Fun holiday activities with the whole family

The December holidays have been jam packed with activities from the get-go.

We kicked it off with a fun day out with SingTel Cast x Nickelodeon Play app launch at Kidzania. The kids love getting reacquainted with their favourite characters, namely SpongeBob and the Ninja Turtles. From time to time we let them watch an episode from the NickPlay app. Occasionally we also have fun with the recipe videos where they teach you how to remake some of the characters using food and veggies! Get ready for loads of play; download the app for Android and Apple.

Fun day out with Sponge Bob

kidzania fun

We also went to play with “snow” at Plaza Singapura’s snow-play hut. Even though each entry is capped at 20 minutes, and the hut is quite a small space, the kids loved it, especially since they get to toboggan down the ice slide.

ps_snowman plaza singapura snow hut

JJ must have gone at least 5 times during the allowed 20 min snow play time! Just spend $30 in a single receipt for entry for 2 pax! Adults need to accompany kids who are under 7 yo, so be sure to accumulate receipts for yourself. And do note that $60 receipt doesn’t get you entry for 4, you will need two separate receipts of $30 each. Be sure to dress in long pants and bring along your socks! Jackets and boots will be provided for free. The snow play will be on till 25 Dec, from 11am – 9pm daily!

ice-bucket-2

Finally, the kids got to meet their all-time favourite cartoon character, Dora and friends, at City Square Mall!  Josh was extra thrilled to sit in his beloved Paw Patrol car. If you’re in the neighbourhood, do note that the Wonderland games and activities will continue till 1 Jan 2017!
chase-paw-patrol2

Finally the kids had a roaring good time at Dinosaur Discovery Camp at The Little Executive, where I was also helping to facilitate. They learnt so much about dinosaurs and the jurassic ages, that they haven’t stopped discussing the topic and asking more questions ever since!

Dino discovery camp at The Little Executive!

Looking back, it does feel like we’ve been rushing around quite a bit…and like, 2 more weeks to 2017?! But I am glad that we’ve managed to enjoy the holidays as a family and also got to spend time with good friends, both old and new.

2 more weeks and we hope to make the best of it. Vera and I set goals to help her revise her Chinese and build a stronger foundation. We didn’t really get down to that, so I hope we make up for it by reading more and revising difficult words.

I also set out to help JJ progress in his reading. He’s able to read more sight words now, and is attempting to sound out words by himself, so I hope to keep this up with him!

Next week, the hubs and I are taking some time off to do our annual reflection and planning for the new year. Will let you know how that goes. Amidst the craziness of the season, it helps to carve out some space to think and reflect.

Stay well, and have a blessed Christmas! 🙂

Every mom needs me-time

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30 ways to build the father-child bond

30 Ways To Build Father-Child Bond
Fathers play a special role in our children’s lives.

“We know from scores and scores of studies that a loving father is crucial to a child’s happiness, well-being, and success, and that children who lack a loving father are at a much greater risk for drug abuse, depression, and many other problems. Sons need fathers to express their love in three ways: by giving time, by showing affection, and by refusing to ever give up on a son.” – Boys Should Be Boys, Meg Meeker

But dads also bear the heavy responsibility of supporting the family, and often work long hours outside of the home. When they’re home, they’re usually exhausted and try their best to spend time with the little ones – who in turn would want their attention.

So here’s a list of ideas to help dads make the most of the limited time/energy that they have, to build strong bonds with their kids.

1. Wash the car together and have a splashing good time!

“My girls love being “helpful” and given the chance to be splashing about in water, squeezing wet towels and using the hose, it is not hard to see why. It is a daddy and daughters thing and they know it.” – A Dollop of Me

David Sim_Dana

Photo credit: Life’s Tiny Miracles

2. Play sports together“Daryl goes jogging with Noey on Saturday mornings. He also exercises with Naomi; she helps hold his legs down when he does sit ups.” – Life is in the Small Things

“When I realised the kids are getting faster each day, I was motivated to run. When we do sports together, kids learn about discipline, independence, sportsmanship, never giving up, and striving for the next milestone.” – Sengkang Babies

3. Make curious pancakes together – Instead of boring round pancakes, try making special shapes with the pancake mix and chocolate sauce. (Below: JJ was so happy when daddy made him a transformer pancake! This was at Slappy Cakes btw…)

dad_pancakes

4. Go on wild roller coaster rides 

“We scream loudly on wild roller coaster rides to bond with my daughter. I’m an ‘old’ parent – one with a significant age gap with my kids so I try to do thrilling and ‘extra’ memorable activities with my daughter when my knees and heart can still take it.” – Life’s Tiny Miracles (David)

5. Go on car rides to run errands

On weekends when we want to have takeaway breakfast at home, the dad will take one of the kids in his car (cos can only sit one) for a drive and buy food back. It’s usually Teanne who follows him because Thad prefers to stay at home where the TV is. He likes to take the daughter out as if on a date, so it works out fine.” – Missus Tay

