Monday, 21 July 2014

Children's Garden - Gardens by the bay

Many new attractions have budded during the time we were away. It's exciting to be back in homeland with many new family friendly places to visit. Trying to conquer as many as we can. 

We have recently visited the Far East Organization Children's Garden at Gardens by the bay. An outdoor play area that combines both play and nature. As outdoor suggests, the best time to enjoy that tan, would be early morning or late evening, when our lovely sun isn't that blazing. 

The children's garden consists of both water playground and sandy adventure playground. It's probably wiser to sweat it out at the dry playground, before cooling off at the water ground, followed by a clean shower. Oh, so cooling! Most attractive of all is that, admission is free. 

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Water playground
It consists of 2 areas, the smaller one for little toddlers and the other bigger one for older kids, where more craziness and running take place. The water play features aren't exactly exciting or fanciful, but good enough to ignite simple little joy. It was nothing more than water sprouting and spraying. Jare had tremendous fun though, almost like playing in the rain. Jazz, after playing awhile, came to me and said it was boring. "No slides", she said. Her perception changed totally when her bestie arrived to join her for play. Companionship makes a difference!

There were some safety personnel on duty to ensure safe play. There's also locker and shower facilities. Everyone can join in the fun!

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Floating with joy!
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Jazz said the big toothbrushes were not exciting

Adventure playground
A jungle liked adventure within canopy of trees. There are tall tree house and little trails to explore. Other play features include a spider net, hill climbing ropes and spinner bowls. Lots of climbing and some strategy planning to clear their play obstacles. 

This whole area kept them entertained, and it was almost difficult to recall the kids for dinner. Definitely a good place to expel their energy, and good plan for parents to shove them to bed early.
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My ever adventurous boy
The last part was my highlight! Food spread and wonderful company excites me. We had dinner at Satay by the bay, a very short walk from the children's garden. It's a hawker like place with a great variety of local delicacies to choose from - BBQ chicken wings, chicken rice, popiah, ngoh hiong, BBQ seafood selection, steamboat and of course, satay!

Truth to be shared, the food was only passable. Not very tasty for most, only convincingly impressed with their satay. Living up to the name of the place indeed. Our friend ordered it from the Geylang satay stall, which came really juicy and tender. The sauce to go with was great too. So delicious that the kids wolfed most of them down. Our BBQ seafood was ordered from Boon Tat seafood, which was near to being terrible. When it comes to food, my thoughts are, not only should we try to make the money paid worth, but also the calories worth. Metabolism is slowing down on me.

It was extremely crowded on the day we visited, a Saturday evening. And so, it means some strategy and courage to get seats. Our unique hawker style. And of course, if local delicacies isn't your craving that day, there are other restaurants nearby for your tummies to explore.

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Our spread of food
If you crave for local delicacies, I would think the best place that presents it all is East Coast Lagoon Food Village. Though also challenged by the humidity and seats, we thought the devouring of delicious food covers that multitude of challenges. Need to be back there soon! As for this bay, maybe once in a blue moon.

Children's Garden
Opening hours
Tuesday to Friday: 10am to 7pm (Last admission at 6:30pm)
Weekends and Public holidays: 9am to 9pm (Last admission at 8:30pm)
*Closed on Tuesday if a public holiday falls on the preceding Monday.
Free Admission 

Satay by the bay
Drinks stall: 24 hours
Food stalls: 8am to 10pm
Steamboat buffet stall: 5pm to 2am

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Doctor for a day - Parkway East Hospital

Some weeks ago, yeap, I'm turning time back a little, Jazz and her besties, signed up to ambitiously be a "Doctor for a day!" We were glad that it came back! It ran the Orthopaedic edition at Parkway East Hospital this round. Where little participants role played as Orthopaedic doctors, did bone surgery and knee bandages.

In line with their special edition, each child's registration fee of $25 was matched with $300 by the hospital, to sponsor knee replacement surgery for the needy elderly. It was sure great fun for little ones and worthy cause for the elderly!

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All ready in their scrubs!
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Hands washing before they embark on their roles
It was an approximately 90 minutes session with several stations to cover. Little doctors embarked on an educational journey in the different settings-like departments, Operating Theatre, Nursing room, Accident and emergency, General practitioner and Pharmacy. At each room, facilitators would share some medical knowledge and talk about the doctors' scopes. Little doctors got to role play with their fellow doctors, worked with thermometer, stethoscope and operating tools. They learned to handle cuts, wounds and bandage too! 

