Tuesday, March 15, 2011

School Trips

I'm not sure if it is good or not good for Den but she has a mom who think activities are equally (if not more) important than seat work, so we always jump to the chance for field trips and activities. 

This week is school holidays in SG (and MLY), so there are more kids' activities. Through our SG homeschooling group, we get to know an interesting art and craft exhibition at Raffle City Shopping Center called "Children Of Asia". It featured about 20 artisans from Cambodia, India and Sri Lanka. 

It is supposed to have hand on activities but the press release never specified what kind of activities and to what age group it cater to. There is the problem with free programs like this, you have to go there in order to know if it is any good. We decided to give it a try last Sat (12 March) since we had nothing on that day. 

There were not many hand on and the artisans at the fair though very friendly, had zero experiences working with kids and yet despite all these, we spent 2 hours there and enjoyed our selves very much. I think it has a lot to do with Den's attitude. From a very shy and reserved child, she has grew into a confident young girl. She tried her hand on everything she can, even on station that was for viewing only, she pester the person in charged until she let her tried her hand on!

Silk Cocoons
One of the thing I find most interesting in the exhibition was the silk cocoons. Den saw these and right away asked me if the caterpillar still alive inside. I asked the organizer and she cant answer me, so she asked around and came back and told me, these cocoons were from silk cocoons farm. After caterpillars changed into cocoons, the farmer sun the cocoons. The hot sun killed the caterpillar inside the cocoons.

Boil cocoons and separate the silk fiber
Den get to do it finally!
After that, the cocoons were boil in hot water and the workers separated the silk fibers to make silk thread. Because of the hot water, this station is only for demo and not hand on but Den really want to try it her self. After going back to the station again and again and finally the Cambodia jie jie let her do it!!

After that the worker used a loom to wave the silk thread into silk cloth. We studied about loom in our history but Den has never seen one in real life. In this exhibition, not only she get to see it, she get to work on it for a long long time. Not many children at the exhibition wanted the hand on activities (I'm not sure why!), so Den monopolized the loom for a long long time. The Cambodia jie jie in charged of the loom teasingly told her she can come and work in Cambodia. 

After the cloth was done, it was dye into different pattern using natural dye. Den wished she can do this too but was told she cant! :(
Dyeing is a very tedious process
These natural materials are used as dye
In this exhibition, Den not only get to work on one type of loom but three! One of the hand loom was placed too high (adult height), so she had to give up after a few try. But no fear, she went on to try out another type and this time the thread fiber was taken from plants!! And when the cloth was done, it could be make into wallet, handbag or other colorful and amazing product (displayed on Den's left).

After weaving the plant fiber thread into clothes, it can be make into all those beautiful products on Den's left.
At the paper craft station, Den make a beautiful paper rose, I jokingly asked her to make me 600 for mother's day! 

In this exhibition we also get to see some other interesting craft like stone craving, wood craving, jewelry making and floor mat making.

making floor mat
We also watched some cultural dances at the fair. Before we left, the Cambodia jie jie working on the boiling cocoon station was so taken by Den that she gave her some cocoon to take home with her!

Today, the library we always go to celebrated 5th anniversary. I was debating if we should attend the activities there or stay home and study...finally decided to go so that we can try our hand on Henna drawing. We learned about Henna in Sonlight's My Passport to India and now we were given the opportunity to have henna drawing on our hands!

Henna on Den's hand when it was still wet. Have to wait til it was dry before washing.
Henna after washing, it will last a few days.
Henna on my hand.
Stick on tattoo on Den's arm!

Part of the Origami craft program that taught us how to make a paper vase and it was just nice for our paper rose from the art and craft exhibition last Sat.
Since school going kids have field trip, I decided these can be counted as our field trips as well! ^^

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