Monday, March 20, 2017

Review: Singapore Repertory Theatre's Peter Rabbit

Being a bookworm, the kiddo grew up with lots of wonderful classic titles. It is from these wonderful tales that she was carried away to different places on different adventures. Beatrix Potter's  Peter Rabbit was one of the stories that she grew up with where she progressed on to read the rest of the stories in the series on her own.

Perhaps it is because of Peter's cheekiness or that rabbits are just plain cute, the kiddo was very taken with this story from young (our late bunny was named Flopsy!) and was really excited to catch this play in action, presented by Singapore Repertory Theatre.

:: The plot
Peter Rabbit is the only boy in the family to a pair of sisters. Being the only boy (and to the sisters' chagrin) he hardly helped out with the chores at home and the sisters were forever picking up after him.


One afternoon, after their mother left home, the siblings got into an argument and in a fit of anger, Peter decided that he would be better looking for another home.

Or so he thought...

The Little Company

Straight from the "get-go", Peter's adventure seems to have had a bumpy start when he bumped into his cousin Benjamin rabbit. They were both caught stealing from Mr McGregor's garden. (At this juncture, I must say that Mr McGregor had the most outrageous "mask" ever which had the kiddo laughing hysterically when he entered onto the stage).

Peter managed to have a narrow escape and wondered off into the woods where he bumped into his first friends - Squirrels. The Squirrels were friendly and all but he soon learnt that they are too different especially with his near "mis-adventure" with the forest Owl!

The Little Company

The Little Company

So off Peter Rabbit went, hippity hop where the Mice family who sews for a living.  Unfortunately Peter lacks the sewing skills and (without revealing too much) met a furry roadblock, ending his stay with the Mice family earlier than expected.

The Little Company

The Little Company

The third animal he met was the Hedgehog, who was also my favorite. The actress totally "rock" the persona and her song performance was impressive. The kiddo and I were both clapping and cheering her on! (Just check out the photo below! LOL)

The Little Company

More than that (and with her rock star image aside), she was quite the voice of conscience who dished out motherly advice to Peter who came to realise that there's no place quite like home, and reflected upon his relationship with his sisters.

The Little Company

A lively and fun play which brings across the message of the importance of family (and forgiveness too!) suitable for even preschoolers. Though Dumpling is in Primary 3 now, I too found myself, riding on this opportunity, whispering to her that all of us do make mistakes and that as a family, we will always love her despite any bad decisions. Because, that's what families are for. 

The Little Company

:: Event Dates
Friday, 24th Feb to Fri, 14 April
Weekends & Public Holidays: 11am and 2pm 
Weekdays: 10am 

Click here to book your tickets! 

:: Venue

Disclaimer: We were invited by Singapore Repertory Theatre to watch the play and share our opinions and thoughts about it. 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 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Parenting with Love: Enrichment Classes, are they necessary?

As part of my day job, I liaise with parents of pre-schoolers almost daily. One question which comes up inevitably is always on "primary school readiness". From a strictly "local" sense of the word - almost 95% of the parents that I meet are worried if their children will be able to cope with Primary School.

:: So what does Primary School readiness mean?
From a holistic standpoint, there are of course many facets which include social-emotional readiness and skills. While most of the parents that I have met are concerned about academic readiness, there are some who do look beyond that and value skills and traits such as collaboration/teamwork, independence, resilience, etc.

But academic readiness is almost always at the top of their minds when it comes to these parents who will be enrolling their children into the local primary school system. They worry if their kids can cope with the rigorous local primary school system, if the foundation laid is enough for their children and if they should send their children for extra classes - i.e. enrichment classes / after school care programme.
Image result for enrichment class clipart

Incidentally, I recently had a chat with an "ang mo" colleague and being in the education industry, it is not uncommon for us to delve into the latest trends, hot buzzwords, our kids, classes, etc. He was quite shocked to learn that Dumpling attends quite a number of classes and even ended his views with "does she even get a chance to play?"

