Caltex Fuel Your School – Tech Jam 2017

One thing Sophie’s been looking forward to in Primary Three next year is learning Science. It’s one of those subjects that she finds fascinating and she loves that it when she learnt show things work from her Science magazine which gets me stumped for answers. Plus there are so many opportunities for practical application and hands-on activities.

With more emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and creative thinking for the new economy, kids would benefit from getting a wider exposure to coding and tinkering, etc.

If this is an area you’ll like your child to get exposed to, then don’t miss Caltex Fuel Your School – Tech Jam 2017 that will be open to the public on 14 and 15 October 2017.

Caltex Fuel Your School – Tech Jam 2017

Tech Jam is an enrichment program organised by Caltex Singapore and Singapore Science Centre and we were invited for a preview last week.

Preview of Tech Jam 2017

Tech Jam aims to spark curiosity and inspire kids’ passion for innovation through free interactive workshops where kids can work on different learning projects.

Before the session started, the facilitators shared some big ideas on how parents can encourage our kids to get the most from this session.

  • Allowing the child take the lead – let them come up with the idea
  • Giving real tools in the hands of the children – trust that they can listen to instructions on how to handle them
  • They will get it wrong before getting it right – let children figure out how to troubleshoot and solve their obstacle
  • Projects needs to have meaning to the child – can just be fun and frivolous as long as it’s meaningful to them

 

Sophie working on her paper circuit

Sophie got to create a paper circuit and she had little difficulty with the task even though this was the first time she’s learning about basic electronics. There was also a facilitator who guided her with probing questions on how she could make it work.

It’s such a joy to see her eye light up when her paper circuit lighted up at the flip of her button battery and that’s the spark that kids have when they see their work come alive.

The girls also got the chance to come up with their own creation and Sophie created a lighted balloon city together with Dana. The duo worked with glue guns and applied what they learnt about creating a circuit and they were mighty proud of their successful project.

Sophie and Dana’s lighted balloon city

Sewing with Electronics

At Tech Jam, there’ll be other equally interesting learning projects on 14-15 October such as Sewing with Electronics, Creating Music with Makey-Makey and Programming with Arduino.

Tech Jam is open to kids of all ages but personally I feel that kids age 5 and above will be more suitable.

Admission is free for this program but if you present a recent Caltex fuel transaction receipt along with a Plus! card you’ll be entitled to priority entry on a first-come-first-served basis. On top of this priority access, you will also get 20% off admission to Science Centre Singapore (valid till 31 December 17).

For more information, do visit Tech Jam’s Event Page here.

– – – – – – – -– – – – – GIVEAWAY FOR A JUGGLING MUM READERS  – – – – – – – – – – – –

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Here’s you chance to win a Fuel Your School- Tech Jam goody bag for 1 lucky winner. The set will include:

  • 2 sets of goodie bags (consisting of VR headsets, paper circuit bookmarks and notebooks)
  • Family tickets to Science Centre Singapore for 4

All you have to do is:
1) ‘LIKE’ our Facebook Page
2) ‘SHARE’ this post and tag 2 other friends, “Hey friends, take part to win family tickets to Science Centre Singapore ”.

Complete both steps to be eligible for the giveaway. ONE lucky winner will be drawn and announced on the blog and Facebook on 11 October, Wednesday.

 

 

Please note:

  • Giveaway ends on 11 October, Wednesday 23:59
  • Only readers residing in Singapore are eligible for this giveaway
  • Winners will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond to email otherwise a new winner will be drawn
  • All false FB accounts will be disqualified from the giveaway

 

*A Juggling Mom was invited for a media preview to Caltex Fuel Your School – Tech Jam 2017 for this review . 

Amari Hotel Johor Bahru, Review

We frequently travel to Johor Bahru by train and our favourite hotel has always been Doubletree By Hilton. Whenever I’m asked why it’s our choice of hotel , the top factor has got to be its centralised location, where it’s a mere 15 minutes walk from the train station at JB Sentral. Their rooms and service have always been top notch for us, plus their signature cookies are always so welcoming.

Recently, we stayed at the newly opened Amari Johor Bahru during the September school holidays and this four star hotel is soon becoming our family’s favourite accommodation.

Situated directly opposite Komtar mall, where you can also find Angry Bird Activity Park, their centralised location and room rates makes them even harder to beat than Doubletree.

The Amari Johor Bahru opened in May this year in 2017, and I love how spanking new it looks.

