Recipe for Kids: Agar Agar Eggs

agar agar egg.jpgThese agar agar eggs that mimic real eggs were a party favourite among children in the 1970s. To prepare the eggshells, punch a small hole at the narrow end of the egg and shake out the white and yolk. Soak the empty shells and wash them very well before using.

12-15 empty eggshells
500 ml coconut cream
500 ml coconut water
200 g sugar
12 g powdered agar agar
4 – 5 canned peach slices, cut into thirds

1. Mix coconut cream and coconut water in a pot, then sprinkle in the agar agar powder slowly. Let the powder absorb the liquid before you add in more. Stir it to mix well.
2. Bring the coconut mixture to a boil and add in the sugar. Stir until it all dissolves.  Remove from heat and pour it into a jug.
3. Stand your empty eggshells in an egg tray. Pour the coconut mixture into an eggshell until it is 3/4 full. Repeat until all the shells are filled.
4. Leave them to cool for a few minutes. Using a toothpick, gently stuff in a piece of peach in each eggshell.
5. When they are cooled to room temperature, pop them into the fridge to chill.

The agar agar eggs are ready when they are set and chilled. Crack them open as you would a real egg and enjoy!


Craft for Kids: Tiger Mask

A long, long time ago, tigers roamed the virgin jungles of Singapore. Changi, in particular, was very popular with the tigers, who swam across the Straits of Johor and landed at an area called Fairy Point.
1 tiger v1 flattened
These days, the only live tigers you will spot are the ones in the Singapore Zoo. The last wild tiger on the island was killed in the Choa Chu Kang area in the 1930s. Still, tigers are very much part of the island’s rich, varied history. Here’s a easy fun way to bring them to “life” for the little ones in the family.

A Note to Grown-Ups: This activity is ideal for children aged 5 to 8, with adult supervision. Younger children (aged 2 to 4) will need lots of help with cutting and gluing the bits together, and drawing in the tiger’s mouth. But you can be sure they will have as much fun, if not more, pretending to be little tigers around the house!

You will need:

White paper plates
Orange paint & paint brushes
Craft sticks or ice cream sticks
One sheet of black construction paper
One sheet of orange construction paper
Black marker pen
Clear tape

  1. Trace and cut out two holes in the paper plate using a penknife, like in the picture above. These are for the tiger’s “eyes”.
  2. Now paint the reverse side of the paper plate and the ice cream stick orange.
  3. Set them aside to dry completely.
  4. Draw 2 triangles on the orange construction paper. They should be the same size, roughly measuring 6x7x7 cm. Cut them out.
  5. Draw 8 triangles on the black construction paper. They should be the same size, roughly measuring 4x7x7 cm. Cut them out.
  6. Draw another triangle on the black construction paper. This is for the tiger’s “nose”. It should be curved on one side and measure roughly 3 cm on the other 2 sides.
  7. When the paint on the paper plate is dry, glue in the two orange triangles near the top of the plate. These are the tiger’s “ears”.
  8. Next, glue on the black triangles: two between the “ears” in the centre, and three on each side below the “ears”, like in the picture. These are the tiger’s “stripes”.
  9. Glue on the last triangle, the tiger’s “nose” just below and between his “eyes”.
  10. Use the black marker pen to draw in the tiger’s mouth, like in the picture.
  11. Lastly, tape on the ice cream stick to the back of the paper plate. You are ready to play tiger!







Singapore HeritageFest 2016

Hawkers on the National Museum grounds in the 1960s

Did you know that lots of hawkers lined the grounds of the National Museum decades ago and people would go there and eat? We didn’t! So it was a surprise to see this picture of the National Museum taken in the 1960s!

You’ll get a taste of this when the Singapore HeritageFest swings by again over three weekends from 29 April to 15 May. There’ll be 130 programmes and activities across the island which people can take part in to discover the richness of our history and heritage.

National Museum of Singapore - Image courtesy of National Museum of Singapore

To start with, on the opening weekend, the organisers will transform the museum grounds back to the old days that you see in the photograph. Fifteen 2nd and 3rd generation hawkers will set up stalls here to sell their local specialties like popiah and prata, while people can enjoy performances, outdoor film screenings, storytelling of ghost stories (Yikes!) and a special exhibition on 80 years of radio in Singapore. You can also get on board the Storytelling Van and hear tales about the iconic sites of Singapore, or get busy with some crafty and cooking workshops.

SV Gunalan and Chang Su Hui who continue to run their family business, will be among the hawkers at NMS on the opening weekend.

On the same weekend, Bukit Pasoh will also be closed off for a street party and outdoor performances while historic clan houses in the area open their doors for the first time. Wander in and have a guided tour and see what these mysterious clubs do. You’ll also catch more performances like lion dances and Chinese opera.

From right: The Storytelling Van, Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church, Kong Chow Wui Koon.

The second weekend (6-8 May) brings the festival to the heartlands. Among the many heritage and food trails being conducted that weekend is the new Bedok Heritage Trail via a guided bus tour, and an open house at the majestic Command House. If you’ve never been there, this is a gem of a chance. Then there’s A-Go-Go Night at Kampong Gelam, with a mini concert at the Malay Heritage Centre that pays tribute to the legacy of 1960s Singapore bands like The Siglap Five and The Quests. Drag your grandfather along and make sure he puts on his old dancing shoes. It would surely take him back to his younger days.

