This June holidays, I had to strike a balance between getting enough rest, and ensuring that Noah enjoyed his school holidays. I decided my best bet would be to sign him up for a few one-off workshops, and to have playdates, so that he would be suitably entertained.
I found some June holiday workshops at Artflock Studio, and signed Noah up for two workshops that I thought he would enjoy. His favourite Faith Meimei joined him for the second workshop, which probably made the class even more enjoyable for him.
Noah has been into the whole Space theme for a while now, so I thought the Galaxy mixed media session would appeal to him. It was his first ever proper art class, and he thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, he was able to recount the entire procedure, and been asking me if we can work on a similar piece at home. I liked how his piece turned out, and it was clear that he was very proud of his work, because he couldn’t wait to show it to C.
Drawing while waiting for the session to begin
Grapes, a crane, and goodness knows what else
Drawing the galaxy next
Rolling the modelling clay
Sample of what the Galaxy piece looks like
The proud artist with his masterpiece
For the second session, I signed him up for the Flower Vase Finger Painting workshop, so that he could learn a new technique. As with the first workshop, the children get to choose the colours they want, and everything is child-centred, which is exactly how I like these activities to be. It was messy, and I was really glad that he got to create the mess in the art studio, rather than at home. Heh.
Noah and Faith painting the background
Busy pasting flower buds onto the painted flowers
After “tapping” white paint onto his flower vase
The sample (which I didn’t think the kids would be capable of replicating)
Noah’s Flower Vase
He was very pleased with his artwork
I love how they all made such different pieces!
I chanced upon a series of Science-themed workshops for preschoolers, and signed Noah up for the Astronomy one, since he has shown great interest in it. He was really excited about it, and answered the instructor’s questions enthusiastically. It was a very short 45-minute session, in which the instructor gave a brief introduction on the different planets in our solar system, before getting them to paint the four planets (either rocky or gas) that they have chosen.
Looking at the solar system
With his sun and the gas planets
We also had a couple of playdates during the holidays, three of which were with Faith, which made the two kids really happy. They seem to enjoy each other’s company a lot, and once they see each other, they’ll hold hands and run around together, whispering and giggling away. Lynn and I were both saying that they can entertain each other, and don’t need us around at all!
We checked out Pip’s Playbox at the Esplanade with a few other Dayre mums, and I really liked the place! They have quite a few toys for the children to play with, and there’s an excellent collection of local children’s books for the kids to read there. The craft station changes periodically, based on the themes and on-going performances at the Esplanade, but I’m guessing they will at least have some colouring sheets available at any given time. The best part? It’s free!
Checking out the collection of books
Running upstairs to “the secret hiding place”
Building with Faith
With his erm, fish craft (can’t remember what it’s called)
The Dayre Kids
Trying to play a duet
Lynn suggested visiting the Asian Civilisation Museum for their Children’s Season programme, Once Upon a Time in Asia: The Missing Mouse, and the kids had a great time there too. It was a very small space, but they had fun running through the maze, pretending to sail the boat, jumping around, and doing a little bit of drawing. I guess having the right company makes a huge difference, because if I were to bring Noah there alone, he would have gotten bored within five minutes, but with his two friends, they spent almost two hours just running around and playing together. We had lunch at Prive, which is within the museum itself, and the children especially liked that there was a small play area there too.
Walking to the ACM together
Protecting Faith Meimei from a millipede
Running around in the maze
Pretending to be sailors
No idea what they were talking about!
Having a rare quiet moment alone drawing
Playing at ACM’s Prive
Our friend invited us over to her place for a playdate during the last week of the school holidays, and it was so nice to be able to sit around chatting, while the kids entertained themselves. These kids used to have regular playdates before they started school, and although they took a little time to warm up, they were soon very busy pretending to be on a plane, then on a train, and then goodness knows what else! Our host graciously provided lunch for the kiddos, and Noah loved the simple fish and egg porridge so much that he has asked me to cook it for him four times since then!
Happy kids having lunch together
Mandatory group shot
C has officially begun his new role in Jakarta this month, which means that he has to shuttle between JKT and SG until I give birth. When the babies are able to travel, we will all fly over, and join him in JKT, but until that happens, poor C has to be away for a few days each week. This means that our weekends are very precious, and we try our best to spend time together as a family, just the three of us.
