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Family Fun

Top 5 outdoor playgrounds to explore with your children this June Holiday

With the upcoming June holidays, spend some precious family time together with your children. We have come up with a list of 5 outdoor playgrounds that are unique and your child would definitely enjoy.

1. Clock Playground

Parents who are nostalgic about the past can consider bringing your children to the clock playground located in Bishan. Built in 1980s by HDB, it is one of the rare playgrounds that is still covered with mosaic. Kids could find a cuckoo clock with ladder and sit on the rocking horses atop metal springs. Parents with young children should accompany their child as he plays since the pit is filled with sand and not rubber.

 

 Source: StraitsTimes

Location: 514A Bishan Street 13

2. Vertical Playground

If your child is tired of playing with conventional playgrounds, challenge him to a vertical playground located just a stone throw away from the clock playground. Known as the wallholla playground, it is the first vertical playground to be installed in Asia. Don’t worry if your child is too young for it as we’re confident that he would find one that is suitable for him in the three stories structured playground.  Parents who are young at heart can also explore this playground! We’re sure that your child would have a time of his life exploring this playground whilst building up his courage.

Source: NewAge Parents

Location: 158 Bishan Street 13

 

3. Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden

If you are thinking of picnicking while letting your child enjoy some time playing outdoor, Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden may be the right choice for you. Located within the Botanic Garden, the playground take up four hectares, making it the largest children’s garden. Parents can explore the treehouse, maze and the water play area. Those with older children can consider playing the forest trampoline and even the zipline before enjoying the picnic within the Botanic Garden.

Source: Littledayout

Location: 481 Bukit Timah Road

4. Kim Keat Avenue Playground

If your child is an avid fan of dinosaur, then Kim Keat Avenue Playground would be the right choice for you!  This playground is not just popular kids, but also with the adults. Both parents and children can choose to take pictures with the mama T-Rex, or pose with the 5 dinosaur eggs. Alternatively, younger children can also climb onto the younger T-Rex.

Source: YoungParents

Location: 27 Kim Keat Avenue

 

5. Yishun River Green Playground

If you are keen on letting your child explore unique forms of architecture, you might be interested to bring him to Yishun River Green Playground. This playground features crooked houses that is made up of top quality weather proof wood. There is also a mini pool art installation nearby that is made up of 16 pads. Kids can step on these pads and watch it change colors. But take note that the lights would only be lit up in the evening, so consider bringing your children after family dinner!

Source: Singaporemotherhood

Location: 329 Yishun Ring Road

 

 

 

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Babies Babies Family Fun For Parents Toddlers Toddlers

Fun Activities Parents can Engage Your Babies

Between the age of 6 to 12 months old, your little one is more alert and eager to explore the world. Your curious baby is all ready to play and interact with you, as he/she develops physically, emotionally and mentally. Some of the fun activities parents can engage your babies in, as they work their motor, social and sensorial skills.

 

#1 Listen to Music

Expert share that music ignites multiples aspects of child development by influencing the brain. Playing some soft background music can encourage better sleep too. During your baby’s awake time, try playing nursery rhymes, classical music, or even some Jazz.

 

#2 Have Fun with Peekaboo

Now you see mummy, now you don’t! Watch your baby’s cute expressions as he/she looks forward to seeing you re-appear from behind that hanky. They are learning about object permanence while you’re at it.

 

#3 Clap Those Hands

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands! Clap along as you sing to familiar songs, or hold your baby’s hands to teach him how to clap. Before long, your little munchkin will be clapping and dancing with glee as he works those motor skills too!

 

#4 Stack Them Up

Blocks, containers, books or cups – simply stack them up! show your little one how to build that tall tower, and he will be amazed and excited to do the same too. Little eyes and fingers get to sharpen focus as they learn about cause-and-effect – yes, you guess it.  Knocking them down is part of fun too!

