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Friday, December 15, 2017

Melbourne, Australia Self Drive Road Trip - Day Four

Melbourne is a curious mix of the old with the new

Melbourne skyline from Queen Victoria Market

Day one and two was on Nature. Day three for animals and Day four is on towards the city. We did not exactly plan it this way but that was how it turned out.

On Day Four of our Self Drive Road Trip, we drove from Campus Clayton Serviced Apartments to Melbourne CBD after checking out in the morning. The weather got better and better since we arrived with fear of rain and flooding.

We drove straight to Holiday Inn on Flinders, Melbourne. It was still early so we dropped our baggage, got back into the car and drove to Southern Cross Station nearby to return the car. After that, we went about on foot and on trams.

A Melbourne Tram

Busking in front of Myers

It is easy to walk around Melbourne or to take the trams on the free tram zone or better still take the city circle tram or free tourist tram which comes around every 12 minutes. When you are in the tram it you get to hear recorded info about the attractions in the city, all for free.

Dream Catchers At Victoria's Market
First we walked to Queen Victoria Market, then we went to Melbourne University to visit our niece. We went to walk around the University, look at the lecture rooms, libraries (there are 10, we only looked at 1) and had lunch there. Then we continued walking about the city, visiting Saint Paul's Cathedral, the State Library was splendid.

Melbourne University (Picture from internet)

St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne

We sat around Flinders Station walking people passing by and went to watch the Buskers near Myers. Finally we had dinner at Chinatown before calling it a day and returning to the hotel.

Living Statue Performers in Melbourne

Holiday Inn on Flinders, Melbourne. Photo from hotel website. The room is exactly as shown.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Melbourne, Australia Self Drive Road Trip - Day Three

Day Three is a day to see animals like this kangaroo

A trip to Australia is not complete without seeing the Koala Bear

Continued from Day Two....

On Day Three of our Melbourne, Australia Self Drive Road Trip, we woke up later at around 8 am, had a nice relaxing breakfast on our apartment balcony watching the birds and the rabbits before we went out to visit Monash to give the kids a taste of what life at the university was like for their dad. After walking around at the halls of residences, lecture halls, nature walk etc, we had lunch at Monash university.

Then we proceeded to drive to Maru Koala and Animal Park. If the days before this was dedicated to nature, Day three is all about animals. The Maru park is rather small and may even seem disappointing at first but not after you get to feed the kangaroos. It is a good place for kids to get acquainted with all the animals from Australia including Koalas, Kangaroos and Wallabies, Dingoes, Wombats and more. You can get really close to the animals to pat and feed them.

After that, we drove to Phillip Island for lunch ahead of the tour groups. It was really nice and easy, no rush as we had pre booked online Penguin Plus tickets. Since it was still early, we walked around the shops before heading to The Nobbies. The Nobbies has splendid views you won't forget. After that we went on to wait for the sun to set to watch the Penguins Parade.

View from the Nobbies viewing platform

We got the front row seats on the platform. Next to that is the Underground Viewing. Picture is from the internet as we were not allowed to take photos.

We got superb front row seats for our Penguin Plus tickets to watch the Penguins waddle right pass us (close enough to touch) because we were early before the tour buses came. I think this is much better than the more expensive Underground Viewing tickets which can be stuffy and other than being able to see the penguins at eye level, the Underground Viewing ticket holders will miss seeing the Penguins come out from the sea. However, in Winter, you will probably feel nice and warm in there while the others freeze outdoors. It is very cold at night. Fortunately for us, the sun was out and the weather was good all day during the day time and it was not very windy. Even then, it was cold.

It was simply amazing and awesome to watch the penguins return to their home. They number by the thousands. Too bad we could not take any photos.

Campus Clayton Serviced Apartments picture from internet

After the Penguin Parade, we had to drive back to Campus Clayton Serviced Apartments. One and a half hours of night driving with roads that were mostly not lighted which can be challenging for tired tourists. We managed to grab a late McDonald's dinner along the route back before reaching the apartments around 11 pm.

We saw lots of beautiful scenery on Days 1 and 2 and animals on Day 3. What will we do on Day 4?

