Best educational apps for kids
It's nearly impossible to keep the kids away from electronic devices these days, so might as well make the most of screen time with apps that will actually teach them something useful. Here we've rounded the best educational apps for kids that offer fun and knowledge at the same time.
Best diving spots in the East Coast
Peninsular Malaysia has a coastline stretching over 2,000km with the east coast boasting particularly beautiful islands. The sheer number assures any diver that there’s something for everyone and for all levels, from technical dives for the experienced to leisure trips for first timers. Excellent visibility, reliable dive centres, knowledgeable instructors and competitive pricing are just some of the reasons diving these islands make for a great holiday experience. Plus, marine life is varied and there are amazing WWII wrecks to explore.
The best diving spots in Peninsular Malaysia
Peninsular Malaysia has a coastline stretching over 2,000km with the east coast boasting particularly beautiful islands. The sheer number assures any diver that there’s something for everyone and for all levels, from technical dives for the experienced to leisure trips for first-timers. Excellent visibility, reliable dive centres, knowledgeable instructors and competitive pricing are just some of the reasons diving these islands make for a great holiday experience. Plus, marine life is varied and there are amazing WWII wrecks to explore.RECOMMENDED: Beach holidays not your thing? How about Bangkok, Tokyo or Seoul?
Best travel apps for families
Smartphone apps can save time and money while travelling. From getting hotels discounts to booking last-minute flights, there’s an app for everything! We’ve rounded up the best travel apps that’ll make holidays with the family that bit easier.
Interview: Heidi Shamsuddin Kid's Book Author
Former maritime lawyer and restaurant owner, Heidi Shamsuddin is a children’s book author at heart. She won the regional prize for the Eye Level Children’s Literature Competition in 2012 with her very first short story ‘Johan the Bee Hunter’, and she hasn’t looked back since. Her latest series of books tell the story of three Malaysian children who go through a magic door and meet Malaysia’s historical figures and heroes, helping them get out of sticky situations. The books are a fun way to introduce the kids to personalities who figure greatly in our nation’s history. How did you get into writing and why did you choose to write children’s books?When I left the restaurant business in 2012, I was free to decide what to do next and it’s always been my dream to write a book. One of the first stories I wrote was ‘Johan the Bee Hunter’, so when I won the award, I was thrilled! This gave me the confidence to continue writing. At first, I didn’t start off writing for kids but somehow, all my stories were related with young people and all the experiences I had when I was a kid, and that’s how it all started. Would you say your environment and upbringing have coloured your writing?I spent most of my childhood in Seattle. Then I came home and spent my teenage years here, surrounded by stories told by my parents, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles. Right after I finished my Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), I studied and went on to work in the UK for 15 years before returning home again
Interview: Low Ngai Yuen of Kakiseni
Low Ngai Yuen is an unflinching artist who has always done something within the entertainment industry. From producing and directing, to becoming the youngest marketing director for Carrefour, she is now the driving force behind Kakiseni, a non-profit performing arts platform. Low became a household name as one of the hosts of ‘3R’, a popular infotainment programme that aired locally. ‘3R’ (Respect, Relax, Respond) was a half-hour programme aimed at empowering young women by focusing on issues of gender discrimination, sexuality and technology, and was regarded as quite a trailblazer at the time. Currently, she’s serving as the president of Kakiseni, essentially an information hub. And that’s not all. In 2011 she conceptualised and founded a non-profit and cause-driven organisation called WOMEN:girls. Through this initiative, Low wants to reiterate how important women are in society and to encourage girls to forge their own identities. ‘Exposure to the arts and arts education is fundamental in building empathy, creativity and skills in communication and expression' How did you come to be at Kakiseni?It all started when the founders, Jenny Daneel and Kathy Rowland, announced its closure back in 2009. I was upset with the news and offered to continue the good work that Kakiseni has been doing. Long story short, after much persuasion, we signed the contract and voila, Kakiseni was signed over! We turned it into a non-profit in 2011. What’s the biggest challenge in educating
