Stay-home guide for Tuesday: Rediscover your inner child, cook Japanese chicken curry and more


1. Play: Channel your inner child

Ikea has launched a campaign to provide parents with ideas on how to cultivate playfulness in children by exploring its online catalogue of toys and furniture. PHOTOS: IKEA

Why should children have all the fun? Rediscover your inner child with easels, play kitchen cabinets and train sets for endless fun with your children while staying at home.

Swedish retailer Ikea has launched a campaign during the school holidays called Welcome To Their World, to provide parents with ideas on how to cultivate playfulness in children by exploring its online catalogue of toys and furniture.

For instance, children can have fun with Ikea's double-sided easel, which is both a whiteboard as well as a blackboard for doodling or playing with chalk colours. There are also stacking rings in rainbow colours for tiny tots to learn about the basics of building as well as a 45-piece train set that children can assemble themselves.

Info: Ikea's website

2. Make: Scent 'bombs' for de-stressing

Sales of essential oils and diffusers have soared during the pandemic. PHOTO: ELIZABETH HO/MY OIL MENTOR

Use common kitchen ingredients to make a scent "bomb" for a warm foot soak or to relax tensed muscles.

Check out YouTube for fun do-it-yourself (DIY) videos on how to make soap-size bars of scent "bombs" which fizzle in water, releasing aromatherapy benefits that help to take the tension away, especially ideal when one is hunkering down at home.

Use organic ingredients such as baking soda, citric acid, corn starch and Epsom salts to create a base for the bomb, then add food colouring such as butterfly pea flower powder. Finally, mix the ingredients with essential oils before transferring the mixture to cookie moulds.

The mixture takes about 24 hours to set and you can drop the "bomb" into a basin of warm water for a calming foot soak or into the bath for a luxe treat.

Minty oils help to perk you up in the mornings, lemon and citrus are for de-stressing and lavender is perfect for bedtime.

Info: Check out YouTube videos such as Sonia Castaneda's DIY scent bombs

3. Grow: Improve your gardening skills

You can use the free Greg plant care mobile app to take the guesswork out of gardening. PHOTOS: ST FILE, GREG.APP

How do you make sure your recent purchase of a lush green money plant is not going to wither within days?

You can use the free Greg plant care mobile app, available on the Apple App Store, to take the guesswork out of gardening.

The app uses machine learning to help its users care for plants. It first zeroes in on the plant owner's location and then asks for photos of the items to be cared for. Greg identifies the type of plant, then advises about watering and calculates whether the plant is getting enough sunlight through proximity to a window.

The app is connected to a global community of plant owners who help contribute to its effectiveness by giving regular feedback about their plants through the app. The more feedback the app gets, the smarter its artificial intelligence becomes.

This data helps the team behind Greg identify how more than 5,000 plant species respond to various temperatures, light conditions, latitudes and longitudes and watering schedules.

Gregarious Laboratories, which created Greg, was set up in New York by former employees of Tinder, the American networking and online dating app.

The app was created to promote a better understanding of plant engineering and to create a greener, healthier planet. It is available free as well as with a range of options for paid subscriptions.

Info: Greg plant care mobile app's website

4. Cook: Japanese-style bone-on chicken curry with rice

Japanese curry is more khaki in colour than orange.ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

Watching Japanese drama The Curry Songs on Netflix set off my cravings for Kare Raisu (Japanese Curry Rice).

A different variety from the local versions, Japanese curry is more khaki in colour than orange.

There are several brands of Japanese curry roux available in the market. A Japanese friend once recommended me the Golden Curry brand. I find that a mix of brands renders better results. I recommend combining Golden Curry and Java Curry roux.