We headed to the SEA Aquarium one weekend, because Noah has been asking to visit the aquarium for some time. Didn’t take many photos because I was feeling lazy, and also because it was so crowded! We had a good time just walking around and admiring the pretty fishes. We heard a lot of “That’s Dory!” and “Hello, Nemo!”, and Noah would also try to spot Nemo and Dory whenever he heard others talking about them. He enjoyed the touch pool most, where he got to touch sea stars (aka starfish) and a sea cucumber.
Mesmerised by the jellyfish
Touching the sea cucumber
New species of manta ray
His drawing of hammerhead sharks and other random fish
After visiting the SEA Aquarium that weekend, Noah was really looking forward to catching ‘Finding Dory’ in the cinema. However, he got really freaked out by the scary squid that tried to eat Nemo and his dad, and was sobbing in fear for a while. Even popcorn didn’t help! C had to hold him on his lap for a while, and Noah was also huddled against me towards the end of the movie, because he was afraid that the squid would appear again. Sigh.
All smiles before the movie
We visited the Police Heritage Centre with some friends on another weekend, but to be honest, it was a rather underwhelming experience. The tour guide basically brought us around and talked about the history of the Singapore Police Force, but the children were obviously not interested in that at all. They got to play dress up for a while, but that was about it.
C played in a couple of hockey matches with his friends this month, and Noah loved being able to play on a real pitch. He got so sweaty from running around and playing hockey with all the uncles, and was disappointed when he had to leave the pitch because the game was about to begin.
Yay! Time for hockey again!
He moves too fast for me to take a proper photo!
Group photo after a win
Of course, the holidays weren’t just about playing and going out. Noah loves art and craft, so we tried making our own scratch paper, and made a tape resist canvas painting too. (I’ll probably blog about the processes in a different post, if I can remember to do so!) Apart from that, Noah made Father’s Day cards for C, did some painting, played with play dough, and spent a lot of time drawing.
Making his own scratch paper
Tape resist canvas painting
Playing with play dough
He made me a heart
One of his latest drawings
During the Parent-Teacher Meeting, his teacher noted that he needed more practice in writing and tracing, so I’ve been more diligent about getting him to do some “work”. I also get him to work on his counting and patterns, but my goodness, it is a real test of my patience! The bear counters have to sing songs, find their friends, and hop from one bowl to another before they can get to the right bowls. Seriously. I hold my tongue and don’t scold him because I want him to enjoy learning, but I admit that I roll my eyes a lot whenever I have to sit with him to do some “work”. His scissors skills are okay, and he enjoys cutting paper, but he definitely needs plenty of work on his folding skills.
I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry when I saw this
The baby bears apparently had to watch the daddy bears form patterns
I’ve been slowly trying to prepare Noah for the arrival of the twins, and got him a bathtub from Toys R Us so that he could bathe his “babies”. He had quite a bit of fun bathing them, and now thinks he can help bathe the twins when they’re born. Oops. Noah also picked out ‘Max and Millie and the New Baby’ to read recently, and was appalled at how much crying the baby did throughout the book. I’ve been telling him that we need to pray hard that the babies will be good-natured, and not cry so much. He now asks to carry those baby dolls whenever he sees them, and is convinced that he can carry the babies next time too. I’m a little worried about how enthusiastic he is about these things, but we shall see how things go after the babies are born. No point worrying now, right?
Bathing his “babies”
Stunned by all the crying in the book
Carrying a baby doll
I recently got a book on teaching babies how to sign some key words, and Noah decided that the most important word in the list was “play”, so he has learnt how to sign it, in order to teach the babies next time. Haha. We’ve also been washing all of Noah’s old clothes, and I get Noah to help me out by sorting the mittens and booties, and carrying the clothes to the room for storage. He’s been a really good help, and I hope he will always be so ready to help!
Sorting the mittens and booties
I also brought Noah to Toys R Us to pick out presents for the babies. We’ve told him that the babies will be buying him presents, and that it would be good for him to buy them something as well. He had his heart set on the Nemo and Dory plush toys initially, but changed his mind after spotting the Care Bears near the cashier. He was very insistent on the two Care Bears, and I had to get the staff to help us get the pink one that was hung right at the top. Actually, I thought the Care Bears were too expensive, and tried convincing him to get something else instead, but he was adamant on getting them, and proudly showed them to C over FaceTime that evening.
With the Care Bears that he picked for his siblings
Phew, June was definitely a very busy month for us, especially when we had to worry about the twins’ growth, and adjust to C being away for most of the week. School has just reopened, and I’m thankful that I get a few hours to rest each day now, even though I do miss having Noah with me all the time. Motherhood is really full of contradictions!