It was a buzzing weekend at Maker Faire 2017 where it was held in conjunction with Science Centre’s 40th Anniversary. Preschool Market is honoured to curate a space for pre-schoolers to be inspired and showcase their creativity with CreArTech.
Children were first treated to a 3D hologram story of Karung Guni Boy - the touching story written by Lorrainne Tan and wonderfully illustrated with cardboard images by Eric Wong. Children were fascinated by the 3D story that seems to pop out at them and could be viewed from 3 directions. Thank you folks at 3DforKids for the experience!
At Tinker Kit X Playmaker, children let their creative juices flow as they decorate their very own cat headband with various materials and light up the ears with LED bulbs. They then bring home their creations to inspire them to create more with art and technology!
Preschools also showcased their recycled games at Garden of Games, where they played their part for the environment through upcycling of unwanted materials such as cardboards, pipes, wooden chopsticks, foam mats and more. Young Smarties, started by a stay-at-home mum, helped to facilitate the play by the children and also showcased some self-made play and learning materials. Children also got a chance to try out technology toys from IMDA's Playmaker Project.
Enthusiastic community partners also joined us at our space.
Making Project: Paper Making
Once again, paper-artist Ricky wowed the crowd with his intricate and creative designs. Young and old were intrigued to see how plain paper can be turned into 3D pop-up, paper automata and how tetrapaks can be used to create upcycled books! Children also had fun playing with interactive games made out of paper.
Making Project: ArKIDecture Beep SG
What has a hydraulic arm got to do with Architecture? An architect with a passionate heart, Albert initiated ArKIDecture Beep SG to spread the love of design and problem solving with children. Using design principals and inspiration that DaVinci innovated, Albert and his team shared their love for building through the process of how they created a Fluid driven hydraulic Arm that is able to move and rotate.
Community Project: Dream Big Playgrounds
Under the lead of Big Dreamer, Sarah Lee-Wong, DreamBig Playgrounds returned for the second year with bigger dreams and bigger hearts. DBPG 2017: Let's All Play Together featured innovative inclusive playground design proposals by homeschooling designers aged 6-10 years old. Visitors to the booth not only learnt more about inclusiveness, the design and thought process of the young designers but also had a chance to sketch out their own dream playground!
Once again, we would like to thank all our partners for helping us make our space possible – 3D for Kids, ArKIDecture Beep SG, Association for Early Childhood Educators (Singapore), DreamBIG Playgrounds, Early Childhood Development Agency, Infocomm Media Development Agency, Paper Artist – Ricky, Tri-Wall, Young Smarties and the preschools which participated in Garden of Games - PCF Sparkletots Preschool @ Bukit Batok East Blk 241 and Agape Little Uni@ Seng Kang. Many thanks to Maker Faire Singapore for the chance to participate as a community partner for a second year!
The Maker Faire is indeed a space to invoke passion and creativity where young and old get excited about tinkering with their hands and hearts for the good of the community at large.
To learn more about other happenings at Maker Faire 2017, do visit www.facebook.com/makerfairesingapore.
Oh, reading! You just cannot describe enough the value of reading! Reading is a skill to communicate, it is a means to gain knowledge, and it is a way to understand different people.
So why are we not reading?
If you are a parent or a teacher with little lives under your charge, please do take a minute to consider how you can add books AND reading into your little ones’ lives.
Some of us spend so much on enrichment for our kids to gain skills that we do not have, like ballet, violin, taekwondo etc. Yet, for the skills we possess, have we made a conscious effort to pass it on?
READ A VARIETY
Read different kinds of books - fiction, non-fiction, classic fables, stories from different cultures, read books in your mother tongue and whatever you may think of.
Reading just one genre does not extend the value that BOOKS have to offer. Reading just one genre can instead restrict one’s thoughts. So let’s embrace a variety and what books have to offer.
Can young children understand a non-fiction? Yes! My 2.5 year old recently saw paratroopers at the Army Open House and was mesmerised. He started to ask about parachutes. At the library, he was restless as a toddler could be while I searched for books. As soon as I took hold of an information book on parachutes, he sat down silently flipping through the pages, deeply engrossed. This book has been his favourite for a week now.
