Explore nature with kids at Pulau Ubin

17 Jun 2017 We have been wanting to visit Pulau Ubin, which is also known as Granite Stone Island, and thought June school holiday would be a good time for our family to explore and experience nature there. I was expecting rain in the afternoon, as forecasted by the meteorological service. Thankfully, the sky was… Continue reading Explore nature with kids at Pulau Ubin

The Cardboard Challenge at Singapore Botanic Gardens

Inspired by Caine’s arcade, Sarah from The Playful Parents organized The Cardboard Dreams on 5 October 2012, which was also Children’s Day, at Singapore Botanic Gardens. Preparing for The Cardboard Dreams As it was our first time creating a game out of cardboard, we had no idea how to start. With the cardboard challenge event… Continue reading The Cardboard Challenge at Singapore Botanic Gardens

Why children need nature

More than a week ago, we went to Botanic Garden for a stroll and Dot tried climbing a big Tembusu tree but failed at her first attempt. She is not discouraged. She saw a smaller tree yesterday and said that she wanted to climb. I replied her,”This tree is too small. If you climb on… Continue reading Why children need nature

Tree climbing is good for our children

This Monday, Evelyn and I with our girls went to Botanic Garden. It was my second trip there after my recent Saturday trip to Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. This time we slow walked from Botanic Garden MRT to FFT which is from one corner of the garden to the other end. It took us about… Continue reading Tree climbing is good for our children

Hello caterpillar and bye-bye butterfly

One day, we went on a lookout for a cute little lime caterpillar….  As always, J is the one who first spotted the lime caterpillars and grasshoppers living on a lone lime. On closer look, this lime tree is beaming with life – it is a natural habitat for caterpillars, grasshoppers and ants. I can… Continue reading Hello caterpillar and bye-bye butterfly

Go go go go..we are on a SEED adventure

For the month of April, we are embarking on the “Seed” adventure. We will be out and about to check out the seeds in our neighbourhood and beyond. These two books help us to kick-start our “Seed” adventure! A quick search on YouTube led us to this very interesting video about Seed Dispersal. httpv://youtu.be/zbQ1jWl3AOM After… Continue reading Go go go go..we are on a SEED adventure

Our walk at the last ‘kampung’ in Singapore – Pulau Ubin

It has been more than 3 years since I last stepped on Pulau Ubin, the rustic sunny island off northeast of Singapore. Visiting Pulau Ubin brings me back nostalgic memories of those days when I stayed in my grandparents’ zinc roof house chasing a dog, fishing, catching bugs, climbed trees – so carefree and fun.… Continue reading Our walk at the last ‘kampung’ in Singapore – Pulau Ubin

Dot, my little scientist, is curious about everything that captures her attention. Her inquisitive eyes sweep across quickly and spot things that we do not see – so sharp is her sight. She lays her hands to touch and feel things that stir her curiosity. She hits something with another object to hear what sound it produces. She smells some of the leaves like mint, pandan leaves and basil.

Dot is out and about every weekday morning. We travel by bus to my parents’ place. Then we walk about 15 to 30 minutes to her place – this is the time where my little keen scientist is at work.

When she is on her feet, she runs off to examine anything that captures her interest. She is allowed to roam freely within certain range with minimum intervention, unless safety is compromised.

Along the way, she will pick up some berries, flowers, dried leaves and branches that fall by the wayside. With the berries in her hands, she will say, “Feed the birds” and she will go lookout for the birds. Sometimes she will pick the branches and hit the metal structure to produce sound and happily says, “Drum.”

Top: moth cocoons, bottom left: a live beetle on the ground, bottom right: a dead dragonfly

Children see the world on a different level from us. Get down to your children’s level and take a look at what they see. A fresh and different perspective.

She loves to share her exciting discovery with me and I will take the opportunity to share with her more about what she has discovered. I will also point out familiar and unfamiliar things around. “Look at the tree, flowers, leaves!”, “Dot, can you see the cocoons?” or “Wow! Look at what we find here. A beetle.”

Recently we spotted a few insects along the way. These were our unexpected finds. (see images on the right)

As I learn to slow down my pace to adjust to Dot’s, I rediscover the sense of wonder through her eyes. Here I am, learning to learn again.

Dot sings when she is happy. This morning, she sang while we were on our way to West Coast Park for ‘”The Big Draw” organized by Playeum, The Play Museum.

Dot was so excited with what were before her eyes – the baskets of Eric Carle’s books, the look-like underwater world, the colourful paintings,  the playground, the spacious green field and the kites in the sky.

Dot painted her first picture which she called “Bird”. Can you spot it?

Thanks to a mother who shared with me this wonderful event. We also received a free colourful book by Eric Carle – simply love his books!

A fruitful and fun morning!

Check out Dot’s Doodle Gallery for more of her works.


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It’s a kite.

Recently, we went for kite-flying with J, my brother and Dot. It has been so long since we last flew a kite. Anyway, I didn’t fly the kite that day.

I was watching and observing Dot at play on the field. A child learns to know the world through the senses. She ran around the field, knelt down to see the grasses on the field, touched the grasses and stones, took a rock and hit a short rod that was stuck to the ground. She had so much fun exploring the field while J and my brother were trying to get the hand-made kite to fly.

I observe that simple things like little stones and grasses intrigue and excites her senses. They hold her attention longer than the sophisticated toys she has at home.


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“I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw.” – Proverbs 24:32

Recently I’m reminded that I need to learn to observe and reflect more. It’s like seeing the world with a pair of new lens – to gain new insight from a new perspective. Observe. Learn. Apply.

“Within the child lies the fate of the future. Whoever wishes to confer some benefit on society must preserve him from deviations and observe his natural ways of acting. A child is mysterious and powerful and contains within himself the secret of human nature.” – Maria Montessori

Seeing things from a child’s perspective and understanding a child’s motivation for learning need keen observation from the adults, especially parents, in order to provide a stimulating child-oriented environment to cultivate a love for learning.

I’m still learning to observe and observing to learn.



We went trekking at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve recently and spent about 3 hours in this tropical rainforest which is home to many beautiful plants, animals and insects.

When we were on the trail up to the summit, we saw a haversack and a man kneeling down by the side and thought what had happened to him. Later then we realized that he was actually taking pictures of the fungi from some odd position.

We saw a huge army of ant-look-alike insects moving from one side of the trail to the opposite side. What a sight to behold!

On our way back to the visitor centre, this man was still there at the same spot checking out the images he had taken. We decided to join in the fun to get up-close and personal with the fungi. Seemingly insignificant and obscure in this vast rainforest, the fungi was then in the limelight.

We saw a look-like komodo dragon at Hindhede nature park and tried to get a photo shoot but we were too slow. When this lizard saw us, it quickly moved among the trees.

Each trip is a new experience!

Want to try new routes next time we go there.


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