Saturday, March 18, 2017

eXplorerkid - Science Life Hacks Camp

[Media Invite]

Steffi and Leroy participated in a Science Life Hacks Camp at eXplorerkid @ E!hub. It is a full-day drop-off program where parents can drop their kids at 9am and pick them up at 7pm. A great way to keep the kiddos occupied during the school holidays especially if one had to work. But obviously I had to stay behind to find out what they were really up to so as to present this post to all of you!

Build bridges, not burn them. Team-building games to warm them up!

The program started off with all the kiddos giving a short introduction of themselves to all present and two rounds of team-building games that involving them pitting against each other to be the best group. Sure got them started well and before long the kiddos were already behaving like long-time friends! Off they went, making the strongest bridge as well as the tallest tower!

So, this is how you separate the yolk from the white!
Learning how not to weep when cutting onions.

And there are actually more than one way to keep your eyes free from tearing!
And then the fun begins and they get to try out some of the real life hacks we had been reading about but had never used, like myself, because I never cook! Stuff like how to separate the egg yolk from the white and how to cut onions without tearing. Simple stuff no doubt, but definitely fascinating for the kiddos.
Cool trick don't you think?
Learning how to make an air-pump using a bottle!

So our teacher was from Whizz Kidz!
Lunch and snacks were all provided for the kiddos so there is no worry about them going hungry at all. Play breaks were also given during the program so that the kiddos can expand their energy a little! Beside getting to try out these hacks themselves, one of benefits of such a workshop is allowing the kiddos to hone their socialization skills. The participants come from all over Singapore (okay I exaggerated, most were from the East side), but by the end of the session, they were all playing together, with even the older ones taking of the little ones too!

There were free play time for the kiddos too!

Big thanks to eXplorerkid for the invite! Steffi and Leroy sure enjoyed themselves very much and learnt some pretty cool life hacks. They even managed to come up with one hack using LEGO bricks to make a phone holder for yours truly! 

A Peter Rabbit Tale


Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT)'s current production, "A Peter Rabbit Tale" is playing at KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT, located along the Singapore River at Robertson Quay. This musical play about a mischievous rabbit named Peter, who had to run away from home after stealing from Mr. McGregor's garden, will end its run on 14 April 2017. 

Suitable for 2 years old and up, this play touches on the importance of family and teaches little kiddos to cherish their loved ones as well. We are excited to partner SRT in hosting this special giveaway of 1 x 4 tickets to the play at 11am on Sat, 01 April 2017 (worth a total of $129). Be sure that you are able to make it for the show before you participate in this giveaway! 

Giveaway Instructions

Ensure that you complete the following steps before end of Sun, 26 Mar 2017 -

1) Like and follow The "Perfect" Father Facebook page;
2) Like and follow Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) Facebook page;
3) Like and Share this Facebook post publicly; and
4) Comment in the Facebook post once done (tagging your friends who will be interested would be great)!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Father And Son Bonding

After going on a one-on-one overseas bonding trip with Steffi previously, I knew that I would have to do it with the rest of her siblings when their time comes. Although fairness would have been one of the reasons I needed to do the trips, it does actually give me a legitimate reason to explore a new place with my child. But most importantly, it gave me ample opportunities to be learn more about him or her as we travel together. The second such trip, happened to be Gold Coast, Australia with Leroy, just before he entered primary school. 

Wasn’t planned but I sure hope to be a Superdad!
To Explore Together 

Being the very prudent traveler, I googled for the most economical mode of transport to our AirBnB apartment once I managed to connect to the free Wi-Fi connection at the airport. And viola, the cheapest was TransLink’s “go explore” card which offered unlimited travel between any TransLink bus or tram services on Gold Coast for only AUD$10 a day per adult and $5 for kids! Get yours at the airport booth and while you are there, go grab an Optus data SIM card for your mobile at the 7-Eleven just across the booth and save on roaming data charges as well. 

We hopped off the bus whenever we saw something interesting, like this graffiti wall.
With the card and data plan, we basically roamed the entire Gold Coast without a care in the world (except the fear of battery juice running dry), hopping on and off buses whenever we find any interesting stuff along the streets. Like any Singaporeans, we also got to try out any food that the locals eat as well whenever we see any crowd. Having a stroll along the beach whenever we felt like it or just resting our feet over a cup of coffee at the café without a care. All these sure beats us going on a group tour only to be herded to places that the agency wanted us to go. We had all the time in the world, and we had each other. 

We were free to roam around, wondering into the fishermen’s wharf and chatting up with the friendly folks.
While walking back to the bus stop, we chanced upon an established eatery selling Fish N Chips with quite a lot of locals patronizing.
And we ended up having some pretty awesome food!
To have Fun (for less) Together 

To many people Gold Coast simply meant Amusement Parks (and Fish and Chips as well), and we sure made time to visit quite a few over the one whole week we were there. If I were to add up the cost of the individual park tickets, it would have cost about the same as my budget air ticket! So while I was queuing up at the ticketing booth at Movie World, I googled and found a Groupon deal for a 6-months pass to the multiple parks for only just slightly over the cost of a single park day ticket! I tell you, it sure pays to do an online search before every (big) purchase! 

