Hello beautiful readers of hellomrstan.com
As always, it's a privilege that the lovely Mrs Tan has given me some 'write time' and my pleasure to be contributing to this amazing blog where we post about life, kids and family.
I'm sure everybody is feeling the Christmas atmosphere in the air right now given the low temperatures (25 degrees at night) and the Christmas light up in Orchard Road. With the exams (finally) over and the holidays approaching, we want to ensure that our kids get to enjoy their well deserved break and still get some learning done.
Look no further to one of the heartland malls in the north at Junction 8 and Sembawang Shopping Centre where they invite you to to 'Sea Christmas Differently' (don't you just love the pun?) this year.
Malls are always rolling out their various themes (usually cartoons) during this season and to receive a mailer that isn't your usual cute cartoon characters but one of a big Mosasaurus certainly piqued my interest.
So off we went to Junction 8!
You should know these 2 wonderful Rs of mine from the last post by now. Here's Ryan giving a 'i-don't-know-how-to-pronounce-this' pose while Riley gives her one-finger-cheese pose with the 15m long Mosasaurus.
Ok, I know the star of this whole post isn't my kids so here's one of the sea monster without the kids in it.
Did you know that the Mosasaurus lived in the late Cretaceous period that's roughly 208- 245 million years ago? It was even before the Jurassic period where the Tyrannosaurus Rex existed. The Jurassic period happened 145 - 208 million years ago.
I should state that while I've read my fair share of dinosaurs encyclopedias and stories to the children, I didn't know their existence period till today through their science show. I'll get back to that later. Let me introduce to you the rest of the 'cast' on display.
The Tylosaurus greets you when you first enter the Atrium of the second level at Junction 8 mall. With its lifelike movements and sounds, Riley was very hesitant to even step into the atrium itself. We had to assure her that it isn't real before she finally warmed up to them and took pictures in front of the various models.
The Ichthyosaurus resembles a sword fish to me according to Ryan but are actually marine reptiles which adopted a streamlined body for efficient locomotion in water.
Without giving all the information away, I'm glad that there are short write ups along together with these displays so that we're not stumped when the kids pose questions about them.
The Livyatan Melvillei. Looks like a whale but sounds like a person's name. The husband and I got a kick out of pronouncing these names much to the kids' amusement.
Besides these spectacular prehistoric animals that are on display, there are activities and stage shows for the children to learn about how they can do their part in saving the environment.
Workshops of Discovery
I appreciated how the activity area was organised and participants were kept to a small number so that the helpers were able to focus on helping them.
There are three different workshops that you could sign up the kids for. You could either pay $5 to attend any one of the three activities or you could redeem it free with $50 spent in in a single receipt.
1) Biting Monster
Build a cute biting shark with simple materials and observe energy conversions.
Only children are allowed into the activity area (parents can wait along the side) where they are encouraged to work on these projects themselves. The helpers would start off by explaining the instructions before handing them the material.
See the monster?
Where did the monster go?
Ryan learnt about potential energy and kinetic energy from this art project. This is probably the simplest science project to explain to him among the other three. It is also one that doesn't require much work.
You'll find out why from the other two activities below.
2. Spinning Sharks
Discover how cams and level work by creating an automata with simple materials such as cardboard and sticks. You can make your own sea puppet show by controlling the movements.
Once again, the helper begins by explaining what the activity is before Ryan begin working on the project. Ryan was amazed how the crane spins just by twirling a stick and was excited to work on it.
Decorating his own 'tank'. With numbers kept low and a good duration, Ryan was able to work on these projects at his own pace without being rushed.
Ryan learnt about gears from this activity. He understood how the mechanism of it and began to observe things in our home that are run by them. He only got as far as a clock but I think it's already a good attempt! It got me thinking what other household items that could be running on them too. My feeble attempt is a wind-up toy.
What do you have in your house that you think you could use to explain to your kids about gears?
3. Moving Monster
Make your own animatronic sea creatures using motors and learn about circuits!
This is probably the most complex out of all the activities. I had to pass on this lesson to the husband to explain how it worked. He's the engineer in the family.
The kids start off by drawing two 'almost' identical monsters (or characters) and cutting them out.
There was a process of getting a structure built in place for their drawings and pasting a battery and a 'high-speed vibrating motor ' (according to the husband) before the final product. You could see how the helper patiently explaining it to Ryan how it works while he was connecting the wire to the battery.
See how Ryan's monster moves!
The workshops are limited to children 5 years old and above, on a first-come-first-served basis. It also comes with an activity booklet that has questions for the children to answer as they walk around the displays and also a step-by-step guide on creating the projects in the three workshops.
It will definitely enable us to do it with the children again especially Riley when she's older.
Also, there is a registration page in your activity booklet that they will mark out the workshop and the time that you have signed up for.
It is a very clear and systematic order that enabled me to make the necessary arrangements for their lunch and catching the shows that they have organised too.
Bouquets to the helpers at the activity area! They were prompt in allowing the children into the workshops and were also very patient and attentive to the younger children like Ryan who needed more assistance in these workshops.
Given how each workshops teach different science lessons and how organised it was, I would recommend all the workshops if you have the time to spend at the mall.
There are two different shows for you to catch while you're there too: The Ocean Tales and the Kids Stop Science Show.
Ocean Tales follows curious Sam in a quest to learn more about the giants of the sea through this entertaining and enriching science show.
This was the show where I got to know the different periods where the different sea monsters and dinosaurs existed.
Also, they cleared the misconception of sharks of being the one that causes the most human fatalities and explained what causes it.
It is definitely educational and there's a segment where an audience member get to pair the correct sea monsters to the period that it existed for a chance to win a pair of Science Centre tickets.
KidsStop science show sees Pepper (adorable co-founder of KidsStop) bring us to the amazing ocean as they explore learn and discover with our marine friends. It also teaches kids how their actions affect them.
Throughout the segment, Pepper and friends sing and dance while teaching them about the ocean.
It's also an interactive show where children get to move their bodies and win some prize for recycling the right materials in the individual bins.
Riley enjoyed this segment the most as it was something that she could understand better.
There is also a mascot appearance which we sadly missed by 10mins as we took the kids to eat after the KidsSTOP science show so there are no pictures to show for. Do share them with me if you do manage to take one with Pepper.
This is the 22nd event of the Science in the mall series from 2003 and the first time that the Mosasaurus makes its appearance in a shopping mall in Singapore so do remember to catch it before it returns to the science center.
The Mosasaurus and its cast will be on display from now till 4 Dec at the Level 2 Atrium of Junction 8 before it moves to Sembawang Shopping Center from 8 Dec to 18 Dec at the Level 1 Atrium.
Here's the show times for its shows and the mascot appearance at Junction 8 so that you're able to plan your visit in advance.
That's all for my post on this and I hope that it has excite and provided you much needed information to bring your children to Junction 8 or even plan one to Sembawang Shopping Center when these spectacular creatures make their way there.
After all, Christmas is a season of giving, not just presents but your time and knowledge to the young minds.
Till my next post on this marvelous platform,
Seasons greetings from my family to yours!