 

#5 Talk To Each Other

Communication is an essential skill, so start talking to your baby. He/She may not be able to understand just yet, but constant listening of words exposes your little one to language and emotions. Don’t forget to pause and listen to him/her too – those babbles and coos are their way of communicating with you, so let him tell you about his day too!

Categories
Babies Babies Family Fun For Parents Toddlers Toddlers

4 Easy Right Brain Activities to Play with Kids at Home

A child’s brain develops at exponential speed from during the first three years, with the right brain being more dominant until around three years old.

The left brain is responsible for controlling the right side of the body. Functions include logic, language, reasoning, Science and Math, number skills and analytical thought.

The right brain is the artistic and creative side of the brain and its functions include art awareness, creativity, imagination, intuition, holistic thought and music awareness. Also, the right brain enables a child to learn subconsciously and has the potential to process large amount of data at super-fast speed, unlike the left brain. This in turn translates to better memory retention ability.

Besides attending right brain training sessions, parents can partake in simple right brain activities at home with your kids too. The key to right brain activities is the fast speed technique which engages young kids while developing their focus. Have fun playing together!

Right Brain Development Activity #1: Link Memory
Link memory is a set of picture cards with little relation to each other. The game is played by creating a link between the cards and developing a story. This game encourages creativity and triggers the brain’s potential for photographic memory by stimulating the right brain. This activity is suitable for children who can vocalise themselves and identify the items in the photographs.

Have fun creating funny stories with pictures that are part of the Link Memory activity, which helps stimulate the right brain through visuals and memory.Source.

Right Brain Development Activity #2: Flashcards

Flashcards are sets of pictorial cards that are shown in quick succession to the child. It is accompanied by vocalisation of the description of the photos. You can stimulate your child’s right brain by flashing the pictorial cards at a rate of 2 cards per second, as opposed to flashing slowly which exercises their logic brain; the left brain.

This activity can be done even before the child recognises the items in the photographs. As the cards are flashed quickly, the right brain is stimulated by the quick speed. Their photographic memory is enhanced when they try to recall the cards as they are being flashed. It is best to use flashcards with large and colourful pictures without any words.

Right Brain Development Activity #3: Visual Memory
Visual memory games are played like this: First, you get your child to look at images that comprise of different shapes and colours. Afterwards, your child is supposed to replicate them from their memory by drawing them out or use shape blocks to form the exact same image that was shown to them.

Visual memory games help strengthen your child’s right brain.
Source: Pinterest

Right Brain Development Activity #4: Tangrams

Tangram puzzles are seven shapes cut from a square that can be rearranged to form other shapes. You can print out puzzle guides for your older child to follow, or let your child be creative and use the shapes to create their own figure while looking at the tangram image.

To support healthy brain development, offer children a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals through nutrient-rich meals. Apart from superfoods and food that are high in healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids, parents can choose age-appropriate formula milk powder to supplement children’s diet to obtain the essential nutrients.

Do you stimulate your children’s right brain development at home too? Share with us your kids’ favourite right brain training activities in the comments below!

Categories
Babies For Parents

Why You shouldn’t take Your Baby’s Food Refusal too Seriously

So you offer your baby something once and they make a face. “ok – no biggie, we try again tomorrow!  Oooh they made the face again. Hmm…maybe they don’t like it?  Let’s try one more time.  GAHH!  They barely even touched it!  Should I try again?  Ugh….I give up….guess she just doesn’t like blueberries!”.  <<the inner dialogue of a frustrated mom>>

 

But no mommy…not true!  Babies have so many reasons for the funny faces they make when they eat (that sometimes looks like disgust😬).  Think about it – it’s a new process, and they are being hit with new flavours left, right and centre.  A new taste can be nothing more than a surprise that throws them off guard or maybe was bit overwhelming at the time but is something they can get used to.  That gag you saw may be just because the texture is new or they lost control of it in their mouth, not because the taste was bad to them.  Or maybe there is no funny face but just a general disinterest in a food.  That’s ok!  It doesn’t necessary mean they don’t like it (even if they don’t – it’s all the more reason to keep offering!).  It could be a multitude of other reasons (like the examples above🖕).

