Friday, December 31, 2010

Toys can be harmful to your child

Help me open this mama, my 5 year old pleaded handing over a set of shiny toy walkies talkies still in its plastic sealed packaging this morning. I dutifully open it up for him only to be greeted by a chemical smell which is so strong I can smell it a meter away.

Not feeling comfortable about handing it over to my son, I started goggling about how best to identify toys that are problematic and here's what I found :

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

One-north Park

We were first attracted by the Big "Leaves" structures by the road and my little boy will always tell me he wanted to explore the place. I finally give in to his request as I too was curious where the inviting entrance will lead to. As he ran up the foot path towards the water wall feature which reminds me of a water fall, I am glad I let my little one bring me through the urban park.

We ended up in an interesting playground which besides interesting monkey bars and slides include some interactive features that can be fun and interesting for learning about sounds and rhythm.


Parabolic Dish - Stand in the center of the stainless steel dishes and you can create and stop sound waves by waving your hands


The Communal Drums and Telephone Tubes are great if there is a few kids playing.



The colourful sculptures seems too wave bye bye to us as we were leaving the park.

 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Increase your memory with numbers using phoenics and memory pegs

I first come across the phonetic number system, also known as the Mnemonic major system a few years ago at my Son's Shichida class. Kids at 3 years old need to memorize a list of 1-100 number pegs. I was curious then about how the purpose of the exercise and how the pegs were created. It was not till a colleague lent me a copy of  Adam Khoo's "I am gifted, so are you!" that the mystery is solve. The number pegs are actually derive from a system that was created 300 years ago!


This simple system basically associate a number with one or more consonants. A popular one is illustrate below:

Numeral Associated Consonants Mnemonic / Reason
0 s, z, soft c "z" is the first letter of zero. The other letters have a similar sound.
1 d, t d & t have one down stroke and sound similar (some variant systems include "th")
2 n n has two down strokes
3 m M has three down strokes and looks like a "3" on its side
4 r last letter of four, also 4 and R are almost mirror images of each other
5 l L is the Roman Numeral for 50
6 j, sh, soft "ch", dg, zh, soft "g" a script j has a lower loop / g is almost a 6 flipped over
7 k, hard c, hard g, hard "ch", q, qu capital K "contains" two sevens
8 ph, f, v script f resembles a figure-8. V sounds similar. (some variant systems include th)
9 b, p p is a mirror-image 9. b sounds similar and resembles a 9 rolled around

Souce: Wikipedia
 Upon memorising the number and the sound, a peg can be created. i.e. images that is peg to the number.

Examples of images you can create in your mind :
1 can be peg to "tie" or "toe" ,  (create a pictur of tie in your mind)
9 can be peg to "
bee" or "pie"
91 can be peg to "
bat"

The next step is to create your own pegs for 1- 100 and use them to help you create visual image when memorising numbers, formulaes, dates etc

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We first come across the book "Snake Bake" by Yukiko Kido from the library when DS was 3. He enjoyed it then. At K1 one he choose it again from the library shelves and we have a great time. I usually need lots of prompting and coaxing to get him to read out loud but he happily read this, laughing and giggling as he reads.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wallace Education Centre and Trail at Dairy Farm Nature Park


It was a sunny day when we attempt the Wallace Trail at Dairy Farm Nature Park.as we were looking for some thing to do that is close to nature. We parked at car park B and took a short 15 min walk to the education centre. It was an easy walk  with clear road signs showing the way.

The education centre and trail were named after Alfred Russel Wallace,  a British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist and biologist. He is the guy who proposed a theory of evolution due to natural selection that prompted Charles Darwin to publish his own theory.

Wallace Education Centre




The view of Wallace Education Centre. There is a cow and calf sculpture at the centre which DS loves.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tiong Bahru Park Adventure Playground

Conveniently located right beside Tiong Bahru Plaza, this park is centrally located, with a large enough area to roam about. There are lots of things to see, with a variety of plants and flowers and a pond with aquatic plants, fishes and tortoise. We saw a family of tortoise sun bathing one late morning to the excitement of my little one.
Complete with a large playground with a tilting train, merry go round among other fun stuff. It is one of the few remaining playgrounds that still uses sand and you will see many children bring their tools for building and digging.  

