Tag Archives: Activities with kids

Birthday Party: Nina’s 6! The Rainbow Book by Kate Ohrt 新菜、6歳のお誕生日会。学校版

Our little big girl Nina’s turned six in January.  She’s just changed school and we wanted to bring another book to the birthday party.  We picked the book that helped her get through that first few weeks of school.  See how here.

For the birthday book, we picked The Rainbow Book by Kate Ohrt.  The book has fun paper cutouts so we decided to have the kids pick their own two colors and make paper cutout page. Similar idea to The Missing Piece party, but this time, the art was for the kids to take home.

As usual, we started with Marc introducing and reading the book to the kids.  The kids were very excited to see Nina’s daddy and cheered when he came out with the book.

For this party, I had brought bunch of origami papers for the class.  First, we handed out the black solid construction paper.   The kids got to choose two origami papers.  One for the background and one to cut out shapes from.

Initially, I wanted to see if I can get the kids to associate colors to “emotion words” and to choose the colors they thought resembled their own personality but the scene quickly went into chaos mode with fifteen children, so I gave up on that.  Maybe I’ll do it with just my kids one of these days.

Marc and I split up and went to each table with about five kids to show them few examples on how to cut paper and they got to work.  All in all, we had some great art work from the kids.  Hope they had fun sharing the art with the parents when they got home.

Nina and Mila were very proud of what they did and has been mass producing these at home.

Thanks to our lovely helper for the rainbow cupcakes.  Nina has requested cupcakes every year from our helper and it’s sort of turned into a family tradition.  With the grandparents far away, we are very thankful to have extra loving adult around.

** The new school specifically requested that  pics from schools are not shared on the internet, so unfortunately, not many pics can be shared, but some posted for reference.










Two Years Since “The Missing Piece” 新菜のお誕生日の思い出をもう一度



After writing the blog post on Nina’s birthday almost two years ago about The Missing Piece and The Big O, I realized I never went back to the school to share the completed book.  I also realized the kids who made the book was due to graduate this year.

Figured the kids would love to see their work in one book, so got in touch with the school and set up a book reading time.

I am particularly attached to this class since this was Nina’s (and my) first daycare experience and I struggled through the whole process. Nina has since changed daycare but still has some close friends there and I’ve gotten to know the teachers quite well.  I will miss this class.

I started by sharing The Missing Piece and the Big O again, and though some kids remembered, it’s a bit long to keep young kids’ attention.  It’s been two years after all.

But when I pulled out the completed version of The Missing Piece and the Big O Together, the kids got quite excited seeing their name and art work in a single book. We announced each kids name with the page and everyone cheered.

Kids laughed and screamed as their pages came up.  The Missing Piece and the Big O went all over the place, from US to Japan to Korea.  They also went to the park and rode on cool things like balloons and Choo Choo trains.

A child asked me to take the book home and I promised the teachers to send a scanned copy of the book to print for each kid.

Overall, great success and memory building with the kids.




The Missing Pieceを読んでいると、思い出してきた子もちらちら。

そして、皆で作った本ですよ~、とThe Missing Piece and the Big O Togetherを出すと、わ~~~、と期待通りの反応が。







…..Sorry it’s been two years kids, we will miss this class for sure!


High Tea Cruise to Kusu Island/クス島 ハイティークルーズ

Marc took a few days off for Nina’s birthday, so I was trying to think of something fun to do on a Monday with the kids.  First, I thought about Pulau Ubin, but wasn’t sure how it would be on a weekday, particularly Monday when everything is slow, so figured I’d pick one of the other islands around Singapore.  I found a high tea cruise to Kusu Island (aka Turtle Island) offered by WaterTours and thought this may be a fun thing to do with the kids.  Kusu Island was originally just a couple of tiny bumps sticking out of a reef, it was expanded to 8.5 hectares of island with several different temples and Malay shrines and is now an annual pilgrimage spot.  Generally, the pilgrimage takes place sometime between September and November, and during that time, the cruise does not stop by Kusu Island, so check when you book.  I also wanted to scope out Kusu Island for a weekend family picnic.  I’ve been dying to go to Pulau Ubin, but I feel like I should wait until Mila gets a bit older so we can do a family bike ride.  The high tea cruise offers a complimentary bus pick up and drop off from several hotels around the city, so we asked to be picked up at the Marriott at Orchard.  Saved us the trip to Marina South Piers.  Just have to remember that the Marriott tourist bus pick up is not at their front entrance, but at the back entrance past the lobby.  Good thing the guy walked in the hotel to look for us.

The bus driver that was bringing us back wasn’t too keen to drive out to Orchard and offered to take us to the nearest MRT.  He was arguing with Marc until I yelled, “Why wouldn’t we go to Orchard?  We are having dinner there!” and he quickly got quiet.  He saw an ‘Auntie’ in me I guess… In the end, he dropped us off at the Hilton, since he didn’t want to go through the traffic around orchard road, which is understandable as he was driving a huge tour bus and the only people on it were the four of us.  Just be aware that you may need to be a bit stern when it comes to drop off location.

