I got to know from Alicia of Accidental Homeschooling Mum about a fire station visit that includes a tour in the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery, the price is $33 for 1 adult & 1 kid (Daddy decided to join us and we do not need to pay extra for him). Frankly speaking I was only interested in the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery then the fire station since we have already visited the Seng Kang Fire Station a few times when DinoEgg was younger. I did not gather any more information other then those Alicia posted online nor notice that this is actually an excursion conducted by MandrinaKids in a classroom workshop format. It only dawn me today. Regardless, so long I get to go to the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery I do not mind sitting through "a class".
The excursion is from 9.30am to 11.30am, we reached the meeting point TCC Cafe, Ground Floor, Funan Centre at 5mins to 9.30am as we were unable to get a cab earlier. We did the registration and only then I realised that I have forgotten to provide Eileen (from Homelearning Fun group) DinoEgg's age so they presume that he is same age as the other 2 kids and prepared teaching materials & crafts for 3yrs old. Well, I am ok with it (anyway it was my fault) but I am sure DinoEgg will be able to interact and be involved during the class.
The kids were given a goodie bag that includes 1 packet of ribena, 1 packet of raisins, 1 biscuit, 1 bottle of bubble (which DinoEgg is super excited about it) & a folder with the class materials.
After we have settle down & ordered our complimentary TCC drink, Ms Leila Lim; owner of MandarinaKids, welcomed us to the excursion with a short introduction of MandarinaKids, herself & Teacher Ma Hong or 马老师. The excursion includes 45mins of classroom style learning follow by visiting the Central Fire Station and ends with a tour & learning at the Civil Defence Heritage Gaallery.
Soon after the lesson starts, the kids refer to the file where there are Chinese words & pictures of fire engines, ambulance, police car and some other transportation vehicles. Under each picture is the name of the vehicles are written out in hanyupinyin, Chinese & English. Teacher Ma read out the Chinese word and get the kids to say it once. As the lesson plan was made for younger kids, Teacher Ma is trying to make it more interesting for DinoEgg. When she knows that he knows hanyupinyin and when he does not know how to read certain words she lead him to use hanyupinyin to pronounce the word. I like it when she asked DinoEgg more difficult questions like “为什么它叫直升机？” "Why is it call a helicopter?" This gets him thinking hard and try to give her an answer, its not the correct one but I am glad that she did that, at least she made an effort to engage him in the lesson.
Walking on the overhead bridge to get to the other side of the road where the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery & Central Fire Station is, we stop for a short while so that Teacher Ma can show the kids the different vehicles that are on the road; 汽车 car、德士 taxi、巴士 bus、小货车 van etc.
How can we NOT take a photo with the Fire Fighter statues outside the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery?
We went to Central Fire Station and the kids were running around trying to take in everything! The red fire engines of different sizes and looks are just giving them too much
sugar rush! Look at the things & information they are learning! I am sure they were ecstatic when they tried their hands on the hose spraying strong water at the plants.
NOTE : You are NOT allowed to climb up the back of a Fire Engine. We didn't know that and went clambering up steps without 2nd thoughts. We were spotted by 1 Fire Fighter who asked so nicely for us to "get your butts down NOW!" hahah~ ok ok that's me saying but he was very polite and courteous telling us that its dangerous up that with all those controls for the ladder and every thing so its best that we come down as quickly as possible.
Here are some of the photos I took while walking through the fire station and the gallery. It was filled with weekend crowd plus there was a secondary school excursion too so the small place was very crowded. Regardless, Teacher Ma is still able to bring the kids around and explaining to them how fire fighting were carried out in the olden days, the fire engines of yester-years etc.
Can you spot a very old fire hydrant & the trampoline they used in the olden days from the photos?
I enjoyed myself today during the class & at the fire stations.
Class was fun, I always thought that DinoEgg has no problem with reading Chinese words but realized that there are some words he is still unsure like 直升机 helicopter、 警车 police car. Perhaps he seldom come across the word 直and 警. A prompt with the hanyupinyin enable him to pronounce the word though. Nevertheless I am not freaking out coz he knows how to read, write and speak Mandarin and I am satisfied with his progress for his age.
I did not see the fire engine with the ladder & platform, it would have gotten many people (adults + kids) queuing to get on to it n travel all the way 4-5th storey high to get the view n feeling of being high up. Not for the faith hearted though. DinoEgg did it TWICE at Sengkang Fire Station and he is always so excited after he comes down from it. I was intrigued by the "ancient" fire engines and the ways fire fighting was done when technologies were not as advance. I would have stopped to read the introduction or description of each fire engines and the history but there were way too many people to let me stand in front of the display to read and take every thing at a slower mode. I will probably go back again on a weekday where there are lesser crowd and we can have the place to ourselves.
Great excursion & great family time!
Remarks : I am in no way affiliated to the management of Mandarina Kids or have been compensated to write about this excursion. All opinions are based on our experience, and 100% my own.