A look behind the scene {Our first filming experience with Canon}

Posted by ~Summer~ on 27.1.15
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So, it has taken me ages to pen this down and here is the story of how we got the chance to become the stars of a Canon campaign. Why did I take so long? Firstly, we were told that all pictures and information pertaining to the campaign were embargoed until the television commercial was launched and print ads were published. It ended up that the campaign ran in foreign markets and not locally, so there was a bit of confusion there for us. Well, we did see Vietnamese and Thai versions of our commercial and my friends in Malaysia took screen captures when they saw it airing in the cinemas.

Secondly, I did something which I do quite well - procrastinate! Somehow, other things got in the way and though this was always at the back of my mind, I never got down to doing it. In spite of that, thinking about that experience brings back fond memories and it was a fun learning opportunity for all of us, so I thought I had better write it down now while the memories are still vivid in my mind.

Well, here goes....

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How it all began

When I first read the email from Ken, a producer at Reel Loco Productions Pte Ltd, saying that they were working on a video for Canon Asia and would like to feature me and my kids, I almost couldn't believe my eyes. Me? My kids? In a TV commercial? Are you kidding?

To get approached by a reputable brand that I have supported almost all my life and advertising something that I very much enjoy doing in real life - taking photographs of my kids with a Canon DSLR, it sounded like a dream come true.

Then, on closer inspection, I realised that he meant to say that we were shortlisted, not selected.  A quick check revealed that out of 100 over mum bloggers, they had chosen 30 to present to Canon who then made their top 5 selection. That meant we had around 20% chance of being chosen as the final one. High probability? I didn't really think so at that time and though we had hopes, we didn't have high hopes.



Nonetheless, Ken visited us at our house, got to know about our everyday life, took footage of me interacting with the kids and asked me to give an introduction of myself on camera. You know, I have to thank my four years of Communication Studies in NTU which greatly helped to boost my public speaking skills and self esteem, things which I was lacking previously. So, everything went smoothly for us and we waited patiently, or should I say anxiously, for their decision.

And, of course as you know, with a stroke of luck, we eventually made it through and got selected! Hip hip hooray!

Things went into a mad rush from that point onwards. Firstly, we had to do the fitting and choose our attire, which took a minimum of three sessions even though most of the clothes we used were our own. Secondly, we had to go through the script which I must say came in at the very last minute. Lastly, the one big problem we faced was that my not-so-spacious-and-somewhat-messy house was deemed as unsuitable for the filming location, which was what they planned for initially. So, Ken called me on a weekend when I was in Pulau Ubin to inform me and we had to find an alternative location within a couple of days.



Fortunately, I turned to my brother and sister-in-law for help since they had a cosy, cafe-themed home that would be perfect for the shoot which involved pancakes and cupcakes. They gamely agreed and a quick recce was all the team needed before we confirmed the place as our filming venue. Plus, my sis-in-law and my niece could play a part in the shoot too! Yay, girl power!

The actual filming - Day 1

So, the filming took a total of two days lasting 10 hours each. I was initially worried if the kids could take it but I wanted to put them to the challenge too, after all, if you don't try, you won't know, right? Thankfully, the filming crew was considerate enough to think about the needs of the little one who would need her milk and nap in the middle of the day. So, even though we say it was 10 hours, the kids had plenty of snack breaks, lunch break and rest time in between and most of the time, they chose to play with their cousin in her room. The only one who didn't manage to rest was - erm, me. Because if the scene involved my big girl, I had to be there to guide her. If it involved my small girl, I had to be there to assure her. And if it involved me, I obviously had to be there and I waned to make sure I gave my 100% every time too.



The makeup and styling would take slightly over an hour each day and the last time I had so many people fussing over the way I looked and dressed was during my wedding. Not a hair was to be out of place, not a crumple in my shirt, and not even a drip of sweat should be seen. So, every time the director, Shaun, said "Cut!", there will be people rushing up with handheld fans to make sure I cool down. Once, my sweat could be seen on a grey cardigan I was wearing and I had to change to another one just so it wouldn't show on the camera.



