In the midst of the humdrum of life, sometimes it is worth stopping and asking what it is that you aspire for your life?
If you speak to any parent who has travelled as a family, they will tell you that flying with kids is not an easy feat. In fact, it can really rattle you if you aren't prepared for a tantrum or two.
Now flying to California will take you at least 18 hours so this is not for the faint-hearted. But my sister was getting married in San Francisco, so there was no way that we would be staying home. I have absolutely no recollection of how the flight went but it can't have been that bad since I don't remember it.
After the wedding, we extended our stay to explore SF. I had visited as a young girl but this would be the kids' first time there. So instead of just sticking to the tourist spots, I found a few kid-friendly Factory Tours and Museums to add to our itinerary. You might be thinking a boring museum is the last place you would want to bring your kids but American kiddy museums are anything but boring. I mentioned four of them that you won't want to miss in my travel post on petitetravellers.com. Let me know if you have anymore to add to the list.
It's been a while since I poured my heart out over here. The truth is that I have been moving into a new home and you know how people say that it is one of the most stressful things that you can do in your life. Well, I can now confirm that it is true. Coupled with everyday life, I have just felt overwhelmed at times. Every few days, I misplace something and it can be frustrating. I'm constantly searching for things. Argh! So I am slowly working on ordering my life and things are getting better but I hope you will understand why I have been a little silent.
But one thing that has helped me through the past 6 months has been this new bunch of friends that I have made online. We rarely meet in person but we chat online frequently. The support that these women have given me has been immeasurable. Sometimes we talk about frivolous stuff, often things related to our kids but sometimes, we go deeper and end up praying for one another too.
Then recently on a whim, I suggested that we start a blog together on family travel. We all love our families and travelling with them has been one way which helps us bond and make memories. Everyone was game and we were really excited.
I told them though that I didn't want this to be my blog. I wanted it to be OURS. I wanted to see what we could come up with together.
So it has been that way. Everyone has chipped in in different ways using their own skill sets and as time avails.
The initial days were a little crazy but a whole lot of fun too. Everyone was buzzing with ideas but we are also incredibly busy mums and bloggers. Keeping a blog running and your household is not an easy task. I ended up working while on holiday in Australia while my kids and the husband slept. Sometimes, I hid in my bed and chatted with my fellow blogmates. Sometimes I tapped on my ipad while sitting on the toilet floor (so as not to awaken the husband and kids). The life of a blogger is really not all that glamourous.
But working as a group has been really wonderful. Everyone has their own special gifts that they contribute to the group and we try to help each other out when we can. I guess, it helps that we are friends, first and foremost.
So you can imagine our faces when petite travellers made it into the Singapore Blog Awards as finalists in the Best New Blog category. It's a real encouragement to us and a milestone!
We couldn't let it go by without doing something fun. So we agreed to a virtual ice cream party.
Meeting up in person isn't easy for all of us due to our busy lives but we thought we would throw a virtual ice cream party to share this special moment. If you are on instagram, check out the hashtag #icecreamforpetitetravellers and if you want to join in, snap a shot of your ice cream and share it with us online. Don't forget to add the hashtag so we can see it.
And of course, if you would like to vote, we would be ever so grateful. It takes just 5 minutes and after the first sign in, you just need to click on one button to vote.
Here's the link : http://sgblogawards.omy.sg/2014/vote/editors-judges-choice.html
You can find us on instagram @petitetravellers sharing sweet holiday shots and the occasional ice cream. Oh and did you try to guess which ice cream was mine? It's my favourite kind - mint ice cream with a new twist, it had oreos instead of chocolate chips. I highly recommend it.
Do you remember my trip to the Northern Territory of Australia? Well, I managed to head back there with my husband and two kids last week and we had a really swell time. The kids tried kangaroo hamburgers & crocodile hot dogs at the Mindil Beach Market, carried baby crocs on their heads and snakes in their hands at Crocosaurus Cove and we even indulged in a little dot painting and cheese & crackers on Ubirr in Kakadu National Park as we waited for the sun to set.
I can't wait to share more of our trip with you over at Petite Travellers, a new blog that I have recently started with a couple of good friends who love travelling with their kids. My Northern Territory post isn't up yet but you will find a post about kid-friendly attractions in Sydney, travel games and a family that travelled to a kelong for a quiet and different type of vacation plus much more. Enjoy travel-reading!
We are mid-way through June and it's Father's Day this Sunday. Have you planned anything yet?
If not, here are some ideas :
- make a personalised photo book that would make a great keepsake
- create upcycled jar lid family magnets with this easy tutorial by Angie
- take part in Word Art and print out the photograph and frame it for your dad?
- schedule a date with your dad to Alive Museum and have some silly fun together
- make an origami t- shirt bookmark and decorate it
Finally, have you hopped on the rainbow loom wagon, I haven't yet but I thought you would like to hear the story of the founder.
Surprisingly, he isn't an entrepreneur looking for the best idea to take the world by storm.
He is simply a dad. One that wanted to help his daughters make bracelets from rubber bands but found his fingers to be too big.
I'm sure you will want to read the whole story so here's the link (Thanks, Delphine).
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!
