Edusave Good Progress award for Sean

It is said that parents have a close bond with their firstborns – I think it’s because every experience they go through is so new to us as well.

We received a nice surprise in December – Sean was awarded an Edusave Certificate of Academic Achievement for coming in the top 25% in his cohort and an Edusave Good Progress Award for being the 10% in his cohort for improvement in academic achievement and good behavior.

He worked hard last year – I pushed him a fair bit, especially for his final year exams – so I thought it was a well-deserved award. I didn’t think he did THAT well (in fact there were many others in his class who did much better) but still, it is a very nice feather to add to Sean’s cap! 🙂The award presentation ceremony was held at our neighbourhood CC last weekend. There were about 120 schoolchildren from many primary and secondary schools (Sean was the only one from his school) and a noticeable feeling of pride in the air.

When Sean’s turn came, we accompanied him up to stage to shake hands with MP Mr Chong Kee Hiong (whose four sons are coincidentally from the same school as Sean) and  quickly snapped a family photo. I was quite impressed by how quickly all the awards were handed out – all done in 1 hour!

Ryan and Jo were super excited to see Sean receive the award. Now they are all motivated to work hard in school 😉 The prize was a generous $100 cheque in Sean’s name. The boys were exhilarated – we brought them to Popular the next day where Sean bought comics for himself and yoyos for his brothers and decided to save the rest.

Well done, Sean. May you continue to persevere and work hard to achieve great things in life!

Back to school

It’s 2018! Happy new year!

Both Sean and Jo headed back to school on 02 Jan 2018 (Ryan has 3 extra days of holiday). I had to chase them to bed early the last few days of holidays so they could adjust to waking up in semi-darkness again.

No pics of Sean because it is always a mad rush to get him to finish his breakfast and get out of the door in the morning. He will be starting P3 this year with new teachers and classmates – I am both nervous and excited for him!

This year, I hope to groom him to be more independent and diligent in keeping up with school work. Few changes in store for him this year: 1) He will be sitting for Grade 3 Piano (both Practical and Theory) which means lots of piano practice everyday; 2) He will continue with his badminton CCA but will stop soccer training on weekdays and 3) He has stopped Berries but will be going to Tien Hsia twice a week. The syllabus is more aligned with what he is doing in school and one of the two days will be dedicated to composition writing and oral (which I have no idea how to help him prepare for at home).

Jo starts N2 this year which shouldn’t be a big change for him as his form teacher and classmates are pretty much the same as last year. Ryan happily tagged along with me and accompanied Jo on his first day.

Jo wasn’t really too happy but the early wake-up call and the fact that Ryan had no school. As the morning went by, Jo grew more and more weary of the crying children around him (mostly from N1). He started to cry on and off and refused to let Ryan or me out of his sight. Aiya why are first days of school so distressing?!He fared a bit better during snack time and when the teachers led the children in songs with a parachute. But the waterworks restarted when it was time to go home so my obliging sacrificial lamb Ryan had to accompany him on the bus ride home.

Jo was very teary and stressed for the rest of the day. His many questions included: Why must I go to school? Why can’t you be there with me tomorrow? Why doesn’t Ryan have to go to school? Why can’t adults go into the classrooms? What if I am scared and you are not there? Poor baby.

He cried and refused to put on his uniform the next morning. I decided that my presence only made things worse so I kissed him goodbye (still howling) and left for work. Ryan reported that he cried and screamed all the way to the bus with my helper. Eeps.

Later that day, I received a video (from the class Whatsapp chat group – there was none for Sean or Ryan in their four years of kindergarten!). There were a small handful of children still crying in class and I saw Jo sniffling and feeling sorry for himself (so cute and sad) but the lovely teachers kept dishing out hugs and looking out for them. He has wonderful teachers this year – he got the same form teacher as last year and his other teacher was Sean’s Chinese teacher in N2. Jo was MUCH better at home that day and even said he is ok to go to school the next day.