 

It’s so hard to know why they don’t eat something one day – so the suggestion is skip over trying to label the reason and just keep moving on!  Sometimes it’s easy to stop offering a food after 2, 3 or even 5 tries. But especially when babies are young, keep on exposing them to a food over and over and more often than not, they start eating it one day when you least expect!

 

Share with us what food does your baby not love yet?  How many times you tried re-offering it?

 

 

Categories
Babies For Parents Toddlers

Bottle-feeding Guide: How to choose the right teat for baby

Are you wondering how to pick the right milk bottle teat for your baby?

If your baby is drinking breastmilk or formula milk powder from the bottle, teats also known as bottle nipples are one of the bottle feeding essential items parents need to prepare for.

Most parents face a dilemma when it comes to choosing baby milk  bottles and teats. Which type of bottle teat is closest to a natural nipple? More importantly, what type of teat will your baby accept?

You may find that your baby refuses to drink from bottles and you could end up having to run through many brands before settling on one that your baby prefers.

Material and Lifespan of Bottle Teats
In the market, bottle teats are mostly made from latex or silicone. Both materials have their benefits, and you can switch between them.

Latex is a natural material that is softer and more flexible than silicone, which can make it easier for babies to adapt to. It is more resistant to bites. If your baby has a hard time adapting to latex teats, boil it in milk for 3 minutes to get rid of the taste.

Latex is a natural material and it breaks down more quickly compared to silicone, which is a synthetic material. There is a small possibility that your baby may be allergic to latex and thus, unsuitable to use latex teats. When latex teats break down, the teats may feel sticky.

Choosing the right milk bottle teat for your baby: silicon vs. latex

Silicone is a manmade material that is more durable compared to latex. It is clear, firm and tends to be more resistant to temperature, exposure to sunlight and fatty foods. It is heat resistant, meaning that it can undergo many rounds of sterilisation without developing cracks that could breed bacteria.

During wash of milk bottle teats, always ensure that they are thoroughly washed without any breastmilk or formula milk powder residue left behind. Regardless of the material chosen, teats should be replaced every one to two months, or immediately when you notice bite marks, cracks or damage.

Latex teats are said to feel more like a real nipple.

Shapes of Bottle Teats
Bottle teats come in all shapes and sizes. Some are slim, some are bell shaped and some have a flat end on one side. Baby bottle manufacturers are constantly working to produce a bottle teat that most resembles the feel of a natural nipple.

There are teats with an anti-colic feature, where a vent in the teat allows air to escape when the baby suckles from it. Certain bottle teats have a vacuum and require the baby to suckle harder in order for the milk to be released.

Your baby may take a while to accept a bottle teat, so you may have to get different types of teats for your baby to try.

Flow rate of Bottle Teats

As your baby grows, they will be able to consume more milk and thus, a teat with a corresponding flow rate should be used. A flow rate is how fast the milk goes into your baby’s mouth. The flow rate depends on the number and type of holes in the tip.

Although baby bottle manufacturers categorise their teats by age, it should be noted that the flow rate suitable for your baby may not correspond to his or her age. If you notice that your baby is sputtering and choking, switch to a teat with slower flow.

Conversely, if your baby is frustrated and sucking hard, change to a teat with faster flow.

Teats for newborns have a slow flow and have one hole in the teat. The more holes in the teat, the faster the flow rate. Fast flow teats may have as many as four holes, depending on the brand of teats.

Mothers who direct latch and bottle feed at the same time prefer to continue using slow flow teats as it means that the baby has to suckle harder in order to get milk. Nipple confusion is a common concern for mums who breastfeed and bottle-feed their child.

There are vary flow teats in the market where the flow increases depending on how hard your baby suckles.

Each baby has their own preference, and you should be prepared for some trial and error across the different teat brands before your baby finally settles on one.

Which type of teat does your baby prefer? Let us know in the comments!