We had two main scenes for the ad - one was the kitchen scene where we did baking and the other was the bedroom scene where we played dress up.

If you have seen the ad, you might think it all looked fun and easy! After all, all the kids needed to do was stack pancakes, decorate them and then eat, right? If you were there to witness the filming process, you would realise how things were far from what they seemed.

Firstly, the crew had to make sure the setup was impeccable and this would mean putting up new curtains, displaying the right decorations, getting new utensils, buying the right ingredients and using the right props. You might not believe this but my sis-in-law and I had to help out in making homemade pancakes and cupcakes which were to be used during the filming (No, they didn't allow store bought ones). I would never have made it without her and was so thankful she got up early at 5am to help prepare everything.

Secondly, those scenes that you saw were only a part of what we filmed. Most of what we did was not used in the final cut at all but that is just the way it is done, right? You choose the best eventually but to get to the best, you would need many good shots along the way. For every scene, we would usually have to do it around 8-10 times, sometimes even more. That essentially meant we stacked pancakes 10x, the girls decorated pancakes 10x, Angel stole a cookie from the jar and ran away 10x, Ariel fed me pancakes 10x, I whisked a batter with a smile 10x, I lifted a camera and put it down 10x, I sprinkled icing on cupcakes 10x, my sis-in-law walked across the kitchen to put cupcakes in the oven 10x, I made Ariel eat strawberries 10x, Angel flipped a pancake 10x, I used the camera to take pictures of them 10x (this one probably 20x) and so on. You get the point. And this was just for the kitchen scene which took up the entire day already. 


Was it easy to get Ariel to look and smile for the camera? No. Thankfully the strawberries and rainbow sprinkles helped to make her happy.

Was Angel cooperative the whole time? No, she was fine at the start but in the late afternoon, she became lethargic and kept saying that she wanted to rest. With all the cameras and lights waiting for her, that was impossible and it took me much to persuade her. In fact, she threw a tantrum and accidentally knocked herself onto a chair, ending up with a bloody lip.

The hubby couldn't be around to help on the first day and that meant the tired me got even more tired after just one day of filming. Nonetheless, when we got home after dinner, we washed up and after Ariel fell asleep, I had a good heart to heart chat with my big girl. You know, for me, it wasn't about the money or fame in taking up this opportunity; it was more for the learning experience and memories we would create as a family. I wanted my girl to take this as an opportunity to push herself beyond her limits and achieve what she thought she couldn't. 

So, we had a long talk about Uncle Nick (how we call Nick Vujicic at home) and how he attained his dreams by not giving up. We reminded each other that life is like running a race and we shouldn't throw in the towel midway but instead, strive and persevere till the finishing line. We encouraged each other to have the willpower and strength to overcome obstacles. We hugged each other good night and promised that we would try our very best to make things work the next time round. It ended up we slept at midnight despite the fatigue but I knew it was worthwhile.

The actual filming - Day 2

Woohoo! We woke up the next day and arrived at the scene with renewed vigour, energy and joy! It's amazing how a pep talk can boost your morale, right?

For this shoot, it was conducted in the master bedroom where we were going to play dress up. Angel had the most important role that day because she was going to be the one leading the show - she had to pick out a hat, high heels and shirts from the wardrobe, walk to the mirror, see her own reflection, play with make up on the bed, put make up on Mummy, and even use the DSLR to take pictures. Comparatively, Ariel had an easier job - walk over to Mummy, jump on the bed and put on oversized hats.

Once again, we had to do the same scene and same action umpteen times and I think that was the challenging part for the kids. I mean, how do you not make them get bored of doing the same thing again and again, especially if it's something that does not interest them?