6. Go trekking or camping, explore the great outdoors

“My hubby likes to bring the children out. He is the lead bringing them to the beach to catch crabs/fish, cycling, BBQ session and lots of nature walk at Sungei Buloh and parks. When the children were younger, he will bring them out for kite flying too.” – BPDG Travels

7. Head to the beach and build sandcastles

8. Go on an “open date” and let the child decide what he wants to do

9. Read a daddy-exclusive book together

“Before the kids go to sleep, the dad will read a chapter from a children’s book of short stories. At the end of each story, there are questions to facilitate a short discussion, which is when there’s a chance for some general parent-child chit-chat which the kids look forward to. I usually try not to read to them from the same book, so that there’s a sense of exclusiveness.” – Owls Well blog

10. Build Lego together

“The husband loves to build Lego with my three-year-old. It’s their thing because mama here has no aptitude for Lego. He works late and makes it home just in time before the older boy goes to bed so this is his chance to spend time with him. They build roads and fire engines and spaceships and trains and school buses. It’s quite funny to see the preschooler make up stories as he goes!” – Yannisms

11. Play Xbox together 

“Father and son bonds over Xbox games. Blake learns how to be a team player, lead when he has to, follow when he’s not leading.” – Amazingly Still

12. Wrestle and rough play – The best part about this one is that dads automatically and naturally love rough and tumble games. Or you can take a cue from The “Perfect” Father and lift your child like weights.

13. Do household chores together – The only catch is you have to make them fun. (I know mums will nod their heads at this one)

14. Teach your child a cool magic trick

15. Teach your child how to swim / cycle / rollerblade (not necessarily in this order)

Two loves of my life. God has blessed us with much. Grateful.

A photo posted by June (@june_yong) on


16. Turn up some dance music and rock and roll


17. Play tickle games


18. Do mad scientist things together
“My hubby researches for fun science experiments to do with the kids. He recently DIY-ed a hologram projector and it wowed not only the kids but me too! We are waiting for his bigger and better version to be completed!” – SAys! Happy Mums


19. Do nerdy things together,
like coding “Hubby is the one who teaches AJ programming & pencil sketching. AJ loves programming ever since he was first exposed to it. Now, when his daddy is available, he will ask him to coach him. It is a time AJ looks forward to.” – My Lilbookworm 20. DIY cool things together.

Dad’s project with Dot – a DIY car that can zoom around. #DIY #DotCraftyTime #evian @evianwater A photo posted by prunenurture (@prunenurture) on

21. Pick up a new hobby together – Chess, guitar, music, or building remote control cars perhaps. What else will be fun to learn together?

dad_music

JJ “teaching” daddy the latest songs he learnt at class.

22. Fix broken things in the house – or how about assembling some IKEA furniture, anyone?

dad_fixing

23. Make popcorn and watch a movie together

“In our family, the hubby likes to build Lego Duplo houses with the girls or snuggle in front of the TV for a good movie together.” – The Loving Mum

24. Play games that move your body (Great for kinesthetic learners!)

“They play special kinesthetic games like forming letters whilst lying down.” – Lil Blue Bottle

25. Cook (and eat) together

“He’s the chef in the family and every week or so he would make hainanese chicken rice. He takes out the whole succulent chicken and calls for the kids. They would fetch their little stools and gather around him all squashed in the kitchen while he chops it up and feeds them their fave random pieces as he assembles the presentable parts on the serving plates.” – Mummywee

26. Play board games / card games – start with simple Spot It, Set or Gobblet Gobblers.

dad_playing

27. Involve your child in your work – Maybe you work at an office where they’re relaxed about bringing children when you have to work overtime or on weekends. Why not bring your child there to have a look around, and understand what you do at work?

28. Travel with one kid at a time – like this The “Perfect” Father.

29. Pray with your little one every night. 🙂

30. Go for a museum / aquarium sleepover.

I hope you enjoyed this list, and that it’s given you some new ideas to play and spend time with your child.  It doesn’t take a lot of money or complex toys / gadgets, but the time you spend engaging with them makes a world of difference.

Which is your fave bonding activity? Do you have a good daddy-child bonding idea to share with us? Please do so by leaving a comment!

Read also:

What we did during the June holidays

We took things nice and slow during the June holidays. We adjusted to a more relaxed schedule since school’s out, and on some days the kids only rolled out of bed at 8, which meant that I got to catch a bit more sleep.

Here’s what we got up to.

June_activities_cakepops

First up, Vera got to put on a baker’s hat when we attended the “Little Chefs Celebrate SG50” Push Pop Cake Making Competition. She loves decorating and was practically waiting to gobble up the colourful push pop cakes! Thankfully, with the help of the PA culinary arts interest group volunteers, the giant SG50 cakes were put together without a hitch. I thought it was a meaningful activity to get little ones involved in designing and decorating push pop birthday cakes for Singapore!

