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Perhaps you’ve always wanted to be your own boss by being self-employed. But your dream took a backseat after you met the love of your life, got married and had children.

Well, it’s still not too late to get started. But the question is, should you? Here are pros and cons of self-employment to help you decide.

Pros of Self-Employment

  • You can set your own schedule

If you’re your own boss, you get to decide your own schedule. No more being tied to the 9-to-5 just because someone else makes you do so! For example, if you do your best work at night after putting your kids to bed, go for it.

Being self-employed also allows you to plan your work around your family’s schedules. If, say, you know you’ll need to pick up your kids from school after lunch, you can avoid scheduling phone calls with clients during that hour.

  • You get to spend more time with your children

This is probably the best part of being self-employed if you have children. Kids grow up way too fast, but your flexible schedule (see previous point) will allow you to be with them every step of the way. This is also great for building bonds that will last a lifetime.

For example, instead of delegating the daytime child-minding to a helper, you can set aside time to play with your children yourself! You’ll have more energy to interact with your children too, compared to if you were to only see them after a long day in the office.

  • You can instil an entrepreneurial mindset in your children

To develop a successful self-employed career, you’ll need to have an entrepreneurial mindset. This means daring to pursue worthwhile opportunities, being self-motivated to succeed and having the capability to deal with rejection, among other qualities.

And these qualities may just rub off on your children along the way. After all, children learn by observing and emulating the behaviour of people around them. With the obvious choice of role model being you, their parent.

Your kids may not end up becoming entrepreneurs themselves, but the mindset and qualities they pick up from you will serve them very well in life.

Cons of Self-Employment

  • Your income may vary from month to month

It’s no secret that self-employment can be a bit of a gamble, income-wise. One month, you could be earning a cool $7,000 while the next month, you could earn only $700.

As a result, self-employment becomes more risky if you have large debts to repay, such as a mortgage. It’s best if your spouse is earning a steady paycheck to ensure the bills can continue to be paid.

But if you’re currently a stay-at-home mum (SAHM), self-employment may be a good way to supplement the family income while taking care of the kids. Because hey, earning some income is better than earning no income at all right?

  • You won’t have paid annual or sick leave

Unlike employees, self-employed persons aren’t entitled to paid annual or sick leave. This means that if you’re planning a family trip to Japan, you won’t be paid for the duration that you’re away from your business. The same goes for if you fall ill.

To mitigate such risks, factor in off days when deciding how much to charge for your services. The more paid time off you want for yourself, the higher your rate should be. Check out how to do this when calculating freelance photographer rates, for example.

Side note: While self-employed persons aren’t entitled to paid annual or sick leave, the Singapore government will sponsor your maternity and childcare leave if you’ve been self-employed for at least 3 months!

  • You may feel lonely

Self-employment can be an isolating venture as you may have limited interaction with people outside of your clients.

That doesn’t mean you’re destined to become a hermit though – seek out like-minded peers who are in the same industry or even do the same jobs as you!

Not only can they serve as your support group in times of difficulty, you may even be able to refer each other clients. This equals more work and more $$.

And even if currently you don’t have many of such peers, rest assured that you’re not truly alone! You’ve got a loving spouse and kids who have your back.

This article is contributed by Tan Siew Ann. Siew Ann is the founder of lancerX, a blog that aims to empower Singapore’s freelance community to streamline their business and focus on their craft.

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It is the one month June school break, we have compiled a list of activities and things to do this June School Holidays 2019. Click the image to find out more.

If you find this article useful, do click Like and Share at the bottom of the post, thank you.

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What draws you to an enrichment class? Is it the teachers? The curriculum? Or the environment?

For Ms Alice Ow, it was seeing her child’s progress that sealed the deal.

Alice enrolled her eldest son Ian, in Happy Train’s programme when he was 2 and half years old. She was first drawn to the energetic, loving and experienced teachers she saw at the whole brain enrichment centre.

She recalls, “I believe the programme has helped to improve his memory and attention skills as a growing toddler,” Ian is now a motivated Primary 5 boy who welcomes challenges and enjoys learning.

Seeing the direct and positive results in her eldest son, it’s no surprise that Alice also enrolled her second child Faith, in the same programme.

“Having been exposed to numeracy in Happy Train, both Ian and Faith are very comfortable with numbers. They have topped Math in their respective levels at their school,” shares the mum.

Besides academics, Happy Train’s holistic and robust curriculum also exposes students to creative elements such as music.

“Through Happy Train’s perfect pitch curriculum, both Ian and Faith have gone on to pursue music with passion. Ian is doing piano while Faith is doing violin. Music teachers have commented that they have perfect and relative pitches with good hearing,” Alice adds.

To find out more about why parents are raving about Happy Train’s whole-brain programme, we speak to Happy Train’s Principal and sat in for their bilingual class for 3 and 4 year olds.

Happy Train Whole-Brain Bilingual Class

In Happy Train’s bilingual programme, parents and children get the best of both worlds. It’s a unique blend of brain-activation activities conducted in English and Mandarin. The language used for each class alternates every week, so kids are exposed to the sounds and words of both languages on a regular basis.

“This provides a fresh and exciting experience for our students every time they come for class,” Ms Jacqueline Neo, Principal of Happy Train, reveals.

The school recognises the value of introducing language in an interactive manner at a very young age. They have whole-brain bilingual programmes catered for babies as young as 3 months old.

“Many of our parents see the importance of language exposure at a very young age. We have parents telling us that when a new language is introduced to their child at a slightly later age, the child is usually more resistant to learning and using it. This is why it is crucial to start from the age of zero.”

English Class

In each class, words and vocabulary are introduced through a variety of activities, which occurs at a quick and steady pace.

In this particular activity, the teacher was talking about barbequing food. Each child was given a grill and a fan.


Let’s barbeque! A student engaged in one of Happy Train’s many activities. All the activity materials are hand-made by the teachers. Photo: TNAP

After demonstrating how to barbeque food by fanning her grill, Teacher Serene passes her food around so that each child gets to a turn to ‘barbeque’ on their grill. Her high energy keeps the children and parents excited during and after each activity.

“1..2..3..fan, fan, fan!” a mum exclaims to her child.

One of the benefits of accompanying your child to class is that you would be able to pick up communication skills from the teachers on how to guide, encourage and praise your child.


Memory Game: Teacher Serene encouraging a student as his dad checks his answer. Photo: TNAP

Whenever the memory game pops up, you don’t only see the children putting their alert hats on, parents do the same too!

Relating back to the barbeque theme, Teacher Serene pulls out a picture card that shows food items that can be barbequed (pictured above).

