Monthly Archives: July 2013

MindChamps Child-Minding Service at Paragon

On Saturday, we went to Paragon to do a bit of shopping. While Adrian walked around, the kids and I went to try out the MindChamps child-minding service at level 6 of Paragon. This child-minding service is available every weekend from 11am to 5pm and is for children aged 2-7 years old. For children below 4, an accompanying adult is required so I hung around to watch Adam.

What I really like about the child-minding service is that the kids don’t just sit around and play randomly with toys. They get to take part in Narrative Intelligence storytelling, Junior Chef food preparation or Neuro-Mooves gym! Each 30-minute session is $9 and you choose a minimum of 2 sessions for a one-hour slot.

First, the children listened to a story about a fruit basket that gets picked by various animals with a surprising ending. It was an entertaining story and the kids were able to recognise the familiar fruits and animals in the story. Adam kept trying to ‘pick’ fruits off the pages to feed to the people around him. After listening to the story, the kids picked matching pairs of animal and fruit from a basket and the activity helped them to understand and remember the story.

Adam actually paying attention

Adam actually paying attention

trying to 'pick' some fruits from the book

trying to ‘pick’ some fruits from the book

the kids putting the matching fruit and animal into the basket

the kids putting the matching fruit and animal into the basket

After the storytelling session, the children trooped off to the toilet to wash their hands thoroughly before coming back to the room to make a fruit salad! I like how the food activity tied in very nicely with the story. The children cut up strawberries, grapes and bananas and mixed the fruit with yoghurt to make a yummy fruit salad which they then gobbled up.

I think it gave Anya a sense of accomplishment to be able to prepare a simple dish for herself! Adam needed some help with the cutting and was more busy eating than preparing but he had a good time too.

ready to make a fruit salad

ready to make a fruit salad

watching the demonstration intently

watching the demonstration intently

Anya cutting independently

Anya cutting independently

Adam needing a bit more help

Adam needed a bit more help

nom nom nom

nom nom nom

Our last session for the morning was a Neuro-Mooves gym session. The kids had so much fun! They danced to music and listened out for instructions to ‘freeze’. Simple enough for Adam to follow along. Then, they went through a series of movements (walk, run, skate, gallop, hop) according to the type of music being played. Finally, they went through an obstacle course. Adam wasn’t so sure about going through the tunnel at first but after some encouragement, he was climbing in and out very happily.

The kids enjoyed themselves so much and went through the obstacle course so many times that they were completely wiped out by the end and napped very well that afternoon. I think the MindChamps child-minding service is a great way of keeping the kids engaged while one or both parents run errands. More importantly, the children get to spend their time in a meaningful and safe manner.

playing with hula hoops

playing with hula hoops

dancing to a song

dancing to a song

the song says 'freeze!'

the song says ‘freeze!’

running to the music

running to the music

obstacle course

obstacle course

sliding

sliding

through the tunnel

through the tunnel

and out the other end

and out the other end

obviously having fun

obviously having fun

Giveaway! :)

I’m giving away 5 sets of 2 coupons for the MindChamps child-minding service. Each coupon entitles you to a complimentary 60-minute child-minding service at MindChamps at Paragon (worth $18). To qualify, simply do the following by 7 August 2013, 2359H:

1. Like the ‘In the Wee Hours’ Facebook page.
2. Leave a comment here telling me why you want to try out the MindChamps child-minding service!

Disclaimer: We were invited to review the MindChamps Child-Minding Service at Paragon. All opinions are my own.

RESULTS! :)

mindchamps

Congrats to comments number 6, 10, 11, 13 and 15! Winners will be contacted by email shortly.

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Little Vietnamese

Anya’s school celebrated Racial Harmony Day last Friday so she wore her Vietnamese ao dai to school along with a matching hat. I think she looked really adorable! And the background looks like it could conceivably be somewhere in Vietnam, no?

Little Vietnamese

Little Vietnamese

Happy 1st Birthday, Reuben!

