A spooky fun time! Review of HauntINK by Monsters Under The Bed

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Simply Lambchops reviews Monsters Under The Bed

Were you spooked by that picture? 

That was Ch, disguised as a Chinese spirit for a writing workshop organised by Monsters Under The Bed (MUTB) during the November school holidays last year. This is her third time attending the INK workshops by MUTB, and I was pleasantly surprised when she agreed to dress up for the last day of the workshop. 

MUTB has definitely nailed the right approach in providing the sensorial experience that a child requires to write more interestingly. Ch has never attempted horror stories, but with good acting by the trainers, on top of suitable props and activities aimed to stimulate her senses to feel, hear, see, and smell - all these led to a more authentic story plot to engage her readers. 

Through small group discussions, the children were given opportunities to voice their opinions about the story that they were writing, and learn from each other as well as from the trainer. Individual attention was also given to help the child improve her existing story or to provide assistance to a child with the writer's block. 

Below is Ch's account of her experience at the HauntINK workshop. There is also info about the next INK workshop coming up in March, as well as a giveaway. Details at the bottom of this post!

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The HauntINK workshop by MUTB was super fun. I felt that Monster HuntINK was good, but InvestigateINK was better! I enjoy detective kind of stuff more, rather than writing plain fantasy stories of bad monsters and good super heroes. For me, HauntINK feels like InvestigateINK plus Monster HuntINK. But instead, the monsters are replaced by eerie ghosts! That is what I call FUN! 

The trainers helped us to make our story make more sense and encouraged us to write more. My trainer was Mei Lynn and she was really imaginative and helped a lot in my story. So, thanks Mei Lynn!

The workshop started with a letter that was mailed to our homes. It read,
"To all my beloved relatives, strange things have been happening at our family manor, The Arts House. My mysteriously vanishing books ... the flickering chandeliers ... the old typewriter going click- clack -clackety- clack in the dead of night ... What could possibly be going on? Could our manor be haunted? Please come to our family reunion and help me solve the mystery!

                                              Much love and kisses,

                                                                             your Auntie X"
(Small print: It was actually an invite that said you are invited and had the letter on it together with the location and all the other information, but let's just pretend and imagine that it really was a letter, ok?)

Simply Lambchops reviews Monsters Under The Bed

At the workshop, the trainers introduced themselves and Auntie X explained what had been happening. There was a weird photo hanging on the wall. It looked like Auntie X in a veil, and Rizzette holding an umbrella. Then we pulled yarn through our sleeves and belt loops. This is to protect us if an angry ghost attacks. Consider yourself lucky if you have belt loops. Pulling yarn through your sleeves tickles. When it rubs against your neck, it itches. Horrible. 

Luckily, we had a protective area which was in the Play Den so the yarn wasn't really important. It takes a lot of time trying to pull your sleeves and belt loops anyway.  We also got to go to a secret room found in the family manor's library. We found a disc inside and when we played the video, it showed someone that looked like Auntie X wearing a veil and moaning,"Help me!".

We were then divided into our groups and brought to different locations in the Arts House to discuss and write who we thought was the moaning ghost in the veil. Many thought that the ghost was Auntie X's past life. At the end of day one, Rizzette, Auntie X's sidekick, found a diary in the secret room which was wrapped in paper with a sign on it, meaning that it was cursed. Jojo, someone also in MUTB, did not believe in curses and ghosts and went to read the diary. Then a ghost possessed him and Jojo turned into an angry ghost! Everybody panicked and ran like crazy. I realized that they were actually running to the Play Den.  I just grabbed my bag and walked sloowwwwwly to the Play Den. Why? 'Cause I wanted to see what happens if I stay there. Nothing happened. When we were at the Play Den, Auntie X and our trainers said we couldn't go back because Jojo read the diary and caused the room to become cursed. Auntie X told us that Rizzette and her were trying to purify the diary and the room. We were then dismissed from the Play Den.

Day 2.
                We went in the Arts House, feeling creeped but excited. There was this boy who was so scared till he had to hug Jojo most of the time, especially when consulting the ghosts. But don't blame him. The trainers make it look so real. After what happened yesterday, we knew that whatever coming was sure to be fun. When we went into the room, we found Auntie X... feeding Jojo pieces of paper. Auntie X explained that she found a spell book and tried to revert Jojo back but instead, he turned into a bookworm. Rizzette then took her magic lamp and somehow managed to revert Jojo. Then Auntie X had to explain to Jojo why he was eating paper. Auntie X remembered the diagry and read it to herself. Everybody held our breath 'cause we thought Auntie X was going to be cursed. Did I mention that the room and the diary were purified already? Jojo then read the diary to prove that it wasn't curse. Rizzette took the diary and read it out loud to us. 

