Antoinette (Salted Egg Yolk Croissant)

The last time I’ve been to Antoinette was a long time ago, but they are in the limelight again with their newly launched salted egg yolk croissant, following trends in Hongkong and K.L.

Whenever someone mentions anything to do with salted egg, my ears are pricked. The kids and I love most salted egg dishes, but I have my doubts about it in a croissant.

Some friends heard that it gets sold out within the hour, and being typical Singaporeans (haha) they decided our next brunch venue would have to be here.

At 5 minutes to 11am, a small crowd started forming outside the cafe, all ready to try their new creation.

Dainty display of sweets

We decided to order 2 croissants to share amongst the 4 of us and add some main meals as it was almost lunch time.

They served us the croissant straightaway as it was fresh out of the oven.


Yes, they make good croissants. Yes, the salted egg yoke filling had good texture and was not too sweet, but it was a good thing we shared. The combination is interesting but not something I would crave for again.

Salted Yolk Lava Croissant $7.50

We are all crab lovers, and tried the Crab Pomodoro – homemade pasta with white wine tomato sauce, fine herbs, chilli, crab meat and clam broth. This was pretty satisfying although the pasta could have been more al dente.

Crab Pomodoro $26

Their savoury crepes sounded yummy and we went for the Nordic – smoked salmon, red onions, capers and dill cream cheese. Nice.

Nordic $19
As expected of their French classic desserts, the cakes looked exquisite and delectable.
Selection of petite cakes
Antoinette at Penhas Road

Since I was already there, I couldn’t leave without buying some croissants for the kids, could I?

When they returned from school, they were pleasantly surprised by a dessert treat, and after discovering what the bag held, their response was “Huh? Salted egg yolk croissant?”

Takeaway $6.50 each

Their verdict? “Not bad. By the way, the bag is very nice. Can we have it?”

Antoinette (Lavender)
30 Penhas Road
Singapore 208188
Tel: 62933121

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

2 Reunion dinners in a night

Every year, we do both sides of our family’s reunion dinner on the same night. We go over to my mum’s place for an early dinner at 5pm and head back home to join the hub’s side of the family thereafter.

#2 and #4 went over after lunch to help my mum with the preparations for steamboat. They did a great job slicing the salmon and abalone really thinly, and even had a go at chopping the chicken.

They also helped to wash the car porch and back yard and set the table for dinner.

Reunion dinner at my mum’s place this year was a cosy affair with only our immediate family members.

Reunion at my mum’s

Meanwhile, the other 2 girls were at home, being on hand to be summoned by their other grandpa to run to the provision store to pick up missed out items as he cooked up a storm.

Reunion on the hubs side of the family is a more rowdy affair, including relatives who drove down from KL to celebrate Chinese New Year together.

Lo Hei

The highlight of our annual celebrations is not only the tossing of Yu Sheng, but also having our family photo taken. Everyone took their places as the hubs set the camera up.

Wee Family scene

With so much going on, Kate did not want to go to bed. After her shower, she begged to go down again to see what was happening. “Please mummy, just a little while..”

Even though it was almost 11pm, I relented.

Thank you mummy!”

She scuttled down and had another round of fun.

Kate with her grandaunt

And with that, we close one chapter while we usher in a brand new lunar new year.

Wishing all my readers peace, success and good health in this Year of the Monkey!



~ 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 ~ 

The Art of Speed by Playeum

I’ve been meaning to take #5 to the Children’s Centre for Creativity and as expected, he and his friend had so much fun exploring with cars and speed that they weren’t done playing even after 4 hours. This space is inspired by Australia’s Ipswich Art Gallery’s hugely successful “Built for Speed” installation.

Playeum

Kate couldn’t keep her little car on the ramp and ended up “walking” it carefully along the green ramp. Good for coordination!

The boys spent an hour trying to adjust and re-adjust the blocks under the ramp  to see if their car could run over the bumps and make it to the end. It was nice to see the boys work together, even with strangers.

Create for Speed

At this station, they built their own Lego cars to race down the steep wooden ramp. Thing is, they didn’t realise that there is a hole in middle of the ramp! They ended up spending almost 2 hours here, building cars that could cross the hurdle.

