Monthly Archives

September 2014

Becks Kao Ben Kao Homelearning fun Learning fun! Milestones and growing up Reading fun

Stories, they wrote

September 29, 2014

I’m raising some junior novelists, I tell you. Ever since this became a possibility:

Dotted font_stories-1

This treasure trove of a website called Teachers Pay Teachers is a wonderful repository of resources, many of which are free. Register an account, and search for “free dotted font”. Download whichever dotted font (with lines, without lines, etc) you fancy, and wa la! The kids can start their exciting writing journey.

My kids take turns to consult their “publisher” once they have a story in their head. They take turns to sit next to her and “write” their stories orally with her.

As a publishing consultant, which is me, by the way, I find teachable moments to help them learn about plot, settings, introduction, conclusion, climax and all the various elements of a good narrative as they dictate their story.

Sometimes they get carried away. I let them talk out loud still, and allow them to imagine. When they are done, I turn on the laptop and then type the gist of their stories out in simple, grammatically correct sentences which are easy to understand.

I  launch the dotted font, type away with the junior author standing next to me, include some relevant pictures from colouring printables, print them out and get them to trace their stories, like this:

Dotted font_stories-2

Dotted font_stories-3

They are now proud authors of their own story booklets!

Becks Kao Homelearning fun Learning fun! Milestones and growing up Reading fun

A different approach to reading for her royal miss

September 27, 2014

My little girl has turned 4 and you know what that means.

It means I’m starting to panic. I haven’t been spending much time with her and teaching her to read.

It’s like that with motherhood, isn’t it? You become exceedingly enthused with the first child, and with that enthusiasm you carry a big sack full of expectations which you pile on your firstborn, and when your firstborn meets your expectations and exceeds them, you breathe a huge sigh of relief and fall into the trap of thinking that the rest of the kids will naturally hit those learning milestones because the first one did it.

Well, at least I lived in that cloud for a while.

Ben and Becks are one academic year apart (18 months to be exact) and because I have finally gotten Ben to be reading and writing on his own, I had thought that I would be breathing a whole lot easier since Ben can now start impressing Becks with his much sought-after reading ability and maybe spurring her to start exploring books on her own.

But no, this little girl would much prefer to be writing gibberish notes and drawing and singing to her bolster – which is totally adorable still – that she’s not impressed much that Korkor has learned to read – from readers to subtitles to signs on the road and labels on food packaging. She now conveniently makes Korkor read for her and to her.

Oh, her royal highness.

What I get on a daily basis: my little girl stuffs notes in an envelope for me. Her gibberish is cute - she uses all the letters she knows to write to form words only she can decode

What I get on a daily basis: my little girl stuffs notes in an envelope for me. Her gibberish is cute – she uses all the letters she knows to write to form words only she can decode!

And so I am going to back to the basics again, this time round with my middle child.

Becks is not a flashcard kinda girl, and if you were to approach with books and nothing else, she might only just give you five minutes of her attention. So I tried this with her, and she loved it.

First, a simple reader which would help her in decoding simple words.

Teaching Becks to read_1

Then a highlighter and a jotter book to get her to trace the words and blending the sounds out loud.

Teaching Becks to read_2

Teaching Becks to read_3

Followed by many rounds of a simple ‘find the word’ game:

Can you point to ‘sat? Now point to ‘mat’? Which is ‘cat’? Good finding, now let’s draw a cat and label it!

Teaching Becks to read_4

Wa la, and now she likes to be doing reading and tracing with me! She’s a pen and paper kind of girl, so a nice clean jotter book, a pink or purple pencil (preferably of the princess kind) and lots of encouragement would pretty much hook her in. I’ve to be prepared to let one jotter book go after every session though. This girl used up the remaining pages in the book to continue writing her stories and notes in gibberish after each session, but at least we’ve done some reading, tracing and drawing with it first!

Learning fun! Reviews The Kao Kids

Saying NO to the Pigeon! – Review of I Theatre’s Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

September 23, 2014

We’ve not read the book by Mo Willems yet, and we certainly didn’t know what to expect from a play that had such an odd title.

