Fun with Cupcakes and Clay

By Khor Hui Min

khorhuimin-Clay WorkshopThe Marine SIG of MNS Selangor Branch organised its first-ever Cupcake Decoration Contest & I Clay Workshop on Sunday, 29 March 2009, from 2 to 5pm. Two different activities in one day.

I was surprised to have a good turnout of 23 kids, ranging from 5 years old to 12 years old, with parents and guardians in tow. Imagine kiddies running up and down the stairs, chasing after each other, while waiting for the fun to begin. But all were well behaved when it was time to start the activities.

Since there were so many people, we decided to break up the kids into two groups – one in the conference room and another in the auditorium. The kids in the auditorium started on the cupcakes, while the kids in the auditorium started in the I Clay Workshop.

The theme for the day was “Marine Creatures”, and all the decorations for the cupcake deco contest was about the sea and the life forms therein, while in the I Clay workshop, the children had a fun time making octopuses.

khorhuimin-CupcakesThe theme for the day was “Marine Creatures”, and all the decorations for the cupcake deco contest was about the sea and the life forms therein, while in the I Clay workshop, the children had a fun time making octopuses.

Our heartfelt thanks to Amy Chai and her friends for conducting the I Clay Workshop and to I Clay Creations (www.iclay.kids.net.my) for sponsoring the 23 I Clay kits for each child. Our appreciation also goes out to Terri Chai, sister of Amy Chai, and her friends, as well as Allison Wong May Li, for taking time out to bake cupcakes and whip up colourful icing, as well as source for cute edible cupcake decorations of all kinds in line with the theme for the day.

And best of all, the cupcakes tasted good too.

 

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A day of trekking, knots & fire

By Soon Pei Yee
Photograph by Hurnain Hamid

Warm sunshine greeted us as we gathered outside the Kota Damansara Community Forest Park. We waited with anticipation, as 30 children from the Ti-Ratana Children’s Home would be arriving soon. On this day, a group of volunteers from diverse backgrounds, including those from a few different Special Interest Groups and non-MNS members, had gathered together for a common goal: to educate and inspire the young children to understand and care for the environment. This nature camp was co-organised by Green Living and the Marine Group of the Malaysian Nature Society, Selangor Branch.

At 9.30 am, our expected party arrived. Wide-eyed and excited, the children and 5 helpers, including 4 volunteers from Ireland, disembarked from the bus. After a short introduction, we plunged headlong into our first activity of the day – a nature walk. The children and volunteers were divided into two groups for the walk – one led by John, another by Pasu.

Our first stop was a polluted lake. Disgusted by the smell oozing out of the lake and rubbish thrown everywhere, the children saw firsthand the consequence of not caring for our environment. Many even pledged to only throw rubbish into trashcans in the future.

Led by Aunty Pasu of the Nature Guides, we crossed a wooden bridge and entered the forest. Knowledgeable and experienced, she pointed out the different types of flora and explained their uses as we trekked along the forest floor. Some of the younger children had never been in a forest before and were afraid. They clung to the volunteers’ hands and moaned or cried. But they brightened up with continuous encouragement from the volunteers. As time went by, they began to appreciate the fungi growing on decaying wood and the butterflies fluttering by. Despite the endless annoyance from mosquitoes and their sweat-drenched bodies, the children emerged from the forest after an hour as conquerors, cheering and raising their walking sticks high above their heads.

Keong and Ashleigh got us going with the next activity, which was knot-tying and fire-starting. They showed us how to tie a bow knot and a bowline knot.

Fire_starting_hurnain4_1After that, we moved to the piles of dry sticks and tinder set on a cement counter. Keong, with a strike of his hands, set the tinder on fire. Everyone clapped and cheered. Then, the children were given a chance to try out as well. Eagerly, they waited in line and as they succeeded in starting the fire, you could see their eyes light up as well.

The children crowd around Ashleigh as he demonstrates fire-starting techniques.

