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National Day Activities

Friday, 25 August 2017

August is a month of celebration in Singapore because it is her 52nd birthday! Happy National Day!! 

It has been a period since we did any themed learning. Frankly, it takes lots of time and effort to plan and prepare any theme activities. But since National Day is a day that is widely celebrated in Singapore and it provides opportunities for the kids to learn about Singapore, I decided to just do it! Fortunately, the boys are keen to learn more about this topic. If you have been following me on Instagram, you would have seen me posting the activities we did. So, do follow me on Instagram to have a first glance at our activities before they make it to the blog. 

Books


These are some of our reads for National Day, which I borrowed from the library. We especially like 'Rhyming Around Singapore'. It has rhymes that sing along to the tune of nursery rhymes that we already know but with a twist to the lyrics to make it more Singapore style.



Singapore Flag


The first week, we focused on the Singapore flag. Small J has been seeing the flag at many places and requested to make a flag. So here we go!

I looked up some information on the Internet about the Singapore flag and its significance and made some cards for our discussion. If you want a copy of these cards, continue reading! I got this pocket chart long ago from Taobao. You may search for 'pocket chart' on Amazon, Taobao or EzBuy.


1. S-I-N-G-A-P-O-R-E


After learning about the flag and its significance, we get down to some hands-on activities. Since we are learning about Singapore, of course we need to learn her name! We chant along to the Singapore cheer S-I-N-G-A-P-O-R-E and it definitely makes remembering the spelling easier.


2. Tissue Paper Craft Flag


Next, we start making our flag. This time we settled for a tissue paper craft. We cut the craft tissue paper into small squares and crumble them into small balls. This is great for fine motor and patience as they need to crumble each squares one piece at a time. Then, we stick the balls onto the flag template and it's done!

If you need more inspirations, here is another flag that we made a couple of years. It's a flag that's made of hearts!



3. Rescue the Stars from the Stormy Sea


Do you know that each star on the flag has its meaning? We talked about what they mean and did some stars activities. We also listened and sang a song 'Five Stars Arising' and discuss how Singapore has developed and progressed since the chaotic times.

Next, we are on a mission to rescue the stars that are stuck in the green stormy sea (in relation to the song we just sang).

I hid these mini stars linky (from Daiso) in Theraputty. Theraputty is something like playdough but is is firmer and has more resistance. We bought this from Big J's therapist when he was working on his fine motor. You can buy this from Amazon. If you don't have that, playdough is a good choice too!

The boys will need to stretch and pull the putty to dig out the stars. Great for fine motor skills and hand strength!


To extend the activity, Small J worked on counting and sorting the stars by colours. Big J worked on counting, addition and spelling the number words.


4. How many Stars can you Catch?


Another star activity that is so simple! The boys will grab a handful of stars from the box, count how many they caught and record their answers.


5. Labeling Parts of the Flag


As a recap, we made use of the word cards and the flag we made and did a labeling activity. I'm surprised that Big J has no problem with both the English and Chinese word cards!


Independence


Next, we learnt about Singapore's Independence. We watched a video on YouTube about this very important day in her history. We talked about how days were like during those times, how Singapore is a multiracial country and why is it important to maintain racial harmony. Just right, it was racial harmony celebration in school too!


1. The Pledge


How could we miss singing the National Anthem and saying the Pledge? Big J says the pledge has the words of the stars' significance which we learnt the previous week. How observant! I also tried introducing the Chinese version of the Pledge to them. We also sang 'We Are Singapore' because it has the song version of the Pledge in it.


This book '信约' is a very good book to explain the Pledge. It has photos of stamps with pictures that represents the meaning of the Pledge.


2. How Old is Singapore?


Singapore gained its independence in 1965, so how old is she now? I cut strips with the years passed since Singapore's independence. Big J have to arrange them in ascending order onto the hundreds chart. Then he counted how many years. Singapore is 52!


Small J put the stars on the chart and counted till 52. 


Attractions in Singapore


Next up, we are learning about the places of interest in Singapore. I looked for pictures for these places on the Internet and printed them out. I picked places that we have been to and the boys talked about the places with much interest, bringing back memories when we visited those places. We also check out the places using the Internet and Google Street View. The boys did a matching of the name of the places to their photos in both English and Chinese names.


1. Changi Airport


Following our learning of the landmarks in Singapore, we choose to explore more about Changi Airport. Here we made a model of the air control tower. We discuss what we can see and do at the airport and look at the photos we had taken at the airport.


And because Terminal 4 is about to operate soon, we visited it during the open house. The boys thought they were really going on a flight and were disappointed when we didn't board any plane in the end. 


2. The Merlion


Another well-know icon of Singapore is the Merlion! The boys punched out paper cut outs and stick them onto the Merlion's body as scales. Then we tore some flyers into strips and stick them onto the Merlion's head as hair. We also make fireworks as the background using paper rolls. I really love the colour of the final work! The Merlion template is from here.



Coconut Agar Agar


Small J received a 'Let's Celebrate National Day' book from his preschool. He has been bugging me that he wanted to make the Coconut Agar Agar shown in the book. 

We went to the supermarket to get the ingredients. I asked Big J to look at the recipe and get the ingredients we needed. Giving them something to do really makes the grocery shopping trip more enjoyable and peaceful. 

When we reached home, we got started with the recipe. Big J read out the steps and the boys took turns to mix the ingredients. 

I ever tried getting Big J to help out with some simple preparation of meal but he was quite uncooperative. This time, since they choose to make this together, they were naturally cooperative. Of course, I did 'threaten' that we will have to stop if they don't listen to instructions. 

Then, it is tasting time! The boys were so excited because they can finally eat the agar agar they made. I have to say that the agar agar didn't really taste great. But we had fun making the agar agar together. It's the process that's more important right?!



I hope you enjoy these activities as much as we do. Although National Day is over, you can save these for next year! Or these can be used for a Singapore themed learning.

Over at Instagram, I am greatly inspired by a group of homelearning mummies who also shared their learning activities about Singapore, do check them out!
@playlexue@happytotshelf@ourlittleplaynest and @2mamas4kids

If you are interested in doing some of these activities with your child, here's the download of the activities.



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