24.12.10: Melaka Planetarium Adventure Science Centre

We dropped by the Melaka Planetarium on our way back to Melaka. We arrived there at 11.45 am on Friday. The car parks were quite empty and we chose to park at the covered car park. Then we walked up the steps leading to the planetarium. There weren't many people that day. I think that this place lacks publicity as compared to all other tourist places in Melaka. Even when NASA was there last month, not many people knew about it. What a pity!

The tickets prices were more expensive than that of the National Planetarium in KL. Tickets cost RM8 per adult, which includes the space movies. I read online that the normal price is RM15 and I was told that this was a discounted rate.


In the theatre waiting for the space movies to start

It was a dome shaped theatre with reclining seats, and that made everything look 3D. We watched an interesting movie about how life on other planets would be like. It took quite some time for the actual movie to start, as they kept showing previews about other movies. Altogether, the movie and the preview of other movies took about 35 minutes. The movie was excellent -- the pictures were very clear and the sound system was good. Wish it were longer though! I felt that the space movies were the only redeeming feature about the planetarium, as there really wasn't much to see elsewhere in the planetarium and several exhibits were not working.

Mars Exploration Rover
My elder boy is quite interested in space and in this Mars Exploration Rover. He recalled seeing it in Planetarium Negara when we went there earlier this year. When we returned to KL, he took a book on the Solar System, turned to the page which had a picture of the rover and asked me to find out the name. Only then I realised that it was called rover. I had never seen this picture before we went to the planetarium this year. Then he asked me to search for videos of rover on youtube. He viewed the videos, and asked many questions. Then he viewed more videos on space rovers and even paused the youtube video to draw the rover. Looks like I've got to catch up with his learning. Haha!

Once you match the constellations correctly, the lights will appear. However, only a few were working. 

I looked around if there were any doors or floors that I missed, but it was just the ground floor which host the planetarium exhibits. At the lower level, which was a small place, there was some other unrelated expo going on, with no one there and to my surprise, heard a "Selamat Hari Raya" song being played over and over again. Hari Raya was over a few months ago and it was then Christmas eve.

On my way out, I asked the woman at the ticket counter, "Is that all?"
She replied in BM, "Have you checked the lower level?" 
I replied, "We did, but there was nothing much there and it's not related to the planetarium, which we came to see." 
"Itu sahaja (that's all)" she said.

Anyway, I'd still encourage people to visit the Melaka Planetarium, even if it's only to see the space movies,
I felt that they should advertise the space movies, just like the normal movies are advertised. This could attract more people to the place. The space movies were excellent, and I would go there again, just to watch the space movies.

23.12.10: Glass painting and keychain-making workshop at Pusat Sains Negara

It was a rainy day and we were on our way to Pusat Sains Negara again for another workshop. Along the way, I heard that there was an accident at the Hartamas Ramp leading to Pusat Sains Negara. Thus, to avoid being caught in a traffic jam. I took another road and it was jam free. However, at a certain point, I mistakenly took a wrong turning. Good thing I had my GPS with me. I quickly turned on my GPS and it led me to the back entrance of Pusat Sains Negara which I never knew existed. Luckily the back entrance was open and I drove right through.

The facilitators poured special paints onto tiny containers. The children selected their own glasses which were pre-drawn with dinosaurs. They they started painting using the brush and paint provided. There was also a tiny sponge on a stick to paint or dab onto the background.

E was adamant to hold the glass and paint on his own. 
All done!
Showing off their handiwork.
The glass painting event ended quite quickly and the participants were left waiting for quite some time before the next event began. It was to make a keychain using a special plastic which would be put into the oven to be shrunk. 

First, the children traced a drawing of a dinosaur with a marker pen. E was fiercely independent and wanted to do it all by himself. They they coloured the picture with colour pencils. 

Colouring their dinosaurs
After that, the facilitators punched a hole in the plastic and the kids lined up to get it shrunk in the oven. It was amazing to see the drawing, the size of a palm shrink to a much smaller size. 

Queing up and putting into the oven

They received a certificate at the end of the workshop

22.12.10: Kuala Lumpur Children Book Fair 2010

We went to the Kuala Lumpur Children Book Fair 2010. I parked at the basement parking inside PWTC. It was quite pricey at RM3.00 per hour and every hour after that is RM2.00.

The most significant part about the KLCBF was the MPH super value sale. It was 90% off for their books. Unbelievable! I bought 28 books which only costs me RM59.05

Giant floor puzzle. Normal price: RM15.90. Bought it at RM1.59 after 90% discount.

21.12.10: Making a wind powered straw car

After making the helicopter, we were taught how to make a wind powered straw car. This was quite challenging, even for the adults. It is quite difficult to explain how to do this, so I will just post the photos.

Instructions on how to cut the straw

Inserting rubber bands through the white straw and attaching the ends of the rubber band to a propeller. 

This young boy on the left could catch very fast and was demonstrating how to cut the straw car.
Certificate presentation

21.12.10: Making a helicopter craft

The boys attended a craft workshop at the National Science Centre conducted by Mr Nakano who has been sent from Japan to Malaysia. He is currently based in SEAMEO RECSAM in Penang. The crafts were very creative, and made from simple materials. First, they made a helicopter. The second craft they did was a wind powered straw car, which is described in my next posting here.


