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Feeling #Momazing Again!

Monday, 29 June 2015

It is Small J's birthday this month. He is turning 2! As I look back on his past two years of growth, I am feeling all emotional again. I wrote about my #Momazing moments of his many firsts, which I still remember till now. 

#MOMAZING is that magical moment when your child surprises you with a milestone they achieve for the first time and you feel a powerful mix of emotions - pride at their flourishing development, and reassurance that you are doing a great job as a mum. - Scott's

Recently, I was very honoured to be interviewed by Scott's to share about my motherhood journey, in particular, the #Momazing moments. The joys, the woes, the challenges and of course the rewards. 


The biggest joy to me is when the boys call out to me, 'Mummy! Mummy!'. This can be when they discover something interesting and want to share it with me. Or when they get hurt. Or even when they are just calling for fun. 

The challenges would be when they are not on their best behaviour or trying to test our limits. In such circumstances, we will have no choice but to stand firm. No matter how tiring the day can be, at the end of the day, we always end up with hugs and kisses for each other.


You can read my interview here and the #Momazing stories of other mom bloggers here. (Please prepare some tissue as some of the stories can be quite touching.)

Every Mom has a different story to share, but all have a common feeling. The feeling of #Momazing! 

Share your #Momazing Moments and win great prizes!


From now till 31 July 2015, upload a video or photo with a short caption describing your #Momazing moments and you could be the lucky winner of these prizes. The contest site is https://apps.facebook.com/moms-of-singapore/

If you enjoy reading this post, I would be glad if you could follow me on Facebook or Instagram. You could also subscribe to my newsletter (on the left hand column) and be updated of my latest post.


Masak Masak 2015

Thursday, 25 June 2015

We went to Masak Masak at the National Museum of Singapore.

Masak Masak 2015
Where: National Museum of Singapore (93 Stamford Road S(178897))
How to go: Here
Date: 30 May to 10 August 2015
Opening hours: 10am to 6pm
Free admission for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents (Do remember to bring along your ID)
More information here.

We were greeted by these colourful blocks at the front lawn of the museum.


When we reached there, it was almost time for the puppet show. We quickly went to the puppet show room, which is on Level 1. We walked past this beautiful wall with lots of colourful origami. 


Then, the puppet show started. It is a story about 'Queen of the Forest', performed by Jeremy Hiah and his daughter. This show is only available on weekends. Unfortunately, at the point of writing this post, there is not more show for the month of June. The next show will be on 8 & 9 August at 2.30pm. The show last about 30 minutes.


At the corner, there is a table selling materials for kids to make their own shadow puppets.


We moved on to the concourse area, where we saw giant version of nostalgic games, such as tin-can phones, throwing hoops, eraser flipping game and a turning maze.

Trying to manoeuvre the ball out of the maze
by turning the wheel

Tin-can phones with a twist

Play cheat! Instead of throwing the hoop from a distance, he simply looped it over

This exhibit is call Dancing Solar Flowers, which is powered by solar power. As you can see, no one is allowed to touch the flowers. See only, no touch!


We went up to level 3 and joined the Plant Power workshop. This is a workshop that encourages children to learn about plants through their senses of touch and smell. We learnt how to get natural colourings from plants, how these plants become part of our food and the many uses of these plants. There are three stations, one is about coconuts, one is about spices and another is about natural colourings from plants. 

I thought this is a very interesting workshop and can see children very focus and interested in learning more about the plants. This is suitable for kids who are above 4 years old. This is only available on selected Saturdays or Sundays. The next session is on 28 June, 1.30pm. For more information about this workshop, please check here.


Learning about the many uses of coconut

Spices table

Next, we went to the Luma-City at Play@NMS which is also on level 3. It is not easily seen, so keep an open eye to look for it. In here, children can push these big toy vehicles and see the colourful trail made by the cars. We were only allowed to stay inside for about 5 minutes because there was a queue outside. I am not sure if the play would be longer if there isn't any queue.


