3 Educational and Fun Playdates with Your Kid
A few weeks back, I had a conversation with my parents and their parent-friends. They were really worried about the fact that their young son found it difficult to sit still and focus in school; more than being worried about the rat race that schools tend to entail, they were more concerned about the fact that their son wasn’t actually learning anything in school. My parents have the same concern regarding my younger brother. Contrary to him, I was a hard-working, conscientious kid — I went to school, did my work, asked for tuition classes when needed, and genuinely enjoyed learning, be it in a classroom setting or elsewhere. Now, as a schooling adult, my parents obviously don’t need to worry about me. My brother, though? Not the same. He is nowhere similar to the child I was, and this has my parents absolutely worried sick, because this was not what they had expected.
Here’s what I told them: if there’s anything 18 years of schooling has taught me, it’s the fact that kids don’t learn in the same way. And I know it absolutely stresses Singaporean parents when their child doesn’t concentrate in school, but trust me when I say each kid will find their way. It may be early, or it may be late, but educationally, there will be a spark for a certain subject in your child. Once that spark appears, all you have to do is let that spark grow and let your child ride the flame.
On the other hand, many parents aren’t focusing on the education that is essential. Teaching your kids to be curious, to be kind-hearted, to be gentle and respectful. These are important things that parents have to be conscientious about. Because children will grow up to be adults who are passionate about one thing or the other, and schools will do their best to help your child develop academically, but if your child lacks the curiosity and drive, or respect for teachers and education, there’s where the issue will lie.
“You need to create a drive for knowledge in them, and develop them into socially-acceptable adults,” is what I told them. “If you can figure that out, you really don’t need to worry anymore. I see you guys and other parents get absolutely burdened by the academic progress of your child, but as adults yourselves, you need to give both your child and yourself some space. Remember, all you’re doing is helping you child become an adult.”
“What do you suggest, then?” The two pairs of parents asked me, which was valid. There was no legitimacy to my advice if I didn’t have solutions to their very pressing query. And this is what I think: leave the rote learning and competitive schooling to their actual schools. Instead, make them excited about learning and socialising with their environment. How can you do that? With super-fun, educational playdates, of course!
Singapore has extensive resources to let your child do some hands-on learning while having a blast, and it’s time I bring these to light so that you can exploit all the resources you have.
1. Explore their curiosity at the Science Centre.
In schools, many children give up on sciences when they find they don’t have an affinity for it. However, academic scientific explorations hardly escape the realm of textbooks and YouTube videos. Venues like the Science Centre, though, provide so many avenues for your child to be immersed in the interactive world of science, and have fun while doing so! The Science Centre consistently puts up various exhibitions, so you can always cater your outings to what you think might interest your child. Initiatives likes KidSTOP activities from the organisation are especially catered to interest and attend to your child, so you can sign them up for those too! Let your child experiment and discover a world beyond, and be entertained at the same time.
2. Bond and enjoy over Art-Jamming sessions.
We’re not oblivious to the fact that art is beneficial for children: fostering creativity in your child gives way to mental, social, and emotional development. By letting them run wild and free in art sessions, a child’s ability to analyse and problem-solve has high chances of being more honed. There are numerous places that offer art-jamming sessions in Singapore, so don’t hesitate to bring your child down to one! Refrain for interrupting their process or keeping an eye on the mess they make. Let them release all their creative vibes so that they learn development and projection of creativity without having to stifle it.
3. Expose them to multiple fields through various museums.
Other than science, there are so many more avenues that you could delve into with your child! From the interactive and hands-on exhibitions in ArtScience Museum to the Natural History Museum and the Air Force Museum, there are so many areas for you to discover with your child! There is an abundance of available, hands-on knowledge that will bring learning to another level for your child.
So, as school winds up, remember to take the occasional break with your child and teach them the joy of learning! Before you and your child start getting too worried and frenzied under the formal education system, don’t forget that there are many ways for your child to learn and develop!