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My Little Climbing Room

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Last weekend, we were invited to a media preview of My Little Climbing Room. As the name suggests, it is an indoor playground where little ones can do lots of climbing.


The room isn't really that big but there are enough activities to keep the kids occupied for the whole session of 90 minutes. And there are activities to keep both the older and younger kids busy! 

Before You Start


Upon arrival, parents and children will be given a tag and be shown a safety video. Kids will be given a set of challenge card, and upon completion, they can exchange it for a small gift.


There is a shelf where you can leave your bags. Beside it, is a small bench for anyone to take a rest.


There are also instructors around to guide and help. Here, Big J is putting on his harness with the help from the instructor. For safety, every child must wear grip socks and it is recommended to wear long pants. Parents must also accompany and supervise their child while they are climbing.


After getting ready, it is time to explore the place! Each session last 90 minutes, with 30 minutes of free-play, 30 minutes of group games and followed by another 30 minutes of free play. On weekdays when it is unlimited play, group games will be conducted every 2 hours.

AR Wall



This is the favourite wall for Big J. He will need to climb up the wall to tap the white dots. There is a timer to record the time taken to tap all the dots. He keeps going back to this wall, because it is interactive and he has to do it as fast as he can. I think it will be more fun if the position of the dots can change after each round.

Obstacle Wall



At this wall, the child will have to climb their way through the obstacles of hula hoops and poles.

Number Wall



This is another interactive wall. The child will spin a number and climb up the wall to touch the corresponding number.

The above three walls, AR wall, Obstacle wall and the Number wall, are catered towards the younger children, who might be afraid to climb or scare of heights. These walls are shorter and the holds are closer together to suit the children's smaller built. They are also highly interactive to motivate them to give it a try. As they become better at it, it helps to build up their confidence to try out the higher walls.

There is no need for the child to use a belay for these walls and there are safety mats below to cushion the child. Parents are encouraged to hold on to the child for safety purposes, especially if the child is still not familiar with climbing. Big J likes jumping down instead of climbing down, and I don't have to worry much because the safety pads here are quite thick. Though I still nag at him for jumping.

High Wall



I especially love the vibrant colours of these wall. There are four 4-meters high wall that challenge the more daring kids. Remember the challenge cards that I mentioned earlier? These are the walls that the child will need to conquer to complete the challenges.

At the side of each wall, there is a challenge card which suggests different ways of play and difficulty levels.


Among the four walls, the red wall is the easiest. Even Small J, who is 4 years old, can climb all the way to the top, of course, with daddy holding on to the rope at the bottom. Initially, I was wondering why is it not the instructors holding the rope. Then they say, this is actually for the parents and child to bond. Instead of sitting at one corner, looking down on the phone, parents are encouraged to play together. If you need help, the instructors will be most happy to help.


Big J has no problems with all the walls. I didn't know he likes rock climbing until we visited this place. He thoroughly enjoyed the whole session!


Because, you have been seeing too much of the back view of the kids, here is one with the front view. This is a great spot for photo-taking!


Hangout Zone


If your child is tired from all the climbing, they can hang out at the monkey bar or do some swinging on the wreaking ball.



Or if they are not interested in doing any climbing, they might want to try some of these wheelies or try balancing.


For younger siblings, they have some simple toys, such as cars and a play kitchen, to keep them occupy while their older siblings climb,



Group Game


The session also includes Group Game which involves all the children. After the first 30 minutes of free-play, the climbing walls are closed and children will join in the group game. We played a game of Shark Attack!

When the lights in the room is blue, the children will pretend that they are fishes swimming in the ocean. They will be free to run about.


And when the lights turn red, the shark will come out and the fishes (children) will need to quickly climb up the wall to escape from the shark. The children were so excited that the room was filled with their laughter and screams.


After 30 minutes of group game, the children are go back to their climbing activities for another 30 minutes before the session ends. On weekdays, when it is unlimited play, group game will run every 2 hours.

