A not-so-short walk along Sungei Serangoon

On Labour day, the kids’ pre-school organised a morning walk for families to get together. This should be fun, if our kids survive the 5km haha !

We start with a bang, as balloons float away and the occasional explosion, all the families gathered at the start line. We told the kids just follow the blue balloons.

Heng family’s Denver and Gladys were with us too.

..bringing our blue balloons into the green foliage of Punggol Park. Oh, are you aware Punggol park is not in Punggol?

We walk, and we walk and we walk, for a whole 5km ! There was minimum shelter along Sungei Serangoon, please bring your cap along.

Kids keep asking “Are we there yet” ?

We are only halfway to 1/2 way point (at Punggol Promenade), and kids are getting impatient and tired.

We took another 30min to reach 1/2 way point. Butterflies and dragonflies accompany us along the way. There were so many creepy caterpillars on the floor !

Ice cream and refreshment await participants at the 1/2 way point. Everyone is either tanned or melting from the sun.

5km for adults might take 30min to complete, but it took us 3 hours with three stops.
Xin and Yi kept grumbling under the hot sun, and we have to take turn to carry our girl.

They still make it to the end point, so Proud of the kids. Even Daddy had to keep his camera on the return trip, too tired.

Did you know an otter family of seven resides in Sungei Serangoon? Our friend, Peter, mention the otters usually come out after 4pm, it must be an awesome sight to watch them cruising down the river.
(photo courtesy from http://cartoon-pete.tripod.com)

At the end point, we just love bubbles, especially when Wei and Kang keep sticking the bubbles onto Xin and Yi’s hair !

It does not matter even if the younger ones cannot blow a proper bubble, as long as they have fun.

Daddy promise to bring the kids to cycle along Sungei Serangoon soon.
This stretch is highly recommended for families acitivities 🙂

Punggol promenade is a little enclave at Punggol, beside F&B outlets, it provides respite for nearby residents. Daddy did some night shots along Sungei Serangoon last year, love the iconic bridge too.

Additional information and photos :
BPDG blog (Heng family)
– we have more than 5km of photos to dazzle you, drop by our album

Who say Singapore is boring?

If someone mention Singapore is boring, Sengkang Babies will be the first ones to dispute that notion. Our kids have been roaming and sharing all the Fun places in Singapore, and most are Free.

In the context of nature and fun, Daddy attended a recent seminar about “Secret shores of Singapore”. Our speaker, Ria (from WildSingaporeHappenings) shares her insights about Singapore’s diverse marine life, reefs and conservation.

Some interesting pointers :
– there are more reefs around Singapore than we we can see, as most are only exposed during low tide.

– Dugongs, sea turtles and even dolphins are spotted around Singapore’s coast. This is quite amazing considering Singapore has one of the world’s busiest ports. Ria even help us to differentiate between crocodile and monitor lizard ! Some city folks have problem telling the difference haha :0

– We heard how Chek Jawa’s wetland quality has suffer from dredging and other sediment activities. Some of the inhabitants, once gone, might not come back anymore

– she singles out cyrene-reef as one of the better reefs. Who would expect a rough outcrop situated in between Jurong Island, Pulau Bukom, and Pasir Panjang port, to be so rich in marine life? This is where Singapore refines it’s crude oil !

To be near to these secluded reefs, you need to charter a boat, know the tides (maybe 3AM), and face sandflies !! Nobody say it is easy to be a nature-conservationist in Singapore keke

– urban folks like us have not seen rubbish piled like mountain before. So when kids participate in coastal cleanup, and when garbage bags number one hundred, it strikes home how much thrash Singapore can generate. Kids start their first lesson about recycling and caring for our environment.

At the very least, we can appreciate our efficient cleaners for keeping Singapore so clean.

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From WildSingaporeHappenings blog, we will come across nature activists :

Pulau Hantu divers – dive with them to explore Singapore’s rich Marine Life
International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS) – volunteers who pick up thrash and collect data about marine debris. ICCS promotes volunteerism too.
TeamSeagrass – Daddy learn that dugongs eat seagrass, and this group monitors Singapore’s marine meadows, they call Seagrass wild and wacky keke.

More NGOS are listed here –> http://www.wildsingapore.com/vol/act.htm

Daddy hopes “Green Education and Awareness” will start with young minds, let them take ownership of our environment. We can start with that small patch of garden or playground around our neighbourhood. We can leverage on social media (blogs and photos) to share Fun places. If kids are immersed in nature from young, they will appreciate our own ecosystem and habitat. Shared memories will help us to cherish whatever little pocket of greens in Singapore.

Even if Chek Jawa or Bukit Brown should be demolished tomorrow, at least our kids have been embedded with a lust for nature.

Sadly, some parents cocoon their kids in urban Singapore, and kids are sheltered from outdoor falls and bruises. Our kids are precious, but we can surely afford some rolls and tumbles, kids will grow more independent and resilient. If you can, climb some trees :p

During the seminar, It was heartening, to hear so many passionate teachers express their interests to bring the kids nearer to nature. Sadly, our education curriculum sometimes discourage non-syllabus activities. Grades will always rank Top for Singapore kids.

The challenge is always to first bring the kids out of the classroom !

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How can parents encourage our kids to embrace nature?

Share your adventures with more parents, provide more positive feedback to agencies or statboard if you appreciate our parks and gardens. Subscribe to nParks’ newsletter for latest activities.

In fact, Npark wants to pick your brain for future parks and developments. Daddy’s wishlist is for “more shades and trees at outdoor playgrounds“. During midday, the metal and aluminum surface at slides are so hot, you can cook an egg !

Formal education is important, but having an appreciation of Singapore’s flora and fauna should not be neglected. Daddy does not want our kids to think chicken comes from KFC, and fishes only live in fish tank. That would be a sad day.

Have you seen nParks’ latest City-in-a-Garden video?

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Upcoming events :

1) Daddy is going to tour Pulau Semakau in April as part of NSS’s video contest. It would be interesting to explore this piece of “wasteland”. Yes, Pulau Semakau started as a landfill, but it’s marriage of waste-management and ecosystem has won global accolades. Some say you can catch star trails too ! (stars in the sea and galaxy)

2) If you have an opportunity, visit Singapore’s Lighthouse. Daddy had a chance to visit Raffles Lighthouse last year, courtesy of MPA (Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore). The good news is MPA will be celebrating Maritime Week again from 22-27Apr !

3) Gardens by the Bay ticketing details are out. Gardens is free, except for conservatory and aerial-walkway. It would be nice if kids are given free entry, the two conservatories would trigger the kids’ Love for all plants. We visited the preview opening in Nov2011 and we cannot wait for June’s official opening ! Visit Gardens’ interesting timeline at their fanpage.

Pricing details for locals
One conservatory – $12
Two conservatories – $20
Aerial Walkway – $5

Singapore is seducing us to explore it’s offshores and secluded habitat. Bring our kids outdoor today, inspire them to love our natural habitats ! Sometimes, we adults need to acquire a child-like curiosity, before we can start to appreciate our flora and fauna 🙂

Singapore is boring? Please pop by SengkangBabies blog first.

Click to checkout where Sengkang Babies have been roaming in Singapore.

Photo credit from Ria and WildSingaporeHappenings