Kids Gallery Singapore opened its doors on November 2010. It was originally founded in Hong Kong in 1996 as a unique concept in arts enrichment education for children. Today, Kids’ Gallery operates centres in Hong Kong, and partners in Singapore, China and India. In a short span of 3 years, Kids Gallery Singapore catapulted itself to become a leading Kids Arts School which offers a comprehensive Creative and Language Arts Curriculum aimed at arousing a deep interest and developing creativity & arts appreciation among children of all ages.
|Credit: Kids Gallery FB|
Dana attended their November Holiday Programme last week. Here are 5 reasons why we highly recommend Kids Gallery.
1. Attractive Info-Graphics and Interesting Themes
Their e-newsletters and publicity materials are very well-designed and attractive. Being someone with a keen sense of aesthetics, I am drawn to companies who devote time and resources to market their services and programmes well. Kids Gallery also engages their fans on social media (such as blog and Facebook) so internet savvy parents like me can get quick updates of their new offerings regularly. I like the creative themes they offer during each School Holiday. For the month of Nov/Dec, a whole series of interesting lessons are centred around the theme of gardening fundamentals which teach kids to appreciate the wondrous world of Nature around us.
November/December 2013 (Ongoing) – Step Into My Backyard Garden
|Nov-Dec 2013: Step Into My Backyard Garden|
|Oct 2013: The Sorcerers’ Halloween Party|
2. Big, Clean Classrooms in the heart of town!
I love the premise the moment I stepped in. It’s spacious, clean and well-decorated with artwork and photographs of happy kids in their various programmes. The class size is kept small (max of 10 children to 2 teachers) and kids go to different rooms for different activities. They have a Musical Theatre room, a cookery room and even a room for the full day kids to take their afternoon naps! Being situated in Ngee Ann City also makes it convenient for parents to run errands (or simply catch up on some ‘me’ time to chill out at a cafe or get some shopping or reading done) while waiting to pick up the kids.
|The facade of the school|
3. Cheerful, vibrant and creative bunch of teachers
The teachers here are young, enthusiastic and full of energy. There is an English Teacher and a Chinese Teacher attached to each class so kids have bilingual lessons daily even during the Holiday Camps. All their teachers are full-timers so a consistent quality of instruction is assured (some other enrichment centers we’ve been to engaged part-timers to run their holiday programmes which can be disastrous). Apart from their regular teaching duties, the teachers (and their Director, Ms Eileen Yeo herself) volunteer at the Children Cancer Foundation at KKH every fortnight as part of their CSR (corporate social responsibility) outreach. For this reason alone, they have won my respect and admiration.
4. Fun Multiple-Intelligences Approach
Although this was not explicitly stated in their collateral, it didn’t take me too long to notice that Kids Gallery incorporates lots of activities which promote Multiple Intelligences in their lessons. The children not only learn about the origins, names and uses of Herbs & Spices through storybook, songs and pictures. They got the chance to taste, smell, touch, paint, craft, draw, read poetry and even whip up yummy dishes with the herbs! They also went on an informative guided tour to Oh’s Farm where Dana bravely held a stick insect! I’ve never come across a Holiday Programme that is so all-encompassing. It’s no wonder Dana enjoyed herself tremendously this past week.
Some of the Multiple-Intelligences I’ve observed in this camp include:
A) Verbal/Linguistic Intelligences and Logical/Mathematical Intelligences
Kids learnt that Herbs & Spices can be found anywhere even from the flower, branches, leaves and even the bark of the tree! Herbs & Spices can be used for cooking and medicinal purposes. Some can even be distilled into oils. Dana came home quizzing me the Chinese names of these Herbs & Spices which she learnt in class, impressive!
芦荟AloeVera 海带 Kelp 海苔 Seaweed
桂皮 Cinnamon 八角 Star Anise 薄荷 Mint
陆地 Land 海洋 Ocean 沙漠 Desert
They categorised many types of herbs and spices using the 26 letters from A-Z into a “The Yummy Alphabet Book”.
