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BookBuddy - Your Solution to Good Reading Habits

Friday, 19 August 2016

Does your child wear glasses? At what age do they start wearing glasses? Children nowadays start wearing glasses at a very early age. Children are going to school at a much younger age, doing a lot of reading and writing work. Furthermore, with the advancement of technology, it is inevitable that children are exposed to smart devices. It is therefore, very important that they develop good reading habits at a young age. 

Do you know? "Singapore is the world's #1 for the prevalence of childhood myopia 
in seven to nine year olds." - HPB

Good Reading Habits


While having a love for reading is a good thing, having poor reading habits will increase the chances of developing myopia. So what can we do to ensure good reading habits?

1. Reading at a safe distance
2. Ensure sufficient lighting 
3. Taking a break after 30 minutes of reading
4. Engaging in outdoor activities

For adults, these habits might seem easy to keep to. However, it is more difficult for kids to keep these in mind. Most often, we need to constantly remind them not to go too near to the book or device or have a hard time telling them to take a break from reading.

BookBuddy


If you are facing the above problems, BookBuddy is the solution! 


BookBuddy is a smart bookstand that helps children to develop healthier reading habits. With the use of smart sensors, it can reminds your child of the good reading habits that they need to follow. 


Smart Sensors


BookBuddy is able to help children develop better reading habits through the use of smart sensors.

BookBuddy has a Distance Sensor that is able to detect the reading distance. When the child gets too near to the book, BookBuddy will start to beep, reminding the child to move back. The beeping stops when the child move away to a safe reading distance.

At the end of the retractable arms are two Light Sensors. These sensors are able to measure the lighting conditions. When the lighting is poor, the green LED will start blinking.

The Reading Timer will alert the child to take a break after 30 minutes of reading. The red LED will light up.


Ergonomic Reading Angles


As a book stand, BookBuddy has two reading angles which are ergonomically designed for reading. The lower angle is for writing but I feel that the retractable arms somehow block the hands while trying to write. I think this is a good level for doing referencing or copy work.


The other higher angle is suitable for reading. It supports the book in a more upright position. Do you know that when you are reading at the table, your neck and body will bend over when trying to read? With the book in a upright position, you will be reading in a proper posture. 


Retractable Arms


On both ends of the BookBuddy there are the Retractable Arms. You can extend or decrease the length of the arms to firmly hold down pages of all sizes.


I tried using a thick cookbook on the BookBuddy. The arms are able to hold down the pages firmly and able to hold the weight of the book. Great for using in the kitchen when I need to refer to recipes while cooking.


See... it can hold a tablet too!


Page Extender


Have taller books or paper? BookBuddy features a Page Extender to support taller books or paper. This is especially useful for paper so that it will not flop over.


Lightweight and Portable


When I first received the BookBuddy, I was surprised that it is very light. This makes it easy for children to carry it around. Its dimension is 23 x 17 x 2  cm, smaller than A4 size and only weighs 290g.


BookBuddy runs on 2 AAA batteries. Do note that the battery cover is easily taken out, so when using with small children, please supervise them in case they open the cover and take the batteries out. 


Verdict


When we first started using BookBuddy, the boys were super excited, especially Big J. I first started using it without the batteries, ie not using the smart sensors. Just using it as a book stand is enough to arouse their interest in reading! They are always asking to read with BookBuddy.

Then when we started using it with the batteries, they got even more excited! The boys are too excited with the beeping sounds that they sometimes purposely go near the book, just to trigger the beep. Since they keep doing that, I honestly feel that the beeping sound is quite annoying. However, that is because we are not using it the proper way. I hope the boys will wear off this novelty soon and not pay so much attention to the sounds. That said, the persistent beeping sound definitely does a good job in reminding the reader to maintain a good reading distance. Of course, you can turn off the power when you do not need the proximity sensor. Or perhaps this will be more suitable for older children who has better control of their emotions.

I also realized that our lights are not bright enough for reading. Oops! The LED light keeps on blinking when we use it at night but it is fine during the day time when we are doing our work near the windows. Time to buy a reading light.

Like I mentioned earlier, the battery cover opens very easily. Since Small J is quite young, I have to supervise him when he is using the BookBuddy. I wish that the battery cover has a screw to secure it for safety reasons.