No more drama from Day 3 onwards. HURRAY!

I hope Jo will have a good year of learning ahead. Carrying on from N1, Jo is in a ‘special’ Chinese class where everything is conducted in Chinese. The parents fought really hard to keep the class (there were talks of scrapping the morning session at first – which stressed me out so much).  He still refuses to speak Chinese but will surprise me occasionally with big Chinese phrases or a complete Chinese song!

Day 4 – Finally, it’s Ryan’s turn to go to school. Look how happy they are together!

Ryan is in K2 this year so it’s their last year in kindergarten together. He is a smart and confident boy who clearly enjoys school. One thing I hope to do this year is spend more one-on-one time with him (sorry, my neglected second child) and encourage him to do more reading for both English and Chinese (I think Sean was actually more adept than him at this age) as well as do more Math work in preparation for P1.

Have a good school year ahead, boys!

December holiday art class with Global Art

How was your December school holidays?

My boys had a very relaxing break at home (before we left for Taiwan, that is). They are turning out to be such homebodies (just like their Mama). I think that’s what holidays should be like – sleeping in, no schedules, no assessment books, just playing and reading at home. All day long. Too bad I had to work as usual 😉

Every holiday, I try to let the boys try out new-to-them activities and develop new skills.

This December holiday, I signed the boys up for Visual Arts holiday classes at Global Art in our neighbourhood.  Somehow I realise I always sign them up for art-related holiday classes – Mama loves art, that’s why!

The boys sometimes tell me in frustration they don’t know how to draw things so I thought it would be good for them to go for proper art lessons. I have also been wanting to let them try out different art mediums. They have been painting with acrylics for most of their past holiday classes so this time they would be working entirely with oil pastels.

My boys enjoyed the 1.5 hour daily lessons at Global Art very much, so much so that they asked me to extend it from 8 to 12 lessons!

I appreciated that the class was small (actually just the two of them in the mornings) and pitched at their level. The lessons were very structured and the teachers patiently taught them fundamental skills such as how to take care of their materials, colouring in gradients and basic sketching techniques.

I was amazed by the beautiful artwork that the boys produced over the month of December. Wow the colours really do pop with oil pastels!

Ryan, in particular, really took to the classes. I think they appealed to his OCD nature – he took great pride in taking care of his oil pastels and keeping bag in a neat order. He liked that there was a certain technique to colouring and sketching neatly. I may consider signing him up for regular classes to develop his love for art.

Some samples of Ryan’s artwork (he told me the teacher put up one of his artwork on the walls so it is not pictured here):

Sean is a bit more of a free spirit. He doesn’t have much patience for colouring or drawing neatly but he is more fearless which means he is not afraid of making mistakes and he will draw whatever his heart desires. He did a great job and I really liked his freehand sketches, messy lines and all.

Still begs the question, who will be the better artist among the two of them? 😉

I sure hope the boys learnt a thing or two about colouring and sketching. Since we already paid for all the materials (which admittedly cost a pretty penny) and the boys had fun, I think we may go back again during the holidays.

PS. This is not a sponsored post. Just sharing our experience.

So this is Christmas

How was your Christmas?

As per tradition, we had a simple homely affair with family on Christmas Day. We made sure we snapped some pics while the children were still chirpy and somewhat cooperative. Love how festive we looked! Foops just got a ‘smokeless’ grill so all we did was buy some groceries, marinate the chicken wings and we just BBQ-d everything on the grill. Easiest Christmas dinner ever! Really proud how minimal we kept the gift-giving this year. The adults figured we already have everything that we need (and much more). Plus, Foops and I already bought whatever we wanted during the Black Friday sales (I got a slow juicer) so no gifts for the adults!