Wooden ramp

And they succeeded!

#5’s speed machine

Kate played at the soft corner, and even though I tried to explain to her that the cars were meant to be rolled down the slopes, she was not keen on playing with the cars at all. Instead, she arranged the slopes into structures and rolled around on them. Whatever suits her!

I noticed that most of the girls gravitated towards the Play Maker Space, where they created their own cars out of recycled materials. This lady was so patient with Kate and assisted her in making her own set of wheels.

“What happened?!”

Soon enough, she was tired of playing with cars and we went across the street to Red Baron cafe for a quick lunch. When we returned, she was all recharged and played in the dark room shining her torch around and being mesmerised by the light reflected by the disco ball.


Sane tip: This installation runs until 3 April 2016. Excellent place to bring your boys if they are into cars.

Save tip: Re-entry is allowed. Peak periods – limited to 2 hours per entry. We were there on a weekday and were allowed to play for an unlimited time as it was not crowded.

Playeum
47 Malan Road
Gillman Barracks
#01-21
Singapore 109444
Tel: 62620750

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

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Kate has been watching the Jurassic Park sequels with #5 and had a lot of questions about dinosaurs. She asked if we could go and see them, like the animals in the zoo. I told her that dinosaurs are extinct and the closest we could get was to look at their bones in the museum and she was really excited.

Fossils of 3 dinosaurs

The first thing that greets you when you step into the museum is the majestic sight of three diplodocid sauropod skeletons named Prince, Apollonia and Twinky.

The older kids were blown away by the fact that this bone was inside a dinosaur around 67 million years ago! The Edmontosaurus is a type of hadrosaur, a “duck-billed” dinosaur.

Femur of Edmontosaurus

Somehow I had the impression that this museum was mainly about the dinosaurs. Little did we know that there are actually over a million specimens preserved here at this research centre. Wow.

Level 1: BIODIVERSITY – embark on a journey through the diverse groups of life forms on Earth, with a focus on native and Southeast Asian flora and fauna.

Crocodylia, Indonesia, Sumatra, 1912

Although Kate was not afraid of any of the specimens, it could be a little upsetting for some young kids. Kate was intrigued by them and went up close to have a good look. It’s like her encyclopaedia had come alive!

Leopard, Malaysia, Johore, 1970s

Level 1 is segmented into 15 zones: Life, Plants, Dinosaurs, Fungi, Towards animals, Molluscs, Arthropods, Reptiles, Birds, Tropical rainforest, Marine cycles, Mammals, Amphibians, Fish and Water to Land.

Japanese Spider Crab

The Japanese Spider Crab has the largest leg span of any living arthropod, capable of reaching 3.8m claw to claw! In spite of its size, it has a gentle disposition and is an omnivore which feeds on animal matter on the sea floor.

Orangutan, Borneo of Sumatra, 1930s

Level 2: Heritage – Singapore’s landscape and the study of biodiversity has evolved over the years. Delve into the nostalgic past and discover the museum’s history and Singapore’s geology. 

Black Marlin

The Black Marlin is one of the largest bony fishes and can reach speeds of 130 kilometres per hour! This 3.3m long specimen died after being stranded at East Coast Park in 1986, and weighed 245kg in life!

The dinosaur can be seen so closely on Level 2 that Kate was prompted to draw it. She took out her sketch book which is always kept in her bag, and spent almost half an hour with her drawings.

Twinky is about half the size of the other two sauropods, measuring 12m long. It is the first diplodocid dinosaur found with a complete, undisturbed series of vertebrae preserved in a continuous row with even spacing, from the atlas to the beginning of the whiplash tail. It seems to be a juvenile or sub-adult, and lived during the Jurassic period, around 156 to 148 million years ago.

“Twinky Delano MS LEE”

There is so much to take in that we will have to come back repeatedly over the years. Lots of information for the older kids to look at, read about and digest.

Gift shop

Sane tips: 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!


There isn’t any food outlets situated here, but the gift shop sells instant cup noodles, a small range of snacks and cold drinks.

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
National University of Singapore
2 Conservatory Drive
Singapore 117377

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

The day my phone drowned

You’ve heard of people dropping their phones into the toilet or swimming pool. But have you ever heard of anyone having their water bottle contents spill in their handbag resulting in their phone becoming water damaged?

