Monday 21 September 2015

The Art of Speed - Playeum

Over the weekend, Js had so much fun over at Playeum, Children's Centre for Creativity. The first of its kind opened its doors warmly on 19 September 2015. This dedicated creative space is crafted with the increasing market demands for creativity to establish  meaningful and impactful play for children between the ages, 1 to 12.

Inspired by the Formula 1 season, the Centre debuts its first exhibition 'The Art of Speed' till 03 April 2016. The theme changes three times a year, ensuring a constantly refreshed space to try new ideas, which it will feature a different experience of a different theme. This season, cars, speed and movement are explored and discovered in various experimental ways. With a set of interlinked, participative experiences, children can explore the essence of speed through multisensory and open-ended environments. 

The centre has 4 curated spaces:
Main Space
Features interactive, open-ended installations for hands-on exploration and free play. Here, children can experiment zooming cars and ramps of different shapes and sizes, on their own and with others. Js built their cars with lego and zoomed them down the tracks, which can be formed to the various ways they liked - Loop, double loops, high ramps, low ramps, tunnels. In any ways they like! It was Jare's favourite corner.

Assembling their cars

The test on the tracks

And they brought their cars over to the higher wooden ramp, which yielded much fun and satisfaction from experimenting and admiring how their cars would 'fly' across to the end or just halfway through the ramp.

The ultimate indoor F1 race

Play Maker Space
With a variety of material and tools to choose from, this space allows for meaningful experimentation and tinkering, where children and parents can build objects together, related to the theme of speed. The final products can be experimented over at the high wooden ramp for test and go. We were initially caught with the huge variety of materials and the lack of idea. Till we got our hands on, ideas and inspirations flowed as we built along. Younger children will definitely need some parental assistance  here.

Gathering our resources

If you have no greater destiny of the final products after your test and go, it is recommended that you leave them on their racks for others to admire or for recycling purpose. As an independent non-profit organization, Playeum charges entry to ensure of its operations. There's no core funding and relies on a funding mix from admissions, grants, sponsorships and donations. Little acts count.

The Dark space
Small space but beautiful shadow play installation by creative director Isabelle Desjeux. Children discover and play with the speed of light art, landscapes as well as their shadow. Check out on their website, the different artists and their on site timing for greater play experience.

Dark play space

A variety of stimulating programmes for in-depth, unique explorations of speed through movement, visual, art, photography and more. Additional fees apply and programmes schedule can be viewed on their website too. This is also the space where birthday parties and special celebrations are hosted. 

Party and workshop room

Another space thoughtfully crafted, would be the little crawlers or young toddlers area. Where the really young can have safe fun exploring the various multisensory activities within the padded area. Remember to remove those shoes.

Simple crafts for joy

At the end of the play, children and parents would have ignited the elements of play, create and learn through play. The centre is designed to promote an enjoyable, open-minded and interactive experience. It's no structured classroom setting within and we love this freedom of play! Jare was so in love with speed and cars that we really had a hard time convincing him to leave. We spent about 2 hours in there and if hunger didn't call for us, we might tarry longer. 

And my best part was crafting some hands on projects with the Daddy and kids. It really is a place worth exploring and creating!

47 Malan Road Gillman Barracks 
#01-21 to 23
Singapore 109444
Tel: 6262 0750

Child: $20 (Ages 1 to 12)
Accompanying adult: FREE
Additional Adult: $10

Opening hours:
10am to 6pm (Closed on Mondays and Christmas day)

Disclosure: Media invite. All opinions and photographs are as usual, solely ours.

Monday 14 September 2015

The Way Back Home - Review

Js are huge fans of Oliver Jeffers' books, and so when they saw that 'The Way Back Home' is coming live on stage, they enthusiastically asked to watch! The kind of enthusiasm that you know is very much to their pleading advantage. Of course, we were glad to have caught it! Big Thanks to itheatre for bringing back UK theatre company Big Wooden Horse, for this entertaining production.

Excited about the play

The Way Back Home is an inter-galatic tale about a little boy seeking adventure. The story goes with the boy who one day finds a plane in his cupboard and doesn't remember leaving it there, but decides to take it out for a go right away. He explores his plane, flies higher and higher until he runs out of petrol and lands on the moon. He is frightened, lost and alone until a passing Martian lands there, where they became friends and brainstorm for solutions to find their way back home. 

