Stress-free Shopping for Unique Christmas Gifts

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The lights at Orchard Road are up and blinking. Christmas season is here!

And so is the Christmas shopping!

To help you avoid last-minute shopping stress, we’ve picked out some unique Christmas gifts for you, easily available with just a few swipes and clicks:

Memory Dinosaur

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Turn your child’s onesie or t-shirt into a one-of-a-kind dinosaur plushie for him or her! Handcrafted by Crafts for the Masses’ Joo Dee, Memory Dinosaur is a meaningful way to remember your child’s earlier years. This super huggable cutie takes six weeks to complete, so be sure to make your purchase early. Or rather, now!

Memory Dinosaur, $68, from Crafts for the Masses. More info here.

The Ollie Comics

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This gem of a read is by Eisner-nominated author Andrew Tan, better known as Drewscape. Through comics that depict often funny real-life scenarios in Andrew’s first two years of fatherhood, this book brings back fond memories for parents who have been there, done that; provides tips for new parents; and engages kids in a different way from their usual books. Read the review here.

The Ollie Comics: Diary of a first-time dad, $24 (free shipping), from Drewscape. Make your purchase here.

3-in-1 Xmas Starry Pack

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A bright and cheery Nativity wreath, stuffed Christmas tree ornament, and cute Gingerbread Man stackable crayons. That’s three gifts in one cool busy bag! Little ones will have so much fun sticking, stuffing, and sewing to create their own Christmas decorations!

3-in-1 Xmas Starry Pack, $14.90, from TicTacTote. Get it here.

Singapore Traditional Old School Games Set

Singapore Traditional Old School Games

Introduce the gadget-hungry children of today to the games you played as a kid. Marbles, chaptehs, pick-up sticks, five stones, country erasers, and playing cards! It’s fun the old-school way, and it’s going to be a very refreshing change for the young ones!

Singapore Traditional Old School Games Set, $16, from Little Day Out. Buy your set here

Guide to Primary One – Book and Activity Sheets Bundle

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Someone going to Primary One next year? This is the perfect gift to get the little one excited about going to Primary One while offering lessons and tips – pitched at a kid’s level – for transiting well to primary school.

Guide to Primary One – Book and Activity Sheets Bundle, $13.32, from Little Day Out Shop. Purchase it here.

 

 

 

 

 

Little Day Outing to the Reel World: Create a Family Movie

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It’s going to be “lights, camera, action, and family bonding!” at our newest Little Day Outing this December.

Little Day Outing to the Reel World: Create a Family Movie is a fun-filled workshop where the whole family can come together to make a unique family video at the lovely HortPark.

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Doesn’t this themed corner at HortPark, inspired by the bird-watching culture in Singapore, make a poetic backdrop for a family movie?

TEAMWORK AT PLAY

Conceptualised by multi award-winning producer, Tracy Wong, in collaboration with Little Day Out, this outing will see every member of the family pitching in to produce a video from scratch.

And it’ll be great fun!

Dad could be the Director, Mum the Scriptwriter, the little one the Lead Actor…. Or the younger ones could direct, Mum gets to be Camerawoman, while Dad dances? There are a million ways to assign the roles. And most likely, everyone will have to multi-task. But that just makes it even more fun!

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Tracy with one of her most admired directors, J.J. Abrams

A BEAUTIFUL LOCATION

Inspiring the creative process is the lush compounds of HortPark. Besides housing many varieties of flora and fauna, it also features interesting themed areas.

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A mystery drama at the void deck of Block 50 sounds exciting.

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As does a news report on sightings of a dragon in the park.

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Music video could be another genre worth exploring. Imagine the whole family lip-synching at the park’s open lawn. Now that would make a hilarious Christmas greeting video!

SKILLS THAT ARE APPLICABLE FOR FUTURE PROJECTS

No prior experience is required for participation in the workshop. It’s about learning and getting creative together as a family.

Not only is the workshop a very good way to bond, it also allows participants to learn nifty skills such as framing and setting, and pick up editing tips – all of which can be applied to future videos.

AND THE BEST PICTURE AWARD GOES TO…

The experience doesn’t end on the day of the workshop. Every family will go home with the footage that they have filmed to complete their editing at home. The final masterpieces are to be submitted for judging by Tracy, and the family with the best entry from each workshop session will win a Rainbow Yule Log from Bakerzin worth $60!