Interview: Joanna Bessey
One of the most popular and memorable Malaysian sitcoms in the late ’90s was ‘Kopitiam’, which ran for seven seasons. In fact an entire generation of local viewers diligently tuned in to watch the shenanigans of a group of unique Malaysian characters speaking Manglish and playing out their lives in that favourite local hangout – the kopitiam. Joanna Bessey played Marie Tan, a slightly uptight lawyer who takes over her father’s kopitiam. This role – combined with her British accent and comedic flair – made her a household name. Joanna spent her formative years in the UK and took acting lessons at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in Los Angeles before returning to Malaysia to pursue her career. In her younger years, she was active in the performing arts and TV industry, covering all aspects from acting and writing to producing and directing. Currently, she’s the principal and course director for Enfiniti Academy – a hub for nurturing and teaching young performing arts talents – where her passion for performing arts is evident through the classes she teaches. She also still directs, and her most recent directorial foray was ‘Aladdin: Reloaded’, a musical theatre comedy that earned rave reviews during its run at the end of last year. ‘My fascination with people and what it means to be human is why I became an actor in the first place' Tell us about Enfiniti AcademyThe Enfiniti Academy of Musical Theatre & Performing Arts was founded with the aim of being an incubator for developing
Things to do this Father's Day
He made you, he raised you, and now it’s time to pay it back by spoiling him this Father’s Day. Whether your old man likes a bottomless brunch, a trip to the cinema, or just a calm, tranquil day away from it all, we’ve got you sorted for Father’s Day with activities that’ll win you some brownie points with Dad. For sure.
Buka puasa meals and buffets for families in KL
It’s that time of the year again and what’s better than having a wholesome buffet spread during Ramadhan where you can break fast joyously with loved ones.
Family Fun Day at MPO
Since its beginning 18 years ago, the Education and Outreach division of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) has been delivering experiences and opportunities throughout the country, bringing the joy of live classical music performances to thousands of people of all ages. Also known as ENCOUNTER, the division’s most established and successful programme is the Family Fun Day concerts, which encourages this legacy of creating awareness in classical music appreciation by educating and allowing children the freedom to enjoy performances in a relaxed atmosphere. The Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO), on the other hand, is a bit more formal. It’s a platform for young musical talents from around the country to hone their skills and build on their repertoire. Auditions to join the MPYO are competitive, with youths going through multiple rounds just to get shortlisted. Once in though, the members are part of an exclusive group that the MPO invests in, helping to develop and nurture a group of trained Malaysian instrumentalists at the top of their game. Can you briefly describe your family programme? The programme is called Family Fun Day (FFD) and it’s organised by MPO’s Artistic Administration and Education & Outreach teams. We try to attract parents and teachers to bring their children and students to FFD concerts because they’re designed to be interactive, engaging and stimulating at the same time; and to create awareness and interest in classical music. How do F
Malaysia-born panda Nuan Nuan returning to China in November
It’s time to say goodbye to Nuan Nuan as the Malaysia-born baby panda will soon be flying off to China for good. Nuan Nuan – born August 15 2008 – is the offspring of Xing Xing and Liang Liang who came to Malaysia in 2014 on a ten-year loan to commemorate 40 years of diplomatic ties between China and Malaysia. Nuan Nuan #zoonegara A post shared by Official Zoo Negara Malaysia (@zoonegara_malaysia) on Jan 31, 2017 at 7:41pm PST The agreement between Malaysia and China states that any panda cubs born in Malaysia has to be returned to China once it becomes mature at two years old. Sadly, this year marks Nuan Nuan’s second birthday and she’s set to return home to China on November 14. She’ll be sent directly to the Dujiangyan Panda Base in Sichuan where her parents came from to be freed into her natural habitat. So if you haven’t visited Nuan Nuan at Zoo Negara’s Giant Panda Conservation Centre, you might want to hurry up before she returns to her homeland. Take care and you’ll be missed Nuan Nuan! Meanwhile, Xing Xing and Liang Liang are scheduled to return to China in 2024.