The 3.9-hectare park is centrally located and well equipped a few relaxing hours.


The pond had plenty of aquatic plants and although the water is muddy, you can spot a few kois, catfish and many tortoises in it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

50 Rules Kids Won't Learn in School: Real-World Antidotes to Feel-Good Education

This book by Charles J. Sykes first come to my attention from a list of rules that was circulating on the internet but was attributed to Bill Gates.

The list of rules includes :

#1 Life is not fair. Get used to it.

#7 If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure, so he tends to be a bit edgier.

#9 Your school may have done away with winners and losers. Life hasn’t.

#15 Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it “opportunity.”

Kinetic Garden at Science Centre

The Kinetic Gardens outside Science Centre is a great place to spent an hour or two exploring and enjoying the many structures and plants while learning about science outdoors.

There are plenty of educational structures, optical sculptures, mechanism with clear signs describing each of their functions and origin. The best part is, unlike the main exhibits, entrance to the garden is free.
Here are some of the items we really like in this fascinating garden.

 Human Wheel
The kids love this. They can get pretty rough trying to get some space on the wheel so do watch out for the little ones.


Fireball
This fascinating piece called the” fireball” lets you experience the concept of centrifugal force. Move your body towards the central ring and you will go faster move your body away and you will slow down



Archimedes’ Screw
Named after the Greek inventor Archimedes, this devise direct water up its column when the top handle is turned. DS have lots of fun turning the handle and watching the water being raised.
Water Wheel
See how the water wheel converts the energy of moving water into mechanical energy. A nice description of how the mechanism works with the note that the wheel will turn faster when water falls from a greater height makes a good learning point.


Windmill

This windmill is really pretty to look at.


Signs about plants in the park
The signs about the plants are in multiple languages and very descriptive. DS got a good laugh when I told him that Frangipani's Chinese name means “egg flower”.


Lithophone

We learned from the signs that a Lithophone is considered to be the most ancient musical instrument. “Lithos” means stone and “Phone” means sound. This lithophone comes with a music score and you can play some familiar tunes using it.


Trampoline
Unlike those we usually see in a gym, this is really a large elastic rubber mat covering a shallow pit. It works extremely well. DS keep running back for second and third “helpings” of bouncing up and down.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

West Coast Park Adventure Playground - Great Place for Outdoor Play

It all started with a trip to Mc Donald's at West Coast for brunch.  Our little boy was eyeing a brightly coloured playground as he chomp on his kid's meal as fast as he could and after that we braved the hot sun to check it out.


Turns out this is just one part of a very large adventure playground that really is a combination of  eight playgrounds targeted at different age groups.



The map of the Adventure Playground. Wow it have like almost every kinda play for every age group to keep DS occupied of the whole day! It was really hot and sunny though and I do not really like the idea of following him though such a big area.


Thankfully, he was quite content pretending to be a pirate on the ship in the toddler's playground.

Looking around, there are some interestingly play structures.



Some of the equipment looks interesting but not so obvious on how it should be played.


Hey, the park have signs introducing and describing each play area!  And it is complete with names for each play feature and how the makers intended it to be used.



Overall, West Coast Park and its playgrounds is a wonderful experience. Other than the playgrounds, the park offers a view of the sea, a large area to roam, fly kits and go-karts!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jacob Ballas Children's Garden - A Kid's Day out

It was a childcare holiday. So we decide to make a trip to Jacob Ballas Children's Garden. It was a hit!The place have a great variety of things to play with and lots of room to run and explore. It was great for mummy too as there is plenty of beautiful trees and flowers with clear signs and little bits of information around the garden to make the trip an educational one for both of us.

The visitor centre of the park have a very interesting sculpture in the shape of a tree. The "leaves"on closer observation looks like shapes of children playing. We marveled at this interesting sculpture before entering.

For those who have not been to the garden before, it's worth while visiting the information counter first. We were so excited about going in that we did not realize that there is an information counter until we came out. The friendly staff gave us a brochure of the garden, a little worksheet on the plants we saw in there and a nice pencil.