Even for the kids, I kept it to one big gift per child and it had to be something they could all play together. We already got Heely shoes for the boys. We gave Sean a Roahl Dahl book set, Ryan a big magnet toy set (from Taobao) and Jo a wooden soup pot to replace his broken one. They also got books, t-shirts, water bottles, board games from family and friends (thank you). Sean was a real sweetheart this year. He got it into his head that we needed gifts so he spent the whole morning wrapping up gifts for Mama and Papa. He emptied his dinosaur coin bank and wrapped up $2 worth of coins for each of us with a note (mine read ‘Thank you Mama for buying things for me. Love, Sean’). He also included a pack of biscuits and wasabi seaweed for Foops – he did ask me if I liked wasabi and I said just a little so he didn’t give me any. Haha!

Sean also chose two board books from our shelves (after reading a couple) and wrapped them up for baby E. So sweet.

As for me, my favourite gift of all was from my sister-in-law. She made a lovely Scrabble board with our names. Very thoughtful of her. I must find a nice place to display it 🙂

Merry Christmas to one and all. Enjoy the holidays!

Counting down to Christmas

December is here. Can’t believe the year has flown by just like that!

The older boys has been telling me they wanted to me to make them a toilet-roll advent calendar filled with Pokémon figurines similar to last year’s. So touched they still remember it so clearly. Believe it or not, they still play with the figurines everyday so I just had to set aside time to make it again.

I tried to include new Pokémon figurines that they didn’t have – I ordered a random bag of figurines from Qoo10 but thankfully most were new to my boys!

In my haste (I put it all together in one night), I forgot to write down Christmas-related activities for them to do and include them in the calendar. Gah! Which was just as well as we wouldn’t be in town for the most of Dec.

Ah well, the boys loved the calendar and it was the one thing they really look forward to every morning!

***

I really wasn’t planning to get a tree this year – I made it clear to everyone we would not be having a tree and the boys were okay with the decision. I just felt it would be such a waste as no one would be home and I didn’t want to come back from our holiday to a brown tree!

BUT after we got back home on the 21st, I did feel kinda bad for not having a tree. My boys are only little for a short while – Jo can’t even remember our last Christmas so now his memories of Christmas would not include a tree at all. Should we get a small plastic tree? But I didn’t want to think about where to store it. Maybe we could get a small not-too-expensive one from the nursery? We actually drove to the nursery after dinner one night to see if there were any trees on sale. But nothing was on sale and there were no decent small trees either. I really didn’t want to spend more than $100 on a tree we would be throwing away few days later.

Then on the Christmas eve morning, we were at Cold Storage buying groceries for dinner with some friends. Lo and behold, there were a few trees on clearance. $19 for a perfectly good-looking 6-foot tall tree! We just had to lug it home of course 😉

Now this is Christmas as we know it!

I was very happy to take out all our Christmas tree décor and ornaments. I have a habit of buying cute/unique ornaments whenever I see them so we have amassed a nice albeit a little mismatched collection over the years.

This year, we debuted a few new ones including beautiful personalized snowflakes from Urbanlil (thanks for the thoughtful gifts every year, Aunty S!), plus a couple of wire and wooden ones from H&M Home (from Taipei) and Kikki.K.

The tree lasted in our house all the way to the New Year. I thought I would keep it till it turned brown on me but it was still going strong by then. Finally decided to clear it because I knew I would have no time to deal with it – and its incessant shedding – once school started. The boys were quite sad to see the tree go.

Till next year!

E turns 2!

My little nephew turned two recently and we had a small celebration at home.

It was just going to be a small party but still it was a bit of a mad rush because my sister left pretty much everything to me and we were due to fly out the next day at dawn to Taiwan! I had no choice but to back out of baking the cake (sorry E, next birthday ok) because I didn’t think I would do a good job of it amidst the flurry.

Still we had a good party! Small parties are the way to go, methinks!

