Categories
Lifestyle

Stay indoors as monsoon season begins – 3 indoor activities for families to have a great time

As the rainfall forecast looms heavier towards the year-end, here are three fun indoor activities your family can bond over.

TEXT: MORGAN AWYONG
IMAGES: SHUTTERSTOCK

The great outdoors is, well, great. But living on the equatorial belt also means we in Singapore need to manage our expectations when heading out towards the end of the year, when the monsoon season is upon us. Weather forecasts are not foolproof, so sometimes it’s just better to plan for activities at home.

It comes with perks too – no large bags to pack and no “are-we-there-yet” questions on the road. Sprinkle in a few of these indoor ideas in your year-end itinerary and find the fun indoors. 

GAME NIGHTS

Board games are no longer stuffy, as makers evolve with the needs of today’s children. While Monopoly and checkers don’t have the same appeal as before, there are plenty of offerings that can hold your children’s interest. Newer games are more interactive and dynamic, with many sets coming with striking play pieces, such as Tang Garden with its 3D environment or Shadows in The Forest with an actual lamp as a play element.

Don’t know where to begin? Trusty Toys R Us has a good selection for all ages, and one can even test drive some games at the PlayPen at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok. The space offers game consoles and board games. Other places to try games include The Mind Cafe or Settlers Cafe.

Once you’ve found a set that has captured the attention of your kids with good replayability, purchase them online or visit local shops like Toy Tag, Battle Bunker, Games@Pi or Team Board Game to check on availability. Puzzles are great for indoor play too, even though they are technically not board games!

MAKING IT WORK OUT

For the Energizer bunnies out there, it’s possible to expend that seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy with the right trick – workout videos. While this comes across more like a chore instead of play, a lot of today’s options have been spiced up with plenty of creative spins, stirring up the imaginations of your children as they exercise.  

Some great examples include this list on yoga for kids, where a variety of videos tap into your child’s attention span with different approaches. Some feature animation while others have pretty palettes or peppy instructors who understand how to motivate young ones.

Otherwise, get the whole family in on the act. Kids love doing things with their parents, and like this video by PopSugar, it cleverly sets up some friendly competition.

Giving kids ownership of their equipment can help engage them. Simple items like a skipping rope can encourage them to improve their skills, especially when they have online materials to inspire them. If your children love to play pretend, these imaginative workouts will have them train to become their favourite superheroes or princesses, and if you’re feeling indulgent, a costume always helps.

It may help to couch them more as activities and emphasise “movement” over “exercising”. Every kid responds naturally to music, so adding the right beats and tunes will liven things up for them as well.

THE RIGHT KIND OF SCREEN TIME

It’s understandable to want to reduce your child’s screen time during the holidays but it shouldn’t be a blanket restriction – there really is plenty of content worth following, like fun instructional videos that have an innate learning function.

From making cute Snoopy sandwiches to drawing a festive gingerbread house, there are many craft and activity videos online. It’s easy to customise for different age groups too. For example, younger children can create cute bentos, while older ones can make pizzas, popiah or even help bake pastries. Group the videos according to theme and base them on a holiday like Christmas or a topic like farming. After that, you just have to supply the materials.  

There are even hybrid events, like HomeTeam JOM’s Can or Cannot Sports Math Quiz, where members can either look for puzzle boards on-site and solve the mathematical challenges, or find them on their Facebook page to win weekly prizes.

If your children prefer interactive activities, guided virtual workshops like those run by PartyMojo are worth exploring. Have some spare Lego around the house? Then sign up for some workshops courtesy of Children’s Worklab, which offers weekly workshops.

Parent and child bonding is always precious, so don’t forget to squeeze in some play with your child. Look online for nifty ideas using simple materials, like creating play slime or sock puppets. The best thing about these activities is that your children learn to make the toys they play with. Another form of engaging screentime comes from a family movie marathon. Have everyone prepare the snacks, dress up the screening area (maybe pitch a blanket fort or tent even!) and enjoy the escape.