Each picture card has two foods placed together, side by side. After a few seconds, she puts the picture card down and asks each child if they can arrange the food in the same order.

Happy Train’s small teacher-child ratio for each class allows teachers to have pockets of one-to-one time for each child. The teacher interacts with every parent-child duo, guiding the child and cheering them on when they attempt each activity.

Chinese Class

If there’s one consistent thing in both the English and Chinese class, it’s the level of energy and passion from both teachers. It’s as though the class was conducted by the same teacher, but in a different language!

It was fascinating to hear parents and children conversing in English during the English class, and then switching to speak in Mandarin as soon as the Chinese class starts.

The group of 4-year-olds were immersed once the class begun. They watched and listened to Aiwei Lao Shi’s instructions, whether it was singing along, counting with her or playing memory games.


Happy Train’s Chinese teacher, Aiwei Lao Shi singing a hello song to welcome the children for class, accompanies her singing with pictures cards. Photo: TNAP

It was heart-warming to see parents being involved throughout the entire time, participating in the activities and bonding with their child.

First Bilingual Brain-Training Programme In Singapore

Happy Train is the only brain-training programme in Singapore that promotes bilingual education.

“We didn’t want the programme to be purely right brain or purely high speed. We wanted to create something fun and meaningful. From our experience, a child’s emotion matters a lot when they are learning or picking up skills,” explains Jacqueline.

The curriculum is designed by a diverse team of teachers with experience in early childhood education, right-brain training, speech training, linguistics and music education.

“Chinese is not an easy subject for children to pick up. We want them to learn language in an enjoyable way from a young age, and slowly nurture their love for the language as they grow older,”

Besides a focus on bilingualism, the centre’s solid repertoire of hands-on activities is one of its core strengths. It’s also why many children, such as Evangelyn Choon’s daughter, are engaged from start to end.

“From the first lesson, Hannah was engaged throughout the 60 minutes lesson, with songs and flash cards, together with memory, motor skills, letters and number games. As she progressed through the years, the learning activities were more challenging but age-appropriate,” says the mum.

Hannah joined the programme when she was 2 years old, and has since graduated from Happy Train. Evangelyn attests that the activities at Happy Train such as memory, spatial visualisation, reasoning, language, writing and arithmetic skills, and many others, gave her daughter a head start before Primary school.

Jacqueline adds, “Our curriculum is also designed to cater to Singapore’s education syllabus. When students are 5 and 6 years old, we start to prepare them for formal Primary school education.”

Want your child to love English and Chinese and be effectively bilingual in the future? Consider Happy Train’s Whole Brain Bilingual Progamme for your child today!

Happy Train centre – Bugis (Headquarters)
87 Beach Road, Chye Sing Building, #06-02, Singapore 189695
Tel: 6336 5080
Email: enquiry@happytrain.com.sg

Happy Train centre – Tampines, CPF Tampines Building,
1 Tampines Central 5, #03-14, Singapore 529508
Tel: 6781 6788
Email: enquiry-tm@happytrain.com.sg

Operating hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 9:30 am to 6:30 pm. Closed on Monday, Tuesday and Public Holidays.

By Dinah Shahab

This post is brought to you by Happy Train.

Want to be heard and seen by over 100,000 parents in Singapore? We can help! Leave your contact here and we’ll be in touch.

Stay in touch! Subscribe to our Telegram here for all our latest updates.

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More and more males are beginning to be aware of andropause.

To be more accurate, there is no such condition called andropause which was coined initially to reflect that the hormonal changes specifically testosterone and its associated symptoms in males as they age is somewhat similar to those in women as they undergo menopause.

In a study done in Singapore between 2007 – 2009, it was estimated that 26.4% of men suffer from androgen deficiency.

The degree of decline of testosterone levels in males as they age in not as much as the drop in estrogen levels in females when they undergo menopause.

In fact, the decrease in testosterone in males over the age of 40 is roughly about 1% each year of life. Between the age of 20-30 years old, the level of testosterone in males is the highest.

So what is androgen deficiency or testosterone deficiency? Let me illustrate with two examples (names and backgrounds have been changed).

Chua, 46 years old

Chua has experienced a downward spiral for his sex drive and also experienced issues getting and sustaining an erection for the past few months. He is obese, hypertensive, and perhaps too busy at work.

Because of his decline in sex drive, his wife suspected he was having an affair. So he sought medical help.

I suggested to Chua blood tests to ascertain his testosterone and associated hormone levels. The tests returned a low testosterone level. I prescribed an increase in activity levels by 20-minute walks 3 to 4 times a week, to first get his weight down.

After getting 3kg off, his testosterone still returned a low level on blood tests. So I prescribed a testosterone therapy over 9 months.

A few months later, Chua reported a definitive improvement in his sex drive and he felt as if he was in his 30s. Although he has more weight to lose, I assured him that weight loss will be a lifelong battle and encouraged him to continue his walks, exercises, and healthy diet.

Ismail, 50 years old

Ismail was happily married with 3 grown up children and 4 grandchildren. However, in the last year, his relationship with his family has become more strained as he frequently became irrationally angry, and suffered from hot flushes which was an embarrassment. He has a history of hypertension and high cholesterol which is under medication control.

He has seen other doctors and was told that everything was normal and one even suggested for him to see a psychologist. When he saw me, I reassured him that I would exhaust all diagnostic means.

On review, his testosterone levels were indeed low and I suggest to start him on testosterone replacement. After 6 months, his symptoms are much improved. His wife also remarked that he was almost back to his normal self.

What causes Androgen Deficiency?

There are several causes of Androgen Deficiency:

  1. Genetic disorders
  2. Medical problems
  3. Damage to the testes or pituitary gland

In cases of genetic disorders like Klinefelter’s where the male was born with an extra copy X chromosome, they typically are unable to produce sperm or enough of the male hormone, testosterone, for the body’s needs. As a result, they fail to develop male sexual characteristics and also the ability to produce sperm.

Rarely, conditions of the pituitary gland can cause androgen deficiency. This is a tiny gland in the base brain that produces 2 hormones called Luteinising Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating hormone (FSH) which I needed by both males and females for normal reproductive function. In males, these 2 hormones are needed to stimulate the testes to produce testosterone and sperm.

One of the most common pituitary gland conditions is a non-cancerous growth in the pituitary gland which is called adenoma where it enlarges to the point where it puts pressure on the gland itself thus causing the gland to stop producing the 2 hormones.

Medical problems such as obesity is associated with low testosterone levels. In fact, it was found that very obese males can have 25% lower level of testosterone than non-obese males.