My sister couldn’t decide on a theme so erm, there was none. Which actually made the activities quite hard to plan because I have never done a party without a theme! We just rolled with it 😉

Before the party, Jo saw my sis decorating the black board and said he wanted to help. He drew such cute stick people we let him draw the whole thing in the end. He drew the four of them in a house with a steering wheel and many wheels. So cute! (We had to be very careful not to praise him too much – sometimes he doesn’t like the attention and he would go on to destroy whatever he was drawing/creating. Go figure.)

There was a bit of drama before the party. After we blew up the helium balloons (which were specially bought by my BIL including a number 2 balloon), Sean grabbed the whole bunch and tried to help to transfer them to the BBQ pit area but in his excitement, he let go of all the balloons and they flew away!!! Even before the birthday boy could take a picture with it. Sean apologized and made amends by blowing up a new batch of balloons. Sorry, E!

We played Pass the Parcel. My boys would expect nothing less from my parties so I just had to do it even though it was just the four of them 😉  Then, Pin the Tail on the Tiger. Young children like this very much for some reason and it was really easy to play with a small group! Ryan was very proud to ‘win’ this game.  Next up, a spoon relay (with baby potatoes). The boys were supposed to pair up for the relay but E was not being very cooperative. Ah well, they still had fun. Then we sang the birthday song for E and he blew out his two candles.

E’s cousin baked a lovely strawberry shortcake for him. The cake was simple and beautiful (I contributed the mini bunting), just what my sis had in mind. Must say the cake was really yummy – I must get her frosting recipe! Tummies filled, it was time for Treasure Hunt. Good fun for the kids!

Finally we had the piñata filled with candies galore. I didn’t make it – someone passed it to me. It’s super ugly but my sis said she didn’t mind using it for the party. (See what I mean by she left everything to me, haha!)

Happy 2nd birthday, E! Big year for you ahead – being a big brother and going to school! May you grow up to be a strong and confident boy with a good heart. Dayi loves you!

PS. How little did he look on his first birthday!

An Out-of-this-World Christmas at City Square Mall

The year end madness is upon us. We had a busy weekend but still managed to squeeze in a visit to City Square Mall to see the Transformers live on stage!

 

 

Space explorers young and old were transported to Cybertron to see the Transformers. My boys were thrilled to see Optimus Prime and Bumblebee (as well as the adorable Sqweeks) make an appearance. If your kids like robots and fighting scenes, then this show is for you!

After the show, we also went for the mask-making workshop where the boys could colour in their own Transformers masks and dress up as their fave Transformers!

Wahaha, you can’t even tell which child is behind the masks!

The best part was the galactic carnival games at the Cyber Galaxy (at City Green Park). There’s a shooting range, obstacle course, robot bouncy castle and bumper cars. My boys had the best time 🙂

Do check out Out-of-this-World Christmas at City Square Mall’s Activities this school holidays. Details are as follows:

1. Transformers on Stage

Join the Transformers in their bid to save humanity in the first ever Transformers come to ‘LIVE’ on show in Singapore! Featuring fan-favourites Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, and introducing delightful new characters, this will be a show just under 20 minutes you would not want to miss!

Date: 2 – 17 December 2017, daily except Monday

Time: Tuesday – Friday: 2pm & 7pm

Saturday and Sunday: 1pm, 4pm, and 7pm

Venue: Level 1 Stage

2. Meet the Autobots and Mask Making Workshop

Experience the ultimate Transformers Meet and Greet at City Square Mall this December! Spend a minimum of $50 to redeem a Meet The Autobots pass 1 hour prior to each show, and get up close and personal with your favourite Transformers action heroes after every ‘LIVE’ show on stage in their first public outing. Limited to 50 passes per show.

Transform into your favourite Cybertronian heroes by decorating your own Transformers mask! Don’t miss out on a photo opportunity in Optimus Prime and Bumblebee children’s costumes with a Transformers photo station framing the shot!

