Outdoor Mandarin-Immersion Playgroup  @ Bukit Timah Railway Station

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Outdoor Mandarin-Immersion Playgroup @ Bukit Timah Railway Station

Toddlers will learn mandarin while outdoors in nature through music, stories, sensory play, process art and guided outdoor exploration

When and where

Date and time

Location

Bukit Timah Railway Station community node Rail Corridor Singapore Singapore

Map and directions

How to get there

About this event

Hi parents, I am a mom of a 2 year old toddler and I have been hosting play sessions, playgroups, swim clubs, talks, parties and other private events for a growing community of parents with young children aged 0-6 years old who meet regularly to play, socialise and have fun together.

Check out @tinyplayclub on Instagram, where I share reels and snippets of our community events and play sessions and play ideas that the kids loved.

Based on the popularity of our indoor Mandarin-Immersion Playgroup @ 1 King Albert Park over the last few months, I am so excited to share that Tiny Play Club is now hosting outdoor mandarin-immersion playgroups in collaboration with Zhen Zhen Laoshi (珍珍老师), a certified preschool Chinese teacher with over 12 years of experience teaching Chinese to local and international children.

After great feedback from the community, we will host regular outdoor playgroups on Wednesday afternoons for a maximum of 6 kids with 1-2 spots open for children attending a drop-in or make-up playgroup (see cancellation policy below) to keep the playgroup cosy and for the teacher to give each child attention.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣

Event details

Where: Restored Bukit Timah Railway Station at the Rail Corridor, #1 Railway Station, Singapore 599938

Next playgroup dates (Wednesday 4.30-5.30pm):

February: 1/2, 8/2, 15/2, 22/2

March: 1/3, 8/3, 15/3, 22/3

How long: 1 hour for the playgroup, but everyone is welcome to stay on to socialise and enjoy outdoor play and exploration after the Chinese teacher leaves.

What's on?

  • Greetings 问好⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
  • Music activities 音乐游戏⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
  • Storytelling 绘本分享⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
  • *Potluck snack time 点心时间⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
  • Sensory play 感官游戏 ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣/ Process art activity 艺术创作⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
  • Teacher-guided outdoor exploration 老师指导户外探索
  • Goodbye 道别⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
  • Outdoor free play and hangout 户外自主游戏
  • Post-playgroup reflection 活动记录

(FULLY BOOKED) Progressive mandarin-immersion playgroup term (1 Feb - 22 Mar):

Based on feedback, many TPC families would like to be more consistent with your children’s mandarin-learning this year and help them build a solid listening/speaking foundation. As such, laoshi and I will introduce mandarin-immersion playgroups for a stable group committed for 8 sessions (1 term).

There will now be a broad focus for each term with target vocabulary, phrases and different activities at each playgroup.

For the upcoming term starting 9 Feb, we will focus on developing listening and comprehension skills in mandarin - the absolute priority for learning a language. Laoshi will also introduce speaking/conversational skills and Chinese character recognition for the children who are developmentally ready.

We will cover these in the upcoming term:

  • Basic greetings
  • Introducing and expressing love to family members
  • Numbers 1-10
  • Popular fruits
  • Sizes
  • Expressing preferences
  • Making requests

The outdoor mandarin-immersion playgroups are fixed on Wednesdays 4.30-5.30pm on these dates:

  • Class 1: 1 Feb
  • Class 2: 8 Feb
  • Class 3: 15 Feb
  • Class 4: 22 Feb
  • Class 5: 1 Mar
  • Class 6: 8 Mar
  • Class 7: 15 Mar
  • Class 8: 22 Mar

I cannot commit to the term, can I attend drop-in playgroups?

Yes, there will be still 1-2 drop-in spots which I will periodically update the availabilities.

Cost: $30 per child for 1 drop-in playgroup or $220 for 1 term of 8 playgroups ($27.50/playgroup).

This includes both the cost of hiring the teacher and the token contribution charge to cover the cost of materials and the time taken to set up, clean up and disinfect play surfaces after the session.

How to make payment?

I am using Eventbrite as a platform to automate event bookings so the event is free to book to avoid incurring booking fees. Please PayNow to 87266246 after booking and WhatsApp me the payment screenshot to confirm your spot.

What is the difference between the term and the drop-in playgroups?

A stable group committed for 8 sessions (1 term) will allow children to have consistent mandarin exposure, progress together and learn increasingly more at each playgroup.

The mandarin progression will also be child-led. The Chinese teacher will customise learning goals for each child based on their age, developmental stage (e.g speech) and previous mandarin exposure because she will be familiar with a stable group of children for a 8 week term. This is a main benefit of joining the progressive playgroup term as she won’t be able to do so for children attending drop-in playgroups.

Also, having a stable group will also allow us to reduce the cost to $27.50 per playgroup (currently $30) as part of a package.

What is the difference between the indoor and outdoor mandarin playgroups?

The indoor and outdoor mandarin playgroups in the same term share a broad focus and target vocabulary but the experience of each playgroup is very different due to the environment and activities.

Generally, outdoor playgroups are more explorative with teacher-guided outdoor exploration, messy outdoor play and interacting with nature while indoor playgroups are more cosy with role play, games and playing in a prepared environment.

