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Wallholla Vertical Playground!

I have no idea why I never saw any of these playgrounds on FB, didn’t know that such things exist at all, until I came across Cheekiemonkies‘ blog on vertical playgrounds. Today we finally pay a visit to the one at Bishan St 13!

 

Spot the hamsters

 
It looks like a simple play structure… until I try to chase after Meimei…. 

 

Don’t play play ok… it’s not easy to climb this slope! *bow to the kids*

 
 

Loving their hideout… they call it their resting place

 
Three hours pass by in a flash. There are two other climbing structures nearby, though the one above is my kids’ favorite. 

 

Forgot to take photo of the third structure, cos they hardly spend any time there

 
 

Pretend play… about postmen I think


I love it that the area is very shaded by many huge trees. It does not feel hot even at noon. Feel immersed in nature despite this being just a neighborhood playground. Not even a park I think, though it’s just next to the park connector. Many many sightings of squirrels and some yellow birds. (I really should learn to identify some birds given the amount of time we spend outdoors!)

  

View of the entire play area


 

From another angle

 

Climb-friendly trees included!

 
 

   

0

There Is A Potato In My Home

One fine day, Kor Kor declared that he disliked Chinese! I have noticed he often speaks English to everybody, even when he is engaging in pretend play with his toys. Didn’t expect such a firm and direct answer though. 

I am really flabbergasted. Both Hubby and I have consciously spoken Mandarin to all our children since they were born. Because we think Chinese is a much more difficult language than English, and hey, we have always been speaking Mandarin to each other, why change? We read Chinese books to them and we speak Mandarin among ourselves too, including my siblings, and the maternal and paternal grandparents. Yes we do read English books to the kids and they do watch DVDs in English. But they only get two hours of DVD a week, and the split between English and Chinese books/DVDs is about half-half…. So what happened??

My guess is, firstly English is really an easier language to grasp. Secondly, I have been rather lazy in speaking proper Mandarin recently, e.g. “我们去science centre” instead of “我们去科学馆”……

SIGH.

So now, I shall try to rectify the situation. There are so many English books on my to-read list for the children, such as the classics like Oliver Twist and Moby Dick (the Classic Starts versions, not the originals ok, not gonna kill myself), and favorites by Enid Blyton and E. B. White. But I am going to stop reading those to the kids. Stop buying them. Instead, I shall concentrate my time and effort on reading Chinese books. 

What I borrowed from library during my first visit after my new resolution


 

The boys are loving this – a good stepping stone. They have learnt a new 成语 “三头六臂”!


 

If I do come across good English books, I shall just leave them on Kor Kor’s desk and hope for the best.

  
OK, definitely not buying any English books for the children. Not for the rest of the year at least. Deep breath. 

 

6

Southern Islands

We went to St John’s Island today! It is an easy 30-minute ferry away, departing from Marina South Pier. Ferry departs only twice a day on weekdays, at 10am and 2pm. But if you take the afternoon ferry, you won’t have much time on the island, as the last return ferry leaves St John’s Island at 3pm. See the schedule here

 

Jetty at Marina South Pier

 
We wanted to check out the new Public Gallery for the Sisters’ Islands Marine Park. Nope, no mistake, the gallery is really on St John’s Island. Though I did have my doubts upon arriving at St. John’s Island…. because there were no signboards or directions to the gallery. 

With some help from Google (yes there’s strong 4G even at St. John’s! But only the area near the jetty and lagoon. No service as we walked further inland), we managed to find the gallery. 

At the end of the jetty where you alight, there is a map (not a very useful one). After that, you see fences going around a big area. Go in through the open doors and walk uphill along the path. 

 

About halfway to the gallery

 
Then you see a few buildings and a fork in the path. Keep left and the gallery is just a bit more further up! We walked for about 15 minutes from the jetty.

 

Finally!

 
I had expected more exhibits…. But actually the gallery is very small. I think it’s because I read about this gallery when they had their opening and there were special exhibits/events for the opening… but I thought those were permanent… Hmm, I don’t think it’s worth walking in the hot sun to get here, unless you are very very interested in marine life?

   
   

Then the fun begins!

I love that we are facing our skyline!

 

Nothing big or exciting, but the kids enjoy poking around haha

 
The beach is clean and the waves are gentle. Even Meimei has no problem playing in the water by herself. We have the beach pretty much to ourselves. 

But that’s not all! Since the return ferry makes an hour-long stop at Kusu Island on the way back to the mainland, we take a walk around.

 

Big turtles!


There are many turtles around. We saw a really huge one near the wishing well at the entrance to the temple. The kids fed the turtles some bread. No signboards prohibiting feeding, so it should be ok?? The turtles are definitely happy with the bread : )

By the way, there are cold canned drinks for sale at the temple! Ahhhhhh….. I really melting by then.

Upon arrival at the Pier, we continued our fun at the Singapore Maritime Gallery on level 2. We dropped by in the morning while waiting for our ferry, and the boys haven’t had enough!
   
    
 
The best part is the Ship Bridge Simulator!

 

Captain Kor!

 
When the boys finally have enough of the gallery, we proceed to the rooftop playground!

 

Small playground….

  

….. with gorgeous views


All in all, I think I still prefer Pulau Ubin for its rustic charm and largely untamed nature. St John’s doesn’t have much except a small nice beach and research facilities.. Kusu Island, only the temples and turtles… Still, it’s a good experience getting to know our islands better. And we had lots of fun with our friends today! 

(We were there with two other mummies and their kids, but I try not to use photos of other people especially children for their privacy :P)