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Friday, July 24, 2015

Ava at Julia Gabriel Playclub II

We decided to sign up for a term at Julia Gabriel after our initial trial session with them. We opted for the bilingual class so that Ava can be exposed to both languages in a more structured play group setting. A 2.30-4.30pm class would be perfect leaving us with some time to explore after class before returning home for dinner. However, Ava's nap time is later nowadays so we went ahead for the 4.30-6.30pm class.

Snap snap! No monday blues.

No more pictures Mummy! Where's the sweet you promised?
Ava missed her nap before her second class, and with only thirty minutes of shut eye on our way to the centre, she woke up cranky and clingy.

The kids were introduced to ketupat (rice dumpling packed in a woven leaf pouch), and did a simple art work of peeling off double sided tape and sticking square shapes paper onto the ketupat. Unwilling to participate at first, I encouraged her by guiding her to peel the edge of the tape and she was curious to try doing it on her own.

The kids were introduced to the color yellow, parts of a duck and sound the duck makes. They painted and used soft feathers to complete their art work. The hands on activities helped Ava remember what was taught and she had fun learning.

There were some free play time in between the different activities. The kids were taught to play together in a group, share the toys and pack the toys together after they are done.

Likes how Ava independently feeds herself finger food and drinks from a cup during their tea break.

This cranky little one finally warms up at the end of the session at the free play area.

Time to hit the streets after class :)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ava at Julia Gabriel Bilingual PlayClub

With Ava turning 20 month old this month, I started looking around for playgroup sessions for her to socialize with other kids and get a glimpse of how playgroup sessions are, before starting her on full day playgroup from next January.

With some positive reviews from friends and customers in the store, I decided to sign up for a trial class for the Bilingual PlayClub at Julia Gabriel Centre. On the day of the trial class, we swapped from the 2pm class to 4.30pm as Ava had a later nap than usual.

Setting out for her first playgroup session
We arrived at Forum Shopping Mall ahead of our session, and did some window shopping. Since running the PriviKids business full time, I hardly spend time alone with Ava. It was really nice to have the afternoon together and the bonding was great. Looking forward to our weekly outings!

Looking all grown up, time for our first dental appointment?
Hello lil pup!
When we arrived at the centre, it was bustling with activities, with kids playing at the play area and classes running. We did our registration, paid for the trial class and was directed to wait outside one of the studios. While waiting, Ava spotted the SPCA dog and I gave her a coin to drop into the box. She came back and asked for 'more' excitedly and repeated this over 10 times.

The Bilingual PlayClub is for kids age 18 month to 3 year old. For this session on Monday, 4.30pm - 6.30pm, there were 10 kids including Ava, and four teachers (two speaking in English and two in Mandarin). It was a very interactive session, with a lot of singing, actions and dancing involved. This is a parent accompanied class so it is a great opportunity to see how your kid behaves in the session alongside kids of the same age group.

Ava is the youngest in the group. She was hesitant to play initially when there was free play while waiting for the other kids to arrive. Keeping to herself and being really reserved, the teachers came to speak to her and showed her how to 'feed' the doll and she slowly opened up.

Although she whined a little when the teachers got too close for her comfort, she did not fuss or cry loudly which I prepared myself for. When Aiden attended classes around the same age at 20 month old, I recall how clingy he was to me, and cried loudly when the class was singing and dancing to the songs.

After each session of playing with the toys, the kids would need to sing along as they keep the toys and help the teachers bring the drawers of toys for storage. When I prompted Ava to help out, she was willing to do so without being clingy to me, this was a big step! I was very pleased and proud to see her becoming an independent little girl.

The theme for the day was the color, purple. We sang songs about the color and pointed out to the various purple items in the studio and all the kids, mummies and teachers wore purple clothes and accessories. The teachers showed how to achieve the color purple with the colors blue and red, in an art work and we sang songs about this. After the singing session, there were hands-on sessions for the kids in creating their very own art pieces.

I was a proud mama looking at Ava listening to the instructions from the teachers and doing her own art work with the teachers' assistance.

There was snack time for the kids and it was another realization for me, at how Ava has grown. She is such an independent little girl as she can feed herself and enjoyed the raisin bread and rock melon fruit the teachers prepared. Being little miss 'tam jiak' (greedy), she asked for 'more'!

There was storytelling after snack time by the English teachers and Mandarin teachers. After which, more singing and dancing and we were directed to the play area outside the studio where there were slides, mobile cars and pretend play for the kids to indulge in.

We enjoyed ourselves at the trial class and I decided to sign Ava up for a term of 10 weeks to see how she progresses. Hopefully this would prepare her for next year!

Do share with us on your experiences with the playgroup sessions or classes you send your kids (age 18 month to 5 year) to.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Blog Train - Favourite 'Me-Time' Indulges

Since becoming mummy four years ago to Aiden, time for myself has taken a backseat. With the brackets of time I have after work, in between meetings, I find myself missing the kids and wanting to spend time with them. I would pick Aiden from the childcare centre earlier when I am done at work and bring him for an ice cream treat or swim in the pool.

However, to recharge and be a better mum to the kids, I think every mum should take time off and indulge in what makes herself happy. Here are my top me-time indulgences:

1) Massages

Nothing beats getting a good massage, where all the knots and tension melt away, helping me feel energized and ready to take on my mummy role again!

2) Pretty nails

It is truly an indulgence these days, stealing some time for a manicure and pedicure. I love this pampering session where I get away from everything else, the kids calling out mummy! and walk out with happy bright nails.

3) Working out & sweating it out

I finally started running again after a long break. Love the wind on my face as I run in the evenings and feeling fitter with each run. I am looking to fit in sessions at the gym, working out at home and swimming into my exercise regime. Hope I keep up with this for the year ahead. 

This is part of a blog train, Mummy's Me-Time hosted by Danessa.

The next mummy on the blog train is Michelle, the founder of The Chill Mom Maternity Concierge where she helps busy first time moms manage the arrival of their babies. You can find her sharing her motherhood experience, mompreneurship and beauty tips at The Chill Mom Blog.

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