Blue House Atelier

We’ve been to Blue House Atelier at UE Square quite a number of times now. The Atelier offers Playgroup, weekly classes  and drop-in sessions. Lessons ($40) are an hour each with a theme. Each child is introduced and an instructor will sing a few songs before introducing the theme of the day. As they focus on the Reggio Emilia approach of learning, the children get to be in control of how they want to play, how long they want to play and whether they want to play at all!

LESSONS:

For one lesson, they brought out raw oatmeal and pasta for the children to mess with. Sensory play is essential for babies and toddlers to develop cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional skills. Elise started off by swiping around the box…

…then she decided to climb inside the box! The instructors encourage parents to let children be during the session – they are allowed to smell the oatmeal, throw it, fling it, put it in their hair, put it in their friend’s hair etc. It’s all about messy play. Mess =/= stress when you’re not the one having to clean up!

In other lessons, there’s messier play where the babies can be in their diapers for easier cleanup. Once, the babies played with tubs of cold yoghurt on bubble wrap, smearing it on their faces and round tummies. On another occasion, they fiddled with tubs of water beads along with ladles, pots and pans to build their gross motor skills.

They had a contraption where they let children blow streamers up in the air to intrigue their curiosity. Every lesson is slightly different depending on the theme. Kids who choose to stay at the first activity can continue doing so until the end of the lesson. It’s an entire hour where kids get to have their way without being nagged at. FREEDOM!

DROP-IN:

They also provide drop-in sessions for unsupervised free play ($25). The environment is spacious with a high ceiling and glass walls allowing natural light to shine through. There’s a diaper changing area as well. It used to stock wet wipes and tissue but the most recent time I was there at noon, the bin was full and there were no wet wipes to be seen.

They shift their furniture every now and then.

It’s a chance for you to plonk your kid there to explore while you sit and watch them do their thing. The place is child friendly and they’re not likely to get hurt even if they trip and fall. You’ll still have to break up fights if needed though at this age, most kids indulge in parallel play (playing alongside each other, taking interest in what the other kid is doing but not influencing it) instead of interactive play. Interactive play begins at a later age.

Over at the dark corner, there’s a light box with sensory bottles. Sensory bottles are plastic bottles which are filled with water, gel, oil and trinkets such as buttons, pasta, water beads. These bottles cost next to nothing to make but they trigger children to question why some objects move slower in oil as compared to water, why some bottles are quiet but others are noisy, why the contents in certain bottles can’t move (one was filled with agar).

A wall-mounted light box for kids to insert coloured plastic rods into to create their own design.

They are open on weekends at UE Square so even working parents can bring their kids over for a sensory experience. I prefer this approach of teaching because it allows children to learn through play without placing stress on them while stimulating their senses and invoking their curiosity. They can’t express themselves yet, but their little minds will be questioning.

 

 

Blue House Atelier
83 Clemenceau Avenue
#-01-35/36 UE Square, Office Tower
Singapore 239920
Telephone: +65 6235 2126

Check the timetable for drop-in sessions. Remember to bring socks for both adult and child.

2 Turf Club Road #02 – 05 to 08
Singapore 287988
Nearer MRT : Sixth Avenue – 10 minute walk
Telephone: +65 6462 6547

** Not a paid review. I paid for the lessons and drop-in sessions.

Busy Tables

It’s been 3 weeks since I’ve been with Elise 24/7. Being cooped up at home all day is mind-numbing. The purpose of being at home is to spend more time with her but it’s important to make sure that she gets to learn or experience something new each week. I’ve heard about Busy Tables from the October moms, who’ve brought their little ones there a few times before. I finally brought her there this week!

Located at Rochester Mall, it’s a 5 minute brisk walk or a 10 minute stroll from Buona Vista MRT. The layout of the mall makes it challenging for a directionally-challenged person like me so just take the lift up to the 3rd floor and you’ll find your way soon enough.

After Elise passed a simple temperature check, she was free to explore the place! Brightly lit and spacious, it’s a safe place for little children from 0 to 6 years old to roam around safely. Jeff, the owner of Busy Tables, told us that children of Elise’s age prefer to crawl around rather than sit down for activities due to their limited attention span.

It’s a pity because otherwise, she could try out Busy Cards, a set of mission cards with increasing levels and tiers for children to complete while utilising the resources there. If you have an older child, you can try it out with them!

Elise headed straight for the lightweight gigantic Lego-like plastic building blocks. It was part of the Construction Corner where there were little helmets for and building toys neatly separated into boxes for individual play.

The Reading Corner is well stocked with books for older children in the shelves for easy reach and interactive cloth books on top for the younger babies. There’re books from the Jellycat Soft Tails series, bilingual books and sound books.

