The San Francisco Symphony Kids’ Site

In the course of helping Hubby-jr with occupational therapy (OT), I found this gem of a website. It is  The San Francisco Symphony Kids’ Site! (SFS Kids for short)

This fabulous website introduces children to music – I’m talking tempo, pitch, rhythm… music notes… and even orchestra instruments – and in a simple yet very colourful and fun manner! Musically-clueless me learnt a thing or two too! Yes, yes, I’m pretty pathetic when it comes to music notes and symphony related music stuff.

Go check it out especially if you are like me, a non-tiger mom (who by the way I do not despise. The tiger mom that is, I do not despise her.)

P/S: I hope to start blogging a little more frequently. I seem to be suffering some sort of writing-withdrawal. There’s an increasing urge to write… and succumb I must!

No Tray No Play

I’ve always disliked my kids playing with Playdoh. Hmm… that didn’t quite come out right. Let me start again.

I like Playdoh and I like my kids playing with it (cos it’s really fun). What I dislike is the clean up after. It leaves behind ridiculously-tedious-clean-up messes that’s a tad too stressful for domestically-challenged moms like me. Meshed spots of playdough on the table, on the floor and on the playdoh accessories. Aargh!

(That explained some of the unopened playdoh gifts we’ve received over the years, to be more specific, since Hubby-jr was 1 and he’s 7 this year eeps…)

Yes, I have allowed them to play with it at home before, at times, but those times were highly dependent on me feeling “up-to-it” which suffice to say was rather, rather rare.

But my kids (like almost every other kid) love playing playdoh. So their love for it coupled with the unopened boxes of playdoh sets in their cupboard added to my already surmounting heap of motherhood guilt. Everytime they spotted the boxes and requested to play and I said “no,” I could just feel that 1 guilt point adding up. Yet even that couldn’t move me to succumb. That clean-up-after mess was a very real deterrent.

Well that was before. Now, I’ve finally let the playdough loose. Nope, I’ve not seen the light and think that I should be the perfect mom and deal with the after-mess with loving kindness. Instead I found a solution to prevent significantly minimise the after-playing-with-playdough mess! (Beam, pat myself on the back.)

The solution? I use two red trays which I bought for SGD3.90 a piece (I think) at IKEA and enforce the rule that all handling of playdough MUST be kept within the tray area. It works wonderfully. The cleaning up after is negligible. I’ve opened ALL playdough collections we’ve acquired and they were such a handy keep-the-kids-occupied tool during the last month-long holidays in June when we were frequently rained in,  AND… it has eliminated one of my motherhood-guilt contributors. Sweet, sweet, sweet.

Hubby-jr's playing with the dentist set and yes, that's green playdough teeth!

As much as I wished it was so, this brilliant idea did not come to me while I was folding laundry, rather it was inspired by this post at one of my favourite websites – Ohdeedoh. Are you inspired too?

If The Stool Fits

Stool as in the furniture piece and not human waste. Now that that is clarified…

Last Friday Little Missy, who by the way is turning 4 this year, was in one of her must-be-with-mommy moods in the morning. As always, such moods have to coincide with one of my more-busy-than-usual period. I had already spent about 1 hour of one-to-one time with her but it was not enough. I could not extend my time with her as the laundry had to be hung or… let’s just say we’d some serious clothing crisis.

But I really didn’t want to have to deal with a tantrum situation and so I was searching hard for a solution in my head.

Just as I was thinking my little one announced that she wanted to draw and a little light bulb turned on in my head. Tink! I remembered this brilliant idea I read in one of my favourite sites – ohdeedoh. I took my Ikea Bekvam step stool, placed it near me and then I tried to “fit” my petite daughter in. Fit she did. And ta da! Just like that the stool became a mini table where Little Missy busied herself doodling while I got to hang my laundry to dry.

Here’s a picture.

Yes I still had to entertain her here and there. “Mommy can you draw a frog please?”, “Mommy can you please draw a fish?”, etc. But that was alright. Nothing stressful. I got to finish hanging up my laundry to dry. She got to draw and we got to spend more time together. And best of all I avoided having to deal with a tantrum or a “fight”. 🙂

Evergreen fun

Since June (this year) we’ve visited Pasir Ris Park twice. Before that we hadn’t for about 2 months. So when we re-visited this (one of) our favourite place(s) we were surprised to find a very fun development.