Be sure to eat something first if you are hungry as you are not suppose to bring food to eat inside the garden. The kids cafe is so inviting with a beautiful mural. Our dear boy immediately decide that the first thing he wants to do is to have some food at the cafe first.



We were greeted with the view of the water play area. Our little boy was however unimpressed and declined my offer to let him play there.


I am impressed to see so many plants with nice big signs to help me recognize the plants that we usually only see at the supermarket.


Some of the signs give informative background about the plants.


The real highlight of the trip is however this....the tree house.


There are easy stairs leading to the top of the tree house but there is also a ladder that leads to the higher part of the tree house.



We love these cute little chairs made of wood on the top of the tree house for resting and playing.

Wee...now I gotta try the other slide

Other than the tree house, there is also a suspension bridge and waterfall with a cave that the little boy can't get enough of.

After exploring the suspension bridge, we crossed a little stream and came to a pond with a floating platform. There are pretty water lilies and a floating platform so that we can get a closer look at the plants and animals in the pond. We spotted a water stick insect and some fishes, some dragonflies and this statue of a flamingo.
Near the pond is a tree that was struck by lightning. It makes a good place for a game of hide and seek.
This is where children can learn about photosynthesis.

Another play and learn area. It is right beside the maze...were we had a good time playing catching.
We ended the day in the playground where there are a few interesting play items not seen else where. Such as this seesaw. There is also a rotating disc and device that looks like an ice-cream scope which the kids love.


Where: 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569
Opening hours
8.00am - 7.00pm (last admission at 6.30pm)
The Jacob Ballas Children's Garden is closed on Mondays (except when it falls on a designated public holiday)
Admission is free
For more info check out SBG's Website

Friday, December 10, 2010

Don't praise your kid for being smart

"Clever", "Smart" , "Talented" We glow with pride when we hear these words used on our kids and many of us heap our kids with praise in the hope that this will help give them confidence.

A study by published in 2007 by researchers of Stanford University says other wise. Apparently this will lead to your kid believing that their intelligence alone will enable them to succeed in school. This may in turn leads to kids who are vulnerable to failure, fearful of challenges and unmotivated to learn.

Here is the research conducted on 400 fifth-graders.

Check out our new site at http://www.kidsandparenting.com/kidsandp/activities/learning-teaching/dont-priase-your-kid-for-being-smart

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Interesting places to go with kids in Singapore

We are updating this article on our new site at : http://www.kidsandparenting.com/kidsandp/places-to-go/interesting-places-to-go-with-kids-in-singapore

There are plenty of places to enjoyed with kids in Singapore. Here are a list of 15 interesting places and why we like them.

1. Science Centre
Lots of things to see and explore, plus a water fun playground that helps teach the concepts of science. With more than 850 exhibits, you and the kids can go to the science center many times and learn something new each time. There is also a nice water play area complete with changing facilities so prepare to spend a whole day there is you want ample time to cover everything. Another place to get some science inspiration and fun is the Kinetic Garden right outside the place.

2. Asian Civilization Museum
There are eleven galleries with ExploreAsian Zones that are specially designed for children. More on Asian Civilization Museum...

3. Singapore Zoo
Our world class zoo features animals in a natural environment. Very educational and fun especially now that there is a Rainforest Kidzworld with a water fun playground, pony rides and contact sessions with animals. Bring your swim suit for this one.

4. Sentosa
Even if you don't go for the rides or under water world, there is still plenty to see. Palawan Beach offers sand and animal and bird encounter sessions. A nature walk starting at the Imbiah lookout is offers interesting stuff to see and explore and the 120-metre-long Gaudi-inspired mosaic fountain walkway behind the Merlion offers a fascinating walk with a young child.

5. Underwater World
With large turtles, moray eels, sea dragons and jelly fishes, sharks, dugong and many other ocean dwellers as well as an interaction pool where you can touch the fishes and star fish, the underwater world is interesting and fascinating. The ticket is packaged with a performance by the pink dolphins which is bound to captivate the little ones.

6. Hortpark
With beautiful landscaping, interesting gardening concepts and at least three concept playgrounds, Hortpark is a popular place to bring the family for an educational and fun-fill time.

