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Reading: Why it is Unquestionably Important for Children

Reading is one of the most important skills and cognitive processes we need to develop. As we all know, knowing how to read is crucial for learning and overall success later in life. For a child, reading books is one of the best ways to learn language and communication, even in the digital age. So, here’s why reading should be encouraged in children.

Reading helps develop language
Reading is one of the primary ways a child can develop his/her language skills. Of course, they won’t be able to read at a young age, so reading aloud to them is key. This is because as they grow older, the main way they improve their vocabulary is through speaking with those older than them. But, if they start reading at an early age, they are at least already exposed to grammar, sentence structures, and etc. Plus, in Singapore where there is so much diversity, a child can even be bilingual and reading can always help with that.

Reading can improve parent-child relationships
There are already so many movies where you’ll see a parent and a child reading a book together. They put these scenes because they actually happen in real life. Reading can create stronger bonds between parents and children. Reading aloud even during infancy is known to improve intimacy and closeness. By spending quality time reading with the child, parents get to interact with their child and teach them valuable lessons.

Reading sparks imagination
Picture books, for example, are mostly aimed at young children. Children can associate words with the pictures and therefore, improve visual imagery and imagination. As the child grows older, he/she will slowly learn not to rely on the pictures and will start to create visual images in his/her own mind. This will be a great contributor to developing creativity and imagination. Additionally, it also helps that stories can take children to different places and different worlds in their imagination.

Reading enhances communication skills
Aside from parents and children interacting with each other, the child also improves his/her communication skills through the characters in the books. They learn how characters communicate and may copy those character themselves. Additionally, reading at an early age has been found to have a lasting effect on a child’s verbal capabilities. They will have a certain aptitude not only in learning words but in communicating their ideas as well.

Reading encourages empathy
Almost all children’s books mainly teach values and lessons. Being young, children obviously don’t have much experience and understanding of the world around them. What they read in books can help them better understand, appreciate, and empathize with other people. In a culturally rich and diverse nation like Singapore, this is essential to help children develop better relationships in the future and help them become respectful and well-mannered individuals.

How to Score Cheap Flights Other Than Waiting for Seat Sales

We’ve all been there: waiting for seat sales in the middle of the night, only to be faced with a crashing website just before you’re about to check out and your seat is already taken by the time you are about to make the booking again. While airline sales is one of the best ways to get great discounts, there are several other ways to save on airfare for your next trip. Here are a few tricks you should try:

1. Get an app that lets you compare prices
There are a lot of mobile applications you can use to collate and compare prices, whether for local or international flights. These apps will show you different pricing options from hundreds of airlines, as well as get tips on how to and when you should book for lower cost.

2. Go for connecting flights over direct flights
Non-stop flight are usually more expensive than those with layovers. If you have days to spare or you’re not in a rush, try booking a connecting flight with a layover somewhere. It can be an added experience to your trip, having to explore your layover destination if you have enough time. Most of the time, these flights with layovers can save you as much as half of the price of direct flights. Definitely, not bad at all!

3. Book travel packages
Sometimes, a travel agency is your cheapest solution to fix your trip for you. These agencies usually have exclusive discounts from their affiliate airlines, resorts and hotels, which can help to keep costs low. You may also want to check out websites that provides simultaneously booking of flights and accommodations.

4. Pick a mid-week flight
The lowest rates are usually those flights scheduled on Tuesdays. Weekly sales from some airlines also start during this day, too, and are pulled out on Thursdays. If you don’t mind flying in the middle of the week, you’ll surely save heaps. Weekends are naturally more expensive due to the volume of flyers who prefer this schedule.

5. Use a travel-friendly credit card that lets you collect rewards points
When planning to get a credit card and you know you’re a heavy traveler, get one with a partnered airline as this will allow you to earn points, which you can then convert into miles, every time you use your card. So, if you are a frequent flyer who pays bills and does shopping with your card, then use those rewards points for cheaper airfare.

