Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Scholastic Books that Enhance Reading Experience

[Sponsored Review]

When the big package from Scholastic arrived at our doorstep, our children were thrilled! Inside the package, there were Klutz Build Your Own Gumball Machine and Baby-sitters Little Sister #1 Karen's Witch. Unlike typical books, these two titles enhance the children's reading experience in different ways.

Klutz Build Your Own Gumball Machine

The current trend of learning through S.T.E.A.M (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) is incorporated in this maker's kit from Klutz Maker Lab. The children learn about simple machines through building a gumball machine. This maker's kit is perfect for budding engineers.

The package comes with a book of step-by-step instructions, adjustable ramps, custom snaps, and bumper guides.

Other than the colourful design, we also like the book, which is not just an instruction booklet - it contains scientific knowledge of simple machines as well as some history. The reading experience is enhanced with hands-on experience, so that the children are able to appreciate how the machine works.

Since we do not have gum balls, we use marbles. However, the size of our marbles did not fit into the machine perfectly, how we wished spherical objects of suitable size were included in the kit.

Age: 10 - 12
Product URL:

Baby-sitters Little Sister #1 Karen's Witch

Reading graphic novel is another way to enhance the children's reading experience. Children are able to have a better understanding of the story with the graphic, and learn to be more observant to read between lines.

Baby-sitters Little Sister is a fresh and fun graphic novel series spin-off of The Baby-sitters Club, featuring the little stepsister of the main character Kristy.

Karen Brewer lives next door to Mrs. Porter, who wears long robes and has wild gray hair. Mrs. Porter has a black cat named Midnight and always seems to be working in her garden. Karen isn't supposed to spy on her neighbor, but she's determined to prove that Mrs. Porter is a witch named Morbidda Destiny! Mrs. Porter is getting ready to have a special meeting at her house, and Karen is sure the meeting is for witches. Are they going to cast a spell on Karen? Or will she be brave enough to send them away - once and for all?

Graphic novel by Katy Farina
Discount Code for Scholastic Books at Reader's House

All PeiPei.HaoHao readers can enjoy 20% off discount for Scholastic books on Reader's House website!
Discount code: PEIHAO20
How to use: At the cart checkout, type PEIHAO20 and then click Apply Coupon
Terms and Conditions: The discount code is applicable to only Scholastic books on Reader's House website, it is not applicable to the shipping fee.

Scholastic Asia

Disclaimer: We received the books for review purpose. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions and photos are mine. 

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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Gardens by the Bay Sakura Matsuri 2020

Do you know that we can see sakura in Singapore too? Sakura Matsuri is back at Gardens by the Bay from now until 29 March 2020.

The theme of the floral display this year is Tale of the Peach Boy. In addition to the cherry and peach blossoms, Flower Dome is also decorated with torii gates and Gassho-style farmhouses. This reminds me of our visit to Shirakawa-go located in Central Japan (read our travelogue here).

I am glad that there is a control to the number of visitors in the Flower Dome as a safety measure for the current situation. 

Gardens by the Bay

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Tokyo, Mt Fuji Travel Day 4 Ueno Park, Tokyo Skytree, Cooking Class, Wanpaku Tengoku Playground

After the day-long rain on the previous day (read our Day 3 travelogue here), the weather on day 4 of our trip turned great! We went to Ueno Onshi Park 上野恩賜公園 in the morning to see the autumn foliage.

I thought we would not be able to view the cherry blossom in Japan as the children do not have school holiday in late March to early April. Guess what, we saw winter cherry blossom outside Kiyomizu Kannon-do 清水観音堂! There was actually one and only one winter cherry blossom tree, but we took a long time to take photos! It is rather interesting to see cherry blossom among the autumn foliage.

After that, we took subway to Asakusa. No, we didn't go to Senso-ji and  Nakamise Shopping Street like most tourists do. We took some photos with Tokyo Skytree and the golden icon of Asahi Beer Building before we took Tobu Line to meet our host of the cooking class.

We attended Homemade Udon and Tempura with Dashi Japanese Omelette class from airKitchen. Please read our experience in our blog post on airKitchen Cooking Classes in Japan. Our family enjoyed this class very much!

We took Tobu Line to Oshiage (Skytree) 押上 (スカイツリー前) station. Before the trip, I learnt from social media that there are a few places to take interesting photos of Tokyo Skytree. From Exit B3 of the station, we went up the staircase to level 4.

This photo was taken at the corner of the smoking corner. Please do not bring the children into this corner!

Another photo is taken from a short distance away from the smoking corner.

On the day just before we left Singapore, I found out that there is a playground near Tokyo Skytree called Wanpaku Tengoku Playground わんぱく天国. It is a small playground with a climbing structure and a flying fox swing. The unique feature of this playground is the wooden craft workshop! Children can make their own wooden craft using the materials there, and it is free of charge!

Under the guidance of a Japanese elderly lady, our children made simple toys using wooden boards and nails, and they could bring the products home!

While the children were busy playing at the playground under DaDi's supervision, I quickly ran to the nearby Jikken Bridge 十間橋 to take a few photos of Tokyo Skytree. As it was too windy, the reflection effect on the river was not captured clearly.

Time for dinner! We went to Tokyo Skytree to have tsukemen at Rokurinsha 六厘舍. I read raving reviews about Rokurinsha's tsukemen, however, my taste buds were unable to appreciate the salty flavour of the dipping sauce.

Having ice-cream during winter is a must-do for us! We had our dessert from Gion Tsujiri 祇園辻利, the spoon is Tokyo Skytree shape, so cute!

By now you may have noticed that we did not go up Tokyo Skytree. Oh well, we would like to save some money as the tickets are not cheap. In addition, we would be visiting another observatory at Bunkyo Civic Centre, with free admission!

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