Discover Me Multi-Activity Holiday Camp (held in Jun 2017) was 5 days of fun, laughter, sweat, tears (only a little) and lots of all-encompassing learning. Different theme of the day allows the Discoverers (5 years old) and Explorers (6-12 years old) the opportunity to discover their passions and interests. I am so happy that Jaden got to experience his first drop-off “summer” camp and here is our run-down of the 10 fun-filled activities – ranging from working the brain to the body!
Day 1 – One With Nature (Photography & Yoga)
The week starts with an appreciation for the healing power of nature. The Little Discoverers explored their creative side with photography tips from Panoramic Kids, learned yoga from Rainbow Child and discovered barre with Called to the Barre.
With Panaromic Kids, the kids were given a basic lesson of photography by Teacher Angeline Tang. Through worksheets and hands-on use of digital camera, the lesson covers the basics in photography composition – perspective and focus, concepts of light and dark lighting, macro and micro photography, angles and camera orientation.
They were very excited when each of them was handed their very own point-and-shoot camera! The kids headed outdoor to Hort Park and tried to apply their classroom knowledge in the garden. You should be seeing the wonder in the kids eyes when they realise that they can create something on their own and with their own hands. At the end of the camp, Ms Tang shared a DVD filled with photos captured by the Discoverers and Explorers and also a printed photo of the Best Captured Photo by each child. Jaden captured a beautiful shot of a flower 🙂
About Panoramic Kids – Founded in 2015 by Angeline with the idea of providing children from 4-12 years old an outlet to storytelling, where children are able to tell a story from their perspective and makes a connection via the viewfinder. The creation tells a story of beauty, love, emotion in every form. Teaching since 2007, Angeline has run both photography and stop-motion animation courses for various primary and secondary schools. Angeline classes provides each child a DSLR and it has proven that children learn quicker and enjoy the independence of moving around.
After lunch, it’s yoga time with Rainbow Child! The 1-hour yoga class was structured in a fun, interactive and musical way and the Discoverers embarked on an adventure venturing into natural elements of the earth, land and sea. There were mindful activities that encouraged self-awareness and yoga poses, and partner-poses that encourage group bonding and cooperation. This is meant to be challenging for the kids but not overwhelming them.
With Called to the Barre, the kids were introduced to barre. For most of them, it was their first-time and they were so excited to learn the principles that combines yoga, pilates, dance and sports too! They were asked to catch and throw balls with their partners while stretching and mimicking various ballet poses.
I was told by the instructors that Jaden was too tired in the afternoon and decided to take a nap *gasp*! Eventually, he did manage to do a fantastic wheel pose under the great guidance from the instructors. Good job 🙂
About Rainbow Child Yoga – Founded in 2011, Rainbow Child Yoga is a a children yoga programmes and all related activity to honor and develop the child inner creativity and spirit which are inherent there. Inspired by Radiant Child Yoga, Art Therapy and holistic early childhood development towards providing this sanctuary space and connectivity with their body, mind and spirit.
About Called to the Barre – Called To The Barre is a boutique barre & yoga studio located along East Coast. It was founded on the fundamental values of encouraging a wellness focused lifestyle, which involves eating well, moving well and having fun! Focused on adult classes for all levels wanting to diversify or challenge themselves further (even pre and post-natal), the studio offers fun, energetic and flow based fitness workouts inspired by ballet, yoga, Pilates and functional training.
Day 2 – Building Their Future (Coding & Science Discovery)
On the second day of camp, Discover Me looks to the future. Everyone put on their thinking caps and embarked on learning the programming language Scratch with the award-winning team from Coding Lab and science invention with Whizz Kids.
The MIT-inspired learning by Coding Lab started the day with Ms Candice telling the familiar story of “Five Little Monkeys”. Immediately, the Discoverers knew the story and song. With an engaged audience, Ms Candice explained how the monkey moved in relation to the coding language of Stratch Jr – this is a step of developing logical thinking and problem-solving skills.
After that, worksheets were given to the kids to apply the newly learnt coding language and movements. The Discoverers were teamed in groups of 3’s to create their own interactive story and game with Stratch Jr using iPad. In the process, they learn to design and customise a character, express themselves creatively and design their own scenario and situation, and even record themselves as the characters!