Both indoor and outdoor mandarin playgroups will have music, storytelling, sensory play / process art, potluck snack time and socialisation. Activities will vary at each playgroup.

What is the Bukit Timah Railway Station?

The Bukit Timah Railway originally built in 1932 and is one of two existing railway stations in Singapore and operated until the 1990s.

Following extensive restoration, the Bukit Timah Railway Station building was reopened to the public on 1 July 2022 and retains original key architectural and railway elements such as its original platforms, train tracks, station signs, token poles, track switching levers, ticketing booth and the replica of a signals diagram in the signal room. There are also replicas of railway station wagons that were used as railway maintenance vehicles.

Across from the old Station is the Railway Staff Quarters that features two gardens that the children can explore – Kampung Garden, and Herb and Spice Garden.

The Kampung Garden features ornamental shrubs and flowers iconic to Singapore’s 1960s landscape such as the Bunga Raya, Peacock Flower, and the Arabian Jasmine, while the Herb and Spice Garden showcases aromatic plants like Siamese Ginger, Laksa Leaf and Cili Padi that were commonly used for home-cooked dishes.

How do I get to the Bukit Timah Railway Station?

By MRT: Alight at King Albert Park MRT Station, Exit A. Upon exiting the MRT station, turn left and walk along Bukit Timah Road for 5 minutes. You will be greeted by a landscaped entrance point to lead you into the Rail Corridor.

By Car: Attending TPC families are welcome to park at the visitor lots in the basement carpark at 1 King Albert Park, Singapore 598326 and take a short walk towards the Rail Corridor which is located just beside my place.

By Bus: 67, 74, 77, 151, 154, 157, 170, 174, 852, 961, 961M, 970. Alight at King Albert Pk (one stop after King Albert Park MRT) bus stop, along Bukit Timah Road.

What happens if it rains?

Updated 8/2/23: The outdoor mandarin-immersion playgroup is a rain or shine event for the children to experience the outdoors even when it is raining. In the event of wet weather, the playgroup will be conducted inside the sheltered platform of the Restored Bukit Timah Railway Station and families can choose to play outside in the rain with appropriate rain gear (see below for what to bring) on.

I will notify attending families before the playgroup if it is expected to rain according to the weather forecast and observing the current weather conditions.

For families who prefer not to meet in the rain, refer to cancellation and make up policy below.

What should I bring?

  • Water bottle
  • Change of clothes for child
  • Healthy food items for potluck snack time*
  • Mosquito repellent (optional)
  • Sun hat (optional)
  • Sunscreen (optional)

and in the event of rain for both adults and children:

  • Umbrellas
  • Rain gear with hoods
  • Waterproof shoes
  • Change of clothes
  • Wet bags / plastic bags for wet clothes, umbrellas, rain gears
  • Rain stroller cover

What is a post-playgroup reflection?

The Chinese teacher will prepare a post-playgroup reflection of what was covered during the playgroup, with song links and book titles so parents can continue to extend children's learning and exposure of the topic and vocabulary at home.

Is there a minimum age to join?

Walking children as the ground at the Rail Corridor is hard, rocky and uneven. Beginner walkers are welcome too because being out in nature can strengthen their muscles.

Can my younger child accompany us?

Yes, pre-walking younger siblings can join an attending older walking sibling without payment.

Do caregivers need to speak mandarin to join?

No

Parent-accompanied event

This is a adult-accompanied community event for both children and caregivers to socialise - strictly no drop-offs!

Cancellation and make up policy:

As the cost of hiring the mandarin teacher is fixed per playgroup and split among families who have booked to attend, tickets are non-refundable but can be transferred to another child.

Term playgroup: In the event if any of the above class dates have to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances such as sickness, the term will be carried forward to the weeks after Class 8. For anyone who is not able to attend a scheduled playgroup during the term, you can either transfer your spot to another family to attend as a drop-in (inform me in advance) OR attend 1 other TPC event as a make up (with a top up if event cost differs).

Drop-in playgroup: Tickets can be transferred to another child. Alternatively, families are welcome to attend a future playgroup without extra cost as a one-off make-up (subject to space capacity limits, please reach out to me privately to discuss).

⁣Notes:

This is a private event only for the Tiny Play Club community. To join the community, please WhatsApp me at 87266246 to introduce yourself and your child(ren). There are no membership fees to join the community. As this is an in-person community, I want to make sure that I personally know every attending family to keep the community safe.

  • Please WhatsApp me at 87266246 before booking tickets if you have not attended the play sessions before, or tickets will be automatically cancelled.
  • These play sessions are adult accompanied. Parents, grandparents and/or helpers are welcome.
  • A maximum of 2 adult caregivers per family so as not to crowd the play space
  • *Please bring healthy food items such as fresh or cooked food for the kids to share during snack time. The food will be placed on a picnic mat for the kids to serve themselves. I kindly request parents not to bring puffs or packaged snacks as my child has a weakness towards these addictive snacks and those snacks will affect his appetite for meals and worsen his picky eating :-D
  • Feel free to WhatsApp me at 87266246 if you’d like to join us or if you have any questions!
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