The Tots Area had a house tent with two cushy armchairs for tots to relax. The playmats at this area were thicker to cushion falls for the toddlers. Along the wall, the shelves held toys suitable for babies 0 to 2. Surprisingly, the toys are still in great condition, which meant that previous users have been using them with care. There were toys from Fisher Price, V Tech and Leapfrog among other brands.

Beside the tent at the Sensory Area was a sand table filled with Bunchems. Apparently, the theme changes every few weeks. Elise spent a fair bit of time at this station, touching, prodding and scooping the balls into the bucket. This activity requires 100% adult supervision because I saw her munching on something and pried open her mouth to find a black Bunchem inside her mouth. -_- It also gets trapped in your hair, so please watch your kids at this station.

I was impressed by the thought and effort put into creating the Learning Resource Library. The library itself is divided into Lettering, Numeracy, Motor Skills and Problem Solving and arranged in terms of difficulty for children from ages 0 to 6! How thoughtful is that?! In each cubby hole are transclucent folders or boxes containing individual activities and ALL of them are neatly labelled!

I picked out a box from Motor Skills for kids aged 0 to 2. This set was a Vegetable Cutting Set where the parts were joined by magnets which had to be “cut” using a wooden knife. Elise decided to just pull them apart by brute force instead.

The Dark Room is a room with black walls and lightboxes. The lightboxes and plastic shapes allow children to learn about colour mixing and different shapes. There were also translucent stones which Elise decided to pop into her mouth as well… 🙁

 

 

 

Near the entrance are toys and activities which you can purchase home for your child. They have unpainted wooden toys which you can doodle on too.

Here’s the pricing for Busy Tables:

Busy Tables also offers a drop-off session where they keep your child entertained and educated for 1 to 3 hours and playgroup lessons! If only they had a centre near my place…

In summary, I would say that it is a place where a lot of thought is put into encouraging learning through play for children and is worth at least a visit there.

I saw this banner near the entrance. My Messy Box is a monthly subscription box which encourages messy play. Messy play allows children to develop their senses as they touch different textures and forms.

Busy Tables

35 Rochester Drive
Rochester Mall
#03-22
Singapore 138639

** GIVEAWAY **

Busy Tables has very kindly sponsored 5 passes to interested readers!
To take part in this giveaway, follow the steps below!

1. Like Busy Tables‘s Facebook Page
2. Like Bibimbubs‘s Facebook Page
3. Share this Facebook post (please set to ‘Public’ I can track your entry!)
4. Tag 3 mummy friends and leave a comment on the post telling me which corner appeals to you the most!

This giveaway ends 7th January 2017 🙂

** No monetary compensation was received for this review. 

Girls’ Day Out

I brought Elise out alone for the first time to meet my other mummy friends a few weeks ago. My husband was VERY concerned and asked if I needed him to accompany me but I knew I’d be okay, so I declined. I had to reject him more than once because he was so worried.

I packed the bare essentials (less bare than the other time at the dentist, for sure) into a tote bag:

  • Phone, spare battery, wallet, keys, tissue – these were all I used to pack before I had Elise)
  • Disposable diapers (Merries!) x 4 pcs
  • Baby clothes, booties, mittens x 2 sets
  • Nursing cover
  • Wet bag with wet wipes, plastic bags and ziplock bags
  • Changing mat
and began my journey to the west town. It’s troublesome carrying a bulky tote (yes, it is bulky even without bottles and formula) and juggling a baby. I’ve been very lucky so far to have been offered seats in trains throughout my pregnancy and whenever I am out with Elise. 
 
I fed her before leaving the house, so she slept through. At the restaurant, I put a changing mat on the sofa before laying her down on it where she continued sleeping so I could eat. 
The other mummies ate whilst baby-wearing their bubs. 
 
I’ve tried it once before in the food court where I had nowhere to put her down. It is definitely doable, but it’s really uncomfortable when there’s something in between you and your food. 

 

She cried for milk in between, so I latched her under the cape. Benefits of breastfeeding aside, it’s just so. much. more. convenient to breastfeed because there’s no need to find hot water, make sure the temperature is correct and no bottles to clean. The downside is that your boobs become really droopy… ANYWAYS.
Snug like a bug
The bug has awakened
 
Some food got onto her clothes so I brought her to the nursing room to change. 
We walked around the mall after shopping with our bubs all sleeping. At her next diaper change, she decided to pee right after I removed her diaper, so she had yet another change of clothes. I’ve learnt my lesson. 
 
It’s enjoyable bringing baby out alone, but for now, I’d still prefer to have my husband around to carry the load so I can just concentrate on carrying her. 

 

Goofy bug

 

Shocked bug