It is also found that when males reduce their body fat levels their testosterone levels will increase. This is due to the fact that the fat cells are efficient in converting testosterone to female hormone called estrogen.

Additionally, patients with diabetes are more likely to have low testosterone levels. Several studies have also shown an association between low testosterone levels and cardiovascular risk.

A number of studies have shown that men who had coronary artery disease have lower levels of testosterone levels.

Whether it is low testosterone causing the increased risk of cardiovascular risk or the other way round remains to be elucidated. Also patients with depression also tend to have lower testosterone levels as well.

What are some common symptoms that men may experience if they have testosterone deficiency?

  1. Low sex drive (low libido)
  2. Erectile dysfunction (difficulty getting an erection or sustaining erection)
  3. Weight gain especially around the waist
  4. Tiredness
  5. Mood changes (low mood and/or irritability)

One study showed that 16% of men who have androgen deficiency have erection issues and 12% have low libido while 20% would have 2 or more of the other symptoms. These symptoms are disturbing for many males as it affects their daily life and their relationship with their partner and family members.

Are there any dangers to having low testosterone levels?

As mentioned previously, there is a growing body of evidence showing an association between low testosterone levels and cardiovascular risk and also mortality (death).

How does it get diagnosed?

If you think that you or your partner may be suffering from androgen deficiency, please visit your doctor (GP) and discuss further. Some of the symptoms of androgen deficiency may be caused by other medical conditions such as anaemia, thyroid conditions or even depression.

It is important to see your GP to ascertain if your symptoms may be due to other medical conditions. Your GP may order some blood tests to rule out some of these medical conditions and also perform a hormonal panel to check for various hormones such as testosterone, LH and FSH.

If your testosterone level is indeed low and other medical conditions have been ruled out, your GP can discuss with you about treatment options.

Are there any remedies for androgen deficiency?

Some studies show that resistance weight training can give a modest boost to the testosterone level. Also reducing body fat if there is high body fat level can help to increase the level of testosterone. This can be achieved via appropriate diet and exercise like High-Intensity Interval Training. As with any diet and exercise advice, please consult your doctor for further advice.

There are a myriad of various herbal/ natural supplements you can get from retail pharmacy and till date there is no conclusive evidence to show that any of such supplements can increase testosterone. Also, do be careful of some products may be adulterated with western medications which may cause side effects or other health issues.

In terms of treatment of androgen deficiency, there are several options available in Singapore.

Testosterone injection – This is an option for those who do not wish to take medication on a daily basis. Generally this injection is given once every 8-12 weeks depending on individual.

Testosterone Capsules – This is an option for those who do not like needles and prefer the oral route. The absorption of the capsule dependent on the fat content of the food intake, it is better absorbed with higher fat food intake.

Testosterone gel – This option provides the best absorption and most stable levels compared to the other 2 routes of administration. It is also the easiest option for most people as it only requires you to apply the gel on the skin.

There is precaution of accidentally transferring the testosterone to partners or children, especially if the partner or children comes in contact with the gel before it dries completely

How can patients reduce the symptoms?

Symptoms of androgen deficiency is best managed with a combination of healthy lifestyle (exercise, reducing fat loss) and also seeking help from your GP.

How can partners help their husbands going through androgen deficiency?

Just as women who undergo menopause need support from their partner and family, males undergoing androgen deficiency also need psychological support and understanding from their partners.

It can be a trying time for both parties especially when symptoms like erectile dysfunction or mood changes occurs. It is important to maintain an open conversation with each other to alleviate fears and expectations.

Partners can encourage men to seek advice from their GP and if necessary seek treatment. Finally, both partners can embark on exercise program and diet program together and this can help to foster a closer relationship at the same time as well.

This article is contributed by Dr Julian Ng. Dr Ng is the resident doctor at DTAP Clinic Novena, focusing on Men’s health, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), Paediatrics and Chronic Diseases Management.

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Instead of enjoying a day of celebration with their parents alone on Parents’ Day, these preschoolers did something more meaningful. They brought joy to the elderly from the North East Community Development.

Fighting off stage fright, these preschoolers from MindChamps Chinese PreSchool @ Tampines Central proudly entertained the elderly and the crowd with a routine of singing and dancing.

Their month of practice paid off as the audience clearly enjoyed their performance.

Next up, the parents of the preschoolers led a hands-on session in folding heart-shaped origami.

The children clearly didn’t want to miss out on the fun, so they stepped in to help as well. Although they struggled a little with the folding, all of them managed to complete their heart-shaped origami by helping each other out.

Seeing the three generations coming together to enjoy this hands-on activity was quite an uplifting sight.

After the craft-making session, an early dinner was served to the children, parents and the elderly. A spread of local delights was served such as Chicken Rice, Braised Pork with Rice, non-spicy Nasi Padang and warm barley.

Before saying their goodbyes, the children surprised the senior citizens with goodie bags, which they helped to pack earlier on. These were filled with food generously donated by the lovely parents.

Indeed, it was heart-warming to see the bright smiles and twinkle in the eyes of all the grannies and grandpas as they enjoyed the performance and the hands-on activity, and simply having our bubbly preschoolers brighten up their day.

This event was jointly organised by BreadTalk, North East Community Development Council (NECDC) and MindChamps Chinese PreSchool @ Tampines.

The celebration which focused on one of MindChamps’ 10 values, ‘I am Grateful’, gave the children the opportunity to learn and experience what it means to give back to the community and to lend a helping hand to those in need.

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What draws you to an enrichment class? Is it the teachers? The curriculum? Or the environment?

For Ms Alice Ow, it was seeing her child’s progress that sealed the deal.

Alice enrolled her eldest son Ian, in Happy Train’s programme when he was 2 and half years old. She was first drawn to the energetic, loving and experienced teachers she saw at the whole brain enrichment centre.

She recalls, “I believe the programme has helped to improve his memory and attention skills as a growing toddler,” Ian is now a motivated Primary 5 boy who welcomes challenges and enjoys learning.

Seeing the direct and positive results in her eldest son, it’s no surprise that Alice also enrolled her second child Faith, in the same programme.

“Having been exposed to numeracy in Happy Train, both Ian and Faith are very comfortable with numbers. They have topped Math in their respective levels at their school,” shares the mum.

Besides academics, Happy Train’s holistic and robust curriculum also exposes students to creative elements such as music.

“Through Happy Train’s perfect pitch curriculum, both Ian and Faith have gone on to pursue music with passion. Ian is doing piano while Faith is doing violin. Music teachers have commented that they have perfect and relative pitches with good hearing,” Alice adds.