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Bakerzin’s Rainbow Yule Log  Photo credit: Bakerzin

More than a prize, we hope families will be rewarded with time well spent learning, exploring, and bonding together.

LITTLE DAY OUTING TO THE REEL WORLD: CREATE A FAMILY MOVIE
Dates: 9 December 2017, Saturday, 9 – 11.30am; 17 December 2017, Sunday, 2 – 4.30pm
Venue: HortPark, 33 Hyderabad Road
For ages 4 and above

Click here to purchase your tickets.

A sneak peek at Little Day Outing to Castle Beach: Amazing Sandcastles Family Workshop

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It was a laidback Tuesday afternoon at East Coast Park’s Castle Beach. The weather was nice, and a soothing breeze from the sea added to the charm of the place.

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We were here to meet Alvin Lee, who will be conducting the Amazing Sandcastles Family Workshop at Little Day Out’s Castle Beach outing in June.

We asked Alvin if he could show us how to make a sandcastle and he obliged, even though he wasn’t dressed for it.

It took him all of 20 minutes to get an amazing sandcastle done! A whole complex with brick-walled towers of varied sizes, intricate battlements, connecting stairways, turrets, a gatehouse, and not forgetting Alvin’s favourite cone-shaped trees!

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“I’ve done this for twenty years,” the sandcastle building pioneer explained, noticing that our jaws had dropped all the way to the floor.

It was fascinating watching Alvin at work. His concentration, passion for the craft, and the kick he gets from successfully pulling off a difficult move makes it all look so exciting!

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At one point, he asked me to hold a sand mould in place for him. “You can’t build a sandcastle on your own,” he said, a comment that resonated with our vision to encourage family bonding through this workshop.

Building a sandcastle isn’t only about the skill, but also how united the family is as every member works together to complete the majestic structure.

It also encourages creativity.

Alvin said that he has never repeated a castle design in the twenty years he has used his sand tools, which he invented together with his son and niece. Branded BeachWorks, these tools won the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio award at the New York Toy Fair, the Oscar of the toy industry, in 1998.

With the techniques that Alvin and two other experienced instructors will be imparting, you’ll be able to build your dream sandcastle exactly the way you’ve imagined. Talk about BTO!

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While Alvin was building, people from all walks of life came to take a look, attracted by the beauty of the sand structure. There were curious kids marvelling at how the sandcastle was constructed, parents eager to capture a shot of their kids with the masterpiece, an elderly auntie and her companions who made a detour from their usual walking route…. Even the cleaner uncle, with broom in hand, came to take a shot.

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And that’s the magic of sandcastle building. It’s fun. It’s beautiful. It draws people together.

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We hope it draws your family closer together.

To sign up for Little Day Outing to Castle Beach: Amazing Sandcastles Family Workshop, click here. You can also read more about Alvin and our vision for the workshop here.

Little Day Outing to Castle Beach: Amazing Sandcastles Family Workshop
Dates: Saturday, 3 June 2017 and Saturday 24 June, 2017
Time: 4 – 6pm
Venue: Castle Beach, East Coast Park
Price: $16 for a child-adult ticket; $12 for an additional adult or child ticket
For ages 4 and above
Click here to purchase your tickets.

*LATEST UPDATE: A new session on 25 June 2017 has been added to the Amazing Sandcastles Family Workshop. Sign up here.

Popular Bilingual Activity Packs Now in a Printed Compilation

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Little Day Out Shop contributor, Jacqueline Zhang, has launched a printed compilation of four of her bilingual activity packs. Titled My Bilingual Preschool Activity Packs, it includes the popular Ji Fan, Exploring My Neighbourhood, How Much Is It?, and Jacqueline’s latest product Where Is It?

The compilation is available in black-and-white print, full-colour print, and full-colour print with lamination of activity pages at the launch prices of $10, $20, and $30 respectively.

“I know how busy parents can be, and I wanted to make it as convenient as possible for parents to use the activity packs with their children,” said Jacqueline.

To save parents precious time, she decided to offer printed versions of her activity packs through this compilation.

Her greatest wish is for “children to enjoy learning from their parents” and “parents to spend quality time with their children too, as they work through the activity packs”.

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Order chicken rice the way you like it using the cut-outs of ingredients and an order form in Ji Fan.

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Spin the wheel, tell the cost in English or Mandarin, and pay the correct amount in How Much Is It?

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Learn the value of money using actual coins in How Much Is It?

