Did you know that there are several free kid-friendly which offer engaging experiences and educational opportunities for the children?
Yes, you read right!
Here are some of the best fun and free places in Singapore you can take your kids to, and some of them are secret places most may not know about! Are you ready for some parent-approved adventures with your children?
#1: Murals in Tiong Bahru
What’s fun: With its vibrant neighbourhood mix of traditional shophouses and modern shops, murals are also a highlight of this town as families embark on a photo-worthy mural hunt! Talented artist, Yip Yew Chong, sketched his childhood memories on these walls, allowing the younger generations a glimpse of life back then. Take your kids on a heritage tour and enjoy a cup of traditional kopi at the Tiong Bahru Market, or head over to Books Actually, or one of the cafes dotting the precinct and enjoy fresh bakes with your children.
Where: Tiong Bahru estate Recommended age: Opened to all Find out more!
#2: Learning Forest Tour
What’s fun: Take a walk on the wild side as your little ones admire the beauty of native orchids and the freshwater wetlands. Fancy having your child explore the forest from a unique perspective? The SPH Walk of Giants would take him through the rainforest canopy 8metres above the ground, as he discovers wildlife habitats on this complimentary guided tour. Happens every Saturday of the month.
Where: Singapore Botanic Gardens, Visitor Services at Tyersall Gate Recommended age: Opened to all Find out more!
#3: Road Safety Community Park
What’s fun: Does this bring back memories of your childhood days, parents? This 24-hour little town takes a spin on role-play as children learn about road safety as pedestrians, cyclists and motorists through traffic games. Hop on a go-kart, bicycle or scooter, and even learn how to refuel with a petrol pump at the Shell Petrol Station. By appointment basis.
Where: 910 East Coast Park, Singapore 449889 Recommended age: 5 years old and above Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 6440 5254
#4: Keppel Centre for Art Education
What’s fun: Built specially for children and families, these dedicated spaces (yes, there are several sections!) encourages parent-child bonding through art appreciation. From the Art Play Scape to the Children’s Museum Workshop and the Project Gallery, kids get to interact with a multitude of art forms and a chance to play with different mediums as their creative juices flow. Let your children create something special through the FREE craft activities available at the various sections too!
Where: National Gallery Singapore 1 St. Andrew’s Road Singapore 178957 Recommended age: Opened to all Find out more!
#5: Police Heritage Centre
What’s fun: Bring along your camera as your aspiring policemen put on a smart police uniform for a photo-worthy moment! Go back in history to find out how different the police uniforms, vehicles and weapons were, as your kids enjoy the interactive tour catered to children. Tours are by appointment only.
Where: New Phoenix Park (NPPk), Tower P, 1st & 2nd Floor, 28 Irrawaddy Road, Singapore 329560 Recommended age: Opened to all Find out more!
#6: Saga Seed Hunt
What’s fun: If you are game for a little treasure hunt around Singapore, how about starting a saga seed collection with the children? Along with a Google Map which details the location of saga trees in Singapore, explore our country at unexpected spots. And what can you do with all those saga seeds? Experiment with these seed craft ideas with your kids!
Where: At multiple locations – refer to Google Map here. Recommended age: Opened to all
#7: The Animal Resort
What’s fun: Revisit the kampong days with your children! Kids will enjoy the rustic setting with free-roaming chickens and ducks, and come close to the third tallest and second heaviest bird, the Cassowary. Do stay around to catch the training session where German Shepard Dogs perform tricks, delighting their young audience!
Where: 81 Seletar West Farmway 5 Singapore 798061 Recommended age: Opened to all Find out more!
#8: Fire Station Open House
What’s fun: How does a fire fighter respond swiftly during a fire rescue? Curious children will have their questions answered by our brave fire fighters, and watch them in action! Little fire fighters will get to put on a fire jacket and hop on the Red Rhino, the mean vehicle for fire fighters. Happens every Saturday of the month.
Where: Various locations Recommended age: Opened to all Find out more!