A Pigeon? A Bus? How will a pigeon ever get on one? And drive it?

And so says my kids.

So we went to the play Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, created and produced by Big Wooden Horse Theatre Company (UK) and presented by I Theatre, totally clueless as to what a pigeon and a bus had to do with each other.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus_1

And boy, I tell you, what a lively, happy show it was! I brought Ben, Becks and Nat – since it was suitable for ages 2 and up – and the kids laughed almost from start to end. The show featured original music and plenty of audience participation, so you can imagine a theatre filled with young children yelling ‘NO!’ to the Pigeon whenever he appeared, because they’ve been entrusted with the responsibility of making sure that the Pigeon didn’t drive the bus when the Bus Driver was away.

So it was basically a whole 45 minutes of singing and being engaged in the play, with the Pigeon whining and pleading with the audience to let him drive the bus!

As for me, I was totally entertained – by the show AND my kids, who were so into their role of saying no to the Pigeon. Hurhurhur.

If you’re looking at exposing your especially young children to theatre, this show is just perfect. It’s full of fun, feathers, laughter and excitement, and is guaranteed to immerse your child in a world of pretend play and imagination.

Well, at least it did that for my two-year-old, four-year-old and five-year-old, and this 33-year-old!

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus_2

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus is now showing at Alliance Francaise Theatre and ends 28 September 2014. Tickets go at SGD30 for Adult/ Child. Selected cards get 15% off. More ticketing details here.

Ben Kao Milestones and growing up Parenting 101 Re: learning and child training

Diaper-FREE, totally!

September 20, 2014

I’m celebrating a huge, huge milestone today.

Ben, my five-and-a-half-year-old firstborn, has gone without diapers at night for 2 weeks successfully now. That meant that the last time he wore one was, well, really his last time.

I know in terms of milestones, my boy’s hitting it a little late. I’ve got close friends and fellow moms I know whose sons and daughters have gone without their diapers since three or four years old. Their kids, I hear, would just magically shed their diapers and not pass a drop of wee at night. Either that or possess this amazing ability to sleepwalk to the toilet, do their business, and go back to bed without waking a single soul.

As a mom, these stories inspire me, and tempts me to pressure my son into performing to my expectations. And then I read somewhere that pressure might totally backfire on me, and I decided to take a more nurturing approach to this.

So, when it came to toilet training at night, I embraced only ONE principle. I tell my son, “Only when you’re ready, kid.”

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t try to get him ready. Since a year ago, I switched those night velcro diapers to pull-up pants and attempted to brainwash Ben to think they were underwear. Every night when I put on those pants diapers for him, I would nag him to remember and imagine that he was still wearing his underwear, and he could wake up, pull these “underwear” down and do a wee like he did in the day.

Who was I kidding? The brainwashing wasn’t successful a single bit. And every night he would still pee in those “underwear”.

Then I came up with a reward system. For every dry diaper I get in the morning, he would get a ‘good-job’ sticker. I told him if he could get 3 within a month, he would be found at the toy store to pick a reward for himself.

Epic fail again there, that one. Every morning, his diaper was so wet and full you could ball it up and use it to strike 10 bowling pins in an alley.

I’ve also tried waking him up to do a wee at midnight. That usually meant he would have had three hours of rest before being awakened. Well, let’s just say I wouldn’t wish to subject myself to such a torture, because he would get so upset he would start crying.

Which meant that the other two would have their sleep disturbed as well if Ben started crying. If Nat was disturbed, I ended up having to nurse him again to calm him. If Becks got rudely awakened in her sleep, oh, God help us all. She would be even more difficult to placate because she would scream the house down and get started with those unstoppable leg-kicking.

Goddamit. I was the one who got no sleep with this midnight-do-a-pee business.

So for a while, I forgot about the whole night toilet training business, and it was, forget it, let’s not stress it. 

I still encourage him to try going without his night diaper once in a while. And whenever I got resistance from him, I’d say, “It’s ok, son. Don’t worry. Try when you want to try.”

