Monday, June 20, 2016

{media invite} Ocean Buddies at KidsSTOP Science Centre.

Last Sunday, we were invited to KidsSTOP for the introduction to their new exhibit, "Ocean Buddies".

Woke up uber early as we had to travel across the island to get to Jurong.
Luckily, both Adam and Ashton were not cranky even though I dragged them out of bed early.
I think the prospect of play is too appealing :P

Launched on 12 May 2016, Ocean Buddies aim to teach environment protection to Pre-schoolers and Lower Primary children.
Featuring 3D animation to create a virtual ocean, Ocean Buddies aim to educate children on marine life and how everyone can do their part to protect our environment.

This is in line with its mission to spark an interest among young children in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
The mural wall curated around the theme of conservation and illustrates how a polluted sea traps and suffocates marine life.

Said Mr Clarence Sirisena, Deputy Chair Executive of Science Centre Board, "With this new exhibit, KidsSTOP aims to engage pre-schoolers and lower primary school children on the need to protect and preserve ecosystems..."

Reinforcing the significance of recycling, reducing and re-using from an early age will help to shape their thinking and actions for the future.
It aims to educate that as harmless as littering may seem, the collective damage can cause serious harm to marine life.

Toshiba is one of the companies that do their part for the environment.

and so is Pilot.

Our kids and us parents sit down for a short briefing on the harmful effects of littering on marine life.

A sea turtle mistakes a plastic bag as jelly fish and consumes it.
Source: Google images.

After the talk, the kiddos were treated to some colouring activity, afterwhich they can "send" their Ocean Buddies into the (virtual) ocean.

Kids can choose the picture they want to colour - Stingray, shark, turtle, clownfish - and let their creative juices flow.

Once they are done, they can send the Ocean Buddies to the ocean with the use of this scanner.
So clever!

Your children can watch their artwork swim on the animated screen!
I am rather amused by this technology! #suaku

Ocean Buddies sharing session happens daily at 10am - 10:30am, and at 4pm - 4:30pm. 

Other activities your children can do in KidsSTOP

Focusing on enriching children aged 18 months to 8 years through purposeful play in a safe and guided environment, their innate skills or inquiry, investigation and innovation will be enhanced, giving them the power to create.

Exhibits and galleries are designed to promote and foster parent-child bonding through interactive activities and programmes.

Children and parents will need to wear socks to play on this climbing web structure called the Dream Climber.
Socks are also needed on Giant J and Small World.

We tried this Typhoon simulator and the force is really lip-flapping strong!

Generate electricity by using kinetics.

Learn about the solar system, about the constellations and planets.

Or learn to pilot a plane.

If everything appears too mainstream for your kids, they can even be young Paleontologists.

Learn about our human body.

Or they can even fix things using their imagination.

Thank you KidsSTOP and Science Centre for inviting my family to your Ocean Buddies exhibition.
As we live in the Eastern part of Singapore, it is not everyday that my kids get to go to the Singapore Science Centre.
As a matter of fact, they have only been there twice in their whole lives.

It was a fun-filled and educational experience for us, I must say.

Look forward to future collaborations with Science Centre :)

KidsSTOP Admission charges:
*Please note that weekend rates will apply on all days during the School holidays.

Operating hours:
DAILY 0930AM - 1:30PM (last admission 12.45PM); and reopening again at 2PM - 6PM.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

[event invite] Comprehensive guide to Kidzania SG - June holidays 2016.

Am I glad that this June holidays, we decided to stay grounded because... we shall not run out of fun activities to do in Singapore!

For one, we got invited by Stag Match Tuition Centre to join their excursion to Kidzania.

For the uninitiated, Kidzania is a unique, safe and interactive indoor edutainment centre where children can experience the world of adults in a replica of the real city.

Suitable for: Children aged 4 and above. Certain jobs have height limits and some occupations require your child to be able to understand and follow instructions.

Kidzania is a 7600 square metres facillity located at Palawan Beach, Sentosa.
Parking is available opposite Port of Lost Wonders (POLW).
Palawan Kidz City
31 Beach View,
Singapore 098008.

Opening hours: 9am - 7pm (during school holidays).
Please check on their opening hours to avoid disappointment.

Attire and footwear:
Comfortable T-shirt and bermudas or jeans, with covered shoes and socks as there are some wall-climbing activities available.

Capacity: 1500 people at any one time. 