Date: 2 – 17 December 2017, daily except Monday

Time:  After every Transformers on Stage show

Venue: Level 1 Stage (Meet The Autobots) & Basement 2, beside the travellator (Mask Making Workshop)

3. Transformers Photo Station

City Square Mall has brought reel to reality with life-sized Transformers statues flown in from overseas for visitors to snap memorable photos. Join the Facebook photo contest to win attractive shopping vouchers! Be immersed in a unique galaxy-like Christmas experience like no other for the entire family, as the set comes to life with smoke & laser.

Date: 17 November – 31 December 2017

Venue: Level 1 City Green Park

4. Cyber Galaxy

Gather your friends and family and come down for an exhilarating Christmas carnival! With carnival classics like bumper cars, inflatable slides, and obstacle courses to choose from, it will be tons of fun for all! Redeem a Cyber Galaxy activity pass at the Level 2 Customer Service Counter with a minimum spend of $40 at the mall to enjoy all the fun and games.

Date: 17 November – 31 December 2017

Time: 1pm – 10pm

Venue: Level 1 City Green Park

5. Stellar Light Show

City Square Mall transports you into a starry universe this festive season, a very first in Singapore. Explore a tunnel of stars and gather under the action-packed visual display of lights and music with your loved ones and witness the stunning 10 minute light show of your dreams!

Date: 17 November – 31 December 2017

Time: Every 30 minutes, 7pm – 10pm

Venue: Level 1 City Green Park

6. Snowy Playtime

Feel the magic of Christmas and when you head down to City Square Mall to have a blast in falling snow with the kiddos. Be transported into a new universe both familiar and new, as you take in the sights and sounds of the season.

Date: 17 November – 31 December 2017

Time: 8.10pm

Venue: Level 1 City Green Park

7. Christmas Carolling by Emmanuel Choir

Christmas simply is not Christmas without carols! Join the Emmanuel Choir as they share season’s greetings with the gift of music. Fala-lalala-lala-lala!

Date: 16 & 17 December 2017

Time: 8pm – 8.45pm

Venue: Level 1 Stage

In-mall Promotions

1. Galaxy of Gifts

  1. With a minimum of $40 spent, shoppers can redeem a Cyber Galaxy activity pass to the Cyber Galaxy carnival at City Green Park.

  2. With a minimum of $50 spent, shoppers can redeem a Meet The Autobots pass, where they will be able to take photographs with the Transformers character mascots on stage and access the mask-making workshop at Basement 2 to design their own mask as a souvenir. Limited to 50 passes per show.

  3. With a minimum of $200 spent, shoppers will be entitled to receive a travel essential and a Cyber Galaxy activity pass ($300 if inclusive of NTUC Fairprice receipts):

  • Convertible Travel Bag (17 Nov – 10 Dec 2017)

  • Transformable Travel Blanket (11 – 31 Dec 2017)

  1. Complimentary add-on: With a minimum spend of $200, shoppers will be entitled to purchase $50 worth of City Square Mall vouchers and receive a complimentary $5 voucher. Limited to 50 redemptions daily during the campaign period, while stocks last.

For more details on the activities and promotions, visit www.citysquaremall.com.sg or check out City Square Mall’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/citysquaremall. Terms and conditions apply.

LEGO fun with Brikkon

Hands up, who loves LEGO®? (Me!)

I shared about some of our favourite toys some time back  and LEGO® is one of the toys we always have around because my three boys play with them on a daily basis. I loved LEGO® as a child too so I fully understand the allure 😉

That was why I was pleasantly surprised to be introduced to Brikkon by a new local online store Poppies and Rainbows.

A bit of background on Poppies and Rainbows first. The online store was started by a Singaporean mother of two who takes great pride in sourcing delightful finds in childrenswear, nursery décor and playthings from all over the world. Many of the brands were created by mothers themselves, tried and tested by their own children. You can expect to find beautiful products, lovingly handcrafted or manufactured in small, meaningful quantities by awesome brands.

Brikkon are wooden structures which are specially made to be compatible with LEGO®. Its wooden structures are easily put together and there are endless possibilities how LEGO® can be added to it.