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Categories
Food Spy

Travel to eat with HomeTeamNS

Take a global culinary journey without worrying about Vaccinated Travel Lanes or long queues to clear customs.

TEXT AND IMAGES: HOMETEAMNS

What’s one of the best parts about an overseas holiday? Eating abroad like a local and treating yourself to authentic foreign food – without wondering if the recipe has been “localised” to suit Singaporean tastebuds.

The good news is, the recent Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) announcements mean that travel opportunities are gradually increasing. If your favourite holiday destination isn’t on the VTL list, you can still sample global cuisine right here in Singapore! And if you’re a HomeTeamNS member, you could enjoy a good deal in the process, so bon appetit!

INDULGE TEPPANYAKI & GRILL HOUSE

This eatery, located at HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier clubhouse, is known for serving Western cuisine with a delightful fusion of Asian flavours. As far as fusion cuisine goes, the restaurant makes it possible to well, indulge in popular treats. Burgers? Check. Pasta and rice dishes? Check. Grilled meats and fish? That’s just the tip of the culinary iceberg!

Location
HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier
31 Ah Hood Rd
#01-04
Singapore 329979

JOM MAKAN SEAFOOD

If you’re craving for crustaceans or longing for lobsters, this Muslim-owned restaurant is the place for you. It’s known for a variety of dishes including staples like Sambal Sotong, Sambal Stingray, the Shovel Seafood Platter, and barbecued dishes. For a truly local take on a seafood dish, nothing screams “SG” like their Maggi Goreng Lobster.

*Jom Makan Seafood is Halal Certified.

Location
HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier
31 Ah Hood Rd
#01-07
Singapore 329979

SELECT GOURMET KITCHEN

Miss Hong Kong cuisine but don’t fancy jumping through the extra hoops needed for a VTL flight there? Select Gourmet Kitchen offers a taste of the foodie delights you’re after. They serve an array of Hong Kong favourites like their Signature HK Wanton Noodle that is made with premium Kurobuta pork and fresh prawn wantons. HomeTeamNS members enjoy a 15-per-cent discount off their food bill (not applicable with ongoing promotions, discounts or vouchers).

Location
HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok
Singapore 659003
2 Bukit Batok West Ave 7
#01-09B

SWATOW CITY

What happens when Teochew cuisine meets Hong Kong Dim Sum? You get the delectable menu at Swatow City. Whoever said that revenge is a dish best served cold didn’t try Swatow City’s Teochew Cold Crab, which uses yellow roe crabs whose natural sweetness has been magically preserved by the restaurants skilled chefs.

It’s also known for other dishes like Black Truffle BBQ Duck, Siew Mai with Fish Roe and Steamed Prawn Dumplings.

Location
HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok
Singapore 659003
2 Bukit Batok West Ave 7
#02-05

SUKI-SUKI THAI HOTPOT

Say “sawadee ka” to this homely Thai-inspired restaurant that features an all-you-can-eat Halal buffet menu. With a variety of soup bases to choose from, dig in with quality ingredients including thinly sliced beef and chicken, home-made fish paste and unlimited fresh vegetables. Continue the post-buffet festivities with crowd favourite desserts like Mango Sticky Rice and Thai Pudding.

Members enjoy 10-per-cent off their total bill. The All-Day Buffet Set for 2 promotion is available for S$35 nett from Mondays to Thursdays and S$41 nett from Fridays to Sundays. This deal includes the Regular Buffet and a free flow of drinks for two diners.

*Suki-Suki Thai Hotpot is Halal-certified.

Location
HomeTeamNS Khatib
2 Yishun Walk
#01-01
Singapore, 267944

SIAM KITCHEN

If one Thai restaurant is good, two is even better. Siam Kitchen serves authentic Thai fare, prepared by a culinary team that includes chefs from Thailand. Tuck into familiar Thai street food favourites like Green Curry with Chicken, Phad Thai and Thai Olive Fried Rice. The All Day Set for 2 is available from S$42++.

