Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Ant and the Grasshopper Giveaway by I Theatre!

Returning after a sell-out run in 2014 which Dumpling and I thoroughly enjoyed, The Ant and the Grasshopper returns this year with the same catchy songs BUT with bigger and more spectacular set and props! A fast-paced and interactive production full of fun, specially created with the younger – Primary and Pre-Primary audience in mind, but with unexpected twists and turns to keep even the grownups engaged, involved and on their toes!

The 50-minute run time is great for young children while the values touched on, in all I Theatre’s productions, will resonate well by the older children.  Previously portrayed as a puppet, the key character Nessa, returns as a “live actor” in this production where the transformation into a butterfly is more spectacular!    

:: The synopsis
Once there lived an Ant - a hard-working and ever-busy Ant who never seemed to have time for play or relaxation. And then there was Grasshopper, with time on his hands and nothing much to do all day.

And visiting from time to time, there is Caterpillar!

Somehow they were friends. All day long Ant would work hard, without stop or rest, collecting grains of wheat and storing them carefully in her larder.
And Grasshopper would laugh, and say. 'Why do you work so hard, dear Ant? Come, and rest awhile, listen to my song. Summer is here; the days are long and bright. Why waste the sunshine in labour and toil?'

Whilst Caterpillar calmly carried on, doing what caterpillars do best…
But Summer does not last long – and soon Winter and the frozen cold will come…
What will happen to Grasshopper then?
What exactly will Ant do?
And where will Caterpillar go?

:: A Note from the Artistic Director/Producer – Brian Seward
This is one of those stories you really think you know – until you examine it a little closer. In the original Fable by Aesop, the ants work all day, never taking time to appreciate the world around them. Whilst the Grasshopper does not see the value in working…

In Singapore we like to think that the Ants are the perfect example of what we should be like. But is the Grasshopper completely wrong in his point of view? And are the ants really following the best path in life? There could be something valuable to learn from the Grasshopper, and the other insects you will meet on the way. In our tiny Island nation I am sure we can learn something from this tiny insect world!

I am pleased to share that I have 2 sets x family package (4 tickets each package) to give away!

:: Terms and Conditions
  1. These tickets will be to the 11am show on Sunday 19 February
  2. Winner is to collect the tickets directly from I Theatre office @ 27 Kerbau Road by 15 February (no onsite collection is allowed) during office hours.
  3. Tickets are not exchangeable for cash or for other dates.
  4. Please remember to leave a comment below on "What is your favorite Aesop Fable and why?"
  5. The giveaway is not endorsed, associated with administrated by Facebook.
  6. As the play takes place in Singapore, this giveaway is opened only to Singapore Residents. GOOD LUCK! 
Can't wait for the giveaway results? You can purchase tickets here!

:: Event Date
Sat, 18 Feb - Sun, 19 Mar 2017
18 Feb - 10 Mar 2017,  Thu - Fri: 10.30am
14 Mar - 17 Mar 2017, Tue - Fri: 10.30am & 2.00pm
Sat & Sun: 11am & 2.30pm

:: Venue

Disclaimer: The giveaway is kindly sponsored by I Theatre. We are not compensated for the post. All opinions expressed are entirely ours.

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts, food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Making Connections to the Real World - STEM Health Technology Workshop

One of the things which I feel Dumpling benefited a lot on from our early years homeschooling is that she was supported in her interest in the world around her. We made the decision to homeschool her because of her inquisitiveness and this was evident in the way she used to (and still does) question about things around us and how things work.

With the formal education system, to be honest, I feel that there's only so much that the school and teachers can do in extending on the topic of inquiry due to limitations on time and resources. At the start of last year, I organised a private STEM workshop where the children learnt about Aviation. Through the hands on team project, the kiddo understood about "thrust" and "drag" but in a really engaging manner.

In December last year, I helped coordinate another STEM workshop which is on Health Technology. The session was conducted by Yen Siow from Discovering without Borders where she is also the founder of the organisation. The objective of the workshop was to educate the children about the functions of our hearts, the biology behind it and the health technology that supports doctors. 

Yen started off with the introduction and leading the discussion with the children on the functions of the heart.

Yen, during her introduction 

A close look at the chambers of the heart. Can you spot the holes along the walls? 

 One of the workshop participants holding an occluder
(this wire mesh helps to close up holes in heart)

 Dumpling, together with her cousins, listening intently to Yen

Besides discussing closing holes in the heart, the children also learnt about heart rate, the clogging of arteries, diet, etc. Having 3 boys of her own, Yen is no stranger to engaging young children. In the workshop, Yen got the children to do a series of exercises to measure and chart their heart rate, something which they thoroughly enjoyed! 