Before leaving the place, don't forget to check out the photo wall to redeem your free photo printout!


Safety


My Little Climbing Room provides a safe and comfortable environment for children to do rock climbing. Each session has a max capacity of 15 kids so that there is no overcrowding. Each child must also be accompanied by an adult.

Some of the safety precautions they took includes adding a slow release pulley at the top of the wall so the descend is more controlled and requires less effort to hold. There are also safety mats in place to cushion your child. I can say these mats are quite thick and my active boys have no problem falling onto the mats. Their instructors are also present to supervise the activities at all times and to render any help.


The climbing walls are built by Climb Asia, the top wall builder in Singapore and parent company of Climb Central. And it is also built to the same safety standards as regular climbing walls for adults.

It is recommended to dress your child in long pants and comfortable clothing without any hard or sharp objects on them. All climbers are also required to wear Grip Socks. For hygiene purposes, everyone else are required to wear socks. There are socks for sales at the counter if you forget to bring one.

One of my biggest concern doing rock climbing is safety, so I am glad that My Little Climbing Room put in their best effort to ensure that our children can play in a safe environment.

Admission Fees


Each session has a capacity limit of 15 children. So be sure to make your booking online before visiting the place.


Grand Opening


My Little Climbing Room is having their grand opening is this coming weekend, 30 Sep & 1 Oct 2017! For that, they are having a special promotion. As they have a max capacity of 15 kids per session, do book early to avoid disappointment!


GIVEAWAY


Thanks to My Little Climbing Room, we have 2 pairs of entry passes to give away to 2 lucky readers! (Each winner will get 2 entry passes)

Simply follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below to win! Giveaway ends Sunday, 8 October 2017, 11:59pm. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions:
1. Giveaway ends on Sunday, 8 October 2017, 2359 hours (Singapore time).
2. The 2 passes are to be used on the same time slot.
3. Validity of the passes will be till 31st December 2017.
4. Open to Singapore residents only.
5. All entries have to be completed. Incomplete or invalid entries will be disqualified without notice.
6. Limited to one winner per household.
7. Giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Instagram.
8. We reserve the right to amend the terms and conditions without prior notice.

My Little Climbing Room

Opening hours:
Thursday & Friday: 2pm - 8pm
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holiday: 10am - 8pm

Address:
Promenade @ Pelikat
183 Jalan Pelikat, #B1-101 Singapore (537643)
For more information on getting there, please check here.

Contact No: 9726 3650
Email: contact@mylittleclimbingroom.com

Web  |  Facebook  |  Instagram


Disclaimer: We were invited for a media preview of My Little Climbing Room for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was involved. All opinions, texts and photos are mine, unless otherwise stated.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please feel free to share it with your friends. I would be glad if you could follow me on Facebook or Instagram


POSB Smart Buddy Programme

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Did you read about the news that primary school students can now use a smart watch to pay for their purchases in school? When I first read the news, I was quite skeptical of the idea. Firstly, I am not a techie person. Secondly, I believe that young children learn better with hands-on experience using real cash. Lastly, what happens when the child lost or misplaced the watch? As a first-time parent of a child starting primary school next year, I already have a lot of worries, now I still have to teach him how to use the watch responsibly?

When I received an invitation to learn more about the POSB Smart Buddy Programme, I wasn't sure if I wanted to attend, because it is like contradicting to what I had previously thought of the programme. Anyway, the primary school that Big J is attending next year is one of the pilot school on the programme. During the school open house, we had already seen the students using the watch to buy their things. Big J was saying that he wants to have the same watch so it is easier and faster for him to buy his food during recess. So I thought it's better for me to find out more about the Smart Buddy Programme. I'm really glad that I went with an open heart and some of the concerns that I had are actually not that serious.

What is the Smart Buddy?



