Play@SG: Spottiswoode Park Estate

Tuck away in a corner of Outram near the old Tanjong Pagar Railway station, is the Spottiswoode Park Estate. Over there, we found a lovely playground that the kids love.

Spottiswoode Playground - Ladybug
A ladybug rocker, how adorable. And safe for toddlers.

The first thing that caught our attention was this ladybug rocker. And if one is not enough, there are two more creepy crawlies around.

I really love the look of these rockers. The only downside, they are a little tall. So younger kids may need help to get up.

Spottiswoode Playground - Slides
Apart from the curve slide, there are 3 more smaller slide for the younger kids.

One thing about this playground, we notice there are a lot of climbing structure. From the photo above, you can see the brown curve climbing structure on the left. Behind that brown curve, is a green and yellow steps with pole. If that is not enough, here are more.

They thought of the younger ones too.

A small ladder for younger kids. The littlest (1.5yo) need help to get up on this.
A small ladder for younger kids. The littlest (1.5yo) need help to get up on this.

This playground seems to be more suited for older kids. There is no simple way to get up except fo this ladder. However, having a higher profile means, the kids can run around under it.

Younger kids may be attracted to this.
Pause and check yourself out after all the running?

If that is not enough, how about a game of hop scotch?

Can you still remember how to play this game?
Can you still remember how to play this game?

This playground is located just behind the multi-story carpark (Blk 108 Spottiswoode Park Road). If you are nearby do drop by and check it out.

Play@SG is our effort to record down the free play areas in Singapore. If you have one to share or link, do let us know!

Indoor: Nickelodeon Slime Cup SG

Weekend is just round the corner, if you are looking for some activity to do this weekend, how about some Slimy Sports? Sounds disgusting, nah, its going to be interesting.  Here is why:

Fourth Year in SG
This is the fourth year Nickelodeon is holding the Slime Cup in Singapore. If it is not good, I don’t think they will be coming back for the fourth time.

Kids Favourite Meet and Greet
Which kids don’t like to see their favourite characters up close in real life? This year Make It Pop stars, SpongeBob Square Pants, Patrick Star, Chase and Marshall from Paw Patrol and Leo and Donnie from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtleswill be at the event.

Sport Challenge with Slime Factors
Human Foosball, Slime Bowling and Giant Slime Slingshot just to name a few are available for play that day. I’m pretty sure we will be covered by Slime by the end of the day. So do remember to pack extra clothes!

Dress-up and Photo Station
If you have a girl (like ours) who isn’t into sports, there is a dress up station, where they can smear some slime and put on temporary tattoos. Afterwhich, take some wefie, hashtag it with  #SlimeCupSG on Instagram, your picture will be printed and you can redeem it at the photo station.

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Photo Source: Nickeldeon Slime Cup SG

So when is this happening? This Saturday (16 Jul) and Sunday (17 Jul) at City Square Mall. Do note that 16 Jul is for Singtel subscribers only. And admission is FREE. For more details check out their official website.

Development: TT @ 18 Months

Mastered Skills

  • Will “read” board books on his own
    Yes! I’m quite happy that the littlest recently has taken into reading and is flipping through books. But I think I still didn’t read enough to him. I need to buck up.
  • Can pedal when put on trike
    Not really. Not sure is it because our trike is still a little big for him. So he couldn’t reach the pedal yet.
  • Scribbles Well
    He can definitely doodle. But what is consider scribbles well?

Emerging Skills

  • Strings words together in phrases
    Not really. This boy speech development has never been fast.
  • Brushes teeth with help
    Well, the helper has been trying to brush his teeth. But most time, he is just chewing on the toothbrush.
  • Builds a tower of four cubes
    Yup, I think he is able to stack up to 4. And he has been using can drinks for his stacking stunt. *faints

Advanced Skills

  • Throws ball overhead
    Nope.
  • Takes toys apart and puts them back together
    Nah. This boy is still the destroyer. He can pack all his toys into a box and proceed to empty it the next moment.
  • Shows signs of toilet training readiness
    Not really. But he has some sense. Sometimes he will pee when we take off his diaper. And every time he does that, he will look at himself down “there”. I think training him for potty wouldn’t be too difficult. It’s just whether I have the energy. LOL.
According to Daddy and Auntie, this is one of your favourite TV programs in the morning. This is how much Mummy is missing in your growing up. :'(
According to Daddy and Auntie, this is one of your favourite TV programs in the morning. This is how much Mummy is missing in your growing up.😥