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Melbourne, Australia Self Drive Road Trip - Day Two

After a long day driving on Day 1, we woke up at 7 am on Day Two. That would be 4 am on our local time. After a simple and quick cup noodle breakfast, we started driving to the Balconies at Grampians National Park. We were still worried about the weather as the bad weather warning continued to be in the news.

The Balconies at Grampians, Australia

Similar to the first day, the drizzle came on and off in time for  us to visit the planned attractions according to our itinerary. We got to visit the Balconies at the Grampians National Park and nearby Mackenzie falls. Climbing down the falls was not a problem but climbing up is a bit challenging for the unfit like yours truly.

Mackenzie Falls, Australia

We dropped by Halls Gap to have more fish and chips for lunch before driving to Ballarat.

At the Halls, Gap, The Fish and Chips Family pack was wrapped in a big package.
You can sit by the sidewalk or the park to eat it. It was welcome on a cold day.

On Day 2, we drove another 516 km approximately, another 6 1/2 hours of driving by estimate but it was probably another half hour to 45 minutes more because we came to a road closed sign with no clear directions for an alternate route. We had to drive on unpaved roads through farms to get back on the main road. Phew!

Road Closed Ahead!

Most of the roads inland was very straight with lots of farm animals grazing on both sides of the roads. 

We wanted to visit the Sovereign Hill at Ballarat but of course, it was too late as it was near closing time by the time we got there around 3pm. So we visited the rest room instead before driving off to our booked accommodation at Campus Clayton Serviced Apartments. We picked this place because of its proximity to Monash University which we wanted to visit.

According to the website, the reception closes at 6.30 pm. We arrived at 6 pm to find a notice on the reception desk that read "We are closed at 5 pm today".

Fortunately we had our data roaming and was able to call for assistance. We were directed to key in a preset code at a box located just outside the reception area to retrieve our apartment key. What a relief! The apartment was very new, very clean and had all amenities including dishwasher, toaster, microwave, conventional oven and cooker with pots and  pans and cutlery and plates, iron, clothes washing machine and dryer.

Campus Clayton Service Apartments photo from website

We had access key for the indoor car park but we were told we could park at the visitors bay which was convenient for us so we did just that.  How good it was to do a load of dirty laundry. Washing powder for clothes and dishes and sponges for washing dishes with dish cloth were all provided. The apartment overlooked a field where we had breakfast of peanut butter toast and Milo for two days while watching the rabbits and birds in the field. Tranquil and quiet. Nice after all our rushing around.

Immediately upon checking in, we went out to visit a friend so that the kids could see how people in Melbourne lived. We went out for dinner with our friend, went to buy some grocery supplies before heading back to rest.

We see lots of animals on Day Three...

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Melbourne, Australia Self Drive Road Trip - Day One

The Great Ocean Road, here we come!
Passports. Visas. Airline Ticket. Car Rental. Accommodation. Attractions tickets. All checked. Read our previous post on how we planned for our self drive road trip around Melbourne, Australia.

So, how do we get to the airport? Do we drive and go for long term parking at KLIA? Do we call a taxi? Or should we use Uber or Grab? So many options. We settled for Grab. As first time users, we could use a coupon code of RM20 from Grab for the first two rides. Unfortunately, I forgot the code during the ride back so I only got RM10 discount. Other than that we had no issues, accept that it was a long and hot wait for the ride back because of the airport traffic.

We took the MH149 from KUL to MEL. This interesting site called Flight Aware lets you track flights in real time. The flight to Melbourne is 7 hours 55 minutes. Melbourne is 3 hours ahead so you have to add that to your ETA. We took the 9.50 pm flight from KL which arrives at 8.45 am Melbourne time.

We got through airport security with no issues at both KL and Melbourne airports. At Melbourne airport, they let us through as a family.

Upon arrival, we turned on roaming for our mobile instead of getting the Australia phone plans or SIM cards. Then we headed to the AVIS counter to collect our rented car. We took some photos of the car before driving off to make sure we have records or pictures of the car BEFORE we drove it. It was cold and drizzling when we arrived.

After hopping into the car, we set the GPS and Google Map to direct us to Torquay. We had planned to drive from Melbourne Airport to Torquay, Lorne, Appolo Bay and stop the night at Port Campbell. Below is our planned driving route for Day 1 of our Self Drive Road Trip on The Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia. 303 km of driving after a sleepness night on the plane. Very ambitious but then we had two drivers so it was not so bad.