The Smart Buddy is the world’s first in-school savings and payments wearable on your child’s wrist. It is not only a watch, it also allows your child to tap to pay in school and at selected merchants, check on balances, and track fitness levels. The watch is link to the Smart Buddy App, where parents can mange the daily allowance, monitor the transactions the child has made and more.

Source: POSB

How it Works


Since this programme is targeted at primary school students, the watch is made to be very simple and easy to use. Students just need to check the amount is correct before tapping to pay. They can also check how much they have left at the balance checking kiosk in school.

For the parents, they will be notified of the transactions their child has made via the Smart Buddy App, real-time!

Source: POSB


I recently let Big J tried out his Smart Buddy at Popular Bookstore and everything is so simple!
1) Pass your items to the sales assistant
2) Check that the amount shown is correct
3) Tap and you are done!

A post shared by Jolin (@thejsarena) on

Features of the Smart Buddy


Easy Setup of Allowance

Parents can easily set up how much allowance they want to give the child. They can choose to give more on certain days when there are extra activities in school. Parents are also able to change the allowance limit instantly if the child needs any emergency money. This means parents won't have to worry about forgetting to give allowance or having to rush down to the school if the child needs extra money to buy something urgently.



Tracking of Expenses

Parents are able to track and monitor how the child is spending his allowance. Children will not be able to say that they have eaten their food when in fact the money is spent in the bookshop. At the end of the day, parents can also use this to discuss with the child if they had spent their money wisely. I feel that this will place some sort of responsibility upon the child as he/she have to be accountable for where the money was spent. If there is not such record, the child will most likely to say that he has forgotten where the money went.

Source: POSB

Auto Savings

The allowance left over after each day will be the savings. At the end of each month, these savings can be automatically transferred to the child's ePOSBkids Account, if the child has one. For children who do not have the ePOSBkids Account, parents can also deposit the amount of savings shown in the app into the child's account via ibanking. This means that parents do not need to lug a big bag of coins to be deposited into the child's bank account.


Source: POSB

If you are familiar with with National School Savings Campaign, the Smart Buddy also offers digital tracking of the POSB Smiley Stamps. Students can purchase the digital stamps from their bookshop using the Smart Buddy and upon completion of the stamp card, the stamp savings will be automatically deposited into the child's ePOSBkids account. No more worrying that the card will go missing again!


Safe

Remember I mentioned earlier about my worries of the watch getting lost? Parents can immediately disable the watch through the app in case of theft/loss of the watch. And if the watch is subsequently found, the watch can be enabled again.

Source: POSB

Health Tracker

Other than being a watch and payment option, the Smart Buddy also works as a steps counter to track calories burnt and distance covered. Big J has been wearing his Smart Buddy because he wants to record how many steps he took.


(Upcoming) Location Tracker

They are already testing the possibility of including an in-school location tracker and a bus tracker. This allows parents to track the child's location when they are in school and also when their child boards or alights the school bus.

Source: POSB

How to Get It


Smart Buddy is only available for primary school students whose school is on the programme and it is FREE! Currently there are 19 schools on board the programme. You may check the list of participating schools here. The school will be sending you details of how to register for the programme. For parents, you will need to have a new/existing POSB Savings or DBS Savings/Current Account, which will be tagged to your child’s watch. You're also encouraged to register your child's ePOSBkids account for the auto-transfer of monthly savings.

Verdict


So have my questions been addressed? I would say yes and it has opened up new perspective with regards to learning about using money.

Firstly, the Smart Buddy is an alternative payment option available to the students. This is not a compulsory programme and parents can decide if they want to let their child use the Smart Buddy or the real physical money. Parents can also choose to let the child use the Smart Buddy on certain days or when the child is older, like from P3 onwards. This means the child can still learn how to count physical money and be exposed to the fact that Singapore is moving towards a cashless society as part of the Smart Nation vision.