MORE ABOUT MY BILINGUAL PRESCHOOL ACTIVITY PACKS

Ji Fan teaches children how to order their own meals in both Mandarin and English through a role-playing game complete with cut-outs of ingredients for chicken rice and order sheets.

Exploring My Neighbourhood aims to acquaint children with their neighbourhoods, helping them learn the terms for key facilities and services in the community in both English and Mandarin, and initiating little adventures in the vicinity.

How Much Is It? helps children understand and articulate the cost of items in English and Mandarin in three systematic levels of learning, through fun activities and practical applications.

Where Is It? teaches children how to describe where things and places are found in both English and Mandarin, through games and simple visual guides.

Click here for more information on this product.

MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Jacqueline has contributed 12 products to Little Day Out Shop since its launch in June last year. She is no stranger to curriculum creation, having worked as a secondary school teacher and with the Ministry of Education before the birth of her son, Reef. Her ideas are brought to life through the artwork of her good friend, Angeline.

Jacqueline’s products are inspired by her interactions with her son and nieces.

“If I notice life skills that they need to learn or improve in, I want to find ways to help them acquire these skills,” said Jacqueline.

With this mindset, she comes up with unique activity ideas that cover everyday topics like food and the neighbourhoods we live in, introducing kids to the world around them in fun and creative ways. She adds the bilingual element into her activity packs to give children more exposure to the Chinese language.

Jacqueline has this to say about her products: “I hope you will find the products useful, create wonderful memories with your children as you use them, and celebrate with your children as they acquire the skills. Enjoy!”

Activities for Chinese New Year

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Chinese New Year is just around the corner. To get the festivities going, Little Day Out has collaborated with Creyo on a second drawing contest. Take part by sending us your child’s drawing! If it’s one of the three winning entries, Creyo will transform it into a one-of-a-kind plush toy for you! As a thank-you gesture, every participant will also receive 20% off Creyo’s rooster plush toy series. Send in your entries soon before the contest ends on 25 January 2017!

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Rooster plush toy series at $23.90 each (before discount for participants)

It’s going to be a busy time of meeting with family and friends over the Chinese New Year – many of whom you see only once a year. Engage the kids with a rooster maze, a special Chinese New Year game, a fun fan-making session, and other activities with the Year of the Rooster Activity Pack from Wong Wai Ling!

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Kids and adults alike can have fun and learn Chinese New Year greetings at the same time through a game of Snap!

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Hopefully, kids get inspired to spring-clean their rooms after spotting the differences in the before and after!

Sometimes, children just want to have some quiet time on their own. Let them read The Magic Paintbrush, a good story in which a modern-day boy is transported to ancient China and learns important lessons about friendship, the dangers of abusing powers, and the value of creativity.

The Magic Paintbrush

Kids can also follow Timmy and Tammy on their pineapple tart-making adventure! And make some of their own if you’re up to it!

Timmy & Tammy: Pineapple Tarts

Here’s wishing you a happy Chinese New Year filled with abundant blessings!

Free Christmas Gift Labels With Any Purchase

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This season of giving, we’ve designed a set of six original Christmas gift labels specially for Little Day Out Shoppers. Just make any purchase from the Little Day Out Shop (excluding free items), to get these printable gift labels – free.

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Stick them onto your beautifully wrapped presents. Or use them as tags (punch a hole near the top right-hand corner and loop a piece of ribbon or twine through it). Whichever way you prefer to give with these tags, you’ll be making Christmas merrier and brighter for your loved ones.

If you’re looking for gifts to go with these gift labels, check out the customisable Christmas tree and star plush toys by Creyo. Embroider a name or a short message on the toy of your choice, to make it extra special for the recipient.

Don’t miss out on the busy bags from TicTacTote either. From dinosaur- to food-themed packs, there are countless creative play ideas to keep little hands and minds busy. Something else that feeds the mind: books. We’ve got books from local authors, about animals, excursions in Singapore, kindness, and more.

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For something unique, how about the gift of rhythm? Book a dance class, or for the more adventurous, a parkour lesson! That would be a gift to remember!

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Parkour Family for Kids and Parents, available from Little Day Out Shop from $35.

And if your child can’t wait for Christmas to come, help him or her countdown to the 25th in a meaningful way with the advent calendar from Jacqueline Zhang. It directs the whole family to share the love of the season and exercise the spirit of giving.

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My Advent Calendar, available from Little Day Out Shop for $2.