Regulars of the NMS will know about the PLAY @ NMS. This is like a mini playground where children can do pretend cooking, puzzles, puppet play, or watch animations. It is open daily from 10am to 6pm.


After the boys have enough playing at PLAY, we moved on to the basement. There is an exhibit of traditional woodblock printing.


Children get to have some hands-on printing, but not with the real woodblock printing. Instead they are using just normal self-inking stamps. Nonetheless, the boys had a great time stamping away.


Moving on, we came to the Wanderlust. Seeing the tunnels and the colourful structure, the boys got super excited and started crawling and running through. Small J ran super fast and before I could catch him, he missed a step and fell onto the floor. When I picked him up, he was bleeding from this mouth and nose. Gave me a big scare and we quickly bring him to the toilet to wash him up. Do be reminded that running is not allowed here.


When Small J is more settled, we decided to make our way home, of course not before Big J had some fun at the inflatable playground at the front lawn. Poor Small J can only looked on by the side with his swollen lips. 

This playground is opened for play on weekends only, between 10am to 12pm and 4pm to 6pm.


Wheeee!

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Spaces For The Boys

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

I'm hoping onto the Small Spaces blogtrain hosted by Mum in the Making. I have to say that I am so thankful for this blogtrain because it gives me the encouragement to tidy up the spaces of the boys. Otherwise, it is usually very messy.

Years ago, I took part in this blog train too. That time, Small J has not come into the picture yet and Big J could have one whole room as his playroom. Much have changed over the years. The playroom is no longer around. It has been converted into their sleeping space.

The playroom then

Since Small J is still young, we let him sleep on the mattress on the floor as we are worried about him rolling off the bed. We also add 'bumper' with old mattresses to prevent him from knocking against the wall. Their room is very simple, just 2 single mattresses on the floor and a plastic drawer in a corner for their clothes and daily changing stuffs. We do not include any toys or books in the room because we want the room to have only one purpose - sleep.

Is now a very simple bedroom for the boys

So what happens to their play space? Due to the space limitation of our small humble house, we do not have a dedicated play room. Their play area is distributed throughout the house.

In our study, which is also the boys playing area, we have an Ikea Expedit shelf. We used three of the rows to store the kids toys. We are using a toys rotation system. Toys that are on rotation will be placed on the lower two rows. These will be changed out every 2-4 weeks, depending on my level of laziness. The third row contains the waterplay tools, playdough and balls, which the boys are free to play upon request. The rest of the toys are stored in boxes in our storeroom.


In a corner of our living, we have their learning and playing area.  They usually do their school work or art here. We hang up their artwork on the wall in front of the boys' table.


On the right side of the table, we use this shelf for pretend play. This month we are doing cooking and supermarket play.


On the left side, is an Ikea TROFAST storage shelf. I set up this as an independent work system for Big J. I will leave some work in the trays for him to work through independently. As you can see, the activities are very easy because the main purpose of this is to encourage independence. 


In another corner of the living room, we have two book shelves for books. The blue one is from Qoo10. I love this book shelf because the books can be displayed with the cover facing out. I feel that this can encourage the kids to read more. The white shelf is a very old book shelf from my younger days. 


The boys enjoy riding on their ride-ons. These are parked at their designated parking lots in another corner of the living too.


PS: The photos were taken early in the morning when everything is still in place. When the boys start playing, everything will be in a big mess. 

That's our very simple and humble home. Be sure to check out the small spaces created by other Mom Bloggers by clicking on the photo below.


Tomorrow, MummyEd will be sharing about her small spaces. Ed works from home whenever she has the chance to, but with 3 kids of ages 3 5 and 7 years old, those moments are few and far between. She blogs at http://mummyed.wordpress.com and has never been happier to leave the corporate world behind.


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Busy Bag Exchange

Monday, 22 June 2015

I recently took part in a Busy Bag Exchange and I am so happy with it that I must share with you. 