Amari Johor Bahru, hotel lobby

Amari Hotel Rooms

When we booked our room (we chose the Deluxe room), we couldn’t get a room with a King bed and settled for 2 twin beds. But we tried our luck again upon check-in at the reception, and they happen to have an available Deluxe room with King bed and promptly made the switch for us. As we only checked in the evening, waiting time didn’t take too long.

The room was modern and stylishly furnished and I liked that it is very spacious as well. Above the headboard was a beautiful purple motif that added warmth and character to the room. And for those who can’t live without wifi, yes, the hotel offers complimentary wifi.

For families with young kids, you can request for a baby cot too.

And you know what we’re definitely coming back for – Deluxe rooms with pool access when they are available!

Amari Johor Bahru Deluxe Room

We stayed on the 21st floor and had a view of Komtar Mall from our hotel room.

What impressed us at the hotel was how friendly and hospitable every staff was from the concierge to te receptionist and every service staff we met. We were always greeted with a smile and the service staff always made us feel right at home with their warm hospitality and eagerness to help whenever we needed any assistance, something which is really rare even in the service line in Malaysia.

Directions to Amari Johor Bahru 

The entrance to the Amari hotel is along Jalan Trus. So if you’re coming from Komtar Mall, you can cross at the zebra crossing, which is such a relief for me as the traffic can be tricky to jaywalk.

But what we’ve noticed is that cars don’t always stop for pedestrians, even at the zebra crossing. So we’ve quickly learnt to adopt what the locals always do; stick out your hand, make eye contact with the drivers and chiong your way across to Zenith Mall with caution.

The exterior of Zenith Mall

Once you arrive at Zenith Mall, walk into the building at level 1 where you’ll see Morganfield’s and a Korean BBQ restaurant. Head up the escalator to the 2nd floor and you’ll see 7-11 (in my case, it’s wasn’t  operational  yet), and keep walking till you get to the drop off point at the back of the building and you’ll see the hotel entrance to Amari. You’ll need to take the lift up to the 6th floor to get to the main lobby.

Hotel Facilities

While the hotel has a swimming pool, it’s closed till further notice due to on-going renovation works at the service apartment, Suasana Suites, next door. Sophie was so bummed that she didn’t get to swim and hopes the pool will be open the next time we come for a stay.

On the same level, they have a 24-hour gym and it’s pretty well equipped. They have treadmills and elliptical machine on the side of the gym that overlooks the pool. There are also free weights, cardio equipment and machines and the place was quite spacious.

You can also enjoy a relaxing spa session at Breeze Spa where they even have double room with jacuzzi for couples. From their Facebook photos, it looks very indulgent and I’m sure prices are considered cheaper than what you’ll pay in a spa hotel in Singapore.

On level 6, there is a hotel library where guests can borrow books or use the computer. And right beside it is a club room with a pool table where guests can feel free to play a game or two.

Dining options in Amari Johor Bahru

We didn’t have breakfast with our stay but if you choose to do so, breakfast buffet is at the Amaya Food Galley at level 6. There is also Amaya Café which opens from 8am to 10pm which offers beverages and light bites.

We usually prefer to head out of the hotel for our meals and this time, we walked over to Faculty of Caffeine café along Jalan Trus for brunch. We worked out an appetite after a 10-15 minutes walk and wasted no time in placing our orders.

They don’t have a lot of food items on the menu but what they do have is quality coffee and we had waffles with sous vide eggs, hash brown and beef bacon for just RM22.90 which is about S$7.50. #wheretofindinSG

Alexis went for Hainanese chicken chop… but with waffles, so odd can?!

Faculty of Caffeine at Jalan Trus

Shopping in JB

On this trip, we also checked out a new AEON mall that recently opened and it’s even bigger than KSL!

AEON Mall Bandar Dato’ Onn is close to Mount Austin and there were many shops that are not found in the other AEON malls. In fact this AEON department store looks way more modern than the others in Bukit Indah and Tebrau City, which are the ones I usually frequent.

They also have SportsDirect.com which is the Number 1 sports retailer in the UK and ezbo, which is similar to Muji but at much lower pricing. #savemore #shopmore

Another of my personal favourite is COCO Japanese fashion wear and Padini where you can get girls dress at less than $10 and t-shirts for just $5.

They also have an indoor kids playground, cinema and arcade, that’s entertainment for the whole family.

READ ALSOAustin Heights Water and Adventure Park in JB 

We definitely see ourselves returning to Amari Johor Bahru for our future stays and we’ve got our eye fixed on that upcoming pool access room too. Plus as a new hotel, you can be assured that every thing will be nicely upkeep.

We booked via Agoda and paid S$228 for 2 nights. We thought that the rates are a good value considering that the Amari is a four star hotel in such a convenient location.

