Rain, rain, go away, the kids want to play

(Above) Passers-by trying to stay dry at the overhead bridge leading to Gardens by the Bay, which saw the launch of the Start Small Dream Big initiative. (Right) Preschool Market curriculum specialist Laavanya Gunasegaran engaging children in a story
Preschool Market curriculum specialist Laavanya Gunasegaran engaging children in a storytelling session at the Eco Kampung Carnival. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
(Above) Passers-by trying to stay dry at the overhead bridge leading to Gardens by the Bay, which saw the launch of the Start Small Dream Big initiative. (Right) Preschool Market curriculum specialist Laavanya Gunasegaran engaging children in a story
Passers-by trying to stay dry at the overhead bridge leading to Gardens by the Bay, which saw the launch of the Start Small Dream Big initiative.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Yesterday morning's pouring rain did not dampen the spirits of excited pre-schoolers at Gardens by the Bay at the launch of this year's Start Small Dream Big initiative.

The wide grins, excited chatter and orange bucket hats created a suitably bright mood at the Bayfront Pavilion, where Social and Family Development Minister Desmond Lee joined the children.

The annual initiative, started by the Early Childhood Development Agency as part of the President's Challenge, is now in its fifth year.

It involves pre-school centres guiding children to design and implement community service projects over six months.

The children decide whom they want to help and what they want to do.

This year, 49,000 children aged between four and six will take part - a sixfold increase from 2015.

They are from 820 pre-school centres.

In line with Singapore's bicentennial, this year's theme is "Learn from our past, dream of our future", with projects focusing on promoting an appreciation of heritage through nature, marine life and cultural diversity.

Yesterday's launch took place amid the two-day Eco Kampung Carnival, run by the Preschool Market social enterprise and Gardens by the Bay.

There were booths on activities from terrarium building to "painting with nature", where children use flowers and feathers to make art pieces.

While the rain prevented them from going on an appreciating heritage in nature learning trail, educators can easily conduct a walk any time once an e-version of the guide is available from May 1 at www.preschoolmarket.com/ssdb.

Yesterday morning saw heavy thundery showers with strong winds over many areas.

The Meteorological Service last week said Sumatra squalls could bring widespread thundery showers and gusty winds in the morning.

Thundery showers are also expected over many areas this morning, the weatherman said last night.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2019, with the headline 'Rain, rain, go away, the kids want to play'. Print Edition | Subscribe