The floods and landslips and heavy rain did not happen. Phew! It was just drizzling on and off and a bit cold but we managed to drive the Great Ocean road and made it to Lorne in time for a Fish and Chips lunch exactly as what we had planned.

Lorne Fish and Chips was welcome on a cold rainy day

We stopped at several lookouts along the way and each time there would be a few cars stopping and everyone ran out, took some photos in the cold and drizzle and ran back to the warmth of their cars. We didn't get to walk on the beach or stop at many attractions but it was very funny and a lot of fun that way. Running out and huddling together and taking silly pictures with crazy windblown hair. That was very fun and memorable.

We zoomed pass Apollo Bay. After Apollo Bay, the road turned inwards a little and we saw lots of cows and sheep grazing in vast lands. So many of them. Kids were thrilled. Finally we arrived at the famed Twelve Apostles and the beautiful Loch Ard Gorge.

It was worthwhile driving all the way to see the Twelve Appostles

Nearby Loch Ard Gorge was just as breathtaking

We arrived at Parkview Motel, Port Campbell at around after 6 pm. When booking at booking.com we had put in a message to request to wait for us in case of late check in. This was important because it was not a 24 hour motel and reception is closed at 6 pm. The owner, Paul was around to greet us and show us to our room. We got to park right in front of our room which was cool. The room was clean, had heaters and electric blankets which you don't think you would need in summer but it was just the start of a rainy summer and cold at the time so the heater was good.

Our room at Parkview Motel, Port Campbell. This photo is from booking.com as I forgot to take pictures.

According to Paul, Port Campbell is a very small town with just 200 people and everyone knows each other. After a short rest, we went to fill up the car petrol and looked for a place for dinner. Most places were closed and we ended up in a restaurant in front of the beach. I can't remember the name of the place. It looked like a nice place but the wait for the food was much, much too long and the food was expensive and lousy. We were disappointed on that poor first dinner out. After dinner, we went back to the room and zonked out. To be continued.....

Monday, December 11, 2017

Melbourne, Australia Self Drive Road Trip - The Plan

A tram in Melbourne CBD all dressed up for Christmas
Every trip starts with a plan. 

As novice travelers, we had to plan doubly hard. The kids had not been on a plane before so we decided to visit Australia. The airplane ride being a long haul one, would by itself be an experience by itself for them. We also planned to show them how their dad used to live as a student in Australia. Any amount of stories we had told them about this before would not match what they would see with their own eyes and experience by being there.

Since we were novice travelers, we decided to do everything in a step by step method.

First, we had to get passports.
Read Mistakes To Avoid When Making Or Renewing Passport For Children 18 Years Old And Below which was written during our passport application process.

Next, we needed Visas to travel to Australia.
It's very easy to get one online now, no need for queuing or waiting. You can apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) online. An ETA provides authorization to travel to and enter Australia and is electronically linked to your passport. The fee is Aud $20. All you need to do is visit this site to read and follow the instructions carefully to apply for an ETA.

Next, we needed air tickets.
Image taken by kid No. 1 during the flight
We decided to fly MAS instead of Air Asia since its the kids first plane ride. As with most things these days, we booked online too. One quick note on this. There are several ways to check in a flight on MAS including counter check in, kiosk check in, web check in or mobile check in. We did a web check in and printed out our boarding passes 2 days before leaving. (Counter check in is not available to economy seat passengers). However, we could not do a web check in upon returning because we had no access to a printer. We also could not do a mobile app check in because it was not practical to do so on 4 different mobiles. There was no kiosk at Melbourne airport for kiosk check in so we went to the counter. Apparently, whichever method you choose to check in, currently, you still need to go to the counter to be sighted and to get your boarding passes.

In order to go through airport security as quickly as possible, we planned not to check in any baggage. We also made sure all the stuff we were carrying complied with airport security requirements including getting prescription for medication we were carrying on board, making sure liquids were in 100 ml or less and in plastic resealable bags and making sure our luggage was in the right dimensions and weight for hand carry. Planning these little details help make sure you have a smooth uneventful travel experience.

