Grooming Ayra’s Interests in Art with heART Studio

It’s been almost two months now since we started Ayra with a weekly art lesson at heART Studio. Every week, this girl will look forward to Thursday after child care, she’ll finish her dinner faster than usual just so she can reach heART Studio in time for her 75 minutes of art engagement with Teacher Jay. I can see that Ayra truly enjoys her time in class.

Learning about colours and picking one for her painting

So far one project has been completed, Ayra’s first complete piece of canvas painting, done wholly by herself! She was super proud of her work and had to show it to her grandparents and uncle when she reached home that day (we did FaceTime).

Ayra with her very first canvas painting. This is awesome right? See how proud she was holding it for the camera!

Teacher Jay would guide her patiently on different type of strokes to create the effect needed for feathers, clouds and just simple background painting. Once he guided her, she would be left to finish the painting on her own.

An earlier lesson where Teacher Jay was guiding Ayra on using short strokes to create feather-like texture with the paint.

 

Ayra concentrating on her painting after learning the right way to create clouds from Teacher Jay.

 

It just brightens up my day watching her enjoy herself in class and learning. With just one more project to go, I may have to sign her up for a new term soon.

That smile that melted my heart.

 

For those keen, each term of 10 sessions is $400 and the child will complete two projects in the 10 sessions, using 4 sessions per project and the other 2 remaining sessions will be used to teach other techniques or skills.

heART Studio
1 Charlton Lane #01-04 , Singapore 539631
Tel: 65547563
Email: info@heartstudiosg.com
Website: www.heartstudiosg.com

*Disclosure: This is part of a series of reviews between heART Studio and The Loving Mum. Ayra is attending complimentary art lessons for the purpose of writing this review. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Learning the Art of Drawing, Painting and more at heART Studio Singapore

Most of my relatives and friends know me for being arty and crafty, I love creating my own pieces of craft work. When Ayra was ready to use her hands for some creating work, we started pasting, cutting, scribbling and some painting fun together at home. In childcare, her teachers also shared that she is always focus when doing craft. But the mummy me cannot draw for nuts! I can doodle, I can do “abstract” painting but I just cannot draw.

Having seen how children of some friends managed to create awesome pieces at heART Studio, I decided to let Ayra give their classes a try. With the same “never ask never know” mindset, I wrote in to enquire about their classes. Fast forward a couple of weeks, Ayra attended a trial class on a Friday evening.

The none responding trial class

As expected, it was tough for Ayra to open up to a new teacher. She was alone in the class that evening and had 101% focus and attention from Teacher Jay. I sat next to her throughout the session, helping her to ease up to the new environment and teacher. Throughout the 75 minutes session, she only managed to say less than 5 words and were silent and starring at the teacher most of the time. When asked to draw some simple shapes, she was reluctant to move her hands too. I was almost going to just give up right after that lesson.

Teacher Jay was very patient and nice throughout the session. I can sense a little frustration in him when Ayra refused to response but he never once gave up on her. He tried every method and encouragement he could possibly have on hand. At the end of the trial class, he suggested we change the lesson to another day so that Ayra will have some company in class. We took up his suggestions and went back for a second time the following week on a Thursday evening. This time, there were another girl in the same age group as Ayra. And things got better, for both the girls.

Light at end of tunnel

Second lesson and I see some light at end of the tunnel, Ayra actually enjoyed herself in class this time round! There was another girl the same age as Ayra who started one project earlier alone in the class. Her mother shared that she had to stay in class with her through the first few lessons too as she didn’t want to be alone with the Teacher. But that day, with Ayra around, both the girls enjoyed the class without their mummies! Well, we did stand near the door for the first hour of the lesson, the remaining 15 minutes we managed to sit down and chat. Great improvement in both our opinion!

Ayra was able to respond better and reacted to prompts and questions from Teacher Jay. I am amazed at the great improvement in both her behaviour and work this time round. With Teacher Jay’s guidance, she created her first piece of canvas painting just like that! Mummy is super proud.

Also observed from the two sessions we had with HeART Studio, Ayra is able to work with both hands, ambidextrous perhaps? We do not correct her on purpose and let her use either hands she’s comfortable with. She started holding pencils with her left though, we shall let her progress and determine which is her better hand on her own. For now, I’m happy she’s enjoying herself in class.

