Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
R and I caught Singapore Lyric Opera's Reluctant Dragon & Wind in the Willows at Victoria Theater while Dad and mini went on their own escapade filled with McDonalds, Andersons Ice-cream (i believe they did have some decent food first... hang on, i better quiz him - one can't be too sure about how DADs actually think !) and visits to toy stores (note the plural used here...).
Both J and I exchanged notes and concluded it's really nice taking them one-on-one, and we intend to have this as a monthly affair, and swap kiddos each time. The whole experience i guess... dressing up, staying out at night which is a treat [okay, my girls don't usually get to see much of the night sky as they are in bed on school days by 8pm :) ] and just connecting - gives you a warm fuzzy feeling. More importantly, i think it reinforces to the kid that she/he is special to you as you are to her, and these one-on-one memories reinforce that. Often as we run after our multiple kiddos, things flash by in a blur, and we just play functional mommy / daddy roles.
On a separate note, indulge me as I rave about Children's theatre in Singapore these days. It's EXCELLENT !! And so difficult to do. Actors have to be totally at ease with themselves, with actions exaggerated 100-fold, have perfect comic timing, and love their craft, to actually illicit the spontaneous laughs from these young ones, who half the time are too busy asking 'Mommy, what's he saying" than concentrating on listening. Very hard. And i've resolved to catch all the performances for children henceforth by SRT's Little Company and Singapore Lyric Opera :)
At least after the musical with R last night, i got to touch on difficult topics like Good versus Evil and how Good (usually) triumphs in the end; and the excesses of materialism and comforts of home that were the underlying themes of Wind in the Willows.... "Cheem" stuff that at least portrayed in a hilarious way and through music, had got across the message to the kiddos pretty well in a way that i would not have been able to.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Yup, it's real - for those of you who haven't uncovered this gem of a kiddo's paradise. Don't be fooled by the pix below though... this place is extremely small, doesn't take reservations and mostly runs at full capacity.
[Cutsy entrance and wash area]
The movies played on the big screen also helped tremendously in keeping the kids seated while they ate. During that short span, we managed to catch bits of Finding Nemo, and High School Musical. There was also game sheets to keep kids occupied. Oh, and yes, computer terminals with kiddy games too !
[Movie Screening & Gamesheets for Kiddos]
Disney Naturally [ Halal Certified]Anchorpoint
370 Alexandra Road #01-05/06
Singapore 159953 [map](65) 6479 2823
Open: 10:30 am to 10 pm (weekdays); 10 am to 10 pm (weekends)
Sunday, May 18, 2008
The Flyer doesn't disappoint as I was happy to take in the view, although I must say the kids were excited all of 5 minutes since it was basically the same scene all around except viewed at different heights. Nonetheless, they were happy to be in the capsule, enjoying the air-con, and entertaining themselves with their own antics.
For me, being an urban planner in my last life, it was great seeing some of the plans in the pipeline then, unfolding on the ground, and at such a bird's eye perspective.
Preparations for the F1 race appeared almost completed, and it was fun imagining how the grandstand would be filled with a cheering crowd as the cars raced past.
Construction on the New Downtown, incorporating the Sands Integrated Resort site, is now just a sea of cranes. But look what's coming up in just 3 years. Then i was kicking myself for missing a clear shot of the marina barrage which would turn the Marina bay into a reservoir and haven for water sports enthusiasts yet contributing to Singapore's efforts towards sustainability in water supply. See here URA's plans for the Marina Bay area - they call it the "Bay of Celebration".
Friday, May 16, 2008
For 3-4yr olds:
Arnold Lobel - you can try the Frog and Toad series, Mouse Tales and Uncle Elephant. All are excellent. They are also good beginner reader books to pick up if your little one is on his way to reading independently.
Shelley Moore Thomas's Good Night Good Knight, and Get Well Good Knight - they are hilarious and the kids would certainly love them.
Harper Collins Treasury of Picture Book Classics - this hardcover book is excellent and contains all the classic tales like Goodnight Moon, Pete's a Pizza, Caps for Sale, Leo the Late Bloomer, Head to Toe, Frances and her Baby Sister, and many more. It was through this treasury that I discovered many wonderful authors that have become the girls' staple.
Shamini Flint - her Sasha series - we have both sets - Sasha in Singapore (which covers the Bird Park, Zoo, the museum, and the Botanic Gardens) as well as Sasha in Asia (Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Bali and Bangkok) are great in introducing young children to sights and sounds around them.
Other all time favourites include Eric Carle's A House for Hermit Crab, Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, and Martin Waddell's Owl Babies
For 5-8 yr olds
We had recently picked up the Magic School Bus series, a great beginner science series. I saw them quite a while ago, but haven't been convinced, although many of my friends had been going on and on about it. It's begun to grow on me though. I find the pages very busy, and for me, I'm not sure where to start looking. But kids somehow find them very appealing. Each story explores a particular theme - the solar system, the ocean, inside a beehive, under the earth etc. Very informative and presented in a fun and colourful manner.
I started exposing R at 6yrs to different genres and more non-fiction. I picked up Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Tree House series, and we were hooked. R to date has completed at least 10 books exploring themes like Titanic, Pompeii, the American Civil War, how the Olympics came about, the Dinasour age, Mummies in Egypt and much more. Fascinating for older kids. What's great is each story is spun around the adventures of Jack and Annie, siblings who discovered a magic tree house that could transport them to different eras. Kids thus uncover historical facts in an interesting way. The great thing about this series too is that each title is accompanied by a research guide which allows the kids to delve deeper into the facts if they wish.
Roald Dahl - ahh.. who can resist him ? I started reading to R Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when she was 5.5yrs and she was hooked. Since then she has read The Enormous Crocodile, George's Marvelous Medicine, James and the Giant Peach, re-read Charlie on her own, and has just started on BFG.
Hope these give you a headstart as you head out to the bookstores or libraries. Have fun browsing !
Strange though how kids are able to remember someone and still feel close to you even in the absence of space and time. It was so heartwarming seeing the kids play together (well, almost)... The boys were lost in their own world of Thomas, and the girls with their craft, but nonetheless, a really great afternoon. We will miss you Godma, SL, SK and uncle KK !