SHARE THIS
Run out of activities to do with your kids? Ask this blogger dad, Cheekiemonkie
People & Society Articles

Run out of activities to do with your kids? Ask this blogger dad, Cheekiemonkie

cheekiemonkie-familyresized

If you have spent a fun-filled day out with your family over the weekend, chances are you probably took many photos and posted them casually on Facebook or Instagram.

Like many parents, Kelvin Ang does that too. The father of three enjoys documenting and sharing the activities he does with his children. But for him, it’s also serious business. He lists, reviews and recommends activities and places of interests for families on his blog, Cheekiemonkie.net.

Kelvin’s wife started it 13 years ago, in 2005, as a personal blog when she had their first child and was on maternity leave. It served as a way to keep record of precious moments in the growing years of their children and share them with relatives who were living abroad.

But later, Kelvin took over the blog to document his fatherhood journey. Eventually, it turned into an encyclopaedia of fun activities parents can do with their children, and earned itself a following not only among dads, but also those who are searching for parenting resources.

“When it started, it was like a diary of sorts, where we kept in contact with our relatives,” said the blogger dad, who is 42. “We take our kids out every weekend to parks and playgrounds, and put these outings on the blog. Over the years, it has evolved into a platform for other parents to look for ideas of activities to do with their kids.”

Fatherhood is fun and fulfilling

Cheekiemonkie family 2

Fun in the sun: Kelvin and his wife enjoy planning outdoor activities with their children.

With the blog, Kelvin hopes to inspire other dads to play a more active role in raising their children. “After work, dads are tired and they may just ask their kids to maybe play with the iPad,” he observes.

But he wants to dispel the myth that working fathers do not have time for their kids. Instead, the full-time financial planner believes it is about prioritisation and time management.

For instance, he makes it a point to bring his children – aged 13, 12 and 8 – out every weekend. The key, he believes, is to see fatherhood as a fun and fulfilling experience, and not something that is “tiring”.

Sharing his parenting philosophy, he adds: “I believe in keeping my kids active. That’s my motivation for bringing them out. I want them to experience something beyond the walls of the house and the classroom.”

And contrary to some who believe Singapore is boring, he has a different take.

“I’ve heard parents say that they only go to malls to shop, or watch a movie. But that’s not true,” he says. “I hope to let them know that there are more outdoor activities that they can enjoy as a family together.”

A guide for dads

His emphasis on experiential learning has turned the blog into a success. In 2013, companies started to approach him to do product reviews on things like learning bikes, toys, books and educational materials.

Today, the blog garners about 100,000 to 150,000 page views per month. One of his most popular posts is a review of glamping, or glamorous camping, at Bintan where families stay in air-conditioned safari tents close to nature.

But he doesn’t do all the heavy lifting. Sometimes, he ropes in his children to review products or take photographs for the blog. His children have also overtaken their dad’s popularity.

“When I meet people outside, readers of the blog recognise my kids first,” he says with a laugh. After all, the name of his blog, Cheekiemonkie, is inspired by his eldest son who was born in the year of the monkey.

Beyond blogging

With the resources accumulated over the years, he published a book in 2015 titled Got Kids, Go Where? It chronicles 550 family-friendly activities to do in Singapore.

He also co-founded Daddy Matters, a closed community on Facebook that serves as a platform and support system for dads to ask questions or air their grievances.

“It’s an outlet for them to ask advice if they are either too shy, or if it is something that is inconvenient to ask publicly,” he says. “For example, dads share problems about their kids not sleeping. Some have also asked, ‘My wife insists on sending my kids to tuition, but I don’t see the point. What should I do?’”

While he seems to be the ideal dad on the blog, Kelvin says he is far from perfect.

“I still lose my temper at my kids and lose my patience. That is part and parcel of being a parent. But I believe we must make the effort to build a relationship with them,” he says.

Check out Kelvin’s top activities to do in the June holidays:

1. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Take a walk through the mangrove boardwalk, and get up close with nature and wildlife. During high tide, the water level rises and your kids can even walk through it. It’s a unique experience that you cannot find anywhere else.

2. Gardens By The Bay

There is a huge water playground and a treehouse playground that is free for all. The water play area has sensors that detect the movement of children, creating a corresponding sequence of water effects. For parents, there are lounge chairs to chill out the entire day.

3. Lazarus Island

Lazarus Island is a little-known beach paradise. To reach it, take a ferry ride from the mainland to St John's Island and walk about 20 minutes across a causeway. It’s a quiet getaway with clear waters, and is less crowded than East Coast Park. You can have a picnic by the beach.


Share this

Share Share Share