Friday, 19 June 2015

Free Fun Friday: Children's Season - Masak Masak 2014

Ok, so this post is about a year late. 

Sometime last July, we were at the National Museum of Singapore for the Children's Season 2014.  Specifically, we were there for Masak Masak: My Childhood 2014. On the Front Lawn of the Museum was Playgounds on the Lawn, with inflatable, bouncy castle versions of the iconic Singaporean heritage playgrounds, the Dragon and the Watermelon.

Inside the Museum itself, there was Play@National Museum of Singapore, a then new area to introduce the concept of museums to young children through fun and interaction.

They tried their hand at making their own diaoramas at the paper art installation on level 2 - "Rouleaux" by French artist Anastassia Elias.
The children had fun playing with giant versions of marbles, sticks and five stones, set up in collaboration with students from School of the Arts.

They tried their hand at making their own diaoramas at the paper art installation on level 2 - "Rouleaux" by French artist Anastassia Elias.
Amazing what can be done with toilet paper rolls!

Also on the second level was the installation by Spanish artist Guixot, "Sculpture Scribble".

Children's Season 2015 is now on!  In addition to Masak Masak 2015, there are many more activities taking place over 19 museums across the island.  For more information, please visit their website.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Wordless(ish) Wednesday - Strawberry Picking

We went strawberry picking over the weekend.  There are a few  U-Pick farms around, but we decided to go to Bolles Organic Berry Farm on the recommendation of our friend Cindy.  x
  We were greeted by a small tentage.

Are there any strawberries left for us?
Found one!
Little Man feeding Little Lady strawberries.
Say "Strawberries!"
Taking a break.
Our loot - self-harvested organic strawberries and local honey.
Due to the unseasonably warm weather, the strawberries were small, and the season short.

Friday, 12 June 2015

America's Car Museum

One really nice thing about the Seattle area is the number and variety of museums around.  A couple of weekends ago, our friend, WL, stopped by Seattle for a visit at the tail end of his business trip in the U.S.  Although he would have been happy to just hang out at our place, we decided to let the kiddos expend their energy at America's Car Museum down in Tacoma. The museum contains about 500 mostly vintage cars from the private collection of one Harold LeMay, a successful local businessman.  Apparently, his family own and run the LeMay Family Collection Foundation, which has another 1500 vintage cars!

 Some of the cars in the museum.

Hood Ornaments!

Tickets cost US$16 per adult, and kids 5 and under enter for free (yay!).  There is a little cafeteria on the mezzanine, which is open to the public (no tickets necessary).

Taken from the mezzanine.

Past the ticketing counter (on the main level) is the gift shop.  Upon walking through the gift shop, we were greeted by vintage Ford trucks.  The museum is set up such that we walk down ramps for four levels, with cars of all kinds all along the way.

The children were rather bored of cars, until we got to the Family Zone.  There is a build zone, where children can build their own wooden cars out of the various available parts. Then, there is an amazing race track where the kids can place the cars they built onto it to race each other.  Little Man had so much fun with this.

In addition to the race track, they also had a wooden road system with the main highways of the contiguous United States.  What I like about this (and had never before seen in Singapore), was that the play table had holes cut into it, so that a few kids could play together without getting in one another's way.

There was an old arcade racing machine (free) there as well.  Everyone had a go at it, including Little Man, who was really pleased that his legs were long enough to reach the paddles.  He did really well too, and beat all the adults. Little Lady was unfortunately still too short.

They also had another gaming area, the Speed Zone.  This one was more for the adults, with racing car simulators at US$8 a go.  There was also a slot car track which cost US$3.

It was a nice place to visit.  Lots of fun for car aficionados and children alike.  Do drop by if you happen to be in the area.

Little Man: 4 years 11 months
Little Lady: 2 years 10 months

Sunday, 7 June 2015


Today, I would like to talk about P-Patches.  These are basically community allotment gardens - land subdivided into smaller parcels of land that are then made available for individuals or families to do their own non-commercial gardening or growing of food plants.  In Seattle, these allotment gardens are known as P-Patches, apparently named after the Picardo Farm, the first such allotment garden in Seattle.

Within a few days of our move to Seattle, we discovered a P-Patch near the kiddos' school.

This weekend, we helped to set up the school's P-Patch plot (say that quickly 10 times). Apparently, the director of the school had waited fifteen (15!!!) years for a plot!  She was told she would have to wait 20 years, so 15 years is actually early!

For the past week or so, one of the daddies had been hard at work clearing the plot which was full of weeds and overgrown vegetation, and levelling the ground.
What the plot looked like when we arrived.  Note the mess of debris to the left of Little Man.

Since most of the hard work had already been done, we set up the planter boxes and filled in the soil.

The kiddos helping to mix the soil and level it out.

A morning's work with many hands - four planter boxes with soil, all ready for planting!  And the debris at the front of the plot - all gone!

The children had great fun helping out.  Since the P-Patch is on the hill behind the school, a two minute walk away (longer, for shorter legs), I'm sure they'll have a great time planting and gardening through the year. We are so fortunate that the school got it's P-Patch while we're here!

I'm looking forward to seeing the results myself.  Apparently, the rectangular bed will have pumpkins, the double height bed next to it will have bulbs, and the other two will have flowers.  How exciting!

(There are such allotment garden plots in Singapore too. I'm not sure where they are, but one of my closest friends has one.)


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