7. Castle Beach
This is a place where families can bond and experience the beauty and work involve in making sandcastles. Get their patented 11 part building kit to start making intricate looking structures such as towers, staircases and battlements for the castles.

8. Marina Barrage
Experience the beautiful sea view and see how we separate the sea water with a dam built across the 350-metre wide Marina Channel, our reservoir in the city and control floods from our low lying city areas. More on Marina Barrage...

9. Wallace Education Centre at Dairy Farm Nature Park
This use to be a dairy farm but today it offers a nice education center and short and cool rain-forest trails. Good for getting back in touch with the nature and some exercise. more on Wallace Education Centre...

10. Jacob Ballas Children's Garden
This park is specially designed for children with a tree house and a water play area, ponds and plants that will remind you of kampong days. There are plenty of events there and things for kids to do and explore. more on Jacob Ballas Children's Garden..

Monday, December 6, 2010

Positive Time-Out: And Over 50 Ways to Avoid Power Struggles in the Home and the Classroom


I was at the library not too long after an unpleasant time-out session with my boy when this book catches my eye.

Time-out is one of the most popular disciplinary techniques used in homes and schools today. This method of discipline is often used as a punishment for misbehavior. The author Jane Nelsen challenge this attitude and make a case that time-out can be a positive, motivating, experience while punitive time out may seems to work in the short run but does not solve the root of the problem.
To Nelson, the objective of discipline is to teach, not to punish. The aim is to teach the art of self-discipline and instill invaluable qualities such as self-confidence and problem-solving skills. To her, treating one’s children with kindness and firmness at the same time is the key.
Time-Out is meant to help the child or adult feel better so that both can work together on a solution later if needed. Contrary to the conventional method where the adult dictates the time and place where the child is to stay for misbehavior, the child choose the place for Positive Time-Out and decides how long he or she will stay there. Jane Nelsen stresses that children do better when they feel better and the parent can take one too whenever he/she needs it so that both sides can focus on the solution rather than blame.

This book gives 14 attitude tools to help the parent or teacher shift from punishment to non-punitive attitudes and 41 action tools to guide and empower children by involving them in the behavior changing process. In addition, Jane Nelsen talks about the Significant Seven Perceptions and Skills children need to thrive in the world. If every parent would help their children achieve these social and life skills, children would be more confident, cooperative and well-adjusted as adults.
I have yet need to put my boy in the naughty corner since applying some of the methods suggested by Nelson. Let’s hope it remains that way.

This book can be purchase at Amazon:
Positive Time-Out: And Over 50 Ways to Avoid Power Struggles in the Home and the Classroom

Sunday, December 5, 2010

We all can do with extra time

Just come across this great website full of time saving tips for everyone! Tips include household tips, work tips, travel and leisure tips. The nice thing is, it includes an estimated time save with the tip. Tips we love include "See a queue, don't join it" 45 mins save and "Forget bargaining" 25 mins save.



See more tips on www.timesavers.sg The best part is, with all the time save, one can enjoyed the time save doing good and creating friendships by volunteering.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Kids and Friendly Restaurants with Play Facilities

IMM Playground
Kids friendly restaurants in Singapore these days come with kid's meal, baby chairs and utensils, crayons with paper and even complimentary toys to keep the little ones entertained.

Some of these children friendly restaurants even have a playground or play area to keep kids busy or are located at strategic spots where the playgrounds are.

We have compiled more than 20 restaurants of these children friendly restaurants with or near such facilities to keep the kids busy while the adults get to eat.

IMM

I love malls with playground, especially when it is within close proximity of nice restaurants and cafes. IMM is one of my favorites. An interesting dry playground that is sheltered and a wet playground that offers hours of fun for kids is on level 3 at IMM Garden Plaza.

Restaurants right beside the playgrounds are:

Long Beach Sea Food
Yummy sea food restaurant with the entrance close to the garden plaza but short distance from where the action is.

Hoshi Japanese Restaurant
Nice Japanese food are served here. It comes with glass windows with a view to the playground.

Bagus Food Court
Opposite Hoshi. Nice fried hokkien noodles and hala food can be found here. Both Bagus and Hoshi have a public mall area where several coin operated toys are.

