We are constantly on the lookout for new things to do with the kids every weekend and what could be more perfect than an opportunity to eat, play, drink, shop, for a good cause.
This coming weekend (30 Nov 2014), the Change Movement will be organizing a charity pop-up at Zouk. No no, now don’t close this window yet!! This is perfectly kid friendly! 🙂 The event will be taking place from 2pm to 7pm and there will be tons to do for everyone.
After exposing the kids to the Swan Valley Caversham Wildlife Park on Day 1 and the Lansdale Farm school two days ago, I was starting to wonder if another day spent with animals would be wise at all. Wouldn’t the kids be extremely bored of animals by now? Was it going to be worth the drive? I’m pretty sure a lot of people would probably have decided to give it a pass if they were in our position but we decided to go ahead with it.
It was a really really hot day and I was getting alittle irritable with the weather and the potential of it being a disappointing day for the kids. But I can’t tell you how wrong I was.
The Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm may not look as polished as some of the other parks. In fact I have heard people describing it as run-down and dirty and therefore discouraging others to visit it on their trip. But honestly, it’s a farm! I don’t expect the farm to be in tip-top spanky clean condition, after all animals live there!
What I liked and enjoyed about the place was really the fact that it stayed ‘true to its roots’ as a farm while still managing to accommodate the little children and make things a little fun and interactive for them. What amazed me about the place was the young girls who were working there and dealing with the animals! It was pure hard back-breaking work but these teenagers didn’t seem to mind it one bit. They took their work very seriously and were not concerned about how hot it was or how dirty/ smelly things were. Definitely something a lot of teenagers could learn from.
The entry cost to the farm included interaction with animals, free tractor rides around the farm, free food to feed the animals and free bottle feeding to name a few.
We have been trying to teach Jah the concept of sharing for the longest time and I’m sure this is one lesson which a lot of parents struggle with. Convincing their kids to share with their siblings, with their classmates, with that little kid in the playground or even to share the toy at the toy store that doesn’t even belong to him.
This lesson becomes especially hard when the sharing rule differs with different sets of people and also teaching the fact that people are entitled to say no if they do not wish to share their belongings. I know how our parents used to just preach that we HAVE TO share regardless of who the toy belonged to, who had it first, how unreasonable the other child is being. No if someone else wants the toy then the ‘right’ thing to do is for us to share, to relinquish, to give it up to that other child and to move on.
In our household, we (Joel and I) are learning not to subscribe to the same age old teaching on sharing that we grew up with. It is tough!
Sharing with your sibling
Sharing with your sibling is almost mandatory in our household (in a perfect scenario :p). The only exception to the rule is if one sibling is playing with a ‘borrowed’ toy and the other sibling (owner) wants it back then it has to be returned. The owner of the toy is also allowed to suggest alternatives if he/she is playing with a particular toy that the other sibling wants. We have to accept that some toys are not ideal for shared usage and they just have to learn to take turns and respect ownership.
Sharing your toys with other children
When playing in a public domain with their own toys, we teach the kids that they are allowed to say no if someone approaches them for the toys. It gets alittle tough when innocent little ones just walk over and pick up a toy (its natural!) and sometimes I have no choice but to intervene. I usually ask Jah if he is ok to share and play together with the child. If it’s a no then that’s ok and I will gently ask for the toy back from the child. I feel bad about this and I hate to be the one to ‘break the bad news’ (always hoping that their parent would step in instead) Although that doesn’t always happen and some parents may also give you the dirty look. However this is one lesson and message that I need to remain consistent with because while I don’t force them to share their toys, I also teach them that they have to accept it when someone says no to their sharing request. Jah still finds it very hard to understand. We are teaching him to ask if he has a ‘sharing request’ but we are also trying to teach him that not all requests end with a yes. At times, he tries to barter trade or negotiate eg. I’ll share my toy with you and you share yours with me. (I’m quite glad that he has this skill) but yes he needs to learn that you don’t win every negotiation :p
So yes while I would hope that my kids are willing to share their toys with each other and their friends and even strangers all the time, I don’t expect it and would never force them to. While they may not be able to rationalize or reason as well as most adults :p I believe their unwillingness to share is no different from ours. It stems from a sense of ownership and I think I can respect that. 🙂
Yes, this post will mainly feature videos because if a picture speaks a thousand words then these videos will tell you the whole story..the story of how a little 3 year old boy manages to blow out his own birthday candles and finally understands the joy of unwrapping presents. Also the excitement of seeing his own Giant egg that he literally could not find the words to express himself …:p
Before we get to the present part, heres a little clip of how Jah attempts to blow out his birthday candles
And now for the presents, first up, unwrapping his present from Aunty Charm and Uncle Yip, it was the longest gift unwrapping I ever witnessed and this was with help from his aunty…they wrap presents very securely nowadays it seems..
Next up, a present from Aunty Rans and Uncle Khai, to ride on the Transformer craze he is in..
And finally the moment we have all been waiting for!!!! The unveiling of the Giant Egg and sorry but the eventually peeling of the playdoh and the mini egg opening is alittle anti-climatic but I’m pretty sure it was fun for the kids 😉 so thats all that matters right?
Wow! Jah had a whirlwind of a birthday weekend! At least it felt like that to Joel and I. And I don’t even know where and how to begin documenting his 3rd birthday weekend, with all the photos and videos that we took. I’m resigned to the fact that some of these blog posts may just have to contain photos/ videos only. So if anyone has any questions about any of the activities/ places/ gifts etc, please feel free to ask and I will try my best to answer…
To kick things off, we celebrated Jah’s birthday (2 days early) in school. With his ‘carefully selected’, ‘mind changed many times over’ – Marvel Avengers cake. See my earlier post on this to understand what I mean. Getting 20 kids to sit patiently around a table for cake was quite a feat so I’m sorry that I don’t have a close up of the cake. It was a 2kg Marvel Avengers cake from Bengawan Solo and it was pretty yummy. I’m guessing we managed to feed the rest of his school for tea-break that day. 🙂 The kids were also really excited about their goodie bags, especially the boys who were declaring to me who their favourite Cars character are.
All patiently sitting around and waiting for the cake