To find out more about why parents are raving about Happy Train’s whole-brain programme, we speak to Happy Train’s Principal and sat in for their bilingual class for 3 and 4 year olds.

Happy Train Whole-Brain Bilingual Class

In Happy Train’s bilingual programme, parents and children get the best of both worlds. It’s a unique blend of brain-activation activities conducted in English and Mandarin. The language used for each class alternates every week, so kids are exposed to the sounds and words of both languages on a regular basis.

“This provides a fresh and exciting experience for our students every time they come for class,” Ms Jacqueline Neo, Principal of Happy Train, reveals.

The school recognises the value of introducing language in an interactive manner at a very young age. They have whole-brain bilingual programmes catered for babies as young as 3 months old.

“Many of our parents see the importance of language exposure at a very young age. We have parents telling us that when a new language is introduced to their child at a slightly later age, the child is usually more resistant to learning and using it. This is why it is crucial to start from the age of zero.”

English Class

In each class, words and vocabulary are introduced through a variety of activities, which occurs at a quick and steady pace.

In this particular activity, the teacher was talking about barbequing food. Each child was given a grill and a fan.


Let’s barbeque! A student engaged in one of Happy Train’s many activities. All the activity materials are hand-made by the teachers. Photo: TNAP

After demonstrating how to barbeque food by fanning her grill, Teacher Serene passes her food around so that each child gets to a turn to ‘barbeque’ on their grill. Her high energy keeps the children and parents excited during and after each activity.

“1..2..3..fan, fan, fan!” a mum exclaims to her child.

One of the benefits of accompanying your child to class is that you would be able to pick up communication skills from the teachers on how to guide, encourage and praise your child.


Memory Game: Teacher Serene encouraging a student as his dad checks his answer. Photo: TNAP

Whenever the memory game pops up, you don’t only see the children putting their alert hats on, parents do the same too!

Relating back to the barbeque theme, Teacher Serene pulls out a picture card that shows food items that can be barbequed (pictured above).

Each picture card has two foods placed together, side by side. After a few seconds, she puts the picture card down and asks each child if they can arrange the food in the same order.

Happy Train’s small teacher-child ratio for each class allows teachers to have pockets of one-to-one time for each child. The teacher interacts with every parent-child duo, guiding the child and cheering them on when they attempt each activity.

Chinese Class

If there’s one consistent thing in both the English and Chinese class, it’s the level of energy and passion from both teachers. It’s as though the class was conducted by the same teacher, but in a different language!

It was fascinating to hear parents and children conversing in English during the English class, and then switching to speak in Mandarin as soon as the Chinese class starts.

The group of 4-year-olds were immersed once the class begun. They watched and listened to Aiwei Lao Shi’s instructions, whether it was singing along, counting with her or playing memory games.


Happy Train’s Chinese teacher, Aiwei Lao Shi singing a hello song to welcome the children for class, accompanies her singing with pictures cards. Photo: TNAP

It was heart-warming to see parents being involved throughout the entire time, participating in the activities and bonding with their child.

First Bilingual Brain-Training Programme In Singapore

Happy Train is the only brain-training programme in Singapore that promotes bilingual education.

“We didn’t want the programme to be purely right brain or purely high speed. We wanted to create something fun and meaningful. From our experience, a child’s emotion matters a lot when they are learning or picking up skills,” explains Jacqueline.

The curriculum is designed by a diverse team of teachers with experience in early childhood education, right-brain training, speech training, linguistics and music education.

“Chinese is not an easy subject for children to pick up. We want them to learn language in an enjoyable way from a young age, and slowly nurture their love for the language as they grow older,”

Besides a focus on bilingualism, the centre’s solid repertoire of hands-on activities is one of its core strengths. It’s also why many children, such as Evangelyn Choon’s daughter, are engaged from start to end.

“From the first lesson, Hannah was engaged throughout the 60 minutes lesson, with songs and flash cards, together with memory, motor skills, letters and number games. As she progressed through the years, the learning activities were more challenging but age-appropriate,” says the mum.

Hannah joined the programme when she was 2 years old, and has since graduated from Happy Train. Evangelyn attests that the activities at Happy Train such as memory, spatial visualisation, reasoning, language, writing and arithmetic skills, and many others, gave her daughter a head start before Primary school.

Jacqueline adds, “Our curriculum is also designed to cater to Singapore’s education syllabus. When students are 5 and 6 years old, we start to prepare them for formal Primary school education.”

Want your child to love English and Chinese and be effectively bilingual in the future? Consider Happy Train’s Whole Brain Bilingual Progamme for your child today!

Happy Train centre – Bugis (Headquarters)
87 Beach Road, Chye Sing Building, #06-02, Singapore 189695
Tel: 6336 5080
Email: enquiry@happytrain.com.sg

Happy Train centre – Tampines, CPF Tampines Building,
1 Tampines Central 5, #03-14, Singapore 529508
Tel: 6781 6788
Email: enquiry-tm@happytrain.com.sg

Operating hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 9:30 am to 6:30 pm. Closed on Monday, Tuesday and Public Holidays.

By Dinah Shahab

This post is brought to you by Happy Train.

Want to be heard and seen by over 100,000 parents in Singapore? We can help! Leave your contact here and we’ll be in touch.

Stay in touch! Subscribe to our Telegram here for all our latest updates.

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I read a news article recently about a five-year-old boy who had a minor injury from an escalator incident. Onlookers interviewed for the report went on to described the boy as “very brave, as he did not cry.”

Reading that, I couldn’t help thinking that all too often children are praised for being brave when they do not cry in physically or emotionally painful situations.

Like when they take an injection at the doctor’s, when they fall and scrape their knees or when they hold back tears as they say goodbye to their parents at pre-schools.

Is Crying A Sign of Weakness?

We often hear adults say “don’t cry”, “only babies cry” or “big girls/boys don’t cry” in a bid to stop their children’s tears. In fact, if our kids do not cry by ignoring that the injection spot is sore, their knees still hurt or that they miss their parents badly, they get praised for being brave. With that, we instil in children that crying is bad and they should not cry.

But is crying all that bad? Why do we find crying so hard to bear such that we have to immediately nip it in the bud by finding ways to stop the tears from flowing?

Perhaps, it was because we ourselves were brought up to suppress our tears. I know I did – I grew up being shamed for crying and told that crying was undesirable. I don’t blame the intentions of parents who tell their children the same.

No parents want to see their children upset. We all want to see our children happy and them not crying is an affirmation to that. But the truth is no one is happy all the time.

Human beings experience a range of emotions. For children, big feelings like sadness, anger and frustration are even harder to control given that their brains are yet to be fully developed.

