Fun programmes for kids that promote healthy bodies and healthy minds.
Described as a blend of ballet, gymnastics, dance, and apparatus manipulation (club, hoop, ball, ribbon and rope), this sport has a little bit of everything and is about as close as you can get to structured goofing off. Universe Gymnastics, led by Russian pro Olga Balachina, started in Phuket but began Bangkok classes in 2016 (trial classes are just B300). Last year, they expanded the programme to include a toddler groups for kids three to six years.
Health is more than just skin deep, and overall holistic wellness starts in the mind. Mindfulness for Children is based on the serene shores of Pranburi, in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, and organises group and private meditation classes for kids (ages 7-11) and teens (12 and up) to help cultivate awareness, calmness, and kindness. Check the website for prices and schedules.
Coax out your kids’ inner Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant with classes for kids at Top Flight. Children aged 3-15 can attend the weekend workshops, with programmes aimed at understanding the game and enhancing fundamental basketball skills. Kids learn the value of teamwork and sportsmanship while having a “ball”. Saturday classes start from B6,000 for 10 sessions, and Sunday classes from B7,200 for 12 sessions.
Walking the walk has never looked so cool. Parkour is a training discipline that turns everyday life into a fun-to-navigate obstacle course, and improves overall fitness using bodyweight resistance and running, climbing, swinging, vaulting,and rolling. Asia Parkour’s ‘Ninja Kids’ programme teaches children aged between 6 and 15 years old that jumping around is a sport that can rev up those motor skills. Prices for drop-in classes are just B550.
Outdoor play is key in nurturing a child’s individual strengths. Schools with environmental education programmes score higher on standardised tests in math, reading, writing, and listening, and it is good for the spirit too—stress levels fall within minutes of kids seeing green spaces. “Kids thrive in the great outdoors,” says Merritt Gurley, director of Thailand Summer Camps, a sleepaway adventure camp for kids aged between 7 and 16, set in the lush forests of KhaoYai.
Noticing a lack of environmental education options for kids in Bangkok, Merritt teamed up with the experts at the Wild Planet—an activities provider who has worked with international schools on field trips and excursions for more than 20 years—to launch a summer camp at Wild Lodge, the organisation’s picturesque eco-adventure centre. The location is just a three-hour drive from Bangkok, but the lush setting feelsworlds away from the bustle of the city. Camps run from Monday to Friday, offering activities centred on outdoor play, such as archery, cycling, rock-climbing, zip-lining, swimming, canoeing, and whitewater rafting.