Yeah, it happened to me. Such rotten luck, isn’t it?

My kids advised me to leave it in a bag of rice, and it should dry out and be able to work after 3 days.

Effective home remedy?

I took their advice, as the shops were closed anyway, but by the next morning, when it still could not power on, I decided not to let it corrode further and took it to the shop.

The strange thing was, I was surprised how calm I was.

I had 5 seconds of panic, thinking, “My photos! My to-do lists!” and irritated with myself for incurring the unnecessary cost to replace the phone.

Then my considerations went to my leather handbag. I don’t know which was worse. My spoilt phone or my spoiled bag.

But after that wave of panic washed over me, I thought, oh well.

Guess my 6 days of retreat had left me in a zen mode, and somehow, losing material possessions did not disturb me as much as I assumed it would.

One of the things we reflected on over the week was that all of us needed to slow down, and to focus on the “essentials”.

As I went about my day without a phone, I suddenly felt liberated.

I could not be reached by anyone. Not even my kids! I had total freedom and peace.

Initially, I felt the urge (probably borne out of habit) to look into my bag to check if I had text messages I had missed. It’s like someone calling out to you constantly.

But then I felt a new found sense of lightness that I could concentrate on whatever I was doing and not bother about anything else, without having 10 things going on in my head about what I needed to get done, what I had forgotten, what else I had to settle.

In the in-between moments of waiting in line where I would automatically do something “productive” on my phone like replying to emails or reading the news, I realised I could simply do nothing.

It made me wonder, how did we live before the advent of mobile gadgets?

We seem to be shackled to them in this day and age.

For all it’s benefits, it’s sad that our gadgets have taken over our lives. We have forgotten how to just be. To enjoy being in the present moment.

To be free.

Alas, after 3 days, I had my phone back. And life returned to normal. With the phone usually within reach.

Sigh.

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

Christmas Gifts for Kids aged 1-12

I often get asked for suggestions on Christmas gift ideas for kids, so I’ve compiled a list of the things my 6 kids have enjoyed over the years.

Included are some bigger budget items for the super doting aunt or grandpa with only 1 or 2 little ones to splurge on. (This is the part where my kids never fail to complain “If we were an only child, we would get extravagant Christmas presents!”)

As I have 5 girls and 1 boy, the items are slightly skewed towards the girls (especially in colour), although the majority are suitable for both genders.

The ages are but a rough guide, depending on the child’s maturity and current preference, so do cross over for ideas.

Those without a tag at the end can be found at departmental stores like Takashimaya, Robinsons or Isetan. Tom & Stefanie at Westmall also carries a wide range of kids merchandise. I have included the Malls where the items can be found, right at the end of the post. Hope this list helps to lighten the year-end madness!

1 YEAR OLD

  • Musical instruments – Plan Toys from The Better Toy Store. They also carry good educational toys for babies and toddlers.
  • Wire and Bead Maze frame – Ikea
  • Simple puzzles – Melissa & Doug Sound Puzzles from Mothercare
  • Duplo (toddler sized Lego)
  • Stacking cups
  • Pull-along toy telephone from Fisher Price
  • Cloth books
Xylophone $30

Splurge: “Snuggle Bug” Car, powered by foot from Toys “R” Us

Every toddler who comes to our house will automatically get into the little car. As they get older, they add pretend play into the mix, “driving” to the supermarket and creating stories. Buy it when they are 1+ to get more mileage out of it!


If space permits, a mini indoor slide is also a good option. My kids played with theirs every single day, and even draped an oversized cloth over it and turned it into their secret hiding place.

Snuggle Bug $190

2 YEARS OLD

  • ‘Build-a-Snowman’ Playdough Kit from Tickle your Senses (Pre-orders until 29 Nov, delivery in December to ensure freshness)
  • Collapsible Scrunch Bucket for sand/water play (great for travelling) – Mothercare, Not in the Malls (online store) 
  • Cut fruit set – Melissa & Doug Mothercare
  • Cooking set – Eco-friendly Green Toys from MothersWork.
  • Toy stroller
‘Build-a-Snowman Kit’ $24.90
Splurge: Balance Bike Kinderbike E Series ($109) from Tikes N Bikes. Details in my review of Kinder Bike.