Simply Lambchops reviews Monsters Under The Bed

The owner of the diary was someone named Becka. She was jealous that her sister Anna was so popular because her storybooks always got accepted (by the publishers) and Becka felt left out. So, she burnt her sister's storybook. When Rizzette stopped reading, she said that she found the veil and umbrella in the secret room and suggested that Auntie X put on the veil. Auntie X did it and she started moaning," Help me!" as if she was remembering something from the past. Rizzette held the umbrella and started cackling "You'll never find it!" just like what we read in the story of Anna and Becka. We then read the diary and found scraps of burnt paper in the typewriter and some books. We pieced them together and realized that it was Anna's burnt story. We continued writing the story for Anna because we were going to 'offer' it to Anna. We wrote our drafts till the end of day 2.


Day 3.
Simply Lambchops reviews Monsters Under The Bed

We continued working on our drafts, corrected it and copied it onto paper, and made our story books. My title was The voodoo doll, My evil sister and I - The revenge story. Nice right? I used lipstick (I was dressed up as a chinese ghost) to make fingerprints smeared with blood by spreading lipstick on my fingers and smearing them on my book cover. (If you see an article titled

The voodoo doll, My evil sister and I" in a writing magazine, it is most likely mine.) 

In the end, Becka (Rizzette) apologized to Anna (Auntie X) and we got our certificates and books! Everyone took a pic together and those who dressed up (like me) got to take a separate photo together! 

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Upcoming MUTB events:

1. Parenting talk - How to preserve your child creative edge

Click here to go to the registration page

2. Epic QuestINK workshop (for kids 7 to 12 years old)


In this workshop, you transform into heroes straight out of the Greek myths of old, and go on a journey of epic proportions! 

Participants will learn how to:
  • Utilize the Hero's Journey. Structure your story in a way that is truly epic. 
  • Create fantabulous monsters. Trainers will introduce a selection of monstrous and magical beings from classical Greek myth, and teach you how to create your own! 
  • Dream up weird settings. Learn about all the strange places the ancient Greek heroes visited on their journeys, and come up with your own!


    Great news for you! MUTB has lined up 5 different themed writing workshops during the school holidays this year! Other than Epic QuestINK, the other writing workshops are: SurviveINK, Spell CraftINK, HowlINK and INK to The Void. Our children are in for a treat!


    Special bundle price: 
    1. If you sign up for all 5 workshops, you only pay $1,150 or get 1 month Monsters Under The Bed's Signature creative writing class, Story Craft (worth $320).
    2. If you are signing up together with 3 to 5 frieDnds, you get 10% discount on the workshop fee.   
    3. If you sign up for any of the INK workshops and quote <INK1501>, you will receive the Journal Singapore Boardgame (see game info under Special Giveaway) and a $10 mubster money that can be used in any of their workshops or courses. 
    *****

     Special Giveaway! 

    Journal Singapore board game

    How to learn Singapore history AND improve on your storytelling skills? Play Journal Singapore! 

    Journal Singapore is a board game created by MUTB in 2009, together with Singapore Heritage Board. The game, suitable for ages 10 and up, allows players to compete for influence, as famous Singaporeans, across three eras of history. This boardgame can also be used as a storytelling tool, based on the character they played in the game. 

    Monsters Under The Bed is giving away the Journal Singapore Boardgame (worth $59.90) to THREE Simply Lambchops readers! 

    In order to qualify for the giveaway, please complete the following steps using the Rafflecopter widget: 
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Important: You have to complete both steps in order to be eligible for the draw. This giveaway will end on Monday 16 February, 2359 hrs HAS ENDED and the winner will be selected through a random draw. Results of the draw will be announced on here.


    Terms and Conditions
    This is a local giveaway. Claiming of the Journal Singapore Boardgame will be through the sponsor Monsters Under The Bed. The winner will be contacted through Facebook Messenger and/or email and has 48 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn. All incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries will be verified before the winners are announced. To be fair to our sponsors, please note that all fake Facebook accounts (e.g. accounts set up purely to take part in contests with no or very few real friends) will also be ineligible to win.
    Disclaimer: We were invited for the HauntINK workshop by MUTB for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was given and all opinions are ours.


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