Fisher-Price Play IQ Subscription Box

Subscription boxes are really popular these days. You can now get beauty products, food, clothing, and even craft activities delivered regularly by subscription. Play IQ Box by Fisher-Price takes it to a whole new level by sending you age-appropriate toys for your kid!

I blogged about Play IQ previously and mentioned that I took the Fisher-Price Play IQ quiz to assess David’s level of development. This quiz helps the parent to keep track of the child’s physical, cognitive and social & emotional progress.  After doing the quiz, you can sign up for the Play IQ Box to ensure that your child is playing with toys that are appropriate for his age and development.

For our Play IQ Box, we received the Laugh & Learn Learning Wallet and the Brilliant Basics Walker-to-Wagon. The Learning Wallet has a soft dollar bill, a pop-up credit card and push-button coins help develop fine motor skills. David loves to open and close the wallet to listen to the sing-along songs. I love it because it’s small and portable and I can throw it into the diaper bag to bring along for our outings.

The Laugh & Learn Learning Wallet is suitable for children aged 6 – 36 months and helps baby to learn about numbers, opposites and greetings. The older ones (yes, even Anya!) like this toy very much too and are always trying to borrow it from their baby brother!

Laugh & Learn Learning Wallet

Laugh & Learn Learning Wallet

taste test

taste test

flipping the soft dollar bill

flipping the soft dollar bill

popy-up credit card and push button coins

popy-up credit card and push button coins

The other toy in our Play IQ box is the Brilliant Basics Walker-to-Wagon. This grow-with-me walker is perfect for helping early walkers build confidence and then easily converts to a pull-along wagon once your toddler is steady on his feet.

There are fun activities built right into the walker including big spinning beads, a clicking dial, a roller ball to spin, a jingle ball to bat, colourful pages to flip, and shapes to sort. Again, the older kids could not resist playing with the toy and were racing around the house with the walker!

Walker to Wagon

Walker to Wagon

pushing it around

pushing it around

maybe he's ready to pull it along as a wagon!

maybe he’s ready to pull it along as a wagon!

flipping pages

flipping pages

spinning shapes

spinning shapes

I think both toys are really suitable for David’s current level of development and he’s clearly very pleased with them as well.

Some FAQs about Play IQ Box

  • What is Play IQ?
    Play is the most effective method for children to develop their brain as it lays the foundation for learning as they grow. The best time for them to develop their brain and retain as much learning as they can is during their first five years. It is therefore extremely important for us to remain cognizant in our interaction with them to ensure they are developing physically, cognitively and emotionally. Play IQ helps you to assess your child’s level of development through the Play IQ Rating System that shows how different products help improve and develop the necessary physical, cognitive and emotional skills your child requires to be successful.
  • What is Play IQ Box?
    Play IQ Box is a box containing recommended Fisher-Price toys and products according to the child’s development age from 0 – 36 months. After subscription, you will receive a box with the right toys for the right age. If you have subscribed for more than one box, you would receive a box every 3 months till the end of your subscription term.
  • What items are included in a Play IQ Box?
    Each box contains a combination of 1 – 3 Play IQ toys and/or products. Each box is thoughtfully crafted according to your child’s age and development and each item is unique from anything we will send in the subsequent boxes. We are really proud of our boxes because we know that every item is something that your child will need to develop his / her Physical, Cognitive and Social & Emotional skills.
  • How do I subscribe for a Play IQ Box?
    Click on the Facebook login button on playiqbox.com and connect. Select the child’s age, gender and the box subscription plan you’d like. Write a message on the box if you want to personalize the gift. Fill in the delivery information and payment details, and then you’re ready to go! All subscription plans are paid for upfront.
  • What toys are included in a Play IQ Box?
    Each quarter, we will send you a box containing a combination of 1-3 Play IQ labeled toys. Each toy is carefully crafted according to your child’s physical, cognitive and social-emotional developmental stage. Refer to our Play IQ Guide to find out more.
    Our goal is to deliver toys that are best suited for your child at the right time.