The third weekend (13-15 May) brings the Heritagefest to Pulau Ubin, with adventure walks, music performances by local musicians, and film screenings under the stars on this nature-filled island.

PicMonkey Collage heritage3
From top right: Pulau Ubin, retro radio studio at the 80 years of radio in Singapore exhibition at NMS, the Aliwal Arts Centre, and Maghain Aboth Synagogue

There are simply loads more programmes across the island, such as a week of activities by the Hokkien Huay Kuan Thian Hock Keng, with movies under the stars, stiltwalking and dragon dances, (26 Apr – 1 May) and the first ever Eurasian Heritage Bus Tour. There’s a heap of other cultural and historical tours that you can join in — guided walks to explore the heritage of Jurong, Dakota Crescent, Joo Chiat; Indian, Chinese and Malay heritage tours, even a tour of Tanglin Halt at 4am in the morning (see how the neighbourhood wakes up everyday!), and open houses at a host of buildings that you probably have never stepped foot in, from temples to mosques and even historic schools.

There’s just too much to list, so it’s best you get onto their website for more details. Some activities are ticketed or require registration which starts on 22 April at 2pm. Get your name down early as the popular events sell out in a snap.


Recipe for Kids: Cheese, Sausage & Pineapple Sticks

This retro cocktail centrepiece was very popular at parties in the 70s and 80s—and not just for the children! It’s super easy to put together. Try making it at home today!

10 cubes of cheese
10 mini cocktail sausages (cooked)
10 chunks of pineapple, canned
10 cocktail sticks

1) Skewer one of each ingredient on a cocktail stick.
2) Repeat until all the ingredients are used up. Serve immediately.
3) If you like, make a cocktail hedgehog by sticking the other end of the cocktail stick into a halved grapefruit. Then use halved olives and a cherry to make its eyes and nose.

Sail Your Way to Singapore

A long long time ago, before air travel became popular and affordable, and before the Causeway and Second Link were built, the only way to reach Singapore was by sea. Many of Singapore’s early immigrants travelled on ships and braved rough seas, bad weather and cramped uncomfortable conditions to get to the island.

It took some of them a very long time to reach Singapore, up to several months. You can bet they were pleased when they finally reached the island!

A Note to Grown-Ups: Here’s an easy activity inspired by our forefathers’ perilous sea journeys. It is perfect for younger children aged five to eight. Click on this link activity book.maze to download the maze below, select ‘fit to page’ on your printer, and print it out for the little ones to sail their way to Singapore!

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 9.41.48 PM



Crossword for Kids

Do you know which animal made Changi its favourite haunt? What is another local name for marbles? Find out how well you know Singapore and its rich history with this quick crossword puzzle, the first in our series of crossword puzzles on Singapore.

A Note to Grown-Ups: Download from the link below, select ‘fit to page’ under printing options, print out and challenge the kids to give it their best shot. Enjoy!

Hint: You’ll find all the answers in The Little Singapore Book (and in the pdf link below). Click on this link to download PuzzleJan2016


Criss Cross Puzzle

How To Play Five Stones

This is one of the most well known games during the early days of Independent Singapore. Almost every school girl would have a set of five stones in her pocket or bag, ready to play with friends.

Five Stones watermarked - Etched

You’ll need: At least 2 players, a flat surface to play on, and a set of five stones. (They are five triangular cloth ‘bags’ filled the rice, sand or saga seeds. Each should be about the size of a walnut.)

How to play: Complete the 8 steps below. The person who does so with the least number of attempts wins. If a player drops a stone, he forfeits his turn. When his opponent drops a stone, the player can pick up at the step he didn’t complete, starting from the beginning of that step.

#1: Throw down all five stones. Pick up one and throw it in the air, quickly pick a second stone, while the first is still mid air, and catch it while it falls. You should then have 2 stones in your hands. Put one of them aside, and repeat with each of the remaining 3 stones.
#2: Do like step 1 but pick up two stones at a time. Put two stones aside and repeat.
#3: Repeat step 1 but pick up 3 stones before catching the stone in mid air. Put the 3 stones aside and repeat with remaining stone.

#4: Throw down all five stones. Toss 1 stone in the air, and pick up the remaining four stones at the same time while the first stone is in mid air. Catch it before it lands.

#5: Throw up one stone, and place the other four on the ground. When the stone lands, throw another stone up, grab the four stones and catch the stone before it lands.
#6: Throw all five stones on the ground. Pick two stones. Throw one in the air and swap the other with one on the ground, then catch the other stone before it lands. Repeat with the rest of the stones. You’ll be left with 2 stones in your hands.

#7: Throw up the 2 stones from the end of Step 6. Pick up one stone from the ground, and catch the two falling stones separately in each hand. Repeat until you are left with three stones in one hand and two in the other. Throw the two stones and catch it separately in both hands. Throw the remaining stone and catch it with the hand that has all the stones.

#8: Throw down all the stones. Your opponent selects a stone to be thrown in the air. You have to pick this stone without moving any others, then toss it into the air. Pick up the four stones at the same time, then catch the falling stone.