Bong Qiuqiu’s guide to cheap and good fun with toddlers

By Elisa Chia   — March 20, 2017
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    Where are the best spots to bring babies and toddlers out to play and eat?

    We ask social media influencer Hong Qiuting of @bongqiuqiu to share her favourite hangouts with her two-year-old daughter, Meredith.

    Also, learn how she nips toddler public tantrums in the bud.

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    Our favourite hangouts Other than at home in her nursery and at our porch where we have water play and bubble time, we usually spend playtime at indoor playgrounds.

    I frequent Cool De Sac because it’s very affordable on weekdays, just $10 for unlimited hours of play for kids under three years old. Inside, there’s a cafe where parents can easily watch over their children.

    Other than toys, playground facilities and ball pits, they also have activities, like face-painting and glass panel painting. There are even TV console games for older children.

    I don’t always like to go shopping with Meredith – it’s boring for kids, unless they’re at the toy department. I can spend an hour with her inside Toys “R” Us for free play!

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    Our stroller I bought a “pariah brand” from Kuala Lumpur for only $210. I like that it’s very light and portable – I can fold it and hang it over my shoulder, like a big sling bag.

    Related: 5 questions to ask before you buy a stroller

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    In my bag Diapers, diaper cream, her home-cooked food, kid-size cutlery because she likes to feed herself now, food scissors, a water bottle and baby-friendly snacks.

    Go-to kids fashion brands Gingersnaps, Cotton On, H&M, Mango and Fox.

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    Dining places Astons has lots of child-friendly dishes, from grilled fish that is not too strong-tasting, to mashed potato and pasta. Meredith loves them all, including the mushroom soup and garlic bread.

    Before she turned 20 months old, we always packed home-cooked food whenever we went out. But I’m a lot more relaxed now. She can eat “outside food” after she takes her home-cooked food. Variety in moderation is always good, I believe.

    Related: Restaurants in Singapore where kids eat free

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    Dealing with public tantrums So far, I’ve only experienced one episode where she insisted on pushing her own stroller. She wanted to play pretend as “Mama Meredith” and we couldn’t let her because she was too short to do it.

    I’ve prevented many meltdowns by distracting her. For example, if she doesn’t want to return a toy to the shelf, I’d pretend that someone whom she likes – her teacher, yeye (grandpa) or godmother – is looking for her outside the store. She will put it back and hurry off with me without crying or whining. Sometimes I even tell her: “I think I saw an elephant walk past! Let’s go find it.” 

    I don’t know how long more these tricks will work though! 

    Related: 10 signs that your toddler is spoiled

    (Photos: Instagram/Bongqiuqiu)

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