From coding to cooking and smartphone filmmaking, these seven enrichment classes teach your kids skills that can come in handy throughout their lives.
Enrichment classes can be so much more than just thinly disguised attempts to get your kids to undergo extra lessons during their holidays so they can get a better score in Maths or Chemistry when school starts up again.
Instead of adding yet more stress into the highly competitive lives of today’s schoolchildren, why not send them to pick up a new hobby, or life skills that they can actually put to good use for life?
The next time you’re thinking of sending your children for holiday courses, consider these seven enrichment classes that impart useful, lifelong skills.
7 enrichment classes to teach your children useful new skills that can serve them for a lifetime
|Enrichment class||Skills taught||Recommended ages||Duration and Cost|
|2-hour E-learning Coding Workshop by Coding Lab||Software coding, problem solving||7 to 12||S$55 per session (2 hours)|
|Dance Classes by Centre Stage (School of the Arts)||Ballet, Hip-hop, Jazz, Contemporary dance, Tap||Toddlers to 13+||From S$40 for 45 mins|
|Aikido by AikiForest||Aikido (Japanese martial art)||4 to 15||S$256 for 8 sessions|
|Culinary Boot Camp by Food Playground||Food preparation, handling and cooking||7 to 10, 11 to 15||From S$260 for 2 half-days|
|Speed Reading Camp for Kids||Speed reading and comprehension skills||10 to 14||US$80 for 5 sessions|
|Filmmaking 101: How to Make a Movie with Your Smartphone||Script, plan, shoot and edit a movie from start to finish||8 to 12||US$70 for 5 sessions|
|Let’s Talk: Conversation Skills for Introverts||Conversational skills, how to navigate awkward situations, planning what to say reading verbal and non-verbal cues||12 to 17||US$130 for 4 sessions|
2-hour E-learning Coding Workshops by Coding Lab
With algorithms, apps and AI creeping into everyday life, it is increasingly important for your children to know how to code. It’s going to be one of those essential skills that employers will take for granted, just like how children of the 80s were expected to know how to use Microsoft Office when they entered the workforce.
So, if you haven’t already, why not sign your kids up for an introductory coding course by Coding Lab?
Lasting just two hours and conducted as a live session online, this is a convenient, safe and cost-effective way to introduce young children to the basics of coding.
Each themed workshop can be consumed on its own, or you can sign up for multiple sessions for your child to further hone their skills.
Coding is a useful skill that also teaches problem solving, logic and other important capabilities, so if your kids have the interest and aptitude, learning coding can prove beneficial, especially over the long run.
Dance Classes by Centre Stage (School of the Arts)
Location: Block 15 Woking Road, Singapore, 138694
Tel: 6732 7211
Recommended age: Toddlers to 13+
Duration: 45 mins to 90 mins (depending on class)
Cost: S$40 for 45 mins, S$45 for 60 mins, S$55 for 75 mins, S$65 for 90 mins
Dance is a multifaceted activity that can positively impact your children in so many different areas.
It is a great way to learn movement and control, develop physical strength and agility, and is a healthy outlet for self-expression and to burn off all that youthful excess energy. But above all, it’s fun!
Centre Stage at School of the Arts holds several dance classes especially for kids, with a rich selection of different dance styles and instruction levels to cater to learners of all ages – from toddlers all the way up to tweens.
This is a proper school following classical teaching methods, so rest assured your kid will learn how to dance properly. Whether it be ballet, jazz, hip-hop or contemporary, your children will build a strong foundation that could benefit them well into adulthood.
Aikido by AikiForest
While they’re a popular option for enrichment classes, many martial arts are confrontational and combative, which may not suit the temperament of some children or your parenting goals.
Aikido is a Japanese martial art that teaches your children self-defense, neutralising an opponent through control instead of hitting back.
This difference in approach stems from the martial art’s underlying philosophy, which emphasises harmony and peacefulness.
Consequently, Aikido practitioners tend to develop a flexible mindset that seeks to overcome adversity through self-development. In practice, this cultivates values of confidence, self-worth, mutual respect and discipline.
In terms of physicality, consistent practice will help your kids to develop mind-body coordination, balance and flexibility, while a focus on not doing harm will help them develop control and restraint.
Culinary Boot Camp by Food Playground
Cooking is an essential life skill that anyone can and should master. It is also an enjoyable way for children and teens to learn about proper food hygiene and safety, learn different cooking techniques, and enjoy the rewarding feeling of creating something through their own efforts.
For the upcoming school holidays, consider sending your children to Food Playground to participate in a cooking class or two.
Start your children off on the right foot with the Culinary Boot Camp, which is designed to take participants through food handling, preparation, how to read and follow a recipe, and all the way to cooking and serving.
Choose from the Junior Culinary Boot Camp, which caters to children aged between seven to 10, or the Teens Culinary Boot Camp (11 to 15 years). Both boot camps take place over two days, teaches a total of four recipes each, and awards a certificate at the end.
Speed Reading Camp for Kids
Recommended age: 10 to 14
Cost: US$80 for 5 sessions (30 mins each)
Speed-reading is not just a fancy party trick. It is a valuable life skill that helps your children cut down time and effort spent on school-assigned reading, while increasing comprehension skills.
As a result, children who are able to speed-read can spend less time on homework, score better on comprehension tests, and be able to absorb information far quicker then their peers.
Even better, this skill can be taught in as short as five days, although consistent practice is crucial in increasing one’s proficiency with the skill.
Let your children learn speed-reading and you’ll have armed them with a useful tool that will give them an edge for life.
Filmmaking 101: How to Make a Movie with Your Smartphone
Recommended age: 8 to 12
Cost: US$70 for 5 sessions (60 mins each)
Here’s one for the budding movie director in your home.
In this comprehensive yet concise online course, participants will learn how to script, film and edit a complete movie – using only a smartphone.
Starting with an introduction of screenplay format and script development, the five-day course covers all the essentials such as storyboarding, shooting, lighting, sound and editing. Along the way, your children will also learn about smartphone filming techniques, the various apps they can use, and also learn how to enhance their shots with optional equipment and tools.
Conducted in an interactive manner, participants are encouraged to share opinions and ideas, while also helping each other with assignments. The ultimate goal is to produce a finished movie of at least two minutes runtime by the end of the workshop.
Let’s Talk: Conversation Skills for Introverts
Recommended age: 12 to 17
Cost: US$130 for 4 sessions (60 mins each)
Is your tween getting to that age where she’s sullen and moody? Or is she keeping to herself because she’s having trouble making friends in a new environment?
No matter the cause, teaching your children conversational skills can help them be more confident and open when navigating potentially awkward social situations, such as when transiting from primary to secondary school.
Using a combination of observation, role-play and frank discussion in a judgment-free environment, your children can learn that it is ok to feel at a loss for words, and that it is a common experience that happens to everyone sometimes.
They can also learn how to identify verbal and non-verbal cues, how to keep up the flow of a conversation, as well as choosing appropriate topics, tone and words. Additionally, participants will also have opportunities to learn about conversation opener and closers, as well as carry out conservation practice.
Beyond navigating the social landmine that is the teenage years, learning good conversational skills will also come in handy throughout adulthood (think job interviews) and beyond.
Save up for your child’s education with the right savings account(s). Check out the best ones for you and your family here.
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By Alevin Chan
An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.