The production, put together by two casts was well paced for little children aged 3 and above. Set in a bedroom setting where the casts sparked off a chapter of imaginary and pretend play moments with their main props, propelling plane and lighted spaceship. It very much exhibits the element of 'play' to little children and show them how they can use imagination to create any story they want. A bedroom isn't a bedroom when their imagination is wild.

Bedroom of imagination

In midst, the show was also highly interactive, it got the kids much involved in the play. I love watching how spontaneous their reactions and responses were. There were just so many happy children in the theatre! The show was lyrical too, tunes sang by the casts were soothing and catchy. Js enjoyed it very much!

This whimsical play is not just a reflection of creative imaginary play, it also is about friendship and farewell. It definitely is comforting to know one is not alone in times of trouble and that every being (or alien) has to return to where they belong. A great catch, especially for fans of the story.

Going back to his book

And this boy went home to verify the scenes played, with his storybook. He must be really in love with it! I might be finding an aeroplane hiding in his cupboard soon.

The Way Back Home will continue to run till 20 September 2015 at Alliance Francaise Theatre. Ticketing information here. If you intend to drive, do be early as parking is limited. There are however, alternative parking areas nearby. 

Disclaimer: We were given 2 tickets for the purpose of this review. All opinions are photos are as usual, solely ours.  

Tuesday 8 September 2015

Meet The Dark Knight!

This is a must catch this September school holidays - The Dark Knight comes 'live' in action at City Square Mall! Experience the excitement as Batman fights to protect the world from evil schemes of his arch nemesis, The Joker.

Batman fights The Joker

An action-packed show which kept all kids really silent and captivated throughout. Younger children might be terrified with that tad heroic violence, as well as the costumes and makeup. Jazz was terrified of the Joker, but she did enjoy the show ultimately.

Jazz was terrified of the Joker
We've been to a couple of meet and greet sessions at City Square Mall and I will say this is one worthy trip if your child is a great fan of superhero, Batman! The casts are intensive, costumes are aesthetically stunning and there is an unexpected surprise. My man thinks I should not reveal, but I will. Batman will be rappelling from the top of the mall! Do keep a look out for that.

The casts

Have you spotted 2 Batmans in the picture above? One's the real and the other the pretend. Head on down to watch how a story is staged and reveled through the many characters! 

Aren't the costumes great looking!

Before the show, while on the way to the mall, I told Js we will be catching Batman. Jazz went, "Ok, I'll read my book and Jare will catch the show." She didn't think she could be identified with those masculine superheroes. It was proven too exciting that she decided, she should join in for watch. Surprisingly, Jare asked to come back again for another session. Hmm... perhaps, we should.

We did our meet and greet after the show, which obviously everyone in my family was avoiding the Joker. After which, we went round the DC Comics Justice League Adventure for a test of Js super powers. Mini games and obstacles courses were set up for play, and upon completion at each station, a superhero sticker is awarded. Love it this round that fun is brought indoor, not outdoor. Perfect solution for the hazy days.

Mini games fun

Js enjoyed the mini games and obstacles courses very much. It was an evening that made them really excited and happy.

Haven't you got an idea this holidays?!!! 

Here's the easy deal to get your passes:
1. The Dark Knight 'Live' on Stage
Date: 05 to 13 Sep 15
Time: 7pm (Mon to Fri); 2pm and 7pm (Sat and Sun)
Venue: Level 1 Atrium
Redeem a meet and greet pass one hour prior to each show and snap a photo with the Dark Knight. Limited to 50 passes per show. 

2. DC comics Justice League Adventure
Date: 05 to 13 Sep 15
Time: 12pm to 9pm daily (Last admission at 8:45pm)
Venue: Level 1 Atrium
Redeem an adventure pass to the mini games and obstacles courses with a minimum spending of $30. Limited to 200 passes daily. 

3. Batman Mask-making session
Date: 05, 06, 12 and 13 Sep 15 (Sat and Sun)
Time: 4pm
Venue: Level 1 Atrium
Redeem a pass 10 minutes before each session at level 1 stage area. Limited to 20 kids per session, aged 4 years and above.

From now till 04 October 15, spend a minimum of $250 ($350 if inclusive of NTUC Fairprice receipts), shoppers can redeem a Justice League Stationery set and exclusive fordable storage box. Plus, receive an additional choo-choo city express ticket with at least 1 receipt from Kids' ware or education and enrichment outlets. 