Vera also had the opportunity to join an art camp this June. I thought it’d be good fun for her as she’s always dabbling in something arty or crafty at home. Here are some of the colourful canvases she brought home! My favourite has to be The Grid Tree, where she explored painting in grids (inspired by Piet Mondrian perhaps), and also learnt about the contrast between hot and cool colours.

June activities1

After the art camp, I found Vera a lot more aware about layering her paint-work. She created this rainbow face piece by herself one day. It’s really fun to watch her enjoy playing with art.

rainbow piece

On quiet days at home, the kids got up to all sorts. Vera put her love for story-telling and drawing to good use – creating her own paper puppets and some dramatic scenes and stories to entertain JJ (and I).

puppetry

I also got Vera The Black Apple’s Paper Doll book, and she’s been busy playing dress-up with the dolls. Middle brother also seems to have discovered his more nurturing side by playing make-believe with Vera’s toy doll. (Hopefully this translates to gentler play with his siblings too, fingers crossed…)

dolls

Closer to the end of June, the kids had loads of fun putting together their own superheroes from scrap material, and a toolkit kindly provided by the folks behind Superhero Me. We had a great time at the Superhero Me Festival at the central library too, and the kids got to star in their very first stop motion video decked out in hero costumes! It was a really meaningful event where the little ones got to learn about kindness, resilience, respect, and other values that a superhero possesses. The volunteers were also very patient and excellent with the children. Now whenever JJ acts in contrary to these values, I would remind him of what we’d learnt, and he would often stop and think about his behaviour.

June activities2

And one of our last stops, the River Safari. The highlight of the excursion was of course being able to meet Kai Kai and Jia Jia up close. We just sat on the floor and spent about 10 minutes observing each of them. It’s amazing how different their personalities are, and how obvious this was. (It helped that one of the panda enclosure keepers shared briefly about it too.)

June activities_River safari

Because it was my birthday month, I decided to reward myself by taking time out to learn something new. I signed up for a calligraphy class with The Little Happy Shop, and really enjoyed myself.

Here’s a little something I wrote to remind myself that God is the one who makes all things beautiful in its time – as for us here waiting on this earth, we just need to do our part, and trust that He will do the rest.

Lastly, I just want to share with you that I’ve been encouraged by the progress that JJ has shown in his behaviour. (So the verse below holds added meaning for me.)

Often, we can’t see the fruit of our labour, be it in raising our children or in our family relationships or in ministry. But press on, and God who is faithful will do the good work in His time.

June activities4

PS. The little pink stone above was also designed by Vera. 🙂

I hope your June holidays was good too!

In every child, there lies a superhero

In every child, there lies a superhero…

superhero me!

Meet Captain Robot. At the press of a button, this robot makes super funny faces and even dances along. His superpower is to make people smile, laugh, and leave the room happier than when they came in.

And Ms Blessing Fairy. She flutters all over the world with her trusty pair of recycled cardboard paper wings, and sprinkles blessing dust onto all of mankind. It’s hard to spot her because she’s really quick and nimble!

Their superhero costumes were all made from recycled material, provided in a little toolkit put together by the creative folks at Startwell for this year’s Superhero Me Festival – Singapore’s first costume crafting festival aimed at empowering children to grow a stronger sense of self, through creativity and imagination.

Head on down to the National Library in your self-made Superhero Me costumes on 27 June from 1pm to 3pm to stand up for childhood and meet other superheroes! The first 100 children in costume will get a goodie bag. Kids will also get to participate in story-telling and craft activities. Register here!

Imaginary Friends, and a paper doily Christmas tree topper craft

It’s December – I’m feeling a tad frantic, but trying to remind myself that Christmas is not a season of endless to-do lists. It’s about a person whom God sent to earth to teach us what love truly is.

Here’s a short post on what we’ve been up to. As well as some crafty ideas on how to keep the kids happy during this rainy holiday season.

Imaginary Friends Afternoon Tea

Pan_Pacific_Imaginary Friends High Tea

When the weather is cold and rainy, tuck in to some comfort food. Vera and I had a date recently at Pan Pacific to savour their new Imaginary Friends afternoon tea. It features delicious creations inspired by characters from local author Melanie Lee’s book! (We especially liked the spiky durian puff and seaweed swiss roll!)

Available daily 3-5pm till 31 December, at Pacific Marketplace. $58 / 2 person (Kids below 6 dine for free!)

Melanie will be there to host book reading sessions on 6 and 20 December at 3pm, so pop in on those dates if you’d like to listen in!

Rainy day crafts

paper doilie angel tree topper

It’s been raining buckets around here, and sometimes it’s hard to keep the kids happy and occupied indoors. So I’ve been keeping an eye out for simple craft activities to do with the kids.

We made this angel Christmas tree topper based on an idea shared by Molly Moo Crafts. We just modified it by using paper doily – half a doily for the angel’s outfit and the other half for the wings. A simple but fun activity. (Plus it helps to prettify our tree!)

Here are other indoor crafts /games that you might enjoy too:

Do let us know if you try any of these! Have a lovely week ahead, friends! 🙂

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