Growling tummies indicated that it was time for lunch. After a meal of rice and lemon chicken, we proceeded on with games. We played a variation of the popular rock-paper-scissors game: sharks-dolphins-humans. Although the young children did not really follow the rules, they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Chasing each other like little whirlwinds all over the place, they filled the air with laughter.

All too soon it was time to leave. After bidding the children farewell, we too went on our way, happy with the knowledge that a seed for the love of nature had been planted in each of the children’s hearts. Hopefully, it will continue to grow in the years to come.

 

 

 

 

A clay workshop with a difference

On 29 March 2009, the Marine SIG embarks on our first-ever marine-themed I Clay Workshop for kids aged 5 to 12 years! Besides that, we will also be having a marine-themed Cupcake Decoration Contest on the same day.

Now, many of you will be wondering – what’s ‘I Clay’? Well, it’s a special type of polymer clay imported from Korea. It’s suitable for children, because of its qualities – only the softest and lightest clay is used, and it is safe, non-toxic, has superior elasticity and superior adhesiveness, clean handling and is child-friendly. It can be air-dried, has no cracks after drying and comes in the brightest of colours.

I Clay classes are taught according to a syllabus in the I Clay Education Programme and conducted by certified I Clay teachers. The syllabus is currently endorsed by the Institute of Clay Art (Korea), as well as the PJ College of Art and Design. I Clay classes and workshops are suitable for children, students, art teachers, kindergarten teachers, clay and handicraft enthusiasts, and parents.

Clay modelling is beneficial for children, because it builds confidence, stimulates creativity and imagination, improves concentration and patience, plus helps them develop critical thinking skills. In addition, working with clay gives children the opportunity to explore translating things from 2D drawings to 3D objects, and in the process, helps them to understand proportions, amounts and perception of colours better. Children can also be encouraged to develop logical and rational thoughts, as well as develop both the left brain and right brain.

Certified I Clay teacher, Amy Chai, has graciously agreed to take time out from her busy schedule of teaching autistic children and studies to conduct this workshop, so don’t miss this great opportunity for some fun. Last but not least, we are also very grateful to I Clay Art Creations, a company based in Subang Jaya, for sponsoring this workshop. For more information about the company and their I Clay products, visit http://www.iclay.kids.net.my.

For more information about this workshop, and to register, please contact Khor Hui Min (017-881 7714). Details can be found in the Calendar of Activities section. Places are limited, so book your spot soon!

Bookmark this activity!

Cupcake decoration contest & I clay workshop

Date: 29 March 2009
Time: 2 – 5pm
Venue: MNS HQ Auditorium, KL
Organiser: Marine SIG, MNS Selangor Branch

What’s Happening?
2 – 3.30pm: Cupcake decoration demo and contest for kiddies. The most creatively decorated cupcake will receive a mystery prize!
3.30 – 5pm: I Clay Workshop conducted by certified I Clay teacher, sponsored by I Clay Art Creations.
Of course, the children will take home their cupcakes and I Clay figurines after the event. 

Theme
The theme for the day is ‘Marine Creatures’, so kiddies must decorate their cupcakes with marine creatures and they will be making sea creatures from I Clay too.

Who Can Join?
Children aged 5 – 12 years.
Children must be accompanied by a parent or another adult.

Register Now!
To register, please contact Khor Hui Min (017-881 7714).
Registration fee per child: RM 30. Places are limited, so book your spot soon!

Dive in to Earth Day 2008: Tekek children’s programme

By Khor Hui Min

The Marine SIG has a fondness for the children of the Kelab Pencinta Alam (KPA) of Sekolah Kebangsaan Tekek, for which we try to conduct activities annually. I conducted the half-day children’s programme on 19 April, a last-minute switch requested by the school’s teacher advisor.

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But because the speaker was delayed by her transport, we started the programme with the T-shirt design competition. The teachers helped with the judging. The winners were delighted when they received chocolates as prizes. The winning design would be printed on new Marine SIG children’s T-shirts.