Next, we needed a rented car since we planned to do a self drive road trip in Melbourne, Australia.
Image taken by kid no. 2 when returning the rental car
We decided to rent a car online from Avis. When renting a car online, you need to specify the pick up and return locations, time and date, pick a car type and specify your add ons. We decided to add on GPS and a mobile WIFI because we wanted to stay connected. (However, the GPS was not a car feature, it was a mobile one which was good enough though misleading and the mobile WIFI which was stated as available online was not available when we got there). These are minor issues and we were generally happy with the car. In Melbourne, you can drive with your overseas driving license. We watched some YouTube videos to familiarize ourselves with driving around Australia. We were not too worried about the suburbs but driving with trams and doing the hook turn did leave us a bit nervous. We were a bit worried about tolls too but then we didn't have to because tolls are electronically charged as your car drives through and the car rental company will auto deduct your credit card for payment of tolls.

One other issue was staying in touch during the trip. 
This is a good article on the best phone plans for travellers in Australia. However, we did not take up any of these plans. As soon as we arrived at Melbourne airport, we immediately received a text message to turn on roaming at a charge, which we did because it was so convenient. So no mobile WIFI in the car became a non-issue. In fact, with roaming and Google Maps app turned on, we didn't even need the GPS. Strangely, Google Maps was much better than Waze when we were there for some unknown reason.
Tip: Did you know that you can save google maps routes offline? That is a useful feature to have if you do not have a data plan. However, data roaming was useful to us because we needed to be able to make local phone calls to land lines in Australia in case we couldn't check in on time which did eventually happen.

Finally, we needed to book our accomodation.
In order to book accomodation, you will need to have a detailed itinerary, especially if you are on a self-drive trip. The duration of our flight was 8 hours leaving KL at 9.50 pm and arriving at Melbourne airport at 8.45 am (3 hours ahead of KL). We planned to collect our rented car at the airport and immediately drive the Great Ocean Road passing Torquay, Lorne and Apollo Bay up to Port Campbell. 300 km driving and one night at Port Campbell booking was required. Next day, we planned to drive from Port Campbell to Grampians, then to Clayton bypassing Ballarat and Melbourne. Another 515 km driving and 2 nights at Clayton required. From Clayton we could drive to Phillip Island and back, another 250 km of driving. Finally we would drive from Clayton to Melbourne CBD (20 km), return the car and spend a night there before leaving Melbourne for KL. One night at Melbourne CBD required.

View from our room at Holiday Inn Flinders, Melbourne
Tip: When booking accommodation in a new and unfamiliar place, it helps to do a little research by using Google Maps Satellite view. We were going to stay at Holiday Inn on Flinders, Melbourne. Google Maps showed that one side of the hotel was facing a car park and another the back yard. In fact, we were about to be assigned those rooms but we requested for these side rooms with a much better view (after our research with Google Maps) and was rewarded with this view instead. Looking down, you can see the trams and people rushing to work which was fun.

It took many hours of reading and research to come up with that plan. With that plan, we booked online for a Motel at Port Campbell, a serviced apartment at Clayton and a hotel at Melbourne CBD. We also booked online for our Phillip Island tickets to skip any queues. All we had to do was print out our own tickets and that was it.

Checking the weather and what to pack.

Everything was planned in detail but then the week before we left, we read about the airport closures and saw the flight paths which appear to be longer possibly because of the Mount Agung eruptions. That was worrying.

Unpredictability of  Melbourne weather from an internet meme. Origin unknown
Melbourne weather can be kind of crazy with 4 seasons in 1 day. We had planned to pack summer clothes because we read about it being very hot just before the start of summer but then a couple of days before our departure, we read that the BoM (Bureau of Meteorology) had issued an unprecedented severe weather warning for heavy rainfall for the entire state of Victoria where an entire month's of rainfall was expected in 3 days (when we were expected to be there), “It is an event that poses a threat to life, there will be a massive amount of lightning, there will be roads cut, flood waters.......most significant rain event for many years .....This is a very, very big weather event, we are in uncharted territory,.......I think this event will turn farms into lakes."

What to do now!? Everything has been booked and paid for. Will we have to stay in our hotel room the entire time? Will we even manage to drive to Port Campbell? Find out in Part 2 on our self drive road trip to Melbourne, Australia.

