SINGAPORE - It was family bonding over scrapbooking yesterday for property manager Chris Koh, 39, his wife Haidah Selamat, 36, and their two daughters Liyah and Leila, aged seven and six respectively.
"We wanted to spend more time with the family. It's the first day of school holidays," said Mr Koh.
They were among some 30 parent-child pairs who cut and pasted their way to greater awareness of current affairs with The Straits Times' latest educational resource for young learners called STep: My Year In The News 2014.
Valued at more than $130, the scrapbook session, held at the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) News Centre in Toa Payoh, was open to pre-registered parent-child teams at $20 a pair. Participants learnt how to include the news in their scrapbooks, while experts from leading craft retailer PaperMarket taught a 90-minute masterclass on creating personalised pages.
Participants also received a kit filled with stickers, embellishments and paper, as well as the scrapbook.
The STep binder - for children aged nine and above - contains 40 brightly coloured pages of English- and values-learning activities pegged to the broadsheet's articles and pictures. Buyers also get e-mail throughout the year with digital freebies and educational activities.
It is a first from the team behind the paper's award-winning young reader magazines, IN and Little Red Dot. Ms Serene Goh, editor of the two publications, told participants: "You will have to read the news and create your own living book... It is a project you can have and hold, even as the children grow up to rule the world."
PaperMarket director Elaine Ong, 40, said families "get involved and bond" over craftwork. "The STep scrapbook serves as an outlet for creative self-expression and learning. Best of all, it would never ever feel like homework."
Referring to the word bank cards which help pupils build their vocabulary, Dianne Sim, 12, from Nan Chiau Primary School, said: "They're cute and innovative."
For Zayan Karimi, nine, from Tanjong Katong Primary School, the visuals and embellishments were the main draw. He said: "There are so many pictures and stickers, stickers and stickers."
The scrapbook is available directly from SPH at $49.90. Straits Times subscribers pay a discounted price of $39.90, and Little Red Dot subscribers pay $29.90. Those interested may e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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