We made it to Movie World with tickets bought off Groupon.
Playing games to his heart’s content without having to give in to his siblings.
Visited the farm animals at Paradise Country as well.
Petting of domesticated animals is educational fun for kiddos!

To Be There For Him 

Back home there were always the elder sister, or the younger sister AND brother but over in Australia, he had all of me to himself. We played the fools, laughed, learnt, talked for the longest time in a foreign land, and these are the memories I want him to have of me, and of us. And I sure hope that this would pave the way to an even better relationship with him as he grows up. I am hoping that he view me as a bother and only have time for his own friends, like what so many parents experienced when their children reached their teenage years. I simply do not want to be like the REST. 

(One for the memory, and may he always have fond memories of the time spent with yours truly)
Note: This blog post is in collaboration with Friso. Kids learn from experiences whether big or small, good or bad. That’s why Friso provides the right nutrition for your child to be strong inside to take on challenges. For more information on Friso, follow them on their Website, Facebook or Instagram.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

DreamWorks Run 2017

I am sure you would be familiar with at least one of the families such as Kungfu Panda, Shrek, Madagascar or How To Train Your Dragon from either watching it with your kiddos or at the cinemas with your friends right? Well in case you still have not heard of it yet, the first ever DreamWorks Run in Asia will take place on 24 June 2017 at Gardens By The Bay, Bay East Garden!

The main ticketing categories are split between Carnival + Run / Carnival Only.

Do note the respective rates and entitlements as shown below.

Entitlements may include items such as: Event T-shirt, Medal, Bag, Race bib, Cap, Temporary Tattoo and $10 Carnival Cash voucher.

The kiddos can take part in the 800m Kids Dash while the adults can go on a leisurely 5km Fun Run! But the main attraction that everyone is probably looking forward to the most would be the Carnival! I highly suspect that the various mascot characters would be out in full force for great photo opportunities and there will also be lots of cute merchandise up for grabs so don’t miss out! As parents, I feel that the main consideration is choosing which run category for our kids. Will it be an opportunity to teach them perseverance with the 5km Fun Run? Or just a day of fun by letting them socialize during the Kids Dash? But regardless of which, WE WILL BE THERE!

June may seem to be quite a long way to go if you register now, you get to enjoy 10% discount! Simply enter the promo code [DWXTHEPERFECTFATHER] at the check-out page before 26 May 2017. What more are you waiting for? Click here to register!

*Note that the 10% discount strictly applies to 5km Fun Run + Carnival, and Kids Dash + Carnival ONLY.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Deliveroo Goes Roo Junior!

[Sponsored Post]

Although the kiddos may be having a break from school now, it is no holiday for us parents! Okay, so I happened to be clearing leave in the afternoon and was lazing at home with the two older kiddos when I just thought of giving the helper a rest (from cooking) and the kiddos a special treat for dinner too. Spaghetti sounded like a plan and so I checked out what was available in my area on the Deliveroo app.

Pastamania popped up and as I scrolled down their menu, I discovered that they offered Roo Junior Meals as well! Each kid's meal consisted of a Pasta + Snack + Minute Maid Pulpy Orange drink at $9.90 which sounded pretty reasonable! Proceeded to order for all the kiddos and I was done in under 5 minutes.

Haha the kiddos had fun tracking the Deliveroo driver on the app and was already waiting at the door for him!
Look out for a "Carnival Tent" 🎪 logo beside the name of the restaurants when you are browsing as it indicates that Roo Junior Meals are available. Other participating restaurants currently with Roo Junior Meals includes Jamie's Italian, Cedele, DC Comics, Little Diner, Wing Zone and Don Pie. Be sure to check them out, but do note that these special meals may only be available at selected outlets. So go give your little ones a treat this holiday, in the comfort of your own home!

All these yummy food for under $50 including delivery charges!
This post is brought to you by Deliveroo!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

My Dengue Story

Although my motto is to try everything in life, I am pretty sure dengue virus is something I would not wish to try. I never knew how it felt when one catches dengue fever, but I do recall the various TV advertisements by the authorities meant to drive home the importance of eradicating mosquito breeding sites that are within our controls. I also know that it causes joint pains and fever, and is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, but that is just about it I know. It felt kind of distant, that was until my sister-in-law shared her personal story with me.

The “Flu” 

My sister-in-law is a tuition teacher. Being self-employed, it is only natural that she works really hard for the family. She rarely took any off-days or medical leaves but there was this period last year when she came down with flu-like symptoms, accompanied by a fever. Thinking nothing much of it, she only self-medicated with some paracetamol. However the pain and fever persisted, and even intensified at times.

The “Burn” 

Even though she took sips of water non-stop throughout the day to keep herself hydrated, she still felt as if her body was burning inside. She also had this nagging feeling that her internal organs might fail should she stopped drinking water to cool herself. She continued to hold on to the hope of bringing her own temperature down from 41°C, recover, and get back to work as soon as possible because every day spent resting meant a day’s earning down the drain.