This was the work-in-progress of her first canvas painting after one lesson. Pretty good for a 3+ years old who previously only managed to create a messy piece of art with all colours mixed right?

After a week’s break for Chinese New Year, Ayra is looking forward to continuing her pigeons piece this week. Will be sharing Ayra’s progress with HeART Studio as she continues her art discovery journey.

heART Studio
1 Charlton Lane #01-04 , Singapore 539631
Tel: 65547563
Email: info@heartstudiosg.com
Website: www.heartstudiosg.com

*Disclosure: This is part of a series of reviews between heART Studio and The Loving Mum. Ayra is attending complimentary art lessons for the purpose of writing this review. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Play at Hokey Pokey Seletar Mall

Play at Hokey Pokey at Seletar Mall

Making up lost time with Zara, we went on a one-on-one date together to Hokey Pokey indoor playground at Seletar Mall. When Ayra was little, I brought her to their other outlet a couple of times but never brought Zara to any playground alone. With Zara starting her childcare in February this year, this probably be the only fun dates alone together on a weekday.

Hokey Pokey at Seletar Mall houses most of the fun and toys we remembered from Hokey Pokey at Millenia Walk. The outlet at Seletar Mall is smaller and probably lesser in crowd on weekdays. This indoor playground is more appropriate for toddlers below 6 years old as there are mostly toys and no climbing maze for the older kids. Ideal for playdates with the little ones.

Overview of the play area at Hokey Pokey
Play at Hokey Pokey at Seletar Mall

Play at Hokey Pokey at Seletar Mall

Play at Hokey Pokey at Seletar Mall

The things Zara did at Hokey Pokey Seletar Mall…
… went shopping at the mini mart with trolley…
Play at Hokey Pokey at Seletar Mall

… played some balls in the mini ball pit at the toddler area…
Play at Hokey Pokey at Seletar Mall

… played on the Little Tikes swing…
Play at Hokey Pokey at Seletar Mall

… pretended to hold her first mini piano performance…
Play at Hokey Pokey at Seletar Mall

… and she did LOTS and lots of climbing…
Play at Hokey Pokey at Seletar Mall

Play at Hokey Pokey at Seletar Mall

Play at Hokey Pokey at Seletar Mall

Play at Hokey Pokey at Seletar Mall

… and she climbed up and down this high slide stairs at least 8 times that day on her own! She is such an adventurous little girl, each time she reached the top, she would look down the long slide and go “WOW!” turned towards the stairs and climbed down again. Then repeat! The mummy me was tired just looking at her went up and down loh!
Play at Hokey Pokey at Seletar Mall

At $26 per entry on weekday, this probably be the last time we’ll be there. Just because we have too many toys at home to keep the little one busy already, and the collection just keeps growing!

Hokey Pokey Seletar Mall
33 Sengkang West Avenue
#B1-28/29
Singapore 797653
http://hokeypokey.com.sg

LA Madison – A brand new school for 18 months to 6 years at Marine Parade

After a week of new experiences at a Christmas Workshop, Ayra attended one more preview class that week on a Saturday. I must be crazy thinking Ayra would be able to go through so many new experiences in a week, but at least both of us survived and enjoyed each other’s company that week.

LA Madison is a brand new school at Marine Parade and offers enrichment programmes for children 18 months to 6 years old. Together with other bloggers, Ayra and I attended their very first preview class for Happy Feet (18 months to 3 years).

Happy Feet focuses on the development of functional independency and important sensorial and cognitive skills through fun and carefully prepared learning opportunities and themes that connect to one another in a structured and meaningful way. Children will learn about the body and its function while developing sensory areas.

As expected, Ayra was behaving like a super strong magnet that was stuck to me throughout the entire session. She did demagnetised herself a couple of times when she was encouraged to take part in the activities conducted.

The teachers at LA Madison were not as restrictive as compared to her teachers in child care. They allowed her to decide what she was more comfortable in doing and at her own pace. When they sensed any child losing focus or got distracted, they will try to minimise any disruption of the activity by encouraging the child with small reward (a sticker) or allow the child to work on other side activities available in class.