And them suddenly, five months shy of his 6th birthday, Ben says he doesn’t want to wear those pull-ups anymore. Suddenly, his stomach had the capacity to take in more food during dinner – which meant he didn’t need to drink milk before he slept. Suddenly, he was able to exercise self-control in not drinking water after 8pm. And just so suddenly, he was mature enough to shake off those emotions that came along with discomfort and wake up at midnight to do a wee without a whine.

And he was ready.

Ready in every sense of the word. Ready to take on this challenge like a big boy. Ready to show the world that he’s a champ.

I’m so glad we didn’t pressure him or make demands. And now he gets to share this pride and sense of accomplishment which would otherwise be lost if we hurried him.

So proud of you, my son. Tis’ a big, big milestone for a big, big boy!

Ben at Five

All this blog's PR Stuff Motherkao loves... Reviews

A cut (and colour) to stay cool – Review of SOHO by X’pect

September 15, 2014

Is it me, or is it the time of the year where the heat and humidity is getting way too unbearable?

I don’t know about your household, but we’re chalking up quite a hefty utility bill every month switching on the air-conditioning every night. And using up a whole lot of water showering at least three times a day.

So I thought I’d do my bit to cut down on the water bills by getting my locks chopped.

Long hair = more water. Short hair = less water. Right?

I was recently invited to review the hair services and treatment offered by X’pect Group.  X’pect Group is a leading group of hair salons with 16 years of experience in the industry, and 5 outlets in Singapore, with its 6th salon opening in a few months. I’ve been told they’ve won over 70 local and international awards combined, and styles MediaCorp artistes, and most recently, the Radio DJs at the Radio Awards.

Awards and accolades aside, let’s get me some haircut, I say. It’s way too hot to keep hair long in this mad weather. So I made arrangements to be away from the children one afternoon, and headed down to Square 2 for a makeover at X’pect Group’s SOHO. Mama needs a haircut, I told the Kao kids, much to Becks’ dismay. She wanted me to be in the Frozen hair braiding craze with her but I told her I was more fried than frozen in this heat.

I arrived, sat down and told Damien, my very experienced stylist that (a) the weather’s too hot, (b) I’m dropping way too much hair, (c) I’d love a look that doesn’t make my hair too flat (I have got very, very fine hair), and (d) he could do whatever he wanted.

So these were his recommendations: (a) if it’s too hot, I should get a hair cut, (b) the reason why my hair is falling off is because my scalp is too oily and I should stop using moisturising shampoo, (c) in order not to have too flat a look, I shouldn’t have my hair cut too short, and (d) if he could do whatever he wanted, he’d give me a highlight of ash green with an ash brown base to brighten my face.

Yes, to all, I say.

And so I got a cut…

Goodbye long hair, it's too hot to keep you

Goodbye long hair, it’s too hot to keep you

It's being chopped...

It’s being chopped…

...OFF!

…OFF!

Not too short though, which I am happy with

Not too short though, which I am happy with

This is just fine!

This is just fine!

A colour…

Colour_1

All the previous colouring has faded, and so now, for a new coat!

And because I complained that my scalp felt a little too itchy from the colouring, I got treated to a really wonderful pampering session – a scalp massage!

No pictures here, cos I had wanted to enjoy the massage and catch my 40 winks.

And the end product was…

Chic and cool, methinks

Chic and cool, methinks

WALA!

Side profile

Side profile

Back profile 2

Back profile

I felt light, refreshed, and cool, and walked out of SOHO with a spring in my step.

The proof of a good haircut, to me, is not the new look you have on the day itself. It’s the day after. If you woke up and saw yourself in the mirror the next day after your haircut and still like it, you’ve got a stylist for keeps.

The day after

Me and the new hair cut, the morning after

There, I am one happy person.

Thank you, SOHO by X’pect for making this happen. Now I feel cool, in every sense of the word!

With Evon who gave me the best scalp massage ever, and Damien, who envisoned and executed this style specially for me

With Evon who gave me the best scalp massage ever, and Damien, who envisoned and executed this style specially for me

I’m still able to join my little girl in her Frozen craze, alright, with this short hair. I’m singing ‘Let It Go’ with a new perspective. I’m glad I had my hair cut and am totally loving this length. Anything to stay cool this hot and humid season!