I got two sets for the boys – the Castle and the Treehouse. They come neatly packaged and the set-up is simple enough even for my boys. The wood is sturdy and beautifully finished with a light, minimalist feel to it. It is lovely to touch and play with.

Once set up, it was time to bring on the LEGO®!

The Brikkon base provides a good starting point for construction with LEGO® bricks. You do need a bit of dexterity and strength to fit the hollow base of bricks to the Brikkon grooves and maybe a bit of trial and error to find the right bricks that would fit (only LEGO® bricks with hollow undersides would fit).

As you can see, my boys were happily engrossed elaborate structures complete with lookout towers, aerial walkways, staircases, long chains for the LEGO® characters to rappel down the walls of the castle. I didn’t have to direct their play at all and they were at it for a good hour.

Hmph, they did reject my suggestions to decorate the windowsills of the castle with coloured blocks and flowers. Boys!

I really loved the add-ons as well. The  Treehouse set came with a ladder and an itty-bitty swing and the Castle has a cute functional catapult.

I also appreciate the fact that the sets pack flat once dismantled so they hardly take up any space at all.

If you have lots of LEGO® at home (who doesn’t?), Brikkon is a good complementary toy to go with it. I would definitely recommend it for children aged 5 and up.

Here are some of the other Brikkon designs that Poppies and Rainbows carries:

They also have Brikkon for DUPLO bricks for younger children (I may get this for Jo!):

Good news, Poppies and Rainbows is having a 15% storewide discount with the code ‘15%TODAY’ from now till 31 Dec 2017. And just for the Black Friday weekend, there’s a 20% for the ‘Sale’ department and a whopping 30% off orders above SGD200. Do have a browse of the store as it has lots of lovely items like this cool Wildling tee, straw bags and secret fairy doors. Perfect time to stock up for Christmas!

Bangkok with kids

I have been wanting to go to Bangkok for the longest time – I haven’t been there since the kids came along and that’s a good 8 years!

Now that the boys are older and more independent (read: no stroller or diapers finally), I thought we could just bite the bullet and booked us for a week-long trip during the March holidays.

As it turned out, we had a very enjoyable trip even though we hardly had time to shop, indulge in daily 2-hour massages and in bed by 9pm every night. I guess when you go with children, you really have to temper your expectations and just go with the flow 😉

Let’s face it. Bangkok is loud, gritty and as in-your-face as you can get but there are many gems even for children. Here are some of our top picks for family-friendly places/activities in Bangkok:

  1. Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World (Siam Paragon)

The  Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World at Siam Paragon was a pleasure to visit. It is situated in a convenient location, air-conditioned and very clean and well-maintained. I recommend it to everyone with kids!

(Tip: Do check if you can purchase discounted tickets on Klook at least a day before your visit!)

We had a lot of fun peering at the glass tanks looking at the sea creatures – sea worms, jellyfish, sharks, penguins. The ocean is such a beautiful, fascinating place!

You can expect to spend 2-3 hours here.

(PS. You can head to Taling Pling at the ground floor of Siam Paragon for really good and affordable Thai food!)

2.  Kidzania Bangkok (Siam Paragon)

If you have kids aged 4 and above, you can plan to spend a full day at Kidzania (opening hours are 10am-5pm on weekdays) if you and your children have the stamina. There is a huge variety of jobs for children. Popular ones include firemen, policemen and paramedics.

Few tips on Kidzania (you can read my full post here):

  • Again, check KLOOK for discounted tickets at least one day before you plan to visit!
  • The fees are charged per entrance – once you enter the place, you cannot come out anymore so make sure you have everything – water, wet wipes, snacks, entertainment, etc – with you! (It is really quite boring for waiting adults inside)
  • Kidzania is suitable for kids aged 4 and above. There is a baby room and toddler play area but it is very small and there isn’t much for them to do so try not to bring babies/toddlers if you can!
  • Kidzania does not really follow a set timing for the jobs. They will usually start once they have enough children. There was hardly a queue when we were there on a weekday. But if the place is crowded, it is probably a good idea to start early and head straight for the more popular jobs first!