Dear TT,

This few days, you have been ignoring Mummy. When I come home, you no longer call out to me. When I want to carry you, you walk away. It breaks my heart. But I don’t blame you really. It’s all Mummy’s fault. Mummy caught GorGor’s stomach flu last week. And was in bed for about 4 days. I couldn’t play with you or carry you. After Mummy recovered from the stomach flu, her lower back pain recurred and she couldn’t carry you again.

Mummy is very upset with herself. She didn’t take care of herself and as a result she couldn’t take care of you. That day your GorGor make an innocent remark that you think Auntie is your Mummy. It’s an innocent remark but it hurts Mummy badly. But GorGor is not wrong. Mummy need to do more.

Mummy promise she is going to take care of her own health and body. So she can care for you, GorGor and JieJie. Please give Mummy sometime as she work on this Ok?

And a bad news for you. Auntie is confirm leaving early next month. I think you will suffer from missing her for a while. But Mummy will be with you during this difficult period. It is also a good time for Mummy spend more time in caring for you. Hopefully, we can brave through this and adapt as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, stay healthy and happy.

Love,
Mummy

Book: 谁敢嘲笑狮子

I realize I haven’t been sharing much Chinese books on the blog. Its time to start the trend rolling. Lol. Expect more Chinese books to come along the way.

The Story

What is a lion good at? In this book “谁敢嘲笑狮子”, the lion was trying to brag about himself to a lioness.

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After considering, the lion thinks he is good at running…

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But is there any animal that can run faster than the lion?

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Well, a cheetah can definitely run faster than a lion. Who can climb a tree faster than a lion? Who is stronger than a lion?

Well, the book revolves around the lion trying to think of something he is really good at. But unfortunately whatever he comes up with, there is always an animal that can do better. It makes him really upset, until he finally found something that he is good at. Well, you gotta read the book to find out what his talent is.

The Learning Points

One thing about reading I learned from my kids pre-school teachers is that there should be engagement during the process. And this can be through asking simple questions. The usual “Who”, “Why”, “What”, “How”. Especially when they are 5 years old and above, there should be more second level detail questions and not just questions that can be answered by observing the illustration.

For a starter, this book is great as it naturally makes you ask the kids what is coming up next. The book is by laid out such that on one page, the lion will be talking about a particular skills he is good at. And you can then make the kids guess which animal is better at that skill and is likely to be coming up in the next page. The kids will have a good time playing the guessing game.

Apart from understanding about animals, the book has a greater learning story behind. It remind us (kids and parents) that everyone has something that they are good at. There isn’t a need for constant comparison. Even if you feel that you are not good at anything, it probably just means you haven’t found what you are good at. Just like how the lion found out what he is good at after a few rounds.

I use it to explain to the boy (6 y.o) that its ok if he loses in some games. Cause it’s probably his friends are better than him in that area. He should not give up but continue to learn and explore what he is good at. It is also a reminder to myself that as the boy starts formal education next year, we should not be joining others in the “rat race”. Everybody is unique in their own way, and has their own talent.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a Chinese book to read with your kids, consider borrowing this from the library. The illustrations are attractive and the words are not too difficult to read. The learning story behind is also great.

Details (at time of publish):

  • Book Title: 谁敢嘲笑狮子
  • Call Number: Chinese BRI (Junior Lending Picture Book)
  • Available at (Public Library): Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bishan, Bukit Merah, Central, Cheng San, Choa Chu Kang, Clementi, Geylang East, Jurong, Jurong West, Marine Parade, Pasir Ris, Queenstown, Sembawang, Tampines, Toa Payoh, Woodlands and Yishun

 

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Thoughts: Reflecting 2nd Quarter 2016

This quarter, there was a big change in our life. I quit from my job of 10 years and embarked on another journey. With a nearer office, earlier and shorter working hours, I manage to spend more time with my family. I miss my ex-colleagues but is still happy that I made that jump, though where this new work will lead me to is still an unknown.