More details:

You can get a haircut at X’pect Group salons (the one I went to was SOHO at Square 2 at Novena) starting from SGD40 and highlights starting from SGD75. More information on their rates here. X’pect Group’s studios and salons are located at Orchard International Building, Sunset Way, Liang Court, Square 2 and East Coast. There’s going to be one for Westenders at Hillview opening soon too!

For more details on X’pect Group, connect with them on Facebook or check out their website here.

Disclosure: I was invited to review the service at X’pect Group and given a cut, colour and scalp treatment. No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions here are my own. 

Everyday fun! Homelearning fun The Kao Kids

Rotten veg comeback

September 12, 2014

It’s beginning to feel a little tight. 24 hours is clearly not enough for me. With work entering the picture these days, my vegetables can’t wait. They can’t hold out long enough for Mama to come back to make soups or a hearty dish of japchae.

They are rotting faster than I can say, “Wait for me!”

Poor veggies. Rather than subject them to the cruel fate of being trashed immediately, I got them to be useful nonetheless.

Enter veggie stamping fun:

Veg stamping_1

Veg stamping_2

Perfect indoor activity to relieve boredom. Zero guilt for not being able to cook them. They have served us well till the end!

Veg stamping_3

Family life as we know it The Kao Kids The real supermom

Family life as we know it

September 11, 2014

I’ve been missing this space, and missing in action on this space for a while. So much is going on at the moment, and it’s a season of change once again.

I am going back to being a full-time working mom.

After two years of staying home and incubating ideas, I’m finally going to be giving birth to what I’ve been pregnant with for the longest time (haha, not the 4th child lah!).

I’m going to return to work that’s promising to be more fun, more fulfilling and more meaningful. Best of all, it’s something which I can call my own, and it’s something that will help the family move forward.

So we’re saying goodbye to the humdrum of old routines, and welcoming change as it comes.

That also means I will be spending considerably less time with the kids. I won’t be able to hover over them as much as I would like to (like I have done for the past 2 years, hurhurhur) and while the mom duties of chauffeuring, coaching and cuddling will still remain unchanged for as long as there’s breath in me, the kids will not be having Mama around on some days and at certain parts of the day.

But boy, am I so heartened to know that even when I am not around, my all-grown-up-babies are very much able and willing to entertain themselves – and one another. I am so glad that we did 3 kids in 4 years, now on hindsight. Because in light of this new business venture I am undertaking, it is so heartwarming and assuring to be seeing this:

Picnic Together

And this:

Kao Kids Play Together

And this:

Kao Kids and Lanterns

The Kao kids play together so well now, and three’s really a crowd. A boisterous, lively and happy crowd that’s fun, funny and so entertaining to watch. Yes, there are fights and squabbles, lots of tattling and whining still but there’s also so much laughter in the house, more than ever before, which is so, so, so reassuring for me because it means that everything we’ve been doing is worth the while.

Although I’ve been so hard-pressed in every way – to learn the ropes of running a business, to plan my time more effectively, to fill love tanks and gas tanks, to keep the household in order, to exercise and stay fit for my health’s sake – it’s amazing how everyone is adapting to this change together with me – the husband, my kids, and even the helper. We’re all learning to give and love despite ourselves. We’re all learning to celebrate every little success as we go along the way.

And I’m learning that even when you’re stretched paper thin, you have this thing called family that you can always count on to give you the support and love you need.

Family life can’t get better than this.

All this blog's PR Stuff Ben Kao Going Out! Motherkao loves... Nat Kao Reviews The Kao Kids

Turtle mania descends at City Square Mall!

September 7, 2014

I’ll be the first to admit I was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan when I was nine. I carried a TMNT school bag to school and I loved Leonardo most. He was the leader of the turtle pack, and so, very cool. I watched the TV series and was totally familiar with how they became mutant ninjas. You could quiz me about their sensei Splinter, ask me who’s April, Casey Jones, Shredder and Karai, and I could tell you all and more, while other girls were into Polly Pocket, My Little Pony and Care Bears. I grew up watching He-Man, TMNT and Hulk Hogan.