  1. A piece of "satay" stick
  2. small foam (we were given foam that was punched out from Japanese slippers, that were made of foam)
  3. A rectangle cardboard
  4. A piece of plastic

First, fold a rectangle cardboard into half lengthwise.
Then, staple a piece of plastic onto the cardboard. Notice that the plastic is slanted.

Cut to parts of the cardboard as per the picture.

Cut a small foam into half, in a V-shape.
Insert it through a "satay" stick. 

Trim the edges at the ends of the cardboard to make it round edges.

Twirl (rub) the stick in between your palms both ways and release it....and watch it fly.

19.12.2010: National Science Centre

I was busy working, so hubby decided to keep the boys occupied at the National Science Centre. National Science Centre had advertised fossil making on this date and I had thought that they would be making fossils there. However, the fossils were made in advance with plaster of paris and the visitors only needed to queue up to collect the fossils. 

They did some colouring

They also attended a science show and viewed the dinosaur movie twice. 
There were many people there and parking was difficult to get. We hadn't gone for the Dino's Alive exhibition and plan to go next year only, when the school term starts. 

18.12.10: Coloring contest

Hubby's office organised an art competition for their employees children, and he was the chairman of the organising committee. Just for the fun of it, we enrolled S for a coloring contest, and did not want to put any pressure on him. If he finishes it, all well and good. If not, never mind - he can join in the other activities such as sand art, or watch the videos being played or get balloons from the clown.

When he arrived at the venue, he looked at the prizes and wanted to join in, in the hope of winning a prize. There were only 3 main prizes, for the First, Second and Third and 3 consolation prizes. The youngest category was 5 - 6 years old. He was underage.

Everyone was given a box of Buncho oil pastels which contained 12 colours. Too few colours, in my opinion, to create a good artwork.

He did his best to colour as smoothly as possible, and blending it with several colours to create some shading. I was so touched that he could do the coloring so well, as he doesn't usually display such patience and determination in completing coloring sheets at home. Actually he had wanted to win a prize, and he was aiming at a box of 3D puzzles that could be made into a dinosaur. He completed the coloring in 40 minutes. Halfway, he told me that his hands were tired. I gave him some water to drink and told him to pretend that he was a race car. He continued on.

 Waiting for the contest to start
Coloring with determination

The completed coloring

Sandplay during interval
When the results were announced, he was disappointed that he didn't win. How could he? He was under age. There can be a lot of difference between the artwork of 4 year olds and 6 year olds. There can be a lot of difference between the artwork of 4 year olds and 6 year olds. All the 6 winners were girls. Perhaps the fine motor skills of boys were not yet on par with the girls in the same age group?

On hindsight, I felt that perhaps it wasn't the wisest decision to enrol him in the coloring contest. It was meant to be for fun, but in the end he was disappointed. I told him that we could buy the same toy puzzle at the shopping centre, but he said, no, he wanted to win it.

However, I was very proud of him, that he could persevere and complete the coloring, despite being so young. He displayed some elements of delayed gratification and the ability to see things through to completion. There's hope for him yet.

Group photo

16.12.10: Shoe painting

I came across this activity in Ms Saki Sasamori's book -- Shoeprint stamping onto paper to make a turtle's body.

The boys painted the bottom of E's old clog shoes, which was pre-washed and cleaned prior to the activity.

They stamped the shoeprint onto the paper.....

Before I knew it, they started painting the top of the shoe and the whole shoe. S said that he wanted to sell the shoes after painting it. 

Shoe painting is another creative activity - there are people who design shoes and there are actually shoe designing competitions. I've seen pictures in the papers of a shoe design competition in which participants designed and painted their designs onto canvas shoes.  I felt that I shouldn't stifle their creativity by stopping them in this activity, so I let them be. 

After that, they moved onto to painting their plastic toy jeep. They liked to paint their toy vehicles and do that occasionally.  

Well, I immediately soaked the shoes after that, to get rid of the paint, without their knowledge, of course. 

16.12.10: Eco 3D puzzle craft workshop

I signed the boys up for 3 school holiday workshops organised by Pusat Sains Negara, KL in the month of December.

The first workshop we attended was an Eco 3D puzzle craft workshop by Ms Saki Sasamori, from Japan. She has been living in Malaysia for the past 10 years and is fluent in Bahasa Malaysia. She has written several crafts book in Bahasa Malaysia which is sold at bookstores in Malaysia.

Participants were taught to make a 3D puzzle from old juice cartons. The cartons have to be washed and cleaned first before being used.

First, fold the carton flat and cut out the top section, together with the bottle cover.

Divide the carton equally into 3 sections and cut it. 
Tear out the part that adjoins the carton and open it up
Fold it the other way round. Then stick the ends together.
Draw circles on the 6 sides
To play the puzzle, open up the box into the 3 sections below, and close back the box, ensuring that all the sides of the box have the circles. If it doesn't have all the circles, then the puzzle is done incorrectly. This is a fun game made from simple recyclable materials. Very ingenious!

Receiving their certificates of attendance
Group photo

Related Posts with Thumbnails