If you are looking at the pictures I’ve posted, yes, that is Mila, wearing a harness. I don’t use it often, but I’m paranoid when it comes to young toddlers on boats.  I’m also paranoid when I travel to countries where the main mode of transportation is motorcycle.  I know the best thing is to hold their hand, and I do, but sometimes, they break free and run. The cruise is safe, no doubt. It’s just me. I’ve been wanting to go on a 2-3 day cruise as well, but haven’t been able to make up my mind about it because I’m scared of Mila waddling around on a cruise ship and falling overboard. There’s no reasonable way she can randomly go overboard, but I just can’t brush the fear off.  So she had a rainbow harness for the day. She wasn’t the biggest fan, kept tugging on it, but got used to it after 15 min.  So for sanity’s sake, it’s not a bad investment.

Anyways, the boat was fabulous in that tacky bright colored tourist kind of way and we all loved it. The boat had a lot of wood surfaces and was well decorated. It’s hard to find things to do in Singapore that scream “random Singapore culture” since everything is so new and shiny, but this cruise had the perfect balance of tradition, culture and touch of tourist fun. The boat had plenty of space for people to sit both outdoors and indoors.  We wandered around the boat and let Mila go up and down the stairs.  Nina liked the small lion figurines all around the boat.  It was a perfect day, not too hot and not to cold, with good wind.  You get a great view of Singapore from a different perspective than what you are used to.  The high tea, well, it’s supermarket quality. Styrofoam cups and plates with some tea bags. If you don’t need the tea, then there’s a Dragon boat tour at the same time with a similar boat if you want to save yourself five bucks. The kids loved the cakes since they usually don’t get to eat sweets at home, so if it made their day special, it was worth it for us.  The cruise is two and a half hours long with a 30 minute stop at Kusu Island.  Plenty of time to wander around, check out what’s there and decide to come back for a day on a weekend.  The water seemed to be a bit clearer than the beaches on Sentosa, though probably not a huge difference.  There are nice sitting areas with shade, too bad it looks like the food court is only open on certain holidays.  There are a couple of turtles and tortoises for Nina to WoooooW over, a small temple to visit and a shallow lagoon to go swimming in. This place would make a perfect family destination on a weekend.  We’ll be back again Kusu Island!

マークが新菜の誕生日の為にわざわざ三日も休みをとったので、月曜日もどこかに行きたいなぁ、と思って探してたらありましたよ~。シンガポールの回りには幾つか小さい島があるんですが、その中でも結構マイナー(だと思う)なクス島(タートルアイランドともいうらしい)に行く事に決定。セントーサの更に北にある小さい島で、観光客がめったに行く場所ではない。実は私も余り聞いたことなかったのですが、もとは小さい岩があっただけの島を開発の一環として、8.5ヘクタールの島になるまで埋め立て、更にお寺やマレー系のシュラインも作って、聖なる観光地とした、というなかなか面白い(突っ込みたい)歴史を持つ島なのです。今でも毎年9月から11月の間に巡礼が行われる期間まであります。その期間はクルーズがクス島に止まらないので、秋に予約入れる時は事前に確認してくださいね。もっと大きい島に行こうかと考えていたんだけど、子供達を自転車に乗せて走った事がない私、ちょっと不安になって他を探したらこのクス島を見つけたわけです。しかもこのクス島によるハイティークルーズがあるというではないですか。これは行くっきゃないでしょう、という事で、行ってまいりました。まずはピックアップ、市内のメジャーホテルでのピックアップが可能、という事でオーチャードのマリオットでのピックアップを希望。わざわざマリーナ サウスの港まで行かなくて済むのは車のないうちにはありがたいです。ただ私は知らなかったのですが、マリオットは観光バス用の入り口はロビーの裏にあります。ちゃんとロビーまで迎えに来てくれて良かった…が、帰りのバス運転手のおっちゃん、オーチャードまで行くのはめんどくさいらしく、マークに近くのMRTまで連れてくからそれでいいか交渉…話違うじゃん。でも、私の”オーチャード行くでしょ、晩御飯オーチャードで食べるんだし!“のがなり声を聞いて、大人しく送ってくれることに、おばちゃんと戦う気はないらしい…でも結局マリオットまでは行ってくれなくて、ヒルトンで降ろしていいか、だって。別にそのくらいはいいけどさ。家族4人で大型ツアーバス一台だったので気持ちは分からなくもないけど。



The Link for the Dragon Boat/High Tea Cruise Tour:


Information on Kusu Island:



Mila running off before we even board the ship.

Mila running off before we even board the ship.

Another view of the boat

View of the boat

Dragon lead the way ! Nina's birthday week was filled with dragons.

Dragon lead the way ! Nina’s birthday week was filled with dragons.

The interior of the boat

The interior of the boat

The lagoon on Kusu Island.  The grey clouds aren't doing it justice, but it's perfect for small children.

The lagoon on Kusu Island. The grey clouds aren’t doing it justice, but it’s perfect for small children.

THIS view of MBS is only available on this cruise : )

THIS view of MBS is only available on this cruise : )

The lagoon on Kusu Island.  The grey clouds aren't doing it justice, but it's perfect for small children.

The lagoon on Kusu Island. The grey clouds aren’t doing it justice, but it’s perfect for small children.

Kusu Island welcome sign

Kusu Island welcome sign

Hello lion!

Hello lion!