Sentosa Kidz Flea

I heard about this interesting concept a few years ago and have been meaning to expose my kids to this experiential form of entrepreneurship but the timing was not right until now.

Sentosa has been organising this event for the 5th year running, and I am really impressed with the effort they have put in to tailor this flea market specially for children.

The kids have to think about what business they want to run, come up with a stall name, and man the stall from 3-8pm. They can choose to run the stall for a day or an entire week.

Kid-sized stall

To prepare the budding entrepreneurs, a 2-hour session is provided where they cover the basics of running a business such as factors to consider when pricing your goods or services, tips on stall display and communication with customers.

Besides teaching kids to run a business, they also believe in inculcating altruism in them. 20% of sales are to be pledged towards charity, and this year they will be giving to The Autism Association (Singapore).

I told #5 we would have to arrive at 2pm to set up the stall. He counted the hours and exclaimed, “That is as long as a school day! How can I stand in one place for so long?”

Sounds like a tall order for a young child?

Actually, the organises are very flexible and parents are allowed to help out if the kids need to take a rest, have their meal or take a break and enjoy the planned activities.

In fact, most of the children rose to the occasion and they were energetic and anxious to increase their sales that they didn’t rest besides taking toilet and meal breaks.

The event is held at the Merlion plaza where there is good foot traffic. In addition, professionals were hired to run children’s activities on stage to increase patronage to the stalls.

Some kids sold handmade jewellery and stationery while others displayed their pre-loved items like toys and books. There were also game stalls where the kids used recycled yakult bottles to create simple games, and some creative kids whipped up freshly made slime!

Many kids went around with baskets filled with their wares and they were really brave to approach strangers to ask them to buy their goods.

Sentosa Kidz Flea

Most of the stalls were rented by families who wanted their children to get a sense of running a real business, but there were also a few primary schools who participated in this event and everything the students earned was pledged to charity. Kudos to the teachers, students and parents!

What amazed me was that in a short span of 5 hours, strangers became friends and ‘competitors’ became collaborators. This lovely lady was so warm that the kids from the other stalls came and sat with her for hours and helped her to promote her wares.

At one point, it was pouring and business was slow. We mucked around, gave ‘neighbour’ discounts to one another and engaged in barter trade.

We met Peter Draw, the affable artist with 2 Guinness World Records under his belt, who was hired to run some kids’ activities at this event. He really has the gift of the gab and was going around helping kids to attract customers.

Peter Draw

Before we packed up, I invited the kids from the schools to come over and pick up anything they wanted from our stall for free. They had worked hard, all for a good cause.

The kids were so polite and adorable. They picked up a couple of items each, showed them to me and asked, “Can I take these?”

At the end of the day, it was definitely not about how much we earned, but the experience and life lessons the kids learned.

Do support these little bosses and head on down to Merlion Plaza.

Sentosa’s Kidz Flea is on until Saturday 19 March 2016.

The stalls are for rent at $28 per day (weekdays) or $40 per day (weekend) and is something you can consider for your kids (aged 7-12) next year!

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Top 10 things to do with kids in Singapore

My kids have rounded up their Top 10 favourite activities here in our little red dot. We are not that boring after all. (Singapore, I mean. My kids will tell you that our family is really boring.)

1) Sentosa

Our island resort has seen extensive transformation over the past decade to become Singapore’s bona fide playground for the whole family.

Start the morning by taking the Cable Car over from Mount Faber to enjoy the scenic view. Delve right into the excitement with the Skyline Luge, a non-motorised vehicle using gravity to zoom down the slopes.

During the hottest part of the day, take shelter in 4D AdventureLand where admission fees include unlimited entry to the multi-sensory simulation rides and interactive shoot-out game.

In the evening, head out to Palawan beach where the adults can sit and sip a pina colada while watching the kids play at the beach. Or head over to Port of Lost Wonder, a pirate ship water play area designed with the young kids in mind. For the older kids, get their hearts pumping at the MegaZip Adventure park, Wave House, or Flying Trapeze.

If you prefer something more chi chi, Quayside aisle @ Sentosa Cove is the answer, as you dine within view of million dollar yachts. Satisfy your gastronomic cravings with their wide selection of fine restaurants and casual cafes.

Best suited for: The entire family
Approximate duration: A whole day, or two!