When I first get a feel of BookBuddy, I thought that the plastic feels quite flimsy, like it will break if we drop it or when we get too rough handling it. However, it has no problem holding thick and heavy books as I pointed out earlier. Of course, this is why it is lightweight and portable so that it is easy and convenient for children to use. Nobody would want to carry a heavy bookstand around right?

Overall, the boys are really happy with their new buddy in their reading corner. I'm really happy that this has increased their interest in reading and also teaching them the importance of maintaining a good reading posture. Here are some photos of them reading with BookBuddy.




BookBuddy is retailing at S$84.90. There are 3 colours available, Groovy Green, Brainy Blue and Perky Pink. It is available at their online store.

For more information, do visit BookBuddy's website:
Web | Facebook

Here's a video of BookBuddy!


Function of BookBuddy from Crymson Lifetech Pte Ltd on Vimeo.


Disclaimer: We received a complimentary BookBuddy for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was involved. All opinions, texts and photos are mine, unless otherwise stated.

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July 2016

Thursday, 11 August 2016

My monthly updates has been put on hold for almost a year! Gosh... how fast! I have decided to restart this again but I'm not sure how long I can persevere because time is so limited.

So, these are what went on for our July...

First up, it is Small J's birthday. Technically, this happened in June. However, since it is at the end of June, I want to include this otherwise he will have no documentation of his birthday on the blog.

The boy has grown a lot over the year, although he has his temper sometimes. I just want to wish that he will grow up healthily and happily! As usual, we had a simple family affair birthday celebration. As I am writing this, I re-read his second birthday post and I am feeling so guilty that this year's post is so short! Forgive me baby. 


We discovered Tuk Tuk Cha in our neighbourhood shopping mall! The milk tea is really da best! The tea is flavourful yet not overly sweet. The waffles are cripsy on the outside while the inside is soft and fluffy. The matcha ice-cream totally compliment the sweet red bean very well. The downside, the boys didn't sleep until super late! Think it was due to the power of the tea and matcha.

A photo posted by Jolin (@thejsarena) on

The latest activity in our house, a box for the boys to play house, hide-and-seek and draw and paint. Till this date, the box is still standing strong.
We visited the Singapore Sports Hub to find out more about the family activities they have in store for the public. If not for the fact that we stay super far from the Sports Hub, it might be our favourite hang-out place.

A photo posted by Jolin (@thejsarena) on

We had so much fun posing and taking photos at Alive Museum. It is so much fun than our first trip there because the boys are more interested in posing, unlike the first time when we spent more time chasing after them. This gotta be my favourite art piece because I got to experience our proposal all over again! Lol!


I also brought the boys to Future World at Art Science Museum. OMG... we didn't even finish exploring the whole exhibit because they spent so much time at the first part of  the 'playground'. We will definitely be back again! Just in case you guys don't know about it, there's free entry for kids on every Fridays.

Going up and down the slide for infinity times


Building a house

In July, we had a very special visit to the Egg Farm! The farm tour was organised by Singapore Young Farmers. It was a very rare and valuable experience because the farm is not open to the public and special access to the farm requires AVA’s approval. Although we didn't see the chickens, we did see how the eggs are processed and pasteurized in the hi-tech farm. It was also an eye-opener for the kids. Do join the mailing list of Singapore Young Farmers to keep updated of future farm trips.

The tour started with an informative briefing by the representative from N &N Agriculture Farm.

Eggs fresh from the chicken house

Closer look at the eggs

The boy with mountains of eggs

All dressed up to see the pasteurization process

Enjoying some delicious tamago eggs at the end of the tour

Since our boys are always full of energy, we brought them to Amped Trampoline Park. Big J can still remember the first time we were there. Last time, Small J could only sit around but this time he joined in the climbing and jumping! Haha..we had so much fun but I think we ended up feeling more tired than the boys.


We ended the month with some cheese tarts from Bake! It is our first time trying these yumilicious tarts and I am so glad that we didn't have to queue hours for it. It took us about 30 minutes to get them. Unfortunately, these were too expensive for us to eat regularly, so it remains as a once in a while treat!



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Imaginarium: Over the Ocean, Under the Sea

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Ok, I'm quite late in writing this post about Imaginarium because the exhibition is about to end on 28 August. If you have not visited this, you should quickly schedule a visit after reading this post.

We have been to Imaginarium last year and it was a hit with the boys. This year, how could we miss the chance to visit the exhibit again?


Imaginarium is held at SAM@8Q and is FREE entry for Singaporeans and permanent residents. Same as last year, the exhibit is span over four floors in the museum. This year, the theme of the exhibition is Ocean.

