What to do during the June holidays? Head to Masak Masak at the National Museum

We visited Masak Masak 2015 at the National Museum of Singapore. The exhibition, made up of 10 installations by local as well as international artists, features familiar playgrounds and activities from the past. Even NAFA and SOTA students have been roped in for this year’s exhibition, so you can expect lots of interesting and interactive activities for little ones.

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Step into the museum and you’ll be greeted by this rainbow origami installation by Mademoiselle Maurice from France.

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This is Mademoiselle Maurice herself sharing about the inspirations behind Spectrum of Paper, a beautiful origami mural done in response to Jeanette Aw’s newly launched book, Sol’s Journey. At first glance, it reminds me of birds in migration. In this gallery, your child can learn how to fold an origami bird.

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At Simple Pleasures in Life by Jeanette Aw, children are given free rein to colour in the wall art or to draw anything they please.

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Time for wayang kulit, or shadow puppetry! The story is about a young princess who wanders away from her palace, and meets some naughty spirits from a nearby forest. The puppetry performance is on every weekend at 2.30pm. Tickets are selling fast from Sistic.

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Vera making her own shadow puppet.

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Here’s an interesting installation that kids who love to crawl and hide in tunnels would enjoy. Aptly named Wanderlust, this installation is fashioned from simple materials such as crepe paper. I hope it withstands the the curious fingers of little tots!

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Next to Wanderlust, children can get a glimpse into the history of woodblock printing. This artform gained prominence in Singapore after WWII, and often depicts life on the streets. Children can do some serious stamping here, just to get a flavour of how woodblock printing works.

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On the ground floor, kids can wander around and admire dancing solar flowers, or try their hands at this giant version of Ring-a-bottle.

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Or they can test their general knowledge by fitting the right country name to the flag. This is actually meant to be a large-scale version of the old-school eraser game. So pick your opponent and try to flip your eraser above his!

Masak_2015_10 The kids’ favourite room in the entire exhibition has got to be Luma-city. Shrouded in darkness, coloured lights leave a trail on the floor when you move over it by pushing a giant plastic vehicle. The trio spent a good 10 minutes racing around amok in the room, and made the poor staff pretty busy.

Beware if it’s too crowded though; it’s no fun to be run over by a giant toy car or boat.

The other hot (literally) favourite? The bouncy playgrounds on the lawn. This is open to small visitors every Saturday and Sunday, 10-12pm or 4-6pm.

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The best solution to a hot day? Ice-cream!

Masak Masak 2015 is open till 10 August, daily, 10am-6pm. Do remember to check out the special programmes on the main museum website. Have fun checking it out during the hols!

Little Lessons: Re-discovering my middle child

I brought the little brother, who’s now also an older brother, out on a date last week. I honestly can’t recall how long ago since we went out one on one, intentionally, so you can imagine that this was very much needed.

(Sometimes I feel guilty for not having spent as much time on him, compared to big sister. And wonder if we’ve shortchanged him in terms of love, attention, and time.)

I racked my brain for a nice spot we could both enjoy, and decided on one of our favourite spots – the botanic gardens. He loves to feed the fishes there. He also likes tumbling at FFT’s playground so while I have my coffee, he can run around, I thought. Win win.

And so we did.

I was hopeful that the date would bear fruit in terms of less cranky behaviour in the day or two ahead. I thought it would benefit him, and provide some assurance of his standing in my heart.

What I didn’t count on was realising the fact that my heart actually needed healing from all the negativity and scolding associated with bringing up my middle child.

Somewhere between his gobbling up of his scone (with glee and gusto in equal parts) and my sipping my coffee, it hit me. I haven’t taken the time to truly enjoy this boy. He’s such a gift in our lives – his comic antics, nonsensical words, his funny stunts and jumps, his infectious smile and laughter, his funny (mostly fail) attempts to speak mandarin.

I’ve been so engaged in dealing with his moodiness and upset feelings, I’ve unknowingly started to see him as a chore, a problem to be fixed.

