Monthly Archives: May 2014

Capturing Kids at Play with Canon

Last Saturday, we attended a photography workshop by Bob Lee and Canon and he shared some tricks to capturing great photos of kids. It was a humourous session filled with beautiful, heartwarming pictures of his family and it made me want to take better photos of my kids.

sharing by Bob Lee

sharing by Bob Lee

These are some points Bob covered:

A – Angle
B – Bokeh
C – Continuous mode
D – Distance/ Detail
E – Exposure

It really set me thinking about the type of photos I usually take and how I can try to improve them. He mentioned something about how the photo should make people want to know more about it. I think my photos tend to be quite straightforward, predictable and matter-of-fact, nothing much to know more about!

After his sharing, I tried to take some photos of the kids. Adam was making a mosaic picture and Anya was baking. I think I still need lots of practise to break out of my usual photo-taking habits. Thank you, Canon for organising the session!

Adam

Adam

working on his mosaic craft

working on his mosaic craft

making and decorating cupcakes

making and decorating cupcakes

having fun

having fun

trying to capture her expression of concentration

trying to capture her expression of concentration

a shot from the fondant's point of view

a shot from the fondant’s point of view

Advertisements

Children’s Season 2014 – Masak Masak at NMS (Part 2)

We headed upstairs to the second floor for more fun. I love the whimsical ‘Rouleaux’ by Anastassia Elias. Inspired by the theme of ‘What I Want to be When I Grow Up’, the artist created miniature dioramas in toilet rolls using just manicure scissors and tweezers. Really amazing!

Kids can attempt to make one on their own by colouring, cutting and sticking a template. It’s a great activity but I had to ask the facilitators to sharpen the colour pencils because they were all blunt or the lead had broken off. I also think it would be good to have stepping stools for kids to look at the ones that are higher up. I took photos of the ones out of Anya’s reach and showed them to her on my camera.

Rouleaux by Anastassia Elias

Rouleaux by Anastassia Elias

what's inside?

what’s inside?

amazing little dioramas in toilet rolls

amazing little dioramas in toilet rolls

making her own

making her own

‘Word Out’ by NUS Division of Industrial Design is a fun game where you literally have to spell out a word with body language. I wish I had something like this at home so I can get the kids to learn spelling AND exercise at the same time!

Word Out

Word Out

spelling out a word

spelling out a word

Our favourite section was ‘Sculpture Scribble’ by Spanish group Guixot de 8. Using materials from a recycling and composting site, they recreate works by famous 20th century artists into interactive installations that encourage play. We spent quite a bit of time here trying to achieve the objective of each sculpture. Maybe I would have been better at Physics in school if we had these sculptures to bring the various laws of Physics to life.

making the wooden cylinder roll around

making the wooden cylinder roll around

trying to open the lid by kicking the ball in

trying to open the lid by kicking the ball in

hitting the ball with the foot pedal

hitting the ball with the foot pedal

supposed to join the two pieces together without touching!

supposed to join the two pieces together without touching!

rolling the ball down

rolling the ball down

joining the pieces without looking directly at them

joining the pieces without looking directly at them

she did it!

she did it!

rolling the ball from one side to the other

rolling the ball from one side to the other

putting marbles into pots

putting marbles into pots

trying to put the finger into the nose

trying to put the finger into the nose

rolling the ball into the basket

rolling the ball into the basket

manipulating the ball onto the other end

manipulating the ball onto the other end

catching the egg

catching the egg

You can also check out this post by Olimomok!

Children’s Season 2014 – Masak Masak at NMS (Part 1)

For Children’s Season this year, National Museum of Singapore has a special exhibition called Masak Masak from 24 May to 3 August. The exhibition centres around the theme of ‘My Childhood’. I think the theme is really fun! Outside the museum, there are bouncy slides based on the dragon and elephant playgrounds of my childhood. Unfortunately, they are only open for playing on weekends.

Masak Masak

Masak Masak

dragon bouncy slide

dragon bouncy slide

elephant bouncy slide

elephant bouncy slide

The first area we came across was Justin Lee’s Come and Play. The entire room was filled with structures and objects made with cardboard and draws upon the idea that with imagination, a cardboard box can be turned into anything. For a minimum $2 donation, kids can get a cardboard box of their own and make it into anything they want. The box can then become part of the installation. Anya chose to bring her box home though.

Justin Lee's Come and Play

Justin Lee’s Come and Play

everything made with cardboard

everything made with cardboard

creating her own cardboard creation

creating her own cardboard creation

caroseul

caroseul

drawing a roller coaster

drawing a roller coaster

Anya then went to play with giant versions of five stones, pick-up sticks and marbles. She spent quite a bit of time just throwing the five stones up into the air and trying to catch them. She looked like she was having tons of fun! I loved playing five stones when I was a kid and Anya has a set now but doesn’t really know what to do with it. Maybe it’s time to revisit the game.

Another childhood game I enjoyed was pick-up sticks where we tried to remove sticks from the pile without moving any of the other sticks in the process. The suggested method for playing the version here is to create the tallest structure possible with the sticks. I wish there were more sticks though! Hard to create anything with so few sticks.

I didn’t really play with marbles when I was a kid but liked collecting them. For this version, the kids are supposed to roll the balls into the hole in the middle without getting the balls stuck in the pothole. Anya quickly figured out where the exit point for the balls was and stalked it to get as many balls as possible.

giant five stones

giant five stones

throwing and catching

throwing and catching

pick-up sticks

pick-up sticks

rolling marbles

rolling marbles

avoiding the potholes

avoiding the potholes

More on Masak Masak in the next post!