*Siam Kitchen is Halal Certified.

Location
HomeTeamNS Khatib
2 Yishun Walk
#01-01
Singapore, 267944

FUJI IZAKAYA BAR

If indulging in Japanese food is your cup of tea, this recently-opened Japanese restaurant could be just right for you. Step right in and you’ll instantly feel like you’re transported to Japan! It serves a large variety of Izakaya food, dons and ramen. Drinks include exclusive Yukari-flavoured cocktails and award-winning Izumofuji Daiginjo sake. HomeTeamNS members enjoy a 10-per-cent discount off their total bill.

Location
HomeTeamNS Khatib
2 Yishun Walk
#05-01
Singapore, 267944

What are you waiting for? Make your way around the world right here with HomeTeamNS! Find out more about HomeTeamNS members’ deals and treats.

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Categories
Close Up

Being there for them

DAC (NS) Mohammad Nurizham Shah Bin Abdullah isn’t just a father figure to his own children — he’s also one to ex-offenders integrating back into society.

TEXT Keenan Pereira

Throughout his 22 years of National Service, DAC (NS) Mohammad Nurizham Shah Bin Abdullah has helped to put a number of offenders behind bars. The 48-year-old started his service in Jurong Police Division before being transferred to the Public Transport Security Command (TransCom), where he is now NS Commander. “Our men have arrested people for various offences, from drug-related crimes to outrage of modesty,” he says.

But DAC (NS) Shah’s interactions with those who run afoul of the law do not stop there. Since 2020, the father of four has been an active volunteer at the Singapore Prison Service (SPS), where he is paired with inmates six months before their release. Support at this point of the prison sentence is crucial, as it can make all the difference to the inmate’s success in rebuilding his/her life upon release.

UNLOCKING THE SECOND ‘PRISON’

Support comes in many forms. Sometimes, it could be as simple as teaching inmates how to use a smartphone. “Some have been in prison for so long that they aren’t aware of the tech advances we’ve had in the past two decades,” says DAC (NS) Shah, who works in telecommunications. “Then there are ex-inmates who call me because they don’t know how to deal with conflict at the workplace, and I guide them through the situation. With appropriate life skills, they would be able to hold a job and leave their old ways.”

Volunteers like DAC (NS) Shah also act as father figures to some of these inmates, whose own families have often lost faith in them. “When they don’t have family support and love, they may fall back into bad company and the prison cycle repeats itself,” he explains.

To break such a vicious cycle, DAC (NS) Shah works closely with SPS to engage the inmates and forge lasting friendships with them. “You have to gain their trust before you can step in to advise and guide them,” he says. To date, DAC (NS) Shah has mentored seven ex-inmates and he is proud to share that none have gone back to their old ways.

The learning isn’t just one-way — DAC (NS) Shah has also gained a lot from the stories and struggles of the inmates. “As you hear about what they have gone through, you realise the importance of family and feel grateful for your blessings. Many times, these folks are just lost and need guidance. And as they turn over a new leaf, their greatest motivation is really to regain the trust that their families once had in them.”

It’s a lesson DAC (NS) Shah brings home to his children, aged 18, 16, 15 and eight. “I want them to grow up with the right values. So, I remind them that it’s not just about academic success, but also the difference you make in people’s lives. I am very encouraged that my oldest girl is now volunteering by tutoring underprivileged children. It goes to show how we can influence our children to be better.”

KEEPING AN ACTIVE MIND AND BODY

Besides the importance of giving back, DAC (NS) Shah encourages his children to be active and healthy. In this regard too, he leads by example. “One of our favourite hobbies is cycling. My older kids and I will cycle from Woodlands to Changi Village, where we will meet my wife, my youngest child and our domestic helper for a good meal.”

These moments of levity are especially precious these days, as DAC (NS) Shah does not have to travel for work. Before the pandemic, he would fly around the continent to oversee his company’s overseas telecom operations. “It is a blessing in disguise. I am very grateful to be able to spend so much time with my family these days.”