Personally, I do admire the professionalism of Shaun and how he would allow things to just flow at times in order to capture the kids at their most natural moments. Not everyone is cut out to be a director but he had the talent, personality and passion to be a great one. I also have to thank Ken and April, the bubbly assistant directors who helped to entertain the kids and explained their duties to them in a fun and pleasing way.

For the second half of the day, it was time for me to bring it. Yes, the interview! Believe it or not, I only read my lines that morning itself when I was having my makeup done. But it didn't really matter because in my view, the more you rehearsed, the more phoney it would sound. So, I really wanted it to be as natural as can be. I was also given some open-ended questions on kids and photography, and was told that I could express my views and answers freely. That was something I was actually looking forward to because it did strike a chord in my heart.

However, it ended up that they decided to do away with the Q&A and stick to the script instead for easier editing. So all I needed to do was to read from the teleprompter. Easy peasy lemon squeezy? Well well.



We probably did a total of over 20 takes. Or 30. Ok, I lost count. To give myself some credit, I actually did not fumble over my words or get stuck in the middle of a sentence. However, I had to keep within a time limit and so had to adjust the speed of my speech accordingly. Not easy not easy. Sometimes I would talk too fast and we would have a few seconds left or sometimes I would talk too slow and get cut off at the end. Then, for a good number of times, we had interference from the sound of car horning on the roads, someone passing by with a plastic bag in hand, a door slamming shut, and even the beeping sound of the garbage truck right below us. As long as there was one unwanted noise, that whole take, no matter how perfect otherwise, would have gone to waste.

Then, I also had to deliver two versions of the script - one 60s and one 30s. That took a couple of hours and through it all, I had to try my utmost to maintain a smiling face and a chirpy voice. Thankfully, we managed to get a half an hour break in between while waiting for the final 30s script to be edited. That was when I started to have a chat with Shaun and the cameramen.

They asked me how I felt about the whole filming experience now that I had a better understanding of the process, and were shocked when I revealed that I actually quite enjoyed it. Shaun also asked "Will you do this again if you get another chance?", which he said most people would reject after knowing the amount of tiring work it involved. To his surprise, I readily gave a "Yes, why not?" and when I shared with the crew how I had a one-hour long chat with my big girl last night about overcoming hurdles in life and lessons learnt from the filming experience, they probably stared at me like I was the weirdest parent on earth.

It's a wrap

Anyway, thanks to the hubby who arrived on scene so he could bring the kids out to the playground and grant us peace in the house, we completed the interview segment and you should have seen all the ecstatic and relieved faces when the director said "We are done. It's a wrap." We were extremely lucky because guess what, it started to rain afterwards and with the rain splattering outside the windows, it would have been impossible to film the interview. Personally, I was glad we survived it all and yet I was already starting to miss all the fun and the new friends we made!



Hereby, I just wish to say a heartfelt thank you to the Reel Loco team and Canon Asia for giving us this precious learning opportunity. We gained more than we imagined and even if this might be the first and last opportunity for us, we are glad to at least have this experience for memories. To my brother and sis-in-law, this shoot would not have been possible without you all and your beautiful home, so thank you for your kind help. To my dearest niece, so sorry that your scenes were taken out of the final cut but please know that you did such a brilliant job and you looked so pretty on screen! To the hubby, thank you for your support and confidence in us!

Last but not least, to my darlings, you girls rocked the shoot and did a most amazing job! Remember that we have to be thankful for all the good things that happen to us and hopefully all of us learnt something from this precious experience too! 

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The Photo Shoot

Wait! We were not done after the two days of TVC filming! That is because we still had a photo shoot session on the third day for the print ads. Initially, we thought it would involve all the three of us but just the day before, we were informed that only Ariel and I would need to be in the shoot.



Was it a relief for Angel? Well, not really. In fact, she was pretty much dismayed by it and during the shoot, she kept wanting to run into the scene and even cried badly when we told her she had to come out of it. Awww. 