The Importance Of Having 21st Century Skills Of Creativity And Collaboration

This post was brought to you by the British Council Malaysia. Read on to for tips on how to help your child develop creative and collaborative skills.

As competition for university places and jobs rises, universities and employers are putting increased emphasis on the importance of creativity and collaboration. This is why, at the British Council, we also emphasize these skills in our English classes.

Although we often associate creativity with people who work in the arts, our rapidly changing culture means all areas of life require creativity. Having a creative team means that problems are solved in unique and efficient ways.

It is also essential to collaborate effectively. It is now normal for us to be able to communicate immediately with people around the world, and because of this we may work and study with people with very diverse backgrounds.

Luckily, it’s not a matter of being born with or without these skills. It is possible to nurture and teach creativity and the ability to collaborate effectively, and that’s what the British Council does.

The benefits of having 21st Century Skills of Creativity And Collaboration

A person who is creative tends to have more enthusiasm and be more energized. Increased creativity can also lower stress and anxiety, vital when students are going through exams.

Working with others makes people happier, improves their reflection and opens their eyes to new skills. Being an effective collaborator means not only being able to work with others, but also being able to learn from, share with, and express oneself to them.

Most importantly, an openness to collaboration and sharing creative ideas means that children communicate with each other more in class. This gives them more opportunity to practice their English in a communicative way, which is how they will need to use it in the real world.

Tips for helping your child develop their creative and collaborative skills

To foster creativity,
  • Encourage curiosity about new things, especially learning about other cultures. Being exposed to how others view the world allows a child to make more mental links and spark new ideas.
  • Positively acknowledge creative ideas that children have developed themselves and reward their effort when they spend time on creative pursuits. 
To encourage collaboration, 
  • Get children to help a sibling with their English homework or set up a study group with students of a similar age. Children can learn to collaborate by negotiating with a friend about whose turn it is to play with a toy, or discussing household chores to complete. 
  • Help children to see the benefit of group diversity, by welcoming diversity of genders, ethnicity, mother tongues and academic proficiency. This also develops their empathy, which leads to more successful collaboration. 

And finally,  lead by example. The best way that parents can support their child’s development is by being creative and collaborative too. Don’t just tell them to do it, show them! You could put aside a weekend afternoon for an art session with your child, or spend time working as a family on a project.

How the British Council can help

At the British Council, creativity and collaboration are encouraged within all our English courses. In our Primary courses, students work towards completing creative tasks throughout the year, using their own ideas. These creative tasks help students to remain motivated, and allow the teacher to encourage a range of language skills.

In our Secondary courses, students often work on a project linked to their classwork for a whole term. This could be designing a computer game, writing an adventure story, or editing a newspaper. These tasks challenge students to use English in a situation requiring creativity and input from others.

To learn more about the skills we foster in our classrooms, and our range of courses for 2018, please visit our website at www.britishcouncil.my/children or our Open Day (www.britishcouncil.my/openday).

Friday, December 01, 2017

Coding As A Holiday Activity

Looking for a holiday activity for your kid? Try coding. If your child has never been introduced to coding before, then this holidays is the perfect time to expose him to coding and computer programming.

The holidays is a time to explore other areas beyond academics to balance up your child's life. He or she has been studying hard all year round, attending tuition and revision classes. The holiday is a time to relax and learn something new instead of another round of tuition classes.

Try Coding as a holiday activity.

Not sure if your child will like coding or computer programming? Try a demo class first. KidoCode @ Solaris Mont Kiara offers a 3-hour trial class for kids & teens from 6-18 years old. Kids who attend the free trial class will have the opportunity to learn coding through fun and exciting activities. They will be introduced to ways to solve problems using computational thinking.

Not only that, they will get exposure to the basics of Mobile App Development, Python combined with IGCSE Mathematics, Electronics, Web Development, Game Development, and more! The timing for these trial classes are very flexible. You can select your preferred time and date to fit your own schedule.

Click here to get more details and to schedule a class for your child this school holidays at a time convenient to you.

Let your kids try something new, different and fun. Try coding as a holiday activity. Bring siblings along to learn coding together to promote bonding as they learn something new together these holidays at the following venue.