“There are some who come out of prison and have nowhere and no one to turn to. I want to be there to help them so that the journey out doesn’t feel so lonely.”

Categories
Club Buzz

4 reasons you should join the HomeTeamNS family

In recognition of our SPF and SCDF heroes, HomeTeamNS offers a home-away-from-home experience at its clubhouses, and countless member benefits around Singapore.

TEXT: NICHOLAS JACOB
PHOTOS: HOMETEAMNS

Having just celebrated its 15th anniversary last year, HomeTeamNS remains true to its original mission. That vision was a simple one: To recognise the invaluable contributions that Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) NSmen have made towards the nation’s safety and security. More than just an assortment of recreational spaces, each HomeTeamNS clubhouse is dedicated to offering these homegrown heroes and their loved ones a platform to live, play and build connections across a growing community of close to 200,000 members.

Here’s what new members can expect when they join the family.

PREMIUM CLUBHOUSE ACTIVITIES

The HomeTeamNS Khatib Clubhouse features TactSim, Singapore’s first and only Airsoft Arena.

Islandwide accessibility is the name of the game at HomeTeamNS. Its clubhouses are located at key locations around Singapore: Balestier, Bukit Batok, Chinatown, Khatib and Tampines, with an upcoming one at Bedok.

Excellently-furnished members’ lounges and a host of exclusive F&B outlets that serve cuisines from around the world offer an oasis from the bustle of city life. Meanwhile, amenities like swimming pools and Fitness Workz gyms cater to those seeking to stay trim and look fab.

Each of the clubhouses offer unique facilities as well. For example, the HomeTeamNS Khatib Clubhouse features Singapore’s first and only Airsoft Arena at TactSim. It’s also home to Adventure HQ, Singapore’s largest multi-installation indoor adventure centre. The Bedok clubhouse, set to launch in 2022, has been designed as a waterfront haven nestled in Bedok Reservoir Park. This new location will host an indoor water adventure and concept villas for a luxurious family getaway.

EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES GALORE

A host of activities are organised for members, including Skillfest, an activities-based programme for children between the ages of five and 12.

“Boredom” isn’t a word you’ll find in the HomeTeamNS family dictionary. Dozens of sports courses are available. These encompass a wide range of activities including aikido, badminton, hoop fitness, karate, pilates and yoga. Members also get first pick across a broad spectrum of regularly-scheduled events like SkillFest, an activities-based programme that seeks to boost the holistic development of children between the ages of five and 12.

Other events include mobile gaming tournaments, annual golf championships, and the annual REAL® Run. Home-grown interest groups even offer an opportunity for like-minded hobbyists to come together, including Auto Adventure for avid drivers who loves to travel on a trip together and Golflinks for golf enthusiasts.

THE ART OF THE DEAL

Singaporeans love a good deal – and if it’s one thing we’re proud of here at HomeTeamNS, it’s that we can certainly call ourselves lobang kings. Just signing up for membership gives one access to curated treats from a diverse range of merchants islandwide. Privileges span the food and beverage, lifestyle and entertainment, staycations, and beauty and wellness sectors.

Some popular benefits include all-day, everyday 1-for-1 movie treats at Cathay Cineplexes, as well as discounts at Sinopec petrol stations. Oh, and did we mention the birthday goodies that are available for every member? There are few better ways to celebrate like getting pampered silly (at a discount!) at G.Spa – a nature-inspired retreat and one-stop spa destination rolled into one.

Don’t just take our word for it, check out some of these amazing treats and birthday goodies for yourself.

THE FAMILY THAT PLAYS TOGETHER

HomeTeamNS Family members enjoy special play rates at T-Play at the HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok and Khatib clubhouses.

Ohana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind – and this is true even of HomeTeamNS memberships.

We invite your families to be a part of ours, and we make it easy by allowing members to sign their whole family up under the HomeTeamNS Family Scheme for as low as S$20. Under this initiative, you just need to pay membership fee for the 1st family member, and membership fee for the second and all your subsequent family members below the age of 21 within each family is free (subject to a $10 admin fee)!