 

Disclaimer: We received the toys from Fisher-Price for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Ben & Jerry’s Ice-cream Workshop with Samantha Lee

The first Ben & Jerry’s Flagship Scoop Shop in Southeast Asia is open at 313 Somerset! We were there last Tuesday and saw loads of people queuing up for free scoops of ice-cream. The Flagship Scoop Shop serves 18 exciting flavours and has a wider range of merchandise for sale.

The Flagship Scoop Shop is also sourcing some of its products locally, with bakery items like cookies and brownies from SCORE Bakery (which works to rehabilitate inmates through skills training), and herbs like mint from Edible Garden City (a social enterprise of urban farmers).

Ben & Jerry's Flagship Scoop Shop

Ben & Jerry’s Flagship Scoop Shop

One Tuesday every month, a new Benefit Tuesday Night programme will run, allowing various local welfare groups to engage the public on their causes. 20% of sales during the 7-9pm event will be donated to featured social mission partners.

International food artist, Samantha Lee, was at the Ben & Jerry’s Flagship Scoop Shop to create a moo-vellous Peace, Love, & Commoonity Sundae and all profits from the sale of this sundae will be donated to Ben & Jerry’s Benefit Tuesday Night partners.

Samantha demonstrated how to make the adorable Peace, Love & Commoonity Sundae and then we had a go at creating our very own sundae. Anya made a face with heart-shaped eyes and biscuit sticks for hair and set about eating it all up on her own.

very excited about the ice-cream workshop

very excited about the ice-cream workshop

Samantha Lee is in the house!

Samantha Lee is in the house!

food artist in action

food artist in action

showing off her Peace, Love & Commoonity sundae

showing off her Peace, Love & Commoonity sundae

this is what it looks like!

this is what it looks like!

our turn to create something special

our turn to create something special

but first, a picture with Samantha

but first, a picture with Samantha

helping Anya with her sundae creation

helping Anya with her sundae creation

more excited to eat than to create!

more excited to eat than to create!

adding more sprinkles

adding more sprinkles

Ice-Cream Euphoria!!!

Ice-Cream Euphoria!!!

get your Peace, Love & Commoonity Sundae!

get your Peace, Love & Commoonity Sundae!

The Peace, Love & Commoonity Sundae is only available at the Ben & Jerry’s Flagship Scoop Shop at 313 Somerset until 31 August so try it while you can!

Also, it’s Free Cone Day on 14 April so get your free ice-cream cone between 12pm and 8pm from Ben & Jerry’s at 313 Somerset, Dempsey or Vivocity! Ben & Jerry’s will be supporting South Central Community Family Service Centre, a champion of social innovation projects that cultivate the kampong spirit and promote community self-help and volunteers will be at the scoop shops to share more about their initiatives. All donations made to South Central Community FSC on Free Cone Day will be used to set up a community emergency fund to match community efforts to help their neighbours out of financial crises.

Sand Play at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park

Whenever we get some free time during the weekends or the school holidays, I like to take the kids to the playground! Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park is huge and has several playgrounds, both wet and dry, and we visited one of the playgrounds recently.

This particular playground looks really interesting. It’s mainly wood, metal and ropes, very different from the usual plasticky ones we see these days. We were actually on the bus on our way home when we went by the playground and we couldn’t resist getting off the bus to check it out.

spider web that leads to a slide

spider web that leads to a slide

crossing the bridge

crossing the bridge

sliding down

sliding down

and climbing back up

and climbing back up

saying hello

saying hello

coming down another slide

coming down another slide

so many different ways of climbing up

so many different ways of climbing up

heading to another section of the playground

heading to another section of the playground

attempting to climb up

attempting to climb up

very impressive slide

very impressive slide

It was a really hot day but the kids had so much fun running around, climbing up, sliding down and digging in the sand. The spider web connected to the slide was quite challenging and I climbed up with the kids a couple of times. I love the fact that taking the kids to a playground allows me to behave like a kid too. And I get some much-needed exercise in the process!