  • Kidzania is big on taking pictures of your child in action. They have dedicated photographers at most of the stations and will spend a fair amount of time on getting the children to pose nicely for pics. The children will get a piece of paper with a code which you can later scan at the front counter and decide whether to purchase the pictures or not. The packages are not very cheap but the pictures are quite decent so you can decide if it is worth the splurge.
  • Delivery jobs (eg. tomato farmer, courier men) are super fun for the children because they get to push trolleys around and navigate around the place.
  • Try to plan such that the children ‘work’ at MacDonalds around lunch time coz they get to make and eat their own burgers for lunch. There aren’t many good food options for adults inside Kidzania so you may want to bring along some of your own snacks/drinks!

3. Imaginia Playland (3rd floor, The Emporium, 24 Sukhumvit Rd)

This was our favourite find of the trip. Imaginia Playland is one of the loveliest indoor playgrounds I have ever been to. The entrance fees (for 3 hours of play) are quite reasonably priced (250 baht for kids, 200 baht for adults).

I believe it is opened by a Japanese so there is a strong Japanese influence throughout the whole place. Really reminded me of all the fantastic playgrounds we visited in Japan!

The place is very well-maintained and thoughtfully set up with cubby holes for belongings, cozy reading nooks, art rooms and many fun play areas for children that encourage creative play – a super long slide, dress-up corner, library, wooden fort for climbing, padded area with wooden blocks, small rides, etc.

I really have to take my hat off to the Japanese for thinking of everything. For example, they even hand out cute cloud-shaped mats for the boys to go down the slides!

4. Chatuchak weekend market

Even though some may beg to differ, I thought Chatuchak is a good place to visit with children. Of course, you have to temper your expectations when going with children (don’t expect to shop a storm!) and just soak up the experience. The place is not air-conditioned nor stroller-friendly by the way.

Chatuchak is jam-packed with small shops selling everything from t-shirts, bags to jewellery to plants and handmade soaps.

I am now past the age of buying knick-knacks and it was not easy to browse leisurely with three restless boys who kept complaining about the heat but we still had a good look-see of the place. We covered only a teeny fraction of the entire market in the few hours we were there!

We tried coconut icecream (so good!) as well as the famous wanton mee in Section 2 Soi 40 (I followed instructions here). The boys made personalized leather wallets and even tried foot massages for the first time.

We lasted a good 3-4 hours there – not too bad for a scorching hot day!

5. Thai massage

Since you are in Thailand, why not let your children try Thai massages?

You can try to look for places that are okay with children and let them try a foot massage. That way, you get a bit of a sit-down break and a massage at the same time!

Personally, I chose to do foot massages – and not full body massages – so I could watch over the boys. Sean was even adventurous enough to try full body massages with Papa near the end of the trip 😉

6. Tuk-tuk rides

I didn’t manage to do this during our trip but I imagine it would be quite fun for children to experience a tuk-tuk ride in the infamous Bangkok traffic.

No-go

I do have a place I would NOT recommend in Bangkok: Bangkok Safari World and Marine Park. I thought the entrance tickets were very pricy (we paid more than SGD250 for our family of five!). Our drive through Safari World lasted all of 10 mins (okay that was the taxi driver’s fault). Both parks was honestly not very well-maintained with little respite for the heat. We got so frustrated we gave up and cabbed back to the city by noon. You can read my post here.

That’s it from me. Do let me know if you know of other children-friendly places in Bangkok I should check out!