Photo credits to Nemesis Pictures
Anyway, thankfully this shoot lasted for half a day only because it really wasn't easy to make a toddler stand still on the X marking, and smile, under the hot sun. For Ariel, we had to use bubbles, lollipops and get Daddy Mummy acting as clowns in order to distract her and make her laugh. You know those ads where the toddler looks superty duperty cute, is smiling and looking at exactly the right angle? Well, that IS a lot of hard work to produce. In fact, any ads or TVCs involving small kids need double the effort and time to create.


At one in the afternoon, we finally finished and were free to go! Guess what was the first thing we did? Well, we had a hearty meal in McDonalds to reward the kids for all their hard work. Woohoo! This time, it's really a WRAP!

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Here's the 60sec TVC for those who have not seen it!



I have to say that the best thing we took away from the whole experience was indeed all the priceless memories and we are absolutely grateful for everything. Cheers to a fun, exciting and enjoyable first filming experience!

Disclosure: We received monetary compensation for the filming but not for this post. All behind the scene pics are kindly taken by my sister-in-law, all experiences are true and all opinions are my own.

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12 ways to teach children to save money

Posted by ~Summer~ on 23.1.15
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I remember when I was a kid, I loved to put coins into my piggy bank and there was this indescribable feeling of accomplishment when it became full. My mum had opened a POSB savings account for me when I was very young so I could deposit all my "hard-saved" money and keep for use on a rainy day. If you ask me, I don't really remember how my mum taught me about the importance of saving but with her thrifty ways and frugal personality, she was the best role model for me.

Now that I am a mum, I realise that while it might be easy for me to teach etiquette and safety, when it comes to money matters, it can be a daunting task thinking of where, when and how to start teaching my children. Reports have shown that children as young as three are able to grasp basic financial concepts like value, exchange and choice and most children's financial habits are formed by the age of seven. Do I hear a gasp? Since my big girl is turning seven next year and will be attending primary school where she starts receiving a daily allowance, the start of 2015 is time for me to teach her about the value of money and start instilling a love for saving.

So how do you teach your children to be financially astute from a young age? Today, I'm sharing with you 12 ways you can teach your child to save.


1) Make saving fun and meaningful

Savings should never be seen as a chore to a child. In as many ways as possible, parents should make it a fun and meaningful affair. To motivate my girl to save and make our piggy banks one-of-a-kind, we decided to create our own out of recycled material (for the DIY tutorial, read my Creativity 521 post here). Instead of just one, we made three little pigs - Spend pig is for occasional small treats like sweets or stickers, Save pig is for an expensive item or to be deposited in the bank, and Share pig is used for donating to a cause, helping someone in need or buying gifts for others. So far, it has been working very well for us and I have also started giving Angel some coins regularly to let her think of how she wants to use her money. Guess which pig she chose first? To my surprise, she chose to Share.

2) Talk about money

Children should understand that money is finite and hard-earned. Talking about money can happen anytime and anywhere in a casual manner. Since Angel was a toddler, I would explain to her that money does not fall from the sky or comes out of the machine by magic, in fact, everything comes at a cost. I also encourage her to save water and electricity because these cost money too. Now that she is better able to understand numbers and concepts, we would look at prices and talk about how expensive or cheap the things are when we go window shopping.

3) Set long-term goals

As an incentive to save, I asked her to come up with a wish list of the things she would like to receive at the end of a six-month period. For instance, it could be an expensive Frozen bag or a trip to Legoland. In order to fulfill these wishes, she would need to make effort on her part and save up more before she can enjoy the fruit of her labour. You can pin up the wish list or pictures of the things you child wants to better remind and encourage him/her too.


4) Open a savings account

After Angel turned three and we returned from Sweden, one of the first things I did was to set up a savings account for her. Even though it might initially contain only her red packet money from Chinese New Year or birthday, the important thing was that from then onwards, she began to understand how a bank functions, how money need not be spent right away but can be saved up to accumulate more interest in the long run.