Green Toys Chef Set ($27) Dish Set ($39)
3 YEARS OLD

  • Trucks, planes, excavators. Boys at this age love vehicles. Big ones or small ones like Hot Wheels car collection.
  • Plus-Plus puzzles are great for little hands and convenient to bring around. I put a handful into a drawstring bag and it’s enough to keep Kate occupied during family meals out, from The Children’s Showcase.
  • Doctor Set pretend play
  • Large Floor Puzzles from Growing Fun.
  • Vitamins for kids (amidst all the toys received, my kids love the surprise of getting gummy vitamins. They see it as healthy sweets!)
Splurge: The entire kitchen set with sink and microwave oven or Thomas the Train track set for boys. #5 played with his trains almost daily for about 2 years. Well-worth the money spent.
Plus-Plus puzzles $29
4 YEARS OLD

Splurge: Skate scooter from White & Black Trading, Motherswork, Robinsons.

“Fun-on-the-Run” Car Table Bag $29.90

5 YEARS OLD

  • Sylvanian Families animal figurine sets
  • Zoobie Pet (Ultra cute Soft toy, pillow & blanket rolled into one. Great travelling companion and too cute to boot) Small $36, Large $55 from The Planet Traveller
  • Simple board games – from Growing Fun
  • Stationery/Wallets/Water bottles from Smiggle. Time to get them ready for Primary 1, and don’t forget to ask their favourite colour.
Splurge: My girls were smitten by the adorable Sylvanian animals and the assortment of miniature furniture. One fine Christmas, they made a pact to request for this together so the grandparents took them to Takashimaya and they had a field day buying the entire village, complete with pool, jumping castle and lights to illuminate the house. Now, Kate has inherited everything!

For something more practical, a good quality school bag like SPI, Impact or Deuter would last them a good 6 years. Although in reality, after Primary 4 they wanted a different design, and passed down their old bag to their sibling. #5 is still using #1’s SPI bag which I bought her in Primary 1, and she’s now in Polytechnic! Super durable.
Zoobie Pet $55

6 YEARS OLD

  • Citiblocs from My First Games online store. Review of the myriad of structures which can be built by these seemingly innocuous looking flat blocks. They are having a massive 30% discount (only for Citiblocs) just key in CTBTHIRTY at checkout.
  • Luggage bags
  • Micro Chargers Cars for boys
  • Small haversack (for excursion days in school)
  • Craft kits from Spotlight 
  • Subscription to Young Scientist
Splurge: Rollerblades or trampoline to get them bouncing, from sports shops.
Citiblocs 200 pieces $89

7 YEARS OLD

  • Handmade Scrapbooks for journalling, doodling, crafting. Hardcover with blank pages. More details at Dottieshop Facebook page. Order via email: dottieshop@gmail.com
  • Washi tape from craft or scrapbooking stores
  • More Lego (my son played with Lego from 2 till now, upgrading to sets for older kids. Ask if they have any preference of character themes.)

Splurge: Wrist watch for school (we gave each of our kids a Casio Baby G watch before entering Primary 2, which lasted them for years). Or splurge on a new bicycle if they have outgrown the previous one.

 Mini Scrapbook $16

8 YEARS OLD

  • Assortment of markers from Typo, Smiggle or The Paper Stone
  • Pretty computer accessories
  • Remote control car from Toys r Us
  • Soap making kit from Soap Ministry
  • Sporting equipment such as soccer balls / basketballs / badminton racquets 
Remote control car

9 YEARS OLD

  • Cheery Stationery and more from The Paper Stone
  • Plush toys from Craftholic (these cute Japanese characters come in a variety of colours and have a huge following among tweens, teens, and even young adults)
  • Dart board, chess board
  • Skylanders merchandise

Splurge: Penny Skateboard from White & Black Trading (colour can be customised)

Rabbit Type Alien from Craftholic

10 YEARS OLD

  • Colourful cushions to brighten up their rooms, Cupcake cushion from Candylicious
  • Large Globe from Popular bookstore
  • Cross-shoulder sachets
Splurge: Remote control drone (the gramps can’t remember the name of the retailer, but you can find them in hobby shops)
Remote control drone