Read according to your child’s interest at that moment. A while back, we read about motorbikes and you will be surprised how children can finish off the sentences in the book, name the parts when they see one in real life!
ENJOY THE HUMOUR AND RHYMES
We all need to laugh a little more, enjoy and savour life a little more. Books have that to offer. Some books are hilarious, some play with the English language beautifully. Dr Seuss books are wacky, unconventional in style and love to play with the language.
If you would like to start your young ones with beautiful rhymes, try Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? If you have a kindergartener, your child may like a silly story of If You Give A Mouse A Cookie or the super fascinating, If I Build A House by Chris Van Dusen.
READ CRITICALLY, IMPART VALUES
You may not always agree with the values presented in some books. Yes, that’s where you as the older, wiser being have a role to play. Some fables or classic stories may not have the best of values as it was written to reflect some preferences and state of the society of that era. When you read them, you can have a discussion with your child about the actions and values portrayed. For example, through Jack and the Beanstalk, you can have a discussion on whether Jack should have stolen from the Giant. For me, I shared plainly that I do not agree with Jack, because he stole. Hansel and Gretel, is another book that may come across morbid. But these books have become classic tales and I do expose my 5 year old to them. However, we also have a post-reading discussion. We talk about our feelings and whether we agree with the characters in the stories. You do not need to like everything you read. You can disagree!
BOOKS HELP TO RELATE
You can even use books to help children to relate to some of the things happening in their lives, such as starting school, having a new baby, having to stop some bad habits, starting potty training to name a few. Books can be an easy way to introduce or talk about what is happening and going to happen.
WON’T SIT? HOW ABOUT MOVEMENT BOOKS?
My toddler shuts books when we took them out! We left it as it is, as we did not introduce it to him at a younger age. When he was 20 months, we read a book with lots of actions and that sparked his acceptance and interest in books. That book was From Head to Toe by Eric Carle. Besides movement books, there are so many books with flaps and different touch-and-feel books in our library! The collections there are well maintained and many are new.
Can you believe that you will be given FREE BOOKS and CD by just signing up for library membership and borrowing six books? Well, here’s the catch, this National Library Board program is only for babies born 2016 onwards. I must say I was tempted to have another baby. Grab this opportunity to jumpstart reading with your young ones or share this information with someone you know with a baby born 2016 onwards.
Why not give your child a skill, enjoyment and means to learn – reading. :)
This article is contributed by
Ms Esther Eio
Director of Programs & Curriculum
Do we grow then throw?
Gardens are starting to return to schools and it is a growing trend because the benefits of gardening are unmistakable. Nature has power to calm children. Being in touch with nature can be therapeutic.
Our all-time-favorite green beans planting are something most of us experienced growing up. It hopes to teach us about plants. However, it is ironic that the lesson is usually abandoned right after it sprouts. Do plants grow and die simply to amuse us? Surely, there is something more.
Gardening is a wholesome approach. Gardening gives us sufficient time and space to watch plants grow and fruit. It helps us to see the full development of plant life. Besides developing respect for plant life, gardening has many other benefits.
It is a science lesson encompassed with a life skill – growing food.
With so many positive benefits, why not give it a shot?Through gardening, it cultivates patience in children. It helps them to comprehend that food is the fruit of labour. It teaches us to wait.
Gardening is a mild to moderate form of physical activity. Plus, children will definitely be exposed to the sun from gardening!
With a garden, you will have a chance to eat from it. Can your food get more organic than this? It inevitably encourages us to eat healthily.
Think that gardening is only for the countryside or experts? Many gardens have sprouted in schools and housing areas around Singapore. It is possible.
With so many positive benefits, why not give it a shot?
A Garden In Every Preschool
Unsure how to begin? Fret not. Preschool Market has a toolkit prepared for educators like you!
The toolkit includes:
To retrieve a set of tool kit, email email@example.com
This article is contributed by
Ms Esther Eio
Director of Programs & Curriculum
From 16 May 2017, children would have a chance to experience spaces at home from a whole new angle with Playeum’s latest exhibition – “Making It Home”. Put together by Creative Director and Pedagogical Adviser Dr Esther Joosa and Playeum’s team of Playmaker, the rooms in the house was reimagined through consultations with children themselves. On the wall outside, there are sketches of children’s ideas and inside the Centre, these ideas are incorporated into the various exhibits. Look out for them!
