Chek Jawa Guided Tour in Pulau Ubin – a living classroom

Chek Jawa Guided Tour is a tour that you must exercise kiasu-ism when you do booking. When I did my booking for June guided tour, I put a reminder on my calendar as early as January to remind myself to book on 1 March, the date when booking for June opens! It is very popular especially on dates that suited us in June holidays. Mind you, there are limited dates for these tours, so you really have to plan well. If you wish to check out booking and guided tour dates, click here.

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On the day of the tour, we met my BFF family at 7am at Changi Jetty. It was rare for our kids to wake up so early and we were rewarded with sighting this beautiful sunrise!

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We took the boat from Changi Jetty that sits maximum 12 pax, with each paying $3 for the ride to Pulau Ubin.

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The ride was about 10 minutes and when we had reached the Pulau Ubin Jetty, we took a van to Chek Jawa. We have to pre-book the van prior to our trip (Scroll to the end for all the details and cost for the tour). The van could accommodate all 15 of us, 8 adults and 7 kids. The van ride took about 10 minutes to Chek Jawa and we had to get down and walk a 100m stretch of road to the information kiosk, the meeting point where we met our tour guide from Nparks.

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There were a few more tour groups, each with its own tour guide. The tour guides are volunteers and I thought they are really doing a good thing to volunteer their time to educate us on the ecosystem of Chek Jawa. We were very lucky to have our tour guide who was very patient to answer the kids’ questions and very knowledgeable on Chek Jawa. His instructions and explanation were very clear and shared lots of analogies in simple terms to help us understand the flora and fauna.

Before we started the tour, our tour guide prep us with a few instructions:

  1. Go to toilet before we start as there will not be a washroom until we return to the information kiosk 2 hours later.
  2. Apply mosquito repellent before we start the tour
  3. Do not shout or scream when you see the little creatures like crabs, mudskippers, etc, as they are shy and might go into hiding, leaving the groups behind to see less of them.

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Chinese Show and Tell Camp – KidStartNow

{Sponsored Review}

This June holidays, I had planned a series of activities for the children. The very first one is KidStartNow Show and Tell Camp for my 8yo boy. If you do remember that 2 years ago, he also attended Chinese enrichment holiday classes at the very same centre and the experience was a very enjoyable one. And 2 years later, when he was invited for this 4 day Show and Tell camp, I was a little skeptical about whether he would enjoy as much now that he is older. Nowadays for any media invite, sponsored classes, I would have to ask the kids if they would like to attend. Kids have grown up and they need to have a say in what they are attending right? So when my boy heard that he would be taught by HongMei laoshi again, he was ecstatic and agreed immediately. Wow! I didn’t know a short 4 day camp 2 years back can have such positive impression on this boy.

As before, my boy received an invitation card prior to the day he went for the camp which is always a pleasant surprise. Which kid does not like an invitation mailed to him?

This time the class was held in the newly open branch at Bedok Central. I was impressed by the interior design of the centre which has a Super Hero Panda theme. The panda theme is also the theme for the classes. Yes, the classes have a theme, so, it engages the kids well.

Interior

The design of the centre. There are warm lights outside and white light in the classrooms. Each classroom is designed to be a ship cabin.

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Learning Chinese – 3 things that parents must know to help your children

Learning Chinese in Singapore seems to be more difficult than anywhere else. Well, I am not really comparing with learning Chinese in Japan, Korea, etc. However, in an environment or country where Chinese is a mother tongue to majority, why is this subject so hated by many children and their parents.

I wonder why.

It has probably to do with parents here speaking lesser Chinese and more English at home to their children. Hence, compared to China where Chinese is spoken daily, every minute, every second, we speak a mix of English and Chinese and use simple Chinese words and limited vocabulary.

While my kids do not have much of a problem with this subject for now, I should not get complacent. I was told by Eeva Chang (张美香), (the educator and principal of Eduplus who is also engaged by MOE as a trainer for 8 years to teach all school Chinese teachers in Singapore), that children will face a drop of marks in Chinese once in Primary 3 and once in Primary 5. At least an 8-12 marks down.

Why??? Continue reading

iNbox – It’s bonding time + Giveaway!!

iNbox (May's theme)

Does your kid like to receive mails?
How about receiving a fun activity box every month? Add in the suspense of what’s inside, and I bet this is already the first step to lots of fun! Continue reading

Teach your children to cook from young

When does one learn to cook? Just before getting married with a crash course of mum’s cooking? Or after married when pressured to fulfil a dutiful wife’s role to cook for your other half?

For me, I started frying an egg at age 11 and after that, a few impromptu spaghetti and instant noodles here and there. It was really only after my 3rd newborn when I had a short SAHM period of 5 mths maternity leave was I able to proclaim myself as “able to cook”. For those months, I DID cook 3 dishes plus a soup every single day! Yes, it’s late I know. Better late than never. Hence, I decided that my kids shall start early. I feel that age 7 is an ideal age to start cooking a dish from start of preparation, using knife to chop garlic, etc, to cooking over a stove fire. Continue reading