Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Happy Birthday Singapore!

I enrolled the little one for a National Day Special workshop organised by National Parks: Beautiful Vanda Miss Joaquim (A Planting cum Art Workshop). From a homeschool perspective, I did not want it to be yet another meaningless Public Holiday (though of course PH are always nice :p). Rather I wanted Dumpling to have some understanding of the significance of the occasion.

From a swop with some mummy friends last year, Dumpling did a National Day pack so she does have some knowledge of this theme. But this year, I wanted to focus on other areas and this event fitted our theme nicely. :)

The workshop was termed as a Planting cum Art session so I did not really know what to expect. So it was a pleasant surprise to find out that the "Art" part was actually a floral arrangement session! :)

A trainer was there to present and demonstrate the floral arrangement to the children. It was a "drop-off" session as parents had to wait outside the room (with clear glass windows and doors). Besides her earlier Art session, this is the first time Dumpling has been "dropped" off like that so the clear windows and doors helped. :)
I liked that the entire arrangement was based on National Day and the trainer took time to go through the significance of colours - red and white as well as the symbols - crescent and the 5 stars. This was then "represented" in the floral arrangement which is made primary of what else, but orchids! :)

Here's some tips to share if you wish to do this with your little one(s) :)

To start off, you need to of course have the right "materials" - a sponge base and the container, both of which are easily available from flora shops. Here, the kids were taught to "line" the base with leaves to form a frame around the base.

The children were also taught to cut the stems (at an angle - I had to hop in and help Dumpling as some of the stems required a lot of strength to be snipped off). Once the "frame" is done, you can add on the smaller flowers. Here the red orchids were to represent the red in our Singapore flag.

Once the red orchids were added on, the children can then add on the white around it. The trick is to remind them that none of the green sponge should be be seen. So there were fillers provided - the purple (statice) and white flowers (Monte Casino Aster) as above, for the kids to "fill" up the spaces / gaps.

And of course, not forgetting the Singapore flag. Tada!

The second part of the workshop was on Orchid Potting. The orchid was of course, none other than Vanda Ms Joaquim. 

Above pic: trainers doing demo and explaining the origins of the plant

Above pic: the trainer helping Dumpling to secure the plant to the stick with cable ties

And it was time to add some stones and charcoal (most orchids, except for a handful, require a drier base to grow well in, hence the use of charcoal instead of soil)

This part of the session was relatively simple and she was done in no time.

It was a simple and enjoyable morning as we got to head outdoors and Dumpling got to do almost all of the activities on her own while I stood outside busy snapping away on the camera.

Frankly, I am not a floral arrangement person so this would not have been an activity that I will do with Dumpling but I felt that it was very meaningful to have tied this activity back to the significance of National Day and the meaning of its symbols.

I also wanted to highlight that the staff from Botanical Garden that morning (2 young ladies) were very helpful and friendly too. Dumpling hurt her knee a few days before the workshop and was limping the whole time. The two ladies upon knowing this, helped her to get around in the classroom and went back and forth to get the flowers for her. A big THANK YOU to you both once again. It was a very kind gesture. :)

Finally, here's 2 parting shots from us!

Bottom pic was taken by Dumpling. :0)


  1. Wow Dumpling is very pretty sweet gal :)

    1. Hi May!

      Thanks for the compliment and thanks for dropping by. Hope you are having a good day with your family and loved ones! :)


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