5) Differentiate between needs and wants 

When we are at the store and she sees something she likes, I will ask her "Is this something you need? Or is it something you want?" Then I will explain to her the difference between the two. She might be only five now but I know she is big enough to justify spending decisions and sensible enough to distinguish between necessities and desires. It is also important to set a priority list so that you know the most important things you need to purchase at the moment and not give in to other temptation.

6) Make them work for money 

Being a stay-at-home mum means that I get ample opportunity to let the kids help out with the household chores. As the big sister, Angel is now capable of many tasks including vacuuming the floor, cleaning the table, keeping the laundry, helping to cook and so on. On days that I feel she has done an outstanding job, I will give her a token sum of fifty cents to a dollar as a reward. This helps her to further understand the fact that money has to be earned through hard work.

7) Understand delayed gratification

This is likely one of the most important concepts a child needs to learn. Delayed gratification means that you can reject a smaller, immediate reward so as to receive a bigger and more lasting reward in future. For a start, as the parent, I learn to say "No" and not give in to every whine or request from the kids when they want to buy something on impulse. To make it easier for them to comprehend, I will explain the cost in another context for instance "This toy costs $10 which will be able to buy us 4 bowls of your favourite fishball noodles". For now, both the kids know jolly well that they are not allowed to demand for toys or treats when we go out and they learn to wait so as to enjoy better things next time.


8) Make financial decisions together

Nowadays, I try to let Angel make spending decisions with me when we are buying groceries at the supermarket. We will take a look at the price tags, compare them and based on what we need and what is more value for money, we decide on what to buy. I also let her take charge of paying at the cashier and receiving the change, which really makes her feel like a tiny grown up.

9) Offer rewards

On weekends, if I deem that Angel has put in enough effort to save up for that week, I will give her a small treat like a sweet, ice cream or a sticker. Of course, she can choose to reject all of them and take the money instead. That seldom happens for now. Other than that, I also plan to come up with a matching contribution system and for every $10 saved, she will receive an additional $2 from us. Yes, dollar-for-dollar is not very practical in my view but 20% is not too bad, right?

10) Let them make mistakes

As parents, one of the best ways to teach our children is to let them learn from mistakes. The same applies when teaching them about the value of money. So, I do give Angel the liberty to make her own decisions in spending her own money. On occasions when for instance, she chooses an inferior quality product that lasts for barely a week or uses up her money at the arcade so that she is unable to get a new set of crayons, I then take the opportunity to educate her about the importance of spending wisely. 


11) Learn through play

For young children, one of the best ways to learn is through games. Thanks to the husband, we have quite a handful of board games stashed away in our house and we have begun playing some of them with Angel. I find that games like Monopoly and Game of Life can be useful in teaching her to spend wisely and manage her finance, whereas playing cashier games using real notes and coins can let her learn to count and give her a realistic view of the world we live in.

12) Be a role model

Like I said, my mum was the best person for me to look up to and it's now time for me to set a good example for my children too. The hubby and I might like to take the family on vacations but other than that, we are quite prudent with our finances and do not splurge or spend on unnecessary goods. We also make sure that we put money in our own coin banks regularly in the hope that our kids will learn about the importance of saving too.

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Based on a POSB National Savings Survey, the results showed that 89% of the participants felt that the value of savings has eroded amongst children these days. Though it is the primary responsibility of parents to teach children about the importance of thrift, in order to reignite the habit of saving among children, POSB - with support from the MOE - will be bringing back the National School Savings Campaign 2015 which was first introduced in 1969.

