Amazing Race At Bishan-AMK Park: Amazing People, Weather And Chinese Discoveries

Amazing Race at Bishan-AMK Park: Amazing People, Weather And Chinese Discoveries

“Heavy thundery showers with gusty wind”

That was the weather forecast on the day of our Little Day Outing to Bishan-AMK Park: Amazing Race with Zhou’s Academic Studio, coupled with a flash flood warning!

Yes, we had a rain plan. But racing around in the outdoors, learning to appreciate the Chinese language and culture in the embrace of nature – that would be the best plan!

So we were extremely grateful for the turnaround in the weather, and by the time our Amazing Race started, the only reminders of the morning downpour were the slightly squishy ground and nice, cool afternoon air.

The rain stopped by early afternoon, and we had great weather for our race.
The rain stopped by early afternoon, and we had great weather for our race.

We were so glad to see how excited the children were! Together with the adults in their teams, they completed the flag-off challenge of fixing a Tangram puzzle in record time and were off to their first pit stop following their first clue in a blink!

Giving the flag-off challenge at GRUB bistro. Did you know that the tangram was invented in China during the Song Dynasty?
Giving the flag-off challenge at GRUB bistro. Did you know that the tangram was invented in China during the Song Dynasty?
Reading the first clue, eager to complete the first challenge.
Reading the first clue, eager to complete the first challenge.

Our version of the Amazing Race took participants to four pit stops scattered around the Pond Gardens of Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. At each of these pit stops, teams were tasked to complete a fun challenge related to the Chinese language and culture. To help teams with their challenges, Zhou’s Academic Studio’s friendly teachers and staff were onsite to lead in engaging discovery sessions.

Teacher Zhang sharing about Oracle Bone Script, the earliest known form of Chinese writing, to prepare the participants for their challenge.
Teacher Zhang sharing about Oracle Bone Script, the earliest known form of Chinese writing, to prepare the participants for their challenge.

One of the pit stop tasks saw children and adults filtering through 450 ping pong balls to find those with Oracle Bone Script “inscribed” on them and match them with their corresponding modern forms.

When you understand how Oracle Bone Script came about, it’s not that difficult to match them with the words that they have evolved into.
When you understand how Oracle Bone Script came about, it’s not that difficult to match them with the words that they have evolved into.

At another pit stop, kids got to tell the adults what to do for a change. The catch? They had to do so in Mandarin!

Specifically, the task was to guide blindfolded adults over the bridge at the picturesque Lotus Pond and complete simple puzzles – using only spoken words! Not only did this boost the kids’ confidence in speaking in Mandarin, it was also a bonding and trust-building activity between parents and children.

Kids had fun leading the blindfolded grown-ups across the bridge by giving instructions in Mandarin.
Kids had fun leading the blindfolded grown-ups across the bridge by giving instructions in Mandarin.

Over at the Palm Court with swaying palms and stone bridges, we had the privilege of learning kungfu from martial arts coach He Jun from Yuan Jin Wushu Cultural Centre. Coach He was the chief coach of the Singapore Wushu Team from 2003 to 2008!

Martial arts coach He Jun
Martial arts coach He Jun

Working together with Coach He was Zhou’s Teacher Li, who taught participants Chinese idioms to go with the kungfu moves, taking them one step closer to being 文武双全 (good in both the literary arts and the martial arts)!

Coach He (back-facing the camera) and Teacher Li (wearing a hat at the back of the group) taught teams basic kungfu moves and Chinese idioms respectively.
Coach He (back-facing the camera) and Teacher Li (wearing a hat at the back of the group) taught teams basic kungfu moves and Chinese idioms respectively.

It was great to see both kids and adults enjoying the hands-on learning experience!

Little Day Out to Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park

Delving deeper into the literary arts, participants had the chance to learn Chinese calligraphy from Zhou’s Teacher Yang at a poetic spot facing the scenic Landscape Pond.

Learning Chinese calligraphyAfter some practice, their teamwork was put to the test – team members had to work together to complete two Chinese words – and everyone passed with flying colours!

The first team to complete all four challenges and arrive at the final destination was crowned our Amazing Race winner.

Congratulations to the winning team!
Congratulations to the winning team! The children were so excited to receive their trophies!

At the end of this Little Day Outing, we hope our participants brought back memories of a race well run with family and friends, and a new love for the Chinese language and culture.

Happy faces after the race, cooling down with an ice cream treat.
Happy faces after the race, cooling down with an ice cream treat.

Little Day Outing to Bishan-AMK Park

See more photos of the event here.

READ: Exploring Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park

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