#9: Land Transport Gallery
What’s fun: Does your child love cars and trains? The LT Gallery offers an experiential and informative opportunity to learn about Singapore’s integrated transport system. Catch a glimpse of the vehicles used in the good old days – find out why the ratten man was an important figure! Book a FREE guided tour by appointment basis.
Where: No 1 Hampshire Road Block 1 Level 1, Singapore 219428 Recommended age: Opened to all Find out more!
#10: Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden
What’s fun: Soak in the lush greenery and explore the pretty blooms at this child-friendly space within the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Dedicated to encouraging exploration and discovery of the environment, this first children’s garden in Asia lets kids embark on adventures on a swaying suspension bridge, slides at the Tree House or get lost in the Melting Maze! Bring along this worksheet to make learning about plants a little extra special!
Where: Singapore Botanic Gardens 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569 Recommended age: Children up to 12 years old Find out more!
With the rising cost of raising children in Singapore, parents can uncover these free places for kids to spend a day or two, and soak in these activities and experiences. After all, resourcefulness is a positive trait for kids to cultivate and learn from the adults when it comes to raising world-ready children, isn’t it?
Are there other free or fun places in Singapore that your family loves? Do share them in the comments below!
How can we raise our children to be ready for the world of tomorrow?
Parenting is a lifelong journey, and as we strive to offer our best to our children, we also wish to prepare them for their future.
Besides a safe and loving environment, we work hard at meeting their needs and support their holistic development. Family values are also integral aspects of one’s character, and parents explore ways to impart good values to nurture responsible citizens of the world.
Let’s find out what values are important to families in Singapore, and how do parents teach their children these great values!
#1: Values are part of our daily lives
In school where Civics and Moral Education (CME) was part of the curriculum, we learned about moral values through stories and examples. At home, parents appreciate the importance of imparting positive values at an early age, as they set the foundation of one’s character which translates into how they interact with others around them.
To that, Evangeline Yang, mother of two, shares her beliefs that her kids should be “man or woman of what they say”. Through speech, behaviour and actions, children pick up these values through those around them. Leading by example is an effective way of getting their children to understand and appreciate the importance of positive values.
Through interaction with others, children may also pick up the “wrong” concepts and ideas which they may not be able to differentiate during their toddler years. As Dominique Goh, mother of three notes, “… don’t put up with those adults or kids who refuse to exhibit such moral standards.”
#2: Learn to be contented, appreciate life and others
My boy is only two-and-a-half years old so he’s at the very self-centred stage. But, we are trying to teach him to share with others, and take turns. We also always stop to admire caterpillars or a yellow bird on our way to childcare, because we need to appreciate all these little things!
— Serynn Guay
To that, experts analyse that toddlers are at the phase where they are self-centred, and it is a normal part of their social and emotional development. During this period, parents can encourage autonomy, and allow toddler to have the feeling of self-control.
In the daily pursuit of wants and needs, we might forget to appreciate what we have, and lose sight about the amount of happiness accumulated. No thanks to the chase of ‘a better life’, or, ‘more things’, where it is always about the grass being greener on the other side, contentment becomes a moving goalpost.
As Andrea Kang Gruszka, mother of two under two-year-old, laments. “I just pray and hope that my kids do not spend their days comparing and always wishing and hoping… I guess I’ll just have to start with myself.”
Appreciate the simple things and being happy with what we already have allow our children to embrace the value of gratefulness and learn to be contented too.
#3: Effort and results are related
Citing examples of her five-year-old and two-year old, Janice Wong shares that as her kids watch her juggle work, home-schooling and parenting, she believes her actions speak for itself in allow her kids to understand that hard work is important. She hopes to instill in them that “nothing free falls down from the sky… don’t take anything for granted. Work hard but smart too.”
Like Andrea and Serynn, Janice is also a firm believer about having her kids dispel any sense of entitlement. The right working attitude has an impact on effort and results too. During the process, having the right manners is a behaviour Janice hopes her young children adopt.
Our P’s and Q’s are integral as they are an extension of how we treat others too.