On the 2nd level of IMM, besides Kids Mall there is

Ichiban Sushi
Mid price food that were pretty good. There is an area outside with seats and a huge and cute floor mat tha kids love to play at.

Where: IMM Building 2 Jurong East Street 21 #04-60, S(609601)

Mcdonalds

Famous for their kid's meal, very value for money ice cream and the frequently updated toy that comes with it. There are a number of Mcdonalds with or near playgrounds and parks which add to the fun of eating there.

McDonald's Singapore Science Centre
Situated right beside Science Centre and its Kinetic Garden, where many interesting science inspired structures are made available for kids to explore, learn and play.

Where:15 Science Centre Road Kinetic Garden Singapore Science Centre

McDonald's Ang Mo Kio Park
This McDonalds at Ang Mo Kio Street 12 near Ang Mo Kio Library have a nice sheltered outdoor playground within the restaurant. It is also within close proximity to a bigger playground at Ang Mo Kio Park.

Where: 10 Ang Mo Kio Street 12, S( 567740)

McDonald's Queensway
This  McDonalds at Ridout Tea Garden has a beautiful setting and a sheltered outdoor playground. The kids get to see the tortoises and fishes in the "pond" in front of the restaurant. Families of tortoises resting on the sides of the pond and on the rocks never fail to excite the kids. There is also a Far East Flora in the vicinity so those who love flowers and gardening.

Where: Ridout Tea Garden #01-580 Queensway, S(149066)

McDonald's West Coast Park
While this McDonalds does not have its own playground, it has west coast park right behind and there are more than five playgrounds over there.

Where: McCafe 71 West Coast Highway, S(126844)

McDonald's Kallang
Probably one of the most famous McDonalds with a playground. This one also has a Mc Cafe. Comes with an indoor playground

Where: 200 Stadium Road S(397726)

Sembawang Shopping Mall Rooftop Playground

This mall have a roof top playground on the third level. Like IMM, it comes with a wet area and a dry playground. The dry playground is sheltered with very close proximity to the three surrounding eateries:

Wan Chai Hong Kong Tea Room 湾仔香港奶茶店
This one have nice Hong Kong style food. The glass panels let you keep an eye on the kids playing right outside.

Astons Specialties
Value for money and yummy western food can be found here.

Ajisen Ramen
Nice reasonably priced Japanese food with yummy kids meal.

Where: Level 3, 604 Sembawang Road, Sembawang Shopping Centre

Others

IKEA Alexandra
There is a play island in the restaurant. Småland, a play area of 176sqm with a maximum capacity of 80 children is also close to the restaurant.

Where: 317 Alexandra Road Singapore 159965

IKEA restaurant @ Ikea Tampines
There is a play house and various smaller play stations throughout the restaurant. Kids' menu available. Baby food is sold at the restaurant and two microwave ovens are available for warming milk bottles.

Where: 60 Tampines North Drive 2 Singapore 528764

Ju Shin Jung Korean Restaurant West Coast
Located at Yess Centre, you can find nice, authentic korean food and a large play area in the shape of a castle here. Pricing of food is a little steep though.

Where : 27 West Coast Highway #01-18/19, Yess Centre 1F Singapore 117867

Ju Shin Jung Korean Restaurant East Coast
Located at East Coast Park Way, this restaurant is similar to the west coast outlet. The play area is smaller, but with a huge TV to keep kids engaged.

Where: 1018 East Coast Parkway #02-01 Singapore 449877

Sakae Sushi TradeHub 21
There is a kids playing area outside the restaurant with cushioned floor, ball pool and a playhouse. Parking is free.

Where: 28 Boon Lay Way #01-175/176 Singapore 609971

Sakae Sushi Sun Plaza
Nice indoor play area for the kids.

Where: 30 Sembawang Drive #02-21 Singapore 757713 Tel: 6483 0018


Shokudo Japanese Food Bazaar @ Raffles City
Like a Japanese version of Marche, this Japanese restaurant at the basement of Raffles City have lots of variety. Kids will enjoy watching their food being prepared and there is a play area featuring several sets of toys with kids furniture.