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In the Operating Theatre
And Jazz's favourite was also the happiest room of all, the nursing room! Where they got to care for newborns baby dolls, changed diaper, fed and sang them a tune. I'm pretty sure doctors don't do these, it was probably more for parents to decide if they're ready to help out with a new addition.

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In the nursing room
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Hush hush please
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Caught doctors chatting away
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"Yes! A successful operation"
A group photo was taken with their fellow doctors, and given to them as a lovely memento. They moved into the last room, which was the pharmacy, to collect their dose of medicine goodie bag! At the end of their educational journey, they graduated and were certified as, "Doctor for a day." They are however, now back to their young profession as adorable preschoolers.

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I wonder what they all grow up to be?
You know the verdict when Jazz says, "I want to come back, to be a doctor again!" Que sara sara, whatever will be, will be... I hope you are aspiring to be a genuine one, my darling! 

This event was catered for children between 5 to 12 years old. Parents were not allowed in the rooms, so we were like paparazzi, snapping pictures through the opened door. Jare being 3, was in the man's custody. He had balloon twisting fun at the lobby, where some pre-event activities were held.

It was an overall good experience for the little ones, to affirm their dreams and inspire their thoughts! Not sure when they might run this event again, but seats fill up really fast. You may want to follow their Facebook - PEH for updates. 

While parents ended up doing a short survey about Parkway East hospital, which they were trying to promote itself for more awareness, I was reminded of my wonderful experience with them during my dengue infected stay. Aside from the discomfort of being unwell, my stay was almost like a vacation. Oh no, I'm not saying it was the being away from kids. I was well taken care by the angel nurses, well fed and well entertained (HBO!). I highly recommend this hospital. And nope, I wouldn't want to be back there for any unfortunate reasons. Just sharing an experience.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Interesting finds in the Zoo

We've been to the local Zoo multiple times, and I thought we knew the place pretty well. Recent trip gave us some interesting finds on the attractions and activities.

I don't think we've been away from the zoo for long. Here's what we discovered:

1. We didn't know we could feed the rhineceros! I knew about feeding giraffes, but not the rhinos. This got the kids, and myself really thrilled! I didn't think we could get so safely close to them.

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They feed on bananas!
2. The Frozen Tundra is opened! An icy cave built up for our polar bear, Inuka. Whom we found out, he's the World's first polar bear to be birthed in the tropics. How amazing our zoo is! This cave is perfect hide out from the sunny day heat. It's an arctic experience in there.

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Little Eskimos
3. We could make learning out of excursion. Jazz brought a note pad and pen to write the names of all the animals we visited. Next trip, we could bring our drawing pad to sketch some live animals.

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Practicing her writing
Did you already know about them? Let us know of any other interesting finds in our Zoo. It definitely is a place of endless fun and discoveries. Plan in your next visit!

Linking up

Monday, 14 July 2014

Polaroid Kids sunglasses {Review and Giveaway}

Most parents are extremely concern about straining our kids' eyes when they get on books or TV, and not much focus is given to those little eyes when we're out in the sun. In fact, we are often expose to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, whether sunny or cloudy. Our eye structure can be damaged if too much UV ray is absorbed. It's worth some thoughts about taking care of those eyes not just indoor, but outdoor too.

Our family uses the sunglasses whenever we are out in the sun for a prolonged period or during long road trips. Even more true when we were in California, where the sun rays were much more piercing. It kind of cultivated our habit of putting on sunglasses, which was very much a necessity than just an accessory. It was a need to look cool.

We are excited that the kind people from Safilo had sent us 2 pairs of Polaroid sunglasses for little Js. Js chose their preferred design, and are very much in love with their colourful choices.