After the tea break, we all set out to Tekek beach, where the children were divided into groups, with a few black garbage bags each. In half an hour, they collected a large amount of rubbish, while the tourists sunning themselves in front of their small hotels and resorts looked on. Teacher Khairul persuaded me to give a speech, which ended the successful school children programme.

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Sharks ahoy at Alice Smith KL

By Serina Rahman

As the six young Nature Detectives stepped into Mrs Lim (better known to MNS birders as Bing)’s library, their eyes widened in excitement. Parked quietly on their favourite carpet was a big (inflatable) shark.

And there I was ready to fill their minds with shark trivia. It’s always exciting to work with little kids and talk to them about marine life. But nothing quite gets to them as much as the shark.

Most children know a lot about sharks already – how they have many many teeth and love the taste of humans. But it was a discerning lot that day at Alice Smith as they could tell me that sharks don’t mean to bite – they’re just being curious. Or that their traditional prey had all been shot by man. While some had eaten shark fin soup, others were aware of its origins and the children were suitably saddened by the image of drowned finless sharks.

But the afternoon was not all about sad thoughts; it was a session to celebrate all that is wonderful about this top predator of our seas. And the children jumped at the chance to discover the many weird shapes and sizes of sharks that they had never seen or heard of before.

It was encouraging to see that the world’s citizens of tomorrow remain open to the possibility that sharks aren’t all that evil and bad, and that they too deserve their rightful place on this planet. If only their unbridled passion could permeate the souls of other young minds, our seas and sharks will always be ensured a safe journey. We can only hope…

To request an eye-opening shark talk for your office or school, contact Serina at serina_mola@yahoo.com. These public awareness programmes are part of the MNS Marine SIG’s Fins – Best on Sharks Campaign.

Dive In To Earth Day 2008

Dates: April 19-22 (Sat-Tues)
Location: Pulau Tioman

The Marine SIG is having a special programme in conjunction with Dive In To Earth Day, culminating on 22 April, which is Earth Day itself. We will be having three simultaneous programmes over four days – a dive trip, an open water course and Kelab Pencinta Alam (KPA) activities for Tekek schoolchildren.

Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 to promote the ideas of ecology, encourage respect for life on Earth, and highlight growing concern over pollution. It is now celebrated in some 140 nations annually.

Dive Trip (4D/3N)
This trip package includes:
1. Stay at Panuba Resort, Tioman Island
2. Speedboat from Mersing to Tioman, and from Tioman to Mersing
3. Six dives
4. Dive equipment (you are encouraged to bring your own mask, snorkel & fins)
5. Breakfast on 20, 21 & 22 April
6. One BBQ dinner
7. One coral reef cleanup

Travel to and from Mersing is by car-pooling/bus, where the costs will be borne by each individual participant.

Member price: RM800
Non-member price: RM870 (includes 1-year MNS membership)
Please make booking payment of RM200 by Monday, March 3, 2008.
Please make full payment by Monday, March 17, 2008.

Interested individuals are to contact Khor Hui Min (mobile: 017-881-7714, e-mail: khor.hm@gmail.com) for booking as soon as possible, as places are limited.

Open water dive course (PADI)(4D/3N)
This trip package includes:
1. Theory classes at Sri Hartamas, from mid-March to early April prior to trip
2. Stay at Panuba Resort, Tioman Island
3. Speedboat from Mersing to Tioman, and from Tioman to Mersing
4. Dive equipment (you are encouraged to bring your own mask, snorkel & fins)
5. Breakfast on 20, 21 & 22 Apr
6. One BBQ dinner
7. One beach cleanup

Travel to and from Mersing is by car-pooling/bus, where the costs will be borne by each individual participant.

Member price: RM1,200
Non-member price: RM1,270 (includes 1-year MNS membership)
Please make booking payment of RM200 by Monday, February 18, 2008.
Please make full payment by Monday, March 3, 2008.

Interested individuals are to contact Khor Hui Min (mobile: 017-881-7714, e-mail: khor.hm@gmail.com) for booking as soon as possible, as places are limited.