Have a great time shopping! Or if not, watching the Dark Knight in action. 

Disclaimer: Media invite. All opinions and photos are as usual, solely ours. 

Monday 7 September 2015

NEWater preschooler's tour

Our long awaited visit to the NEWater visitor centre, preschooler's tour finally happened after gathering 26 little ones! Tour was more comprehensive than our previous visit as all galleries are fully up after renovation. We are so glad to be there for the full experience.

The preschooler's tour was very different from the tour we booked online as an individual. It was light hearted with no heavy information. Nonetheless, still very edutaining. All participants were welcomed by a short video about water and Singapore. The video was very much catered and narrated for little children to comprehend easily. The number of reservoirs and the 4 National taps that provide water for all were introduced. After which, the guide did a little quiz and story session with the children.

The character, Water Wally was introduced during the short story session, which taught the kids ways to conserve water. I was gleeful in heart that they are reminded about conserving water again. This time, not their mama. 

Captivating story time

We moved on to the next gallery of interactive stations where the kids were given some time to freely explore.

Game time!

We gathered back again and walked through a mocked up DTSS (Deep Tunnel Sewerage System) tunnel, which led us to a very colourful gallery for that experience of  'walking on the water.' The kids were very thrilled, so was I.

We then emerged into the next gallery and pretended to be treated water molecules going through the stringent cleaning process. The kids went 'swish swish' through the microfiltration process which keeps out dirt and bacteria.

Microfiltration process

The kids then went 'blup blup' through the Reverse Osmosis process, whereby viruses are kept out. At this stage, water is already of high grade water quality.

Reverse Osmosis process
The final stage was UV disinfection, ensuring that all orgasms are inactivated. The kids had an invisble stamp on their hand which came on clear and visible when they put their hand under the UV light. They went 'zap zap, zap zap' as they walked through it. Just how creatively fun NEWater crafted this tour for the little kids.

UV disinfection

Oh yay! The water is now super, duper, ultra clean for drinking. And yes, you'll be treated to bottles of NEWater at the end of the processes.

We adjoined to a classroom for the final stop of getting those little hands on crafting a mini raingarden. The kids learnt how a raingarden helps to clean water through filtration and improve water quality. Always a brilliant idea to take advantage of rainfall to care for our plants. And if it didn't rain for more than 3 days, we will have to wise up to water it. It was an easy project which the kids brought home and cared for like a little gardener.

Engrossed in her raingarden

If you are keen in making your own raingarden, which can be easily done with recycled materials, you may read here for details.

It was undoubtedly a very fruitful and engaging trip that morning to NEWater. The guide got the kids totally entertained and staff were extremely helpful and friendly too. We are so glad that this initiative supported by PUB is Free and was specially catered for us on a weekend upon request. Free activities can be just as wonderful.

We had little souvenirs to bring home too, other than the raingarden - a shower cap, bottle strap holder and of course, NEWater! We are so thankful too, for all parents and little ones who have came and constituted the minimum number for the tour to proceed. Hope everyone enjoyed!

If you are keen, you may too, gather a minimum number of kids and book a tour. More information here. Apparently, they seemed to have reduced the minimum to 10 instead of 20 kids. Sounds easier to gather for a tour now.

Friday 4 September 2015

Happy Meals just got more exciting!

Do you get kids squealing each time you walk past the fast food restaurant with the big yellow letter, 'M?' Yes, McDonald's! Keep those squeals down as I tell you they are now serving up something more purposeful with those Happy meals. From 03 September to 30 September (4 weeks), each purchase of happy meal comes with a book! I am undoubtedly one excited parent who always prefer books over toys. 

Just hot and fresh from the mail man, we received a total of 8 English titles specially selected from publisher Dorling Kindersley ("DK"). These 8 books of 2 series are "Watch Me Grow" (Targeted at 3 to 5 years old) and "WOW" (Targeted at 7 to 9 years old). The 6 year olds will love them all! 

"Watch Me Grow" series explore an animal's eye view of life through a collection of popular animal titles. The titles in this series include Panda, Butterfly, Elephant and Penguin. Children may read interestingly about these growing animals from babyhood to adulthood. I love that these books come with fold ins and outs on certain pages, which makes it fun to read like 'Peekaboo' books. 