Or perhaps we need to stop our children crying because we get annoyed or uncomfortable at the sound of crying. If so, we need to ask ourselves – why do humans cry?

Why We Need To Stop Telling Our Kids They Are Brave For Not Crying

We cry as a natural response to emotions. We cry in response to physical or emotional pain, like when we hurt ourselves or in the passing of a loved one. If so, why do we feel the need to suppress a natural expression of feelings that do not hurt others?

“If we teach children to show only happy feelings, we deny part of their humanity – and set the stage for trouble. Repressed feelings don’t go away; they go underground. These suppressed feelings can create road-blocks to learning in school and disrupt social relationships throughout life,” wrote Heather Shumaker, author of parenting book, It’s OK not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids.

In his best-selling classic, Between Parent and Child, renowned child psychologist, Haim Ginott wrote, “If a child is to grow up honest, he must not be encouraged to lie about his feelings, be they positive, negative, or ambivalent.”

If we want to raise our children to become emotionally healthy and emphatic individuals, as parents, we need to learn to accept such uncomfortable feelings and show out children that they too can learn how to deal with negative feelings in emotionally healthy ways.

Why Crying Helps

Allowing your child to cry does not mean he or she is allowed to go on a rampage, hitting, biting or thrashing the house. Allowing our children to cry is acknowledging their pain and telling them it is okay to feel normal human emotions of sadness, anger, frustration, that they are feelings that will come to pass and there are healthy ways to express those emotions.

In fact, praising a child for being brave because they did not cry is akin to saying they are weak because they cried. Would you call your best friend weak if she cried as her parent is very sick? Or if she didn’t cry, would you tell her she is very brave?

I would just be there to let her have my shoulder to cry on because it’s about letting my friend express her pain, and letting her know in her moment of sadness, I’m here for her. I wouldn’t judge if she is brave or weak. To me, it’s about my best friend being sad and she needing me, that’s all there is to it.

I do not want to teach my children they are brave because they could suppress their feelings. To me, being brave is standing up for your friend who is being bullied by the class bully. Being brave is getting up on stage for a performance or a presentation even though you’re nervous.

Being brave is stepping in to help an unjustly-treated friend or a passer-by whom you may not know. That’s the kind of bravery I want to teach my children.

This article is contributed by Vivian Teo. Vivian worked as a financial journalist and editor for 14 years. She recently took a career break to spend time with her two children and write about things close to her heart – these including her blog, The Stuff Childhoods are Made of and a soon-to-be published young adult novel.

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As Singaporean parents, we are very much caught up in our education system, trying to keep up with academic success and classes, yet hoping to raise healthy, whole-hearted, all-rounded kids.

With all the running around, we often forget to care about our children’s character the same way we worry about their credentials.

The truth is, there’s nothing quite like first-hand experience with other people to teach our children important life skills and values like empathy, resilience, kindness and graciousness.

With that in mind, we’ve collated a list of organisations where parents and children can volunteer together to make a tangible difference in the lives of others who are struggling and those with special needs.

See also: Children’s charities in Singapore

1. Make A Wish Foundation

Make a Wish Foundation seeks to support and uplift the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions, by making their dreams come true.

Young and old alike are welcome to become real-life Heroes in these children’s lives, through befriending them and being part of the team that makes their wishes come true.

You can also help raise much-needed funds for the organisation, for example through baking cookies or making cards for sale.

Contact: 6334 9474
Email: info@makeawish.org.sg

2. Food Banks Singapore

If Junior is often picky about his food, perhaps it’s time to expose him to some of the harsh realities of poverty and food wastage in Singapore.

At The Food Bank Singapore, the fight against hunger is waged by reducing food wastage, and donating unwanted food to charities which can help meet the physical needs of the less fortunate.

5 to 12 year olds can volunteer with the Food Bank Juniors Club, and get educated about hunger and food wastage issues in Singapore along the way.

Contact: 6831 5395
Email: enquiries@foodbank.sg

3. Willing Hearts

Willing Hearts also offers opportunities for parents and children to get first-hand experience in preparing meals for the less fortunate.

No experience in cooking is required – just a cheerful heart and willing hands – and children are more than welcome to come and serve with the team.

Contact: 6743 0725
Email: willingheartsingapore@gmail.com

3. Kids Read

If you have an avid reader or drama-mama in your home, let them put their skills to good use by telling stories to underprivileged children in Singapore.

The kidsREAD Club initiative was launched just last year by the National Library of Singapore, and aims to make reading fun and enjoyable for these children at public libraries and community centres. Or bring them along with you as you take on the role of story teller to these children.

Email: kidsREAD@nlb.gov.sg

Team up with an older child to organise events or fundraisers for Pathlight School, Singapore’s first autism-focused school, which takes its students through a unique combination of mainstream academic curriculum and essential life skills.

Contact (Main Campus): 6592 0511

4. Club Rainbow

Club Rainbow is a familiar name to most of us, as one of the better known local agencies which reach out to support children with chronic illnesses and their families, providing them with relevant help and services towards an enriching life.

If committing to a regular befriending role seems to daunting, you can help the centre by joining one or more of its fundraising events.

Contact: 6377 1789
Email: contact@clubrainbow.org

5. Rainbow Centre

Not to be confused with the above is Rainbow Centre, which supports children with special needs with its special education programs and activities, to empower them to meaningfully live and contribute to society.

They are looking for long-term committed volunteers as classroom support, and for weekly outings, but you can also volunteer to help in ad-hoc events throughout the year.

Contact: 6472 7077
Email: rcmds@rainbowcentre.org.sg

6. It’s Raining Raincoats

Besides helping our fellow Singaporeans, children can learn to appreciate and value the work of our migrant workers. It’s Raining Raincoats is one such initiative that allows for that.

Besides advocating for various issues on behalf of our migrant workers, It’s Raining Raincoats also organises regular collection and distribution of basic essentials and gifts to the workers, and several of these events are open to families as volunteers.

Contact: www.facebook.com/itsrainingraincoats

7. Riding For The Disabled Association Singapore

Riding for the Disabled Association Singapore (RDA) has been giving thousands of disabled children and adults the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of horse-riding therapy for over 30 years.

Can’t ride a horse yet? That’s okay. No previous horse experience is required to volunteer as a side walker, guiding beneficiaries around the track. Do note that volunteers for this role must be aged 16 years and above.

Contact: 6250 0176
Email: mail@rdasingapore.org.sg

Have a charity organisation to share? Write to us in the comments below.

By Dorothea Chow

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Need to tighten your pockets this June Holidays? No worries! Here is the list of free events to check out in the month of June 2019.