Using the savings stamp card as a tool to save, each primary school student can get their POSB National School Savings stamp card from any POSB/DBS branch, SingPost outlet and at Pacific or Popular bookstores in schools from 2 February 2015 onwards. Stamps costing $0.50 each will be sold will be sold at Pacific or Popular school bookstores and at SingPost outlets. Upon completion of 20 stamps, the student can drop the stamp card into any POSB/DBS Quick Cheque Deposit location which will credit the full value of the stamp card ($10) and a $1 bonus (the bonus is limited to one stamp card per child, per month and only valid for POSBkids account holders. Sign up here for an ePOSBkids account if your child doesn’t have one).

As parents, we can pledge our support and find out more about this campaign here and encourage non-participating schools to join the campaign.

Remember, parents are the biggest influencers and it's never too early to start teaching our children about the importance of saving. So, why not start today?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation between POSB and A Happy Mum. All opinions, tips and experiences are my own.

There IS such thing as a Gruffalo {Giveaway of KidsFest 2015}

Posted by ~Summer~ on 23.1.15
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The first time I heard about the Gruffalo was when we watched the Gruffalo's Child at last year's KidsFest. Yes, seriously. It took me four years after becoming a mum to learn about this monster-like hybrid that is half grizzly bear and half buffalo, who somehow managed to bewitch millions of kids around the world, including mine. Soon enough, we bought copies of the Gruffalo's Child and The Gruffalo, which even came with a DVD so we could watch it over and over again while imagining we were taking a stroll with the Mouse through the deep dark wood.

When we heard that KidsFest 2015 will be showing eight productions over five weeks and one of them is The Gruffalo, you bet we jumped for joy. In fact, to psyche the kids up for the opening show, we not only read the book and watched the DVD, we also conducted an art and craft session which was, of course, to the Gruffalo theme (more fun activities can be downloaded from KidsFest website here).



Now, we were all set to meet the Gruffalo and Mouse! The production, held at the SOTA Drama Theatre, runs for 55 minutes with no interval and is suitable for children aged 3 and above and their families. That being said, I am so thankful there is no minimum age requirement (as long as you present a ticket) because my two-year-old totally enjoyed the whole show too.

Photo credit to Tall Stories

The show turned out to be even better than we had expected and we were kept engaged from start to end. I loved the catchy songs, cute dancing, fascinating dialogue and appreciated the fact that the crew made considerable effort to interest, and amuse, not just the children but adults as well. Yes, we were all so engrossed in the show - we roared, we screamed, we guffawed, we chortled - and it was a good amount of fun, laughter and entertainment packed into one hour. My favourite part was when the Gruffalo jumped off the stage at the end to interact with the audience - that definitely made my kids sit tight!

I love how KidsFest brings favourite story characters to life and enacts scenes from well-loved children's books. It gives me a chance to interact, laugh and bond with my kids, and allows me to relive a part of childhood that I miss.

Thank you, KidsFest, for this wonderful experience! It was a pity we did not get to meet and greet the Gruffalo because there were two excited mini Gruffalos who were seriously hoping to take a picture with him, nonetheless we are definitely looking forward to watching more shows as a family in the future!

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For those of you who are keen to know, here is the line-up for KidsFest 2015. Which is your favourite of all? Read on and see if it is the show I am giving away Cat 1 tickets to at the end of the post!

For children aged 3 and above and their families

1) The Gruffalo (January 22 - 25)

Join Mouse on an adventurous journey through the deep dark wood in this magical musical adaptation of the award-winning book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Mouse can scare hungry animals away with tall stories of the terrifying Gruffalo, but what happens when he comes face to face with the very creature he imagines?

2) The Tiger Who Came to Tea (February 19 - March 1)

The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don’t expect to see at the door is a big, stripy tiger! Following on from his highly successful run in London’s West End, the tea-guzzling tiger makes his Asian debut in this delightful family show packed with oodles of magic, sing-a-long songs and clumsy chaos.

3) Hugless Douglas (February 6 - 8)


Hugless Douglas is a huggable, lovable young brown bear who wakes up one morning in need of a hug.  He tries to find the perfect one but none of them seem quite right. After all, there are so many different hugs to choose from.  But Douglas soon discovers that there’s only one hug that will do - a big bear hug from his mum! Join Douglas in this happy new show, full of laughter, sing along songs and plenty of opportunities to join in!