That's pretty strong words and comment for someone who does not know my kid I'd say. LOL! The kiddo fortunately/unfortunately (depending on which "camp" you are in), likes activities and to keep herself busy. This was evident even when she was in Primary 1 and 2; where she'd spent her unstructured time in the afternoon doing what she likes which primarily would either be crafting, reading or doing some online learning stuff.

Being an only child, she has learnt to channel her energy into what amuses her in the afternoon until I am back from work where we will do some activities which she likes such as science and card games. For as long as I can remember, the kiddo has always been the one who asked me for classes (all except Swimming and Chinese class I must add) and feeding her voracious appetite for whatever she's keen on. From writing workshops to ice skating, and from STEM to Chinese Speech and Drama, with God's grace we have been blessed to have been able to support her interests.

:: So are enrichment classes a bad thing? And are we doing the wrong thing if we were to sign our children up for classes? I'd say no.

It really depends on your family dynamics, objectives and your child's personality and interest. I truly dislike sweeping statements like "oh, why are we doing this to the children" or "why can't we let them enjoy their childhood". Why is it that "classes" are perceived as always bad? True, there are KS parents whose objectives are to pepper their kids' schedules daily with classes but there are also other families with different dynamics and concerns.

Take for instance a mum that I know who has a child from her first marriage. As it was an inter-racial marriage, her daughter took Mandarin as my girlfriend thought that she would be able to assist her daughter in it. Though she had the best intentions, as environment and circumstance play an important part, the support was not as strong as intended. Her child's standard started dropping from Primary 2 to an alarming low in Primary 3 before she started failing in Primary 4. All that while, my friend was still adamant about not sending her child for tuition classes because she does not wish to give her child any pressure and wants her child to enjoy school. When she eventually agreed to employ a tutor, the tutor shared openly that the gap by then is really quite big and they have a lot of work for they have a lot of catching up to do; resulting in further pressure. The child has also displayed resistance to the language by then as it is just "too hard" for her.

To me "letting my child enjoy school / her childhood" also means supporting her interests and empowering her with the skills / concepts / knowledge to succeed at her tasks. As human beings, we often are spurred on and motivated to do more and to do better, with each taste of success. Similarly, for children, if he/she were to struggle with a subject and does not have access to the help / support which he / she may need, the child would most likely lose interest and motivation. It then becomes a vicious cycle of doing badly because of disinterest and a lack of knowledge and confidence.

(Dumpling with her cousins attending a STEM workshop)

So doing the right thing for the child will mean different thing to different families because of dynamics. For some, like my girlfriend's experience shared above, that help is necessary since the environment does not provide the Chinese exposure for her child. Now, for my case, Dumpling has been asking for classes out of interest as she wanted to learn a bit more than what the school teachers are able to teach, within the hours in school. Though she has CCA before her enrichment class, she still looks very much forward to them and I can see it in the effort she takes when applying new techniques learnt during the enrichment classes, to her homework.

It is a delicate balance of providing support versus maintaining / encouraging interest. Personally, I feel that when assistance is needed, it is better to start earlier than later, so that the gaps to be bridged are smaller and before the child has shown resistance to that subject. Different centres also have different pedagogical approaches and there likely will be some who are able to engage your child in an enjoyable manner whilst building up the level of competence. Good luck!

Monday, February 27, 2017

All in a day's work... (or not!)

So I have been dead quiet recently on the blogging front besides some giveaways. The main reason is that P3 has taken a toll on both me and the kiddo where I sort of lost my blogging mojo with the larger scheme of things.

In January this year, I attended a Parent Teacher Briefing with the hubs where we saw the kiddo’s new form teacher for the first time as she was with the same teachers and classmates for the past 2 years. The new form teacher shared on what they will be doing for each of the subjects and *dang dang dang dang* the amount of daily homework.

The homework load was something which I have heard about from well meaning friends but experiencing it, trying to manage the kiddo’s schedule and encouraging her to attempt the work properly is an entirely different matter.