As for learning about the value of money and saving, it doesn't have to be done by only using physical money. The tracking of expenses and savings function of the Smart Buddy serves as accountability of the child's spending. He will have to be responsible for how he spends his allowance because everything is tracked and he can't lie about it. As parents, we also need to spend more effort to teach him about the value of money, how much he can spend and why it is important to save.

The Smart Buddy is very easy to use. There is no need for the child to fumble for coins and figuring out the change to get back. I'm sure many children face the problem of forgetting to get back the change. This means that Big J can buy his food faster and has more time to eat. This is one of my worries that he will not have enough time to finish his food during recess time. Because everything is so easy, spending money is easy too. Thankfully, I can set a limit to the amount of pocket money he gets on the Smart Buddy App, so he won't overspend. And during times of emergency, I can also easily give him extra allowance via the app.

I also do not need to worry too much if the Smart Buddy is lost because I can easily disable the watch via the app. At the most, I will only lost the amount of allowance for that day.

Lastly, as with all new initiatives, there are bound to be people who accept it and people who reject it. As part of Singapore's Smart Nation vision, it is inevitable to avoid technology completely and children actually catch on technology faster than we adults do. What we can do is to embrace it and guide our child along and learn together.


POSB Smart Buddy

Web: www.posb.com.sg/smartbuddy
Email: posbsmartbuddy@dbs.com

Download the Smart Buddy App at:
App Store | Google Play


Disclaimer: We were invited for a media preview of the Smart Buddy Programme for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was involved. All opinions, texts and photos are mine, unless otherwise stated.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please feel free to share it with your friends. I would be glad if you could follow me on Facebook or Instagram


National Day Activities

Friday, 25 August 2017

August is a month of celebration in Singapore because it is her 52nd birthday! Happy National Day!! 

It has been a period since we did any themed learning. Frankly, it takes lots of time and effort to plan and prepare any theme activities. But since National Day is a day that is widely celebrated in Singapore and it provides opportunities for the kids to learn about Singapore, I decided to just do it! Fortunately, the boys are keen to learn more about this topic. If you have been following me on Instagram, you would have seen me posting the activities we did. So, do follow me on Instagram to have a first glance at our activities before they make it to the blog. 

Books


These are some of our reads for National Day, which I borrowed from the library. We especially like 'Rhyming Around Singapore'. It has rhymes that sing along to the tune of nursery rhymes that we already know but with a twist to the lyrics to make it more Singapore style.



Singapore Flag


The first week, we focused on the Singapore flag. Small J has been seeing the flag at many places and requested to make a flag. So here we go!

I looked up some information on the Internet about the Singapore flag and its significance and made some cards for our discussion. If you want a copy of these cards, continue reading! I got this pocket chart long ago from Taobao. You may search for 'pocket chart' on Amazon, Taobao or EzBuy.


1. S-I-N-G-A-P-O-R-E


After learning about the flag and its significance, we get down to some hands-on activities. Since we are learning about Singapore, of course we need to learn her name! We chant along to the Singapore cheer S-I-N-G-A-P-O-R-E and it definitely makes remembering the spelling easier.


2. Tissue Paper Craft Flag


Next, we start making our flag. This time we settled for a tissue paper craft. We cut the craft tissue paper into small squares and crumble them into small balls. This is great for fine motor and patience as they need to crumble each squares one piece at a time. Then, we stick the balls onto the flag template and it's done!

If you need more inspirations, here is another flag that we made a couple of years. It's a flag that's made of hearts!



3. Rescue the Stars from the Stormy Sea


Do you know that each star on the flag has its meaning? We talked about what they mean and did some stars activities. We also listened and sang a song 'Five Stars Arising' and discuss how Singapore has developed and progressed since the chaotic times.

Next, we are on a mission to rescue the stars that are stuck in the green stormy sea (in relation to the song we just sang).

I hid these mini stars linky (from Daiso) in Theraputty. Theraputty is something like playdough but is is firmer and has more resistance. We bought this from Big J's therapist when he was working on his fine motor. You can buy this from Amazon. If you don't have that, playdough is a good choice too!