Children holding on to "plank" for a minute to get their heart rate up

Documentation: an important part of Science. Here a participant documented her heart rate after each activity

The authenticity of the workshop shows in the sharing by Yen. Through creating their own ballooning "procedure" the concepts are made meaningful to these young participants. 

Understanding blockage in the arteries and the ballooning procedure

One thing that I learnt from Yen's workshop is that it always consists of a STEM challenge where the participants engage in a group project in building a "device" / an invention. What I personally appreciate is that Yen provides mainly recycled materials for the children to build their projects with. From a parenting perspective, I find this a good approach as I believe that children should also understand that they can have fun and build their own toys too, as opposed to parents buying them toys all the time. 


In the STEM design challenge that morning, the children were given a case study. From there, they are told to look into the "issues" of the person and to think up a device which will help the person.

The children broke out in teams where they then collaborated on the drawing and the planning of their devices to help the patients

Clearly someone had too much junk food!

Science, to me, is beautiful that way as it encourages children to question, think critically and to explore. So, when it comes to such workshops where there's group collaboration, projects and presentation, I usually take a backseat to listen and observe instead of stepping in.

The children were all given chances to speak up, explain and present their devices to their peers.

R demonstrating how the device works like a timer

No automatic alt text available.
A really cute device from another group

The device Dumpling's group came up with is a robotic dog which is able to scan and measure BP and Heart Rate, as well as dispense medication. The robotic dog (code name Alex LOL) has an inbuilt voice activated phone which the patient is able to make emergency calls too. (Seems like they watched Baymax too many times)

What I really like is that Yen's workshop goes beyond the school syllabus as the children are exposed to a larger spectrum of things and unit of inquiries. The topics are about the real world and it is about equipping our children with an understanding about the world and how they can contribute to it using STEM. I am amazed at how she was able to bring topics like Health to a level that these children not only understand but show interest in. 

The hands-on activities are of course a winner in my books. It is through the "doing" and the "tinkering" that give these children time to process and internalise, something which I find lacking in many of the instructional classes children attend these days. The STEM challenge is of course the cherry on top as it serves to tie in all the discussions they had where they now put their understanding to the "test".

The challenge encourages creativity which is clearly something Yen advocates. As she made her rounds to talk to the participants, she also probed them to think deeper with her line of questioning. She was both encouraging and enthusiastic, something which the children caught on as they happily shared and bounced their challenge ideas with her.

After attending 2 of her workshops and witnessing how the children enjoy the activities, I intend to make this a regular thing (once every 2 - 3 months) for Dumpling and her friends. If you like to join our private workshop, please drop me a line at beanienus(at)gmail.com :)

Discovering Without Borders

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts (both on the kiddo and my furkid), food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), outdoor fun, useful reviews, early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

New Year Giveaway ~ Uncle G's Handmade's Signature Crackling Pork is back!!!

In just a span of 3 over years, Uncle G's Handmade has evolved to a household name that “market go-ers” hunt for.

Started up by a husband and wife team who are both food lovers, I previously did an interview with Uncle G here. Having made a name for itself with its crackling crispy roast pork, the duo is now offering a Christmas Party package!

How many times have we ever been stuck in a situation where we need to source for X’mas goodies from various eateries? Uncle G Handmade solves all of that for us with its latest X’mas offering: party package! Here's the menu:

:: Christmas Package : $20/pax
Roasted Vegetables
Shepherd’s Pie (Lamb) or Cottage Pie (Beef)
Crispy Roast Pork
Creme Brulee / Tiramisu

I don't know about you but the menu hits all the right buttons for me!

With the new offering, I couldn't help but posted them these questions:

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

:: Why the sudden offer of a party package?
Uncle G: Uncle G's Handmade in fact is not only about our signature roast pork. 

We do have a range of products to offer, depending on occasion and customers. Hence, we offered the party package to introduce our other products. Fun fact 101: Our first product was actually pineapple tarts!

:: You shared that the package is customizable, if that's the case, what are the other options they have? 

Uncle G: Other options are actually customized based on customers' request. We have made, just to name a few, Shepherd's Pie, prawn paste fried chicken wings, chicken roulade, bread, cakes and cookies for different customers. 

We are also available as a food vendor for both public and private events where we can also customize the menu. For example, We recently made Korean Style Chicken drumettes for a private event.

Excited much? I am glad to share that Uncle G has kindly offered to sponsor 1.5kg (good for between 10 - 12 pax) of their signature Crispy Roast Pork again this year just in time for your New Year celebration!
(The Roast Pork is also one of the key items in the Party Package!)