Where is Mogus?


This is the first exhibit that the boys saw upon entering the museum and made a dash for it. The first thing that caught the boys' attention are these two super big whale plushies on the floor.

It is nice to sit on...


To lay on...


And to jump from... I can't even take a proper photo of Big J jumping because he is so fast!


In the same room, there are also see these ocean animals and corals installations, which are made from yarn. I love their bright colours, as if welcoming us into the ocean! The boys only took a few glances at these and went back to the whales because these are see-no-touch exhibits.


I love these bright yellow fishes.


The boys continued their jumping on the whales until I told them that we should move on to the next room. 

Submaroom



On the second level, we came to the Submaroom. In this room, we can look through these metal pipes...


and see some photos that are related to the oceans.


There are also tables and chairs for making origami. We were out of this room pretty fast because they don't have the patience to make origami.


There is also a short film screening room on the same floor, showing films inspired by tales in the ocean. We didn't watch because the boys know there are more fun upstairs.

Wall Paintings


Along the stairways to the different levels, there are mural wall paintings to set you thinking. These paintings show how human has excessively exploit the ocean life.


I feel that these paintings are quite disturbing. No doubts that it is showing the truth that human beings are killing these exotic animals, the way it is depicted is quite gross.

Big J was asking why the person is eating the shark, why are they killing the animals, why the animals look so upset. I can see that his expression is a bit disturbed. I tried to explain to him but I can't say we can't eat animals, because we do eat chicken, fish or meat. I told him about endangered animals, how they are important to the ocean life and how we should protect them. He seems to understand.


ADA


Away from these disturbing paintings, we came to a special room. Located on the third floor, this is one of Big J's favourite installations. We came back here a couple of times after we finished the whole museum.

ADA is this big balloon. It floats around in this dark room and has charcoal studs on its surface. Children can push it around and see it bounces off the walls and ceilings, leaving charcoal marks behind.

Through this, children can learn that what they do will have an effect on the world around them. These effects might not be visible but when they do become visible, it will be too late to undo our actions.


Big J enjoyed pushing the ball around but Small J was too scare to enter the dark room. I had to sit outside the dark room with him.


Do note that the charcoal studs will leave marks on your hands and clothes. These are easily washed off in the washroom nearby, so not to worry.


Damien, I'm Famished | Bryde's Fountain | Surrealism Spiced


In this next room, there are some structures that are related to the ocean theme too. The interesting part is that some parts of these structures are able to move.

The fishes are swimming away the shark.



Fountain of water on the blowhole of the whale.


The Sounds of the Estuary


Going on to the fourth floor, we came to The Sounds of the Estuary. The installations here involve the sense of hearing.

We can listen to the sound of waves and looking upon this artwork of waves.


Big J is spinning the handle and observing the scene changing. The scene is of course about the ocean.


I'm not sure what this is trying to depict, but the figures do look creepy.


Listening to the sounds of an old town.


Plastic Ocean


The last room we came to is the Plastic Ocean, another of our favourites. The first sight that greeted us is this overwhelming view of plastic and more plastic. We had to walk low to avoid the trash that hang above us. The artist is trying to tell us how difficult it is for the ocean creatures to live under such a condition. They can't swim, they get entangled in the sea of rubbish and even mistake these for food.


While the boys were still happily swimming in the sea of plastics, I took the opportunity to explain about water pollution and how it is affecting the ocean life. The boys realised that it is difficult for fishes to swim if the ocean is full of plastics and rubbish.


Outside the Plastic Ocean, we can also see these pictures about pollution, specifically, water pollution.



Overall, I think this is a very suitable exhibition for young children to learn about the ocean and pollution. There are many interactive works which involve our senses. Children and adults will be able to play and learn important conservation message through the exhibition.

Admission Fees


Admission is free for Singaporeans and permanent residents. Everyone can also get free entry on every Friday after 6pm.


Imaginarium: Over the Ocean, Under the Sea

14 May 2016 - 28 August 2016
SAM@8Q 
8 Queen Street, Singapore 188535 (Nearest MRT: Bras Basah MRT)

Opening hours:
Mondays to Sundays: 10am to 7pm (Last admission at 6:15pm)
Fridays: 10am to 9pm
Enjoy complimentary entry on Friday evenings from 6pm - 9pm

For more information about Imaginarium, please check herehere


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