Friday, December 2, 2011

Healthzone at Health Promotion Board

There would not be any photos for this particular entry because we are not allowed to take photographs and videos during our visit there. Whenever we visit a place, we would seek permission for photography, unless of course we are at a public place like a park. The staff at Healthzone were very polite when rejecting our request after we told them that the photographs would be posted on a blog. However, we may take photographs for personal reference. We did see a lot of people snapping away but we want to be consistent with what we have been teaching the children - respect the authorities. It would be difficult for the children to learn to follow our rules when we cannot even follow the rules set before us. Still, not to worry, the website is very comprehensive and I am sure you would be able to find some great pictures. Do visit their website at

Healthzone is located within Health Promotion Board which is in the same compound as Singapore General Hospital. The carpark at Health Promotion Board is not opened to the public so you would need to find a public carpark nearby. We parked at National Dental Centre(NDC) which is just next to the Health Promotion Board. From NDC, cross the road to Health Promotion Board, follow the yellow footprints to Healthzone. It is on the second floor, up a flight of stairs. That sure got us into the mood for a healthy educational trip.

I am very impressed with the displays in Healthzone. They have a lot of interactive games and even K did not want to leave the place. The place is divided into different sections such as Fitness Funhouse, Exciting Eatery, Addiction Mall, Tooth Terrain, Senior Spot, Vision Vista, Puberty Passage, Happiness Hall and Lifestyle and Diseases Area. Each section is jammed packed with educational learning opportunities for children of all ages.

Fitness Funhouse concentrates on the importance of exercising. The rock wall and the mini obstacle course (climb up a net, crawl through a tunnel, down a slide...) cum ball pool were A's favourite. K wanted very much to get into the ball pool but she was unable to climb up the net. The gap between each grid is too wide so she was too frightened to make any attempt. I brought her to the next section while A played for a little while longer.

At the Exciting Eatery section, we used the interactive game (you are supposed to choose the healthier food option for this character, Sam, and you can get a maximum of 10 points each round) to explain to the girls why certain foods are considered healthier than others. Of course, we injected our own agenda into the explanation, "eat less sweets and chocolates and eat more fruits and vegetables" At the age of 4 and 2, the girls are not that fussy when it comes to eating vegetables and I have absolutely no problem getting them to eat fruits. Yet, there are times they lapsed into the "I don't feel like eating vegetables" mood every now and then. 'Sam' helped to bring across the importance of choosing your food wisely in a fun way. Of course, A listened to 'Sam'. K, on the other hand, was taught the different kind of food found in the rotating food pyramid in the middle of the room. We even played 'Spot the food' game and she was very pleased with herself when she could locate the correct food in the food pyramid before it rotates to another side.

The displays in Addition Mall are very vivid - a diseased lung, a skeleton in an accident...A was a bit taken aback and Daddy took great care to explain the effect of smoking on our health and how drugs can kill us. Too much for a kid to handle? If you are not comfortable, you may walk through this section quickly and you would be brought to the bright and white Tooth Terrain. Otherwise, explaining to the kids the harmful effects of smoking and drugs would allow them to understand the negative influences that are around them. We are not teaching them to condemn those who smoke or take drugs, we are merely teaching them to be aware so that they can make the right choices. Children grow and learn very fast. It is never too early to start educating them. K? Yes, she's too young. A, though she was not 4 years, is mature enough to handle a lot of 'adult' facts. Pitch the learning to your own child and you would be surprised by the fruits you reap.

The tooth terrain came in really handy as we are teaching the girls the importance of maintaining proper oral hygiene. Of course, the part about 'less sweet and sugary food' was highlighted a lot more here. At the exit, there is a big snake and ladder game on the floor. We spent a lot of time on our knees discussing the pictures. In short, the place is never short of learning windows. Even Daddy and I were educated in more ways than one. Highly recommended for families.

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