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Learning Puppy

David’s latest trick is to do the actions to the song Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Learning Puppy helps to reinforce this by introducing baby to different parts of the body like the tummy, hand, foot and ear.

Laugh & Learn Learning Puppy

Laugh & Learn Learning Puppy

where's the puppy's ear?

where’s the puppy’s hand?

foot

pressing the puppy’s foot

big hug for puppy

big hug for puppy

There are two interactive play modes: the first introduces ABCs, 123s, colours and parts of the body. The second mode plays favourite songs like Itsy-Bitsy Spider, Pat-A-Cake, This Little Puppy Went to Market and more. You can switch between the modes or turn the toy off completely by pressing the puppy’s left foot.

We have quite a few toys from Fisher-Price but they are not always portable and are best played with while we at home. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Learning Puppy is soft and cuddly, and easy to bring along with us. The baby likes to hug it while we are travelling around in the car and I think it makes him feel secure.

The cute design, soft fabrics, bright colours and clear letters make the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Learning Puppy a great learning tool for children aged 6 months to 36 months. It is ideal for playing with before bedtime and on-the-go!

Disclaimer: We received the toy from Fisher-Price for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Full-Time (Working) Mum – Day in a Life Blog Train

What does a full-time working mum do on a weekday? Here’s a glimpse into a typical day in my life.

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6.00am
The alarm goes off. I summon every ounce of willpower, resist the temptation to press the ‘snooze’ button, and drag myself into the kitchen half-asleep to prepare the kids’ snack boxes and fill their water bottles. I set out their uniforms, underwear and socks so that the husband has an easier time getting them ready for school.

6.30am
I wash up, get changed for work and hug and kiss any kid who happens to be awake at that time before I leave the house. Sometimes I’m asked why I’m going to work when it’s still night-time.

to the bus stop

to the bus stop

6.45am
I head to the bus stop and when I’m on the bus, I read through Whatsapp and other text messages, try to clear my emails, and do a bit of reading. I spend way too much time wondering why people don’t move to the back of the bus.

7.10am – 2 or 3pm
I work. Work consists of teaching, marking, attending meetings, setting assignments, looking for students who owe work, handling admin stuff like consent forms and CCA matters, answering emails from colleagues, answering emails or calls from parents of students, etc.

In between, I field calls from the kids’ school or the school bus driver and sort out various forms for enrichment classes, excursions, parent-teacher conference, etc.

After lessons
Depending on which day of the week it is, I may have to stay back with students or accompany them during CCA. Otherwise, I take Adam to swim class or Anya to her English class or pick the kids from Berries. We take public transport so it can be quite a tiring process. If the afternoon is completely free, I try to run some errands or head to my mum’s place earlier to check Anya’s homework or just to hang out with the kids.

Adam at swim class

Adam at swim class

Evening
Dinner at my mum’s. We squeeze in our grocery shopping during this time, shop for other necessities, and also borrow/ return library books.

play time

play time

8pm
We head home and I catch up with the husband on the drive home. When we get home, I put away groceries, hang up wet clothes from swim class and/ or pack the bags for enrichment classes. We let the kids play a bit while I take a shower and then check their bags for forms that need to be filled in. After playing, the kids go to the loo, brush their teeth, and get ready for bed.

time for bed

time for bed

9pm
Bedtime! We read a story or a devotion, say a little prayer, and wait for the kids to fall asleep.

After the kids are asleep
I wash their snack boxes and water bottles, do some marking, try to blog, or read a little while the husband watches TV. If there’s enough time, I do a load of laundry before I go to sleep. Bedtime is usually about 11pm for me.

