6 simple things we do during the school holidays

During the school holidays, in between taking them out for activities, these are some of the simple things we do at home to get them away from their gadgets.

Things to do during the sweltering afternoons:


1. Paint pebbles

“Eww, what’s that on my finger?”


It’s never about the end-product but the process, isn’t it? They have an interesting story behind every creation.

Handmade paper weight, anyone?

I was actually inspired by these… but alas, it looks easy but it’s not!

For Kate, I got her an old styrofoam box to paint on.

2. Bake yummy cookies

These cookies are the best! Made by #2 of course, with her assistants. Slightly crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. Recipe to follow soon, when I get the time to do it up. Promise.

 Homemade cookies are still the best

Then spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying a slow leisurely tea with freshly baked cookies.

“Small ones all for me?”


3. Play boardgames or card games

There’s never a lack of players in our house. We get a lot of our games from the local online website My First Games. They have a mind-boggling selection of very good games which doesn’t rely on luck to win.

Looks simple, but a test on speed


Things to do once the sun goes down:

4. Go to the playground

There’s so much to do at the playground. Play hide and seek around the play structures and trees, play ball, badminton, soccer, frisbee. I brought my sidewalk art set which I bought from the U.S. and all the other kids at the playground joined in as well. Lovely.

Sidewalk chalk and paint

5. Swim and pack a picnic

In this heat, the kids love mucking around the pool. There are so many fun swimming complexes all over our island and we’re taking Kate to them one by one.

Easiest to pack dinner along so we don’t have to rush back when the kids are hungry. Also gives the mummies more time to relax and chat!

Too lazy to pack? Just order

6. Fun walk after dinner

I made up this little game with the kids a couple of years back. When I first started asking them to go for a walk, they said “Huh. So tiring”. I told them we would walk to the nearest petrol station and back. I brought along some money in my pocket and asked them to guess the amount. Each child had 1 guess. If they got it right, they would be rewarded with the full amount to be shared amongst them. If they got it wrong, they would each be entitled to buy just 1 item with a cap of $2. The kids still remember the walks we had years ago and the fun they had trying to collaborate and out-guess mummy.

Sane tip: I used to be very ambitious and spent a lot of effort to plan and prepare activities to keep them occupied during the holidays. It really drained me and I became high-strung as I had more expectations. I have learnt that simple activities work just as well, and because I didn’t spend a lot of time and energy on the preparations, I am able to relax, go with the flow, and enjoy doing the activities along with them. And even if it doesn’t turn out the way it’s supposed to, it doesn’t bother me anymore.

Save tip: You can get chalk from Ikea which works well too. To make sidewalk paint, just pound up the chalk, put it in a plastic container, add water and stir.


~ 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 ~

Roomraider – Great fun for teens and adults

One of the latest in entertainment for teens and adults that I have been hearing about is something called Escape Room Gaming. You go with a group of friends and enter an interactive real life puzzle where you work as a team to solve a mystery within a time limit. We were offered the opportunity to try it out for ourselves, so I took my older girls and their friends along to experience something new as I had heard good reviews from some friends. I was looking forward to going in with them, however at the last minute, I realised that the doors are bolted and some of the areas are narrow, and as I am claustrophobic, I decided to back out.

@ Orchard Central

After the hour was up (they were given an extension as they did not manage to solve the puzzle within the 45 minute time frame), here’s what my kids had to say about it:

“Roomraider is a really exciting and intriguing experience that has opened our eyes to a whole new world of fun using codes and secrecy. Through the extremely important use of communication and collaboration between teammates, we had to put our heads together to manoeuvre through a maze of rooms to try and solve the mystery.”

Encourages teamwork

We went for ‘Prison Break’ which is their most popular theme. This is also the most challenging one and the kids had to press the buzzer for help a couple of times. They were then prompted with clues. There are other themes to choose from including SWAT: Firestorm, Where’s Cuddles?, Hyperion and Dark Mansion. The different themes have different environments, different gadgets and different objectives.

Having a swell time

The very friendly young people who were manning the counter advised me that it is most suitable for children above the age of 12 as some of the puzzles are quite challenging and younger children may not be able to solve them. You have to form teams of between 2 to 8 people, however the fewer people there are in the group, the tougher it will be to solve the puzzle. If you come in a party of less than 8, there might be a chance that you would have to combine with another group to form a group of 8.

Sane tip: Great to take the older kids during this June holidays for a different experience. Also good for girls night out or couples date night with a bunch of friends. Do book in advance to avoid disappointment for your preferred time slot, and come in comfortable clothing.