Here’s wishing you a really merry Christmas, and a joyful new year!

Unique Ideas for Grandparents’ Day Celebration

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Did you know that it’s Grandparents’ Day on Sunday, 27 November? Though this occasion isn’t as widely celebrated as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, it has been officially recognised in Singapore since 1979, one year after the US started. In Singapore, Grandparents’ Day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of November.

While we need not be sucked into the commercialisation of the occasion, it would be nice to help the little ones show their appreciation of, and love for, their grandparents. On top of hand-drawn cards, big hugs, and a nice treat, here are some ways you can make the occasion even more special:

ORGANISE A PHOTO SESSION FOR THE GRANDPARENTS AND GRANDKIDS

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Photo credit: Wong Wei Lun

It doesn’t need to be an elaborate studio shoot. You can get the grandparents and grandkids together doing something that they all enjoy, and capture their moments of interaction on your camera. Have the photos framed up, or for a special touch, have them printed on canvas and hung on the wall at the grandparents’ home.

Tip: Use a telephoto lens so your subjects won’t feel that the camera is in their face. You’ll probably be able to get more genuine candid shots this way.

PLAN A SLEEPOVER FOR THE GRANDKIDS AT THEIR GRANDPARENTS’

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Grandparents love to spoil the grandkids. Give them the opportunity to do so (without being under your watchful eye) by sending the kids over for the day and letting them stay overnight. Let the old folks plan their own programmes with the little ones. You get some kid-free time; they get their kid-filled day (and night). Everyone’s happy!

ENABLE THE KIDS TO COMMUNICATE WITH THEIR GRANDPARENTS
Sometimes, children may find it a little hard to communicate with their grandparents. After all, they are many years apart. And for many busy families, the kids do not get to spend much time with their grandparents.

You can help to bring them closer by giving them conversation topics. Using the Conversations with Grandma journal from Little Day Out Shop, children can have meaningful interactions with their grandparents by following the conversation cues found in the book. They can then record what they have learnt about their grandparents on the beautifully designed pages of the journal.

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Conversations with Grandma, available from Little Day Out Shop for $2.90.

Getting to know the grandparents better – check. Improving conversational and written skills – check. Collecting precious memories – check.

Kids can also take a leaf out of Timmy and Tammy’s book – literally. In the book “Talking to Grandpa about the War“, Timmy and Tammy learn about the war that Grandpa lived through, and find themselves empathising with him.

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Timmy and Tammy Talking to Grandpa about the War, available from Little Day Out Shop in a set together with three other books for $33.81.

A better understanding of grandparents is the start of a good relationship. When children show their love and concern for their grandparents, every day is Grandparents’ Day.

A Fun Way To Get Ready For Primary One

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The time has come for the little one to go to primary school.

In addition to academic preparations, it’s a good idea to impress upon your child the joy of learning and the excitement of going to primary school.

This is the motivation behind the creation of Guide To Primary One Activity Sheets.

Through creative activities, Guide To Primary One Activity Sheets helps children learn important skills, such as packing their school bags, buying food at the canteen, and getting to school on time, in fun and challenging ways.

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There is a maze to conquer, a creative game set at the school canteen, a secret message from the teacher to decode, and more. Ten fun activities in all!

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Guide To Primary One Activity Sheets is a collaboration between Little Day Out co-founder Lester Ng and Little Day Out Shop contributor Wong Wai Ling, and is available at Little Day Out Shop for $4 excluding shipping.

For more tips on adapting to Primary One, check out the Timmy & Tammy Guide To Primary One by Ruth Wan-Lau, also available from Little Day Out Shop.

Guide To Primary One Activity Sheets and Timmy & Tammy Guide To Primary One are also available as a set at 5% off their combined prices. Click here to get the set.

Here’s wishing the little one a good start to primary school education!

Exciting New Products at Little Day Out Shop

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October is the month of exams. Congratulations to those whose Primary Sixers have completed their exams! And to those who are still studying along with your primary schoolers, YOU CAN DO IT!

While you were busy tutoring the older ones, or running after the preschoolers, we’d been working hard welcoming new vendors and stocking new products. Presenting the newest additions to Little Day Out Shop:

EDUCATIONAL BUSY BAGS
Stimulating, educational and mostly lots of learning fun, these busy bags by Tic Tac Tote allow toddlers and preschoolers, from ages 2 to 7 years old to pick up learning skills, use their imagination, and get sensory and crafty!

