KLCC. We had our car parked in the hotel and travel around with Grab car. The location is surrounded by many good eats. KL's famous Village Park Nasi Lemak is just diagonally opposite the hotel. And it really is good! Black Hokkien Mee and chicken wings directly opposite the hotel, Restoran Tiong are worth the calories too.


Somerset Damansara Uptown Petaling Jaya

Village Park Nasi Lemak


Somerset Damansara Uptown Petaling Jaya
Location:
2A, Jalan SS21/37 ,Damansara Utama,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Village Park Nasi Lemak
Location:
Village Park Restaurant,
5, Jalan SS 21/37, Damansara Utama,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Opening hours
7am to 7.30pm (Monday to Saturday)
7am to 6pm (Sun and PH)

Restoran Tiong
Location:
Ground Floor, 101, Jalan SS 21/37, Damansara Utama, 
47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Opening hours:
5pm till late



THE STARLING SHOPPING MALL
An eco-lifestyle mall opened in November 2016. Our apartment is linked to the Starling shopping mall. If you ever visit, you do have to check out this bookstore on level 3, BookXcess. It carries books much cheaper than our local tores. We had a big haul of books from there! Do bring your own bags, as they do not provide plastic/paper bags. You may purchase a bag I think. Many good eats in the mall too. We stepped into an eatery that serves fish soup noodles without much expectation, but to fill hungry tummies. It turned out to be so yummilicious, not because we were overly hungry, but it was really rich and tasty. Located right at a corner of the mall's basement, it definitely is worth a try.  




The Starling Mall
Location: 
6, Jalan ss21/37, Damansara Uptown,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Malaysia. 



AQUARIA KLCC
Located in the concourse level of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, this aquarium is home to over 150 species of marine life. Laid over 2 levels, to take visitors through different watery landscapes, from the highlands and flooded jungles of Malaysia, to the Amazon basin, coral reefs and the open ocean. Some species were first time view to our eyes. Interestingly cute and unique.

The place did remind me largely of the underwater world we had at Sentosa, when we travelled through a 90m walk-through tunnel with a moving travelator. Surrounded by sand tiger, sharks, huge stingrays and more. Lucky enough for us to get some greeting waves from feeding divers. 

Apart from the marine, there was a section parted for the land, Jewels of the Jungle. It is home to a variety of reptiles, amphibians, tarantula and many others. Check out too, exhibits showcasing the life cycle of frogs and butterflies. I find these sections extremely informative, with great educational exposure. Seeing is learning and believing.   

This Aquaria seems of be of similar scale to our SEA aquarium in Sentosa. If we had done aquarium in the recent months in Singapore, we would have skipped this. The boys were very keen to do the aquarium so we went. And it was really exciting that we caught some feeding sessions and touched some baby sharks just before exiting the Aquaria. 

We spent a near 2 hours in there before we headed off to lunch.


Deep Forest Tank

Spotted Garden Eel

Freshwater journey

Tunnel walk

Below 2 -Free. MyKad holders are Malaysian citizens

Aquaria KLCC
Lot No. 241, level , Suria KLCC,
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
Opening hours
10am to 10pm (7 days a week)



PETROSAINS DISCOVERY CENTRE
Just a 10 minutes walk from the Aquaria, we headed to Petrosains Discovery Centre after lunch. Housed in the Twin Towers, occupying level 4 and 5, this Science discovery centre is educational and highly interactive for both children and yes, adults too! Almost everything in there is for any curious child to discover and touch. The exhibits are very inviting and welcome hands on approach to stimulate interest in general science and technology, as well as the energy industry.

Juboy who is barely 3 enjoyed his time in there too! We excitedly began our journey with a ride on their iconic dark ride. Shaped like an oil drop, the ride brought us through a dark and tranquil 'rain forests', 'mountains' and 'underwater' sceneries. Dark days do not last. We landed into the land of exhibits on space, Geotime Diorama, Oil platform, speed, Molecule Nano World and 3D theatre.     

There were a massive amount of exhibits for discovery. One will not get bored in there.  

SPACE
Find out about the latest space science and technology. How astronauts live and work in space through videos and exhibits. We even stepped into 'Jupiter' for a simulation of hurricane.  

Jupiter Hurricane

Astronauts sleep this manner

GEOTIME DIORAMA
Took us more than 200 million years back to the time of dinosaurs and other creatures of ancient world. We explored the history of our planet Earth as recorded in rocks. It definitely exited the boys most, being surrounded by almost real looking dinosaurs.

Back to dinosaur days

SPARKZ
The place where my boys spent quite some time on, with the diggers and grain pit. They had so much fun scooping and digging. Science shows were conducted in here too, but language used was Malay. Didn't understand of course, we went around for play. And the there is a small little area for toddlers nearby too!

Digger and the grain pit
Experiencing earthquake

Toddlers area

OIL PLATFORM
Everything here is built to scale, an actual offshore platform with real tools. It is really huge! Have a go with the escape chute ad pretend you are exiting a platform on fire. Experience too, their simulator ride that can take you on a thrilling virtual journey. There were the learning of force and pulleys, which introduces physics in a fun way.

Offshore tool

SPEED
Learn all about speed in here! Built for the ardent Formula 1 fan. Test your reaction time and try this crazy mind ball exhibit where you push a small rubber ball towards your opponent using nothing but using the most relaxed mind. Not as easy as you think!

Keeping relaxed

MOLUCULE NANO WORLD
Take a new level to the top of their stairway to explore the world of chemistry. By this level, we were very much overloaded with new knowledge and getting a little weary at this final lap of discovery. We brisked through it.



 
3D THEATRE   
We watched a short film of dinosaurs on a prehistoric land in The Lost World. I somehow think the video quality could be better for a more comfortable watch. And this was where I unknowingly drifted into a short nap. Oops!


Running in for a 3D show

That ended our near 4 hours play in there. We exited the exhibits back to the entrance with the same dark ride, through a different visual presentation though.

I highly recommend this place for school going kids. So much fun that the older son is asking to go back again. And the entrance fees are not at all high. Considering the scale fun. Kids below 3 enter free. 3 to 12 years old fee at RM16.50 (approx $5.50) and adults 13 to 60 years old at RM28 ($9.30). Senior citizen rate applies, do bring identification if your elder parents are coming along for play!

Petrosains closes much earlier than the Aquria, so you may want to visit the other way round if you are running out of time. There are additional activities and workshops within these venues that require additional fees. 

We had lunch just around the entrance of Petrosains Discovery Centre, little penang kafe is good to its last mouth. And prices, oh so good just talking about its setting and quality. Madam Kwan's a few shops away, a good alternative too. It is amazing how we can find good restaurant food in the mall of KL. Not the mediocre food we had expected usually, but gastronomically satisfying. Do anticipate long lines at these dining options during lunch hours.

When in doubt, just follow the lines for good food.


Little penang kafe

Location
Petrosains, The Discovery Centre
PETRONAS Twin Towers
Level 4, Suria KLCC
50088 Kuala Lumpur

Opening Hours
CLOSED on Mondays (Except on Public and School Holidays)
Tuesday to Friday
9:30am to 5:30pm (Last Admission at 4:00pm)
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday
9:30am to 6:30pm (Last Admission at 5:00pm)