***

Here’s our 7-day Bangkok itinerary if you are keen:

Bangkok Day 1: Patumwan House and Siam Paragon

Bangkok Day 2: Chatuchak and MBK

Bangkok Day 3: Bangkok Safari World, Marine Park and Asiatique

Bangkok Day 4: Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World and MBK

Bangkok Day 5: Bangkok Kidzania and Rod Fai Ratchada night market

Bangkok Day 6, 7: Imaginarium Playland and Neon Talad night market

Bangkok Day 6, 7: Imaginarium Playland and Neon Talad night market

Bangkok Day 1: Patumwan House and Siam Paragon

Bangkok Day 2: Chatuchak and MBK

Bangkok Day 3: Bangkok Safari World, Marine Park and Asiatique

Bangkok Day 4: Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World

Bangkok Day 5: Kidzania and Rod Fai night market

Bangkok Day 6, 7: This post

It was our last full day in Bangkok. Can’t believe there is so much to see and do in Bangkok – we have barely scratched the surface!

We walked over to Casa Lapin for breakfast with my family. Quite chaotic and stressful eating with restless kids :\ The food and ambience of the place is lovely otherwise!

Then we split up and went out separate ways. A friend recommended Imaginia Playland at The Emporium (24 Sukhumvit Rd) so we headed there with the boys.

 Imaginia Playland

The Emporium Shopping Complex

3rd Floor, 24 Sukhumvit Rd

Imaginia Playland is one of the loveliest indoor playgrounds I have ever been to. The entrance fees (for 3 hours of play) are quite reasonably priced (250 baht for kids, 200 baht for adults).

I believe it is opened by a Japanese so there is a strong Japanese influence throughout the whole place. The place is very well-maintained and thoughtfully set up with cubby holes for belongings, cozy reading nooks, art rooms and many fun play areas for children.

There’s just something about Japanese playgrounds – they are calming and not too brightly coloured or overly stimulating.

I really have to take my hat off to the Japanese for thinking of everything. For example, they even hand out cute cloud-shaped mats for the boys to go down the slides!

Will let the pictures and videos speak for themselves. This was definitely our best find for the trip – I highly recommend it if you are travelling with children!

Not surprisingly, the boys were very reluctant to leave at the end of 3 hours!

Since we have yet to check out any hip restaurants (so hard with kids!), I insisted we have lunch at Karmakamet Diner at Sukhumvit just behind Emporium Mall.

It is a beautiful rustic glass house tucked in a lush garden. One of our pricier meals during the trip and definitely not a place to bring kids. I felt so bad for the couples around us coz my boys were so rowdy!

I didn’t think their dishes were outstanding – though maybe it was because I was so stressed shushing the kids (it was also past Jo’s naptime and he was super cranky)!

We did try their popular rainbow cotton candy strawberry dessert. Almost every table ordered it. My boys demolished it in seconds! It was evening by then. Didn’t see the point of going back to the hotel so we found a nearby massage place which was okay with kids and settled down for a massage. Sean actually tried a full body massage with Foops – he really wanted to try one! Ryan did a foot massage with me (Jo fell asleep right after lunch) – and he ended up dozing off too! Zzz, I was just glad to have a break for a bit 🙂After that, Foops had to go collect a suit from the tailor so we hung around The EmQuartier area. We chanced upon a big Pokémon pop-up so the boys got their fill of Pokémon cartoons 😉Then we cabbed to Neon Talad night market to meet my family for dinner. My sisters got me tomyum mama noodles from a non-descript roadside stall and it was one of my favourite meal of the entire trip. So good!

The boys had salt-baked fish and fried rice for dinner. Then we had a walkaround the market for a bit. It seemed more sanitized and was nowhere as vibrant as Rod Fai. Thanks to Grandma, the boys chose sand-filled balloon creatures to bring home.

Super tired that night as we had been out all day! We were due to fly home the next afternoon. Squeezed in a quick trip to Platinum Mall in the morning – I had the best pork trotters rice (for breakfast – hur, hur) and managed to shop a tiny bit. Quite a lot to shop – I felt so deprived coz I hardly got to do any shopping the whole trip. I guess I have to go back again!

It was a good trip. We will be back, Bangkok!