Suite L-2-3A, Solaris Mont Kiara, 
Jalan Solaris, Off Jalan Duta Kiara, 
50480, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

10 Klang Valley Malls To Bring Your Kids To This Christmas 2017

Its the most wonderful time of the year, at the malls. Around this time of the year, all the malls will be fully decked out in Christmas decorations and there will be plenty of things to see and do. Lots of photo opportunities too. Here are 10 Klang Valley malls to bring your kids to this Christmas 2017 with plenty of activities and delightful sights for kids this school holidays.

1. Christmas is in the air at Pavilion KL 2017.

Christmas decorations at Pavilion KL is breathtaking as always. Check their schedule for things to do this Christmas period starting 15 December 2017 to 1 January 2018 at Pavilion KL Christmas 2017 including The Christmas Band, The Magnificent Elvescapade, Christmas Caroling, Spritzer Sparkling Fairies and more. or just drop by to soak up the holiday atmosphere.

2. Home For Christmas at Mid Valley Megamall 2017

From 24th November 2017 to 1st January 2018, you will be transported back to a festive Christmas atmosphere in a countryside train station. There are plenty of giant bears waiting for trains at the many benches set up at the mall giving visitors plenty of fuzzy and nice photo opportunities. What about the activities lined up for this Christmas? You can expect Ho Ho Ho Santa is in Town!, Balloon Bonanza, Character Walkabouts, Singing Performances, Christmas Caroling, Jazzy performances and more. Click here to check out the Christmas 2017 Activities at Mid Valley Megamall.

3. Come home to BSC's warmth and well wishes this Christmas

Here are some activities and Christmas treats lined up at Bangsar Shopping Complex (BSC) from 24 Nov - 24 Dec 2017. From Brass Bands to Choirs, Strolling Pied Pipers to String Quartets and not forgetting Christmas Caroling and Kid's Dance, there will be Kids Fun Activities too including Christmas Arts and Crafts and Kids' Personalized Gifts including key chains and bracelets (limited to the first 80 kids). 

4. Enjoy A Magical Tudor Christmas at Sunway Pyramid 

Sunway Pyramid will take you back in time to an English royal dynasty period as you stroll down the cobbled street, line with towering Christmas trees and vintage store houses this Christmas from 24 November 2017 to 1 January 2018.  Strike a post at the interactive photo booth for a personalized postcard. Santa makes an appearance every weekend at 1 pm and 3 pm from 2 - 31 December 2017. You can redeem Parenthood Playland tickets when you spend RM400 (RM300 for HSBC Credit Cardholders) in the mall. *T&C Apply 

5. Have an Ice-cellent Christmas at Atria Shopping Gallery

There is something on for Christmas almost daily at the Atria Shopping Gallery starting from 25 November 2017 as you can see from the time table above. Plenty of activities for kids including Christmas workshops, tea party, colouring contests, character appearances and walkabouts and not forgetting Christmas performances too. Christmas workshops fill up fast so you have to book early in advance.

6.  Experience an Enthralling Christmas at Berjaya Times Square

From 25 November to 2 January 2018, you can experience an Enthralling Christmas with Santa and his crew on their new Supersonic Odyssey mechanical sleigh at Berjaya Times Square. Be part of the crew and help Santa deliver all the gifts before Christmas day! You also stand a chance to win exclusive Limited Edition Christmas themed BTS Pixel Block and child tickets for the Berjaya Theme Park. *T & C Applies. More details here.

7. Celebrate an UnBullieavable Christmas at Quill City Mall

Quill City Mall becomes a spanish village this Christmas with their Ferdinand themed Christmas. With Ferdinand set to show in the cinemas starting 14 December, 2017, it is timely to redeem limited edition Ferdinand Christmas premiums. Ferdinand is a 3-D computer animated story of a giant but gentle bull and his adventure of breaking free from his captors to find his way back home to his family. Check out the performance schedule shown above if you are bringing kids.

8. Enter the Mythical Land of Wonders at IOI City Mall

Its a magical Christmas literally at IOI City Mall this year with magic shows, clown appearances, a rib eating challenge with special appearances by Pikachu, a pokemon colouring contest, a petting zoo and more. You can't get any more wonderous than that! There will also be plenty of music and merry making as seen from the schedule above.

