Thursday, May 28, 2015

Explore New Horizons in Space from the revamped Omni-Theatre

For those who have keen interest in astronomy, this is something which you would not want to miss and boy, we are so lucky that Science Centre Singapore (SCS) have the largest seamless dome in South East Asia, specially designed seating configuration of 221 new seats, surround-sound effects and the brightest 8K digital theatre system to complement the existing IMAX 70mm film projection system. The newly revamped Omni-Theatre is set to offer you the most immersive learning experience and it will be officially open to the public on this coming 30th May 2015 !

We went for a preview on 25th May 2015, Xav was totally in love with it ! Anything to do with planets and solar system would stir up deep interest in him and yes, the preview really did made him a happy boy for the evening ! The effect was so real that he has totally immersed himself into the space setting and the best was no 3D glasses was required (something which I personally do not like as I felt discomfort each time I wear them).

We brought Vera along for her first visit to the Omni- Theatre and she was equally blown off by the effect of it that she sat through out the "Live" show combination of "Cosmic Surfing" and "Exploring the Planets" as well as the Digital Fulldome movie "Back to the Moon for Good"

Look forward to digital fulldome movies and "live" shows with topical, real-time presentation conducted by SCS science educators, which allow us to transcend physical boundaries and virtually travel to remote locations on earth and in space in a blink of an eye.

From Digital Fulldone movie : Back to the Moon for Good

The "Live" shows are powered by the 8K digital fulldome system and Digistar5 visualisation software with video playback and real-time computer graphics rendered accurately with high- resolution detail, along with real-time data from the likes of American Museum of Natural History and National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (NASA)

"This immersive 8K experience, augmented by the real-time live astronomy presentations conducted by our team of science educators, will enable the visitors to explore and learn about space like never before."  - Mr. Clarence Sirisena, Deputy Chief Executive, Science Centre Singapore

 From Xav : We flew across the Himalayan mountains

and saw Singapore from the satellite.

We managed to see alot of satellites circling around the earth.

I felt like I am in the galaxy. We even got to get up close with the planets and explored out of the milky way. I love Saturn the most as it looks the most beautiful out of all the planets with its beautiful rings and I get to see it at many different angles !

I was seated beside Xav and observed that he was "participating" during the "Live" show. As questions were asked, he answered along and he has wowed me much with his knowledge on planets (From the eyes of the mummy). He surely knows much more than his mummy!

For Vera, I could tell that she was enjoying it too as this was a rare occasion that she sat through a show without being cranky. We will be back for Animalopolis just for our little animal lover.

For the list of timing for "Live" Shows, IMAX Movies and Digital Fulldome Movies, ticketing and pricing, check out

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Disclaimer : We received a media invitation for the preview of the newly revamped Omni-Theatre. No monetary compensation is involved and all opinions are of my own.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

DIY Colours Sorting Game below $2

This is for moms who are into making their own learning kit. How about a colour sorting kit below $2 but of course you need to put in a little effort in the cutting after you laminated.

I bought this pack from Daiso with the main intent to mark down the pages that need to do corrections. Xav just need to look for these pencil markers found in the book. This idea just came to my mind when I saw the colourful "pencils" lying there. Since, I did not make Xav any colour sorting kit the last time, this time I can make it for Vera.

This pack of colourful sticky memo help you save ink as well for not having the need to print out any graphics of coloured pencils. Good deal isn't ?

My house as usual, is in its typical messy state and I can't locate the block to hold the clear stamp. Hence, I use the cover of the plastic box that holds my name cards.

I stamped the name of the colours on the "pencils" , making 5 pieces of each colour. If you have a nice hand writing, you can hand write instead.

The completed "labelled" pencils

Laminate and cut them up. The set can go a long way ! Remember to round off the corners of the cut outs for safety reasons.

You can get magnetic tapes or sheets from Daiso too, cut a little strip and stick them behind the laminated pencils. There you go, you can have them stick to your store room door when playing the sorting game or onto the magnetic white board.

Here are a few ways you can utilise the set :
- Word Recognition (Name of the colours)
- Sort the colours
- Math counters

Have fun making and learning with the little ones !

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

{Giveaway} Byeeee Term 2 !!

Second term of school is coming near to an end. Most of the primary one goers should have settled down by now. Second term, a term where some primary one kids got to taste what a test would be like, a term where mini graded assessments took place. He aced both his Math and Chinese tests for term two and has performed well for his English paper too.

This post was planned to be posted in March but I was too occupied with a little here and there. Hence, I decided to summarize up the two terms. How did we survived so far for the 5 months into official school ? Apart from our daily routine, this is what I have been practising;

Daily allowance, Xav will be given $1.50 to $2 (on Mon & Fri only), unless he needs to buy exercise books as requested by the teachers, then he will be given more.