The day’s theme was under the sea with different sea animals pasted around the classroom and activities all planned around the theme. Children’s knowledge and understanding were enhanced with repetitive use of words and actions throughout the different activities during the two hour session. I’m also happy to see that the children in class get to  learn through experiences of touching (props and materials), moving (actions and dance movements), listening (songs and stories), and observing (teacher’s instructions and steps for activities); all part of the important principle from Reggio Emilia approach in early childhood education.

The school also has got a nice cosy and fun corner for children to play before and after classes. A great way for shy kids to warm up with the rest of the class and teachers.


LA Madison though new, their teachers have got many years of experiences in early childhood education. One plus point about the school is that they have native speakers for English and Mandarin to conduct the classes, ensuring children are using only that single language in class without mixing both like how we usually speak at home. (You know, like the Singaporean rojak language I use.)

LA Madison will be having their Open House on 20 December 2014 from 9.30am to 12.00pm. More information can be found on the Event page on Facebook. There will also be talks and trial classes that day for parents who are interested to enrol your child for enrichment programmes. Do sign-up for these talks and trial classes as the space is limited per session. More details on their Event page on Facebook.

Special Programme Package for The Loving Mum readers

Quote “The Loving Mum” when you register your child at LA Madison during the Open House and get extra classes for the first month. Sign-up for their daily programme (5 days/week) and get additional 4 Saturdays of free classes or sign up for their 3 days/week programme and get additional 2 Saturdays of classes for free.

About LA Madison

LA Madison recognizes that each child is an individual; each child is an angel; that all children are creative; that all children need to succeed. Therefore, LA Madison respects the individual needs of children; fosters a caring and creative environment; and emphasizes the social, emotional, physical, intellectual development of each child.

LA Madison is a place where children leave school with:
* A complement of basic skills – linguistic, mathematical, scientific, artistic, physical and social.
* An enquiring and discriminating mind and a desire for knowledge.
* Developing self-esteem and high personal expectation.
* Tolerance and respect for others.

LA Madison supports the mental, social, and emotional development of children from 18 months to 6 years old through learning in English or Chinese. Children will be taught using Montessori Method and adaption of Reggio Emilia approach to achieve linguistic, mathematical, scientific, artistic, physical and social skills.

LA Madison
1 Marine Parade Central, #04-07
Singapore 449408
Website: http://LA-Madison.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lamadisonschool

Christmas Workshop for Kids at BlueTree Education

What better way to introduce Christmas to a child than with engaging stories, hands-on activities, acting it out and fun crafting?! Ayra had quite a blast skipping her usual playgroup classes for an entire week while attending a Christmas Workshop with BlueTree Education.

Some of the highlights from the 5 day workshop for Ayra include…

Learning her directions of Up, Down, Left, Right and North, South, East and West.

She has better sense of left and right now! No joke! Learning through play is the best for kids.

Getting to cut and cut and cut with scissors.

And she is now able to cut following the lines! Thought not neat and perfect, but still a good improvement. Super proud of this little 3 year old.

Assembling her first snow globe!

This craft is so fun and easy to make. I hope to find time these two weeks to make some with Ayra as Christmas gifts for the family.

Just look at how intense those eyes are when she saw her finished globe.

All the kids cannot take their eyes off their snow globes. Just too fun and pretty!

Getting to meet and sit on Santa’s lap

She was so engrossed in meeting the Santa and responded to his questions willingly, not a common thing from the usually shy Ayra.

Finally, the best part of the workshop for her is probably getting to meet Isadore and Xavier. These two boys showered Ayra with so much attention and care throughout the 5 days in class. Ayra being the youngest student, these two big brothers were trying their best to help ease her into the activities and guiding her around. Thanks boys for the TLC given!

A group shot of the class and teachers with Santa

Though it was just 5 days of 3 hour session spent with the elder boys in class and three wonderful teachers – Teacher Mabel, Teacher Liz and Teacher Diana, Ayra did learn new things and has been implementing what she has observed in class into her conversations with me. And she is able to recall stories and new words she learned, when driving home on the last day, she was stuffing her teddy bear, sewing it up while doing the actions. These were taught on the fourth day in the workshop. I’m pleased and very happy this shy little girl, though did not participate 100% in class, her quiet observations did show some learning. Guess this girl is a true virgo – shy and observant in nature.