Now its time to pause and take stock again on the goals I setup to achieve:

  • Eat Healthily and Exercise More
    Well, with the change of job, eating healthily is more achievable. There are no Starbucks or Koi temptation here. Plus, I got Chubby to help me prepare lunch for 3 times a week, as food option here is limited. Hence, I think I’m slowly moving towards the healthy eating path.
    As for exercise more, there is no progression. There were a few weekend nights where Chubby and I went for a jog, but they were not regular enough. I hope we can do this every weekend. This shall be the goal for the 3rd quarter.

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    Look at how new my shoes are. They need to be worn out!
  • More Communication and Patience
    With more time on hand, I think I am progressing well on this. Though sometimes the dilly-dalliness of the kids still get into me and I lost it and scream at them to act faster. Sigh.
  • Spend More Time With the Littlest
    There were 2 nights this month that the littlest woke up crying for “A-ti”. It breaks my heart. It shows how little love he have felt from me.
    With my new job, I am able to spend more time with the littlest now. However, apparently it is still not enough. Aim for 3rd quarter is to have at least 1/2 hour with him every weeknight, but not at the expense of me getting inpatient with the elder two on their homework. I hope I can do it.
  • More One-to-One Time with the Elder Two
    I went on a one-to-one date twice and a few one-to-one grocery shopping trip with the girl in this quarter. However, I haven’t got a chance to do that with the boy. In the 3rd quarter, I hope I can do one-to-one dates once a month with them individually.

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    One of the rare occasion where I brought the girl out alone. But on theory this doesn’t count as one-to-one date as I was meeting a friend that day.
  • More Consistent Teaching
    “Night classes” with Mummy are more consistent these days. But because June is a holiday month, I also took some Fridays off and gave the kids a break from the night classes. LOL.

On other aspects, I’m still on the 2nd book of the year. In between I tried reading a book “Appreciating your child” but didn’t manage to finish it as it was from the library and I had to return it on the due date. So now I’m still on the official 2nd book. Hope I can progress slowly and steadily on this.

I remember at the beginning of the year I told myself that this blog is going to be a lower priority. A month back, I don’t know what got into me, I went to set up the FB page for thelittlemom.com. And I went into an obsession of trying to update it regularly with articles I read, posts that I blogged, etc. It is in complete contrast of what I had set out to do. Because of this obsession, I spent more time on the social media then I should.

“Luckily” an incident “knocked” me out of it. In wanting to promote my blog and FB page, I shared info in a FB group which links the community back to my blog. But it backfired and I got kicked out of the group without any warning as it is stated that members are not allowed to advertise about their blog. And this is my 2nd offense. The first time was a year ago, and I forgot the exact rules and thought I didn’t flout it. But the fact was I did. I was really upset by the incident but it was a good wake up call.

In my pursue to bring this blog and its page to another level, I got my priorities wrong and forgot why I started this blog. I think it’s a good time to pause and remind myself that I set to FOCUS in 2016.

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Second half of 2016 is approaching. Not too late to refocus and have a new beginning.

So how was your Q2 for 2016?

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Book: Lullaby and Goodnight

Last week, I introduced an off-the-shelf quiet book from Taobao. This week, I have another quiet book “Lullaby and Goodnight” (also from Taobao) to share.

Unlike the previous book, this book has a theme and is a continuous story (and I have checked, the grammer is better for this book, thanks to Adeline for pointing out about it in the previous book). It was definitely a bigger hit among my kids. The children could relate better as it is about the things to do before going to bed.

Step 1: Drink Milk

The milk can actually be "taken" from the fridge and put onto Mummy Bear's hand.
The milk can be “taken” from the fridge and put onto Mummy Bear’s hand.

Step 2: Brush Teeth

The toothbrush is "loose" so the kids can actually brush the Baby Bear's teeth with it.
The toothbrush is “loose” so the kids can actually brush the Baby Bear’s teeth with it.

Step 3: Take off Clothes

Baby Bear's feet is suppose to be out of the jumper, but he is a little too fat and is hard to squeeze in.
Baby Bear’s feet is suppose to be out of the jumper, but he is a little too fat and is hard to squeeze in.

