POSB Smart Buddy Watch

Media Invite

Nowadays, I felt that I need to catch up with technology. Everyday there is a new app, a new smart watch, a new PayLah, PayNow, InstantPay?!

These days, children have a head start being born in the Internet Age. It is a walk-in-the-park to play games on the Ipad, watch a video on Youtube or even use a smart watch for payment.

Riding on the smart cashless payment trend, POSB launched the POSB Smart Buddy Watch targeted at the primary school levels. I attended the media invite recently to understand more about this initiative and how the watch works.

With this watch, our primary school kids are able to make payment for their recess food and also “steal” a buy at their favourite school bookshops. This wearable also double up as a watch (of course) and a fitness tracker.

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Paying for food at the school canteen. Photo source: POSB

Paired with a mobile app, parents can allocate allowances directly from their personal accounts, track their children’s expenditure and savings. We understood there are also plans in future versions to add additional features such as a location tracker (within the school), biometric feature and a school bus locator where parents can track the real-time location of the bus and be notified when their child boards or alights from the school bus.

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Paired with an app on the parents’ phone. Photo source: POSB

Besides using the watch in schools, students can also use it at participating merchants such as Comfort (taxi), KFC, Pizza Hut, POPULAR, Sheng Siong. There are definitely plans to bring more merchants on-board.

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Xi En paying for items at POPULAR book store.

As Xi En’s school has yet to sign on to the program, we tested the watch at POPULAR and here are what we (or rather I) felt after the trial.

Our take on this program and the POSB SMART BUDDY WATCH:

The size is just nice with sufficient strap holes for small wrists. The strap is of a durable dark plastic material, thus it is dirt and water resistant. It is simple to navigate and comes with clear digital numbers.

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I like the clean-cut and simple design.

The app on my phone shows me exactly how much money I can allocate to him daily and I can also allow him (or not) to sign on using his own ID and password to check his own savings. There are “ savings goals” that he can set and work towards. The fitness tracker is Xi En’s favourite feature as  he was intrigued by the steps and distance covered. If the watch is lost, parents can quickly disable the functions remotely as well.

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Currently more than 24 schools are on-board and the general feedback had been positive. Parents with kids on the program liked how they can increase (or decrease) allowances with just an app, monitor what their kids purchase in school and encourage them to save. I can imagine that it would have been useful if my son suddenly need a dollar to buy a marker refill. he can just ring me from the general office and I can “send” the money to him almost immediately. It would be interesting to know his food selection in the school canteen as well and if he is telling me the truth! Smile with tongue out

Going digital also means that the school canteen vendors do not need to touch coins/bills while preparing food for the students – now that is a big plus.

On the flip side:

The first thought which came to my mind when the watch was introduced in the news: Hey! Will this prevent my child from learning how to count money? Not being able to touch and feel the coins/bills, will he understand the true value of money or will he think that money grows from watches?! *gasp*!

But one incident changed my viewpoint. I was having coffee with some clients from Beijing. They wanted to foot the bill but dug so deeply into their wallets for some loose change that I was almost embarrassed. They explained that they seldom need to bring their wallets out in China as almost all payments are done via the phone (QR codes mainly). And this was after our PM Lee’s National Day message on wanting Singapore to be a “Smart Nation”. My clients felt that Singapore is backwards in this aspect!

The folks at POSB emphasized that this initiative isn’t meant to be the ONLY mode of payment, but to be one of the available resources for payment. Indeed so. Though there isn’t an absolute need to digitalise everything, we cannot stand sit forever. Teaching the concept of counting money, instilling the value of hard-earned money, educating the younger generation on money sense – all these are still very important morals and lessons. I don’t think the schools intend to fully digitalised teachers! And we parents continue to play a big part of teaching our children about the dollars and coins. Having said that, when it’s Eizac’s turn to enter Primary One, I will still prefer him to learn how to carry a wallet with his pocket money and to be able to count the right change after buying a bowl of noodles during recess. The basics should still precede while the digital enhances the learning in my opinion.

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When it’s your turn, baby. Smile

As for my 8 years old, Xi En continues to track his savings in an exercise book and at the same time, enjoys tapping the POSB Smart Buddy Watch when we do visit one of the participating merchants. A marry of old-and-new I call it. We embrace technology as it comes along, but not forgetting to stay rooted with the basics. Smile

As POSB Smart Buddy Watch is still in the introductory stage, we hope to see more enhanced features such as the GPS tracking locator function which will help busy parents. Schools or parents who wish to find out more about the POSB Smart Buddy programme can visit www.posb.com.sg/smartbuddy or email posbsmartbuddy@dbs.com.

Celebrations with Floral Garage

We had an early Chinese New Year reunion dinner cum Eizac’s 4th birthday celebration. With Eizac being born near CNY period 4 years ago, he is normally not given a proper birthday celebration as it is festive season. Either the shops were closed or we were too busy doing CNY visitations.

But this year, he is turning 4 years old and like any other pre-schoolers, he is “suddenly” aware of birthdays or rather presents, cakes and parties associated with birthdays! Open-mouthed smile

We are not big on hosting parties but decided to do a small one with the extended families in conjunction with CNY reunion dinner.