11pm – 6am Zzzzz…


Next up on the Day in a Life blog train is Dotz! Dotz is a SAHM to two little boys and a bunny! She blogs about family life, faith, craft adventures and fun outings at A Pancake Princess. In her free time, she loves scrapbooking and baking, and writes freelance for The New Age Parents, an online parenting magazine.

Dotz

*This post is part of the Day in a Life blog train hosted by Mum in the Making. Click on the button to take a 24 hour peek into the lives of different mummies, or link up with your own post!
 

The Three Billy Goats Gruff by SRT’s The Little Company

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Ever get the feeling that the grass is greener on the other side? Well, sometimes, it actually is. That’s because an evil troll’s painted all the grass on his side of the valley green in a bid to feed his muttony gluttony.

brings new meaning to trolling

brings new meaning to trolling

The Three Billy Goats Gruff tells the time- honoured story of the 3 billy goats- one small, one medium and one large, who, because they were running out of food, hatched a plan to cross over to the other side of the valley where the grass is (literally) greener.

The only problem? A troll guards the only bridge and he is intent on exacting his “troll-toll”. Together with their rather airy-headed minder, Bo Frilly (yes, sister of Bo Peep), they hatch an elaborate plan to elude the troll. In the process, they discover the troll’s deep, dark secret and use it to their aaaaadvantage.

Bo Frilly

Bo Frilly

This musical was genuinely good for people of all ages. The costumes and sets are both beautiful and immersive, while the plot moves along fast enough to keep the little ones’ attention. Musically, the show was brilliant. Lyrics were witty and elaborately crafted, while the music was surprisingly adventurous for a children’s musical. Rock ‘n roll and techno blended seamlessly amongst showtunes, ensuring that there was never a dull moment.

happy ending?

happy ending?

I think the best way to describe this is that if I could find a way not to look creepy, I’d pay good money to see this show again by myself.

TICKETING DETAILS

Event Name: The Three Billy Goats Gruff
Date: 2 April to 10 May 2015
Venue: DBS Arts Centre – Home of SRT
Time: Weekdays – 10am; 1pm; 1.30pm; 2pm
Weekends – 11am; 2pm
Prices: $22 – $35

Disclaimer: This review was written by the husband. We received three complimentary tickets to watch this performance. All opinions are his. All photos used are from Singapore Repertory Theatre.

My Queenstown Heritage Trail: Dawson & Alexandra

Last year, I explored a part of Queenstown and learnt so much about the history of the place by listening to stories shared by long-time residents during the walking tour. On Saturday, I visited several historical landmarks in the Dawson & Alexandra area and even did a bit of bashing through the forest!

before starting the tour

before starting the tour

The former Forfar House was built in 1956 and known as Chap Si Lau because it was once the tallest residential building in Singapore at 14 stories in height. A former resident, Chee Sze Nam, shared that he lived there between 1978 and 1999 and remembered rearing chicks in his bathroom.

former Forfar House

former Forfar House

popularly known as Chap Si Lau

popularly known as Chap Si Lau

a former resident shares his story

a former resident shares his story

Princess House along Alexandra Rd was opened in 1957 and has a unique U-shaped roof. The building was the office for Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) and later the headquarters for HDB. From the old photo below, you can see that the Ministry of Enviroment was also located in Princess House at some point of time in history before the building was gazetted for conservation in 2007.

Princess House

Princess House

back in 1985

back in 1985

In 1955, the junction of Alexandra Rd and Dawson Rd was the scene of the violent Hock Lee Bus Riots that left 4 people dead and 31 injured. The riots began as peaceful demonstrations by bus drivers who locked themselves in the bus depot and stopped buses from leaving the depot. Eventually, students from several Chinese schools joined in and things turned bloody when the riot police attempted to break up the riots.

site of Hock Lee Bus Riots

site of Hock Lee Bus Riots

our guide sharing some pictures of the event

our guide sharing some pictures of the event

On our way to the next point of interest, we passed SkyTerrace@Dawson and I really cannot believe that these are HDB flats because they look so much like private apartments. This is a bit of a digression, but I’m really proud of the public housing we have in Singapore.