Image may contain: food

Take part via Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Condition:
1. As this giveaway is a food item, all participants need to be reside in Singapore
2. The giveaway is for 1.5kg (weight before roasting) of roast pork (good for up to 10pax!)
3. Collection will be by the winner at Ming Arcade, 21 Cuscaden Road, #05-04 on 31 December either between 12 - 1pm or 5 - 6pm.
4. By taking part in this giveaway, you agree to share your information with the sponsor
5. As the giveaway is a food item, it must be consumed within 3 hours of collection

Disclaimer: The giveaway is kindly sponsored by Uncle G's Handmade

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling

Kenneth and Joey being featured in 联合早报! 

About Uncle G's Handmade
Uncle G’s Handmade was started together by Kenneth and Joey, a husband and wife team in 2013. Uncle G's Handmade debuted as weekend traders at Pasarbella’s soft launch, where it first introduced its Signature Crispy Roast Pork.

Kenneth has always enjoyed cooking and was inspired from watching cooking programmes and Michelin chefs’ videos on YouTube. Trained as an engineer, he enjoys hands-on hobbies which range from cooking, assembling and painting of model kits, wood work to mini electrical stuffs. This is why the word ‘handmade’ was added. However, cooking remains as his number one passion.

Together with his wife Joey, who loves research and all things pretty, they went on to attend professional baking classes and have since added chocolate, pastry and bread skills to their repertoire. In every pop-up, Uncle G’s Handmade strives to serve something new as they enjoy seeing others enjoy their food.

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts (both on the kiddo and my furkid), food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), outdoor fun, useful reviews, early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Review: IMPACT Spinal Protection School Backpack

Shared in an earlier post, I have always been mindful of spinal care and posture for the kiddo. With her entering Primary school almost 2 years back, I bought her an ergo bag but found it to be unsuitable for her. The bag was a tad too long and the width was a tad narrow where Dumpling found it hard to slot the books in. So, that bag was put aside where we just use it to put the kiddo’s music books instead.

With the kiddo entering into Primary 3 in less than 2 months, the issue was still nagging at the back of my mind as she will have more books and worksheets to bring to and from school. That started our hunt for another ergo bag. With the recommendations from a friend, I visited ERGOWORKS showroom at Centrepoint to pick up a new bag for Dumpling in preparation for Primary 3 next year.

ERGOWORKS carries its own line of ergonomic bags called IMPACT. The line comes in a few models with different features shown below. The main differences are in the shape and in the back of the bags. 

Some target various back muscles (above left) while another has a groove to allow for the spine "sit" on it (above right)...

And one of its latest model is this bag above which allows the user to map the child's height to the strap length (adjustable).

Dumpling was fitted (with the help of the knowledgeable consultants there) for a suitable bag (something not too long) with a curvature which follows and allows for the spine to develop properly.

Importantly, we were looking for a bag that not only fits well but is not as heavy as some of the ergo bags are. 


The bag which she ended up choosing was the IMPACT Spinal Protection School Backpack. Besides the special groove, some of the other unique properties are:
  • It uses a Safety reflective material (by USA 3M) on the trimmings and part of its straps
  • It is 100% Made in Taiwan
  • Its high ballistic Nylon is treated with Anti-Water, Dust and UV resistance coating, 
  • As seen above, it uses a "loop lock zip" pull tabs
  • It also features an anti-Slip PU base with 
  • Multiple file compartments (with elastic band) to hold content upright and stabilise the Centre of gravity of load
  • It also has pockets for water bottle and school essentials
  • And importantly, the bag’s weight is lightest in its class at approx. 1050g

With that, the kiddo chose her favorite color (pink of course!) and tried it out during the last few days in school. :)

Here's what the kiddo thought of the bag:

"I like that the bag feels snug against my body. The old bag was soft (no structure) and so, the books were pulling down the other way. I had to keep pulling back the straps to keep the bag up. 

This IMPACT bag has a solid structure which allows me to put my books easily and did not pull away from my body. The bag also has a thicker backing. I cannot feel anything poking into my back when carrying it, unlike the previous one. 

I also like that there are sections (compartments) in the bag which helps me organise my books better ~ heavier books are now placed at the back with the lighter ones in the front compartment. 

All in all, I like this bag as it is comfortable."

Dumpling ~ 8YO.