For June Holiday Enrichment programmes, visit June Holiday Enrichment Programmes 2019

Note: All details are correct as at the time of publishing. Readers are advised to check with the various event organisers for the most updated schedules.

#1 Children’s Festival by Gardens by the Bay 2019

With free admission for all visitors, Children’s Festival 2019 will see the transformation of Supertree Grove into a colourful carnival filled with family-friendly games and activities, inspired by Buzz, Woody and the gang in an all-new Toy Story adventure. Young visitors will also learn about friendship and teamwork through the various activities.

Date: 15 to 30 June 2019
Time: 10am – 9pm
Venue: Supertree Grove, Gardens By The Bay
For more information, visit Children’s Festival by Gardens by the Bay 2019.

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#2 Pesta Ubin 2019

Pesta Ubin is a kampung-style Open House at Singapore’s last rustic island, Pulau Ubin! Pesta Ubin is the highlight of each year of ‘Celebrating Ubin’, which is made possible by the Friends of Ubin Network (FUN). FUN brings together those who are committed to working together for Ubin.

Date: 18 May to 30 June 2019
Time: Refer to post
Venue: Pulau Ubin
For more information, visit Pesta Ubin 2019.

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#3 Wan Qing Dumpling Festival 2019

Wan Qing Dumpling Festival 2019 presents an exciting weekend of activities including dumpling making sessions, craft workshops, dramatised storytelling and evening music performances ranging from the traditional to the contemporary.

Date: 1 & 2 June 2019
Time: 10am – 9pm
Venue: Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
For more information, visit Wan Qing Dumpling Festival 2019.

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#4 Istana Open House – Hari Raya Puasa

The Istana Grounds is open to the public in celebration of Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Hari Raya Puasa, Labour Day and National Day.

Date: 5 June 2019
Time: 8.30am – 6pm
Venue: The Istana
For more information, visit Istana Open House.

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#5 National Day Rehearsals

The National Day Parade NDP 2019 will be at The Padang as the country marks 200 years since the founding of modern Singapore. In the weekends leading up to the actual day itself, there will be combined rehearsals, National Education and full dress rehearsals and guess what, you can actually be around to catch some of the performances and aerial displays etc.

Date: From 15 June 2019 (Saturdays)
Time: TBD
Venue: Padang
For more information, visit National Day Rehearsal.

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#6 Children’s Season Stories In Things @ National Museum of Singapore

This June, Children’s Special at the National Museum celebrates the launch of our special publication for families, Get Curious! – The Official Interactive Guide to the National Museum of Singapore.

Date: 1 to 30 June 2019
Time: TBD
Venue: National Museum
For more information, visit Children’s Season Stories In Things @ National Museum of Singapore.

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#7 SCCC Cultural Extravaganza 2019 (华彩2019) – Some activities are chargeable

Come and witness our Chinese culture come alive at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre’s signature programme, Cultural Extravaganza 2019.

Date: 24 May to 15 June 2019
Time: Refer to post
Venue: Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre
For more information, visit SCCC Cultural Extravaganza 2019 (华彩2019).

*************************************

#8 DBS Marina Regatta 2019

The highlight of the DBS Marina Regatta this year will be the 23,000 sq ft maze, constructed out of RENEW material, which is made from 95% recycled material, mainly compressed “straw” made from leftover stems of agricultural crops.

Date: 31 May to 2 June 2019
Time: Refer to post
Venue: The Promontory @ Marina Bay
For more information, visit DBS Marina Regatta 2019.

*************************************

#9 Hari Raya Light Up Geylang Serai 2019

Continuing the theme of “Celebrating the kampung spirit”, the annual event will line the streets of the Malay enclave with displays inspired by Malay cultural icons and will provide many opportunities for community bonding.

Date: 3 May to 16 June 2019
Time: Refer to post
Venue: Geylang Serai
For more information, visit Hari Raya Light Up Geylang Serai 2019.

*************************************

#10 Festival Closing Concert with Singapore Symphony Orchestra

Perfect for families, young and old, join us for this free concert at the Singapore Botanic Gardens in a celebratory closing to SIFA 2019.

Date: 2 June 2019
Time: 6pm – 7.15pm
Venue: Singapore Botanic Gardens
For more information, visit Festival Closing Concert with Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

*************************************

#11 Children’s Season 2019 @ SYSNMH

Explore the occupations of the past through fun-filled programmes such as treasure hunts, dramatised storytelling and cartoon drawing workshops!

Date: 1 to 30 June 2019
Time: 10am – 5pm
Venue: Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
For more information, visit Children’s Season 2019 @ SYSNMH.

*************************************

#12 Assisi Fun Day

Spend a meaningful and fun-filled day bonding with your family at the carnival of the year – ‘Assisi Fun Day’.

Date: 16 June 2019
Time: 10am – 4.30pm
Venue: SJI International School
For more information, visit Assisi Fun Day.

*************************************

#13 Doodle-licious of FUN! @ United Square

Get ready for a Doodle-licious of FUN! this June holidays at United Square as the mall promises to wow the kids and the whole family with a truckload of activities.

Date: 1 to 30 June 2019
Time: Refer to post
Venue: United Square
For more information, visit Doodle-licious of FUN! @ United Square.

*************************************

#14 Music Day Out 2019

Set to be at Singapore Botanic Gardens Shaw Foundation Stage, they will be presenting MacPherson Philharmonic Orchestra for an hour long concert, as well as fun games for kids and families.

Date: 30 June 2019
Time: 4.30pm – 7.30pm
Venue: Singapore Botanic Gardens
For more information, visit Music Day Out 2019.

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#15 PAW Patrol at City Square Mall

Be A Part of The Best Rescue Team with Nickelodeon’s PAW Patrol this June School Holiday! Do you have what it takes to be a hero? Nickelodeon’s PAW Patrol is on the lookout for brave and strong patrollers to be a part of their amazing rescue team this June school holiday.

Date: 31 May to 30 June 2019
Time: Refer to post
Venue: City Square Mall
For more information, visit PAW Patrol at City Square Mall.

*************************************

#16 June Holiday Activities at Malls of Frasers Property

Over the June holidays, forge new, unforgettable experiences with families and friends while learning new craftmaking skills, picking up new exercises, and engaging in exciting games. The month-long programme includes indoor adventure games, sports days for kids, exclusive Father’s Day treats, a wide variety of workshops to learn arts and crafts.

Date: 1 to 30 June 2019
Time: Refer to post
Venue: Various Malls
For more information, visit June Holiday Activities at Malls of Frasers Property.