Mumseword is one of the more organized mums. She got boxes with compartment with days of the weeks printed on the box, placed the daily allowance for her kids in it and of course not forgetting to save some aside.

For me, I do the "opposite", I will pass Xav handful of coins and get Xav to count the amount for the day. Why would I prefer to get him to count, it's to get him familiarize with money handling. It's a good way to let him practise counting money and get familiarize to the different denomination of the coins.

Give loose change for the pocket allowance instead of a $2 note for easy counting. Some kids do not know how to count and the worst you would not want to hear is the kids got overcharged by the canteen vendors. I do hear of such stories.

Unnecessary stationeries and titbits shopping- How many of the mums out there are facing this issue ? Some friends shared that their kids spent their pocket allowance buying erasers, glitter glues etc at the school bookshop and hide them in their room until their little secret is being exposed.

I always remind Xav that I have provided him with what is required for his school needs. Therefore, there is no reason for him to spend unnecessarily at the bookshop. He can put the money into better use and not just buy something for the sake of buying. As well as for the fact that personally, I would prefer brands like Pental that can erase really clean without much effort and Lyra pencils that comes with grooves, to prevent the hand from slipping.

As for titbits, we gave clearance and allowed Xav to buy on Monday and Fridays only if he finishes his meal during recess. He is being tasked to buy a pack for us too (Not that we likes to eat junk food but as long as he understands that he has to follow certain rules to get what he wants).

Simply because we were once a kid before, we understand the feeling of wanting to be independent and being able to buy something with our own pocket money. We know that there are kids who buy titbits during recess. We do not want him to feel deprived, hence we gave allowed him to do so on these two days. So far Xav has been pretty honest about it. He will not buy if he did not finish his meal. At times, some kids would want to challenge the parents, the more you do not want them to do it, the more they will go against you.

For his leftover allowance, he is more than happy to treat me to a cup of ice-cream after school when I made my order and told me "Xav, can you pay for me please ?"
Ice cream treat from Xav

Bullying, I ever asked Xav how he would handle the situation if a class/school mate comes up to him and ask:
1. I do not have enough money to buy food, can you give me $0.10 ?
2. Treat me to titbits and I will be your good friend of if you do not give me $0.10, I do not want to be your friend. If the above sounds familiar to you or your child has shared with you their encounters, Xav told me "oh , I will give them a $0.10"

I told him it's a NO, NO ! No amount of money can buy Friendship ! If you ever need to pay for a person to be your friend then he/she is not a friend that one should be having. If ever such situation arises, he should bring this classmate to the teacher or to the general office. Some kids are generally taking advantage of their classmates by asking them for money not once but you be surprised at the frequency they targeted the innocent ones. It is not that I am stingy over that $0.10. But the kids should know how to protect themselves instead of being subjected to such bullying in school.

While I explained this to Xav, he looked at me with a puzzled face "hey mummy, what is this fuss with the $0.10 ?"  I hope he has registered in mind of what I have told him.

Consistency is the key word. I strongly believed that the daily revision helps. For this test week, I did not go into intensive revision neither nor Xav goes for tuition classes. I told him before, I do not need him to give me a perfect score, as long as he has put his best foot forward, it is good enough. But carelessness is something which I cannot tolerate. It is reminders after reminders for him to make sure he does not rush through his papers and to check it all over again before submission.

For Math, I have bought a few books as references for myself, to make sure that I am teaching him the correct way. He is currently working on Math Companion, 1A for his revision and we were pretty inline with what the school is teaching. How proud am I but for Math only =p.

These books here below are recommended by my sis and some mummy friends. They have became my references.

But when it comes to Chinese, it's a different story. We got to work doubly hard. There was a Parent- Teacher Conference held near to the end of term one. I was shocked to know that the result of the surprise test that we were not informed of, was used to "stream" them into different classes, starting term two onwards.

This was the incident that made me jump. He brought back his Chinese file, activity book and writing book back for the entire week but he did not mentioned anything about having a "test". He kept emphasising that the teacher did not mention about any oncoming Chinese test. Having said that yes, no revision was done and we played our weekend away.

This was what he scored in the "surprise" test in term 1. It's not perfect but he fared well. They have been reshuffled accordingly to their results. It is good to know that the school uses this measure to see where the child is standing at but no thanks Xav's surprises. Remedial classes were offered to help the weaker students.

The only question that he did not know how to read and failed to check if it sounded correct. He gave a laugh when  I read what he had written for his answer. 