Get the aspiring palaeontologist digging his own glow-in-the-dark T-Rex fossil bones. Test the junior cashier’s mathematical prowess. Or give the budding chef a chance to “play with food”!

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Dino Fossil Dig, available at Little Day Out Shop for $12.90 (excluding shipping).

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I’m A Cashier, available at Little Day Out Shop for $6.90 (excluding shipping).

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Food Playmat, available at Little Day Out Shop for $10.90 (excluding shipping).

Find more bags of fun here.

BOOKS ABOUT ADVENTURES IN SINGAPORE, LOVING ANIMALS, KINDNESS, AND WELLBEING
Kids can find lots of fun in a book too. Allow them to join Timmy and Tammy as they go out and about to explore and learn in the Timmy & Tammy Series by Ruth Wan-Lau. Get them excited about going to the museum by introducing them to the Stacey & the Museums Series by Lianne Ong.

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Timmy & Tammy Series (Set 1), available at Little Day Out Shop for $59.06 (excluding shipping).

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Stacey & the Museums Series, available at Little Day Out Shop from $16.05 (excluding shipping).

The Ranger Anne Series by Anita Sebastian is a great choice for little animal lovers, while the Singa and the Kindness Cubbies Series by Sheri Tan teaches children about loving and thinking of others. You’ll also love the Joy Cowley Well-Being Series that promotes physical, emotional and social well-being among children in a fun way.

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Ranger Anne Series (Set 1), available at Little Day Out Shop for $33.81 (excluding shipping).

Singa and the Kindness Cubbies Series
Singa and the Kindness Cubbies Series, available at Little Day Out Shop for $50.72 (excluding shipping).

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Joy Cowley Series: Emotional Well-being, available at Little Day Out Shop from $34.24 (excluding shipping).

Discover more great books here.

CUSTOMISED PLUSH TOYS DESIGNED BY YOUR CHILD
See your child’s drawing come to life with CreYo, manufacturer of customised soft toys. Just submit the cute robot, sweet rabbit, or roaring dinosaur that your little artist has drawn, to have it transformed into a three-dimensional, huggable, one-of-a-kind art piece.

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A tip: order early if you’re thinking of making it a Christmas present. It takes about six weeks to have the plush toy made and delivered to you. More details on littledayoutshop.com/product/customised-plush-toys.

DANCE CLASSES AND PARKOUR LESSONS
Do your kids show an interest in ballet, hip hop, or jazz? Let the highly qualified trainers at Wings To Wings take them to greater heights. Exams, performance, and competition opportunities are available here.

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Book your lessons directly online here.

For the more adventurous, how about some Parkour lessons by Superfly Monkey Dragons? This dynamic discipline will help your child develop confidence, improve motor and social skills, and find the joy of movement.

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Parkour Family for Kids & Parents, available for booking at Little Day Out Shop. From $35 per lesson.

Book your lessons directly here now.

Birthday Decorations for the September Party Animals

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If you know many people who’re born in September, it’s no coincidence. September is the month with the most birthdays in many parts of the world. According to a Harvard University study, September 16 is the most popular day of birth in the US. In England and Wales, the favoured date is 26 September. Singapore isn’t that far off either, with the most births registered in October in 2014 and 2015.

So if you’re planning a birthday celebration (or celebrations), here’s a unique decoration idea for the junior party animals.

COLOURFUL RAINFOREST WALL BUNTING

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Newly launched in the shop by contributor Wong Wai Ling, this rainforest-themed wall bunting features a mischievous monkey hanging by its tail, a napping sloth hugging a “branch”, a colourful toucan, and a cute wriggly caterpillar, amid leaves spelling “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” accompanied by bunches of tropical flowers.

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Cleverly designed so the bunting ribbon can be threaded through the loop of the monkey’s tail, caterpillar’s body, and the spaces between the limbs of the sloth, the adorable animals hang or hug with natural ease.

Create your own look by determining where you’d like to place the various colourful components. You can customise further by ordering extra letters to spell a name or a special phrase.

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After the party, you can convert parts of the bunting into the little one’s room decoration. Who knows, maybe having a cute sloth by the bed may inspire longer naps?

Here’s wishing all September babies a happy birthday! Have a great party!

Colourful Rainforest Wall Bunting is available at Little Day Out Shop from $2.50.

Check out our other party ideas ranging from choo choo train and melting ice cream buntings, to unique photo booth props and full party packs.