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#17 Goodman Open House 2019

Groove, Dance and have a Play-Full day out this June holidays at the Goodman Open House, a family-friendly arts festival that offers visitors of all ages the opportunity to enjoy and experience diverse art forms.

Date: 22 June 2019
Time: 11am – 5pm
Venue: Goodman Arts Centre
For more information, visit Goodman Open House 2019.

*************************************

#18 Night At Orchard NAO

NAO is an outdoor night-time event that showcases the best talents across music, arts, unique craftsmanship, F&B and more, as well as placing the spotlight on promising busking acts in town.

Date: 31 May to 2 June 2019
Time: 5pm – 10pm
Venue: Between ION Orchard and Ngee Ann City
For more information, visit Night At Orchard NAO.

*************************************

#19 Faber-Castell Art Festival 2019

Visit us at Marina Square Central Atrium as we have fun with portraits drawn by renown artists, walk through a gallery of beautiful art pieces.

Date: 21 to 30 June 2019
Time: 10am – 9pm daily
Venue: Marina Square Central Atrium
For more information, visit Faber-Castell Art Festival 2019.

*************************************

#20 Hari Raya Open House at Malay Heritage Centre

Enjoy a weekend of festivities with your family and friends at the Malay Heritage Centre. Fiesta Raya @Malay Heritage Centre features free craft activities, cooking demonstrations, live music, dance performances, and more!

Date: 22 & 23 June 2019
Time: Refer to post
Venue: Malay Heritage Centre
For more information, visit Hari Raya Open House at Malay Heritage Centre.

*************************************

#21 NParks Concert Series in the Park: Rockestra

Themed ‘East Meets West’, sing along to your favourite English, Cantopop and Mandopop hits performed by Enigma, NationOne, SuperSonic, The JumpStart and The Switch Gang.

Date: 1 June 2019
Time: 6.30pm – 10.30pm
Venue: Fort Canning Park
For more information, visit NParks Concert Series in the Park: Rockestra.

*************************************

#22 Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019

This year’s Gallery Children’s Biennale aims to spark curiosity in our young visitors about the world around them, encourage openness to discover diversity, and imagine new possibilities.

Date: 25 May to 29 December 2019
Time: Refer to post
Venue: National Gallery Singapore
For more information, visit Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019.

*************************************

#23 Gardeners’ Day Out At HortPark

Highlights such as the Gardening and Food Bazaar, and the NParks Pasir Panjang Nursery Plant Sales are mainstays in every Gardeners’ Day Out.

Date: 15 June 2019
Time: 9am – 3pm
Venue: HortPark
For more information, visit Gardeners’ Day Out At HortPark.

*************************************

#24 A World Of Adventures At Suntec City!

Gear up for a fun, exciting and educational journey with the Super Wings Live Show and other activities here at Suntec City! A host of performances, parades and parties are in store for the whole family to enjoy at the North Atrium.

Date: 7 to 30 June 2019
Time: Refer to post
Venue: Suntec City
For more information, visit A World Of Adventures At Suntec City!.

*************************************

#25 Spider-man at Changi Airport

Ahead of the launch of Marvel’s latest film Spider-Man: Far From Home on 2 July, Changi Airport is bringing the Spider-verse to Terminal 3 for the June school holidays!

Date: 31 May to 14 July 2019
Time: Refer to post
Venue: Changi Airport Terminal 3
For more information, visit Spider-man at Changi Airport.

It is the one month June school break, we have compiled a list of activities and things to do this June School Holidays 2019. Click the image to find out more.

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Is your child entering Primary One in 2020?

Details of 2019 Primary One Registration Exercise is now out. Children born between 2 January 2013 and 1 January 2014 (both dates inclusive) can participate in the 2019 Primary One Registration Exercise for admission to Primary One classes in 2020.

Here are the details:

1. The registration of children for admission to Primary One (P1) classes in 2020 will open from 3 July 2019 to 31 October 2019. The dates for the different phases of registration are listed in below.

Registration Phases Dates
Phase 1 3 to 4 July 2019
Phase 2A(1) 9 July 2019
Phase 2A(2) 15 to 16 July 2019
Phase 2B 22 to 23 July 2019
Phase 2C 30 July to 1 August 2019
Phase 2C Supplementary 13 to 14 August 2019
Phase 3 October 2019

2. All primary schools will open for registration from 8am to 11am and from 2.30pm to 4.30pm from Mondays to Fridays during the registration period. Details on the list of primary schools and vacancies available, as well as a list of registration centres for merging and relocating schools, can be found at the Primary One Registration Exercise for Admission to Primary One in 2020.

Primary One Internet System (P1-IS) for Online Registration

MOE will open the Primary One Internet System (P1-IS) to all primary schools. The P1-IS serves as an alternate channel to facilitate the registration of children during Phase 2C and 2C Supplementary. Parents who do not wish to make an online registration can continue to go to their school of choice for registration.

To register online via the P1-IS, both parents are required to use their SingPass. For a Step-by-Step Guide on doing an online registration, please refer to Primary One Internet System (P1-IS). The P1-IS is accessible 24 hours during the following periods:

  • Phase 2C – 29 July 2019, 9am to 31 July 2019, 4.30pm.
  • Phase 2C Supplementary – 12 August 2019, 9am to 13 August 2019, 4.30pm.

For more information, visit here.

If you find this article useful, do click Like and Share at the bottom of the post, thank you.

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Want to cool off from the heat and have a good swim with the kids? There are many water playgrounds to choose from in Singapore, and families living in the northern part of Singapore are spoiled for choice!

Here are water playgrounds you can find in the north of Singapore.

FREE WATER PLAYGROUNDS

1. Northpoint Water Playground

Northpoint water playground is one of the newest water playgrounds in the North.

Located at the 4th floor of Northpoint City, you can access it via the series of escalators starting from Level 1 next to McDonald’s / Mos Burger.

There is a simple wet playground for toddlers and a larger one with slides for older children.

Parents can shower their children at the common showering area which has 3 showerheads (both a fixed showerhead and a removable showerhead like the ones we use in our home bathroom).

However for parents concerned about personal privacy, there is no cubicle except a handicapped toilet to change your children’s clothes so many parents simply change their children’s clothes in public view.

There is also a small dry playground mainly for babies and toddlers at the far end of the water playground. The playground is open to children below the age of 12.

Address: Level 4, Northpoint City 930 Yishun Ave 2, Singapore 769098
Nearest MRT: Yishun
Water Activation Hours: 10:30am – 2pm and 5pm to 9pm daily

2. Jelutung Harbour Park

The Jelutung Harbour Park water playground is unique as it is located in the middle of a circular cluster of HDB blocks.