First of all, what is a busy bag? It is basically a bag of activity to keep the little ones busy. These bags can be pulled out quickly and are very easy to bring around. You can use this during periods of waiting, eg on car or train rides, in a restaurant waiting for your food or any other time when you want your child to be busy doing something constructive. If you do a Google search on 'busy bag', you will find lots of examples.

Then, what is a busy bag exchange? This is where the principle of economies of scale comes in. A group of mums/dads will get together and each will make a certain number of the SAME busy bag. When we meet up for the exchange, you exchange the bag you have made for someone else's bag. At the end, you will get back that certain number of busy bags, all with different activities to entertain your child. Isn't this a fantastic idea? It's like suddenly your child will have more than 10 new toys to play with.

For this busy bag exchange, we are making bags for toddlers, ie 2-3 years old. We have 12 persons for this exchange. 

I made a Mummy and Baby animal matching game. I Google-ed the pictures. I have included the printable for this at the end of this post. To assemble, print them out and cut them accordingly. Then laminate and cut them out again. Don't forget to round the corners. I attached velcro to the baby cards so that the child can attach the baby animals to their mummy.  


I place all the sets into individual ziplock bag and went out with 11 packets of this.


And came back with these.

A fishing game by Mummy L

J trying out the fishing game

Clip stick counting by Mummy S

Big J lining up the pegs and pretending they are trains.

Pom pom and straws stuff by Mummy J

Using this while we were out eating

Zipper board by Mummy E

Button snake by Mummy C

Funny face by Mummy C

Popsicle stick puzzle by Mummy C

Animals head and tail matching by Mummy ML

Picnic set by Mummy J

Clothesline by Mummy I

Really kudos to all the mummies who put in their efforts and time to make these. Because this busy bag exchange was so successful, we decided to arrange for another exchange. This time, I am joining the toddlers (2-3 years old) and preschoolers (4-5 years old) group. Meanwhile, I am getting busy to complete the bags before the exchange date. I am so excited and can't wait to see what I will be getting from this exchange.

Here's the printable for the Mummy and Baby Animals cards. Click on the picture below to download it.


Some of the ideas that you can use with this set of cards (credits to some of the mummies who have shared with me how their little ones played with it):

1) Simply use as flash cards to introduce the animals and baby animals.
2) Matching babies to their mummies as the intended use of this bag.
3) Make it a fun matching game by adding songs, eg 'Where is Mummy? Where is Mummy? Here I am. Here I am.'
4) Holding the baby card up like they are walking and trying to find their mummy.
5) Make a farm scene.
6) Talk about the unique attributes of each animals, eg their sound, their special feature, where they live, etc.
7) For sensory, can hide the baby cards into a sensory bin, eg beans, rice, etc. Pick out one of the baby cards and match it to the mummy card.

If you are keen to form your own busy bag exchange, don't forget to check out the busy bag exchange tips. You can also read more about the busy bag exchange that we had.

Busy Bag Exchange 1 (free printable)
Busy Bag Exchange 2 - Toddler (free printable)
Busy Bag Exchange 2 - Preschooler
Busy Bag Exchange 3
Busy Bag Exchange Tips
Pin the Bunny Tail (free printable)

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Frozen Yogurt Bites

Friday, 19 June 2015

For this June holiday, why not try cooking or baking something with your children? 

This is another super simple snack that you can do with your children. It is also great training for fine motor skills. 

Frozen Yogurt Bites

Cornflakes
Yogurt
Chocolate chips

1. Put the cornflakes into the silicone cupcake cups.
2. Spoon yogurt on the cornflakes.
3. Sprinkle chocolate chips onto the yogurt.
4. Freeze! Enjoy!

This snack is super versatile. You can use any other ingredients you like, eg blueberries, bananas, M&Ms, rainbow sprinkles and many more. Better still, let your kiddos choose what they want to include. For the yogurt, you can used flavoured yogurt for more taste. 

Before serving, let the frozen yogurt defroze for a while as it is very hard.



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