AMW HOLIDAY PROGRAMME NOV — DEC 2014

Here is a day-by-day summary and photos!

November 28th: Football with Mr. Marc Amijs

Under the warm and enthusiastic guidance of Marc, our eight participants had the space and opportunity to unleash their energies on the football pitch. They learned to pass the ball to their respective volunteers, kick the ball towards the goal, and dribble the football from the one end of the field to another. It was no easy task keeping up with some of the participants who were more interested to run all over the football pitch than to chase after the ball or entangle themselves in the net than to score a goal. But Marc and our volunteers gamely improvised in accordance with situation: the focus was for the participants to have fun, while trying out some new skills.

We were also very moved by Marc’s involvement of others in this holiday activity. Apart from helping out in this activity as coach and volunteers, Marc and his football team, the Hibernians, made bright orange T-shirts with the AMW logo for the participants. In addition, some of Marc’s colleagues from Fuji Xerox also helped out by volunteering and preparing cookie treats. Finally, Marc and his wife, Anja, also provided us with apples and drinks, which were ideal after running around on the football pitch!

December 1st: Baking I with Kelvin Soh of Dong Po Colonial Café

Kelvin, together with his friends, Precilia and Susan, offered a wonderful sensory experience in their class on baking gluten-free banana oat cookies. With the assistance of volunteers and the collective chanting of “squeeze it”, the participants had to step out of their comfort zone to squeeze together the oats, honey, and overripe bananas in order to form a cookie dough. This simple recipe, with a small number of ingredients and steps, was executed fairly quickly. So after completing our review worksheets on the baking class and sampling the healthy cookies, the participants took part in a “quiz” about the baking class. With some prompting and help from volunteers, most of our participants left with a small prize (sponsored by Selina, our hospitable host) for getting the right answer!

December 2nd: Functional Training with Coach Sandy Snakenberg of Aspiring Goals Gym (9061-8118)

Coach Sandy guided the participants through an intense functional training workout comprising 10 different repetitive activities including medicine ball smashes, medicine ball throws, and kettle bell carry. Most of the participants proved to be far stronger than they looked, lifting the 10-lb medicine balls over their heads, carrying the weighted kettle bells, and flapping the battle rope. They also rose to the occasion by pushing the heavy “prowler” across 50m and back! As you can see from the photos, the volunteers “were carrying their weight” in helping the participants to rise to the occasion.

December 3rd: Building a Miniature Garden with Mr. Moh and Ms. Mas of “The Special People” (9369-9354)

This activity began with Mr. Moh’s guided tour of the on-site garden at the Little Gardens Schoolhouse. All of us including the parents and helpers enjoyed learning about diverse fruit trees and plants by touching and smelling their leaves and fruits.

After a brief introduction about the miniature garden and its components, the participants had the opportunity to plunge into the creation of their very own miniature garden. Thanks to the wide assortment of ingredients Mr. Moh and Ms. Mas provided, each participant was able to create their very own miniature garden to take home.

December 4th: Drama with Michael Cheng, Applied Drama Practitioner & Facilitator (9380-3041)

In a lively session, Michael got everyone warmed up through a series of movement-oriented activities. For a start, we greeted each other not only by name, but also with accompanying hand gestures. Then we were directed to stretch and contort our faces and bodies to produce “big” and “small” expressions and movements.

Subsequently, participants, individually or by group, “performed” for the rest of the group, recreating simple storylines involving characters such as “superheroes”, villains, a snake, and the “inhabitants” of the garden. The participants’ experience were further enlivened by the wide variety of costumes, clothes, props, and soothing music Michael provided.

December 8th: Baking II with Mrs. Selina Tan

Selina, mother of Kenny (one of our participants), led a well-organised baking class on fruit tarts. To begin with, one group was allocated the task of washing and cutting up the fresh fruits in the patio, while the other worked on preparing the custard in the kitchen. Subsequently, all the participants congregated in the kitchen to roll out the pre-prepared tart pastry into balls and then press them into tart moulds.

As Mrs. Selina had baked tart pastry shells ahead of time, participants could immediately proceed with the task of “decorating” their fruit tarts with custard and different types of fruits including blueberries, strawberries, kiwis, and grapes. Check out the finished fruit tarts and yes, they tasted as delicious as they looked!

December 9th: Embodied Movement with Ms. Elizabeth Rutten-Ng (www.embodied-movement.com)

Elizabeth had to work with a tough crowd that day: several of the participants were already having a hard day before the session even started. What was truly unique about this session was Elizabeth’s objective of getting the caregivers and helpers/volunteers to connect with their respective participants. We were instructed to be quieter in order to pay close attention to the participants. Instead of directing them, we were asked to imitate their gestures and movements through a series of guided activities like twirling a ribbon stick and dancing. Subsequently, Elizabeth guided the entire group through a simple, repetitive song, and movements that had us crawling and rolling all over the ground! It was a truly eye-opening experience!

December 11th: Assembling an IKEA CD box with Mr. Jerome Poudevigne

Jerome led the calmest session of the holiday programme. He was patient in introducing the participants to the different components of the IKEA CD box and showing them how to put them together. Participants were given plenty of time to put together the components, one step at a time. Subsequently, the participants were given stencils to draw different shapes and colour them, as well as a variety of stickers, to decorate the boxes. Most of the caregivers and helpers marvelled at the quietness of the room, as all the participants were happily occupied with making the IKEA CD box uniquely their own.