Nowadays, a little thing called “Google” allows kids to e-explore the world without leaving the comfort of the couch. Want to see the Great Barrier Reef from above or check out the jewelled giant in Wat Phra Kaew? It’s easy to go online for all the answers. But what’s convenient isn’t always best, especially as kids undergo cognitive and physical development and need proper stimulation to strengthen life skills.
Youth is a time for active exploration. Even as children get older, entering their tweens and teens — the two leading causes of gray hair and high blood pressure in adults — they need to get hands-on with education, both mental and physical. The Big Mango offers plenty of opportunities to do just that. There are tons of exciting activities for your children, and the whole family, to try in the city. They might even change the way you look at zoos, museums, and play areas at the mall.
Scared of giving your child a cleaver? You have nothing to worry about at A Little Something. The owners import designed-for-kids kitchenware and utensils, branded “Suncraft,” from Japan to ensure safety and fun in class. The courses are open for three-years-old and up. They teach kids not only how to cook, but also how to prep food, set tables, and, most importantly, behave when eating. Parents can join a cooking class for adults or even participate in the same class with their kids.
The world-class Le Cordon Bleu trains iron chefsto- be with hands-on cooking activities. The Young Chefs Cooking Programme runs six days in total. In it, kids (aged 12 to 15) learn basic cooking and baking techniques as well as a food presentation and styling techniques.
It goes without saying that kids love sweets. Imagine how cool it would be for your petite baker to mould real cupcakes from flour instead of Plasticine. Workshops for children and teens at L’école Bangkok Cooking School serve up fun-filled lessons on topics as varied as pastries and Thai cuisine. In the pastries class, they’ll learn to make brownie lollipops, pop cakes, lemon tarts — you name it.
Performance and Art Classes
Not a baker? Not a problem. Sharpen and encourage your kids’ aesthetic skills through art and music classes that match their talents and interests. Many art venues offer kids’ classes and workshops, such as La Lanta Fine Art, Studio Miu, and Attic Studios. There are as many dancing schools for kids as there are art classes, running the gamut from contemporary dance to jazz and ballet.
At Dance in Bangkok, instructors help nurture young Pavlovas and Baryshnikovs. But this school has a few tricks up its sleeve. It’s also famous for its contemporary dance and jazz classes.
The Little Gym, on the other hand, focusses on physical development in children aged 3 to 12. Age-proper gymnastic and karate classes allow kids to increase flexibility and strength.
Can’t decide the best leisure activities for your little loved ones — dance or gymnastics? How about a place where play, music, and art unite? Gymboree offers tailored activities that help children develop the cognitive, physical, and social skills as they play. This is an especially good place for school preparation for kids aged under fiveyears- old.
The first one-stop service for “edutainment,” Juno Park, combines a learning centre, day care, playground, and museum with arts and craft, cooking, science, language, and culture classes under one roof, developing emotions and motor skills in one fell swoop.
Recreation and Outdoor Fun
High-energy kids often grow tired of sitting in a classroom. Who doesn’t? That’s perfectly normal. In Bangkok, there are many distinct ways for your children to show off their potential and aptitude, and not all of them require a desk and uniform.
Grab the helmet and hit the road at Easy Kart, the biggest indoor go kart circuit in Bangkok. Children and adults aged eight and up can grab the wheel like a race car driver — which is much healthier than gripping theiPad all day — in a safe environment, under the watchful eye of professionals.
Apart from driving, swimming is another survival skill that requires practice, practice, practice (yes, driving is a survival skill here). At Lets Asia, the largest international swimming school in Thailand, kids and parents can sign up for a variety of swimming lessons, including maternity swimming classes, swimming galas, aqua-aerobics, and aquathlon, which, for the uninitiated, is like a triathlon, but consisting of swim-run-swim rather than swim-bike-run.
If go karts and aqua sports aren’t your thing, check out the latest live game capturing the city’s attention. The Escape Hunt, guaranteed by more branches around the world than any other company, offers a unique form of adventure best experienced with family and friends. Here, you play the part of a famous London detective trapped in a room where a crime was committed. You have to solve the mystery in order to get out of the room. Sound easy? It isn’t. This interactive puzzle game helps strengthen teambuilding ability in kids as well as adults.
At Kidzania, role playing takes a larger part of the picture. Here, your kids can be whatever they want to be. In this mini city, kids choose an occupation, performing their jobs and earning kidZos, KidZania’s currency.There are more than 60 roles to choose from, each taking about 25 minutes to complete. Your child could be a news reporter in the morning, a baker before lunch, and a pilot in the afternoon. Role playing helps develop essential life skills, from money management to social skills and decision-making.
There’s nothing wrong with spending time with family at home. It’s convenient, comfortable, and mostly costfree. But it’s more exciting to explore the world with the ones you love. So head out the door, slip on your shoes, grab your sense of adventure, and make it count.
• A Little Something
• Dance in Bangkok
• Easy Kart
• Juno Park
• Le Cordon Bleu
• L’école Bangkok Cooking School
• Lets Asia
• The Escape Hunt
• The Little Gym