If you have been to Playeum before, you will experience a refreshing welcome as you step through its door, the original Price and Info Panel has made way for a water feature, photo wall and reading nook for children and parents who wish to have some quiet time.
Moving on the Store-y Room which represents the storeroom is a treat for sight and sound as children can experience painting with light and creating sounds with household stuff.
The laundry room is a quiet space for children to explore various textures through weaving and there is even a self-made kaleidoscope to play with!
Linking up with The Laundry Room is The Kitchen where the sights, sounds and textures are presented in familiar yet creative ways. Immerse in the sounds of frying and eating, playing with “fridge” magnets, and cooking up a storm with sand play.
The Bedroom is a dreamy space where children can let their imagination loose and play pretend with the various props in the bedroom just like how they do in their own bedroom. It is also a cozy corner where they just relax and dream a little dream.
The Future Living Room is a space where children can look to the future of homes and explore with shapes and textures to create their own stories on a multi-screen “television” of the future. There is also an environmental light feature made out of used plastic cups. Look out for a similar one in The Kitchen.
All the rooms are connected through The Central Space where children create connections using PVC pipes, representing the hidden pipes system in every home. There is also a memory game made of drain covers with hidden pictures of the various scenes in the Centre.
The Playmaking Space is always a hit with the children where they can get some tinkering done with the materials provided. A special twist in this exhibition is the pulley system pails where some materials are placed. The concept is to create interaction among the children as they go about their tinkering. True to Playeum’s belief on upcycling, there’s also a recycle bin for the public to drop off paper and plastics that can be reused for making.
Indeed, this exhibition provides a myriad of opportunities for children to express their creativity and engage in conversation with each other, just like how a home nurtures every individual. Dr Esther also shared that the spaces were designed with multiple intelligences in mind, do try and identify which intelligence each space cater for.
Playeum has trained Playmakers facilitating children’s experience in each of the room and accompanying adults can just join in the play.
School groups are very welcome to go experience play the Playeum way, where teachers can enjoy taking a step back to observe their students’ creativity unleashed. For information on school and group booking: http://www.playeum.com/booking-form.
Playeum's Children's Centre for Creativity
Making It Home
Address: Blk 47, Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, #01-23, Singapore 109444
Dates: 16 May - 29 October 2017
Opening Hours: Tues - Sun: 10am - 6pm (Closed on Mondays)
Admission: $22 per child (1-12) | Accompanying adult: Free | Additional accompanying adult: $10
DBS Employees: 20% off child and additional adult admission
Capitaland Employees: 20% off child and additional adult admission
UOB Cardholders: 20% off child admission
eXplorerkid Membership: 15% off child admission
POSB Baby Bonus Nets Card: 1-for-1 child admission deal
Nearest MRT Station (5 to 10 minutes walk): Labrador Park Station (Circle Line)
Nearest Bus Stop (3 minutes walk): Along Alexandra Road, Opposite Alexandra Point (Bus Stop Number 15059) - Available Buses: 51, 57, 61, 83, 97, 97e, 100, 166, 175, 408, 963 or 963E
*Free Parking on Sundays.
On 21 April, some 330 children gathered at Kinderland Serangoon to commemorate Earth Day through a series of activities. This also kickstarted the Resource Sharing initiative facilitated by NEA and various industry partners. We were very glad that Minister for Social and Family Services, Mr Tan Chuan Jin was there to grace the event and participate in the activities.
The children learnt about reusing and recycling through the story Karang Guni Boy and created City in a Garden and artwork using recycled materials. They also made terrariums to share the joy of greenery with those around them. Through the activities, we aimed to create awareness of 3s – Reuse, Reduce and Recycle.
The Resource Sharing initiative also promoted these values as we turn one man’s junk into another’s treasure. About 40 preschools benefitted from this initiative as they collected wooden pallets, cardboards, bottle caps, kitchen towel rolls, etc. These preschools plan to re-purpose these materials and create useful items out of them.