There were no negative feedbacks except for the poor housekeeping of his desk ! His Form Teacher said that his desk is always messy and he is unaware that he has dropped his stationery onto the floor. There was also once that he was actually seated far away from his bag in the hall and he was not aware of it ! Is there any other kids as muddle headed as him ?

Feedback for term one

The area he is being assessed on for second language. I felt really relieved when I read that he was graded Mastery for all areas.

Feedback on his second language

These are the assessment books which I got for him as part of his daily revision. These books followed the curriculum of the textbook.

It has been more than over a decade since I last learnt Han Yu Pin Yin (HYPY). I have returned the majority back to the teacher. My current teacher has got to be Pen Pal Whizz has became my pal too ! I am using it with Magic Pin Yin 1 & 2 to help me refresh my knowledge for HYPY.

At the beginning of the year, JLB Educational Technology has kindly sent some new sets over, of which it consists of  Little Sweetie K0 Series - Chinese Readers which promotes value-based learning. This set of readers is recommended for kids age 3 to 4. I am using this for Xav to read to brush up for his word recognition.

One of the titles from Little Sweet K0 Series - 小可爱系列 K0

Each set comes with sheets of flashcard words which aim to reinforce the vocabulary introduced in the story.

Han Yu Pin Yin can be found at the back page of the book to enable parents to learn and read with their children. What I did with Xav and Vera was, I will prefer to read through the story with them and I will get Xav to write down the HYPY of the story lines after the reading. He can self check with this page behind.

The lovely illustrations attracted Vera's attention.

She was amazed when the tortoise came alive when she touched it with Pen Pal Whizz. Now she knows that Pen Pal Whizz can "talk", it has became her pal!

I'm killing two birds with one stone pen, Xav read along while Vera was entertained by the talking pen.

Of all, 帮忙 is her favourite title for now.

Her pal is reading the sentence to her.

Let's see what she says !

I am still wondering what was the sound that tickled her this much !

Here is another set of Little Sweetie K1 Series - Chinese Readers, recommended for kids age 4 to 5.

Wait there ! Thank you for staying through. Here's a giveaway generously sponsored by JLB Educational Technology , one set each of the following, to 2 lucky readers:
1. Set A - Little Sweetie K0 Series - Chinese Readers
2. Set B - Little Sweetie K1 Series - Chinese Readers

Simply follow the steps below in the Rafflecopter :
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Terms and condition :
- Giveaway will be from 17th - 24th May 2014, 2359 hrs.
- Giveaway is for contestants residing in Singapore only.
- Winners will be notified by email. (Remember to leave your email address and preferred set in the comments section)

Here are some books which I have previously reviewed for JLB:
- I.LOVE.READING Magazines
- Jo's Early Readers
- Emily Lim's Toy Tales Award Winning Series
- Travels of Little Rice Grass

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Disclaimer : I received a set of Little Sweetie K0 & K1 series for review purposes. No monetary compensation is involved. All opinions are of my own.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Perfect half boiled eggs

Finally, I managed to get those perfect half boiled eggs, served from my own kitchen. Exactly just like what the slightly more atas kopitiams "Toastbox" or "Ya Kun" are serving, with thanks to this kawaii egg timer from Daiso. (Note : this is not a sponsored post but this aunty-me is checking out Daiso more often these days, so I thought it would be nice to share!)

Half boiled egg (Cooked with Egg Timer)

With my own shopping kakis and of course the power of social media sharing on Facebook pages, Daiso Fanatics Sg and We Love Daiso are pages where members shared products they bought from the stores. Sometimes, I do window shopping online by reading their post and then execute my shopping trip when I am available.

I used to use a timer to time when am cooking half boiled eggs. It took about 3.5 mins for eggs in room temperature to get to the texture as shown above. Most of the time, I do get undercooked egg whites. But now, I get perfect half boiled egg whites ! Simply just bring the water to boil, turn off the stove and put in the eggs (I used eggs from the fridge)

For a start, the indicator on the egg timer will be in pink. As it sits in the pot of boiling water, the indicator will gradually change from pink to white. If you notice that the indicator is white at the area where the word "SOFT" is.

I removed the eggs when the indicator turned white at the area between SOFT and MEDIUM (second line from the bottom).

And if you would like a hard boiled egg, wait for the pink indicators to change to white.
Indicator changes completely white for hard boiled eggs.

A very simple to use and affordable gadget. Happy hunting for this egg timer as it was sold out in most of the stores until they restock. If you can get hold of the barcode number, that would be easier for the staff to look for it. Happy shopping !

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Disclaimer : This is #notasponsored post. Just sharing of another great product that I bought.

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