4) The Princess and the Pea (February 5 - 8)



Imagine a hidden place with forgotten stories, a place where the Princesses don’t know they are Princesses and the Princes don’t really want to become Kings. One wintery stormy night, everything changes as the east wind blows through the castle of secrets, blowing away the cobwebs, lifting high the royal mattresses, ruffling feathers and unsettling all who live there. Then, imagine a real Prince and a real Princess, oh and a pea!

For children aged 4 - 5 and above and their families

5) The Snail and the Whale (January 30 - February 1)


‘How I long to sail’, said the tiny snail. A tiny snail longs to see the world, so she hitches a lift on the tail of a huge humpback whale. Together they go on an amazing journey, experiencing sharks and penguins, icebergs and volcanoes. The little snail is amazed by it all but starts feeling very small in the vastness of the world. Then disaster strikes and the whale becomes beached in a bay. Can the tiny snail save the day?

6) Erth's Dinosaur Zoo (January 29 - February 1)


Meet awesome prehistoric creatures, from cute baby dinosaurs to some of the largest carnivores and herbivores that have ever walked the planet. In this fun and educational performance, you can get up close and personal with an amazing array of creatures from bygone eras, meet a menagerie of insects, mammals and dinosaurs that once roamed free around the world and step into the real science of palaeontology.

For children aged 7 and above and their families

7) Barmy Britain (February 19 - March 1) 



Could you beat battling Boudicca? Has William Wallace met his match? Can evil Elizabeth entertain England? Will King Charles keep his head? Escape the clutches of Burke and Hare and move to the groove with party Queen Victoria! Don't miss this horrible history of Britain with the nasty bits left in.

8) Vile Victorians (February 20 - 28)


We all want to meet people from history. The trouble is everyone is dead. So could you be a Victorian historian? What exactly did a baby farmer do? Can you escape the misery of the mines or the filth of the factories? Do your best to dodge the rotten railway and prepare for the Charge of the Light Brigade! Join the terrible team as they take you on an awful adventure into vile Victorian England.

PERFORMANCE VENUE
SOTA Drama Theatre, 1 Zubir Said Drive, Singapore 227968

TICKET PRICING
Standard tickets priced at S$42, $52 and $62 are now available on SISTIC website. You can also book your tickets at any SISTIC outlet or phone the hotline on 6348 5555.

SAVE WHEN YOU BOOK TWO OR MORE SHOWS! 
Enjoy a 10% discount when you book two shows and a 15% discount when you book three or more. You can also show your purchased tickets or ticket stubs at any SISTIC outlet to receive a 10% discount on additional tickets.

For showtimes or more information on KidsFest 2015, visit their website and Facebook page.

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1) Family Pack of 4 Category 1 tickets to Hugless Douglas (total worth $248)
- Date: February 6th (Friday), Time: 5:00pm, Venue: SOTA Drama Theatre

2) Two KidsFest hampers (each worth S$200)
- includes Magic Maize Fashion Fairies, Jumbo Knockout and Puzzle from ELC, Gruffalo’s child music CD, The Gruffalo story book and a KidsFest goodie bag

This giveaway is open to all readers residing in Singapore only. Winners will have to self-collect the prizes at ABA Productions office located along Upper Circular Road on weekdays during office hours. Three different winners will be picked. Winners will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. To participate, leave a comment in this post with your name and email address. Indicate in the Rafflecopter widget that you have commented and to increase your chances of winning, you can carry out the rest of the options. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: We were invited to the opening show of The Gruffalo at KidsFest 2015 and received complimentary tickets in writing this post. Giveaway prizes are provided by KidsFest and all opinions are my own.