The boys will need to stretch and pull the putty to dig out the stars. Great for fine motor skills and hand strength!


To extend the activity, Small J worked on counting and sorting the stars by colours. Big J worked on counting, addition and spelling the number words.


4. How many Stars can you Catch?


Another star activity that is so simple! The boys will grab a handful of stars from the box, count how many they caught and record their answers.


5. Labeling Parts of the Flag


As a recap, we made use of the word cards and the flag we made and did a labeling activity. I'm surprised that Big J has no problem with both the English and Chinese word cards!


Independence


Next, we learnt about Singapore's Independence. We watched a video on YouTube about this very important day in her history. We talked about how days were like during those times, how Singapore is a multiracial country and why is it important to maintain racial harmony. Just right, it was racial harmony celebration in school too!


1. The Pledge


How could we miss singing the National Anthem and saying the Pledge? Big J says the pledge has the words of the stars' significance which we learnt the previous week. How observant! I also tried introducing the Chinese version of the Pledge to them. We also sang 'We Are Singapore' because it has the song version of the Pledge in it.


This book '信约' is a very good book to explain the Pledge. It has photos of stamps with pictures that represents the meaning of the Pledge.


2. How Old is Singapore?


Singapore gained its independence in 1965, so how old is she now? I cut strips with the years passed since Singapore's independence. Big J have to arrange them in ascending order onto the hundreds chart. Then he counted how many years. Singapore is 52!


Small J put the stars on the chart and counted till 52. 


Attractions in Singapore


Next up, we are learning about the places of interest in Singapore. I looked for pictures for these places on the Internet and printed them out. I picked places that we have been to and the boys talked about the places with much interest, bringing back memories when we visited those places. We also check out the places using the Internet and Google Street View. The boys did a matching of the name of the places to their photos in both English and Chinese names.


1. Changi Airport


Following our learning of the landmarks in Singapore, we choose to explore more about Changi Airport. Here we made a model of the air control tower. We discuss what we can see and do at the airport and look at the photos we had taken at the airport.


And because Terminal 4 is about to operate soon, we visited it during the open house. The boys thought they were really going on a flight and were disappointed when we didn't board any plane in the end. 


2. The Merlion


Another well-know icon of Singapore is the Merlion! The boys punched out paper cut outs and stick them onto the Merlion's body as scales. Then we tore some flyers into strips and stick them onto the Merlion's head as hair. We also make fireworks as the background using paper rolls. I really love the colour of the final work! The Merlion template is from here.



Coconut Agar Agar


Small J received a 'Let's Celebrate National Day' book from his preschool. He has been bugging me that he wanted to make the Coconut Agar Agar shown in the book. 

We went to the supermarket to get the ingredients. I asked Big J to look at the recipe and get the ingredients we needed. Giving them something to do really makes the grocery shopping trip more enjoyable and peaceful. 

When we reached home, we got started with the recipe. Big J read out the steps and the boys took turns to mix the ingredients. 

I ever tried getting Big J to help out with some simple preparation of meal but he was quite uncooperative. This time, since they choose to make this together, they were naturally cooperative. Of course, I did 'threaten' that we will have to stop if they don't listen to instructions. 

Then, it is tasting time! The boys were so excited because they can finally eat the agar agar they made. I have to say that the agar agar didn't really taste great. But we had fun making the agar agar together. It's the process that's more important right?!



I hope you enjoy these activities as much as we do. Although National Day is over, you can save these for next year! Or these can be used for a Singapore themed learning.

Over at Instagram, I am greatly inspired by a group of homelearning mummies who also shared their learning activities about Singapore, do check them out!
@playlexue@happytotshelf@ourlittleplaynest and @2mamas4kids

If you are interested in doing some of these activities with your child, here's the download of the activities.



If you enjoyed reading this post, please feel free to share it with your friends. I would be glad if you could follow me on Facebook or Instagram


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