Save tip: Cheaper on weekdays – $22 per person. Regular price (Fridays from 5.30pm, Sat & Sun, & Public holidays) – $28 per person.

Roomraider

181 Orchard Road
Orchard Central
#05-45
Singapore 238896

Tel: 6636 8470

Disclaimer: Our session at Roomraider has been sponsored. All opinions are my own.

~ mummy wee – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Their March holidays

We’ve come to the end of their March holidays and I must say that I had a rather pleasant week. #1 and #3 had a lot of individual plans so I decided to shelf those grand plans I had for them to do together and go with the flow instead. We started with a nice family meal at the beginning of the holidays and ended with another lovely Sunday lunch. In between I was busy ferrying them around, spending time with them separately, and taking them out in twos or threes.

Our usual dim sum

#1 is participating in her band’s concert at the Esplanade in May so training was very intensive during this one week break. Her ‘A’ Math teacher also scheduled some extra classes to get them on track for the ‘O’ level exams, so her week was fully packed.

#5 asked his grandparents for robotics lessons which I agreed to since this holiday was a ‘free and easy’ one. He went for daily lessons which lasted for 2 hours each time and he loved the classes. I figured it was better for the grandparents to pay for some proper classes instead of buying him more and more toys. Halfway through the week, his friends decided to join him after hearing how fun it was. Normally, I would have to think twice before allowing 1 child to go for daily lessons as it meant that a chuck of time was blocked out for family activities.

Robotics lessons

Apart from the classes, he spent his time playing at playgrounds…

Taking care of his best pal’s little sister

Going for meals…

Old friends are the best friends!

Or doing dinosaur craft by himself at home.

3D crafty fun

#3 had a busy week which included a staycation at RWS with her friends, her birthday celebrations, movie outings, and supplementary classes in school to prepare for her PSLE Oral.

Hard Rock pool at RWS

#2 and #4 didn’t have much on so #2 invited her friend over for a sleepover and the girls entertained themselves with card games, baking, cooking and movies.

Playing card games

And Kate? As she does not have her own friends and her own plans, she tried to tag along with whoever allowed her to.

“Hey wait up!”

And me? When the kids were all occupied, I escaped and had tea with a friend. A good cuppa and a great tiramisu mid-week are enough to make me a happy momma!

Carpenter and Cook

Sane tip: I do a lot of tag team with the other mums. For example, we take turns doing chauffeur duty for their daily robotics classes, or I would take the kids out for a day and another mum would do another day.

Save tip: When the kids are older, there are a lot of productive things which they can occupy themselves with at home without sending them for holiday enrichment classes, such as cooking, baking, craft work, sewing, etc.


~ mummy wee – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Westgate Wonderland

Took the kids to the newly opened Westgate Wonderland playground at Jurong’s newest mall. They have been eyeing this cool playground as it has one of the most impressive looking treehouse they have ever seen, which sits atop a huge play structure like those you find at indoor playgrounds.

Treehouse playground on Level 4

There’s even a mini rock climbing wall which is suitable for those around 3-7 years of age.

Wide enough for many little climbers

In one corner, there’s a separate area for the little ones, which makes it a little safer for the tots during the crowded weekends.

Musical flowers

A bright orange capsule swing which goes round and round. Kate didn’t seem to like this one, although her cousin clearly did!

“Can I get off?”

See-saw fit for 5!

Great for practicing balancing
Kate’s favourite part of the playground was this little segmented caterpillar. The colourful parts of the body is broken up into little ‘stools’. 
“Just the right size for me”

Kate enjoyed getting up and down on each one of them.

“This one’s slightly bigger..”

#5 was trying to cajole her into playing somewhere more interesting instead of simply sitting on a stool! Seems like Kate is not easily persuaded.

“No can do, gor gor, I like it here”
Sane tip: This playground on Level 4 is quite shady and very windy when we were there at 5pm. And there was enough to entertain the kids of all ages. There’s a separate Kids club soon to be opened on Level 5. A minimum spend of $60 entitles your child to be dropped off to enjoy the activities at the supervised clubhouse.

Save tip: This impressive playground is absolutely free!
Westgate
3 Gateway Drive
Singapore 608532
~ www.mummyweeblog.com – 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 ~

Sentosa 4D Happy Feet Mumble’s Wild Ride!

It’s the last day of school for #4 and #5. Hooray! It was the perfect opportunity for them to celebrate the end of a school year by enjoying an exciting evening at the Media Preview of Sentosa’s newest 4D attraction.