#4: The value of love springboards to greater depth
Walking the talk is important and for Jessica Kong, she feels that children need to be respected too.
“We believe that when children feel respected and see us respecting others, they take on the same values too,”
— Jessica Kong
Furthermore, children are keen observers who learn values such as empathy and kindness through role model. As parents, what we do and say influences our children more than we might think.
She adds, “We show adequate care for them when they are hurt or when they get punished for a wrong doing. However, instead of asking my six-year-old son not to cry and be a ‘big boy’ when he falls, we offer suggestions to help distract him about the pain. When he gets punished for a bad behaviour, we will acknowledge his feelings after the incident and find out his reasons for his behaviour. We will always hug and remind him that he is loved but the behaviour is unacceptable, and soon realised that he adopts the same method when his sister gets punished. He would empathise and saying (care for her) her the same way we did to him.”
#5: Teaching children the right values need not be 100% serious work
In all seriousness, raising children with positive values may seem like a tall order, some parents find ways to do it through light-hearted manners.
Mother of two, Liang May, says of her husband “who wants to teach his children ‘others before self’ with the underlying virtue of kindness. He does so by example but is also quick to add that ‘your father is the most selfless guy! Why (are) you so selfish!’ when he speaks to our children!”
Clearly a sense of humour is a trait our kids could do with as they get ready to tackle life’s challenges.
“We do this by demonstrating it in the way we work, live and play. Being consistent in our parenting approach is also important. For example, if I tell my son not to spend too much time on his smartphone, I should do the same too.”
— Father of a teenage son, Walter Lim, sums up our effort in nurturing children with the right values
Wise words of advice indeed from fellow parents. After all parenting is a learning journey for both children and adults. When it comes to raising world-ready children, growing up with the right values help develop a person’s character and attitude, as they prepare to step into their future.
What are some values you hope to instil in your children? Do share with us too!
Get ready to point out these shapes: Triangle, Circle, Oval, Rectangle, Pentagon, Heart and Diamond.
Colour them according to the numbers to find out where Albert is playing!
This versatile activity sheet allows children to learn about shapes, colours, numbers while stretching their imagination!
Have your child pick up a pencil to trace those dotted lines and point out those shapes. Fill the shapes with colours according to the numbers and watch as her masterpiece come to life!
This activity sheet encourages the sharpening of visual-motor skill, eye-hand coordination development and numeracy. Take this learning experience further by pointing out to these shapes in your home, or when you are out and about with your child. As your child explores about the shapes in the places they go or things that they have (e.g. toys, household items, at a playground etc.) this helps ignite your child’s curiousity and observation of their environment.
Expect a new discussion and communication opportunity with your little ones!
Don’t forget to share with us your child’s experience with us on our Facebook page!
Starting your baby on solids is a new and fun chapter!
As your little one approaches 6 months of age, they will need additional nutrients from solids apart from breastmilk or formula to support healthy growth and development. Eating across the main categories of food allows your child to obtain nourishment from different food sources to aid in meeting his nutritional needs at various stages.
Parents can encourage healthy eating habits by offering a wide variety of food cooked with different methods and styles. Use fresh natural spices and seasonings to create new flavours. After all, eating is an experiential journey, which allows babies to discover new tastes, textures, smells and sights. Food can be served as purees or suitable sizes for child to handle. Feeding can be done via traditional weaning (spoon-feeding) or Baby Led Weaning. Adult supervision is encouraged during meal times.
Prior to starting on solids, ensure that your baby is ready by looking out for these developmental signs:
Able to sit unsupported
Shows interest in eating e.g. grabbing food, salivates when he sees food
Has lost the tongue protrusion (thrust reflex) where food is automatically pushed out from his mouth
Is willing to chew
Develops ‘pincer grasp’ and picking objects or food up between his thumb and forefinger
As baby’s digestive system are still developing, it is important to ensure that food is thoroughly cooked. Raw food should not be served to babies as they pose a risk for bacterial contamination.
Print this guide and keep it on the fridge as a handy reference. We hope you enjoy the solids journey as much as your baby!