As Minister Tan shared, the essence of Start Small Dream Big is to instil in children that everyone can play a part in doing good for the community. Indeed, no one can do everything but everyone can do something. Together, we can make the earth and our community a better place for all.
On 28 March 2017, 160 children from Kidz Meadow Childcare @ Jurong West, Kidz Meadow Childcare & Development Centre @ Woodlands, and Kidz Meadow Childcare @ Yishun gathered at Jurong West for a mass terrarium making session. This event was graced by Mr Desmond Lee Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry of National Development and Member of Parliament for Jurong GRC who launched the Gardening Starter Kit by completing a terrarium started by 2 children.
This Gardening Starter Kit is put together by the teachers in Kidz Meadow Childcare and Development centres, owned by the Association of Muslims Professionals, in partnership with Association for Early Childhood Educators (Singapore), and Preschool Market and supported by the LearnSG Seed Fund by Lifelong Learning Council, National Parks and the Early Childhood Development Agency. Consisting of “The Curious Garden” by Peter Brown, “Adventures in the Garden”- an activities booklet accompanying the storybook, an educator’s guide which provides educators with more ideas on how they can incorporate gardening into their daily curriculum, besides these, gardening tools, soil, seeds and decorative stones are also included. This starter kit will be distributed to about 300 preschools as part of their 2017 Start Small Dream Big project with the aim to encourage children to develop a love for nature and show kindness to others by showing them the beauty of nature, e.g. planting a pot of plant for others.
Nature Ambassadors at Kidz Meadow also showcased some of their nature projects like DIY gardening tools, weeds weaving, wildflower craft, and scavenger hunt, etc. Mdm Norliza Amin, Senior Manager for Early Childhood, Kidz Meadow, shared, “Our young inquisitive children are like the seedlings that are waiting to sprout out their leaves and flowers, beautifying the world theylive in. The preschools will be the garden of knowledge for them.” It is indeed exciting to see the beauty that will be blossoming from each of the centre and the kindness that will proliferate through our society through this project.
Update: We will be at ECDA Conference 2017 - 6th and 7th October at Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Halls 401 and 402. Join us at The Giving Garden for Nature Craft Activities and more treats! Get a set of Gardening Resource Kit when you sign up for the project at the booth.
Water Wally is a familiar sight to the children of Nurture Stars and so is its message of water conservation. This year, NurtureStars group of preschools is supporting Singapore World Water Day through the Water Rationing Exercise in a number of centre-wide and external events.
Since beginning of March, the teachers begin to inculcate water saving messages through stories, art and craft and other hands-on activities. The programme is carried out in all 6 of the NurtureStars centres which are jointly operated by Safra and Kinderland.
Below are some artwork from NurtureStars@Safra Toa Payoh.
Some highlights of the month long programme -
NurtureStars @ Safra Mount Faber were at launch of Water Rationing Exercise on 4 March 2017 which was graced by GOH DPM and Coordinating Minister for National Security Mr Teo Chee Hean, Minister for Environment and Water Resources Mr Masagos Zulfiki and Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources. Lively children from NurtureStars confidently showcased their water-conservation song teaching young and old present the 5 important water-saving tips. The community meter which was launched on that day has already hit 1million and unlocked a few goodies including free entry to all public pools on 22 March!
On 15 March, Dr Amy Khor joined the children at NurtureStars @ Safra Toa Payoh where they faced a water shortage situation for 4 hours. Children had a taste of water rationing when they had to wash their hands with water from pre-filled plastic bottles. Dr Khor also shared with some children her personal experience wit Water Rationing and participated in station activities where children explained to her the importance of water conservation and how to go about it.
19 March, Safra Punggol had a run and cycle event in conjunction with World Water Day and the children from NurtureStars @ Safra Punggol shared with participants water-saving measures through an action song.
‘There are Saga Seeds in our Pockets!’, a book about how a pair of preschool classmates experience the Malay culture past and present, was launched amidst a nostalgic backdrop of coconut trees.