I must have been an odd girl, I know.

Fast forward 24 years. The turtles are back in my kids’ lives.

Sometime, somewhere, somehow, they catch snippets of the animated series on Nickelodeon, see posters of them in malls and find related merchandise at Toys R Us. I tell them sometimes about Leo, Raph, Mikey and Donnie, and their adventures with the baddie Shredder from memory but because childhood memories are a hazy thing, I decided it’s better to bring them to meet ’em.

We were invited to catch Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello in action at City Square Mall’s Live Show yesterday as part of their ‘Total Turtle Takeover’ this September holidays. And boy, boy, boy, was it totally exciting.

See my boys? They came prepared.

Raphael and Leonardo Wannabes

Raphael and Leonardo Wannabes

They watched in awe…

Heroes in a half-shell!

Heroes in a half-shell!

TMNT_2

Someone was watching intently

And learnt a couple of ninja moves from the turtles.

Each dude showed us some good action moves with their weapons – the katana, the nunchakus, the sai, and the bo staff – and got the children to train as junior ninjas by imitating their actions.

Learning to use the nunchakus

Learning to use the nunchakus

And now, some sword moves from Ninja Nat

And now, some sword moves from Ninja Nat

Cowabunga.

The only thing missing was a good pizza pig-out after all the action, which I would have loved to watch.

This was one of the better live shows we’ve caught, because the boys were so, so stoked. The turtles were funny, as usual, the action moves were great, and Ben and Nat got some exercising done.

And then went on stage to meet their heroes some more.

When we got up, Mikey said out loud on stage, “Hey, Leo and Raph. You’ve each got a fan comin’!”

We are all such big fans (ok, maybe except the little girl)!

We are all such big fans (ok, maybe except for the little girl)!

Totally awesome.

More details:

Catch the turtles live in action daily from 6 to 14 September at City Square Mall’s Level 1 Atrium, Mon – Fri at 2pm & 7pm; Sat & Sun at 1pm, 4pm & 7pm.

image

Shake hands and get a photo with the ninja dudes at the Meet & Greet session after the show by redeeming an exclusive Meet & Greet pass with a minimum spending of $50 (with a maximum of 3 same-day combined receipts). 50 passes will be given out 1 hour prior to each  show, strictly on a first-come first-served basis.

There’s also a host of TMNT activities at the mall this September, which includes some colouring fun and Turtle TV Nights! Check out details here.

Disclosure: We were invited to the Live Show and given a media pass for the Meet and Greet. The boys were also given a goodie bag packed with Turtle Power. No monetary compensation was received for this post, and all opinions here are mine.

TMNT_7

All this blog's PR Stuff Ben Kao Going Out! Reviews

The Force is here, across the Causeway: LEGO Star Wars Miniland at LEGOLAND Malaysia

September 6, 2014

Before my LEGO obsessed firstborn had the Legends of Chima open up to him, he plunged head in into the World of Star Wars first.

Thanks to his father’s influence, he grew curious about the weird inhabitants of all the different characters living in the various planets in Star Wars, and even earned his own keep to buy this book – which he ploughs through religiously – from a secondhand bookshop.

Ben sharing a moment with Nat, explaining the characters of Star Wars from his Visual Dictionary

Ben sharing a moment with Nat, explaining the characters of Star Wars from his Visual Dictionary

I am not a big fan, and have only watched Episode VI on big screen, and so my knowledge of Star Wars is limited to only Darth Vader (and the ‘wa si lin lao pei’ Hokkien jokes), Anakin Skywalker and Natalie Portman. Oops, is she some Queen Padme of some strange planet called Naboo. Always can’t control myself when I say ‘Naboo’ out loud. 

But this boy, he knows so much more. He hasn’t watched every single episode, but he’s sure learned a lot from the extremely hilarious LEGO Star Wars Cartoon series. Which is great because he doesn’t think the baddies are scary; they are always portrayed as losers in the cartoon, and he gets to enjoy slapstick humour as a child appreciating what could otherwise have been complicated story plots and developments in an epic film series predominantly meant for adults.

