Intertidal Walk at Changi Beach Park

Children need freedom outside of the four walls they are forced to spend most of their waking hours of childhood and adolescence in. My husband feels that I bring the kids out too much – if not now, then when?

To prepare for this intertidal walk, we bought aqua shoes (as low as $2/pair from @decathlonsg on sale) to protect our feet from sharp surfaces and maintain grip on the slippery sand.

There was a thunderstorm when we boarded the cab to Changi Beach, and I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to start the walk.

Thankfully, the skies cleared up to a drizzle as we approached. Shannon from Onhand Agarian led our group and we benefitted from his vast knowledge of the marine creatures.

Sea snail laying eggs
Sea cucumber
Sea star
Entangled in a discarded fishing net

Did you know that sea anemones launch their harpoons into your skin when you touch them? Their sting isn’t painful to humans so it feels sticky instead.

In Korea, my husband would dig for clams while on holiday with his family and he picked up some crabs for the kids to watch.

Sticky sea anemone
Hermit crab

It wasn’t easy to walk around certain parts of the beach as the soft sand squelched and sucked in our shoes with each step. Emmett even scratched his knees when he fell on some rocks but it’s all part and parcel of exploration. As with all beaches here, all sorts of trash could be found on the shore. Most of it came from either the boats or neighbouring countries as the product wrappers are not those commonly seen here. Not all our trash, but it’s our beach. You may not make a big difference when you help to clear some trash, but every little bit counts! We didn’t bring home anything – take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints!

We received a huge box of seafood from Shannon in place of our beach side BBQ that could not happen. They offer locally farmed seafood and vegetables in zero waste packaging as monthly subscription boxes!

Little Cookhouse – Kids Baking Studio

About

Little Cookhouse is a baking studio for children that’s not just a baking studio. It’s a Montessori-based bake-and-cook enrichment program designed for children between 3 to 12 years old to learn values and life skills. Children are grouped according to age groups, with age-appropriate tools that they can handle. Each 1.5 to 2 hour lesson has a maximum class size of 8. 

Started by parents Yock Song and Jean, Little Cookhouse aims to provide an exciting and fun learning environment while letting the child develop essential life skills. Prior to opening the studio, they conducted cooking classes for children from home. 

The studio is bright, with full length windows that allow natural sunlight to illuminate the area. Right in front of the door is a stand that resembles a popcorn booth. There are long stools for the younger children to reach the sink area themselves to wash their hands. 

Baking session

Before the start of the session, the children will gather at the table, where instructor Jean will introduce the country related to the creation of the day. As we were making sushi cakes, Jean taught them some simple Japanese greeting phrases, the main regions of Japan and some Japanese food.  

The kids for our session were aged 3 to 6 years old and the ingredients were already measured and laid out in IKEA children’s cups. Emmett tagged along and Jean allowed him to use her demonstration set to practise pouring and mixing! Look at their serious faces. Each step was clearly demonstrated and explained before the kids got to work. Both Yock Song and Jean went around to facilitate children who required help but it was mostly all done by the children themselves. 

Emmett loved being part of the process and he took his tasks seriously! Elise has somewhat of a competitive streak and powered through most of the tasks herself. 

“Break” time

After pouring the batter into moulds and popping them into the oven, it was time to wait. Instead of whiling away, the children were taught how to create simple origami crowns which they could wear on their heads. By the way, edible pencils were used to label each child’s cakes! This shows how much importance they place on safety.  

Back to work!

Cutting out shapes from the cakes without them breaking into bits proved to be a bit challenging for Elise and she required assistance, which Yock Song promptly provided. The next few steps were to spread buttercream, arrange the chocolate pieces on top of the cakes, wrap cocoa crepes around the edges, pipe gel onto the “sushi” and put jelly bits on top of the gunkan maki sushi. 

Anddddd we’re done!

Not too shabby for a first timer, right? I was expecting it to be overwhelmingly sweet, but the sushi cakes were surprisingly palatable! Only two pieces of sushi made it out of the baking studio intact.

Little Cookhouse

Private Classes held through appointment basis only.

Book Review: Boo Who? by Ben Clanton

Boo Who? by Ben Clanton is a story of a ghost who is new to a group and tries terribly hard to fit in. Since Boo is a ghost, it cannot hold tangible objects and is often unable to participate in games with his friends. Is there any way he can fit in? Eventually, Boo finds a game that he excels at. Boo Who? has simple and endearing characters which are easily identifiable by children like a robot, rabbit/unicorn hybrid, yellow fluffy monster and dinosaur. The sentences are kept to one or two per page, making it an easy bedtime story for parents to read out. 

This book is a lighthearted way to introduce to children who are starting or transferring schools and may be shy. Elise took to the story well as she recently started attending kindergarten with a new set of classmates, teachers and routine. 

To make the book more memorable for her, I decided to include a play element for her. Recalling a trick from eons ago during art class, I used white oil pastel to draw out Boo on a drawing block. Then, I took out an ice cube paint stick (frozen food colouring and water) for her to make Boo reappear. She shrieked out “Boo!” when she saw it. At least it was somewhat recognisable for her.

Distributed by Pansing, Boo Who? by Ben Clanton is available at all good bookstores.