Sane tip: The island resort is also accessible via monorail from Vivocity, by foot along Sentosa Boardwalk, or by car/taxi. Grab a map of Sentosa as the island is divided into segments such as Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), Imbiah Lookout, Palawan Beach, Siloso beach, Sentosa Cove and more.

There are several hotels spread around Sentosa, the most family-friendly being Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa along Siloso Beach which has a kid’s club. Within RWS itself, Festive Hotel offers family rooms, and staying on the island is convenient if you are spending the day at Universal Studios theme park. The older kids would also love Adventure cove, a water park situated within RWS.

Official website: Sentosa

Photo credit: Sentosa

2) KidsSTOP @ Singapore Science Centre

Learn Science in a fun and engaging way at KidsSTOP. Plenty of hands-on experiences including flying an aeroplane, dino pit excavation, pretend play at the supermarket, stop-motion animation, making friends with the feathered, furry and four-legged, and even a two-story climbing structure with mind boggling exhibits.

Best suited for: Ages 2-8
Approximate duration: 2 – 4 hours
Sane tip: Strollers are not allowed inside the premise. Socks are required for some areas.

Official Website: KidsSTOP @ Singapore Science Centre

Older kids can explore the adjoining Science Centre which includes an Omni-max theatre and outdoor water play area.

KidsSTOP

3) River Cruise @ Marina Bay

Swimming (or taking selfies) in the infinity pool on the 57th floor of Marina Bay Sands hotel has attained the ‘must experience before you die’ status. Another fabulous way to soak in the breath-taking Marina bay skyline is to hop aboard a traditional bumboat for a leisurely river cruise.

Best suited for: The entire family
Approximate duration: 40 minutes
Sane tip: Avoid the hottest part of the afternoon

Official Website: Singapore River Cruise

For the younger kids, take them on the Duck Tour which departs from nearby Singapore Flyer, and watch them squeal with delight as the Wacky DUCK bus transforms into a boat and makes a splash into the bay.

Marina Bay

4) Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Get up close and personal with three diplodocid sauropod skeletons nicknamed Prince, Apollonia and Twinky and feel the bone of the edmontosaurus dinosaur which lived 67 million years ago. There are more than a million specimens preserved at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum located on the grounds of the National University of Singapore.

Best suited for: Ages 6 and up
Approximate duration: 2 hours. Longer if the older kids are interested in reading all the information presented.
Sane tip: Tickets have to be pre-bought via Sistic, and collected at their authorised agents, for crowd control. However, they do sell left-over tickets at the door on a first-come-first-serve basis. Call +65 6601 3333 to try your luck!

Official website: Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.

For history buffs, it is worthwhile to visit the National Museum of Singapore and it has areas dedicated to children. For art enthusiasts, make some time to visit the newly opened National Gallery.

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

5) Parkland Green @ ECP

The East Coast Park (ECP) belt has been transformed with a new stretch of F & B outlets at Parkland Green to enhance the outdoor seaside experience. Have a leisurely tea break with unobstructed view of the beach while your kids play a round of laser tag. If you are feeling active, rent the family bicycle from Lifestyle Bike & Skate which can sit 6. Be prepared to sweat it out, especially if you are the only one paddling your tots!

After all that hard work, reward yourself with a satisfying dinner at East Coast Seafood Centre, and don’t forget to order Singapore’s signature Chilli Crab dish.

Best suited for: The whole family
Approximate duration: Varies
Sane tip: Most of the restaurants are crowded on weekends, make a reservation or have an early dinner.

Photo credit: Mamawearpapashirt.com

6) Trampoline Park

The weather in Singapore is erratic, and if faced with wet weather, let your kids expand their energies at an indoor trampoline park. According to my kids, the trampolines at Amped are bouncier and the large main arena provides sufficient space for stunts like back flips while Zoom Park Asia is more interesting with segregated areas for dodgeball, slam dunk and a rock climbing wall.

Best suited for: Kids of all ages, even the parents!
Approximate duration: Bookings by the hour.
Sane tip: Pre-booking required, and of course, a pair of socks.

Official website: Amped, Zoom Park Asia

Amped @ Jurong
7) Children’s Centre for Creativity

Nestled in the quiet Gillman Barracks off Alexandra road is the Art of Speed, an installation for kids to explore the essence of speed through four different but interconnected sensory and open-ended environments. Build your own cars and zoom them down the slope. The catch is, there is a hurdle right in the middle which the cars have to cross!