I’ve overlooked his cheery gleeful side, that pops up like a bright yellow balloon against blue sky, and his unquenchable excitement that bubbles out from within him when he hears or sees something new.

Re-discovering His Gifts

JJ has a sensitive and sweet spirit that often observes and notices people’s feelings. It is this same sensitivity that appears to be causing his mood swings whenever he feels he is being overlooked or left behind. But I’m thankful I learnt recently that for each character weakness, lies a potential area of strength.

I’m starting to see that his heart for helping and paying attention to others’ needs can be honed and moulded for much good.

I pray I will continue to see him for the person he is, and the person he is capable of being.

Dear JJ, you are my ice-cream surprise on a sunny day, my pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

You’re not my problematic middle child, you’re God’s precious gift to us, and unique gift to the world. 

 

This is Little Lessons #25. Grab our badge and link up your little lessons / reflections / learning activities below!

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Choosing joy and what it means to me

April is turning out to be a rather reflective month for me. I’ve been intentionally reading more, which is one of my priorities this year, as part of carving and creating more time for myself.

It’s also been a joyful, happy and encouraging month. Thanks to all the photos I’ve seen under the #ichoosejoy initiative. Have you seen them yet?

As I looked through all the light and cheery pictures, I saw some common themes arising.

Many posted playful, fun-filled moments.

Loving family moments.

loving family moments

 Yummy moments. 

Beautiful and inspiring moments.

inspiring moments

Even the mundane, not-so-joyful, moments made it into the list.

And finally…heartwarming seeds-of-friendship moments.

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If you look through the pictures again, you’ll see that they are filled with our favourite little people and places, and plenty of those warm fuzzy moments. Things that we can’t really put a price tag on, except maybe the food bit.

When I embarked on this project, I really didn’t know what to expect. I was just hoping that it would encourage others (and myself) to look for joy in our everyday moments. Even amidst the highly-stressed and fast-paced lives we now lead, I thought that surely we would be able to find something fun, funny, delightful, and joy-giving.

Just as this quote goes, “Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.”

One mum and fellow blogger commented at the start, that even though she finds that her life is not quite full of joy now, she will give it a try.( I was glad that she did, and not just one picture too.)

For me, it’s also helped change my focus from the difficult days I’ve been having with the kids. As most of you would know, life with a headstrong, I-want-it-all-NOW toddler can be quite taxing, and it’s been the case for me.

I was struggling to choose joy, and to just enjoy my children just as they are.

But as I saw the beautiful moments captured here, I was forced to change gears a little, and to look at my temporary pains in greater perspective. To look at the bigger picture.

It helps to know that I’ve gone through these pains before with Vera, and she’s now more mature, and more able to listen, more able to love and give some thought to others.

It helps to know that there are many other parents and mums like me, struggling quietly in our little corners, and yet we have that ability to choose our feelings and to let joy and hope rise up in ourselves.

This is what #ichoosejoy is really about. So thank you. And please don’t stop choosing joy, chasing it, and capturing it here.

Do connect with all the awesome mums on instagram (user nicks shown above), and hashtag your pictures #ichoosejoy to make a difference in our community. 

Let’s play: ‘What’s the caption?’

I could write a caption for this, but I thought it’d be tons more fun if YOU come up with one instead!

The person with the best caption wins….a special something from me. 😉 Go on, hit me with your best shot!

the look

Linking up with Kiddothings‘ Picnesday! Join me!

—> {ADDED}

Thanks for sending in those fantastic captions! You are all so creative, and sooooo funny!

I would have such a hard time picking a favorite, if not for Susan, from A Juggling Mom, who kindly agreed to help me out. Susan is a personal friend of mine, and also a very cool, fun-loving mum to a cute little girl named Sophie. (Thanks Susan, you did a great job!)

So…here goes.

~~~

[DRUMROLL]

~~~

The winner is…

Darienna!

Her caption was:

“No one messes with the flowers! U hear me? NO ONE!”

Congratulations Darienna! 😀

And…

Here’s the special something that I promised.

Ahem.

I’m proud to present to you the Captain of Captions Award! I truly hope you like it!

Captain of Captions

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