One of the most awesome things about having children is that you can be thoroughly entertained for hours watching them play pretend.
I watch my firstborn, who is five this year, do that with all his Lego people and Transformers. I hear him voice different characters and witness the drama and conflict unfold. I watch my little girl, who is turning four next month, talk to stuffed toys, take them to tea and organise all sorts of themed birthday celebration for Care Bears, Barbies, her favourite bolster and teddies. And with my littlest who is two years old, I am hearing him impersonate Captain America, Batman, Superman and Spiderman in all sorts of voices and going on rescue missions on his own, by himself. The kids play together at times but as quickly as they can gather to play together, they can also very quickly break away to immerse in their own worlds of play.
It’s all very amusing, I tell you. But I do enjoy every minute of being amused this way.
I’ve heard good reviews about Sentosa’s annual ‘Storytelling Comes Alive!’ event but hadn’t had the opportunity to check them out the past years. This year’s tie-up with PLAYMOBIL seems too exciting not to miss. With the kids huge on pretend-character-play these days, Sentosa’s ‘Storytelling Comes Alive! With PLAYMOBIL’ this year had me swearing to myself that I must bring the kids to go get their imagination fuelled!
So on a hot, scorching Wednesday afternoon we went…
…Where we first checked out the Little Hands and Minds craft corner and had some craft done. We had wanted to catch the story of ‘Prince Plucky and the Treasures of the Ocean’ at 2.30pm but were late for it, so we thought we go get our hands busy instead.
Ben and Nat did up their watering cans, while Becks and I worked together to embellish and put some designs on an apron. It’s only $5 per activity, and if you come on a Monday, you get a 1-for-1 deal.
The kids then had their fun at the PLAYMOBIL play pits and needless to say, the boys gravitated to the dragons and dungeons and castles and started making all sorts of crashing and roaring sounds, complete with evil laughter, while the little girl just sat where the pink things were to la-la-la away. The heat didn’t deter anyone from having fun, although the adults that brought them there were fast melting and screaming for air-con.
It was a really hot day, that afternoon. Bet you could hear all of us sizzle like sausages in a frying pan just by looking at these sweaty, sticky kids.
So finally at 4pm, when I heard a voice blasting from the speakers inviting kids to gather at the air-conditioned pavillion for ‘Sun, Sea and Sand with Buddy Cool’, I hurried the kids to get some air-conditioning cool with me. We sat in for a really informative and engaging session on beach safety and Ben and Becks learned a few tips on how to stay safe at the beach.
Then the clock struck 5.45. And that was when what really got us all excited began! A giant story book opened right before our eyes, and characters from the PLAYMOBIL fairy series came alive in ‘The Search for the Magical Unicorn’. I loved the whole concept of reading aloud from a giant storybook and selecting some kids to participate as fairies and unicorns, as well as involving the audience to recite chants complete with funny actions. The organisers even gave everyone a crown to get them into their role of reciting their chant. My little ones were thrilled, and even Nat (who usually can’t sit still) was totally immersed in it.
In the story, the PLAYMOBIL fairies and their unicorns came to live, and the children were transported into a world of enchantment and magic. We don’t have many pictures to show, and that’s mainly because the adults, too, were totally drawn into the story!
You have to go check out the storytelling for yourself. It does comes alive, indeed (as the programme is aptly called), and it’s really something the kids should experience. The pictures here don’t do the fun we’ve had any justice at all!
Before we left, we just had to check out the PLAYMOBIL Toy Store pushcarts all over the beach front. The big boy was so awed by the fact that PLAYMOBIL (which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year) was as old as him he couldn’t wait to get his hands on some dragons and knights in the name of family bonding to play with his children.
The last I heard, the sons and him have fixed up the castle and prepared their dragons and dragon slayers for an all out war with the Transformers Decepticons and Lego Vikings. The little girl also got a princess from her father and I suspect that this lady’s entire existence in the larger scheme of things would be all about being rescued from the knights in shining armour.
And the last I saw was that of a very happy girl talking to her princess, tucking her in bed; a very talkative two-year-old discussing weaponry with his brother; and an extremely enthusiastic five-year-old losing sleep over the fact that there’s lots of new toys in the living room and that he is going to be playing those toys with his father very often.
All thanks to PLAYMOBIL, an indulgent father, and the event at Sentosa, there is so much excitement in the air with play, play and more play now in the house!
Take time off for some family bonding with your little ones, and let them explore and learn through play!
‘Storytelling Comes Alive! With PLAYMOBIL’ is happening now at Sentosa till 29 June 2014. There are giant PLAYMOBILS all around Palawan Beach, storytelling sessions, exciting performances, PLAYMOBIL sand pits and play pits for you and the little ones to check out this June holidays – all for free!
Date: 31 May – 29 June 2014 (no stories and shows on Mondays)
Time: 11am – 7pm
Venue: Palawan Beach
Disclosure: We were invited by the good folks at Sentosa for the event and given 2 free activities at the ‘Little Hands and Minds’ booth and also F&B vouchers. All opinions here are my own, including how awesome I think it is that they are telling stories and running this programme in mostly air-conditioned comfort. Thank God for air-con!