It follows a nautical theme and even has a rotating flagpole fountain that could get an unsuspecting parent wet.

There is only one handicapped toilet cum shower next to the playground which tends to be occupied especially when many parents are showering their children after water play.

There are several playgrounds and exercise areas nearby should you like to explore dry options.


Image source: Kampung Sembawang

Address: 493 Admiralty Link, Singapore 750493
Nearest MRT: Sembawang
Water Activation Hours: 930am to 930pm

3. Sembawang Shopping Centre

The water playground (and dry playground) is located at the top floor (3rd storey) of Sembawang Shopping Centre.


Image source: Playpoint

There are slides connecting the water playground to the dry playground, and many tippling buckets of water that will surprise unsuspecting parents too. The playground is open to children under 12 years old.

There is a common shower area (no cubicle) and limited seating area here. Good news is that there is a free daily shuttle bus service from Sembawang MRT and Yishun MRT for families taking public transport.

Address: Level 3, Sembawang Shopping Centre, 604 Sembawang Road, Singapore 758459
Nearest MRT: Sembawang or Yishun
Water Activation Hours: 11am to 2pm & – 5pm to 8pm

4. Lower Seletar Reservoir Park

The water playground at Lower Seletar Reservoir Park has beautiful scenery of greenery, the reservoir, the North-South MRT line in the backdrop and a boardwalk leading to the middle of the reservoir.

This playground is suitable for babies, toddlers, older children and even adults to enjoy the meandering ‘river’ to the fountain circle which also serves as an amphitheatre.

Just a note of caution, the floor especially at the fountains may be slippery and the flooring at the ‘river’ is rough especially for babies with thin soles (you may want to let your baby wear socks or booties).

There are no shower facilities, only a toilet nearby with a water cooler.

Address: Yishun Ave 1, Lower Seletar Reservoir Park, Singapore 769139
Nearest MRT: Khatib
Water Activation Hours: 9am to 9pm

WATER PLAYGROUNDS AT PUBLIC SWIMMING COMPLEXES

Although these water playgrounds do not have free entry, families can still access them at an affordable rate. Individuals who have unused ActiveSG credits can utilise these credits to purchase swim passes at certain rates.

1. Woodlands Swimming Complex


Image source: Woodlands Swimming Complex

Woodlands Swimming Complex has a small water playground together with a wading pool, a teaching pool and a competition pool.

Address: 3 Woodlands St 13, Singapore 738600
Nearest MRT: Marsiling or Woodlands
Operating Hours: Fri to Wed: 8am to 9.30pm, Thur: 2.30pm to 9.30pm
Weekly maintenance: Thursday – Half day (8am to 2:30pm)

2. Yishun Swimming Complex


Image source: MyActive SG

Like Woodlands Swimming Complex, Yishun Swimming Complex also has a wading pool, a teaching pool and a competition pool.

However it does not have a typical water playground, instead it has a few slides which are more suitable for older kids. Sometimes the slides may be under maintenance.

Address: 351 Yishun Avenue 3, Singapore 769057
Nearest MRT: Yishun or Khatib
Operating Hours: 8.00am-9.30pm
Weekly Maintenance: Wed – Half day (8am to 2:30pm)

WATER PLAYGROUNDS AT CLUBS

To access these water playgrounds, you may need to be a member of these clubs (or a guest of a member). Some clubs allow the public to enter for a fee.

You generally get better shower facilities and other membership perks that may make your membership fee worthwhile.

1. SAFRA Yishun


Image source: Sherman Seow / Google Maps

SAFRA Yishun revamped their water playground in 2017 to a pirate-theme and parents are loving it! Parents can sit at the umbrella-shaded tables near the wading pool, or join the kids in the pool.

SAFRA’s shower facilities have hot water and hair dryers, so you can shower in comfort. The rates are $1.15 (Concession), $2.20 (Normal) on Mondays to Fridays, and $1.70 (Concession) , $3.30 (Normal) for Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.

Children below the age of 5 enjoy FREE entry into their pools.

Address: 60 Yishun Ave 4, Singapore 769027
Nearest MRT: Yishun or Khatib
Operating Hours: Mon 11am – 9.30pm, Tue – Fri 7am – 9.30pm, Sat, Sun, PH 8am – 9.30pm
Maintenance: On Mondays before the official operating hours.

2. Orchid Country Club


Image source: Tripadvisor

Orchid Country Club’s funpool is open to both members (free) and NTUC members (members can buy a UCM pass for $3 for weekdays and $5 on weekends, each pass includes entry for 2 children below 21 years old. For additional adult, add $3 each up to 2 adults).

The funpool has slides and fountain streams for children to play in. It is also designed with curves to evoke creativity and fun.

If you take public transport, you can take the free public shuttle from Yishun MRT. Parking at Orchid Country Club is also free.

Address: 1 Orchid Club Road (S)769162
Nearest MRT: Yishun (free shuttle bus) or Khatib
Operating Hours: 7.00am to 9.00pm

3. HometeamNS Sembawang


Image source: HometeamNS

HometeamNS Sembawang is nestled deep in the outskirts of Sembawang, not too far from the Jelutung Harbour Park water playground.

Members can access not only the adult and kids wading pool, but there is also a wet play area with a little boat nearby.

HomeTeamNS members can bring in up to 4 paying guests. SAFRA members can bring in up to 3 paying guests. Children below 5 years old get free admission.

The public can access the pool and wet play area only on weekdays by paying $3 per adult and $1.50 per child (free for children below 5 years old).

Address: 301 Canberra Road, Singapore 759774
Nearest MRT: Sembawang
Operating Hours: 9.00am to 9.00pm daily

WATER PLAYGROUNDS AT ATTRACTIONS

1. Rainforest Kidzworld


Image source: Google maps/Jonathan Nordin

Rainforest Kidzworld is located deep inside the Singapore Zoo. It is a perfect place for families to gather and rest after a good walk through the zoo.

Kids can interact with animals too at the Buddy Barn and get up close with animals via the daily Keeper’s Chitchat sessions:

  • 10.30am – 12.00pm, 1.30 – 3.00pm, 4.00 – 5.00pm at Buddy Barn
  • 10.00am at Falabella Stables
  • 11.30am and 3.30pm at Goat Enclosure

Address: 80 Mandai Lake Road Singapore 729826
Nearest MRT: various (see directions here)
Operating Hours: 9.00am to 5.30pm
Ticket prices: Refer here

Did we miss a water playground spot in the northern part of Singapore? Write to us in the comments below.

By Jules Chan

Like what you see here? Get parenting tips and stories straight to your inbox! Join our mailing list here.

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