Where: Raffles City Shopping Center 252 North Bridge Road, #B1-44E Singapore 179103

Sol Playground Cafe
There is an outdoor playground and an indoor play area and the food looks yummy. There is even a balloon sculpting class on weekends. more...

Where: 200 Turf Club Road #01-21 Turf City Singapore 287994

The Tanglin Tree
This Aussie restaurant have an outdoor playground build like a little house. Bet my active boy is going to love it.

Where: 56 Tanglin Road #B1-01 Friven & Co Building





Thinking Course for kids? Course Review:Two semesters at Thinking Loft.-Part 1

It was a free trial that first attracted me to sign up my then 3 and a half year old two years ago.Thinking skills was not exactly high in my priority list as far as enrichment was concern then. Sure, learning about thinking is beneficial for me at university level but thinking course for kids? hmmm I don't know about that.

First Impression
The first trial is a nice surprise. After experiencing the classroom environment at Shichida, the Thinking Loft classroom strikes me as inviting and cosy. There are no chairs and tables. Instead, there are cushions and a canopy and a leaf deco and just a white board. DS immediately decide he like the place and seems to enjoyed all the activities. Parents are allow to sit in during class for 4 years old. The course looks interesting and the curriculum seems well thought out. It also seems to be music appreciation , art, thinking and storytelling roll into one. After the trial class I was sold on letting DS try it out for a semester.

The classes
Each class consist of a series of activities which is aim at developing different aspects of thinking. For the first semester, the teacher will play a piece of classical music and ask the children to draw and describe what they think the music is about and why. This helps in encouraging them to talk about what they think. Other activities include story told in a way to encourage reflection and logical deduction, pattern recognition, reflex exercises and activities that encourage children to question and learn. Each week will have a different theme and so far, the themes that were covered include learning about volume via experiment, colours, and animals. There are lots of hands on in the class. For example, when the theme is on colours, the kids were given paints of primary colours and experimented with what and how combining different colours will give them a different colours. When the topic is on volume, the children get to try out and compare whether different materials and shapes and containers will float on water and what happens when they add the marbles in a floating containers. The teachers will keep asking questions and encourage children to respond and articulate why there think a certain object will float or sink faster than the others.

Communication by the Teacher
After each session, the teacher will talk to the parents about the activities, the intention of the activity and each of the child's respond and progress in the class. One of the objective of the thinking class is also to identify the child's strength and further develop his strength in the area and also identify areas which the child needs further practise in. Some children might be good at creative thinking but needs more work in analytical deduction while some children are strong in analytical skills but are too shy or not yet able to articulate their thoughts.

Progress after a semester
After a semester, DS certainly seems to be more talkative and ask more questions especially when it comes to story telling time. His ability to recognise patterns have improve. As for me, I have pick up new ways to prompt DS to think about the things around us and in our daily activities and when story telling. DS enjoys the classes a lot and keep asking me when he is going back to class during the three week long term break. It is his current favourite and he seems to make friends quickly in this school compared to in Shichida where we were for 2 years.

The little things
Some times, the little things make a big difference. One thing that impress me is that the centre listen to feedback from parents and seems to continually aim to improve their service offerings. In the first semester, many parents have questions about the activities and how it will help the children. In the new semester, in addition to the verbal communication after class, parents are given notes on the activities so that we can reinforce those activities during the week.

Conclusion
After the 1st semester is too early to come to a conclusion on the effectiveness of a course. The important thing is that DS had enjoyed the class and the activities seems to reinforce his curiosity and interest in learning.

coming up soon... Part 2, a second semester at Thinking Loft

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pop-up Books

Pop-up Books

Pop-up books are nice and interactive alternatives to traditional books. The experience of exploring a pop-up book can also be a great way to introduce a child to well known classics.

Good pop-up books are works of art themselves to be enjoyed and treasured for years. We like books by Robert Sabuda such as the Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: A Pop-up Adaptation shown.

Gifts ideas for Christmas

Scientific Explorer's Mind Blowing Science Kit for Young Scientists

Do you have a budding scientist at home? This Winner of Parents' Choice Approved Award and Dr.Toy One of the 10 Best Educational Products 2005 Award aims to teach kids about science through hands on projects. Projects range from erupting a color-changing volcano, creating a sunset in a test tube, to growing colorful, jiggly crystals.

