30+ Ideas For 30 Days Of June School Holiday

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A friend of mine, with her newly minted Primary One kid, enthusiastically planned the previous March week-long holiday packed to the brim : with 1 and sometimes even 2 different activities everyday.  After all, it is the child’s first official school holiday, it would be wonderful to fill up his/her free time with something interesting or enriching during this break.

So the idea for this crazy post was born: taking a leaf out of my pal’s book, I am penning out 30 over ideas for every single day of this June holiday.  Now with a whopping 30 days of free time, starting this coming Saturday, are there enough activities around the island for us to carry out one everyday?  I am happy to announce this after some form of scheduling : Yes we have!  But will I do it? : No I won’t!

Cos, the following is done under the assumption that me and my children have an unlimited crazy amount of energy, never get tired, none of us will fall sick, and we still have enough time for household chores and homework/revision, all of which I think is more challenging than going out everyday.  But it serves as a good guide for outing ideas, should we get bored.

And since I have them “all planned out”, might as well :

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31/5 (Sat) – Singapore Navy Open House
/ Vivocity
/ 9am – 9pm
/ LINK

1/6 (Sun) – Nature Society
/ Horseshoe Crab Rescue & Research
/ 7.30pm – 9.30pm
/ Preregistration is required
/ LINK

1/6 (Sun) – Singapore Botanic Gardens
/ Outdoor Concert : Jerry Monteiro & Jazz Brasileiro/6 pm – 7.30pm
/ LINK

2/6 (Mon) – Jurong Regional Library
/ BASF Kid’s Lab
/ 10am -11.30am
/ Preregistration is required
/ LINK

3/6 (Tues) – Changi Airport
/ It’s such a nice place to hang around, drop by Indonesia Event going on @Terminal 3
/ 12pm – 11pm
/ LINK

4/6 (Wed) – Singapore Turf Club
/ Family Carnival “Fun for All Under the Stars”
/ 5pm – 9pm
/ LINK

5/6 (Thurs) – Singapore Botanical Gardens
/ National Orchid Garden
/ Admission fees is waived for Students & Accompanying Adults during this period (till 8/6)
/ 8.30am – 7pm
/ LINK

6/6 (Fri) Swimming @ Public Pool
/ Choose one pool per week with water features such as slides or fun pool for more holiday mood
/ Sengkang, Jurong East, Jurong West, Pasir Ris, Choa Chu Kang

7/6 (Sat) – Singapore Maritime Trails
/ 9am – 12nn
/ Pre-registration is required
/ LINK

7/6 (Sat) – Singapore Botanic Gardens
/ Opera In The Park : Singapore Lyric Opera
/ 6pm – 7pm
/ LINK

7/6 (Sat)- Bonfire 2014 @ Kallang CC
/ Various circus and performance acts, some free workshops for kids
/ LINK

8/6 (Sun) – Peranakan Museum
/ Straits Family Sunday – Supersized!
/ 1pm – 5pm
/ LINK

9/6 (Mon) – Central National Library
/ Slow down and relax at the library.
/ Pop by Bras Basah Complex next door for another round of book hunt.
/ Explore more around Bugis/Bras Basah area with a Free Trail Apps ( iTunes)

10/6 (Tues) – Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
/ Nature Keeper Camp
/ 9am – 12nn
/ Pre-Registration is required
/ LINK

11/6 (Wed) – Plan A Trip To One Of The Old Playgrounds
/ About the playgrounds
/ A Photo Essay : Mosaic Memories
/ Plan a trip to one of them (Pg 13 within the Photo Essay)

12/6 (Thur) – Downtown East
/ Wild Wild Wet day
/ LINK

/ Transformer Meet & Greet (@7pm) + Transformer Zone Activity Area
/ LINK

13/6 (Fri) Army Museum of Singapore
/ Cadets, Fall In!
/ ‘BMT Programme” for kids
/ Pre-registration is required
/ LINK

14/6 (Sat)- Indian Games Carnival
/ Ace The Place Community Club
/ 9am – 2pm
/ Pre-registration is required
/ LINK

14/6 (Sat) – Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
/ A Walk With Your Neighbours – The Macaques of Bukit Timah
/5 pm – 6.30pm
/ Pre-registration is required
/ LINK

15/6 (Sun) – Memories at Old Ford Factory
/ History Workshop
/ 10am – 11.30pm or 12.30pm – 2pm or 2.30pm – 4pm
/ Pre-registration is required
/ LINK

16/6 (Mon) –  Ang Mo Kio Heritage Trail
/ Plan a few interesting and easy to access destination from the Heritage Trail PDF : LINK
/ Ends at Ang Mo Kio Library, which is covered as part of the trail.