Categories
Babies Babies For Parents Health & Nutrition Pregnant Pregnant

Pregnancy Weeks 6-9: Congratulations on your pregnancy!

Congratulations! You may have just found out that you’re expecting and the news may be a little shocking. Pregnancy symptoms are starting to become more obvious and you may experience morning sickness. Some women have a severe type of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum, characterised by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss and possibly depression. Thankfully, this condition only affects about 0.3% to 3.6% of pregnant women.

Between week 6 to 9 of your pregnancy, your baby will grow from the size of a sweet pea into the size of a peanut.

Week 6: Sweet Pea
At six weeks pregnant, your gynaecologist may be able to pick up your baby’s heartbeat using an ultrasound probe. Foetuses are measured crown-to-rump, and at six weeks old, 4.5mm. Your baby’s face is starting to take shape.

 You may be starting to experience full blown pregnancy symptoms including nausea, fatigue, breast tenderness, bloating and gas. You may have heard that pregnant women need to “eat for two”. However, that doesn’t mean you need to consume two adult servings each meal. Rather, it means that you should be consuming more nutritious food to support your pregnancy.

Week 7: Blueberry
A mucus plug is a protective barrier that forms at the opening of your cervix, sealing and protecting your womb from bacteria. This makes its appearance at Week 7 and will stay until it falls off during labour. Your baby’s brain has developed and the arm and leg buds are present. Arm and leg buds are webbed feet and hands which will separate as baby develops further into fingers and toes.

 The amazing thing is that even at the size of a blueberry, your baby is already 10,000 times larger than at conception! You may find yourself frequenting the toilet more often than usual due to hormonal changes, but this doesn’t mean you should cut back on water! Instead, aim for at least 10 cups of fluids daily to stay hydrated especially with the hot weather in Singapore.

Yoga can be relaxing and calming for pregnant women. Consider attending a prenatal yoga class to learn yoga poses safe for pregnant women.

Week 8: Raspberry

Week 8 sees the development of all your baby’s essential organs. Pigment is forming in your baby’s eyes, giving them colour. Your baby is growing quickly, about 1mm per day. This measurement includes the growth of your baby’s hands, legs and other body parts. Your womb is expanding to accommodate the gradual changes in your womb.

Eating right in pregnancy is key. For a start, “eat a rainbow” to maximise the essential vitamins and nutrients that your body requires. Eating a colourful variety of fruits and vegetables also aid in smooth bowel movements and combats against constipation, a condition that many pregnant women suffer from.

You’ll notice that what you used to like now makes you want to retch, and even start to crave food that you never used to enjoy!Your taste buds might also turn bland making you lose interest in eating.If they are not foods to avoid during pregnancy, it’s okay to indulge a little to satisfy those cravings. Do watch out for high sodium or high sugar foods and go easy on them especially if there is a family history of health risks.

Sushi and sashimi are best avoided during pregnancy as they contain raw ingredients which may increase the risk of food poisoning.

Week 9: Peanut
This week, your baby looks less like a blob and more like the shape of a baby. It somewhat resembles a peanut and is also the size of one. Your baby’s muscles are forming and gaining strength, but you won’t be able to feel your baby kick for at least another month or two.

The good news is that for most pregnant mums,morning sickness starts fade over the next few weeks until the placenta is completed. If standard meal portions make you lose appetite, try splitting your meals into several nutritious bite-sized snacks throughout the day. Keep your arsenal of healthy snacks such as nuts, grapes and berries, small cubes of pasteurised cheese and low salt crackers close by. Eating well to obtain balanced nutrients help support healthy development of your foetus and promote a healthy pregnancy too.

Your gynaecologist may also have prescribed prenatal supplements to support your diet and baby’s growth. Folic acid, DHA, and calcium pills are some common supplements pregnant mums take from the early weeks of pregnancy.

You’re nearing the end of your first trimester! What is your preferred method to combat pregnancy symptoms? Let us know in the comments!