Birthday Cakes we love

A Birthday cake is the centre of attention at a kids birthday. Here in Singapore, there are plenty of choices for getting children's cake. Here are some favorites :

Smiling Orchid
Nice looking and yummy cakes looking 3D with real toys as decorations. The cakes cost around $50 -$65 per kg. The toys and decorations can be part of the kid's birthday present, like this Bob the Builder Cake. We had been going to Smiling Orchid for the last 3 years for out boy's birthday cake and it never fails to excite the kids in his childcare and preschool every year.This year we got an angry bird cake which makes all the kids in his preschool really excited.

Smiling Orchid 3D Cake with toys Don't eat the bricks though.

Bengawan Solo
They have cakes designs with cute Disney pictures. My boy had their Mickey Mouse in an airplane cake for his 2nd birthday. It looks absolutely beautiful and the chocolate cake is yummy too. Bengawan Solo Disney CakeMickey’s ear is made of chocolate, which makes my boy very happy. At about $37 per kg, it is well the price. A 3kg cake for a class of 50 set us back by about $110.

More places to get Cute Cakes:

Eatzi Gourmet
Cute designs, including some 3D cake designs.  I have not taste this before but heard that it is pretty good.  About $29-$35 per kg


Four Leaves
Nice looking cakes.  Four leaves have always taste fresh and great.  Prices go by sizes.  A 20x 30 cm cost around $74.

cherylshuen
Customized and beautifully done up cakes. Price starts from $100 for a fresh cream cake for 10 pax.

Home Made Cup cakes
It’s a nice alternative to the conventional cakes.  Every kid will get the same portion and in a small party, each cake can be customized for each kid. e.g. names, favourite things, colours. You also avoid the messy task of cutting cakes into equal pieces for 50 children. There are many home cupcake shops around. If you are really adventurous, you can also make your own.

Cup Cake Divinity
The cakes looks simply divine. $2.20 and above per cake minimum orders of  25.

Mong's cupcake
Beautiful custom made cup cakes. Her update on 14 Dec 2010 says that she will not be taking orders till further notice though.

Dream Cakes via Vivian
Beautiful customized creations. According to her website, she is fully book for 2010 and 2011 though.

Indoor Playgrounds for Kids

We have moved! Check out our updated compilation of Indoor soft playgrounds at our new website : kidsandparenting.com

Indoor soft playgrounds can be a savior for stress parents and hyperactive kids. They usually comes with play structures designed to be safe and fun and is a good place to go especially when it is raining or way too hot to be outdoors. The children get to expand their energy and practice their motor and social skills while parents get some rest.


Check out this list of indoor playgrounds around Singapore:

CENTRAL/SOUTH

Fidgets (Turf City)
Big with three huge structures challenging enough for the adventurous kids and areas designated for toddlers and babies under 2 years old. With a build in cafe and unlimited play for just $15, it is where parents can chill out and finally get to read a book and catch up with friends while the kids play. Bring your socks. They are really strict about that here. Admission is for kids up to 10 years old. Free for parents and kids under 1 year old. $1 dollar of your entrance fee will be donated to registered children charities in Singapore. more about Fidgets...

Where: 200 Turf Club Road #04-05 Turf city S 287994 (Near Giant)

Go-Go Bambini (Dempsey)
Probably one of the first soft structures indoor playgrounds, the Dempsey Go-Go Bambini comes surrounded with nice eating places, its own cafe, organise classes and workshops and have a nail spa for mums. Admission is for kids up to 11 years old. Free for parents and kids under 1 year old.
Where: Blk 8 Dempsey Road #01-15 Dempsey Hill, Singapore 247696

AtlantisCity@Delta (Delta Sports Complex)
This is quite a small set up but it is generally not too crowded and the kids love it all the same. The price is hard to beat at $3.30 an hour if you get their play card. There is ice cream, snacks and drinks available and a sitting area for parents. more about Atlantis City...