Travelling need not to be expensive, but plane tickets often are. Hopefully, though, with these tips, we were able to help you save from your airfare and have more resources to spend on activities.

The 5 Golden Rules of Posting to Social Media

Nowadays, social media has become a bit wild. While most of us are fully aware of the basic etiquette of real-life interactions, we have yet to reach a consensus on what’s acceptable—and not acceptable—behaviors in the virtual world.

Well, friends, now is the time to set some parameters. here are the five golden rules you need to remember every time you’re about to click that “share” button.

1. Follow Political Correctness
Before hitting share, take a pause for a while and ponder whether the thing you’re going to say is racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. Even if you’re proud of your traditional morals, maybe those principles aren’t appropriate to be shared online. It’s okay to talk about it with your friends, but the online community is a rather bigger world. Be nice to everyone. Avoid being too judgmental or you’ll risk having social media friends start unfriending you.

2. Avoid Sharing Too Much
The concept of TMI—too much information—is not only about sharing embarrassing info about yourself. Oversharing can be as simple as posting your every action and thought. Nobody wants to know about your LQ with beau, your sex life or your family issues. We also do not need to see photos of your bills, selfies in the bathroom or your calloused feet. Better posts to share are photos of your cute baby or your beloved pets.

3. Know When to Keep Quiet
When you have nothing good to share, it would be best to just keep your mouth shut. Trust us, this is a trait that most of your online friends would greatly appreciate.

4. Stay Away from Trolls
Any attempt to engage in a decent discussion with a troll is absolutely useless. These conversations almost always end up in a personal and shallow argument. Even if you’re arguing about politics and religion, the conversation will always end up with the troll calling you fat and ugly, and rudely editing your profile picture into a photo with devil horns and fangs in it.

5. Share Things that Actually Makes Sense to Everyone
We all have that friend who shares cryptic posts to her social media—that person who loves to puzzle everyone by saying things like: “Wow… that happened so fast” or “Thank God for another blessing! #feelingblessed”. Here’s a tip: social media is not your private diary. If you are going to share something to the public, make it something they will actually understand. And write it in readable language, too. Keep your post brief and concise to fit into a 140-character limit without omitting half the letters of your post (typng lk ths wnt evn hlp mking ur post undrstndble).

Be a smart social media user. While you can say it is your freedom to share whatever you like, the things you post online reflects your individuality, principles and values; and you wouldn’t want to be misjudged for a single bad post, would you?

Laundry Cleaning Method Explained

Having a busy schedule means that you won’t have time to do the laundry. Fortunately, the laundry service offers various methods for individual and commercial laundry needs. You can even get your clothes back through a same day dry cleaning process. But before you head to the nearest express laundry in Singapore, you might want to read up on the different methods they use to clean your clothes.

Labels and Sorting
To achieve very clean clothes, the laundry is first sorted based on the fabric, weight, color, degree of soiling, and the instructions on the care label. For example, a white shirt should not be washed in the same batch as a white towel. The staff will wash towel separately based on its weight, degree of soiling, and purpose. The last one is very important for laundry delivery services in Singapore because the customer will expect that the clothes will be returned to them in good condition.

Not all fabrics can be cleaned with water and detergent, tumble-dried or even ironed, however. There are also some fabrics that are only suitable for handwashing and should be not bleached or chlorinated. The clothes are also sorted based on the customer’s instructions. Some that are for commercial use such as laundry for spa and clean towels for hotels and restaurants should be cleaned separately from items for individual customers that are for wash and fold only.

Dry-Cleaning
The dry cleaning method is known to use chemical dryer (dry cleaning agent) instead of water and detergent. The term might be somewhat misleading as the solvent is also in liquid form, but it can absorb oils and stains better than water and detergent without damaging the fabric. Unlike wet cleaning, the clothes are cleaned and dried in the same dry cleaning machine during the process. The dry cleaning price in Singapore is also cheaper than detergent because the solvent can be reused for other batches.