He came home to show what he has learnt and we were very impressed at what he could create. Scratch Jr has became the first official parents-approved game that goes into our iPad.
About Coding Lab – Founded by MIT Alumnus who worked in Silicon Valley, the MIT-inspired curriculum challenges your child to develop computational thinking and problem-solving skills. Voted as Best Coding Curriculum 2016/16, Coding Lab pride themselves in providing the Coding Lab® Difference to all of their students, with their award-winning curriculum and high quality teaching, with a strong emphasis on inquiry- based learning and the application of key mathematical concepts. Coding Lab® offers programming classes for ages 4- 16 in Japan, Perth and Singapore.
Jaden loves invention and science. With Whizz Kids, he started off building simple structures with ice cream sticks and wooden pegs. He built a structure that resembles an apartment with a connecting bridge! Then, the kids moved on to building structures and items with more vulnerable items – raw spaghetti and marshmallows. Sounds easy and fun, but due to the flexible and soft nature of the items, it requires a little more thinking and planning.
Next was the highlight of the session, a rocket launcher! Jaden created his personalized rockets with a plastic bottle as the rocket body and cardboards as its flippers. Upon creating, he rushed outdoors to test his creation with his friends. Using scientific logic, Whizz Kidz explained the science behind water and air. By filling ¼ of the
bottle with water, jam in the cork to close the bottle opening, quickly pump air into the bottle, the pressure builds up so much (as the action has an equal and opposite reaction), the rocket shoots up in the sky!
Love these STEM activities as they encourages kids to use their logical and spatial intelligence to create and innovate. This is something I am hoping to recreate at home but simply lack of time and energy. One day!
About Whizz Kidz – Whizz Kidz takes the learning out of the classroom and into the real world – well, almost – by immersing students in an imaginary environment and story (think awesome online role playing games crossed with an educational agenda). Whether they are evil minions of a despotic scientist, or idealistic creators in an ancient era, students at Whizz Kidz will never feel a moment’s boredom as they pick up one concept after another under the guise of fun and games.
Day 3 – Fit Body, Fit Mind (All about Sports)
With Sports4Kids, Jaden started the day with football, where he learn how to dribble, kick, pass and shield. The new skills were put to test through an obstacle course activity, where the kids were tasked to dribble the ball
from cone to cone. I guess this is something very challenging for him but the coach made it so fun!
At the later part of the day, the kids did mini dodgeball and a wild-wet game of waterbomb! Anyone can tell that they had a ball from the pictures! The adrenalin of a win can be exhilarating, but sports are not just about
winning. The kids are encouraged to have fun with sports, as well as develop fundamental skills such as footwork and hands eye coordination, building up self-esteem and working as a team. So proud of Jaden!
About Sports4Kids – Founded by two coaches in Hong Kong before expanding into Singapore, Sport4Kids gives kids the opportunity to learn a range of skills while trying out many different sports in a fun, low-pressure environment, with the main emphasis on skill development and having FUN. Classes are conducted in a fun filled environment structured to build a foundation for the love of sports early on in life. The core philosophy at Sport4Kids is to encourage a sporting spirit, boost confidence and self esteem irrespective of a child’s level of competence. Sport4Kids has an army of amazing coaches who are not only well trained but go above and beyond by adding a touch of creativity to make learning fun. Sport4Kids coaches are carefully selected and all have a degree or equivalent in a sports related field. Every coach have completed the Sport4Kids coaching course, ensuring a consistency throughout all the classes they provide.
Day 4 – Creator’s Studio (Cooking and Pottery)
Jaden got his creative juices flowing focusing on tactile skills including cooking and pottery lessons. Working with The Little Things, he learnt to cook chicken soya sauce noodles and bake cinnamon buns. Center Pottery taught the basics of clay moulding and then encourage the kids to get artistic when choosing the colours for their pottery creations.
At The Little Things, the kids sat down to mix the batter and knead the dough for their cinnamon buns. Hard work making it from scratch, but these kids did it. While waiting for the buns to bake, Teacher Emily introduced them to the ingredients that would be in their Chicken Noodles. The curious kids took a whiff of raw onions and garlic and there were so many funny reactions!
During the clay pottery session, the kids were given clay and simple tools to construct their own ceramic ware. Under the guidance of the teachers from Center Pottery, Jaden got his hands dirty to create a little bowl. I love how all the kids were so creative and decorated their wares with clay petals and moulded 3D flowers!