We celebrated Reuben’s 1st birthday last weekend. Can’t believe he’s already one! Yun and her family were living in Germany so we have only met him one other time back in February. It was really nice to catch up with the rest. We’ve all been so busy that we haven’t met up for ages!

a little something for the birthday boy

a little something for the birthday boy

Aaron in the ball pit

Aaron in the ball pit

the girls playing with the littlest one

the girls playing with the littlest one

super excited

super excited

Auntie Vonnie the balloon sculptor

Auntie Vonnie the balloon sculptor

made by Auntie Vonnie!

made by Auntie Vonnie!

Adam found a hat

Adam found a hat

really pretty and yummy cake

really pretty and yummy cake

birthday boy and family

birthday boy and family

us

us

Rise & Shine Expo 2013: Master the Art of Attachment Parenting with Dr. Sears

There’s just two months to go before Rise & Shine Expo 2013! I’m happy to be a partner blogger for this event and one of the workshops that I’m looking forward to attending is the one on how to master the art of Attachment Parenting. The workshop will be conducted by Dr. William Sears, the award-winning author of more than 40 pregnancy and parenting books and America’s most renowned paediatrician.

Attachment parenting is a principle developed by Dr. Sears and is a style of parenting that helps to nurture a healthy bond between a parent and a child. Attachment parenting involves a number of steps and the process begins even before the birth of the child.

To be honest, the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of attachment parenting is this famous Time magazine cover:

Attachment Parenting

Attachment parenting seems to be quite controversial and has both loyal fans and harsh critics so I really want to find out more about it for myself. If you are also curious about attachment parenting, here are the details of Dr Sears’ workshop:

Date: 29 September 2013, Sunday
Time: 1.30 – 3.00 pm
Cost: $20 (use discount code earlybird20 to get 20% off if you register before 31 July)

This is recommended for parents-to-be and new parents who want to find out what attachment parenting is about and the important steps towards it in building strong parent-child relationships.

Giveaway! :)

I’m giving away 5 pairs of tickets to this workshop! To qualify, simply do the following by 2 August 2013, 2359H:

1. Like the ‘In the Wee Hours’ Facebook page.
2. Like the ‘Rise & Shine’ Facebook page.
3. Leave a comment here telling me what you want to know about attachment parenting!

RESULTS! :)

rise

I will be contacting the winners by email shortly!

River Safari

We went to the River Safari and the kids had so much fun! Even though it was a drizzly day, most of the River Safari is sheltered so the rain didn’t spoil our experience and I think the little ones really enjoyed themselves.

The River Safari boat ride and the animal exhibitions along the ride are not open yet so tickets are discounted for now at $25 for adults (U.P. $35) and $16 for children (3-12 years old, U.P. $23) respectively. There’s still lots to see though!

I really liked the pandas and the manatees! The kids were excited about most of the animals and were very pleased with their panda buns and souvenir panda cups. Can’t wait to go again when the boat ride opens!

alligator snapping turtle

alligator snapping turtle

alligator gar

alligator gar

Mississippi paddlefish

Mississippi paddlefish

African dwarf crocodile

African dwarf crocodile

pufferfish

pufferfish

staring at the giraffe catfish

staring at the giraffe catfish

Anya says this looks like a submarine

Anya says this looks like a submarine

with the Mekong giant catfish

with the Mekong giant catfish

I'm the only one looking at the camera

I’m the only one looking at the camera

check out the ray

check out the ray

he's huge!

he’s huge!

an even bigger ray

an even bigger ray

Yangtze alligator

Yangtze alligator

very active red pandas

very active red pandas

captivated

captivated

Kai Kai chomping away

Kai Kai chomping away

with the display panda

with the display panda

Jia Jia coming out for carrots

Jia Jia coming out for carrots

staring at the curious visitors

staring at the curious visitors

the kids were more interested in the blocks!?

the kids were more interested in the blocks!?

being strange

being strange

our panda snacks

our panda snacks

panda coffee

panda coffee

hungry kids

hungry kids

red bean paste all over his mouth

red bean paste all over his mouth

colourful mural

colourful mural

splashing around in a puddle

splashing around in a puddle

black ghost knifefish

black ghost knifefish

manatee!!

manatee!!

a little one

a little one

the kids liked the manatees too

the kids liked the manatees too

ShopAbout

With two kids, it’s a big production getting everybody ready and out of the house to go anywhere. We don’t go shopping unless it’s somewhere along the way when we are already out and about on the weekends. Needless to say, I think online shopping is such a great thing for busy families!

