Monday, March 25, 2013

Homelearning Workshop - Alice in Variousland!

March has been a mad mad month for me. Besides being tied up with work, I was busy rolling out and planning for a couple of activities for the homelearning community that I moderate. As you readers are aware, Chinese is one area of worry for me in terms of Dumpling's academic journey (for the lack of a better term) so I do look for ways and means to get her exposed to and have fun learning Chinese at home.

I first came to know about Apple Pie in a play we watched last year and I chanced upon their website this year and contacted the person-in-charge to run a Chinese Speech and Drama workshop for the group. After weeks of coordination and handling the many logistics hiccups along the way, it finally materialised during the March holidays. The workshop was entitled Alice in Variousland which is a tweak of the classic Alice in Wonderland :)

The teachers for the workshop were extremely organised where health checks were done every morning and recorded down on a sheet. The children were also handed a name tag on the first morning. 

As this was our first Chinese speech and drama, we (as in Dumpling and I) do not know what to expect. So it was a pleasant surprise to know that the 3-hour daily sessions were not just on 'lines and places' but games, songs and craft were woven in daily. Importantly, chinese stories were read and shared daily too.

Above pic: Children and teachers in a 'catching' game (老鹰捉小鸡)

Above and below pics: Children engrossed in craft work which were used as props

Snack time was incorporated daily, needed for the kids to fuel up before more games and songs and of course, lines were practised!

Above pic: Lines and places for the Queen and the card soldiers

One of the things which I particularly like is the clever use of songs. Children generally respond well to songs and Apple Pie made it easy for the kids to 'remember' their lines with such an approach! 

On the morning of the day of performance, the teachers were making final preparations and then... the glass panel was blocked off! 

But that certainly didn't deter parents from trying to peep into the room as the anticipation mounted... *Guffaws*

The fittings continued and the anticipation mounted further...

And finally, the children came out of the room and here's Dumpling!

The costumes were so cute! Here's K as bunny and N as one of the card soldiers

MS as the Hare (with the craft work that they did earlier)

And Dumpling getting into her role as Alice

(Photo courtesy of PrincessDanaDiaries

Above: El was great as the Red Queen

Above: The finale song. Check out how cute the card soldiers' headdresses are!
(Photo courtesy of PrincessDanaDiaries

And finally, Mama Sue, Dumpling and MS as the 3rd wheel here! LOL

The whole performance was about 12+ mins long so here's are the short clips for your viewing pleasure :)

And of course, all the parents melted at this part. It was indeed a sweet surprise :)

It was just a short 5-morning session. None of the parents had any expectations that this was to be a movie perfect production. The most important thing is for the children to have fun during this Chinese immersion programme.

Dumpling has repeatedly told me how much she enjoyed the workshop and had mixed feelings on Friday as that was the last day. Fellow mummy friends have also shared how much their kids enjoyed the sessions with some citing that their kids do not want to head back to school! *Oops*! So, we shall wait in anticipation for the next holiday workshop. For the mummies with kids who participated in this workshop, thank you for being part of it, it was certainly nice to be able to chat (though briefly) and catch up with you all. :)

Update: Dumpling has gone on to participate in more of Apple Pie's productions and here's a post on 'Little Red Riding Hood'.

Disclaimer: This was a workshop which was organised for the Homelearning for Preschoolers group. Dumpling and the other children were paid participants. All opinions expressed are my own. 


  1. This was one of the most enriching and fun holiday camps Dana has been to. I'll highly recommend it :)

    1. Yes Angie, it was good for Dumpling too. She's still singing the bunny song even as of now! ;p

  2. Can non homeschooling kid join in the next run n what's the youngest age allowed? How much does the five day workshop cost? TKS!

    1. Hi Carol, these activities are mainly organised for the homelearning group where we have a mix of homeschool and homelearning parents. The workshop is conducted by the vendor and hence, charges are determined by them. :) Age wise, it is also determined by the vendor too. Drop me an email and we will take this offline :)


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