La Marelle Cafe & Boutique

My friend and I were on our way to Dong Po Colonial Cafe last Thursday when we chanced upon the whimsical facade of La Marelle Cafe and couldn’t resist going in. The playful design continues up the stairs and throughout the cafe. It appears that the cafe is based on French brand La Marelle and there’s an entire section dedicated to the display and sale of their adorable items.

We had drinks and a slice of red velvet cake to share. The cake was decent but pricey at $8.90 for a slice. My iced green tea with assorted fruits was about the same price but lasted me quite long so it wasn’t too bad. It was somewhat warm in the cafe. I think the small air-conditioning units can’t really cool the place effectively. I do like the fairy-tale look and feel of the cafe very much though and I think it’s worth checking out just for that. Being able to shop while eating is a bonus. :)

irresistable

irresistable

up the stairs

up the stairs

inside

inside

love the colours

love the colours

La Marelle items for sale

La Marelle items for sale

little cases, cards

little cardboard suitcases; cards; notebooks

clutches

clutches

bags and purses

bags and purses

mushrooms everywhere

mushrooms everywhere

even the water dispenser looks cute

even the water dispenser looks cute

things to keep the little ones entertained

things to keep the little ones entertained

cute plate

red velvet cake on a cute plate

my huge drink

my huge drink

La Marelle Cafe & Boutique
25A Baghdad St
Singapore 199664
8138 7654
Mon-Sun: 12pm to 10pm

PLAY@NMS

We signed up for a preview of PLAY@NMS, the first dedicated museum area for young children, which is opening today at the National Museum of Singapore in conjunction with Children’s Season 2014.

In the EXPLORE component, kids get to move around a Garden, a Living Room, a Bedroom and a Kitchen. Each of these is inspired by other galleries in the museum. For example, the Kitchen is inspired by the Food Gallery and the Garden by the William Farquhar’s collection.

In the Garden, the children can pick up different flowers and fruits and fit them onto a tree. In the Kitchen, kids can play masak masak with toy food, stick ingredient pieces onto a plate, and emboss their favourite dish onto a piece of paper. In the Bedroom, a yellow tent (reminiscent of the chairs-and-blanket tent for pretend play at home) has short animations projected onto it that the kids can hide inside and watch. That was Anya’s favourite section and she basically parked herself there the entire time. There are also decals of traditional costumes that can be stuck on a mirror for kids to ‘try on’. In the Living Room, children can listen to a radio, watch short videos or put up puppet performances.

at the museum

at the museum

fitting flower and fruit pieces onto a tree

fitting flower and fruit pieces onto a tree

cooking in the kitchen

cooking in the kitchen

picking ingredients for a meal

picking ingredients for a meal

the yellow tent

the yellow tent

Anya watching the projected film

Anya watching the projected film

costumes for dress up

costumes for dress up

the living room

the living room

Adam putting up a puppet show

Adam putting up a puppet show

watching the performance

watching the performance

outside on the sundeck

outside on the sundeck

Many of the activities, like the sticking of ingredients onto a plate to form a local delight and the trying on of traditional outfits, were very similar to the ones at Island Adventures last year. I wish they had incorporated some stuff from the 2012 Children’s Season instead as that was a lot more interesting. I think the costume decals in the Bedroom are not going to last very long and the embossing station at the Kitchen is quite difficult for kids to manipulate.

PLAY@NMS is recommended for kids aged 3-7 but I personally feel that it is best for kids between 2 and 5 years old. Adam had fun running around but the older ones in our group were, frankly, not very engaged by the activities in the EXPLORE gallery and lost interest quite quickly. However, I think it’s great that there is a dedicated section for young children in the National Museum and I hope they continue to develop and improve it.

Cooking at The Little Things

The kids attended a cooking class at The Little Things last Tuesday and made banana pancakes and banana ice-cream. I love cooking classes for kids because it means I don’t have to prepare anything or clean up, yet the kids can have a lot of fun and learn new things in the process.

At The Little Things, they strive to create a balance between learning and playing. For example, for our session that day, they started by going through the rules with the kids and asking the kids why the rules were needed. During the course of the session, the kids learnt that they can make ‘ice-cream’ from bananas and also found out how to tell when a pancake is done.

Anya and Adam had to work together that day and I think it was a great lesson in teamwork for them. Anya tends to take the lead and Adam just listens to her so this was a rare opportunity to do something in a more equal manner.

peeling the banana

peeling the banana

cutting into small slices

cutting into small slices

putting into the bowl

putting into the bowl

mashing everything up

mashing everything up

time to cook!

time to cook!

mmm...

mmm…

eating their banana pancakes

eating their banana pancakes

blending frozen banana to make ice-cream!

blending frozen banana to make ice-cream!

For the June holidays, there are very colourful things in store for the kids at The Little Things! Click to enlarge the poster below to find out more.

June Sch Hols - Sweets (450x600)

June Holiday Programme

The Little Things
215H Upper Thomson Road
Singapore 574349
Tel: 6456 3140
General Enquiries: thelittleemail@gmail.com

 

The Looming Madness

Photo 22-4-14 6 56 10 pm

We have been bitten and infected by the Rainbow Loom bug! Symptoms of the afflication are neckache, tired eyes and cramped fingers. Side effects include spending way too much money on little rubber bands and finding yourself looming into the wee hours. There is no cure.

Seriously though, I find it quite therapeutic to hook tiny colourful rubber bands onto other rubber bands. I’m alternating between bracelets and human figures at the moment. Anya enjoys it too and sometimes chooses looming over watching TV and that is kind of a big deal! You can see some of my completed looming projects below and I’ll continue to post pictures on Instagram. Bands and kit are available at Twelve by Elly (online and in-store).

Elsa

Hexafish

Cinderella

Triple Single

Superman