The machine looks similar to a regular washing machine, but it causes less damage on accessories such as buttons, sequins, beadings, and lace. It is a method perfect for almost any type of fabric besides wool, silk, and leather and will even make uniform laundry last longer than regular machine washing.

Machine-Washing
Unless the care label says the item should not be machine-washed, most fabrics are cleaned with water and detergent in a commercial laundry services shop. But the staff also takes note of the degree of soiling and the intended use of the garments. This means that items for individual customers should be separate from the fabrics used for commercial purposes. The agitation and rotation of the machine can be harsh on some items, even when they were made to withstand the cleaning process, so the laundry delivery staff also has to check for additional instructions on the care label such as water temperature, treatment, and washing condition. Items that should be handwashed can still be machine washed as long as the most minimal setting is used.

Tumble Drying
Some laundry delivery shops use a different machine for drying clothes. The staff checks the labels whether the fabric should be tumble-dried in low heat or high heat settings. Some clothes, however, should not be tumble-dried and should be flat-dried, drip-dried, or line-dried. The drying method used also determines which ironing method and setting is used by the laundry service shop.

Ironing and Steaming
The ironing labels determine the maximum temperature that should be used to iron clothes. Some 24 hour laundry shops also use steaming machines for other fabrics that can tolerate high temperatures because it’s more effective in removing creases and wrinkles. Finally, the best laundry will mend clothes (if there is any damage or missing buttons and accessories), fold, pack, and label items for pickup or delivery.

Different Types of Leather to Consider

Leather has been used for thousands of years, and yet even those who love this fashionable material don’t know much about its origins and why it’s so expensive in the first place. Let’s look at how leather is processed and the different types of leather that are made today.

Sources and Processing of Leather
By now you should be aware that authentic leather comes from tanned animal skin and rawhide. Most of the leather products in the market come from cattle skin, but other animal sources are used; such as deer, lamb, elk, pig, buffalo, alligator, goat, ostrich, snake, ox, kangaroo, fish, stingray, and yak skins.

Leather processing can impact the environment, not just with its use of animals for the raw materials, but also the use of chemicals for tanning and the slow decomposition of leather itself. So, if you’re not amused with the idea of using animals for clothing and accessories, you should consider environment-friendly alternatives to leather.

Leather is used to create shoes, jackets, hats, belts, trousers, skirts, bookbinding, furniture cover, and bags. Although they might all look the same, the different processes in tanning result in various forms of leather, such as vegetable-tanned, chrome-tanned, aldehyde-tanned, brain-tanned, formaldehyde tanning, rose-tanned, alum-tanned, synthetic tanned leather, rawhide, and chamois leather.

The production, however, is divided into three main processes, regardless of the intended result; these are preparation (soaking, fleshing, unhairing, etc.), tanning (stabilization of protein from the skin or hide), and crusting (thinning, tanning or lubricating the leather). Other leathers also receive surface treatment after crusting.

The Different Types of Leather
Leather can be classified in two ways, the type of grain and its appearance and coating (finishing).

Types of Grain:
• Top Grain: It’s the surface layer of the skin and is also the thickest, most durable, and softest part.
• Full Grain: This is a variety of top grain leather which is not altered so that it looks more natural.
• Split Grain: This is the layer found below the top grain and is considered less durable and stiff. One example of split leather is suede.
• Corrected Grain: This is a variety of top grain leather that has been sanded, buffed, and embossed to remove the flaws.
• Bonded Leather: This is a combination of leather pulp and boding materials and used as a layer on fibers. Some people don’t consider this authentic because the pulp is made from hide scraps.

Types of Finishing:
• Aniline: This leather looks natural because it is not coated or pigmented to alter its appearance, but the process is only used for full grain hides that have minimal flaws on the surface. An example of aniline leather is nubuck.
• Semi-Aniline: This finishing goes through the same process as aniline leather, but is treated with pigments to make the surface color more uniform.
• Pigmented: This type of leather uses materials not suitable for aniline and semi-aniline processes. Pigmented leather is sanded, buffed, and embossed so that the grain looks uniform.

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