If you like what you see here, there are still a few more slots available for the workshop at BlueTree Education. Get in touch with them to find out more! Workshops are fully booked.

More photos from the workshop can be found on The Loving Mum page on Facebook…

 

 

$50 off all regular programme registration with BlueTree Education for readers of The Loving Mum Just quote The Loving Mum during registration.

Pool Shoes For Children – Pool Who? Poolzies!

Our family started bringing the girls for swim at SAFRA Toa Payoh and so far the girls have been there three times and each time they get less afraid of the water and more adventurous too! First two times we were there, we did not allow the girls to get out of the pool to walk around too much, afraid the floor will be too hot from the heat and it was slippery too for the kids to walk around on their own. But on our recent trip to the pool, I was more at ease when the girls wanted to climb out of the water to the play area as they had pool shoes on.

Pool what? Pool shoes.
Pool who? Poolzies!
LOL!

These are pool safe shoes for children and they can be worn in and out of water. I’m so glad I bought the shoes for the girls, especially for Zara as she is now able to walk on her own in the pool, these shoes give her better grip on the slippery pool flooring.

Poolzies Pool Shoes are durable, it comes with a non-slip and abrasion resistant sole, Poolzies® Pool Shoes prevent slips, falls and cuts while protecting your child’s feet from hot surfaces. The fabric also has a UPF 50+ protection from the sun.

These Pool Shoes are stretchable and will fit snugly around your child’s feet. Its soft and flexible fabric closely mimics barefoot walking, giving your child the ability to move effortlessly in and out of water.

These Poolzies Pool Shoes come in very colourful designs too! Ayra and Zara love them and didn’t want to remove them when I tried them on before we headed out to the pool!

Poolzies Pool Shoes are available for sale online.

Zara approves of these cute pool shoes!

Looking forward to using them more often.

I want to see Gruffalo! And so we did!

Since introducing Ayra to The Gruffalo film, she would ask to watch it again every few days. It was a good change to her usual YouTube video requests.

When the opportunity to meet The Gruffalo in person, I got excited, but didn’t dare reveal it to Ayra till the date of the meet-and-greet, to spare myself from explaining why she still cannot go meet The Gruffalo yet.

While waiting… take a selfie…

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It was Zara’s first meet-and-greet with a “monster”

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She did not get scared a bit! Boy were we surprised! This girl is growing up to be even more adventurous and daring than her elder sister. The usually quiet and shy Ayra (now with short curls) were also not frightened by the Gruffalo when he first appeared. I was prepared to hold her in my arms if she pounced onto me, which usually happened when she see hairy creatures. Instead she enjoyed the session and didn’t want to leave!

Ayra growling like a Gruffalo to wake the real one up

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Spot the curious Zara poking her head up for better look

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The meet-and-greet and story telling session at Volvo Showroom sure set the girls ready for what’s to come in January 2015 at Kids Fest 2015 Singapore (Follow tag #KidsFest2015)! Especially when our first experience in a live theatre show just a week before this meet-and-greet was a fabulous one! Ayra and I both enjoyed ourselves at Hairy Maclary and Friends, which is produced by the same team of Kids Fest 2015!

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Catch The Gruffalo Live at Kids Fest 2015 from January 22 to January 25 2015

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Join Mouse on an adventurous journey through the deep, dark wood in Tall Stories’ magical, musical adaptation of The Gruffalo, based on the award-winning picture book by Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson MBE and Axel Scheffler.

Meet a wheeler-dealer Fox, an eccentric old Owl and a maraca-shaking, party-mad Snake! Mouse can scare these hungry animals away with tall stories of the terrifying Gruffalo, but what happens when he comes face to face with the very creature he imagined…?

Expect songs, laughs and scary fun for children aged 3+ and their grown-ups, in a show that’s toured around Britain and the world. Let your imagination run wild!

With months away from the first show, I will have to keep this piece of news from Ayra for a long time. Good thing she still doesn’t know how to read this blog!

Tickets are on sale now on Sistic. For show schedule and more details on Kids Fest 2015, check out http://www.kidsfest.com.sg.