Sign your little ones up for HomeTeamNS Family Membership to enjoy free T-Play membership for the duration of your membership. This grants excess to exclusive perks including special play rates at both T-Play Bukit Batok and Khatib and a host of discounts and freebies on your child’s birthday month.

Thinking of signing up? As part of a special promotion to mark the launch of the Family Scheme, the one-time administrative fee of S$10 for each new Family Member application will be waived until March 31, 2022.

Learn more about the HomeTeamNS Family Scheme and be a part of the family today.

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Categories
Club Buzz

Taking the holistic path to a balanced and healthy life

HomeTeamNS’ Body to Soul event showcases safe, practical ways to stay physically and mentally fit

TEXT: MORGAN AWYONG
PHOTOS: HOMETEAMNS

How can one lead a balanced lifestyle? Here’s a hint – it involves so much more than just physical wellbeing. HomeTeamNS’ upcoming Body to Soul event at the HomeTeamNS Khatib clubhouse will focus on physical and mental health. With workout routines thrown into disarray, the organisation wants to help members regain their fitness mojo once again in an enjoyable, balanced way.

Happening on November 27 and 28, the Body to Soul event includes talks on mental health to bolster one’s resilience, as well as a variety of classes from yoga to workout routines that use hydraulic machines for more effective results.

HOW TO WORK OUT SAFELY

Any kind of exercise is good for the body, but if you’re just restarting your fitness journey, low-impact exercises tend to be more enjoyable. It’s easier – and safer – to adopt a repetitive routine and focus on your movements. Four versions of such exercises will be introduced at Body to Soul, so members can get a taste of works best for them.

The Low Impact Aerobics Class is ideal for anyone looking for a light – and light-hearted – cardio-focused workout led by Fitness Workz instructors.

If you think Yoga is only for the super-flexible, a trial session may change your mind. While being supple helps, yoga helps improve your balance, tone your body and improve posture through slow movements and deep breathing. It’s a gentle form of strengthening and a relaxing, refreshing activity.

If you prefer using machines in your workout, the Hydraulic Machine class and its specialised equipment ensures a controlled workout that is effective and safe. Exclusive to Fitness Workz Premium, these machines are engineered to help engage target muscles but remove the impact through its smooth, cushioned delivery.

Finally, the Guardian Bridge circuit class is led by the gym’s Fitness Ironmen Committee. Don’t be intimidated by their name – the friendly trainers will teach a series of low-impact circuit exercises that allow participants to train by themselves anywhere to improve on their overall health and conditioning.

WELL-BEING BEYOND THE BODY

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that mental well-being is just as important as the physical and needs to be maintained through healthy habits. Discover how you can improve your mental health with the Mental Wellness Talk by The Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) and Montfort GoodLife! @ Yishun. Learn about conditions like depression and dementia as well as understand how active ageing and self-care plays an important role in managing your overall well-being.

Other event partners will be offering wares and services at the foyer in support of the theme holistic wellness.

Starbalm, for instance, will be showcasing their sports therapy products, targeted to soothe problem areas through balms, lotions and patches. Nature One Dairy offers dry sampling of their adult nutrition formula which can help with bone and muscle health. You may get their nutritional formula at a huge discount and every purchase offers a chance to participate in a sure-win lucky draw.

Made some new friends? Revamp your mobile services with TPG Mobile to stay in touch at plans suited for your lifestyle. After trying out all the physical activities, the Fitness Workz team will introduce its many facilities and offerings.

BUILD BRAWN AND BALANCE

Brought to you by the Health Promotion Board, learn how to build muscle strength as well as balance and flexibility in the Rolling Good Times showcase. You can also learn about minimising fall risk. Members will get an opportunity to register their interest should they like to progress onto the whole programme.

Sign-up for the Body to Soul event to access these programs, as well as a free goodie bag worth S$50.

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