Best suited for: Ages 2-12
Approximate duration: 2 hours
Sane tip: Check their website for Busy Times as they may be closed for school bookings.

Official website: Playeum, Children’s Centre for Creativity
Art of Speed
8) Family-friendly dining

Why not incorporate some fun and lovely ambience into your meals? Our latest dining haunts are Brewerkz at Sentosa Boardwalk, and the Open Farm Community.

All time favourites include the award-winning Shunjuu Izakaya Japanese restaurant at the hip yet chill Robertson Quay, and the DIY pancake cafe Slappy Cakes at The Grandstand. (You might like to spend an afternoon at The Grandstand, where the kids can have a spin on the Go-Karts or fidget away at Fidgets World Indoor Playground while mum satisfies her retail craving at Pasarbella, the unique farmer’s market.)
Brewerkz @ Sentosa Boardwalk
9) Gardens by the Bay

Before you leave, don’t forget to make a stop at Gardens by the Bay, winner of several prestigious international awards for creative excellence. Stroll around the beautiful gardens, or pay for admission into the 2 domes with rotational displays.

The highlight of this yuletide season is the Christmas Wonderland attraction, where visitors will be enthralled by the combination of magnificent sculptures of light and sound. Do expect a huge crowd. 

Best suited for: The entire family.
Approximate duration: 2 hours
Sane tip: Savour our local cuisine at Satay by the Bay where there is a wide range of cuisines available, and little tables for the kids. Situated in the corner of Gardens by the Bay. Do go early as it gets crowded at mealtimes.

Official website: Gardens by the Bay

Photo credits: Gardens by the Bay

10) Indoor playgrounds

Besides the usual indoor playgrounds, unleash your child’s creativity at Kaboodle where they can build with giant foam blocks. Located at East Coast Park (visit #5 Parkland Green at the same time). For the under 5s, Hokey Pokey at Millenia walk has a huge array of play things to keep them entertained in a safe environment.

If time permits, other staple tourist attractions include Singapore ZooNight Safari and Jurong Bird Park.

Kaboodle at ECP
This post was first published as a guest post on Kuala Lumpur Kids.

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~ 

New Cable car ride at Sentosa

Kate has never been on the cable car, and I asked if the older kids were keen to go, and they said yes! It’s been quite a few years since I last took them on the cable car. We headed to Mount Faber for the ride into Sentosa, and it turned out to be a really enjoyable day out.

Cheap thrill #1:

The ticketing lady asked if we had any NTUC card which I did have (so auntie, right?) and it allowed us UNLIMITED rides for the day! We could even hop on and off as we wished. Perfect!

What a view!

There were lots to see from up there, and we asked Kate if she could see this and that. “Look at the cruise ship. Can you see it? There’s even a swimming pool in it!”

She got the hang of it and started pointing things out to us and asked if we could see it.

The cable car seems bigger than I remembered it to be, and can fit 8 people.

I spy…

There’s so much going on in Sentosa these days, and we could even hear the shouts coming from the people having fun in Adventure Cove.

Birds eye view

Cheap thrill #2:

We discovered that there is a new cable car line within Sentosa! I was so glad we were upgraded to unlimited rides because Kate kept saying, ” I want to go round and round.”

When you alight at Sentosa, head towards this grey building, and take the escalator up.

Grandma clearly enjoying the picturesque view
We could see the activities going on along the beach and my mum remarked that it looked like we were overseas.

Yup, it sure did feel like we were on holiday. Doing the touristy thing going round and round like we had nothing to do all day. Kids have a lot to teach us about slowing down, don’t they?

Siloso Beach

We lost count of the number of times we went round (the ticketing people stopped asking to check our tickets) and finally Kate declared, “I’m hungry.” The older girls were so glad to hear those words.

“Hmm, not bad..”

We had tea at Spuds & Apron to end our very relaxing day out.

Sane tip: If you are looking for an activity where you don’t have to do much yet the kids are kept entertained, this is it! We went at 3pm, and it was a bit hot. Best to enjoy the ride in the evenings. Opens everyday from 8.45am – 10pm.

Save tip: Tickets which include both the Mount Faber and Sentosa lines are $19 for adults and $12 for kids and senior citizen (locals). You can top up $10 for unlimited rides for the day which will be waived with the NTUC card.

More ticketing information at the Singapore Cable Car Sky Network official homepage.