Here's more information on the backpack:

IMPACT Spinal Protection School Backpack
Usual SRP: $149
Special: $129 (inclusive of 7% GST)
(Comes in Navy, Light Purple & Royal Blue)
Website: www.impactlifestyle.com.sg


Causeway Point
1 Woodlands Square #03-26 Causeway Point
(level 3 next to Kiddy Palace )
Opens Daily: 11:30am - 9.00 pm
Telephone: 6893 8488

Marina Square
6 Raffles Boulevard #03-337/338 Marina Square
(level 3 Art of living furniture zone)
Opens Daily: 11:30am - 9.00 pm
Telephone: 6837 3370

176 Orchard Road #03-36 Centrepoint
(level 3 next to LALU boutique)
Opens Daily: 11:30am - 9.00 pm
Telephone: 6836 8488

Connect with Ergoworks on their Facebook page! 

:: About IMPACT Brand
IMPACT brand was founded since 1997 and is sold internationally. Today, it is remains the ONLY ergonomic brand medically endorsed and recommended by Singapore Physiotherapy Association & The Chiropractic Association of Singapore.
If you have found this post useful, you may enjoy more posts on Dumpling's Primary school journey.   
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review. We were invited to review the IMPACT Spinal Protection School Backpack so that we can give our opinions about it. We are not compensated for the post. All opinions are entirely ours. 
If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts (both to the kiddo and my furkid), food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Review: SRT's Charlotte's Web

Charlotte’s Web by EB White was one of my favorite books when I was growing up and Dumpling and I have watched the cartoon and the movie many times over, yet never gotten bored of it. You can imagine our joy when we were invited to review this play by Singapore Repertory Theatre.

:: The story

This story is a simple yet beautiful tale of friendship between a runt pig, Wilbur, and a barn spider, Charlotte. Wilbur was being fattened up (bacon anyone?) by the Zuckermans who owns a farm and Charlotte, taking pity on the runt, decided to help. And that was marks the start of a beautiful friendship…

:: The play

A familiar face, Ann Lek, previously played one of the pigs in SRT’s Three Little Pigs. In this production, she plays Wilbur. Wilbur was originally born on a farmhouse and lived with the Arables where Fern (played by Ethel Yap), their daughter, looked after it. As Wilbur grew bigger, the Arables found themselves unable to tend to it and gave Wilbur to the Zuckermans.

One of the things which I have always enjoyed in Singapore Repertory Theatre's (SRT) productions is their creative take on its set. Having caught previous productions such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Rapunzel, Three Little Pigs etc., the company has once again shown its creativity in the design of its props and the great usage of space.

The Farmhouse used by the Arables was easily transformed to Zuckerman’s farm and later, to a section in the Fair where Wilbur was at, with just some shifting of the props and the clever use of banners, lights, etc.

True to its story, Wilbur befriended other animals in the farm ~ a rat (Templeton), Sheep, some geese, etc. but it was his friendship with Charlotte that makes this story one of the best-selling children's novels (sold an estimated 45 million copies). 

Sharda Harrison who plays Charlotte (A. Cavatica) lives in the barn and with the clever use of ropes and karabiners, the actress played Charlotte well with her sleek and “spidery” movements. (Doesn't the photo below remind you of the classic scene in Spiderman played by Tobey Maguire?)

It was really interesting to see how she moved from one part of the barn to the next (she must have great abs)! And of course Charlotte used her superb web weaving skills to spell out the adjectives that soon made Wilbur a celebrity pig. :) 

I am the first to admit that I am sappy when it comes to characters dying and I was worried that the kiddo would be affected. In my opinion, SRT handled this part well, understanding the profile of its young audiences and while sticking to the story, it did not over dramatize Charlotte’s death. Instead, it highlighted Charlotte’s Opus Magnum (masterpiece), her egg sac which had all 514 eggs. Wilbur vowed to look after these eggs and stuck through to his words (like a true friend) and watched over them religiously till they hatched.     

Here's a video snippet of the play :) 

A heartwarming take on the story, SRT's interpretation is both entertaining and touching as it brings us on a journey to celebrate the tale of friendship and love between Wilbur and Charlotte. That, in my opinion, is the Opus Magnum of this famous story by EB White. 

Charlotte's Web runs till 11 December (details below).  

Event Dates
Fri, 28 Oct - Sun, 11 Dec 2016
Weekends & Public Holiday : 11am & 2pm
Weekdays : 10am
28 Oct 2016 (Fri) : 3pm

KC Arts Centre - Home of SRT (Previously known as DBS Arts Centre) 
To buy your tickets at SISTIC, please click here 

Disclaimer: We were invited by Singapore Repertory Theatre to watch the play so that we can give our opinions about it. We are not compensated for the post. All opinions expressed are entirely ours. Images are courtesy of Singapore Repertory Theatre. 

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts (both on the kiddo and my furkid), food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), outdoor fun, useful reviews, early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 
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