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Lovely pairs of kids' sunglasses
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Checking out each others eyes
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Cool kids
At times, Js find sunglasses a little cumbersome for their outdoor play, and they would remove it after some time. They are however convinced, to at least put it on during our car journeys, where they are confined to their car seats with almost no room to avoid the sunny and harmful rays. This is specially true when the sun greets them almost face to face, at different timings of the day. Or depending on the direction our car is moving in, it can be sometimes be difficult to avoid the sun. Drivers get their eyes protected, so should little passengers. Those sunglasses are even more handy when Js doze off in the car. Those shades are saviour to their eyes, giving them comfortable rest from the bright.

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Loving their sunglasses!
Getting a pair of quality sunglasses for our little ones, require some important characteristics to note. Here are some very good reasons why Polaroid sunglasses are the perfect fit for our cool kids:
  • 100% UV protection. Yes, go for 100%
  • Trendy and stylish with contrasting colours.
  • Durability. Jare loves doing spectacle splits, and it withstands his handling.
  • Polarized. Block glare and allow only useful vertical light to reach our eyes
  • Comfortable. No whine or tear, even though they're meant for a little older kids
  • Made with allergy-free materials, with top quality Polaroid polarized lenses.
  • Superior optics give clear and true vision with no shape-shifting side effects. Thereby leads to less eye fatigue. 
  • UltraSight™ lenses are made of several functional elements. The core element is the polarizing light filter. UV light absorbers are bonded to both sides of it. Shock-absorbing layers are then fused to both sides of the UV absorbers, making the lens light, flexible and impact resistant. A scratch-resistant layer on both the outer surfaces completes the lens structure. Perfect! 

Now that I write about it, I do think investing in a good and sturdy pair of sunglasses makes good economic sense in the long run. Especially when you know comfort and durability isn't compromised. Polaroid kids are available at better vision outlets, paris miki outlets and major retail eyewear stores.

A great piece of news is that Safilo is also giving away the following pair of polaroid kids' sunglasses (Retailing $60), for readers of Mum's Calling!

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Photo credit: Polaroid eyewear

To join in the giveway for this trendy pair of shades, simply follow the steps in Rafflecopter below:
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: We were given 2 pairs of Polaroid kids sunglasses for review, no monetary compensation was given. All opinions and photos, unless credited, are solely ours. 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Launch of Intercontinental Planet Trekkers Menu

Some weeks ago, we had the opportunity to attend a dinner party hosted by Intercontinental hotel, for the roll out of its Planet Trekkers menu. A very comprehensive menu, from small plates to desserts, specially designed for children. It was co-created by child food experts, Michelin-starred chef, Theo Randall, and nutritionist, Annabel Karmel. Oh yes, I read her books and love her recipes!

It was our privilege to get the first taste of its menu on its launch party. Where the kids were overwhelmingly entertained by balloonist, magician and of course, a well selected spread of dishes, from appetizers to desserts. Definitely the best children's menu we've ever seen and tasted. Delicious and nutritious, what more can parents ask for?!!

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Fun menu created!

The menu has a wide selection of food choices, from Asian to western. I'm assured that all little guests will find something they love. 

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Top, Left to right: Smiley tomato soup, Spaghetti bolognese with hide and seek veggies, Ice watermelon popsicles. Middle, left to right: Crunchy Veggies and hummus dip, Wok and roll pad Thai, Chocolate brownie ice cream sundae. Bottom, left to right: Yummy mini Burgers, Chinese fried rice with chicken, Lychee Frogrut

I don't mean to get you hungry, but they really are yummilicious as the pictures reveal. My personal favourite was, Everything! Ok, focus, the burger and pad thai were the more outstanding. I spoke to chef Randall that day. As a Mum, I was concern about processed food, so I asked about the beef patty between those burger buns. I'm glad they were made from scratch, with minced beef. We topped off our tastes with, the not to be missed, desserts! Watermelon popsicle was a hit for all big and little ones, and the Lychee frogrut is totally out of the World! I love! I would prefer giving the kids yoghurt over ice cream.

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Enjoying her Pad Thai
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He loves the tomato soup
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We had multiple helpings to the popsicle

This whole new menu created for the little guests, is available at InterContenetal hotels and resorts throughout south east Asia, and available globally by end of this month. Another child friendly option for our travelling accommodation. How about something from the kids' menu, for room service?

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Some crazy fun we had at the party

It was a great, yummy party created for all the wonderful little people!

Disclaimer: We had the opportunity to attend this dinner party launch. All opinions and pictures are solely our own.