11 YEARS OLD

  • Family board games from My First Games. They have a mind-boggling array of unique games for all ages
  • Ear phones, mobile phone covers.
  • Sunglasses
  • Converse shoes
  • Hoodie jackets, preferably in solid dark colours

Splurge: Polaroid 

Ubongo Extreme family game

12 YEARS OLD

  • Swave Board from Toys r Us
  • Large, less childish water bottles in preparation for Secondary 1
  • Polaroid refills if you bought them a Polaroid last year
  • Christmas Starbucks card (this one needs clearance from mum, but you’ll be the coolest aunt around!)
  • For girls, they are starting to be little ladies, and love pretty lip balms (from pharmacies), sling handbags or metal chain necklaces.
Splurge: A new schoolbag for Secondary school. #3 requested for this very popular Swedish backpack from her aunt, and I thought it looked rather strange initially. I discovered that it is extremely light yet durable and very practical, and the logo doubles as a reflector! See retailers below, or purchase online.
Fjallraven Kanken $129

Books are always a good idea, even though they may not be as well-received by the kids. I notice a look of disappointment when they tear open the present only to reveal books. However, it is the books they read over and over again, and take to school for morning reading sessions.

Here’s a whole list of good books, sorted by age. A good set for preschool children is the Timmy & Tammy series, which is written by local author Ruth Wan, to introduce Singapore landmarks to children in a fun way.

For the older kids aged 11-16, popular series at the moment include The Hunger Games, I am Number 4 and John Green books. 

If you are still stumped for ideas for the remaining kids on your list, just ask the child what character he or she likes and you can’t go far wrong. I don’t encourage Character merchandise, although it is usually a losing battle. Kate is now into Sofia the First and I can see her inching into the Frozen phase (gasp).

Another option for kids with too much material things is to give them the gift of an experience or one-off classes. Why not surprise them with a Gold Class movie date (my kids have been wishing for this), or classes such as pottery, mosaic art or Christmas craft workshops.

Mummies, do share with us if you have good recommendations, especially for the older kids!

Check out the following stores and you might pick up something that the child might like.


Happy Christmas shopping!

The Better Toy Store: Tanglin Mall #01-11, Parkway Parade, #01-70, The Centrepoint #03-07

Motherswork: Great World City #02-16, Tanglin Mall #03-11, Marina Bay Sands #B1-58, 112 Katong #03-33

Not in The Malls (online store Singapore)

The Children’s Showcase: Cluny Court #02-31, PasarBella #02-06

Growing Fun: Paragon #05-01, United Square #02-08, Parkway Parade #02-34, Marina Square #03-157

Ministry of Tots: Purchase via Qoo10 or PM via their Facebook page. Take $1 off by quoting “Mummy Wee blog”. 

The Planet Traveller: Ion Orchard #04-19, Marina Square #03-126, Paragon #04-15, Changi Airport T3 #03-34

Smiggle: List of 20 Smiggle stores islandwide

‘Build-a-Bear’: Plaza Singapura #03-04, Harbourfront #02-17

Spotlight: Plaza Singapore Level 5

Typo: Wisma Atria #B1-54, Vivocity #02-39, Westgate #02-22, Anchorpoint #01-03

Soap Ministry: Liang Court #02-33

Craftholic: Bugis Plus #02-23, Plaza Singapura #03-19

Candylicious: Resorts World Sentosa, Takashimaya #B2-25, Vivocity #02-41

Fjallraven: List of retailers in Singapore

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


District 21 – Family fun at IOI City Mall KL

District 21, in Kuala Lumpur, is an awesome place for the whole family. We left after 4 hours to meet relatives, but could have easily made our money’s worth and played the entire day!

In my opinion, it is more suitable for children from 6 or 7 years and above as they are able to enjoy the majority of the activities.

Having said that, Kate is just 3 and she had a swell time. Mostly because she had so many siblings to take care of her. Given her age, she was only allowed to play a few things – the tubby ride, trampoline, and the random slides.

District 21

Good that this place is air-conditioned, so the kids could play for a long time without grumbling about the heat.

