School holidays

Taking a shot at new skills in year-end break

Kids enjoy a Nerf gun shootout at indoor playground Kaboodle Kids, which aims to stimulate creativity in kids and engage their senses, among other things.
Kids enjoy a Nerf gun shootout at indoor playground Kaboodle Kids, which aims to stimulate creativity in kids and engage their senses, among other things.PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
At SG Code Campus, kids learn how to create real-world applications and build computer programs that solve practical problems.
At SG Code Campus, kids learn how to create real-world applications and build computer programs that solve practical problems.ST PHOTO: NIVASH JOYVIN

Kids learn coding, cooking and even have Nerf gun shootouts

The school holidays are not just for catching up on studies.

From coding lessons and cooking classes to Nerf gun shootouts and remote car-building workshops, there is a wide variety of activities to keep the young ones occupied during this year-end school break.

At Joyous Learning Enrichment and Tuition Centre, primary school children can discover the secret to crafting great speeches at a public speaking workshop or try their hand at building a remote control car from commonly available electronic parts.

Mr Adrian Kuek, the centre's dean, said such enrichment activities allow children to take a break, as well as pick up new skills and prepare for fresh challenges. For instance, participants at the public speaking workshop learn how to deliver speeches in situations such as a Direct School Admission interview or a public event.

"(These activities) allow kids to broaden their knowledge beyond their textbooks and have a bit of fun at the same time," he added.

Elsewhere, kids are attending coding classes as their parents believe that technological skills will be sought after in the future.

 
 

At SG Code Campus, over 100 students have taken coding lessons this holiday period. It now has a waiting list of at least 30 children.

The school in Parkway Centre offers holiday programmes to introduce kids to ideas in computer science and how to bring these concepts to life via the coding of video games and animations.

It also allows them to create real- world applications and build computer programs that solve practical problems.

Its co-founder, Mr Toh Ting Feng, said the sign-up rate shows the "tremendous value parents see in getting their kids exposed to coding at a young age". The school sees participants as young as seven.

"Some parents see these as opportunities for their child to develop a new skill over the holidays before the busy school term starts," he said.

For others, the holidays are for play. Ms Carolyn Wong recently sent her two boys, aged 10 and 12, for a Nerf shootout at indoor playground Kaboodle Kids, which aims to stimulate creativity in kids and engage their senses, among other things.

Ms Wong, 46, who is self-employed, said kids should have the space to sweat it out and enjoy themselves. "The kids like it. They get to run around and use their collection of Nerf guns," she added.

Ms Tan Mui Jin, the playground's founder, said such activities allow kids to explore and unwind.

She added: "Children can finally take the time to do what they do best, away from the stress and pressures of structured schooling."

EduFirst Learning Centre, which has four branches - in Hougang, Khatib, Sengkang and Yishun - offers programmes such as creative writing and cooking.

Ms May Choong, its centre manager, said: "(The holidays) are a good time for the kids to explore new interests. Parents want them to learn something different. After all, the kids have been studying for the entire year. It is time to try new things."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2016, with the headline 'Taking a shot at new skills in year-end break'. Print Edition | Subscribe