Easter back in the UK, pre arrival of child, used to be all about eating Nigerian food that someone else cooked, watching Dr Zhivago with my twin and shopping in the Bank holiday sales. Here in Singapore, the traditions have had to be redefined. On the plus, we have great weather, lots of good food and with everyone away over the weekend, my favourite spots should be a little saner.
But planning events with a toddler can be tricky. When you have a long weekend, the first thing on your mind is – “how can I get more sleep?” and the second is – “The kid has no idea it’s a public holiday, what difference does it make what we do?”.
I think it’s slightly easier for older kids, because even though you have to ferry them around from activity to activity or from one friend’s house to another, you’re not actually required to participate in their play!
At 20 months, my son demands that we are involved with almost every aspect of his play – that’s the fun of it for him. So I’ve realised that there has to be a balance. It’s nice to do something different and for him to enjoy a new environment but it’s also a good idea not overwhelm him too much, stress yourself and drain your wallet. After all, at this stage it’s just you, the parent, that he REALLY cares about. So there’s no point wearing yourself out.
With that in mind, these are some of my ideas for sharing this Easter weekend with a toddler aged between 1 and 2.
1. Church! It’s great if your church is holding an Easter service because they’re usually well organised, with activities and songs and stories as well as Easter eggs of course!
2. Gardens by the Bay. I really like the outdoor gardens (which are free) and the water park where kids can play in the fountains and just get up to general mayhem. Make sure you pack swimmers, a towel, sunscreen and a spare pair of clothes. And a spare outfit for yourself is not a bad idea! There’s been a children’s festival called ‘Adventures in Gardens of Wonder’ this month of March which has just ended. Im not sure why it didn’t continue on till the Easter weekend but check out the link because it seems like there might still be some craft booths. http://www.familystaycationsg.com/childrens-festival-2016/
3. The Great Egg Adventure, Sentosa Harbourfront. This is a great one for energetic toddlers and parents who’ve been taking their vitamins. You log on to the Egghunt app, create an account and then scour the harborfront with your little one. When you find an egg, you snap a selfie and add the egg to your ‘basket’ on the app.
There are great prizes, but if that’s way too much work, there’s an Easter carnival from 12 noon till 4pm on Friday 25th and Sun 27th March. There’s also a $10 Easter Workshop at Harbourfront Centre with different activities and games.
4. And then of course there are other non-Easter themed activities like trampolining which my son LOVES. We got to Amped – there are two locations, Kim Yam road and Jurong East. If you want to have a break and take photos then make sure you take someone else along, your partner or helper or friends with their kids.
5. And if you want some home activities, there are lots of craft ideas online. Now, I have a boisterous boy whose general approach to life is ‘smash and destroy’, with a pitch ability of an incoming missile , so all those fancy decorations and felt bunnies are just not going to cut it at this age. But if you have a girl who likes to glue and stick things, then you have so many options and I envy you!
These are my 10 tips for destruction-free Easter Eggs:
- Boil those eggs to d-e-a-t-h. HARD BOIL.
- Use food colouring. Put out bowls with different dyes and let your kid dip the egg into a bowl and then put it aside to dry. Or you can do this beforehand so he has a colour base to start from.
- Use watercolour pencils.
- Use an old toothbrush – it’s easier to control than a brush and makes a nice imprint.
- Personalise an egg – write the initial of your child’s name. It’s a good way for them to focus on and learn a letter.
- If you do use stickers, the larger and more round they are the easier to stick and easier to find when you’re cleaning up! I also like stickers with the goggly eyes, which personalise the eggs 🙂
- Keep an eye on the glue! In fact…
- …pritt Stick is much safer than glue.
- Keep the egg carton, stuff it with colourful, shredded paper and display your child’s beautiful creations.
- Display your child’s not-so-beautiful creations! Ignore all those amazing eggs on Pinterest that were made by competitive mums with art degrees. Your eggs will be a mess but just let the kid enjoy himself and enjoy the grin on his face when you force every future guest to applaud his masterpiece.
So less this:
And more this:
Here are some useful links below for more ideas over the weekend:
Happy Easter in advance!