17/6 (Tue) – Plan A Trip To One Of The Old Playgrounds
/ About the playgrounds
/ A Photo Essay : Mosaic Memories
/ Plan a trip to one of them (Pg 13 within the Photo Essay)

18/6 (Wed) – Pasir Ris Park
/ Mangrove Guided Walk
/ 9am – 10.30am
/ Pre registration is required
/ LINK

19/6 (Thur) – Day Trip to Kusu Island
/ Ferry Schedule HERE
/ What to do there : HERE, HERE and HERE

20/6 (Fri) – Swimming @ Public Pool
/ Choose one pool per week with water features such as slides or fun pool for more holiday mood
/ Sengkang, Jurong East, Jurong West, Pasir Ris, Choa Chu Kang

21/6 (Sat) – National Museum of Singapore
/ Special extended hours + Movie Screening
/ 6pm – 9.30pm
/ LINK

22/6 (Sun) – Gardens By the Bay
/ Far East Organization Children’s Garden
/ 9am – 9pm
/ LINK

/ Family Fun Under The Sun
/ 2pm, 2.30pm, 3pm, 3.30pm
/ LINK

/ End the day with OCBC Garden Rhapsody Show @ Supertree Grove
/ 7.45pm or 8.45pm

23/6 (Mon) –  World War II Heritage Trail
/ Go through this 22 page Trail PDF and choose a spot to visit.

24/6 (Tue) – Asian Civilisation Museum
/ Once Upon A Time In Asia – Part of Children’s Season 2014
/ LINK

25/6 (Wed) – Plan A Trip To One Of The Old Playgrounds
/ About the playgrounds
/ A Photo Essay : Mosaic Memories
/ Plan a trip to one of them (Pg 13 within the Photo Essay)

26/6 (Thur) – Swimming @ Public Pool
/ Choose one pool per week with water features such as slides or fun pool for more holiday mood
/ Sengkang, Jurong East, Jurong West, Pasir Ris, Choa Chu Kang

27/6 (Fri) – Sports Hub
/ Open House Weekend
/ LINK

28/6 (Sat) – Singapore City Gallery
/ Case for Conservation Trail
/ 10am – 1pm
/Pre-registration is required
/ LINK

28/6 (Sat) – D’Kranji Farm Resort
/ Farmer’s Market
/ 4pm – 10pm
/ LINK

 29/6 (Sun) – Singapore Botanic Gardens
/ Piano Concert at Dusk : By Przemyslaw Witek
/ 6.30pm – 7.30pm
/ LINK

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No Bake Nutella Bars

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The girl came back from school and passed me a recipe for Nutella Bars.  “Can we make this? I’ve been drooling throughout the Math class today …”

Apparently, the teacher used this recipe ingredients to illustrate the concept of ratio, how sweet (literally)!

It’s pretty kid-friendly, both the making (It’s a no bake recipe!) and eating part, so you might like to include this as an activity for you and your children during the school holidays, or this weekend if you can’t wait!

Save me the hassle of signing up for a holiday baking class. 🙂


NO BAKE NUTELLA BARS
INGREDIENTS :
- 120g butter, unsalted
- 2 cups caster sugar*
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup fresh milk
- 1/2 cup Nutella
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 & 1/2 cups rolled oats
- Optional : Rice bubbles, Sprinkles, Chocolate Chips, Chocolate Rice

INSTRUCTIONS :

01. Line a baking pan** with baking paper and set aside.
02. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
03. Add sugar, cocoa powder and milk, let mixture boil for one minute.  Remove for heat.
04. Add Nutella, vanilla extract, rolled oats, rice bubbles (optional) to the pan and mix well to combine all ingredients.
05. Pour the batter into the lined baking pan, level and smooth surface with the back of a metal spoon.
06. Decorate with sprinkles of your choice.
07. Refrigerate till mixture is set, about 3 hours.
08.  Cut into desired serving size with a clean sharp knife.
09.  Keep well by storing in containers, place inside fridge.


++ Notes To Self ++
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*I reduced the sugar amount to 1 & 1/4 cups.
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**I used a 8×8 inch baking pan.
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A Weekly Planner Printable for June 2014 School Holiday & Beyond

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I am a pencil and paper person, gotta write it down somewhere.  Though I keep a planner for my own schedule, I like a separate one that I can pin up on the fridge/entryway to keep tab of our family activities during this period.  You’ve got a business trip? Jot it down.  You need to go back to school for project work? Jot it down. Concert at the park?  Jot it down and go over with a highlighter please, thank you 🙂

I made a weekly planner template for June holiday last year, this time, I created a template that can be used all year round.

Now about the first few activities I am filling it up with.

The planning of the June Holiday activities has always been made easier with Children’s Season, a series of activities held at various museums across the island, which will kick off 24 May.  For some reason, there was no Children’s Season activities planned for Singapore Art Museum this year, pity as we have always enjoyed the art installations targeted at younger audiences during this period.

