Travelling with kids to international destinations can be a daunting prospect for most busy Mums, and I’m no exception! However, we recently packed up all three kids (including our very active 15-month old toddler) and explored Singapore. With the right planning and destination selection international family holidays can also be extremely rewarding. I was delighted that travel giant Expedia choose to feature a round-up of our trip on their site. Read ‘The Singapore Family Holiday Guide’ to get some terrific travelling tips for your next family holiday to Singapore.
My kids – not to mention me and my other half! – had an absolute blast in Singapore, which was an awesome choice for a family trip. It’s not the first time we’ve been to Asia all together as a family, but Singapore was pleasantly different from Cambodia and Thailand. It was so clean and easy to get around with kids. As I mention in the article, another massive plus for us was the safe drinking water, and not needing to fuss around with getting immunisations before jetting off.
We stayed right in the middle of the city-state, which made things all the more convenient for us. Instead of going for one of Singapore’s high-rise hotels, we stayed in a lovely serviced apartment because we thought it would be a lot easier. We were right! Travelling overseas can be expensive, so that last thing you want to be doing is shelling out lots of extra cash on bought meals, not to mention the headache this can bring on if you have fussy eaters. We loved that we could stock our fridge and have breakfast before we left our apartment – no one enjoys being hangry in our family!
As for activities, we were spoiled for choice with lots of places to entertain the whole clan on the holiday. Our overall favourite was the Singapore Zoo, which really impressed all of us. The kids fell in love with the polar bears, and I loved how easy it was to get around. They have walkways that accommodate prams easily and I never felt nervous for anyone’s safety. The shuttle train saved our legs and meant we weren’t absolutely exhausted by the end of the day – it’s a big zoo!
Every day brought with it loads of excitement as we discovered many of the family-friendly activities the city has to offer. Because it is so hot and humid, I thoroughly recommend Singapore’s free waterparks. Just make sure you always have swimsuits and towels packed.
For a more detailed list of places to go and tips on travelling with your family, make sure to read the full article on Expedia’s website http://blog.expedia.com.au/singapore-family-holiday-guide/.
Following up from my previous post on environmental education, I’m really excited to share with you about my experience as a docent for the Singapore Zoo -Wildlife Reserve Singapore (WRS).
Yup, that’s me showing guests the artefacts at the docent station and talking to them about primates.
What is a Docent?
The word docent is derived from the latin word ‘docere‘ which means to teach or lecture . Docents at the Singapore Zoo or other WRS parks are volunteer rangers that facilitate the educational aspect of conservation by sharing interesting facts about the animals on exhibit and anecdotes from their observations. The end goal of a docent’s duty would be to provide a meaningful and enriching experience for guests thereby inspiring them to care for wildlife. 
Guests are normally attentive and receptive
What Do I Do as a Docent?
I’ve been volunteering with the Singapore Zoo since 2015 but only as a docent earlier this year. My specific scope of duty would be to interact with guests at the Primarily Primates Docent Station in front of the Sumatran orangutan exhibit. There’s a booth at my station where I use artefacts and specimens to educate guests about primates. For instance, I’d showcase 3 different types of primate skulls and get visitors to feel it. From here, I’d then explain their respective physiology and adaptations.
In addition, I’d also share with them the plight orangutans face in the wild due to deforestation for the palm oil.
Guests vary in age and nationality and are often curious to engage with us.
Here, I was teaching these children about the usage of enrichment devices in zoos.
Why I think docents are important…
Many established zoological institutions in the world have their own unique environmental education and outreach programs. What makes docents special is the fact that docents are members of the public who take time off from their normal routine to share with guests about conservation. Although not everyone comes in with the knowledge to advocate effectively, their sheer passion and drive to learn and spread the message on conservation makes this program so inspiring!
The orangutan exhibit in front of the docent station
By having volunteer docents leading these educational programs, visitors are able to go home knowing that they don’t necessarily need a degree or have to travel to some corner of the earth to aid in conservation. Conservation is something that anyone can participate in, even on a local level, as long as they have the willingness to learn and help.
Want to become a docent after reading this post? If yes… click here to find out more about WRS’s Docent Program or ask me about it in the comment section below!!!
Stay Wild Friends
 Vocabulary.com Dictionary (n.d.) . DOCENT . Retrieved from: https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/docent
 WRS Living Classrooms (n.d.) . Be A Docent. Make A Positive Difference! . Retrieved from: http://education.zoo.com.sg/docent.html
Picture of me from a fellow docent- Ming Sheng
Cover picture and the rest are taken by myself