A – Anise Seed B – Basil C – Cinnamon D – Dill E – Eucalyptus F – Fennel G– Ginger and the list goes on!
B) Visual/Spatial Intelligences, Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligences
Kids were encouraged to explore Herbs & Spices using their five sesnses. They tasted mint (in tiny chocolate mints), Herbal Tea Jelly, Seaweed and Cinnamon Sugar (which was the yummiest of the lot!) They touched Sea Kelp and Aloe Vera (which Dana claimed to smoothen the skin and insisted that I buy Aloe Vera from the supermarket too). They inhaled various pure grade essential oils supplied by the Kids Gallery Teachers and try to guess what scents they were.
|Touching a Kelp for the first time!|
|Dana brought some of Mommy’s Young Living Essential Oils for spontaneous Show & Tell.|
|Kids have to guess what herb the oils were made of after taking a sniff..|
Kids made Potpourri from scratch using fresh roses which were then put into very lovely burlap bags made by the kids themselves. They also concocted their own Natural Bug Spray using citronella oil which smelled so good and authentic! After each day’s cookery session, they would decorate a recipe which was compiled into a Recipe Booklet. They painted a cardboard Recipe Holder to store their booklet. Dana enjoyed the cookery sessions the most. Some of the recipes they cook in class were: Fruit Smoothie with Peppermint, Avocado & Herb Dip, Garlic Herb Bread, Chinese Tea Leaf Hard Boiled Egg and No-bake Cinnamon Roll! How fun!
|Making her first Avocado dip here which tastes so good!|
|So fun to make your own rose-scented potpourri!|
|Dana loves the natural citronella bug repellant that she made in class!|
C) Naturalist Intelligences and Interpersonal Intelligences
Kids were brought on a half-day excursion to Oh’s Farm on the fourth day of the camp. Dana held the Stick Insect while waiting for the guided tour to commence. It was like a culinary tour for little chefs as kids got to taste many herbs straight from the plant itself such as Tarragon, Singapore Ribena (Roselle), Thai Basil, Lemon Balm, Rosemary, Lemongrass and Spearmint! It was such an educational tour.
|Asking questions during the interactive guided tour!|
|Happy Campers at the Farm!|
|Snapshots from the Excursion!|
5. Prompt Feedback and Pride in Follow-up
This is one of the rare Holiday Programmes where a comprehensive newsletter is lovingly compiled and emailed to parents within a week after the completion of the camp. The newsletter gave us a glimpse into the activities that were conducted and a peep into how much fun the kids had. Kudos to the Kids Gallery team for being so efficient and dedicated. I guess this is what really sets Kids Gallery apart from other enrichment providers – the sense of pride in making sure every kid benefits from their programme and going the extra mile to involve the parents in their child’s learning journey. One other value-added service they provide which was very thoughtful is the teachers are able to pick your child from Ngee Ann City’s Tower B Ground Floor Lobby. This saves parents the hassle of having to find a parking lot just to send them up to the school (on the 13th storey).
|Our little Kids Gallery Horticulturist!|
Kids Gallery Singapore also offers regular enrichment programmes in these areas:
Early Learners, Communication Arts , Star English , Performing Arts and Visual Art. Do check out their website for more information.
This has been one of the most enjoyable and educational Holiday Programmes Dana has attended. If your children are free this school holidays, do send them to these Dec/Jan camps at Kids Gallery! We were told that for camps in December, kids get to put up a Christmas Carolling performance at Kinokuniya Book Store (in the same building!). So cool isn’t it? You’ll be pleased to know you can hold kids’ birthday parties at Kids Gallery too. Call them at 6235 5993 to inquire.
Kids Gallery Singapore
Telephone: 65 6235 5993
Opening Hours: Wed to Sun 930am to 630pm. Closed on Mon, Tues and Public Holidays.