Abrakadoodle is the pioneer art school in Singapore where children learn about famous artists and try to replicate their styles of painting. Indeed learning from best practices sets the benchmark for effective learning, even for adults. Abrakadoodle’s art syllabus is customized to bite-size nuggets, easy for young kids to comprehend, apply and retain the knowledge. When Dana was a pre-schooler, we spent many fond Saturday mornings at Abrakadoodle’s studio where she dabbled in kiddie art lessons. From there, she progressed to attending their fun thematic camps during school holidays. Many of her art pieces (framed in trademark Abrakadoodle style) still proudly adorn the walls in our home today.
I had not planned to throw a party this year but we thought it might be nice to meet her Primary One classmates who have contributed to her smooth assimilation to Primary School. With hectic workload and additional parenting duties (of an active baby boy), I knew I would not be able to plan a party from scratch like past years. But I do want the kids to enjoy themselves and go home feeling it was an awesome party.
Abrakadoodle came to mind. Their birthday parties are a god-send for busy parents. All we have to do was to determine the guests list, decide on the studio location (from among their 3 studios in Singapore: Cluny Court at Bukit Timah, Laguna Park at Marina Parade and YOHA@Jurong). We had picked their newest branch at YOHA@Jurong for the party as their studio is spacious and brightly lit with two party rooms which can be combined to accommodate larger parties. There are also ample free parking and the studio is easily accessible via PIE. This year, with Dana’s ready consent, we requested that our guests make a donation (in cash, cheque or Popular/NTUC vouchers) to the Chen Su Lan Methodist Home in lieu of presents for the Birthday Girl so that we can bless the needy children on this happy occasion. It’s a great reminder for our kids that they are so blessed to have a family to love them and they are privileged to celebrate their birthdays in the company of friends.
Being a patriotic family, we wanted a party theme in line with the SG50 celebrations so we proposed a mini ‘Britto’ lesson where the kids would learn to draw and paint a Merlion Britto style. With these decisions made, all we had to do were to turn up on the party day and let the capable Abrakadoodle team run the entire show. An Abrakadoodle party typically lasts for 2 hours. The first half an hour was spent playing fun ice-breaker games which brought squeals of laughter. The kids were treated to simple face painting while waiting for the party to start.
The games were immediately followed by an hour of art work on the chosen theme. The children were grouped into smaller groups of 6 where they worked on their Britto art piece, under the guidance of the Abrakadoodle teachers. The kids were engrossed in their painting and everyone has a unique, creative interpretation of how they want their Merlion to turn out.
Once the paintings are done, it’s cake cutting and refreshment time. Party hosts are allowed to bring in a cake and simple finger food so instead of stressing ourselves over elaborate dessert tables (which I love), we catered boxes Delifrance’s party packs and had them deliver to the art studio: macarons, croissant egg and tuna sandwiches, pizzas, fruit tarts, eclairs and madeleines. We also brought two Frozen-fever themed cakes from Breadtalk, homemade rainbow coloured jellies and ribena drink. The spread, though simple, was a hit with the kids.
As an Abrakadoodle party host, we are entitled to a 20% discount off Crayola products so I utilized it to buy party favors and packaged them neatly in a personalised mini suitcase for Dana’s friends. Abrakadoodle was also very generous to add to our goody box a SGD20 voucher which can be used to offset any art camp or class fee at the YOHA@Jurong branch. This is over and above the artwork which they brought home after the party.
What we like about an Abrakadoodle Birthday Party:
1. It’s fuss free and takes away the stress of party planning from time-starved parents. Parents need not worry about booking a party venue, hiring entertainers or planning the games at all. Even party decor are kept simple with a banner and balloons (supplied by the studio)!
2. It’s a drop off party which gives parents 2 hours of precious time to do what they like while their kids are meaningfully entertained.
3. The party programme is child-centric and age-appropriate. Every child also brings home their cherished masterpiece, nicely framed and labelled.
4. We get to choose from a range of sample art themes (ranging from impressionist artists like Monet or Renoir to modelling clay and action painting). There are many art themes suitable for younger kids as well. Party themes are also customisable.
5. The party is fun and engaging (with games, face painting and art education packaged into 2 hours). Many of Dana’s classmates’ parents texted to thank us for the invitation and said their girls had a blast.
7. The teachers are very patient with the kids and even help to host the birthday song and cake cutting segment.
8. We have the flexibility to bring in our own party food or let the Abrakadoodle team handle the catering for us (if we wish).
9. The birthday child receives a free Abrakadoodle Tee which makes him/her feel even more special.
10. There is an educational slant to the partying. The kids go home picking up a new art style or learning more about a renowned artist.
A birthday celebration is only as successful as the smiles on the kids’ faces. After the party, Dana came to us and said, ‘Daddy, Mommy, thank you. I had such an awesome time’. Thank you Abrakadoodle for making Dana’s 7th Birthday a memorable one!
Abrakadoodle Art Studio for Kids (Jurong):
Disclaimer: This party was partially sponsored by Abrakadoodle for the purposes of this review. All photos and opinions are, as usual, ours.