About The Little Things Cooking Studio – Founded by Emily Yeo (ex- preschool educator and mum) and Valerie Lee (passionate home-cook & foodie), they wanted a new cooking school that intended to develop Self-Savvy™ individuals. Cooking, baking in the kitchen is a lacking skill amongst children and they want children to explore the world of food, ingredients and getting their hands dirty… and of course, to savour the fruit of their labour! While whipping up their feasts, children pick up the most crucial of skills – language, numeracy, science, problem-solving, working in teams and much, much more.
About Center Pottery – Founder of Center Pottery, Joan Huang, emphasizes on the importance of being creative with a purpose. This is echoed through pottery lessons. The process of creating a useful craft on our own is immensely therapeutic and satisfying, and she uses her knowledge to promote the benefits of pottery for mind health in Singapore. Classes are from 2 years old to adults of any age!
Day 5 – Expression of Mind (Art jamming and Forensic Science)
The last day started in high energy as Jaden was excited to start painting! This boy has a very keen interest in drawing and colouring (mainly with colour pencils and crayons) but I’ve yet introduced painting so I’m glad he learn something new.
Moses, founder of Little Art Connoisseur and Teacher Yi Fang started with teaching kids drawing, brush and painting techniques. The theme of the day was nature. The children were asked to recall the photography activity on the first day of the camp, and remember the bright and vivid colours of the flowers and outdoors. After which, children started drawing flowers, clouds, friends at the excursion and more on a canvas. They were guided closely on different strokes and mixture of colours.
Later in the day, the Discoverers brought out their inner Sherlock with their fun teachers from Whizz Kidz. The class started with a scenario, where Dr Franky needs help! His laboratory is a mess and he can’t keep staff for long. The kids were asked to solve his problems by being his junior scientists – and off they
went on a journey of chemistry and forensic science. Learning a topic as serious as forensics in a stimulating and enjoyable environment, will help enhance the child’s logical thinking, critical reasoning, observation power and problem solving skills.
About Little Art Connoisseur – Little Art Connoisseur is a Singapore-based Art Studio, offering Art Education & Training to Children, Teens, Young Adults & Adults as part of our major curriculum. Their curriculum stands strong on foundational practices and art history – designed in fun and engaging ways to cater to different age-groups! They hope and seek to develop the inner artist of every individual from within.
Overall, Jaden had so much fun within the 5 days. He comes home everyday physically tired, but always with a pair of gleaming eyes awaiting for new adventures on the next day.He’s made many new friends and even calls his instructors by the names! When it came to the last day, he was naturally a little sad. I’m sure when I show him these photos that I’ve put up, he will remember those happy times at Smarter Me Discovery Camp.
As for me, I am glad he had an enriching time. The camp organizers know that parents like me do not like to miss out on the fun, so they have been taking videos and pictures throughout the week to share with the parents. Not only this, Jaden comes home with his own little journal where he writes and draws what he has done during the week.
At the end of this journal, he also gave his own ratings for all the 10 activities he did. All full marks and extra marks for soccer, cooking and pottery (seriously, Jaden?) I think the activities he showed great interest in was photography, science invention and cooking. But that’s just my guess from the pictures.
The Smarter Me team also wrote down in their journal a combination of the teachers’ assessment of individual child and their strengths and weaknesses. I think their observations are spot-on and would definitely explore the possibility of enrolling Jaden into programmes they suggested based on the assessment. They have helped every young one in the camp discover more about themselves, so well done!
PS: We were also surprised about the Father’s Day craft he comes home with. The one that says “Because he lets me watch TV” when asked to complete the sentence “I love my daddy because….” *face palm haha!*
Smarter Me is a leading Singapore-based online platform founded by 3 parents who want to inspire their children with a variety of learning opportunities. It curates learning experiences for parents and children, uncovering experienced and dedicated educators to enable parents to find the best fit for their children, without needing to do all the research themselves. Smarter Me offers classes across academic, arts & lifestyle, music, dance, sports, language, culinary, science & technology and more. Users can search, book and pay online, while seamlessly communicating with instructors. Smarter Me takes pride in connecting parents with passionate, highly certified and qualified educators who can really make a difference in their child’s learning journey.