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Kate’s antics: Mummy can have her churros and eat it

What do mothers with young kids really want for Mother’s day? It’s such a dilemma for me.  I want to be with my family, yet I also want to enjoy a day off without any sound of bickering or whining. I have finally found the perfect solution. Spread it over the weekend!

On Saturday, we went for a leisurely lunch with my parents as we don’t like to squeeze with the crowds on Sunday and be limited to mother’s day menus.

I used to have to sit next to Kate to see her through the meal but now that she is more independent, her sisters can handle her.

So many jie jies to dote on her

On Sunday, I declared a day off and escaped to Sentosa Cove for a lovely lunch with some friends. Kate was such a dear. She kept herself occupied with the art counter set up for the occasion and painted me a heart. When she had enough of that, she came back to our table for her lunch. She fed herself and when she was done, asked if she could go back for some face painting. Sure, why not? Anything that keeps you quiet, my dear 😉

Learning to be ambidextrous?

Soon it was her nap time and she automatically came to look for me and said, “I want to sleep.” She drank her milk then promptly fell asleep in her stroller for 2 hours.

Quayside Isle

What bliss. Seeing your child sleeping soundly is always a delightful sight. And at a place as charming as Quayside Isle, along with good company? Nothing short of a perfect afternoon.

Sabio by the Sea
And the best part of our long lunch? Savouring the heavenly warm churros morsel by morsel, without having to deny (or share with) Kate such a sinful dessert 😉

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

SKIRT – A remarkable dining experience at W Hotel

We love steak, and for special occasions we used to go to Morton’s at Mandarin Oriental for good steak. We haven’t been there in many years as it’s getting quite crowded and noisy. We heard that SKIRT at W hotel is very good, so when a friend invited us for his birthday dinner I was happy to abandon my 8pm bedtime and head out to Sentosa.

We were greeted at the entrance by raw slabs of meat hanging in the display fridge. These people are certainly serious about their beef! The chefs work in an open-concept kitchen and there was an open grill right smack in the middle of it.

Our meal started off on a lovely note with this pretty looking flower shaped bread. Most importantly, it was served warm.

What struck me immediately was that despite being a very high-end restaurant, the waiters do not assume you have deep pockets and instead of recommending the most expensive items, they even suggested we share. We wanted to try everything, but restrained ourselves and ordered 3 starters to share amongst the 4 of us. The oysters were flown in from Coffin Bay, and were fresh, as expected. Visually appealing too, with the dash of colour.

Fresh Oysters from Coffin Bay, Australia

I love tuna tartare and this didn’t disappoint. The sauce tasted Asian though, which was something I didn’t expect. 

Tuna Tartar & Avocado $28

The starter that blew us away was the prawns. They were big, firm, and the colour was a beautiful reddish-orange. And my, they tasted soo good. Nothing too over-powering, just perfectly done. The waiter told us they were flown in from Madagascar!

Carabinero Prawns $25 each

For our mains, I settled on the Full Blood Wagyu Grain Fed Beef (Skirt $68) which was the smallest portion at 200g, as I already had an earlier light dinner with the kids. The way it was presented and the picture taken doesn’t do it justice at all. It was good. Really, really, good. Oh, and you see those two cute little bottles in the background? One is an Apple bourbon palette cleanser and the other is barbecue sauce.

Full Blood Wagyu Grain Fed Beef

The Tenderloin Grain Fed Beef looked absolutely juicy and appetising. Was really good too. The waiter did suggest that the 4 of us share 3 mains, which would have been just nice, but the men were so ravenous that they wanted their own piece of steak. I was completely stuffed by the end of the meal as we tried each other’s cut.

Tenderloin 250g

Along with the mains, we ordered 4 sides. My favourite was the mashed potato (Truffle potato puree $16). Smooth and creamy with a hint of truffle oil. Super duper yummy. The onion rings (Beer battered onion rings $10) were also good.

Portobella Mushroom $16

We were given a complimentary piece of cake for the birthday boy and we added 2 desserts (women always have a spare dessert stomach, isn’t it). We didn’t quite fancy the chocolate chocolate chocolate (the one in the background.) The chocolate mud cake with ice cream was not bad. By that time we were so stuffed that the desserts didn’t quite stand out. 