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"Watch me grow!"

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Growing with the animals

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"WOW" series is a spectacular show and tell experience exploring each subject in a unique way through stunning photographic images. Titles in this series include Human Body, Art and Culture, Ancient History and Space. Each book not only come with fantastic facts, it comes with fun quizzes and stickers too. Be sure that your child will be totally engaged.

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Colourful presentation

It's an applauding move for McDonald's to help inspire more family reading time, beyond burgers and nuggets. There seriously isn't a better bundle than these very educational books. Like their usual toys, they are light and easy to carry about too. Good for keep. These book choices did make life a little easier for parents. Enriching in both food and knowledge.

And so, I asked Js about these books, here's what I've got:
Jazz: "They are good and exciting. I learn new things."
Jare: "They make me clever!"

Guess they have enjoyed their adventure with these books. Defnitely more pleasing to sight kids handling books than toys over their Happy Meal time. Set a date with your kids at McDonald's soon!

Parents and children can look forward to a choice of 2 new titles that will be launches every Thursday at 11am. Schedule as follows:

Week 1: 03 Sep to 09 Sep
1. Watch me grow! Panda
2. WOW! Human Body
Week 2: 10 Sep to 16 Sep
3. Watch me grow! Butterfly
4. WOW! Art and Culture
Week 3: 17 Sep to 23 Sep
5. Watch me grow! Elephant
6. WOW! Ancient History
Week 4: 24 Sep to 30 Sep
7. Watch me grow! Penguin
8. WOW! Space

Be sure to collect all 8 fun titles. Whilst stocks last!

To add even more fun into reading, kids can also join Ronald McDonald for a session of Art and Craft and fun reading at the following McDonald's restaurants:

Time: 10am to 12pm
12 Sep (Sat): West Coast Park
13 Sep (Sun): Jurong Central Park
19 Sep (Sat): Bishan Park
20 Sep (Sun): Ang Mo Kio Park
26 Sep (Sat): Kallang
27 Sep (Sun): Ridout Tea Garden

Disclaimer: We were given the 8 wonderful titles for keep. All photos and opinions are as usual ours.

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Keen on Adult Ballet?

What do you do during your 'me time?' For the past few weeks, I managed to find some time to fill in a little workout every Friday morning. I did adult ballet! Yes, I have a special love for it since I was young. Never too late to learn. And nah, I'm only a beginner at it. I did try to pass on my passion to Jazz, but she wasn't keen.

What made my commitment possible was signing up with a friend and paid for a number of sessions. Totally no reason to procrastinate or get lazy about it. My friend did the research of schools, and I tagged along. It's not easy to find a suitable time slot for stay home Mums to do a class. What we barely have on hand, is time when the kids are in school.

Photo credit: M.A Ballet

Photo credit: M.A Ballet

We chanced upon M.A Ballet and thought it was perfect for being centrally located with a Friday morning time slot. We did a trial, decided it was our learning pace and went on to sign in 10 lessons. So you know, it's not a sponsored post or paid review. 

Our instructor, Mayu is a professional dancer and teacher with much awards and accolades under her belt. Having been teaching here for the past 6 years in Singapore, she often acclaims she's more of a Singaporean than Japanese. Her passion for teaching is much displayed during our lessons, when she would spend every effort to explain and correct a move. It's true, ballet is not without fret. From the slightest breath to the smallest body part, they make up a team. It's much work within a simple move. I often spot myself tangled in the various moves and sequences, but I will say practice makes perfect. It's always a great workout at the end of each session. 

Mayu conducts children classes too, but does not sit them for exams. She believes in learning for passion and joy without the stress of going through examinations. This is what some parents firmly believe in. 

So yeap, if you haven't tried an adult ballet class, I'm here to notify you that M.A Ballet is conducting free adult trial class at the moment. You will have to hurry, before they decide to end the free trial. Also, if you're keen to further your lessons with her. You may quote that you read about her on my blog for the waiver of registration fee (till 31 Dec 2015). 

Adult ballet classes for beginners are scheduled on:
Thursdays: 7:30pm to 8:30pm and
Fridays: 10:00am to 11:00am
Location: Dance On Us Claymore, 8 Claymore Hill Road #01-03 to 06, Singapore 229572 
(10 minutes walk from Orchard MRT) 

For more information or to book a trial class, you may contact Mayu at: