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Marble Painting

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

I am always looking for ways to do arts with the kids in a mess free way. This No Mess Painting and Water Painting are two of the activities that are easy to set up and clean up. The process is completely mess free!

Recently we did another kind of painting which is very fun, but with a little bit of clean up to do. It is Marble Painting.



You will need:

A Tray (big enough to fit the paper)
Drawing paper
Marbles
Paint


Place the drawing paper inside the tray. Squeeze some paint on different spots of the paper. Throw in the marbles and move the tray around to get the marbles moving! Big J was fascinated to see the marbles 'painting' away.


We tried marble painting on another occasion and I added ping pong balls and straws. I intended to ask him to use the straws to blow the ping pong balls around. However, the ping pong balls are too light and keep getting stuck on the paint. I took the opportunity to tell him that ping pong is lighter than marble and hence gets stuck on the paint more easily.


Nonetheless, we had a good time doing this. It is easy to setup and is quite therapeutic to look at the marbles moving around in the tray. Cleaning up involves washing the marbles and wiping up the table area. Mess Free!



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Curious about Leyun (乐云) by Sparkanauts

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Sparkanauts has just launched a new mandarin programme in August 2015. Introducing the Leyun (乐云) programme, it is a mandarin class that is catered for children from age of 18 months to 30 months old and 3 to 5 years old.


Small J has been attending the Curious class (18 months to 30 months old) for a while now. Since he has already been exposed to the Junior Pilot class at Sparkanauts, he has no problem adapting to the new Curious class. In fact, he jumped right in and thoroughly enjoyed his very first lesson. 

Free play before the start of lesson.

Nowadays, kids are usually more accustomed to their English name and do not recognise their Chinese name when called. This is the same for Small J. At the beginning of the lesson, teachers will sing a song calling the child's name and showing a card with the Chinese name on it. This encourages the child to recognise his Chinese name in both writing and listening. 

Holding the card with his name, in Chinese character.

The rest of the lesson is fun-filled with stories, dramatic plays, chinese songs and movements and crafts. This is very different from the 'drilling' and 'practising' kind of classes. The programme aims to provide the child the opportunity to learn mandarin in a fun and exciting manner. The key words of the theme is repeated throughout all these fun and engaging activities. I personally feel that making the lesson fun will entice the child to have an interest in learning the language and makes learning much easier. 

Dramatic play featuring cat and dog.
The children were all amused by what's hiding inside the tent.

The very famous mystery box.
This is a good way to get the child's attention before introducing the theme of the lesson.

Music and movement time

Story time. See how attentive he was.

During craft time, the teacher will do a demo of the craft and the children will get to do it themselves. I really like the crafts that are introduced. Not only is it in relation to the theme, it also involves some sensory and fine motor skills, which is very important for toddlers of Small J's age. 

Dotting a dalmatian dog using Q-tip and pasting cotton wool as fur.

Using an egg to paint an egg.
This is a good sensory to discover the slimy texture of the paint.
I almost freaked out because his hands got all red.

Made a duck.
He needs to tear off the sticky tape to stick the parts together.

Looking through the binoculars. He is so happy with this that he can't stop using it to look around.

Another unique part of the class is the Han Yu Pin Yin (汉语拼音) segment. The teacher told us that this is one segment that many kids will like and they will really pay attention to it. Indeed, I am really amazed that Small J is always paying attention to this segment. I guess the action that goes along with the 汉语拼音 certainly helps to capture the children's concentration.


Of course, it is not Sparkanauts if there isn't any gross motor activity. All thanks to the training he received from his Junior Pilot class, he has no problem conquering the circuit. I am so pleased to see him enjoying the circuit with confidence!


Since the 乐云 programme is relatively new, the class size is still small, which means your child will be getting all the attention he needs from the teachers. Small J is getting a lot of help from the teachers and gets to interact and participate in the activities. This is in contrast to a large class size in which a child might not be getting the attention he needs. For the Leyun classes, there will be a maximum of 12 children to 2 teachers.

Check out all my previous posts about our experiences at Sparkanauts here.

Curious Class (快乐班) - Parent Accompanied Class

Duration: 75 Minutes 
Ratio: 2 teachers to 12 students  
Parent Accompanied: Yes 
Age Group: 18-36 months

Sparkanauts
Address: 293 Toa Payoh Lorong 6, SAFRA Toa Payoh, #02-01, Singapore 319387
Contact: 6259 0307
Email: info@sparkanauts.com
Operating Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays, 9am to 5pm


PROMOTION

1) From now till 31 October 2015, sign up for a Trial class for $28 (usual price $48).

2) Sparkanauts is offering a promotional package to all readers of The Js Arena. From now till 30 September, sign up for a term (10 sessions) of Curious & Witty Class for $398 (usual price $458). Bilingual programme at $498 (usual price $550).


GIVEAWAY

Sparkanauts is generously giving away 3 Leyun programme trial passes worth $48 each to 3 lucky readers of The Js Arena. 

Just complete all the steps below to win! Giveaway ends Monday, 28 September 2015, 11:59pm.
(This giveaway is only open to fans of The Js Arena and Sparkanauts. Please ensure that you have liked both pages.)


To Win, 
1) Like The Js Arena
2) Like Sparkanauts
3) Like and share this facebook post. Remember to set your post to public.
4) Comment on this facebook post when you are done and tag 3 friends to share the news.

Bonus entries. These are not compulsory but you could earn bonus entries to increase your chance of winning.
1) Follow @TheJsArena on Instagram.
2) Follow @Sparkanauts on Instagram.
3) Repost the Giveaway photo and hashtag #sparkanauts and #thejsarenagiveaway on Instagram.


Terms and Conditions:
1. Giveaway ends on Monday, 28 September 2015, 2359 hours (Singapore time)
2. This giveaway is for first-time Sparkanauts students only.
3. Open to Singapore residents only.
4. All entries have to be completed. Incomplete or invalid entries will be disqualified without notice.
5. Limited to one winner per household.
6. Giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
7. We reserve the right to amend the terms and conditions without prior notice.

WINNERS ANNOUNCEMENT


Congratulations to the winners. Please PM me on Facebook or email me at thejsarena@hotmail.com with your email address.


Disclaimer: We were invited to attend the classes at Sparkanauts for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was involved. All opinions, texts and photos are mine.

If you enjoy reading this post, I would be glad if you could follow me on Facebook or Instagram. You could also subscribe to my newsletter (on the left hand column) and be updated of my latest post.


Serious About Preschool

Thursday, 17 September 2015

One common question among all parents is education for their children. From birth, or even before birth, many parents are already registering their little ones into infant care or child care centres. Some of the popular centres even have a very long waiting list. As for enrichment classes, there are so many choices to choose from. Gym, arts, music, phonics, language, outdoor, etc, you name it, you got it. I have even heard of some children who have lessons everyday!

The next question is, how do parents decide which school or class to sign up? Some will look for information at the school's website, some will get reviews from their friends or from forums and some will just simply sign up for the school that is nearest to them. For me, I always crawl the Internet to read up about reviews of various schools. The problem I faced was that I have to visit many different website and it becomes a very tedious and time-consuming process. How I wished there is a list of all the enrichment centres and their offered courses all under one roof. It would be great if there are reviews too.

If you have the same headache as me, SeriousAboutPreschool.com is one such portal that you should check out.

Credit: SeriousAboutPreschool.com

Search

SeriousAboutPreschool.com is a comprehensive search portal that offers information on over 1,700 enrichment centres and courses. Parents no longer need to spend hours scouring the Internet to find suitable enrichment classes for their children. Parents can search by the type of enrichment classes or age or location and it will show you the list of results in one list. So easy!

Credit: SeriousAboutPreschool.com

You can also select up to 3 courses to do a comparison.

Credit: SeriousAboutPreschool.com

Read Reviews

Parents can read reviews of these centres to get a better understanding on the courses offered. These reviews are reviews by parents whose children are attending the classes or have attended the trial classes. Therefore, parents will be able to get a fair review of the classes. However, as the reviews are dependent on the parents who are willing to share their reviews, not all courses listed have a review. As such, parents will have to do more searching on the Internet.

Credit: SeriousAboutPreschool.com

Get Rewarded

Rewards points are offered to encourage parents to leave their reviews of programs their children have attended. These rewards points can be used to redeem passes to indoor playground, Port of Lost Wonder or enrichment voucher, etc. Click here to read more.

Credit: SeriousAboutPreschool.com

There are many partnering centres offering special discounts or free trial for parents. So be sure to check out the portal for such offers.

Charts of Fame

How can we talk about education without any rankings. SeriousAboutPreschool.com also offers a Top Charts page that celebrates the most popular programs and centres. This is a great way to stay apprised of the top discounts, free trials, and most popular programs offered by partnering centres.

Credit: SeriousAboutPreschool.com

They also organise carnival such as this, which was just over, where parents can get to try out some of the classes by their partnering centres.

Credit: SeriousAboutPreschool.com

SeriousAboutPreschool.com is a very good and informative portal for parents who are looking for more information about enrichment courses. Membership is free! Do check out their Website or like their Facebook Page to keep yourself updated of more promotions coming up.

Disclaimer: This media coverage is brought to you by SeriousAboutPreschool.com. No monetary compensation was involved. All opinions, texts and photos are mine, unless otherwise stated.

If you enjoy reading this post, I would be glad if you could follow me on Facebook or Instagram. You could also subscribe to my newsletter (on the left hand column) and be updated on my latest post.



ZooMoo TV - It's All Animals

Monday, 14 September 2015

It has been very hazy recently and we have to be stuck at home most of the time. Many parents should know how difficult it can be when children have no place to let off their energy. 

If you are like me, having to think of various activities to keep the kids busy and engaged, here are some ideas.



2) Marble Painting


3) Building a Fort




5) Television or Device Time

While we try to limit screen time as much as possible, it is sometime inevitable to allow the boys enjoy some screen time. Such as when Mummy needs to finish up some housework, prepare meals, do some work or even to just laze around. To make me feel less guilty, I usually allow educational shows or apps. Some of our favourite shows include Hi-5, Peppa Pig, Songs from SuperSimpleSongs.

ZooMoo TV

ZooMoo TV (StarHub Channel 306) is another program that I would recommend. If your kids love animals, they will love the ZooMoo channel because 'It's All Animals - All the Time. ZooMoo TV is a channel that engages and entertains children with stories about the animal world. It helps children to build their knowledge and affection for animals. It has a line up of about 4,000 shows, ranging from real wildlife footage, puppetry and animations. 

Some of the ZooMoo cast who will be bringing you to explore the world of animals.
Credit: ZooMoo

To make learning more realistic, there are also footages of real animals.
Credit: ZooMoo

If you are watching ZooMoo TV, you've got to download the ZooMoo app. Using revolutionary technology, the ZooMoo app is able to 'listen' to the ZooMoo channel! The channel will then sends original and complimentary content to the child's tablet, eg animal cards or food. 

ZooMoo App

The ZooMoo App is designed to work alongside the ZooMoo channel to extend and reinforce children's learning. 

Upon opening the app, children will be transported to ZooMoo Island. On the island, children can learn and interactive with up to 150 animals on the island. The island is divided into different habitats so that your child can learn where the animals live in, eg. grassland, river, ocean, etc.

ZooMoo Island

The child can select an animal and watch a short real-life clip of the animal, learn its name and whether the animal is endangered, rare or common.

A video clip of the animal in action

Children can also interact with the animals. In this scene, the baby buffalo is hungry. The children can help to feed the animal and earn hearts.


When enough hearts are accumulated, the child will get a present, where more animals are unlocked, more food cards or other interactive cards. Through this, children will learn how to care for and love the animals.


A packet of cards as present

For parents participation, there is a parent's info section, where parents can learn more about the app. There are also animals fact file, which the parent can read up first and later discuss with the child while the child is interacting with the animal.


After installing the app, no Internet connection is required to use the app. There is no in-app purchases or advertising so parents can let the child play with a peace of mind. The ZooMoo app is free for download from AppStore and Google Play.

Introducing ZooMoo's New Series: 'Lost'

Coming 16 September, ZooMoo will be launching a new series, 'Lost'. This new series is about Flash, a wildlife photographer who loves animals and travel around the world to discover animals. We got to watch a preview of an episode. The boys definitely enjoyed watching the show. Remember to catch it on 16 September, 5pm on StarHub Channel 306.


See how engrossed they are with the show

GIVEAWAY

We are really thankful to receive a gift pack from ZooMoo. The boys really enjoyed exploring and learning about animals. For our readers, we have One ZooMoo Gift Pack to giveaway. 



Just complete all the steps below to win! Giveaway ends Monday, 21 September 2015, 2359 hrs.

To Win, 
1) Like The Js Arena
2) Like ZooMoo Asia
3) Like and share this facebook post. Remember to set your post to public.
4) Comment on this facebook post stating the debut date of 'Lost' and tag 3 friends.

Terms and Conditions:
1. Giveaway ends on Monday, 21 September 2015, 2359 hours (Singapore time)
2. Open to Singapore residents only.
3. All entries have to be completed. Incomplete or invalid entries will be disqualified without notice.
4. Limited to one winner per household.
5. Giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
6. We reserve the right to amend the terms and conditions without prior notice.


About ZooMoo

ZooMoo explores the animal world in ways that are entertaining, interactive and enriching, sparking in kids a love for animals.

ZooMoo is a collaboration between some of the world's foremost wildlife filmmakers and world renowned early childhood educationalists from the University of Otago, New Zealand's premier university. Together, they have created a powerful package: a catalyst for learning that engages both children and their parents.

Using the free ZooMoo App, kids can unlock animals and games from the broadcast and add them to ZooMoo Island on their tablet.


Disclaimer: I received a ZooMoo gift pack for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was involved. All opinions, texts and photos are mine, unless otherwise stated.

If you enjoy reading this post, I would be glad if you could follow me on Facebook or Instagram. You could also subscribe to my newsletter (on the left hand column) and be updated on my latest post.


King Koil Annual Warehouse Sale 2015

Friday, 4 September 2015

The King Koil Annual Warehouse Sale 2015 is back again. This year is the 7th year and as always, customers can expect lots of great discounts on its products.

King Koil Annual Warehouse Sale 4 - 7 September 2015, 9am - 9pm
13 Sungei Kadut Way, Matsushita House, Singapore 728792

I got the chance to visit the sneak preview sale yesterday and came home with these!


I got two king size waterproof mattress protector, a Marvel fitted sheet set for the boys and a queen size fitted sheet set for my mum. I have been wanting to get a waterproof mattress protector for our bed because sometimes Big J urines on the bed when he sleeps at night. We just got a new bed recently so it is so important for us to protect our new bed. 


The staff told me that this Protect-A-Bed waterproof mattress protector is very comfortable and breathable and doesn't has the plasticky feel. This is going for only $40 for a Queen / King size and $30 for Single / SuperSingle size. I am so happy that I got this at the sale and I bagged two of these.


Another favourite of mine is the Marvel bedlinen collection. The fitted sheet set is going for only $15 and if you buy 4 sets, you can get 1 free! The designs are all super cute and the material is soft to touch. Perfect for kids! You might want to stock these up as Christmas presents.

Apart from the fitted sheet, you can also find kid's pillows and bolsters, neck cushions, roll mattress and blankets all in the very cute Marvel designs!

After sharing my loots, let me show you what you can expect from the sales.

Just before the main sales area at level 1, there is a drink and snack counter. A thoughtful touch from the organiser I must say.


Shopping bags for the convenience for shoppers. The beddings are bulky and heavy, so having these shopping bags means you are hands free and able to grab more stuffs.


This is the main area of the warehouse sale. It is sheltered and equipped with fans. The crowd was small when I was there but it was still quite hot due to the hot weather. The staff told me that on the actual day of sales, it can get quite crowded. So brace yourself!


Here are some of the deals that you can find.

All kinds of pillows with different properties and qualities.

All kinds of bolsters

Comforter set

Bed sheet sets from low price range

Mid-price range

To the high quality range

There are bathroom and kitchen linens too

When it gets too hot, you can check out the sofa and mattress section which is on level 5 in the air-conditioned building.

Good discounts for the sofa sets

King Koil mattresses and bed frames. I saw some that are heavily discounted.

These are the high range bedding sets, those that you find in Robinsons. If you are looking for high quality bedding sets, these are really worth getting because they are heavily discounted.

The Floss Flakes series are also on promotion

Apart from King Koil's products, you can also get offers from OTO.


In additional to the discounted price, you can enjoy more discounts or freebies if you spend over a certain amount. There is also 0% instalments plan for selected credit cards.


I hope I got you excited to go down to King Koil to take a look and grab some stuffs. For those who don't drive, the place might be a bit inaccessible. But not worries, because shuttle bus service is available.

King Koil Annual Warehouse Sale 

Dates: 4 - 7 September 2015
Timing: 9am - 9pm
Venue: 13 Sungei Kadut Way, Matsushita House, Singapore 728792
Shuttle buses available 9am to 8.30pm from Yew Tee MRT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KingKoilSG

The baby at home was super happy when he saw the super cute cushion.

Disclaimer: I was invited to the sneak preview of the King Koil Annual Warehouse Sale for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was involved. All opinions, texts and photos are mine, unless otherwise stated.

If you enjoy reading this post, I would be glad if you could follow me on Facebook or Instagram. You could also subscribe to my newsletter (on the left hand column) and be updated on my latest post.


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