Dessert

We really loved that the place was cosy and quiet (or maybe because we were there on a weekday). It is also big enough that even if we had brought the older kids along, we could have made reservations for a corner and wouldn’t have disturbed the other diners, although our pockets would have burnt a hole (there is an age restriction for kids). We definitely over ordered, but if you were more conservative, I’d say it would set you back about $150 – $200 per person without wine.

Lovely ambience

After dinner we took a constitutional along the waterfront to digest all that food. With the million dollar boats as eye candy, it was a perfect end to a perfect meal.

A fellow mummy blogger celebrated her 9th wedding anniversary there recently and she ordered the Tasting Plate of 5 Breeds. Check out her post to get a better idea of which cut of beef to order. In fact, I only found out after reading her post that I had chosen the top grade beef. No wonder it was soooo yummy. Happy 9th anniversary, V 🙂

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Kate’s antics: Stranded on an island

What do you do when you find yourself stranded on an island?
Wait.
“Maybe someone will come and rescue me”
Walk.
“Maybe I’ll bump into someone”
Wave.
“Maybe if I keep waving, someone will appear”

And if all else fails?

Rely on your survival skills which was naturally acquired as a 6th child.

“Hmm… pizza or pasta for my dinner?”

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Luge – Sentosa (Imbiah Lookout)

One of the activities which my kids have enjoyed for many, many years and still have not grown out of is the Skyline Luge at Sentosa. When they were younger, they had fun just going down the hill. Now that they are older, they loved it even more as they raced one another down the slope. After the first round, they wanted to have a go at the other route as well.

Ready, get set, Go!

The 4 older kids were gone in a flash while I took it slow and easy as it was Kate’s first time on the Luge. Initially when I placed her in front of me she wanted to get out. It was only after I told her that she would have to stay with the auntie and wait here for me that she relented. #4 stayed behind to accompany us and we went down side by side. After the first ride we asked Kate if she wanted to go again and she shouted “Yes!” Uh-oh, an adventure junkie in the making.

Choosing the right size

After purchasing the tickets, the kids went to grab their helmets. They have different sizes and green is the tiniest. The straps were still too long for Kate so I tied a few knots to shorten it.

“This is too big for me”

Be prepared for a long queue during the school holidays. The ride itself is only a couple of minutes, but the wait could be up to half an hour.

Snaking queue

Once is definitely not enough so we bought the family package of 10 rides. If you’re going more than once, hang on to your helmet as you’ll need it again. At the bottom, we hopped on to the Skyride to get back up. Yup, it doesn’t stop, so you literally have to hop on to it quickly.

Skyride back up

Just before we went up the Skyride, I got the older kids to buy a snack for Kate. Thank goodness for my quick thinking (haha) as she was kept occupied and stayed seated throughout.

Popcorn to the rescue

The ride lasted almost 10 minutes and near the end, she kept asking to go down. We distracted her by asking her to spot birds (none to be found) and aeroplanes (also none to be found).

View not good enough?
After they had their fill of fun, we adjourned to Starz Restaurant at Hard Rock Hotel (at Resorts World Sentosa) to fill their bellies with a yummilicious buffet.
~ mummy wee – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Sentosa snake charmer… who’s the bravest?

Took #5 for a day out at Sentosa with his godbrother. The boys were playing by themselves and did not want to include the dear little girl whom my friend brought along. They are at this age where they like to form their own boys club. This was the first time that I met this girl, but I was really impressed with her. Even though she was excluded from their games, she did not whine nor complain to us. She is such a self-assured and independent child. 

Running around the rocks can be so much fun!

As it started to rain, we bought tickets for the kids to entertain themselves at the 4D Adventure Land. Kate managed to be entertained by walking around the poles and smiling at the other adults hanging around. Some young tourists found her so adorable they kept taking photos with her.

Yummy biscuits baked by Auntie C

The kids wanted to have a go at handling the snake, and the little girl went first, with the snake wound around her. The boys then had their turn, but guess what?

“There’s no way I’m going to go near his head!”

They were afraid of the snake and none of them wanted to hold the snake’s neck.

“Ew! We’ve had enough of the snake!”

In the end who had to come to their rescue to hold the snake’s neck? The brave little girl. She is such a cool gal. Way to go girl!

“The eyes are really interesting”

Our conclusion? The boys are only good at acting macho but in fact, they are so timid! The girl managed to put them in their place. And who else wanted to have a piece of the action? Our little Kate.

“Look mum, I’m touching a real life snake!”
~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~