There were no other children/friends invited and my kids are the oldest (or youngest?!) in the extended family. Thus we need no entertainment, dessert tables and the likes. Yea! Because I am not good at those. Smile with tongue out

But we couldn’t just have an empty function room hey?

Floral Garage – a local floral shop – came to our rescue! The company was set up in 2015 by 2 guys who wanted to make flowers gifting an affordable option to consumers. They have gone into party decorations and supplies as well.

And the kind folks there decided to help me out with the supply of party decorations for the event as I was quite haphazard in what I wanted since it was a dual-celebration.

We ended up with a combination of both and here’s sharing how the place looked like after decorations. Have to apologise for the lack of quality photos as the older boy came down with stomach flu just the night before the event. Our hands were full with bringing him to the doctor, nursing him and getting ready for the function too. That’s why it’s advisable to either outsource venue decorations or buy ready-to-install decorations for such unforeseeable situations. Open-mouthed smile

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Eizac’s Happy Birthday Banner with big gold balloons letters.
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Another look with the cheeky birthday boy.

Initially I wanted lots of balloons to create a party atmosphere. Balloons are known to generate squeals from children and add on to the party mood.

There are balloon packages from Floral Garage such as those on this link. However, our event was on a Sunday which happened to be the day that Floral Garage is closed. As such, we couldn’t have the usual latex balloons as the helium will only be good for 6-8 hours. Eventually, we opt for some foil balloons which were delivered on Sat. Some managed to stay full till the event timing.

A note on the big balloon letters – they don’t float due to the size but they last for many days! I gave the festive letters to Eizac’s school a few days after the event so they can reuse them as decorations for the school’s CNY party. Very useful! Open-mouthed smile

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On the other side of the wall, we have the same gold balloon letters but in “HAPPY CNY”. Star and heart shaped foil balloons for the children.

To create a “fuller” backdrop, you can opt to get glittery backdrops from Floral Garage. Something like this: (Image from Floral Garage)

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With 2 of the major walls done, I decided to work with the other materials provided. A search online rendered these pretty photos for the ceiling:

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Unfortunately, I do not have enough bandwidth to do such an elaborate decoration. So we D.I.Y with the crepe streamers and balloons provided by Floral Garage and ended with a decent enough look.

Ok, it’s not as nice as those PinInterest photos. But good enough for the short time we have.

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D.I.Y decorations on the ceiling with crepe streamers and balloons.
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Happy Chinese New Year from another angle.

Floral Garage also sent a lovely CNY flower arrangement, which we displayed near the buffet line and thereafter “re-used” it at home. The flowers are very lasting and we still have them in the house till date!

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We ordered a birthday cake from Bengawan Solo simply because it has the series of Paw Patrol cartoon characters. These are Eizac’s favourite cartoon for the season.

And he has to choose a Paw Patrol or rather “Air Patroller” as a birthday present too. Smile

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We ended the evening with a “Loi Hei”; toss up for a good Rooster Year ahead!

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The family’s usual “formation” when it comes to Loi Hei. So that the ingredients can still be eaten after the enthusiastic toss up.
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The entire extended clan from my mother’s side. It is always good to follow traditions. Smile
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Any parents will know it’s not easy to take a family photo with young children. We managed one here with the help of our helpful relatives. Open-mouthed smile

And Thank You to Floral Garage for the kind sponsorship of the decorations for the event. Though there was a minor slip-up due to miscommunication between their operations and marketing team, credit has to be given to the marketing team for prompt service recovery. Most people look to florists and party suppliers for significant events, so prompt, accurate deliveries and reliably good products are always a must in this trade. Floral Garage is still relatively new in the floral and party business, but they are worth a try if you want an affordable bunch of flowers or a fuss free party supplies package.

If you need some ideas for the special occasions, do check out their details below:

Floral Garage: https://floralgaragesg.com

For party supplies:  https://floralgaragesg.com/party-supplies-singapore

And for the upcoming Valentine’s Day: https://valentines.floralgaragesg.com

I do especially like the artisan freestyle bouquets of flowers available on their website – “Rustic” goes well with me. Open-mouthed smile

And I have some happy fresh news for readers here. Here’s a 15% LIFETIME DISCOUNT Code which you can use when you order from Floral Garage.

Hope it will come in as using savings when you get a bouquet to brighten someone’s day. Smile

Enter this code when checking out: evelynXFG15

Next up, with Valentine’s Day in just 2 weeks time, Floral Garage is kindly sponsoring a giveaway of a “Freestyle Bouquet” for one winner! You can have it delivered to your loved one or for yourself just simply because you need some fresh flowers in the house?! Smile

Floral Garage Giveaway

To enter the random draw, these are the criteria:

1) Visit Floral Garage Facebook Page. “Likes” are appreciated but not compulsory.

2) Visit Evespiration Facebook Page. “Likes” are appreciated but not compulsory.

3) Share this post on Facebook or Repost/Regram on Instagram; please remember to tag me – “Evespiration” and ensure your post setting is public. You will be contacted via your FB/IG account when you win.