Happy Feet Mumble’s Wild Ride! is a 4-D simulation ride which lasts about 6 minutes. If you loved the movie, you will definitely love this multi-sensory ride. The kids came out and gushed, “Awesome!”.

This ride is suitable for the whole family. Kids above 90 cm are able to sit on their own, but those under 3 need an adult with them. 
#4 brought along a friend

We moved on to the 4-D shoot-out game ‘Desperados’. The kids absolutely loved this one. They went 3 times and would have gone for more if they were not closing. Kids have to be above 110cm for this interactive shooting ride.

Queueing to enter
The kids had scores of around 600, but me? Er.. I managed 200 on my best try. 
Who’s the sharpest shooter?

The 3rd one we watched was the 4D movie ‘Journey 2: The Mysterious Island’. #1 and #2 enjoyed this very much. It is adapted from the 2008 Hollywood Blockbuster ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ and stars Vanessa Hudgens, from High School Musical. (It’s ok mummies if you don’t know who she is, but I’m guessing your tweens would know).

The 4th ride which we didn’t manage to catch is the ‘Extreme Log Ride’ which is a 10 minute 4-D ride. Apparently it is more suitable for the older kids, although the age restriction is 6 years old. I heard that it feels like a thrilling roller-coaster ride.

Sane tip: Every time I take the kids for a day out to Sentosa, we end up doing all the outdoor activities like the Luge, Adventure Cove or playing at the beach. This is one part of Sentosa where we could take shelter during the hottest part of the afternoon and continue on to the other activities when the sun goes down. The kids can easily spend 2-3 hours here as they kept asking to go again on all the rides/shows.

Save tip: Unlimited entry on all 3 rides. For the whole duration of this year end school holidays, Happy Feet Mumble’s Wild Ride! will be screened, so you get 4 rides instead of 3! Mumble’s ride will be sharing the same theatre as the Extreme Log ride, and they will alternate every hour.

Disclaimer: We were invited to the Media Preview of Sentosa 4D AdventureLand Happy Feet Mumble’s Wild Ride!

~  mummywee – parenting 6 kids in Singapore without going mad or broke  ~

Our first time out with just the 2 younger ones

The hubs missed the kids so much that he decided we should take them out for some fun. I had my lovely massage and felt ready to tackle a full day out. I suggested LEGOLAND in Malaysia as #5 has been wanting to go there since it opened last year. It would be a good time to go as it was a weekday and the school holidays had not commenced. #5 had been such a good boy in taking care of Kate that he deserves this treat.

As it turned out, it became a special day just for the 2 younger ones as the 4 older kids already had plans. #1 was at band practice and was going to meet her grandma for lunch and an afternoon of shopping. #2 had invited her friends over for their music project. #3 was in Indonesia on a school trip. #4 had a friend coming over for a sleep-over. So it was just the 4 of us.

Our first time at LEGOLAND Malaysia

We are so used to taking the whole bunch out that suddenly it felt really relaxing just having one chid to one adult. Which turned out to be quite necessary as most of the rides that #5 wanted to go on were not accessible to Kate. 

Daddy hung out with her at DUPLO playtown
#5 was so excited to watch the 4D Legends of Chima. He came out saying it was just “awesome”! Yup, I thought it was awesome too… the aircon respite, I mean.
Lego Studios @ Imagination

We passed some basketball hoops and #5 really wanted daddy to win him a minion. It didn’t look too difficult, but in the end, the hubs realised the hoops were oval instead of round and nope, they didn’t walk off with the giant minion. 

#5 cheering daddy on

I was really glad that the park was not crowded and we didn’t have to queue for most rides. The longest queue was at the driving school and that was about a 10-minute wait. I can’t imagine coming on a weekend or during the school holidays. The heat was really quite unbearable even though we had caps on. Should have brought umbrellas too!

Lego City – City Airport

#5 said that driving the Lego car was his 2nd favourite ride of all. 

Lego City – Driving School

And his favourite? Steering the boat!

Lego City – Boating School

We were there for almost 4 hours and were thoroughly exhausted. I must say that #5 had a swell time, but I wouldn’t recommend this theme park to kids under 3. Most of the rides have height restrictions and it’s really too hot for the little ones.

He slumped onto the car seat on entering the car

Sane tip: Before we left home, we thought of taking the rest of the kids here during the school holidays. However, I don’t think I can brave this sweltering heat any time soon and I would much prefer taking them to the LEGOLAND Water Park again instead.

Save tip: Pre-book online one week in advance to save 20% off tickets.


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