Guide to SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games 2017
Come August, Malaysia will host the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 16 years after it last hosted the biennial regional event. In September, the sporting spotlight then shines on the 9th ASEAN Para Games. This is the sixth and third time KL will be hosting the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games respectively, and is particularly significant as 2017 is also the Diamond Jubilee (60 years) of the country’s independence. For the SEA Games, there will be 5,000 athletes from 11 countries competing for gold in over 400 events and Team Malaysia is aiming to emerge as overall champion – the last and only time we did so was when we hosted the 2001 edition by winning 111 gold medals. No doubt, we certainly have the chops to do it again; we have Rio Olympic silver medallist Pandelela Rinong and recent world champion of women's 10 metre platform event Cheong Jun Hoong; artistic gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi; and 'Pocket Rocketman' Azizulhasni Awang. So, we can't think of any better way to show your national pride than turning up for the games to cheer our country on. Malaysia Boleh! When does it start?The 29th edition of the SEA Games will be held from August 19 to 31, while the 9th ASEAN Para Games will take place from September 17 to 23. How many sports are being contested?The 29th SEA Games will feature over 400 events in 38 sports, while the Para Games will feature 16 sports. Two winter sports will make their debut – ice hockey and ice skating – and promises to be truly exciting. Other events m
August-October issue of Time Out Malaysia Kids: The Great Escape
This issue of Time Out Malaysia Kids is all about travel! Get ready to hop along with our guide of fun family trip ideas, global cuisines in KL, best language centres and top holiday rental companies. Here's a look inside: Pack up the kids and take a family adventure! We’ve put our expert travel heads together to compile a list of journeys you can take with the kids by transport – plane, train, ship and car. Keen to learn new language before travelling? We list out the top language centres where your kids (and you too!) can pick up new languages such as Spanish, German, Russian and more. In Eating Out, we went global to sample the best international cuisines without even leaving the country! You’ll also find new restaurants for dining with kids and the best poké bowls in this section. To round out our travel-heavy issue, we’ve put together a list of holiday rental companies to make planning for your trips less complicated and broke down what you’ll find in each one. Get the latest issue now for RM5.90 in bookstores and newsstands. Find out how you can get a free digital copy on the digital editions page.
Call for entries: Doodle 4 Google
Malaysia’s 54th birthday is coming up this September 16 (we don’t feel a day over 21), and Google Malaysia will be celebrating it with a Doodle! Once again, they're inviting Malaysian students to help design it. The giant search engine company has put out the call for students to submit designs for the doodle which will grace Google Malaysia’s homepage on the big day. Students aged seven to 17 (and they have to be a Malaysian citizen to enter) can submit designs based on the theme ‘Celebrating Malaysia’s Diversity’, which will be judged on artistic merit, creativity and originality. The contest is divided into four age categories: 7-9, 10-12, 13-15 and 16-17. Each category will be shortlisted and voted on separately; then the top doodle from each age category will be judged together, and one will be crowned the National Winner. There isn’t any cash prize for the winner (sorry guys), but they will have their creation front and centre on google.com.my this coming Malaysia Day for 24 hours where it will be viewed by the 24 million internet users in our country! In short, what we’re trying to say is, the reward is kind of a big deal – so get the kids to give it a go. Google first introduced its Doodle 4 Google Malaysia competition for students three years ago; Lee Yee Run from Sekinchan was the first winner with her impressive doodle titled ‘Beauty of Malaysia’ (below). Submissions are open until July 31 (midnight). To download entry forms, complete contest rules and more
Out now: PUMA x Minions
That’s right, friends, PUMA x Minions are happening. Joining the likes of Rihanna and Kylie Jenner, the Minions of ‘Despicable Me’ fame are the latest celebrity creative collaborators joining the PUMA family. The boisterous yellow creatures (and also global pop icons) worked together with PUMA Sportstyle to create a footwear and apparel collection that features their mischievous and playful aesthetic, just in time for PUMA’s Autumn-Winter 2017 collection and their new movie ‘Despicable Me 3’. Stuart, Carl and Kevin have put their own touches on PUMA favourites like the classic Suede, which is now available in a tonal black upper and features custom Minions-painted graphic insoles and a special collaboration logo. The rest of collection also sports a new pattern, heaps of colours (mainly yellow, obviously), plenty of goggles, and even a banana or two. Only the PUMA x Minions kids’ collection is available in Malaysia, and is priced from RM59 to RM189. Get it at PUMA outlets in KLCC, 1 Utama, Bangsar Village II, The Gardens, RSH Malaysia, Sport Direct Malaysia, Sport Planet Warehouse, Komtar JBCC, Queensbay Mall and Life Habitat Sdn Bhd @ Prai. For more information, visit puma.com.