T&C of this giveaway:

This giveaway ends on 8th Feb 2017. The winner will be randomly selected from announced on this blog post on 9th Feb 2017.

Winners will be contacted via the FB/IG account used to enter the giveaway. Winner will be given 48 hours to respond; failing which a new winner will be selected.

By entering this giveaway, you agree to release your email address to the sponsor for verification, contact and marketing purposes.
This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook/Instagram.

Updated on 10th Feb 2017:

Giveaway has ended! Thank you for the participation everyone! 🙂 

And the winner goes to Elizabeth De Cruz! Congratulations! You will be contacted on your Facebook ID and hope the flowers will make your day extra special! 🙂 


Here’s wishing everyone a Happy Rooster Year; May the new year brings new beginnings and create happy memories! Smile 

And of course to my CNY baby, A Happy Blessed Birthday! Eizac, you are super loved and cherished!

Happy Birthday Eizac

BASF Kids’ Lab 2106

Media Invite

BASF is a chemical company headquartered in Germany with a global presence. They have a saying: “We create chemistry”.

And one of their social responsibility is to make science/chemistry fun and enjoyable to kids at a young age.

I wished we had all these when we were young! My recollection of chemistry in school was the memorisation of the periodic table!

With presence in more than 30 countries, BASF Kids’ Lab was set up to allow kids to have fun in experiment and marvel at how chemistry works in today’s world.

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BASF is back in Singapore again this Nov/Dec school holidays to wow and interest kids in science!

Most importantly – FOR FREE! Yes!

Don’t miss out this immensely popular experiment workshop which will be held for FREE at Ang Mo Kio Library.

Details

Hands-on Interactive Chemistry Education Program

Who: Kids 6 to 12 years old

When: Tues, 15th Nov 2016 to Sun, 20th Nov 2016

Time*: 10:15am, 11:45am, 2:15pm & 3:45pm

Where: Programme Zone, Ang Mo Kio Library

* Each session is limited to 40 participants and is 1 hr 15 mins in duration

To register, please go online to www.nlb.gov.sg/golibrary and search for BASF Kids Lab using as the keyword.

** The registration starts on 17th Oct 2016 (TODAY!) and slots are running out fast!

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Here’s a preview of what Ethen experienced during our media event held at Playeum:

Registration

Safety goggles, protective apro, a notebook, pen and gloves (no less) are given to the kids after registration. Safety first is BASF’s priority as the kids will be handling real chemical! Nothing to worry about as long as they don’t decide to put stuff in their mouth. Smile

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Introduction

We were introduced to the what BASF is about and why they are engaging kids to learn about chemistry at a young age. BASF doesn’t actually manufacture things but it make things better/easier. E.g. They make the rubber in the rubber soles of a track shoes and etc.

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The kids were reminded of the safety rules as they are dealing with the real chemical stuff.

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Investigations and Experiments

There were 2 different experiments that the kids worked on.

A) Where is Vitamin “C”

B) UV Investigation

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What I liked about this session:

1) Real apparatus

It is real iodine, real beaker, UV torch and even real chemical. Keeping it real make the fun even more fun (and exciting!). I thought it is great to let primary school kids dabble with the real stuff before they even reach secondary school age.

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2) Clear instructions

There was an instructor and an assistant at each table of 8 kids (who were paired up). There were more than sufficient staff around to help out and guide the kids. The instructor gave good instructions to start the kids off and stop them if they are doing something dangerous. Otherwise, the kids were encouraged to observe, draw their own conclusion and write their observations down in the note book.

I liked it that the instructor didn’t just gave the answers too quickly. Rather they paused and allowed the kids to consider the results of the experiments and draw their own conclusion. And conclusions do not need to be the same. E.g. There is vitamin C in lemon juice OR There is less Vitamin in green tea. Both observations are correct.

The kids were paired off; thus they learnt teamwork too. Ethen had a bit of problem with an enthusiastic partner who prefer to conduct all experiments by himself. The protective mummy in me wanted to step in…. but I held out and waited to see how he resolved it. He did! without (much) force nor squabbles. Open-mouthed smile

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3) Not 1 but 2 experiments!

That’s a bonus. Smile With 2 different experiments in 1 session, the kids get to “play” more. The second experiment was more of an investigation on UV rays and the kids made real sunblock! Ethen’s observation was that the chemical reaction created yogurt-like substance (sunblock lotion)! Open-mouthed smile

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Conclusion

It was a 1hr 15 mins session but felt that the kids wanted to do more! The curious mind of a young kid knows no boundaries. Smile

The kids were encouraged to share their answers and observations.

Science were made simpler for the young kids to understand and concepts were broken down to bite-size information. BASF Kids’ Lab is on their way to nurture many new scientists amongst our new generation!

It was a good session not to be missed.

Do hop onto www.nlb.gov.sg/golibrary to book your slot before it all runs out.

If you are keen to know what BASF does, check out their Facebook page and their global website.

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Thank you for BASF Kids’ Lab for giving us an opportunity to experience this and Ethen said he hope science will “become popular”! Open-mouthed smile