So imagine how very stoked he was when he scored an invitation to preview the Star Wars™ Miniland Model Display at LEGOLAND Malaysia.

It’s not something that happens every day; and this boy from Singapore skipped kindergarten for a day to be one of the two littlest invited guests to turn up at the media preview of this attraction, which is the first of its kind in Asia.

Just look at the beaming five-year-old when he got to LEGOLAND Malaysia. So much happiness.

Hanging out outside the Miniland Model Display before the official launch

Hanging out outside the Miniland Model Display before the official launch

Absolutely no qualms making friends with Darth Maul.

"At last we shall reveal ourselves!"

“At last we shall reveal ourselves!”

Or the Jedi Master of High Council, Mace ‘Uncle’ Windu.

Young Jedi Wannabe with the Master

Young Jedi Wannabe with the Master

But the boy was actually looking high and low for a picture with Count Dooku. Hurhurhur. He just thinks his name is too funny.

The LEGO Star Wars Miniland Model Display is housed in an octagon building with a floor of 900m² that have been divided into 8 areas – 6 for each Episode of Star Wars, with the 7th featuring a scene from the animated film, ‘The Clone Wars’, and the 8th featuring an amazing array of retail products, read: all LEGO Star Wars merchandise.

Outside the LEGO Star Wars Miniland where we also met some young Jedi knights and storm troopers

Outside the LEGO Star Wars Miniland where we also met some young Jedi knights and storm troopers

The place, besides being a welcoming respite from the heat (air-con!!!), is a place that’s guaranteed to make you drop your jaws. And make you drop it 8 times.

And scream “WOW!” like what Ben did walking through the Miniland.

We took a chronological walk through the Star Wars timeline and had fun pressing the interactive buttons that activated animatronics within each scene.

Episode 1: The Phantom Menace - The Battle of Naboo

Episode 1: The Phantom Menace – The Battle of Naboo

Episode II: Attack of the Clones - Geonosis Ben having an intense conversation with the Star Wars Miniland Guide

Episode II: Attack of the Clones – Geonosis
Ben having an intense conversation with the Star Wars Miniland Guide

Here, the battle between Count Dooku's droid army and the Grand Army of the Republic

Here, the battle between Count Dooku’s droid army and the Grand Army of the Republic

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith - the planets of Kashyyyk and Mustafar

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – the planets of Kashyyyk and Mustafar

Episode IV: A New Hope - looking at the Tatooine and Han Solo's famous Starship, the Millenium Falcom, which takes 40 seconds to take off and land!

Episode IV: A New Hope – looking at the Tatooine and Han Solo’s famous Starship, the Millenium Falcon, which takes 40 seconds to take off and land!

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back - taking refuge in icy planet, Hoth

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back – taking refuge in icy planet, Hoth

Ep6_Return of the Jedi_Endor

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi – Battle of Endor

Star Wars: The Clone Wars on the planet of Christophsis

Star Wars: The Clone Wars on the planet of Christophsis

With more LEGO-modelled Star Wars characters

With more LEGO-modelled Star Wars characters

Add to the whole experience, retail therapy!

Add to the whole experience, retail therapy!

8,000 man hours. Over 1.5 million bricks. For this entire experience that will make any Star Wars fan hyperventilate.

More details:

The LEGO Star Wars Miniland Model Display opens its doors on 6th September 2014 (today!). Entry to the Star Wars Miniland is free and included in the admission ticket.

Throughout the month of September, various LEGO Star Wars activities have been lined up to commemorate LEGOLAND Malysia’s second anniversary. These include:

  • a free entry promotion for children dressed up as their favourite Star Wars characters (from 6 – 30 Sept)
  • special birthday fireworks on 15 Sept at the Resort starting at 8pm
  • characters ‘Meet & Greet’ sessions at The Beginning (Theme Park) and Hotel Lobby (LEGOLAND Hotel) from 6 Sept onwards

Check out more exciting activities here if you’re planning to head down to LEGOLAND Malaysia this September holidays!

