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Showing posts from May, 2016

Parenting by Default

These past couple of weeks have been crazy for us. First there were the assignments that I had to complete for my postgraduate course, then there were the workshops that we were suddenly asked to conduct, and finally there were the bazaars that we attended to sell our online store items. It was an extremely busy season, and many of our working hours were occupied with meaningful things; that included taking care of our two little boys and managing both their learning and non-academic needs. One morning,  my older son came to me after I had just returned home from an  early class.  "Daddy," he said. "I'm so glad you're home. Can we go to the Gardens by the Bay?" he asked hopefully.  With a sadness in my heart, I replied, "Sorry Z. Daddy has to go back to work later. Maybe after I come back? Oh. Actually Daddy and Mummy have an important meeting tomorrow and we need to prepare. I don't think we can go today. Er.... How about another day?" &q

Sound of the Bellz: A Review of Singapore's First Sensory-Friendly Concert by Ministry of Bellz

It was a concert with a difference. The lighting was at 50 to 70 per cent of a regular concert setting; the sound was at 40%. But the melodic chimes of the handbells echoed on. And all of it was music to our ears! Featuring music from famous musicals such as "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Lion King", and celebrating the efforts of students around the country, the concert was put together by local music group Ministry of Bellz (MOB).  The melodic chimes of the handbells. A delight to the ears. Creating a sensory-friendly environment to help children with special needs enjoy the arts. What was so special about this concert was that it was Singapore's first sensory-friendly concert; intended to help children with special needs appreciate theatre and the arts. Damien Lim, Founder of MOB, wanted the show to be inclusive so that children with special needs could enjoy the concert. He worked with the National Arts Council and removed elements from the con

White as Snow: Giveaway of "Snow White" at the ACT 3! Festival for Children

When the Brothers' Grimm first published the tale of a beautiful princess and her encounter with seven vertically-challenged individuals, they did not expect the story to be a resounding success the world over; with numerous adaptations of the tale, not least by the great animation spinmaker Walt Disney. Indeed the German tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwalves  has been retold countless times, with several modern adaptations hitting the big screen in recent years. ACT 3 International has chosen to bring in a Canadian version of the tale for this year's ACT 3! Festival for Children.  Elaborates the Artistic Director of ACT 3 International Ruby Lim-Yang, the festival is imbued with themes that are "relevant for today's children", but yet do not "lose sight" of the " artistry, craftsmanship and beauty of live theatre, as well as the fields of visual and literary arts". Snow White , to be run daily from 24 to 29 May 2016, will be p

Beauty is Fin Deep: A Review of I Theatre's "The Rainbow Fish"

What happens if your BFF suddenly declares that you are boring and not worth her attention? What if this was the same friend that you had always looked up?  I Theatre's 15th Anniversary Production, "The Rainbow Fish", takes you to a world of adventure and exploration; of friendship and of community. Under the Sea. The fishy community welcomes you to the show! Enter Rainbow. She's a dazzling display of beauty; especially given her lovely shiny scales. And she's no less than a celebrity to all the other fishes, which makes her proud and arrogant. But the final blow is when Rainbow decides to insult her long-time fan and supporter, Small Blue, leaving him... well let's say our little friend was  feeling  more than a little blue.... What if no one ever talked to her again? Is it too late for Rainbow? Will she live a forever friendless life? "Bubble Bubble...." says the Starfish. "I can't hear you...." I Theatre's Brian Sewa

The Way Home: A Review & Giveaway of Squirky the Alien #4 & #5

Snow, snow and more snow.... That's what the travellers Squirky the Alien, Emma his Sister and Mr Quentin their friend, find on Planet S, the next planet in the quest to find Squirky's birth parents. And then, they find the huge letters written in the snow....  HELP ME! Where is My Mama , the fourth book in Melanie Lee's series, The Adventures of Squirky the Alien , deviates slightly from the main adoption plot, and turns to how children can learn to consider the interests of others before themselves. This, says Melanie in the forward, is what she had been learning in the months prior to writing the book, that "helping others is often an indirect way of helping yourself".  Our little boys Z and E posing with Squirky 4 & Squirky 5. The boys love the Squirky series! As a parent and an educator, I am in strong agreement with Melanie. There are many students whom I meet who adopt a "me first" attitude towards others when in school. And, ob