Ever felt like you had too little time on a weekend as the superhero in you just wanted to do so much for your family (especially for the little one)? Or, feeling frustrated that your energizer bunny refused his nap when you just need that few hours to rest your mind? What can we do with them then?
Experiential learning and play that caregivers, parents and even schools provided for children to explore and make sense of the big, big world before them are essential for them to discover their areas of interest and learn how to manage problems in real-life situations. When kids are exposed to various activities, they get to physically, mentally and emotionally try things out. As much as they can get knowledge from books and through the internet, nothing beats a real experience with family and friends.
Hence in this column, we hope to bring you various places in Singapore that our kids can unleash their energy, gainfully learn through meaningful play and not forgetting, allowing family to enjoying the moments of parents-kids bonding! First on the list – The Animal Resort
The Animal Resort – 81 Seletar West Farmway 5
The Animal Resort is just a stone’s throw away from modern Sengkang. I love how it offers a very realistic ‘Kumpong’ style setting for our modern kids. Admission is free to public daily from 10am-5pm. The place is quite small in my opinion and can be covered within an hour or two. It is good for those who wants to get close to nature and the rural Singapore.
It is not easy to get here so do use the GPS! We used the entrance via Sengkang West Road. Keep following the sign on the road itself and you should be able to finally see this blue signboard. Then you've got it!
Cute directions in the resort which I think not many would have noticed? It's normal to be a little surprise if you are going for the first time and you discover that the place looks like it needs a little 'touch up' here and there.
So what are we waiting for? Let's go!
Inside The Animal Resort
Heidy found her favourite ‘friends’upon entering – the Guinea pigs and rabbits! She was thrilled, especially cos there are quite a few of them at the petting stations where she got to interact with them (whenever we pass by a pet shop, she will request to enter to admire her ‘little friends’ but all she can do is to stare at them haha!) Animal feeds are sold at a token fee of $2 for every 3 packets except for the horse feed. But please DO NOT bring your own food for feeding, it is strictly not allowed.
Aren't these bunnies and guinea pigs adorable? Active and very responsive.
There are two ponds. The water is quite clear so kids will be able to identify the turtles, koi and catfish. My LO enjoyed tossing the feed at every section of the pond just to watch the fishes ‘rush’ and fight for their food. There was once she told me out of the blue that “Mama, the pond is like a mirror, I can see myself!” so I thought it was a teachable moment to talk about reflections and even the shadows on the ground haha!
Grandma holding on to excited Heidy's hand 'just in case' haha!
The fish swarming to her knowing she still has food in her hand!
Other animals that you can expect to spot are 2-legged animals like chickens, geese, pigeons, quails and peafowls. There are parrots and Love Birds too! We were delighted to see a horse and surprisingly, a Cassowary and an old Marabou Stork!
Grandpa enjoying himself too! It's like back to his childhood days. He was demonstrating how to feed the duck.
The Cassowary coming over to welcome the visitors. It is actually the tallest bird apart from the Ostrich and Emu!
And there was a Crown Crane roaming outside.
Look out for the Peafowls in the big cage. Papa took this opportunity to teach Heidy that the 'prettier' one is actually the male, while the plain looking one is the female.
An exotic Marabou Stork! My first time seeing one actually.
So basically some birds are house in cages while others roam about freely. Remind your kids not to feed those with sharp peaks okay?
I was the one feeding the horse with the carrot when we first came to The Animal Resort at 19months old. Heidy said 'Next visit then I feed okay?" She finally muster her courage and fed this horse at 30 months old at the third visit. Haha!
Admiring the parrots with Grandpa. Truly engrossed.
Kissing parrots to end off our trip!
Things to note
Let me share some tips that I’ve gathered after a few visits to The Animal Resort:
Tip No. 1 – Visit on a weekday, perhaps Wednesday or Thursday! This is for those who want to feed the bunnies and fishes. Why? Cos the stations are more likely to be splattered with plenty of food on weekends already, so it may be disappointing to kids if they simply ignore their feedings.
Tip No. 2 – That said, check out the petting stations (see if they are filled with food already) before buying the feeds OR simply just get the feeds for the birds and chickens. I can vouch that ALL will swarm to you once you toss a few seeds to their kakis! I gave my LO a handful at a time as she tends to be overly generous so that helped to prolong the feeding experience.
Tip No. 3 – If you are bringing your toddler just make sure they don’t feed the stork and cassowary (it’s NOT allowed) and just be careful when feeding the horsie as there is a sign to warn visitors that it can bite. Oh yes, you may want to carry little toddlers as the ‘over’ friendly (or hungry?!) geese who are as tall as them may appear more aggressive when they sense or smell food in your hand.
The guinea fowls kept following Heidy hahah!!
Tip No. 4 – Other than a hat, apply insect repellant or mozzie patches. If you have forgotten about it, don’t worry- the farm sells them!
All in all, although this privately-run establishment is unlike the typical animal attractions found in Singapore, it is nonetheless in my opinion a great place for kids to explore and get up close and personal with animals. Let them run amok and have fun, be a role model (kids are too clever isn’t it? They can sense our secret ‘complains’ about the heat and smell or being ‘scared’ at every animal! ;p). My photos are not doing justice to the beautiful animals actually. Who knows, you may just discover more animals that we didn't get to see at The Animal Resort?
Hope you guys will have fun!
To make the trip more meaningful, here are some Themes / Areas of discussion you can embark on prior or after the visit J :
- Farm animals
- Animal habitats
- Outer coverings of animals
- Animal sounds
- Be kind to animals
- Research on less common animals like the Cassowary and Marabou Stork
Content Source: Mummy Mandy
Edited By: Preschool Resources
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Preschool Resources.