No, it is not a new play structure. On the contrary, it is an old game on one of their existing structures. An old game we never thought of till someone else did during our non-visiting months. And from what we observed seems to be the current fad there.

Sliding down this “hill” (see pic below) on a piece of cardboard is what I’m talking about.

Yup, instead of going down the steel slide the kids were having a ball of a time sliding down a piece of cardboard on the artificial grass beside it. The first time we discovered a group of children doing this, some of them were nice enough to give Hubby-jr and Little Missy pieces of cardboard to join in the fun. The second time we went prepared with our own (picked from 7-11 near our house!)

Here is honestly the best shot I have of the fun.

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Hubby and I couldn’t resist joining in too! Albeit for a shorter period. Climbing up the slope repeatedly for that few seconds of thrill was quite tiring. But the kids could go on like forever… if not for the sun going down on us we wouldn’t have been able to leave the park!

So the next time you decide to go to Pasir Ris Park don’t forget to bring some cardboard pieces for everyone.

Jelly Telly

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Thanks to Rocks In My Dryer, I discovered Jelly Telly. The website offers online 30 minute daily episodes of Jelly Telly – a kids’ show with Christian and educational content. Absolutely free! 

We checked out Thursday’s episode and found it highly entertaining and educational. On that episode itself, there was a song that taught us all the main characters in the book of Judges, a “documentary” on acorn woodpeckers and a ten commandments boogie! It’s good quality stuff.

Even though we may not watch every episode there is, I’m pret-ty sure we’d be heading there often enough. There is supposed to be a movie of the week this Saturday, yup tomorrow. I’ll probably check that out, with or without my kids!

More Interesting Sites For Kids

Hello, today I’m sharing with you two interesting websites that I came across not too long ago. 

1) PEEP and the Big Wide World.

PEEP is actually an animated show that teaches science to preschoolers with characters that are cute and funny. We’ve never watched any of the shows before but we absolutely love their website.  There is a different show online everyday and quite a number of interesting games. All of which introduces (indirectly) science concepts to little ones between 3-5 years of age.

2) Do2Learn.

This is more of a website with educational resources targeting special needs. There are free areas where you can access games which are useful in language building and other areas such as social and motor skills development.

That’s all for now. I hope your kids enjoy PEEP as much as mine!

The Singapore Zoo

What’s there not to love about the Singapore Zoo? Besides the undesirable smell of just one or two of the animals? Nothing really. The undesirable smell is negligible (hold your breath and move along!)

Yes, you guessed it. We just paid the zoo a visit last Friday. It is one of our must-dos at every long school holiday (i.e June and Nov/Dec). This time I was more eager than usual to go. My friends have been raving about the newly opened Rainforest Kidzworld at the zoo.

And I finally saw why. It is fabulous.

The new Kidzworld has a huge water play area, a dry playground, flying fox, a carousel and pony rides. There’s also a Ben and Jerry’s outlet (one out of the 3 at the zoo) right next to the water-play area! YUM! And yes, KFC’s next to them.

Unfortunately we only had time to let the kids explore the water-play area (after looking at the animals) this visit. Still, they had a blast.

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We plan to squeeze in another visit (or two?) to the zoo before the holidays end. For the next visit we’ll skip the animals (sorry) and head directly to Kidzworld!

The Singapore Zoo is truly a paradise for kids (and a lovely place for adults too)!

  • Favourite animals (elephants, giraffes, monkeys, etc.) – check
  • Interesting animals (probosis monkey, just to name one) – check
  • Great animal shows – check
  • Tram ride – check
  • Boat ride (newly opened) – check
  • Fast food (KFC) – check
  • Ben and Jerry’s – check, check, CHECK!
  • Big, fantastic kid’s play area  (Kidzworld) – Super Duper CHECK!
  • Really, what more could we ask for from a zoo???

    I mean besides building a glass dome over the zoo to shield us from rain and keeping it at optimal temperature (air con!!)… AND free entrance passes for everyone to boot… hmm (dream, dream, dream, dre-e-e-e-am).

    Oh, one more tip before I go, repellent, repellent, repellent! Lots of mosquitoes lurking around.

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