It's Father's Day this Sunday and I want to share with you something about my father. He worked as a cabin crew during my growing up years and was always flying from one place to the other. Perhaps it was his years of service that has taught him to treat everyone the same or perhaps it is his faith in Jesus but if you were to meet him, you would probably find him unassuming, friendly and easy to talk to. He rarely raises his voice, is patient even when I get impatient with him and puts me to shame in how he considers others better than himself. This image is dedicated to my Dad who serves all around him with such humility. Happy Father's Day, Daddy! #250wordart
If you would like to play along with Word Art, here is how :
1. During the month of June, photograph a word or a phrase that describes your dad and share a little about him in the caption.
2. Hashtag it with #250wordart and #250dads and tag @scissorspaperstoneblog
3. You can play on instagram, post it on your blog or share it on twitter or facebook.
The idea is to creatively express your feelings in a photo and to have fun!
I can't wait to read your stories.
When it comes to learning Mandarin, I firmly believe in helping the kids cultivate a love for the language. I grew up seriously disliking my Mandarin classes and really regret not paying more attention to it during my schooldays.
So with my kids, I have taken great pains to find ways in which I can expose them to the Mandarin language in a fun way. I buy mandarin storybooks, comic books and cartoon DVDs that they enjoy.
But it really isn't that easy to find schools that will run fun mandarin programmes for kids. There are even some centres that say they believe in learning with fun but in reality, focus on the academic rote learning methods just like the majority of tuition centres in Singapore. So when I checked out the Ed-Quest Chinese School holiday programmes, I felt like I had found gold.
The programme for the K1s and K2s focused on a fruity theme and had unusual craft activities like calligraphy with ice as well as fruit calligraphy. The children made ice cream from scratch using the ice cream machine (red ball in the photo) and were introduced to chinese characters like 冰，凉 ，冷，冻.
My younger son had a field day painting with the fruit and tasting it too. He is an adventurous foodie and he enjoyed the many new experiences that the programme exposed him to.
There were other engaging and educational activities that the kids got up but these were my favourite. I love the idea of fruit art. Perhaps an activity that you can try out at home this June?
My older son (8 yo) was invited to join in the P3/P4 programme which had a superhero theme and I will tell you more about that soon.
Disclaimer : Both my kids (5 yo and 8 yo) were invited to participate in the Ed-Quest June 2014 holiday programme which I was rather pleased about. They thoroughly enjoyed the session and surprisingly did not whine about going back each day. That definitely made this mummy very happy!
Ed-Quest Chinese School
177A Thomson Road
Goldhill Shopping Centre
Tel : 6356 8186
It's the first week of the school holidays and I will admit it, I really just want to stay in bed and sleep in. As the designated driver, I have been doing lots of ferrying to and fro, often with squabbles in the back seat and um it is not very fun! I wish I had a glass window that separated me and the kids in times like these, just like in limos. Ok, I know I should be thankful and things could be much worse. Well, today I thought I would share with you something that I was glad I got out of bed for.
Before the school holidays began, I had signed up my older son (8y) for a 3D sculpture workshop at the Asian Civilisation Museum. I had emailed the organisers to ask what materials they would be using and was told that there was wire and clay involved. Sounded quite unusual, so we were pretty keen to check it out.
When we arrived, we were ushered into the new Children's Season wing which was themed Once Upon a Time in Asia : The Story Tree. The room was relatively small with five main areas of play, each appealing to our fives senses.
In each play zone, there were activity sheets planned for the kids. For example, in the I SPY zone, kids were introduced to real and imaginary creatures by searching for them. My son and I sat for a while on the bench spotting animals as he filled up the missing words. I certainly enjoyed it more because some of the creatures were dressed up in eye-catching patterns.
Over at the Sniffy Whiffy station were various test tubes filled with wafting scents that we had to identify. I only managed to identify two! Cinnamon and Sandalwood.
In the tutti fruitti section, we saw seed sculptures but didn't have any time to play with this activity as we were gathered under the story tree for the start of the workshop.
Here, the storyteller began by telling us The Story of the Mousedeer who escapes being eaten by his quick thinking and loves to chant " As quick and smart as I can be, try and try but you can't catch me". You can read the story here if you like.
Next, we were led into the galleries where we heard a few more stories about the exhibits that were inspired by creatures that lived on trees as well as other creatures that roam the land. Finally, the kids were led into a room for the 3D sculpture workshop.
In line with the story tree theme, the kids were given the opportunity to create their own 3D sculpture of a tree.
First, they were given paper to sketch out a tree. Then, they were asked to twist a long wire to form the shape of the tree. This formed the skeleton which would help keep the tree up.
Then the kids were given clay to mould around the wire frame. As the tree took shape, they also used ice cream sticks to carve out veins along their tree trunks.
It was a new experience for my son (8y) who is a very keen creator and we were both excited about playing with a new material. The clay was cold and felt messy but it washed off really easily with a bit of water. The class was taught by Artist Luis Lee, who has been playing with clay for many years so he really made sculpting look easy. After they kids were done with their trees, he also showed them how to make an animal and encouraged them to try different types of sculptures at home.
I had initially thought the class was meant to be unaccompanied and was planning to get some work done while he sculpted away. But they told me that parents were welcome to join in so I did. It turned out to be a great one on one time with my older son and I know he was glad for it.
So if you would like to make your own tree at home or gather some friends to do so, here is a list of the materials that we used:
- chipboard (daiso or artfriend)
- terracotta clay (artfriend)
- wire (daiso)
- staple gun (to fasten the wire to the chipboard)
Asian Civilisations Museum Children's Season 2014
Once Upon A Time in Asia : The Story Tree
31 May to 2 November 2014
10am - 5pm
Recommended for 4 to 9 years old and the young at heart