Ticket prices:

Floor plan of Kidzania Singapore. Click on picture for larger image.
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stag match tuition singapore
First and foremost, Adam & I arrived early morning at one of the Stag Match Tuition Centres in Bedok to take the chartered transport.

stag match tuition sg

Excited children on the bus. When asked, all the children said it is their first time going to Kidzania.

alex wong stag match
My friend, Alex, posing with the boys.

Having the boss as friend means I have a PA helping me with my bag.... Jujube Hello Kitty somemore BAHAHA kidding.

stag match kidzania
Many people asked why is the sponsoring airline is not SIA since it is Singapore's airline.
This is because Qatar Airways is the partner for Kidzania Singapore.

stag match kidzania sg

adam tan tian kai xavier chua kidzania

rfid tags kidzania singapore
Every child and parent will be tagged with a RFID (Radio Frequency Indentification) bracelet to ensure the children do not leave the premises without the parent, for security reasons.

Upon tagging, every patron will be scanned at the Immigration for indentification and security purposes.

kidzos kidzania singapore
Every child will be issued an ATM card with $30 Kidzos credit, and $20 Kidzos cash.

The geez of it is, children are to move around and either work for Kidzos, or pay to learn new skills or make purchases with their Kidzos earned.
Little to zero parental involvement should be involved.
Parents aren't allowed to queue on behalf of their kids, and we are also not allowed into the shops or offices.

Make way for young paramedics coming through!

Young fire fighters are gearing up to put down the fire threatening to burn down the Hotel.
They don the fire fighter uniforms and get to go on a ride in the fire engine.
Each session is about 30 minutes.

Salary earned as a fire fighter: $10 Kidzos.

After spending the morning working, now the children have to fill their tummies.
What do they do? Well, they can work at KFC.
They pay $10 Kidzos to learn the skills of a chef at KFC, and get rewarded with a burger each.

Each session is 20 minutes.

kidzania KFC chef

They are first briefed on the important steps of handwashing, donning an apron as well as a hair net and face mask.

Adam and Xavier enjoying the fruit of their hard labour - chicken burgers they made!

Once their tummies were filled, the boys set off on their respective jobs again.

The cash officers learn to work as a team to prepare, deliver, and protect the citizen's money to ensure they reach their respective destinations safely, like eg. delivering the cash to covenience store.

vault officer kidzania singapore
Mr Adam, please make sure the citizen's money get transported to their destination safely.
You will need to coordinate with your team members by reading the map to find directions.

Salary earned for Vault cash officer: $10 Kidzos.

At the Peranakan Museum, the curators learn how to label and care for the artefacts, and a little history about Peranakan culture in Singapore.

peranakan singapore kids baba
Little Babas in their batik shirts.

Cantik little nyonyas. I love the turqoise blue of the kebaya so much!

Salary earned as a museum curator: $8 Kidzos.

Kidzania singapore mumzilla
You can see the satisfaction on their faces. Cash is KING!

Only cashiers and store assistants get paid.

2 happy shoppers making their way around the store.

Our 2 jokers have taken up the positions of cashiers.
They learn how to manage the shop and deal with money and payment matters.

I'm actually impressed with the things taught to them, like eg. "Sometimes, the items you scan may not be found in the system, so what do you do?"

YAY pay day!

The children have worked hard, so it's time for some recreation...

The boys decided to take part in a football match (6 to a team) for $10 Kidzos.

while the girls from Stag Match decided to spend their dough on getting a makeover at Makeup Atelier.

At the Stadium, you can be a Football player, Telematch participant, Cheerleader, or Sports Commentator Assistant (the only job that earns you Kidzos).

You may also choose to learn new skills by making candy at Sticky Candy Store:

Learning to make candy will cost you $10 Kidzos.

When they have spent their Kidzos, it's time for them to find some gainful employment again.
That's the way the world goes for most, unless of course you marry rich or inherit wealth :P


Conduct eye tests for your customers and learn more about myopia and astigmatism.
Help them select the correct spectacle frame sizes after completion of the eye check.
This job will earn you $10 Kidzos.

Do note that there is another station which is the Driving School (height requirement 1.3m and above), which requires you to be a customer at the Optical Shop to get an eye check done before learning to drive.

For the OCDs, here's a job which may interest you.
Say goodbye to spots and smudges as your kids learn the proper ways to make windows clean and shiny.

Kidzos earned for cleaning windows: $10.

