Quite some time back, one of my friends told me that the reason why she started sending her daughter to playschool so young was because her daughter was addicted to watching Barney. She didn’t want her daughter to end up like a friend’s daughter who watched TV all day long.
Up until recently, this has not really been a problem for me because Gavin wasn’t really addicted to the TV. Yes, he would ask to watch Thomas and Friends but I’ve notice that he’s usually only half paying attention to the TV and for the other part of the time, his attention is engaged elsewhere. Sometimes, it is almost as if he just wants the background noise from the TV because it brings him some sort of comfort.
Lately, however, he seems to be addicted to watching Signing Time. Although he learns lots of new words from watching these DVDs, I don’t exactly want him to watch TV all day long. He needs to have other experiences to fill his day and be engaged with other activities.
The only way to separate Gavin from the TV, sometimes, is to take him out. Whether we go to the park to play or to a shopping mall to run around, the important thing is to leave the house so that his mind is pleasantly engaged with other sights and sounds.
While I was out with my MIL shopping for a present at the Royal Selangor display store, I discovered a cool new place to take Gavin. The display store is located on site at the Royal Selangor factory where they manufacture their products. They also run tours of the factory, showing you historical pewter products, unique products made just for their display and the actual factory itself.
Some hightlights of the tourguide:
- The giant pewter crocodile. They sell a much smaller version of the crocodile in their collection.
- The bridge that Gavin was fascinated with – he had a gala time practicing walking down the stairs.
- The wall of pewter frames.
- The Bell chamber. They have lots of different noise-makers in this room – bells, chimes and hollow cylinders.
- The formula for pewter – which is antimony, tin and copper.
- The model of the Petronas Twin Towers made from Royal Selangor pewter mugs. Our guide told us how many mugs it took to make it but I’ve forgotten.
- The Wall of Hands. All employees who have worked at Royal Selangor for 5 years get a plaque of their hand made and it is posted up on the Wall of Hands.
Below: When Gavin saw the hands, he immediately thought they were “Signing Time” hands because the Signing Time logo is of two hand prints.
At the pewter factory, they give you a go at hammering out a pattern on a pewter mug. It’s a skill that requires a lot of focus. We tried it and realised how difficult it is to make an even, consistent pattern. I had a video of the lady hammer a row but my connection’s a little unstable tonight so I’m having trouble uploading the video. I’ve got quite a few videos from the Royal Selangor Pewter Factory visit which I will upload at a later date when my connection is more reliable.
The Royal Selangor tour is free of charge but they also run a “School of Hard Knocks” where they teach you how to make a pewter bowl. I forget the charges, but I don’t think it’s much. You also get to keep the bowl you make and the apron. Gavin’s been pretty keen to go back and learn how to make a bowl because every time he sees the Royal Selangor brochure, he says, “Daddy, Gavin make bowl.”
I thought Gavin might be a little young for the School of Hard Knocks but I’m sure we’ll be bringing him back when he’s older.
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