Where: Delta Sports Complex, 900 Tiong Bahru Road (Entrance via Alexandra Rd)

Royce Kids Gym
This place is conveniently located at Liang Court. The pictures published from its website looks promising. For an annual membership fee of $50 per year, you pay $12 bucks for an hour play. Non members pay $30 for a one time trial.

w: www.roycekidsgym.com
Where: 177 River Valley Road #02-20/21 Liang Court Shopping Centre S179030

EAST

eXplorerkid (Downtown East )
This place is huge with loads of activities and lots of eateries nearby. Members pay $11 while non members price is $22 during peak hours. Have yet to check it out but seems this is the biggest in Singapore to date. Can't wait to check it out. Membership is for kids up to 12 years old.

w: www.explorerkid.com
Where: 3rd Level, E!hub @Downtown East 1 Pasir Ris Close Singapore 519599

Peek-A-Boo (Kallang Leisure Park)

$12 per entry for kids older than 2 year old. Smaller than the other east side playgrounds, this is still good as you get to combine shopping and playing in one trip. There is also a cafe and free wireless surfing so bring your lap top and er... work(?) while your kids play.

w: www.peekaboo.com.sg

Where : Leisure Park Kallang (next to Indoor Stadium) 5, Stadium Walk, #02-12/13

Frisk ‘n’ Romp Kids Playclub (No longer in operation)
Standard rates is $18 for 2 hours on the week ends or for the whole day on weekdays. They do have promotion from time to time and rates goes as low as $10 when you get a play card.

w: www.frisknromp.com

Polliwogs (East Coast)
This new play area have both an outdoor and indoor area. Structures are interesting and wide enough for the parent to go catch the child when they refuse to end their play session. There is a ball volcano that is really fun. For the parents, there is a very comfortable sitting area and free flow of coffee and tea. Bring coins. Your kids will want the snacks from their vending machine when they are taking a break from playing. $18 for 90 mins on weekends.


w: www.thepolliwogs.com

Where : #01-02 1020 East Coast Parkway, 449878

WEST

Kidz Amaze (Jurong Safra)
It is new and big and full of challenging and fun stuff especially for older kids. At 3 storey high it is easy to spend at least half a day in this vertical playground. Usual price is $15 for non members. Kidz Amaze membership are for age from 3yrs to 18 yrs. The club is close from time to time for private events so check the Safra Jurong Club house site for announcement first

Where: 333 Boon Lay Way SAFRA Jurong

NORTH

Little O'Zone (Orchid Country Club beside the orchid bowl)
$8 dollars an hour for non members. Interesting looking structures with facilities for toddlers. For kids 18 months to 12 years. Open Mon-Thur 10am to 8pm and Fri-sun 10am to 10pm.

w: http://www.orchidclub.com/moby/cms/membership/facilities.html

Where: #02-36 Social Clubhouse, Orchid Country Club 1 Orchid Club Road

Bouncing Kids
$12 dollars for two hours or $9 for unlimited play if you become a member at $10.The place is quite conveniently located near the bus interchange. Parents get enjoy food, wireless high-speed Internet in the cafe and working out in the gym within the premise. Open Mon-Thur 10am to 9pm and Fri-sun 10am to 10pm.
Where: #01-K2 Blk 206 Hougang Street 21 Singapore 530206
 w: www.bouncingkids.com.sg

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Meet & Greet Sessions and Holiday Shows @ Malls in Dec 2010

Was so excited to learn that there will be a Spongebob Square Pants Meet & Greet from

Dec 09, 2010 - Dec 20, 2010
United Square Shopping Mall
2pm (Daily except Tues)

Price: Free

Spongebob Squarepants, Patrick Starfish, and Squidward Tentacles

On their facebook, site, there was some conditions though:

-Spend $30 on the day (in a single receipt) at ANY RETAIL outlet. It excludes payment of school fees, paid services such as laundry, payment of bills etc.

-Queue at least one hour before the commencement of the show.
to obtain a Meet & Greet Pass. Only 40 families will be allow to meet and greet etc...

Wonder it it will be such a good idea after all?
Official Website: http://www.unitedsquare.com.sg/

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Welcome to All things Kids!

This is a blog about activities to do with kids, at home and out, academic and for fun. Its also my learning journey to how to spent time with my boy, guide him to the right path.