Letter of the week- S

I started our letter of the week in dramatic fashion: I took a snake we had made with discarded Brands Essence of Chicken boxes to our garden and pretended to be really freaked out by it. Cos, well, you know, S is for scared and snake. Haha. Anyway, while Q thought it was really funny and mimicked, it kind of had a reverse effect cos now all he wanted to do was play mummy’s Snake in the Grass game and not do some boring sit at a table with glue and paper thingamajig.

I gave up trying to coax him to settle to crafting and we ended up looking for a snail or two, cos snails also start with the letter S. the good thing about having a garden is there are usually a snail or two somewhere and true enough we found a couple of snails though one was kinda (S is also for) smashed up. A little gross but I don’t think little boys are bothered by that much.

We got to our letter of the week craft the day after with little fanfare though it gave us a lot of talk about while working on our craft. Not a bad thing and I found myself thinking that maybe I should do more drama stuff as introduction. Seems like fun.

So, S is snake, snail, sun, star and school.

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Review: Ace! Festival- Hare Brain

Of all the shows we caught at the Ace! Festival! I enjoyed Hare Brain the least.

Don’t get me wrong, the show in itself was decent- a modern take on Aesop’s famous “slow and steady wins the race” contrasted the harried young executive called Harriet against her zen cleaning lady, Lucy. Harriet, rushing a deadline is taken through a zen/awakening dream journey by the yoga-teacher like Lucy, where thereafter she decides the harried life was not for her.

The props were cleverly constructed- using recycled materials to make the turtles and more but ultimately lost on the bulk of their young audience who got restless from the lack of action in the show. Q actually fell asleep midway- and I let him, seeing as most of the other little kids there felt the same.

From the synopsis:
Hare Brain is a critically acclaimed re-telling of Aesop’s classic Hare and the Tortoise from one of Australia’s leading children’s theatre companies. Gentle Lucy, a cleaning lady, and Harriet, a marketing executive, must race against time to find the perfect story to fit the perfect toy…… but will fast and furious or slow and steady win their race? Slapstick comedy, inventive puppetry and extraordinary characters create a madcap production of this quest for ‘the great’ new (toy) story. Everyday objects are magically transformed into a fantastical world of inventions as Harriet and Lucy discover that by helping each other see things differently the most extraordinary things can happen…. (And) your broom may never look the same again.

Review: Dora the Explorer Asian Tour

Unfortunately for me, Q discovered Dora the explorer a while back, no thanks to my niece who is a big Dora fan. We were in Penang on a joint holiday and my niece popped in a Dora DVD into the player and all the kids (Q included) settled down to watching (several) episodes of Dora the Explorer. And the intrepid pink shirted explorer and her monkey sidekick gained a new fan.

Over the last year or so, Q has really amped up his fondness for Dora and her adventures and so I figured he might have fun watching Dora live. I drew the line at a meet and greet, but we scored fairly good seats.

From the synopsis: Dora the Explorer has lost her teddy bear, and the search is on to retrieve him! With the help of the audience, Map, Backpack, Boots, Diego and their courageous friends, Dora uses her map-reading, counting, musical and language skills to successfully pass through the number pyramid and the mixed-up jungle to reach the City of Lost Toys. But watch out – you never know what that sneaky fox Swiper might be up to along the way! Dora the Explorer fans will delight in this two act, song and dance spectacular that invites them to think, sing and play along.

The show itself was a slight disappointment actually. The production was a little more than a shopping center showcase. Ok, it was clearly longer and they had songs and some moving props, but, really, it was a LONGGG puppet show. I gotta say, though, the show picked up a little when Diego came along, but really, I felt every LOONNGG minute of the show.

Perhaps I had just come off an amazing Wiggles concert, but, really, for the ticket prices they were charging, they could have done a better job.

Review: Wiggles in concert

Q has been a huge Wiggles fan since he was able to watch TV. Yeah, we allowed him a small about of TV time a day when he was about 8 months old mainly cos we were helper-less, he never napped and mummy needed sometime to at least catch a shower that was more than two minutes long.

As he got older, Wiggles became a mainstay at our household; we became friends with Jeff, Anthony, Murray, Greg and Sam. I quite liked the Wiggles, they sang fun kids songs, were probably the most wholesome children’s gig on TV, spoke good English (if a little Aussie) and Q seemed to take best to them over all other stuff we showed him. When we started traveling, the Wiggles helped us through long plan rides, nights in the hotel when I was rushing work and as he got older, it enabled us to take him to work meetings overseas.

We were in Brisbane last year for a short work/holiday and we took Q to Wiggles World and I ended up having to take the Big Red Car ride five times. In fact, when we got to Wiggles World Q, then just past one year old, started dancing to the music.