Other than the entire list of FREE events, it is also worthwhile to check out some venues during certain dates/weekends where special events** will be held.  I have link them up below as I jot them down on my planner.  After this, off to hunt for more June happenings from my other favourite places.

Army Museum of Singapore
ArtScience Museum
Asian Civilisation Museum
Chinese Heritage Center
iExperience
Indian Heritage Centre
Land Transport Gallery
Malay Heritage Center
Memories at Old Ford Factory  **| 14 & 15 June 2014 | Various Time Slots| A Race Against Time Workshop (Registration Required)
National Museum of Singapore  **| 20 & 21 June 2014 | 6pm – 930pm |  Outdoor Movie Screening
NUS Museum
Our Museum @ Taman Jurong
Peranakan Museum **| 8 June 2014 | 1pm – 5pm | Straits Family Sunday – Supersized!
Police Heritage Center
Science Center Singapore
Singapore City Gallery **| 24 & 28 May, 28 June 2014 | 10am – 1pm| Heritage Trail & Workshop (Registration Required)
Singapore Coins And Notes Museum
Singapore Discovery Center **| 7 & 8 June 2014 | 12pm & 3pm | Special Activities
Singapore Maritime Gallery
Singapore Philatelic Museum
Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall **| 31 May & 1 June 2014 | 10am – 5pm |  Outdoor carnival , handicraft sessions

Caramel Sauce for Popcorn

homemade caramel popcorns // mono+co

After knowing how to prepare these easy peasy homemade popcorn, indulge in caramel sauce covered ones once a while!  I chose a recipe that does not use corn syrup, and does not require bakingJust pour and toss.

++ Notes001 // Make the popcorn first before preparing the caramel sauce. Popcorn instructions here.  Sauce enough for 1/2 cup unpopped corn kernels.

RECIPE : CARAMEL SAUCE
/ Source

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125 grams unsalted butter
3/4 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons honey

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01. Put butter, sugar and honey in a saucepan, stir over medium heat until the sugar has melted completely.
02. Bring to boil, and switch off fire once the mixture turns golden brown.
03. Pour caramel sauce over popcorn, stir until the sauce coat popcorn evenly.
04. Spread popcorn over baking tray to cool.  Serve.

Planning For The School Holidays : December 2013 And Beyond

2013 year end holiday planner calendar

Every Friday, I would browse through the “Happenings” listing in the papers to check out places (and cafes) that I can visit with my children (or friends).  I would then text my husband on the details, and he would go: “Where got so many activities one? Where got time to do all?”.  True, some of the events would clash on the same day, mostly during the weekends.  Others have limited seats, and are usually fully taken up by the time I read it in the papers.  The really interesting (& free) ones probably won’t even make it to the papers, and are circulated around via Facebook, or other social sites.  There are many events going on, and even more during this year end period, and sometimes all you need to do is to find them.

For this December school holiday, instead of listing down the activities, I am jotting down some of the sites that I have bookmarked for regular event updates.

National Heritage Board
With a whopping 11 museums and heritage institutions under its wings, you’re bound to find something going on that is interesting for you and your kids throughout the month.
Current Exhibitions
Programmes
Or like me, you might love browsing through a thoughtfully laid out Program Guide (PDF)

National Library
Whenever I step into a library, I like to browse through the activity guides that are placed at the entrance, whereas my kids would pick up a copy of the GoKids guide.  But frankly, this is not the best way to check out the programs, especially the popular ones for the kids.  More often than not, seats to the popular events would have been filled out by the time the brochures or posters are up at the library.  Go to GoLibrary Portal instead, this is where you can browse through activities by categories and book your seats online.

Esplanade
While ticketed events are mainly held there, free programs are also going on throughout the year.  Check out its What’s On page and filter for “Free Programmes” from the search bar.

Singapore Symphony Orchestra
Download their 13/14 season Brochure here, or browse through here for kids-friendly events.  I am interested in their open rehearsals for my family to watch what goes on behind the scenes, but the only one open to public has already taken place last month.  See, I told you too many events right?

Singapore Chinese Orchestra
Just as SSO, SCO already has all ticketed, as well as free events, lined up till July 2014 posted on their site here, including this and this in January next year to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Nature Parks
Now this area is a little bit more tricky.  While NParks takes great care of the parks, I do not rely on its Event Hub page for information, the search engines and layout format have done nothing to interest me and my kids.  The site is, however, great for general park information, and they provide trail routes and guides for DIY trips.

I tend to visit Wild Singapore Happenings instead, its blog format citing events in chronological order makes it a breeze to browse through.  They have already updated events all the way up to 28 December, the final weekend before the school holiday ends, how’s that for planning?