9. Delight In The Glittering Christmas Escapade at Avenue K

Feel the joy of the festive season beneath the sparkling musical Christmas tree at an iconic English Park. The Glittering Christmas Escapade at Avenue K is on from 24 November to 27 December 2017. Check out the Gilttering Light Show schedule above and when you can meet and greet Santa. Other interesting activities include the winter sax ensemble show, Santa's Magical Fun  Time, Olaf Adventure Christmas Dance and Colourful Trolls Christmas Dance. Stand a chance to win a trip to LONDON and other exciting destinations as well as attractive prizes when you shop at Avenue K this holidays.

10. Christmas Is Here. Its Time To Party at One Utama 

A joyous Christmas is on at One Utama from 28 November to 26 December 2017. Expect a lot of music with brass band performances, string quartet, bag pipers, choir and carolers. There will be a Christmas party for ONECARD kids and members plus crafting activities for kids. Pre-registration and terms and conditions apply. Don't miss the 6ft tall snow slide for kids complete with a snowball pool at GF Centre Court.

Photo Credit: All photos in this post are sourced from the website or Facebook pages of the respective malls.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

British Council Malaysia Open Day December 2017

Dear Parents,

British Council Malaysia is opening its doors to parents and kids in December 2017 on the following dates and times.

British Council Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) @ Wisma Selangor Dredging

10am - 4pm on 2,3,9,10,16 & 17 December 2017

British Council Malaysia (The Curve) 2nd Floor
10am - 4pm from 12-14 December 2017

This is the perfect opportunity for you to drop by the center to have a tour of the premise and ask questions about how British Council can help improve your child's English, whether spoken or written. 

British Council programmes are suitable for kids in SK, SJKC or SJKT who wish to prepare themselves for private or international education. It is aslo useful for private or international school students as a supplementary lesson and helpful for anyone who wish to improve their English communication skills. 

New term for the programmes begins on January 2018. Parents are encouraged to bring their children along during the Open Day to do an immediate placement test.

Special event for members of our Parenting Platform:

Event Hightlight: Parents with kids from 5 to 17 years old can register for a free Parents Workshop. The Parents Workshop comprise of a taster lesson for parents and introduction about the teaching methodology of the British Council. While you are enjoying the workshop, your kids will be entertained to a free story telling session in another classroom. Each parent will receive a goodie bag

Event Details:

1. 11am Saturday 2 Dec @ British Council (KL) - RSVP by 20 November 2017
2. 11am Tuesday 12 Dec @ British Council (Mutiara Damansara) - RSVP by 30 November 2017

Click on the dates above to register. Registration is on a first come first serve basis and limited to 20 persons only.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Cute Labels For Kids

"Help! My child has lost his stationery again!"

If you have a child in school, you will know this all too well. One day, they'll come home without their pencil case, next day its the tumbler, or their gym shirt or a book or two or the whole bag. Other lost things include spectacles and even shoes!

So how do you keep yourself sane if your child keeps losing things? The answer is to label everything. That way, there's a fighting chance for you to find them, especially if their pencil cases, tumblers and other stuff look exactly like those carried by their classmates.

You should also know where the school's lost and found cupboard or shelf is. Many things turn up there a day or two after losing the items, sometimes even up to a week. Labelling your child's stuff helps you find them more easily.

How to label? You can use a marker pen for quick emergency jobs or sharpies if you like to add some creativity to it but apart from these old fashioned methods, you can try out cute labels for kids. These labels come in many forms. There are bag tags, shoe labels, iron-on labels for clothing and caps or sticker labels for tumblers, food containers, pencil cases and more. You can get these labels separately or as a set if you don't know which to get. The set covers all types.  Many of these labels can be personalized with your child's name and or favourite cartoon characters or design.

Previously we could only get these kinds of cute labels shipped from overseas. Not anymore, now we can order them online and get them shipped from Malaysia making these personalized labels a lot more affordable.

Check out Fun Printz for these types of cute labels for kids. From 20 November to 31 December 2017, Free shipping applies for orders above RM90. In addition, members of our FB group and readers of our blog post can claim a free bag tag worth RM14 for orders above RM90! Key in promo code MALAYSIAFREETAG select large tag/large tag design, at the end of the check out, there is a discount of RM14. or call 012-213 2821 for more info. Click here to order. Enjoy!

Starting school is an exciting time for parent and child. Make it sweeter with fun labels. 

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