Creativity 521 #61 - DIY Piggy banks

Posted by ~Summer~ on 21.1.15
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Now that it's less than a year before Angel hits primary school and starts taking charge of her own finance, one of my 2015 new year resolutions is to inculcate a love for saving in her.

The first thing you need before you can start to save money is, of course, a coin bank. Call me traditional but I still prefer a piggy bank (I do mean a coin container in the shape of a pig) and knowing how well my girl loves animals, it only justifies the fact that we should get one.

Wait, isn't it so boring just to buy one off the shelf knowing jolly well that there are many others who have the same pig too? So, we decided to make ours instead and we made not one, but THREE LITTLE PIGS. Yes, in today's Creativity 521, we are sharing with you our DIY Piggy banks and show how you can make your own too!

Materials (for one pig):

1) Empty plastic bottle
2) Pink spray paint
3) 2 googly eyes
4) 4 pink beads
5) Pink pipe cleaner
6) Black and pink felt
7) Craft knife
8) Black marker
9) Hot glue
10) Scissors
11) Newspaper

Firstly. wash the empty bottle and remove the label using hot water. Carefully cut away the middle portion so that the bottle can be opened and closed as above. Tip: It would be easier to slot in if you get a bottle that is slightly slimmer in the middle - I used 1.5L Sparkling H-Two-O for this. If you find that the bottle doesn't stay tight, put a piece of sticky tape (folded in a loop so that it is sticky all round) in the adjoining part.

Next, it's time to SPRAY! This was the most fun part of it all though getting the paint to be consistently thick can be a bit of a challenge. Do the spraying outside the house and remember to spread your old newspapers. Shake the can well before spraying. making sure you use the right amount of strength and aim properly. Tip: The smell of the paint can be a little overpowering, so do let your child try only if you know he/she is up to it.

Let the paint dry for ten minutes and apply a second coat of paint to make it more even.


Once the pig is dry, start working on the rest of the body parts. Using two square pieces of pink felt, roll them up as shown above so that they resemble the ears of a pig. Secure the ends using hot glue.

Position and glue the ears onto the pig. Next, use the craft knife to cut out a slot between the ears for putting in the coins.

For the tail, coil a pipe cleaner around your last finger and glue one end to the back of the pig. Tip: The ends of a pipe cleaner might be sharp and dangerous for kids, so make sure you twist and fold them in to make them more rounded.


Glue on two googly eyes and four pink beads for the legs, making sure that the pig can stand upright. For the nostrils, cut out two oval pieces of black felt and stick them onto the bottle cap.

Ta-dah! We varied the eyes, ears and nostrils a little to form our three little pigs named Save, Spend and Share. Now, why do we need three pigs, you may ask. It's similar to the three-jar money system to teach kids to be wise about their money, just that in our house, we prefer to use the three-pigs instead.

So, whenever Angel gets a sum of money, I want her to think about how she wants to use it. Does she want to save it in Spend pig so that she can take it out during the weekends to buy herself a treat? Does she want to put it in Save pig so that the money goes to the bank, builds up in the long run and she can buy more expensive items? Or does she want to deposit it into Share pig where she will donate the money to others or buy goodies to share with her sister and friends?

Yes, I think this girl is big enough to learn and sensible enough to think about her own finance starting from today. She is absolutely thrilled that she gets the freedom to decide and I think that helps to motivate her to start saving up too. In my upcoming post, I will be sharing with you 12 tips to teach children to save money so if you are interested in this topic, be sure to stay tuned and find out more!

Now, will you have a go at making your DIY piggy banks too?

For more craft ideas and DIY tutorials, visit my gallery here.

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To fellow bloggers who have a fun craft session, DIY tip or creative idea to share, come join in the party! Highlight and press Ctrl + C to copy my button above, include it in your post/sidebar and add your link below. I will be hosting Creativity 521 on the 5th and 21st of every month, do hop over for more inspiration. Remember: The sky's the limit when it comes to creativity!

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