We were told that MOE’s guideline is that the kids’ homework (at this level) does not exceed 1.5 hours at this stage. On the average, if the kiddo has homework for 2 subjects daily, it will come up to 1.5 hours as she’s still learning to focus on the task at hand (read: taking longer than usual to clear!). Added to the fact that I am anal about vision breaks, the work sometimes can take more than 2 hours for her, with 3 subjects. Plus, our engines were a tad cold when we started the year; everything has been slow to start. It has been trying and I have been doing remote control parenting – calling to ensure that she’s started on her work. This is because if the work is not completed before I get home, it will be a mindless mad rush when I get home!  

Now that we are into week 9 with last week being a tad mad with all the CAs (for all 4 subjects), I think we both have finally settled into our new routine (without me having to nag much. Phew!)

Here’s sharing some tips which work for us:
  • Have an hour break after school for some R&R plus lunch time before attempting to clear any work
  • Getting the kid to list down all the items she needs to complete and then crossing them out when she’s done (it gives her immense satisfaction to cross them off the list too)
  • On this note, my earlier challenge is that she does not have a habit of listing down the homework in her daily journal. *sweat* So there were instances where she completely forgotten about some. So I started some reward programme for her to record her homework and being a stationery lover, here's what I bought as some of the "rewards":
Image may contain: 1 person

No automatic alt text available.
  • For the kiddo, her focus and energy wane a bit after some time so I always get her to work on the “harder” stuff first
  • Get your kiddo to place a clock / watch on the table so that he/she is able to manage his/her time better. This is also where I have been getting her to set targets for herself to finish by a certain time. This is our clock LOL 
Image result for stormtrooper lego clock
  • Vision breaks after 45 mins for at least 15 mins. During this time, she’d make / take a drink, call me, head for bath room breaks, etc. before she starts the next task.
Having said that, with some new classes she has decided to take on, this also means that we needed to work out a new weekend schedule but it has been a good balance of sports versus interest versus work so far.

How’s your kiddo coping with the new academic year? 

Monday, February 6, 2017

A Family Package "Giveaway" to Singapore Repertory Theatre's Peter Rabbit!

"Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were—
Flopsy,
     Mopsy,
          Cotton-tail,
               and Peter.
They lived with their Mother in a sand-bank, underneath the root of a very big fir-tree.

“Now, my dears,” said old Mrs. Rabbit one morning, “you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don’t go into Mr. McGregor’s garden: your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor.”"

:: Synopsis 
Singapore Repertory Theatre brings us on this wonderful journey as we laugh and cruise along with Peter Rabbit. Peter is tired of doing the chores and dealing with his goody two-shoes twin sisters. Peter Rabbit breaks the rules and steals from Mr. McGregor's garden.


Knowing that he has gone too far and afraid of what his mother might say, the only option for this little fugitive is to leave his warm rabbit hole and run away into the big world – somewhere he can do whatever he wants and be free of responsibility. But as Peter struggles to live with other animals, from feisty squirrels to sewing mice, he begins to realise his life at home might not have been so bad after all.

A Peter Rabbit Tale is based on the beloved children’s classic by Beatrix Potter and beautifully reimagined by Sarah Bundt and teaches us to treasure our family and loved ones. 

Let your "hare" down this March holidays as I am pleased to share that I have a set of family package worth almost $150 (of 4 tickets for 18 March, Saturday, 11am show) to give away!



:: Terms and Conditions
  1. These tickets will be to the 11am show on Saturday, 18 March
  2. Winner is to collect the tickets at least 30 mins before the show time.
  3. Tickets are not exchangeable for cash or for other dates, and are not transferable.
  4. Please remember to leave a comment below as an answer to "Why do you wish to watch this production?"
  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
Friday, 24th Feb to Fri, 14 April
Weekends & Public Holidays: 11am and 2pm 
Weekdays: 10am 
:: Venue

Disclaimer: The giveaway is kindly sponsored by Singapore Repertory 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 

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 

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