So, you can imagine our excitement when we heard the Wiggles were coming to town in a sort of farewell tour- Jeff, Greg and Murray were retiring year end. In fact, it was my sister’s boyfriend that heard of it first (don’t ask me how) and it became a half extended family affair seeing as my Sister also wanted in to go. I think she was probably more excited than Q who probably thought we were going to watch Wiggles on a big TV.

He kinda got that he was going to watch Wiggles live about five minutes before the show began and it was such utter joy watching him get so excited he could hardly contain himself. For over an hour, he fell into the Wiggles world he had so long watched on video; singing align to old favorites and doing the actions. There was one particular funny part when they sang a song he was unfamiliar with and he turned to us exclaiming: “Oh! What song is that?! I don’t know it!” All while not missing a dancing bobbing beat.

The Wiggles put up a great show: high energy, great camaraderie, pockets of comedy for the parents and I think the entire audience enjoyed themselves. Yes, parents included.

We’d miss the Wiggles as we know it but we are glad we got to watch them live. 🙂

Letter of the week- R

We got off to a late start to our letter of the week work this week cos, well, mummy’s schedule has been (R for) ridiculous lately but it was a big (R for) rainy day when we discovered a leak spot on the roof of this old rental house of ours that I thought it’d be a good idea to get to Letter R since we were all grouchy at being rained in.

I took the chance to introduce Q to my favourite cartoon: Alice in Wonderland. We picked a youtube video that had the little fella running late for a party and Q seemed really tickled at that. I explained that real white rabbits (he’s never seen a live one for some reason, the ones we see are usually brown or some funky mix of browns/white/black) had red eyes and Q- who must have thought I went off my rocker; told me the rabbit had sick eyes. I had a small stint of conjunctivitis a while back and we explained my very red eye was sick. When I explained that white rabbits simply had red eyes, he shrugged it off and proclaimed it “looks silly.”

Ah well.

Our rooster craft went down a little less eventful (read: less explanation) though we had to stop several times to make “cockle-doodle-doo” noises.

R is for rabbit, rooster, rain, radish (which I made Japanese style that night) and reindeer.

Review: Ace! Festival- Just So!

Its been a while since we last caught a for kids theatre performance and I was particularly excited when the ACE festival rolled along with a slew of shows for kids. We were fortunate to catch the opening show at the new Goodman Arts Center .

From the synopsis:
 Have you ever wondered how and why the camel got his hump? How did the leopard get his spots? How did the elephant get his trunk? How did the Rhinoceros get his skin? How exactly did the Armadillo happen? Rudyard Kipling’s lively, hilarious stories, collected from all over the world are intertwined with pearls of wisdom about the pitfalls of arrogance and pride and the importance of curiosity, imagination, and inventiveness.

It was clearly a popular show seeing as the entire place (with free seating) was packed crammed full of (relatively badly behaved) kids from a primary school.

The poor fellow audience behavior notwithstanding, the show was pretty good- the actors were engaging, the plot was simple but funny and the localized music more than made up for being slightly squashed. The musical boasted a series of stories on how the animals came to be and they had designed the program to appeal to even the toddlers and Q had a whale of a time.

He spent the rest of the evening telling daddy the stories he had heard about how the greedy rhino got folds in his skin and how the curious elephant ended up with a long nose.

Two thumbs up!

Letter of the week- Q

Of the 26 letter of the alphabets, we are clearly most familiar with our letter of the week- Q. Because- duh!- Q is for Quentin. Also, we call Quentin “Q” most of the time. Well, sometimes, Q-ball too. So, Q is mighty familiar with the letter Q.

And well, Q is really the first letter of the alphabet he ever learnt. Small wonder huh?

Because of his familiarity with the letter I had to think of something a little special to initiate this letter of the week and we decided to head to Qian Hu Fish Farm cos, well, the place began with Q. I know, stretching it a little but, we can only try right?

It seemed to work well enough cos he was duly excited to see the big (fake) fishes and so we stopped to chat about where we were and we got him to count the number of “Qs” in the sign and then got, duly, distracted by all the pretty fish in the place.

I didn’t have high hopes for the place but it turned out to be a real gem of a day. In particular, we had fun dipping our hand into the fish spa pool- I’m sure we weren’t really allowed to do that but, well, we only did a short spot of that. And spent a happy half hour trying to catch long hang fish; we were dismal in that only catching four tiny things in that time. I blame the net for being too small (its the size of 2/3 of an iPhone).

After our day at Q is for Qian Hu Fish Farm, we embarked on our letter of the week craft, making a Q is for Quail and q is for queen.

I’m thinking of making a big letter Q with Quentin’s face on it… hmmm… we’ll see.