Step 4: Take a Bath

The "soap" can be completely hidden in the bath tub and Baby Bear can "sit" in it too. The towel can't be removed though. As you can see, the proportion of items are not correct, which my elder boy noticed too.
The “soap” can be completely hidden in the bath tub and Baby Bear can “sit” in it too. The towel can’t be removed though. As you can see, the proportion of items are not correct, which my elder boy noticed too. 

Step 5: Put on Pajamas

The pajamas can be fitted onto Baby Bear. But its a real tight fit. The kids couldn't do it by themselves. And need help mostly for this step.
The pajamas can be fitted onto Baby Bear. But its a tight fit. The kids couldn’t do it by themselves. And need help mostly for this step.

Step 6: Read a bedtime story

The book shows the different weather.
The book shows different weather conditions.

Step 7: Say a Prayer

Do people still kneel on a mat to pray these days? I'm not sure since I'm not a christian.
“Open” the window and you can see the stars.

Step 8: Go to Bed

Mummy Bear tucking Baby Bear to bed.
Mummy Bear tucking Baby Bear to bed.

Generally, the Baby Bear was too fat, which makes it difficult for the kids to do certain steps. But for that kind of price, one cannot expect too much right? I think I’m easily satisfied, LOL. However, it is decent enough a quiet book for the pre-schoolers. And I take it as a parent-and-child play when I help them out. So I will still say, if you have no time to make your own quiet book, you can consider getting this.

Our Baby Bear burst at the seams after a week play by the kids. Too much squeezing in trying him to get into the pajamas and all.
Our Baby Bear burst at the seams after a week play by the kids. Too much squeezing from trying to get him into the pajamas and all.

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Play@SG: Bukit Batok Civil Service Club

In 2011, I blogged about the little indoor playroom at Bukit Batok Civil Service Club (CSC). After a few years, the club gave the play room an overhaul!

After a few years, the previous playground was pretty worn out. Glad that the club overhual it.
After a few years, the previous playground was pretty worn out. Glad that it was overhauled.

So here are some close up shots.

The tunnel that gets you from the one side (stair) to the other (ball pit).
The tunnel that gets you from the one side (stair) to the ball pit. Too bad the net was there, else I will try to put my hand into the little holes of the tunnel to “scare” the kids.

Anyway, on to the other side of the playground.

A look through area, where the littles love to wave to us from. And of course a slide that send you into the ball pit! The littlest love it.
A see-through area, where the littlest love to wave to us from. And of course a slide that sends you into the ball pit! The littlest love it.

If you look carefully at the two pictures, there is a design flaw in this playground though. The kids there, mine included, were bringing the balls to the tunnel and throwing them through the little hole (that explains the plastic bag in the pic). Unfortunately, any balls that goes under the tunnel cannot be reach from other areas. So they are stuck there. I told the kids to stop doing it, but there were still others. I told them nicely to stop throwing. But they wouldn’t listen and their parents are not around. Sigh.

Anyway, apart from the main structure, there are other rockers inside the room.

Rockers and "see-saw" for the little ones and colorful stools for the parents.
Rockers for the little ones and colorful stools for the parents. You can also see the room is very nicely painted.

The little bookshelf from the previous time, is still there.

The books which some kids mess up with.
With the playground around, these books are largely ignored. LOL

All in all, the kids (6 y.o, 5 y.o and 16 months) love the playroom. The littlest can handle the playground easily. So I will say it is suitable for pre-schoolers and toddlers.

Entry to the playroom is free. But this also means that there is no one “looking after” the room during its opening hours. It very much depends on individual social responsibilities to not let sick children in and sanitize their hands. Socks are also not required though shoes must be removed before entering. The area is generally quite clean.

If you are looking for a free area to play, away from the heat or rain, you can consider going to this playroom. Oh and an added note, there is a Children Party Room next to it. Few years back, we held the girl’s 1st birthday party there. A decent size room and more importantly, something to entertain little children while the guests mingle. Booking the party room does not give you exclusive rights to the playroom, but it is still convenient enough.

Play@SG is my effort to record down different free playgrounds and play areas in Singapore. All opinions are our own.