Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The 5 o'clock tree

Have you heard of this tree before? I am sure you know this tree as it is commonly known as the Rain Tree. It is a common roadside tree in Singapore. Ever since I read the book, Durians are not only fruits, Little One and I had been observing Rain Trees. We noticed the leaflets would close during rainy days and evening. We even start to observe whether the leaflets would close at 5 o'clock.
These are the results.

12 noon

5 o'clock
Ehhhh...... sometimes, the leaflets close but sometimes, they do not. So what is wrong?
5 o'clock

After searching the internet, this is the explanation:

The tree’s leaflets close just before sunset. This is why it is called the Pukul Lima in Malay, which means ‘five o’clock’. The sunset hour in Singapore and Malaysia used to be 5 pm before changes were made to Standard Time in the early 1980s.

If you love to know more about this tree, read the below sources.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Lessons from the school holidays

In a blink of an eye, today is officially the last day of school holidays. Little One will have to resume her usual schedule next week.

As much as I wanted to prepare her to do more cooking this holiday, I realised we ran out of time frequently. Gathering with old friends, running around for free programmes and courses, nature excursions, catching up on schoolwork, juggling bits of household chore every now and then. We were so busy that I hardly find time to cook together, much less to blog. Fortunately, we managed to make tapioca pudding together.

In case you wonder whether schools assign homework for P1. I am not sure for the rest of the primary schools but there were none from her school. I issued homework myself as a form of revision. Also, I am focusing on Chinese, which is still her least favorite subjects. I am glad to say the past few days, she told me that I made Chinese more fun.

A lesson I have learnt this holiday is to slow down. First two weeks, we were practically running around from day to day. Yes, much of our time was spent on the road, travelling. I realised after a week or so, it was tiring to race round the whole of Singapore with her. We did not get the chance to fully enjoy ourselves and we had to start to journey again to the next destination.

I realised it was time to slow down. As her schedule was already being booked prior the holidays, I did not cancel any programmes and she attended them. I am aware there are plenty of fun activities that are going on this holiday but I try not to plan to have back to back activity. It will be physically demanding to rush around. Lesson learnt. The last couple of days we did not have any programmes on our calendar and we kept it that way. It is time to let Little One to fully rest before she returns to school next week.

Nevertheless, we had a fun filled holiday. I asked Little One what she enjoyed most during the holiday. Not surprising, most of the activities she told me are not the activities that I signed her up. Below are some of the activities she enjoyed most during this holiday.

Labrador Park during low tide.

Labrador Low Tide Exploration
We did this during one of the low tide days. It was planned without any programmes to follow thereafter. We spent longer time than we expected. Little One loves capturing pictures of the place while I spent my time explaining to her the creatures we saw on the intertidal zone.

Not her first ride but she still enjoys it.

Bum boat ride to Pulau Ubin
We signed up for a Sensory Trial at Palau Ubin and guessed what, she loves the boat ride more than the trail itself. The ride is S$3 per pax/trip.

She had her first cosplay and attended a tea party. Kids who loves to dress up would of course love such activity.

Collecting saga seeds
This activity was conducted within the time we had after a nature trail with Nparks before we had our lunch.


I know what to look out for before I plan feverishly her schedule. Her interest has to come first and not to plan back to back to fully enjoy ourselves.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Little One @ Imaginarium: Over the Ocean, Under the Sea

Children's Season is here again! Since the school holiday is approaching, why not consider bringing your child here.

 Imaginarium: Over the Ocean, Under the Sea

14 May - 28 Aug 2016

Ever since 2012, we have been going to Singapore Arts Museum @8Q around this time of the year to visit their art installations. Their installations especially those on Level 1, never fail to amaze me. We paid a short visit on its opening and definitely will be coming back again. Sharing the 3 installations we love best!

Dimana Mogus? (Where is Mogus?), Level 1 by MULYANA
Mixed media installation with yarn, cotton, felt, synthetic fur, vulcanised copper wire and dacron filling

Here , you are suppose to find Mogus. One of the octopus 'floating' around in this sea.

This installation happens to be my personal favorite too. I love its vibrant colours. You can sit on the gigantic whale cushions or even jump on them. You may touch the fishes above your head but please be gentle on the corals and the octopus which are hanging around.  I was most awed by the corals! These were crocheted painstakingly and they looked real! The octopus are also crocheted but I feel more drawn towards the corals. I love its matching colours and its close imitation to nature.

Children loves this room because of its colourful sights and the interaction available.
A place full of fun
This school of fish looked like a submarine to me but a ship to Little One.

Crocheted corals

Colourful, aren't they?

(Left) On a corner of the room, lies are bed of dead coral and a dead octopus. Did you see them? Probably, the message is to remind us to take care of our ecosystem, otherwise, they may simply die and get wiped out.

In this dark room, there is a giant luminous PVC ball, ADA, with protruding spikes all around its body. This creature is supposed to be one of the bioluminescence animal of the deep. Before you enter, the staff warns about the charcoal studs on its body. If you are not afraid of getting dirty, this is the place for you. You can move ADA across the room and tries to draw the ceiling, wall and floor using the charcoal studs but soon you will realise you cannot fully control it as effectively as a pencil or marker. These charcoal lines are only apparent when the giant sphere moves near them. It sheds light on them. This reminds us the consequences of visitor interaction and similarly, our relationship with the sea.

Little One spends the longest time here chasing after ADA and trying to draw something using her. She ended up with black hands and a strip across her forehead. 

Suara Muara (The Sounds of the Estuary), Level 4 by PAPERMOON PUPPET THEATRE 
In this room, it appeals more to your sense of hearing, check out the earphones. Below is one of my favorite too! It gives me a mixed feeling. The moving cloth simulates the moving sea. It give a peaceful feeling. The people on the sea seemed to be enjoying themselves. However, I also spotted half body people hanging from the skeletal ships which gives me creeps.

There are actually more to be offered by the rest of the art installations by various artists. Mainly the value behind the theme of the installation is the fragility of the ocean and how how interaction with it will in turn affect us. Besides these, there is also short film screening room and craft area , both located at Level 2.

Having interactive art installation allows children to see more clearly how they could affect the surroundings and at the same time, we take this as a very good opportunity to educate our children the relationship between the sea and us and on how we can learn to protect our environment.

Singapore Arts Museum @ 8Q
Mondays to Sundays | 10am to 7pm (Last admission at 6:15pm)
Fridays | 10am to 9pm

Visitors can also enjoy free entry to SAM every Friday from 6pm to 9pm and on Open House days.


Adults                                                              $10
Students & Senior Citizens aged 60 & above  $5
Children under six                                           Free
Citizens/Permanent Residents                         Free

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