The Power Station takes an interesting twist on the usual rock-climbing wall, with their interactive walls. All the walls are equipped with auto-belays, so parents can relax and watch (or join in the fun!)

Power Station

For crowd control, they only allow a certain number in at one time. Including queuing, the kids were in there for about an hour.

Min: 15kg, Max: 130kg

Various rock walls @ Power Station

You can even stack the foam blocks to create your own wall to climb!

Or have you ever imagined what it felt like to jump off a building?

I was watching some adorable kids confidently climb up one building at a time, and they squealed with glee when they jumped off the tallest building! Way cool. (that’s the blue and yellow-checked thin pillars)

Crumbling wall

The younger kids are allowed to play this tube slide, accompanied by an adult.

Kate bounced around for half an hour on the trampoline, climbed up the tilted bus, and was so tired she didn’t resist when I called her for a nap. She was knocked out for 2 hours while the older ones carried on.

Tubby Ride

There is a minimum height of 125cm to ride alone on the Tubby Ride. #5 and his cousin enjoyed this very much.

Exhilarating!

The Maze looks deceptively simple, but once you get in, it’s not so easy to get out! His cousin got stuck in the middle and it was heartwarming to see #5 talk him through and encourage him.

The Maze
For the younger kids, they have their own mini version of the Sky Trail at the Low RopesIf your kids have always wanted to try an obstacle course but is afraid of heights, this is a good one to start with to build their confidence, as it is relatively low.
Low Ropes

The kids can burn some energy or race one another round this little Pump Track.

Pump Track

For the older kids, there are lots more activities offering some serious fun. #1 and #3 thoroughly enjoyed the Sky Trail. #2 is afraid of heights and gave this a miss.

They took almost 2 hours for this, to queue, get briefed and manoeuvre through the whole course. They said it was quite tiring, but very fun. They sure had a good workout!

Min height: 155cm

Sky Trail

Some rules for Sky Trail / Power Station

  • No slippers / loose footwear
  • Avoid loose clothing and hanging jewellery
  • Long hair to be tied
  • Empty pockets and spectacles to be secured
Not for the faint hearted
The older kids really enjoyed the Roller Glider, which is like a zip line cum roller coaster high above our heads. Verdict: Way less scarier than it looks and heaps of fun!

Disposable caps are to be worn for quite a few of the attractions, and they can be purchased for RM 2 at the counter.
Exits at lower and upper level

On the upper level, right outside of District 21, they have some rides for the little ones. These are all payable separately.

We reached IOI City Mall early, and as District 21 only opens at 12pm, we whiled away our time playing at the level right above.

Carousel RM 5

Adults are allowed to accompany the kids on the carousel rides and don’t have to pay.

Mini Train RM 5

This cute little train makes about 2 or 3 rounds around this part of the mall. Adults need a ticket as well, but kids below 2 ride for free.

You can get the combo of Train + Car for RM 8 per person.

“Please Stop!”

Kate kept asking for a ride in the convertible, but after she got in and the staff helped her to step on the pedal, she must have gotten a fright that it took off! She burst into tears, and in her panic mode, could not understand my instructions to remove her feet from the pedal. Not sure if she would want to ride in it anytime soon!

Mini Car: RM 5. (Age limit: 7 years old)

Archery Zone

For the older kids, there is a really simple Archery zone, and some simulator rides.


You could easily spend an entire day (or two) at this mall, as there is also an ice-skating rink, a bowling alley, and a movie theatre all contained within. The next round, we might check out the adjoining resort or hotel which I spied coming in, and spend 2 or 3 days letting the kids have a blast.

Sane tip: This was our strategy to make the most of our time at District 21. It opens at 12pm, but when we arrived at around 11 plus, the ticketing counter was already opened. You can purchase the tickets and sign the indemnity form first so that the kids can enter once the doors open at 12pm, as there might be a long ticketing queue on weekends or public holidays. Do start with the Power Station (climbing walls) if you get in early as that tends to have a long waiting time.

District 21
AT-6, IOI City Mall
Lebuh IRC, IOI Resort City
62502 Putrajaya
Sepang, Selangor
Malaysia

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