Fun in the Sun: The kids weigh in

Family Fun Under the Sun, FUNS!, happens every first weekend of the month. This event is targeted at kids (4 to 9 years old) to bond with the family while they go on a journey of discovery at the Gardens, with special themed tours, craft workshops, and other fun in the sun activities for the whole family. The theme changes every month. The theme for this January was ‘Fun with Conifers!’

My little cousins, Anas and Fasiha, and myself were invited to check out their ‘Fun with Conifers’ programme last Saturday and you can imagine how thrilled the young ones were.

 Learning through sense
The first part of the programme involved a brief background on conifers and to interest the relatively young crowd, our facilitators invited the little ones to touch, smell and feel the different pine cones, spindles on the Christmas tree (normal fir) and even those delicious pine nuts!

Into the Flower Dome we go!
Our next step was the flower dome where we would come face to face with these magnificent Fir trees. Anas and Fasiha were psyched as we followed our guide into the Dome. Fasiha, 4, skipped along as she held my hand looking in awe at the Supertrees we passed. The two kids were a little startled at the drop in temperature in the dome and chided me for not reminding them to bring their sweaters. After all, as our guide, Grace said, the Flower Dome replicates the cool-dry climate of Mediterranean regions like South Africa, California and parts of Spain and Italy. And the temperature is maintained through chilled water pipes in ground slabs, while warm air is vented out at the top. These amazing scientific information, however flew past the kids who were more interested to check out the amazing displays of colourful flowers and prickly cacti of the Mediterranean.

Fun and games
The real fun only began for the kids at least, when we settled down to play some games. Both Anas and Fasiha’s eyes lit up as Grace and Joan (our facilitators) passed out the ‘Pearly the pinecone’ boardgame. Fasiha was excited to see the pink gaming piece and shouted “I want the pink one!”
Based on the popular kid’s game, ‘Snakes and Ladders’, the Pearly the Pinecone game had the kids trying to help the Fir tress get back to the forest. The creative game even had ‘Chance’ cards that required the kids to answer questions on conifers (so they had better be listening during the briefing..)

Getting crafty
The kids were really looking forward to the final activity, which is to make their own pinecone figure. Our helpful facilitators gave each group of kids a variety of craft materials that included felt, googly eyes and toilet cleaners (for the hands and feet). And of course Anas and Fasiha went wild, giving their creativity free rein. Anas’s pine cone figure had one small eye, one big eye and had 3 hands with no feet.

While Fasiha fashioned hers as a superhero with three eyes, one on the back of course so he can keep an eye on whats going on behind as well as a cape because obviously a pinecone superhero must fly, right?


A morning well spent!
The activities which started at 10 in the morning, ended by noon and we were free to explore the rest of the park. The kids were really hungry and unfortunately there weren’t many halal options in the park. The only one I knew of was Texas Chicken, located at Supertree Dining.

Yet, their growling tummies did not dampen their spirits as they ran to see the majestic waterfall at the Cloud Forest and received a refreshing ‘shower’ in the progress!

As we walked back to the entrance to catch our ride, both Anas and Fasiha were proudly holding onto their pinecone craft and excitedly talking about the next time they would come again.

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About Wafa Marican
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