Be a hero and save lives! Respond to emergencies, ensure all patients are treated in time and learn how to care for infants. Want something more challenging? Be a Surgeon or help doctors and assist them in their cure for their patients.

Safeguard packages and letters, and learn how to plan your routes to make your deliveries time-efficient and cost-effective.
And find out what to do when you reach your addressee but nobody is home to receive the parcel.

These are realistic scenarios and I'm glad the kids get to learn such critical-thinking skills.

Not only do they have to deliver parcels, they have to collect packages meant for sending out as well.

Being couriers earned them $6 Kidzos each.

Obviously, all the money earned has to go somewhere, and what better place than in your own bank account?

Adam is queuing up for his turn to activate his bank account and to deposit his earnings into his account.
The children are issued an ATM each, at the beginning of their visit with a credit of 30 Kidzos.
They can withdraw money with the ATM card and can be used for future visits, even to Kidzania in other countries.
All they have to do is to cash out the money in their bank before visiting the other Kidzanias.

Kidzanias around the region are: Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Tokyo.

For the complete list of jobs available at Kidzania Singapore, please click here.

My thoughts about the operations of Kidzania Singapore:
The average waiting time for a job, depending on its popularity, can range from 30 - 60 minutes *gasp*.
Parents are not allowed to queue on behalf of their children so that's the MAJOR drawback.
I wish they would allow ONE parent to queue on behalf while the child goes to attempt the short-queue job before returning to do the longer-waiting job.
This way, they can cover more jobs in the given span of time.
Afterall, I think Kidzania's objective is to let kids experience the real world right? And not to torture them to wait in line for 60 minutes doing nothing??

To deal with this, Serene and I took turns with our boys to queue for different jobs.
Eg, Adam was queuing at Maybank Vault while Xavier worked as a journalist.
When Xavier was done, he went to Peranakan Museum to queue as a curator so by the time Adam was done at Vault, he joined Xavier at Museum and they were the next in turn.

Other than the long waiting time, playing at Kidzania was an overall positive experience.

It is no secret that children love to role play, and to incorporate this role-playing concept into the real world by letting these mini adults act out scenarios applicable to daily life is a genius idea.
Children get to explore different jobscopes and learn the responsibilities associated with each job, and they get to earn money (Kidzos) and even open "bank accounts" where they can make despoits of their salary, or withdraw Kidzos from the ATM to make purchases!

Whoever came up with such an ingenius idea?!

From this visit, I realized that Adam is quite a spendthrift like *cough* his mother.
He walked in circles around the theme park and didn't find any job that caught his fancy.
He decided to spend his first $10 Kidzos note on a football match, and lost his last $10 note while waiting in line for KFC Chef.
As a result, Xavier lent him $10 Kidzos which in turn he had to work as Vault cash officer to earn back and return to Xavier.
As he had no more cash after returning the Kidzos to Xavier, he was spurred to find jobs and this time, he took on all sorts of jobs as he found the salary very rewarding.

Things to note:

- Have a heavy breakfast before heading there.

- Bring a water bottle, wear comfortable shoes.

- Bring some finger food or snacks if you do not wish to spend so much on the food in Kidzania.

- Invite some friends of your child along to ease the wait as they can take turns queuing since parents are not allowed to queue for them.

- You may either be the typical Helicopter-parent and help plan your child's job list, or you can leave the entire experience entirely up to them and just relax at a cafe.
Be prepared that there will be lots of indecisiveness on their part thus leading to lost time.
However, this experience will make them learn better planning and inculcate patience.

- Activation of ATM card can be done at the beginning of the visit, though it is not necessary.
If your kid is too excited to queue at the bank, you can activate the ATM card as the last step when you want to desposit the earnings before you head home.

Great job, kids!

*Thank you Stag Match Tuition Centre, Kidzania Marketing, and Mount Elizabeth Hospital for extending your generosity to us!
It was definitely an honour and pleasure.

Visit Kidzania website for more information.

A little more about Stag Match Tuition Centre:
Stag Match Tuition Centre offers tuition on the following subjects – English, Maths, Science, Chinese, Malay, and Phonics from Pre-school to Secondary 5 level.
They have branches located at various locations in Singapore, and offer free tuition to underprivileged children.

If a family's combined household income is less than $3500/month, their child(ren) can qualify for free tuition at Stag Match.

Please support their cause!

Disclaimer: Adam is not a student of Stag Match and we were sponsored by their centre solely for this excursion only.
All opinions belong to me.