At the launch event, there were role-play sessions where some characters from the book came alive and traditional games were also played in the cosy, The Pod, at the National Library Board Building. “There are Saga Seeds in our Pockets!” is a bilingual book that nurtures a strong foundation in language and heritage learning amongst young learners. Written by Maria Mahat, a local writer with media and early childhood background, and illustrated by watercolour artist Idris Ali, this book explores Singapore’s rich culture and heritage and includes an interactive element, “The Museum Song”.
Towards the end of her speech, Maria aptly shared a valuable quote, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap. Judge each day by the seeds you planted!”’ The seeds of learning about heritage, culture and languages have been sown through the publication of this book.
It was indeed a fun and enriching time at the book launch. Once again, heartiest Congratulations to Maria and her team!
Now is the time to seed the reading of this book. You may get the book at https://shop.preschoolmarket.com/shops/kidsmart/there-are-saga-seeds-in-our-pockets-ada-biji-saga-di-dalam-saku-kami/product-165851_m?ref=collection:books-by-local-authors-and-publishers. This book is available in both hard-copies as well as ebook with English and Malay narrations in DVD format attached to the book.
Infocomm Media development Authority (IMDA), together with The Science Centre, Kids Stop launched the Playmaker Studio @Kids Stop on 26 January. The aim of the studio is to bring access to tech-enabled toys to the general public. Science Centre has been a forerunner in promoting creativity and nurturing the next generation of scientists and engineers through hands-on exploration and tinkering. As Mr Leong Keng Thai, IMDA’s Dy Chief Executive shared, the Playmaker programme “aims to foster creativity, encourage problem solving and build creative confidence among children” and develop social and communication skills while playing in the studio and also learning about core knowledge and skills like numeracy, literacy, collaboration, logical thinking and sequencing.
Ms Low Yen Ling, Mayor of South West District, Parliamentary Secretary of MOE, was very excited about the launch of the studio as she saw that it provided a conducive environment where children are free to “imagine, experience, discover and dream”. A space where children could be “active thinkers, do-res and creators” and not just “passive consumers of information”.
On the day of the launch, about 20 pre-schoolers got a foretaste of the activities in the studio. All activities in the studio are facilitated and they are available at fixed timings. There are 2 main types of activities – Playing and Making
For Playing, there is the KiBo and BeeBot, 2 robots which are easily programmable by the children
For Making, children can create their own electronic prototypes using Little Bits or Circuit Stickers.
Children can also try out tinkering activities such as making a scribble bot and spin art. Indeed, children see that no 2 artwork come out similar.
As Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive, Science Centre Singapore mentioned, the launch of PlayMaker Studio is one significant step in making resources for making and tinkering accessible to those who might not have the opportunity to do so.
For more information, please go the Kids Stop website www.kidsstop.edu.sg. Parent and children can enjoy a creative and fulfilling afternoon. Schools are also welcome to book a session or two at the Playmaker Studio.
Held over 12th-13th November 2016, the Lifelong Learning Festival showcased various learning opportunities and projects supported by the LearnSG Seed Fund. Preschool Market is honoured to be part of the event to launch a learn-through-play kit – Tinker Kit supported by the Lifelong Learning Council's Seed Fund.
The Tinker Kit was developed with the aim to develop and maintain learning habits and attitudes that are critical for lifelong learning in children aged 4 to 8 years old. Through the 2 days event, workshops were conducted for parents, children and educators to introduce the kit to them. Participants were given a kit that contained a resource booklet of 30 craft and play activities as well as materials such as stickers and markers.
It was heart-warming to see parents and grandparents joining their young ones to create interesting crafts out of recycled materials.
During the hands-on process of making telescopes, bookmarks, maze or flowers, etc, we also saw children displaying a variety of skills; from fine motor skills in terms of cutting and pasting to language and emotional skills such as explaining their creations to others.
Participants expressed that they enjoyed the time of crafting and bonding and would recommend Tinker Kit Workshops to others. Fret not if you missed the Lifelong Learning Festival. We would be organising more of such workshops in the coming months. Do follow us on Facebook, Instagram and www.preschoolmarket.com for updates.
Team @ Preschool Market
We are just very passionate for the Early Childhood sector!