 

If you’re heading to JB, don’t miss these posts where I share some of my shopping finds and places to go cafe hopping across the causeway as well.

Getting to JB

Fun things to do in JB

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Exam Preparation for Primary 2

We’re into term 4 of the academic year and just weeks away from the final year exams otherwise known as SA2! I would like to think I’m no kiasu mummy but when Sophie came home with the  semester assessment timetable right after she returned from the term 3 break, I got all panicky.

You mean exams are happening this year for Primary 2?! And in 3 weeks?!

Sophie was nonchalant about it and coolly told me that I had to sign and acknowledged that she’s done her part and informed me about the upcoming exams. I honestly questioned who’s the one having exam fever here?

While tests are nothing uncommon for Sophie, year-end exams are quite another story. Though as parents, we harbour good intentions in making sure that our kids ace the exams, it’s my belief that our kids have to  take responsibility in preparing for their exams instead of us spoonfeeding them what to do. 

But since this is the first time that Sophie has to stretch herself to remember a years’ worth of learning, I decided to equip her with some tips to tackle her exam preparation for Primary 2.

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Visiting Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto

I’m finally catching up my overdue Japan holiday blog posts. And on Day 3, we traveled from Osaka to Kyoto. I can’t believe how I almost allowed my husband to strike Kyoto off our initial Japan itinerary as he wasn’t keen and even tried convincing me that all the walking and scenery would be boring for Sophie.

It was a nice try on his part since we have visited Kyoto some 10 years and seeing shrines and bamboo forest was just not his cup of tea.

We worked out a compromise and I’m glad I managed to arm twist convinced him that we should at least do a day-trip to Kyoto.

As a city folk, I really looked forward to Kyoto as it’s a welcome change from cities like Osaka and Tokyo. Being able to slow down our pace and take in the breathtaking scenery while enjoying the tranquillity is something not to be missed if you’re heading to Japan.

Since we only have one day in Kyoto, I packed the day with these places of interest.

Fushimi Inari Shrine>Arashiyama district > Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and Togetsu-kyo Bridge> Kimono Forest

Visiting Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto

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When our words become their inner voice 

My not-so-little Sophie just turned 8 years old last week. Even though she’s more than capable of tucking herself into bed, the realisation that my baby is growing up too soon makes me want to hit that slow motion button to savour her remaining childlike years before they slip by.

So one thing that Sophie and I look forward to at the end of the day is bedtime. Besides the fact that I still read with her, (we just finished Sherlock Sam and we both rate it 5 stars), we like to snuggle in bed together where I’ll lie next to her as she recounts her day to me.

It’s no wonder Sophie still prefers mummy to put her to sleep as she gets hushed to sleep if she so dares make a squeak by Daddy’s army like style when he’s in charge.

Among our many bedtime conversations, what she said just last week got me reflecting about how my words became her inner voice.

 

“Mummy, today the teacher teach us to think positive thoughts and to be positive.” She went on, “Miss Chow said that when her daughter didn’t do well in her test, she’ll not scold her. But Miss Chow will tell her not to give up and try harder the next time.

When she said that, I was pondering if it was her way of telling me what she needed to hear from me when she didn’t do as well in school. So when I probed and asked if I should learn from her teacher, she grabbed my arm, gave it a big squeeze and exclaimed, “You always tell me positive things and to try harder next time already. Thank you mummy!

 

Thankfully, the lights are out and she didn’t see the tears that rolled down my cheek.

Tears that affirmed my role as a supporting mum.

Tears of joy that she sees my heart and how I’m always rooting for her to be the best she can be.

The silent reinforcement that with constant encouragement she can be shaped to be a confident young lady.

The Power of Our Words

Hearing this was a reminder that my words have the power to build or crush her. And while I’m not proud to admit it, there were countless times where hurtful words were blurted out in the heat of the moment and I said things that made Sophie feel awful about herself. But I’m trying and I’m still a work-in-progress. 

 

Reading this status update from my Facebook post a year ago made me realize just how my words have become Sophie’s inner voice and thank God that it’s an encouraging and supportive voice where she knows she can do what she sets her mind on.

Though parenting is the toughest job in the world, but it’s times like these where I know it’s all worth it.

How are you shaping your child’s inner voice?

As parents we have a tremendous responsibility on how our children view themselves.So let’s speak kindly to our kids. Let’s support them and remind them that they are loved no matter what happens.

Let’s encourage them and motivate them so that they can be resilient and have the courage to take on things greater than themselves.

 

Think positive thoughts and be positive!

 

If you enjoyed this post, you may like these posts where I share my heart about parenting.

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