Being a big fan of online shopping, I was excited to be introduced to ShopAbout recently. Many online shopping sites feature just one brand or cater to a very specific group of people but ShopAbout is a one-stop online shopping platform that offers a range of products from different merchants covering various categories from electronics to health & beauty.

ShopAbout

From now until 4 August, ShopAbout is celebrating women with a Beautiful Inside-Out campaign! There is a campaign-wide discount of 12% for participating merchants with numerous brands and products to pamper women and cater to their image and health & fitness. And there’s an additional $5 off for readers with the coupon code DELPHINE5OFF!

Do check out ShopAbout now and discover lots of exciting products like dessert makers, skin care products and bags! Currently, there is free courier delivery for all purchases.

Disclaimer: I received a ShopAbout coupon voucher for this review. All opinions are my own.

Mummy & Miller: A Day at the ArtScience Museum

We were recently invited to visit the Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb and Essential Eames: A Herman Miller Exhibition at the ArtScience Museum. I love the exciting and refreshing exhibitions at ArtScience Museum and I’ve been there for Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Andy Warhol: 15 minutes Eternal, Harry Potter: The Exhibition and The Art of the Brick.

First of all, I have to confess that I brought my camera along for the visit but left the battery charging at home so I only had my phone camera with me and the photos don’t do the exhibitions justice at all! To see some fantastic photos, visit Princess Dana Diaries after you’re done here! :)

We began our tour with a 3D film detailing the virtual unwrapping of the mummy of Nesperennub, an Egyptian temple priest who lived more than 3000 years ago. I’m usually not a fan of 3D films but the technology was used to great effect here. Anya was awed by the film and exclaimed a few times that she could see things coming out of the screen. The film set the stage for the exhibition exploring the rituals of life, death and afterlife in ancient Egypt.

Anya had a lot of questions after watching the film and was really curious about the mummification process. On a funny note, a couple of days after visiting the exhibition, she asked me suspiciously, “When I die, will I go to Egypt or to Heaven??”

Our docent-guided tour unveiled so much fascinating information about ancient Egypt. I don’t want to reveal everything in my post, but with more than 100 artefacts and 6 mummies in the exhibition, Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb is definitely worth a visit and the kids will enjoy it too. There is a specially-designed activity quest with age-appropriate activity bags for children as young as 3 years old containing activities and tools directly related to the artefacts. We didn’t get a chance to try it out that day so I’m hoping to take Anya there again soon!

imagining herself in Ancient Egypt

imagining herself in ancient Egypt

can't believe how old these artifacts are!

can’t believe how old these artefacts are!

poor mummified cat

poor mummified cat

fascinated kids

fascinated kids

guess what these jars are used for

guess what these jars are used for

Nesperennub: the star of the show!

Nesperennub: the star of the show!

Anya and Dana

Anya and Dana

We also had a tour of Essential Eames: A Herman Miller Exhibition. This exhibition captures the spirit and philosophy behind the most famous couple in design: Charles and Ray Eames. I thought the kids would be a bit bored by this exhibition but it is actually very interactive and there’s lots for them to see and touch and play with. In fact, it was hard to tear Anya away from one section of the exhibition to the next!

The Essential Eames exhibition showcases over 100 artefacts, including some rare and never-before-seen works and images. I was particularly taken by a special chair designed for Pope John Paul II, the photographs and the films.

Noey & Anya at Essential Eames

Noey & Anya at Essential Eames

kids love pressing buttons

kids love pressing buttons

looking through a Viewmaster

looking through a Viewmaster

building a house of cards

building a house of cards

listening in

listening in

iconic chairs

iconic chairs

instantly recognisable

instantly recognisable

make your own miniature furniture

make your own mini furniture

Do check the website for the timing of the various activities so your visit to the ArtScience Museum will be more enriching and plan to spend a good part of the day there! Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb is on until 4 November 2013 and Essential Eames: A Herman Miller Exhibition until 5 January 2014.

Disclaimer: We were invited to ArtScience Museum to view Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb and Essential Eames: A Herman Miller Exhibition. All opinions are my own.