If you are a member of the Nature Society ($75/Year for a family membership), this is another great site to browse though.  If you are not a member, they still have some events line up for the general public, such as this and this, just check if you need to sign up in advance.  I have been wanting to bring my kids explore Bukit Brown, and this 9 Dec public walk event looks perfect.

Sometimes, I still visit the park’s own site (if any) in case some events get missed out, unfortunately, I found only 2:
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Singapore Botanic Gardens

Others
Some venues that I like to check out when I need a day out with my kids:

Gardens By the Bay

  • Public programmes are available on every first weekend of the month, not just during school holidays. For 7 and 8 December, they have a prehistoric theme event held at the Cooled Conservatories (this you have to pay for admission though).
  • If you like to relax at the garden with live music, local acappella group Budak Pantai will be performing this weekend (23-24 November) at the Supertree Grove from 6.45pm. Check out the rest of the events lined up from this Calendar here.

Sentosa

  • Admission to Sentosa is more affordable now, so sometimes I do check out if there are any special events organized worth participating here, other than just idling by the beaches.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore
My children grew up with pretty frequent (almost fortnightly) visits to the Singapore Zoo, as we were ‘Friends of the Zoo’ then.  As they grew ‘older’, we couldn’t make the trips as often as we like.  Soon the membership lapsed, and now I only make a trip when there are special events or offers.  I have posted the links to the event and promo pages below.  Please note that some attractions are going through a “no-event” moment.
Jurong Bird Park
Night Safari
River Safari
Singapore Zoo

Are there any other sites or blogs that you surf for ideas for this coming school holiday?

2013 Year End Holiday Calendar Planner

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3 things that I have done since the exams ended:
01. Put the used textbooks aside till the next donation drive.
02. Dropped the non reusable activity books and exam practice papers in the recycling bins.
03. Cleaned up the study room.

I am currently looking out for activities to do in November and December.  Knowing how much I love planners, I created a monthly version this time, for simple tracking of available events around town and my family’s holiday schedule.

Have you started planning your year end activities?

Homemade Popcorns for Stay Home Movie Sessions

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One of the things I did with the kids during the second half of the month long school holiday was cooping up at home watching movies.  The haze condition chased most of us indoors, we could only do that many craft projects before the paper/glue/paint mess got too big to be handled.  So I slotted in a few celluloid classics while I do the cleaning or cooking.

A few titles that always get requested are the anime works of Hayao Miyazaki’s (宫崎骏), my kids love them, from the earlier ones like Castle in the Sky, Whisper of the Heart (My Favorite!), Kiki’s Delivery Service, to the recent ones like Spirited Away, The Secret World of Arrietty, etc.

** A Must : When you are done with the movies, and can’t get enough of their beautiful soundtrack, be sure to catch this Studio Ghibli 25 years concert, and relive those favorite moments again.

Made old school popcorns at home for snacking while watching the movies.  I always thought that you’ll need those huge looking corn popping machines seen at the theater snack bar to do the trick.  Turned out that my heavy bottom pan, some butter, and corn kernels would do.  Even your microwave could do it, some made it look even simpler with a brown bag and eating straight out of it after the corns are popped.  Just stay away from those microwave-ready popcorns.

Butter and ghee are my preferred fat for making these popcorns.  I still rely on the stove-top method instead of the microwave version because somehow my microwave seems to burn the popped corns easily.  It was so frustrating picking out the charred ones.  A lower setting did not work either.  Think I am destined to stand by the stove…

HOMEMADE POPCORNS
// Adapted from Creative Simple Life

INGREDIENTS
1 heap tablespoon of ghee
1/3 cup corn kernel

1. Place 3 corn kernels in a covered (preferably glass cover for see-through) pot and heat over medium fire.
2. Once the 3 kernels are popped, remove them from the pot, and add the ghee and rest of corn kernels into the pot, covered with lid.
3. Corns should start popping in a while, shake the pot back and forth intermittently, so that the popped kernels does not get charred below.  Lift the lid slightly to let steam escaped.
4. Once the popping slow down to just 1 per second, turn off fire, and pour the popcorns into a serving bowl.
5. Season according to preference.  I love the convenience of Old Bay or melted dark chocolate.

Book Cover 002

bookcover002 // mono+co

Have your kids been journaling/doodling more during the past hazy week?  This is a second exercise book I wrapped with brown paper and simply decorated with a checkered floppy disk label.

Kaleidocycle

kaleidocycle // mono+co kaleidocycle // mono+co

A Kaleido-what?

While making the popup card yesterday, we stumbled upon another great paper craft on the same site to make this toy.  I can’t explain how the thing works, see here for yourself.  The printable template is there too.  Just print it out, give yourself 10 minutes to sort the instructions out, and then impress the kids with it.