Try now: Barbie: Create Your Own
Barbie fans (and your inner child) will love this – the chance for you to customise your own Barbie has arrived on our shores for the first time in Southeast Asia! The Barbie customisation experience will allow kids to personalise their doll according to their individual styles and preferences. Aimed at inspiring kids (and older fans) to use their imagination, the Barbie customisation experience offers various options to choose from for kids to create their very own version of Barbie. First, they pick a doll – original Barbie, tall Barbie or petite Barbie, all of which are available in different skin tones with varying hair colours and hairstyles. Next, the kids can unleash their inner stylist by selecting a wardrobe for their Barbie, dressing her from head to toe with a range of trendy fashion pieces from tops and pants to dresses and shoes. The experience (and Barbie) wouldn’t be complete without playsets and accessories, so after they’ve dressed Barbie, the kids can include these two add-ons to finish her look. When they’re done, kids will bring home their customised Barbie in a special packaging printed with their own name. Apart from the customisation, there will also be activities like Barbie colouring sessions, story-telling workshops, a play house and more to keep the young ones entertained while waiting for their Barbie to be made. The Barbie: Create Your Own customisation experience will be held at Sunway Pyramid (May 23-28), Mid Valley (June 1-4), KLCC (June 8-11)
What's up with fidget spinners?
If you’re wondering what this year’s craze is going to be, we might already have the answer – the fidget spinner. Pokémon GO is no longer relevant, or at least it’s being steadily eclipsed by this new toy the kids (and some adults) can’t get enough of. If you’ve never heard of it, get ready for your head to spin. Fidget spinners are small, with two or three prongs with circles in them, along with a circular pad in the middle where you can hold the device with your finger and thumb. Then, you spin it. For the past few months, they’ve been spinning their way into children’s hearts and hands across the world, and in Malaysia, there certainly is no shortage of interest among the kids – the toy is currently sweeping the nation, selling out like hot cakes. It appears that they’ve been around for years but recently exploded in popularity thanks to innumerable videos littering YouTube and Instagram involving these spinners – from tricks-shots, stunts and even customisations. The video below showing fidget spinner magic tricks amassed over five millions views in less than two weeks. With such a huge hype over it, one might wonder what a fidget spinner’s function actually is. Well, manufacturers claim that the gadgets aren’t just fun to play with; they supposedly also help people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and autism as the spinner provide an outlet to expend any excess energy and prevent from fidgeting. Forbes magazine even named fidget
May-July issue of Time Out Malaysia Kids: Top family-friendly dining + kids' cooking classes and cool kitchenware
‘There’s no sincerer love than the love for food’ – a quote many of us know and live by. But that’s not true if you have kids because obviously you love them more than food! With that, we’re dedicating this ‘Food for family’ issue to parents who love both their kids and food. Here, you’ll find great places for family dining by occasion, restaurants where you can cook your own meal, as well as the best tips to pack lunchboxes for the kids. We did the rounds and scoured the best restaurants in town for your next family dinner by occasion – be it special treats, communal eats or birthday dinners. If your kids are more the culinary kind, sign them up for cooking classes. The classes on our list of the best in KL will teach them how to decorate cakes, cook a three-course meal or even make pizza. Bring the kids to these restaurants where the kids can put their cooking skills to test with these DIY meals. Sit down, let the kids take lead, and enjoy the meal. After that, check out our pick of the most unique ice cream combinations in our Cool Treats to Try section. For your home, these cute and practical kitchenware will be a great help in encouraging the kids to help out in the kitchen and cook with you. You’ll find our favourite new toy in this section too. In Parenthood, we’ve reviewed three different family-friendly cars to find out which one is the best to drive around in, what with all the school rounds, tuition drop-offs, sports events and more – because we know finding