The Nasty “Surprise” 

She never really knew about the severity of her condition and it was only when she discovered bleeding in her nether region that the red flag was raised. She then knew that it was something serious and rushed down to her gynecologist. She was advised to get to the hospital quickly as her symptoms resembled dengue fever, and she was already in quite a bad shape by then. She declined an ambulance, but was driven to Tan Tock Seng hospital by my brother nevertheless.

The “Vacation” 

With that, she started her 5 day stay in Tan Tock Seng hospital. Her blood platelet count went far below 5,000 per microliter of blood and was ordered drips and full bed-rest! Her feet were not even allowed to touch the ground, and she had to rely solely on the nurses for everything, even toileting. Thankfully her condition improved, and she regained strength as her blood platelet count slowly increased. It was a harrowing experience for her and I can still sense her fear as she recounted her ordeal. In her own words, she was really on the brink of death.

Your Dengue is NOT necessarily My Dengue 

You may have heard of people contracting dengue fever but managed to recover on their own back at home. But a simple dengue infection can lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever (like what happened to my sister-in-law) that can lead to disastrous outcomes if not treated in time.

There are four serotypes of this virus (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4), with one dominant strain at any one time. One can develop immunity from the strain that infected him / her but will still remain susceptible to the other 3 strains.

Never Truly Safe 

My sister-in-law found out that she caught the virus at one of her student's home because he was also down with dengue fever (albeit a less serious case) during the same period and it was traced back to the construction site just beside his house. However the top mosquito breeding sites still remains to be the containers, pots, plants and toilet cisterns within our own residential premises.

Having no specific medications for dengue fever, any treatment given is to simply alleviate the symptoms of this potentially life-threatening condition. The neighbourhood you live in may not be a dengue cluster, but NEVER forget that it takes less than an hour to get from one end of the island to the other.

We need to do our part to keep mosquitoes in check and we should all start with our homes. Do you know that it may only takes a day for an Aedes mosquito egg to hatch, 4 days to grow into a pupa and 2 days to emerge as an adult? Just one week and a killer will be on the loose.

Share Your Story 

Do you have a dengue story of your own to share? It would be great if you could share with us on how you managed to get through the trying period. Tell your story (or that of your friend or loved ones) here or on my Facebook post with the hashtag, #MyDengueStory and spread the awareness to prevent dengue!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Children's Festival at Gardens By The Bay

[Media Invite]

We popped by Gardens By The Bay last weekend to visit the colourful "dye-nosaurs" that invaded the Supertree Grove recently. And let me tell you this, if you are thinking of somewhere to bring your kiddos to, make Children's Festival at Gardens By The Bay one of the stops this March holidays. I had to bring all the 4 kiddos there on my own because my wife has got to work on weekends unfortunately, and I spent almost 8 full hours at the place. Guess what? We still missed  out a good portion of the carnival on one end, only realizing that when we were making our way home!

Free Activities

There are numerous booths offering free dino-related Creative Crafts for the kiddos and one can make cute Brontosaurus from pipe cleaners, color dinosaurs on plastic sheet and get it shrinked to make keychains, have fun making sand art bookmarks or even get their faces painted too!

The most exciting part for our family would have to be the "Dinosaur Egg Hunt"! I had never explored the gardens the way I did during the last visit, and while the kiddos did grumble about the never-ending walk, they were all eyeing at the treasures they will receive after we got all the 7 stamps and they persevered! It was not exactly easy if you had relied solely on the map in the booklet, and ended up going in circles at one point in time! It was still super fun nevertheless but pity my legs!

We missed the Interactive Storytelling at the Supertree Grove because it rained but it would be great for families to lay down some mats and have a relaxing picnic in front of the stage. Fret not too if you had not packed any food along, there are numerous stalls selling drinks and food too!

Dinosaur Themed Terrarium & Excavation Workshop 

The good people from The Learning Lab had a booth aptly named "The Lab Before Time" set up at the Supertree Grove as well and is holding various workshops, ranging from making of terrarium, molding of fossils, to excavating of fossil rcoks! The kiddos tried their hands on making their own terrariums and it sure gave them a lot of satisfaction in completing their tasks. They were all rewarded with a beautiful terrarium each, complete with a cute dinosaur figure they excavated too! Each session costs $20 and you can find more details here.  

Carnival Games / Rides

There are also lots of carnival games booths where you can try your luck, or test your skills to win some cute dino prizes. Each ticket costs $2.50 and you get one extra ticket free with purchase of 10 at one go. If you want a sure-win game, I recommend you the fishing game where you will at least get a jig-saw puzzle!

Blossom Bliss

The current floral exhibition at the Flower Dome is the “Blossom Bliss” or 粉色之恋 display. With 4 kiddos to look after, we only managed to go one round the dome and I must say that the blooming flowers were really beautiful. I had to be very careful not to roll my stroller over the legs of visitors who stop to take selfies with the awesome displays. Take note that re-entries are not allowed for this exhibition as a crowd control measure, so be sure to take in as much as you want before getting out of the air-conditioned dome.

Thank you so much for inviting us over again Gardens By The Bay! It was definitely an enjoyable day at the gardens with all the kiddos, so much so that we had this view by the time we left!