Disclsoure: Ben and I were invited to preview the LEGO Star Wars Miniland Model Display. No monetary compensation was received for this post, and all opinions here are own. We endured tired jaws to bring you this jaw-dropping awesomeness. You’re welcome.

All this blog's PR Stuff Everyday fun! Happy days Learning fun! Milestones and growing up Reviews The Kao Kids

Going on a plastic fast, and playing with traditional toys

September 2, 2014

It’s not every day you get invited to a toy store and go behind the scenes to learn how it operates.

Zero2Six_Behind the scenes_1

Excited kids pretending to buy this and that

Zero2Six_Behind the scenes_2

Cashier Ben at your service – how much is the white tiger in the window?

Zero2Six_Behind the scenes_3

Cashier Becks tells you everything is free ! (hurhurhur)

Zero2Six_Behind the scenes_4

Cashier Nat only accepts cash

It’s not every day you get invited to a toy store and get a glimpse at some of the most exquisite toys it imports and sells.

Zero2Six_Toystore_1

An impressive range of traditional educational toys that develop cognitive skills, 3D imagination and logical deduction

Zero2Six_Toystore_2

Petitcollin dolls: phthalate free, vintage handmade collectibles with handsewn clothes (I’m a doll-lover myself, so this cabinet was fascinating for the girl in me – oh the details on their faces!)

Zero2Six_Toystore_3

Vilac, the oldest toymaker in France: they’ve been making traditional wooden toys in a factory set in the Jura Mountains and their wide range of handmade toys include building blocks, wooden cars, planes, and automobiles, tea sets and musical instruments all handcrafted using high-quality wood and a unique lacquer formula

Zero2Six_Toystore_4

More charming collections displayed all around the store

It’s not every day you enter a toy store and find that practically nothing there calls for your concern – with regards to toxic materials and hazards – because you know, as a mom, you raise your eyebrows when wooden toys have labels that read ‘Made in China’. Almost every toy there is either Swiss-made, German-made, French-made and at the very least, handmade.

Zero2Six_Toystore_5

Pizza-making and animal farm play that’s safe for little hands

It’s not every day you get to play with the lightest modelling compound in the world, and shape things with a dough so fluffy and soft, and never dries out.

Zero2Six_Toystore_6

Ladies and Gents, this is Bubber, the award-winning, lightest modelling compound on earth!

And it’s not every day you get to walk home with toys from the store with compliments from the store itself. Just look at these beaming children.

Zero2Six_Toystore_7

Happy kids to receive presents specially handpicked for them

And for many days, these toys kept the Kao kids going on their plastic “fast”. Yep, you heard that right, these kids’ mother decided that they’ve been touching plastic way too much, and issued them a challenge of finding creative ways to play with their new wooden toys.

So besides going fishing, using the xylophone for every pretend-play royal proclamation of Princess Becks’ arrival, and assigning animals to their barns to the tune of ‘Old MacDonald’s’, the Kao kids have got the texture of wood incorporated in their play, which is a good change from their usual sensory experiences with plastic toys.

Zero2Six_Melissa&Doug Toys_1

Ben’s going to fish, Nat owns a barn, and Becks get a xylophone that the boys would have to play for her when her royal highness deems it fit!

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Play time!

A whole new dimension of fun to be remembered for a long time!

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Zero2Six is a toy store launched in 2010 by a concerned mother with a single vision – to bring in award winning traditional toys that are unique, educational, eco-friendly and fun for children in an age where digital products are increasingly encroaching into a child’s playtime and development.

Zero2Six toys are sourced from premium toymakers in Europe and USA that have passed the highest safety standard tests worldwide and made with the finest natural materials. They are exceptional in quality and educational value, and made by some of the world’s oldest toymakers in the world who still believe that a handmade toy is a craft and not a commercialised product.

Zero2Six can be found at Katong I12, Mandarin Gallery and Jem. Connect with them via FB at their FB Page here.

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Disclosure: We’ve been invited by Zero2Six for a behind-the-scene toystore experience. The toys in this post have been specially handpicked and sponsored by them. No monetary compensation was received for this post, and all opinions here are our own.