Go now: LEGO Star Wars Days 2017 at LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort
Star Wars fans, take note. The extremely popular LEGO Star Wars Days are back for another year, and it’s a rather special year as the franchise is celebrating its 40th anniversary! For the month of May, the galaxy’s finest will descend upon LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort for a ‘Star Wars’ fun-filled bash. We’ve got the deets on some of the intergalactic activities lined up for families. 1. LEGO Star Wars MINILAND Model Display Relive the action of the ‘Star Wars’ universe with storytelling sessions by Model Citizens dressed as ‘Star Wars’ characters around the gargantuan LEGO Star Wars MINILAND Model Display. The chronological display plays host to seven iconic scenes, brought to life in 1.5 million LEGO bricks. 2. Join the largest Imperial March Be sure to catch the largest Imperial March in the region with more than 100 ‘Star Wars’ characters marching across LEGOLAND. Take part in once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by strapping on your own ‘Star Wars’ costume and joining the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion for the march. 3. An ode to Princess Leia LEGOLAND Malaysia will be honouring the legendary Princess Leia with a commemorative session. Details are still under wraps for now, but we advise you to bring tissues. 4. Dancing Stormtroopers Come down with your dancing shoes and camera ready because these Stormies can bust a move! These swinging Stormtroopers and other characters will make an appearance around the park on weekends. 5. Jedi Academy Start the young Padawans right in
Oxford Big Write creative writing competition
Calling all young writers! If you have a vivid imagination and a way with words, here’s your chance to get published. In conjunction with Oxford Fajar’s 60th Anniversary, students aged 15 to 19 years old are invited to submit their original stories with the theme ‘Journeys’ to the Big Write creative writing competition. The competition is divided into two categories with a grand prize of RM2,000 up for grabs for the winner in each category. In addition to that, the top five winning entries from each category will also get the chance to participate in a four-day three-night creative writing camp. There are two categories – Category 1 is for 15- to -17-year-olds to write an essay of 2,000 words maximum; while Category 2 is for older teens aged 18 to 19 years old with a maximum of 3,000 words. This competition is open to all students studying in Malaysia and the deadline is April 30 2017. For more information, visit oxfordfajar.com.my.
FashionValet launches kidswear collection FVKids
Good news for fashion-forward parents and kids! It’s time to put the toy cars and dolls away and head over to FashionValet – the fashion retail website has just launched its kidswear line, FVKids. Parents can now shop for affordable, fashionable, quality threads for their kids through the FashionValet website (at the time of publish, FVKids is only available online). Maintaining its emphasis on local designers, the line features a handful of Malaysian brands such as Benua, Pokoks, Sama and more. FVKids offers age-appropriate fashion for kids between the ages of two and 12, focusing on relaxed and flowy silhouettes. Tiny fashionistas (and parents) can look forward to a variety of everything from T-shirts, party dresses and skirts to tops, trousers and shorts in adorable prints and vibrant colours. There’s even a selection of traditional outfits like the jubah and kurta. The collection also includes adorable kids’ accessories such as colourful scrunchies and bow ties by Sereni & Shentel and trendy sunglasses by Kaca-Kaca. It’ll definitely be easier now for the kids to look as stylish as mummy and daddy! To shop, visit fashionvalet.com.