Posts Tagged ‘Writing with children’

Yesterday, I ran my Writer-in-the-Gardens Workshop at Gardens By the Bay. It was also the last day of the month long Children’s Festival there so Gardens was thronging with crowds.

But in Canonball Room, a roomful of children were getting a short primer on writing and drawing magical and memorable characters.

MelanietalkGuest author Melanie Lee shared with the children about how she started on her journey of writing her Squirky the Alien series and introduced some of her books’ characters.

I led the children through a creative exercise of looking at selected plants and flowers through a story lens and write or sketch characters inspired by nature.



Illustrator Patrick Yee took the children through an accompanying craft where they went from words to illustration.

Patrick Yee workshop

I hope the children took away sparks of ideas and inspiration to create their own stories.


Related posts:

FREE Writer-in-the-Gardens-Workshop – Creating Memorable Characters

FREE Writer-in-the-Gardens Workshop is a Magical Walk in the Park


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My 2nd (and last) Writer-in-the-Gardens Workshop is now open for registration!

This time, I will take a group of children (and parents) on a walk to selected spots in Gardens by the Bay where we will explore story settings and imagine magical characters. Award-winning illustrator Patrick Yee will also take children through an accompanying craft.

See details on registration for this free workshop – places are limited! Link for registration:  http://bit.ly/WriterintheGardens

EDM Workshop 2

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Yesterday, I had the pleasure of conducting a 90-minute workshop for over 50 educators at the Early Childhood Conference 2015, organised by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA). I was pleasantly surprised to see that the moderator Irene who volunteered to assist in my session is a student from Wheelock College who attended a talk I gave to her class earlier this year. She was a great help!

I wanted to use picture books as the basis to encourage children to imagine new stories so I cobbled up my “Draw-Lots-of-Stories” technique. The educators would experience the technique first-hand and hopefully be able to do the same with their kindergarteners. First time for everything, right?

ECDA 2015 Workshop

I split participants into 10 groups and had them review 1 picture book per group. So in all, we reviewed 10 picture books with the Classic Story Structure which we broke down by character/story setting/story problem.

ECDA 2015 Worshop 2

Those 10 characters, 10 settings and 10 problems went into bags and each group drew lots for a mix-match of 1 character, 1 setting and 1 story problem. From there, each group brainstormed new story solutions. We ended up with 10 new stories from the 10 groups!

ECDA 2015 -workshop4I also had the pleasure of running into ECDA Senior Assistant Director Angela Anthony who had, a few months back, invited me to do an interview with ECDA’s Beanstalk magazine.

I also popped over to the Early Childhood Conference Exhibition where I bumped into two famous faces whom I know reasonably well since I wrote their stories.


At the Wildlife Reserves exhibit, Kai Kai and Jai Jai were also lounging by their tent, each with a book I wrote of them – The River Adventures of Kai Kai and Jia Jia and the recently launched The New Face at River Safari.



ECDA 2015 - KKJJ4

Across from them, I was pleased to see my four picture books published by Seed Institute (in bilingual edition – The Very Big Storm, Little Otter Goes Fishing, Under the Sea, The Really Really Hot Day) featured by the Lee Kuan Yew Bilingualism Fund, alongside books by two author friends – Shekinnah Linn (Asian Spice Kids) and Evelyn Sue Wong (The Naughty Mynah).


At the Book Council exhibit, I said hello to Carlo and Alicia who were there to share the Council’s good work.
Across from them were Denise & Kelvin of Closetful of Books with author David Seow.

Author David Seow & I with each others’ books. Then it’s not blatant self-promotion, right?

I could not resist and ended up buying three books for myself and two for Caleb (well, author David Seow bought Green Lantern for Caleb).

ECDA 2015 book loot

“What’s the PSI now?” I said out loud. Pollution Standard Index, not the Korean rapper of Gangnam Style.

“Very low,” Denise said. “It dropped to under 100.”

Singapore was hazed out to hazardous levels the past 24 hours from the illegal forest fires raging in Indonesia. In an unprecedented move, our Ministry of Education shut all schools for haze reasons yesterday for the first time ever.

I paid up for my book loot and rushed home, thinking I could take Caleb out for some outdoor fun. Alas, it hazed up again by the time I reached home.

So I cuddled up with my little superhero over Lego movie League of Justice: Battling the Legion of Doom, for an animated end to my Early Childhood immersion day.

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