Caine’s Arcade And The Cardboard Dreams

Have you heard of the Cardboard Dreams in Singapore ?
Bunch of mums, dozens of kids, and mountains of cardboards
Congregating under the morning sun
on Children’s Day 5 Oct at the Singapore Botanic Garden
building something out of cardboards and imagination
to celebrate creativity
in the name of play

All inspired by this little kid who goes by Caine
who lives in a little suburb town
near the big city of Los Angeles in the US of A

A boy who built himself an arcade centre during last summer vacation
with used cardboard lying around his dad’s used auto parts store
inspired by a basketball hoop on a pizza box

He had it all thought out
from ticketing, cashier, pricing to prizes and fun passes
but he didn’t know marketing
So, people walked past him and his arcade
oblivious to the greatness behind

No matter that people thought how silly he was to be making games out of used cardboards
He continued to work on his arcade, adding new machines by the day, making it bigger and better
No matter that people said no and walked away from his request to play
He continued to wait patiently in his little chair
For he believed that it was not a matter of if
but a matter of when he will get his first customer

And finally one day, his wish came true
His first customer, a down and out film maker
who came by the store in search of a door handle for his 1996 corolla
who saw extraordinary out of this ordinary boy’s arcade
and decided to make a Youtube video to tell and share the story
The video went viral

Some Harvard professor called him a genius
Some say that Caine will have a bright future as an engineer in MIT
Some say we should all learn creativity from him
Some tout him as the future of entrepreneurship

His name became synonomous with the often discussed
but even more often misunderstood concept of creativity

And in his name, they started Global Cardboard Challenge
and launched the Imagination Foundation

You don’t get a Youtube video that goes viral everyday, do you ?
and so, this sets me thinking

I saw not a genius, but a silly little boy
like so many silly little boys out there
With big dreams, big hearts but small hands
who yawned in boredom when interviewed by some intellectual academic

Was it about creativity?
Was it about having dreams?
Or was it about being able to turn dreams into reality?

About perseverance and staying the course even when the going gets tough
About mental discipline and the ability to grit your teeth and get it done
About doing what you believe and believing in what you do

So, my 8 year old has finally managed to pen down his design for the cardboard challenge
complete with comets, asteroids, the oort cloud and the kuiper belt
But like so many great ideas out there
they will probably remain just ideas…on paper

Because till now, I am still trying to teach
that extraordinary quality of Caine
of turning dreams into reality


Note : Hop over to Sarah’s site to read more about the Cardboard Dreams or RSVP here to join in the fun on 5 Oct at the Singapore Botanic Garden


There Is A Season For Everything

Oh gosh ! it’s been nearly 2 weeks since I last posted

I realised that  I haven’t been really diligent and disciplined at updating this site

It doesn’t help when my blogging habit is as such

And these days with my coming-to-3 toddler being more aware, it’s almost impossble to work on my computer

He would climb all over me, bug me with questions and accept no reply that tries to patronize

Single word answers such as ‘okay’, ‘oh’, ‘good’, ‘great’ while I am in the midst of something doesn’t work anymore

He would tell me straight in the face

Mummy, don’t say ‘okay’

Mummy, don’t say ‘oh’

Basically he wants me to drop whatever I am doing and give him my 101% attention

And he is happy just having me sit by his side

even if it means doing nothing

On a really unproductive day, we could sit in front of the washing machine and watch Fluffy, his Ikea dog, takes a bath

On a slightly more productive day, we would buid a racing track and race his favourite cars

Or spend some time golfing with part of a vacuum cleaner and random wooden  balls


Yet I have to confess that despite all these effort

part of me was still at the latest newsfeed on Facebook, that interesting linky party that I had missed, that advertorial that I could have said yes and the next post that I should be writing

which really put in a crazy dilemma, turmoil and unrest

and then when I finally called it quit

grab the keys, head out, chase after the little fella in his scooter

I caught sight of a patch of fallen petals under a big old tree

It is time of the year again

The walkways are littered with lovely ochre-coloured leaves and fallen petals

There is a season for everything

I was reminded of where I am now and the choices that I’ve made

About the things that truly matter

and the things that will have to wait




Recycled Lantern Crafts

So the last post was meant for this
but I got carried away
and ended up rambling about eating mooncakes !

Apart from eating mooncakes we have been busy churning out lanterns
Lanterns made from used plastic containers we had collected over the past weeks
These include mineral water bottles, fruits boxes, egg trays, yogurt containers, sushi boxes, plastic boxes for our breakast buns

It’s appalling how much plastic we consumed everyday and in just a few days we ended up with so many tnat we had to throw away some

We started making lanterns a few years back because we couldn’t find anything in the market we like
They were either fire hazards or come with loud techno music

So in 2009 we started making our own lanterns

Our first lanterns were a jet plane and an army tank (using used pastic containers, toilet rolls and Brands essence chicken boxes)

In 2010, with Youth Olympic and Singaopre Airshow, we made Olympic torch (using kitchen towel roll and dessert takeaway containers) and RSAF Black Knight (using coke bottle and Four Leaves chocolate bread roll containers)

Last year the kids discovered Disney Cars and were crazy over McQueen and Doc Hudson (using fruits containers and portobello mushroom containers)
I made Mater just to make myself happy

This year, with the passing of the first man who landed on moon and also because the kids really love rockets and space
We made a series of space mobile

We built the Saturn V Rocket (using Watson’s distilled water bottle, tea light candle holder, some cardboard pieces and aluminium foil)

the Lunar Module (using grapes container, Four Leaves chocolate bread roll container, satay sticks, tea light candle holder and aluminium foil)

and the Lunar Rover (using grapes container, match box, tea light candle holder, egg tray, satay sticks and aluminium foil)

My elder boy helped in brainstorming the design and the younger one helped in choosing the colours
They got their hands dirty doing the paint job but my toddler’s interest in getting the paint job done could last about 5 minutes
and I am pretty much the one left to finish up

At the end of it, I think Mom is the one who truly enjoyed it
I find it especially satisfying to turn something from almost absolutely nothing to something where the kids would play

These lanterns are pretty hardy, last year’s lantern is still around
The first 2 lanterns for this year had gone through a few rounds of thrashing and they are still intact
The boys had tried lighting up the lanterns and found that their bicycle headlights work better than tea light candles
We are still undecided but meanwhile, I think I have more trash lying around for more lanterns


This entry was posted in craft.
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