I can't believe these are HDB flats!

I can’t believe these are HDB flats!

For me, the most interesting part of the Dawson & Alexandra trail was when we entered a forested area at Kay Siang Rd to look at some abandoned bunkers. There are three military buildings altogether but we only managed to see the first two.

The roof of the first building was completely gone and it was just the main facade with the supporting walls and window frames to either side. What was left of the building had been overtaken by the roots of the vegetation. It was all very surreal and simply fascinating.

The second building was still intact and appears to have been used to store ammunition. I took a quick look inside with someone’s flashlight but backed out when I saw several lizards frolicking around. Around the area, we spotted military-style water canteens, army boots, and even the remnants of police barricade tape.

my favourite bit of the trail

my favourite bit of the trail

abandoned bunkers

abandoned bunkers

reminds me of Angkor Wat

reminds me of Angkor Wat

used for ammunition

used for ammunition

taken over by vegetation

taken over by vegetation

after our little hike

after our little hike

On returning to civilisation, we headed to Tiong Ghee Temple where long-time residents shared their memories of Boh Beh Kang (literally no tail river), so named because the villagers could not identify the source of the stream that passed through the area. I’m quite proud of the fact that I could understand almost everything the residents said in Hokkien!

Tiong Ghee temple

Tiong Ghee temple

sharing their experiences of Boh Beh Kang

sharing their experiences of Boh Beh Kang

Blk 168A Queensway was the first curved block constructed by HDB in the 1970s to reduce uniformity in public housing. For obvious reasons, the residents call it the ‘Butterfly block’. I think it’s pretty amazing how far we have progressed since in terms of the aesthetics of public housing and SkyTerrace@Dawson (mentioned above) is clear evidence of that.

'Butterfly' block

‘Butterfly’ block

back in the day

back in the day

Mr Fernandez shares his story

Mr Fernandez shares his story

Queensway Shopping Centre is one of Singapore’s first multi-purpose shopping complexes and I just found out that the building has an auspicious octogonal layout. It holds a special place in my heart because I have been buying my sporting goods from that place since I was a teenager. Just a few days ago, I was there with one of the kids trying to buy sports stuff for him and I felt such a strong sense of nostalgia. It’s nice to know that some things haven’t changed.

Queensway Shopping Centre

Queensway Shopping Centre

back in 1977

back in 1977

Our final stop for the day was Alexandra Hospital. Built in 1938 as the British Military Hospital, the hospital was the most advanced and best equipped in Singapore. It was chosen for its close proximity to the KTM railway line so that wounded could be transported to the hospital quickly.

In 1942, it was the tragic scene of the largest massacre of British troops where 200 patients and personnel were killed by the Japanese within 30 minutes.

Alexandra Hospital

Alexandra Hospital

proximity to the railway tracks

proximity to the railway tracks

All 900 tickets for both the upcoming monthly Dawson & Alexandra and Tanglin Halt & Duchess tours in 2015 are sold out and the next available tour is in 2016. For those who are unable to sign up for the trails, please drop an email to myqueenstown@gmail.com with your name, contact number, 3 preferred dates and number of tickets. You will be put on the waiting list but please note that there are currently more than 400 people on the list.

I strongly encourage those who are not able to get a place on the guided tours, but are still very keen to explore the Queenstown area, to refer to the map and attempt it at their own pace and convenience. Although you will not get to hear the stories by the long-time residents, at least you will be able to check out some of the landmarks before they are demolished or gone forever.

Read more about the Dawson & Alexandra Heritage Trail over at Little Blue Bottle, Give Them Roots & Wings, Life’s Tiny Miracles, A Juggling Mom and Missus Tay.

Disclaimer: Old images of Dawson and Alexandra are taken from My Queenstown and National Archives of Singapore.