Enrichment Centres – which is the best and when is it too much?

7 Jan
That is Aufa driving his Taxi Mum in his Duplo Race Car from Kids Creative Hour. Photo by Ariffin Aris Visuals.

That is Aufa driving his Taxi Mum in his Duplo Race Car from Kids Creative Hour. Photo by Ariffin Aris Visuals.

I’m officially a Taxi Mom today and I’m pretty happy and proud of it. It is Aufa’s first day at kindergarten and the return of my structured life, a bit. At least I have that solid 3.5 uninterrupted-hours to do some work online and gather some thoughts. I hope that Aufa will have fun making new friends, play with them, learn new things and of course become a better khalifah than his parents. Even at this stage, I’m already thinking of what are the additional classes I can enroll him in to keep his active mind occupied and nurture his talents.

Alif with his Rainforest theme Duplo from Kids Creative Hour. Photo by Ariffin Aris Visuals.

Alif with his Rainforest theme Duplo from Kids Creative Hour. Photo by Ariffin Aris Visuals.

I’ve heard and checked out a few of these enrichment centers around Klang Valley like the swimming class, Kids Creative Hour, Children’s Technology Workshop, Enopi, Kumon, Kiddo Science, Computertots, Tweedlewinks, Yamaha Music School, Beethoven Music World, Julia Gabriel, Allen Morris and the list goes on. Gosh, children nowadays are getting smarter and very talented. Recently Aufa & I attended a children’s show called Bites of Delights and I personally find the show to be simply outstanding! Two thumbs up! These children were very confident to play their own musical instruments, act, dance and sing. I learn how to play organ at Yamaha Music School since I was 7 years-old, I was in a few choir teams throughout my primary school and performed locally as well as in overseas. It was a lot of hardwork and very challenging, therefore Bites of Delights standard is so much higher than what I was into during my time.

Aufa testing his wind understanding by putting his  Duplo fan project in front of an electric fan during his class at Kids Creative Hour. Photo by Ariffin Aris Visuals.

Aufa testing his wind understanding by putting his Duplo fan project in front of an electric fan during his class at Kids Creative Hour. Photo by Ariffin Aris Visuals.

Since Aufa will only be turning 5 this October and Ayfaa 2 this July, I thought of taking it easy on them. Firstly, we’ll take them swimming weekly or whenever we can. One way of stimulating their brains and coordinate their physical movements. Secondly will be encouraging them to play with their Junior Engineer set by Gigo and Lego sets. We shall leave the music and drama classes later when they turn 7 years-old perhaps? So which is the best option? Kids Creative Hour and Children’s Technology Workshop use Duplo & Lego as part of their activity. Children are exposed to physics concept and building machine & structure projects as well as robotics using Lego. CTW has been operating for several years in Bangsar & some international schools and uses computer softwares to complement their syllabus. They have their 1-hour weekly classes while Kids Creative Hour, which has just been established late last year only runs monthly program currently. KCH’s 4-hour session not only uses Lego to conduct physics experiments, explore children’s creativity and imagination through its Theme Lego range it also apply Toddler Yoga exercise to streamline the children’s brain focus energy as well as physical coordination. They are also encouraged to speak in-front of their friends and share about their latest creation from Lego bricks.

Arif and Hadya testing their understanding of wind power by running with their Duplo Fan during the class at Kids Creative Hour. Photos by Ariffin Aris Visuals.

Arif and Hadya testing their understanding of wind power by running with their Duplo Fan during their class at Kids Creative Hour. Photos by Ariffin Aris Visuals.

Kiddo Science is fun too as they conduct a lot of simple experiments and they offer art class there. We went for a one-on-one ukelele trial class at Beethoven Music World in Empire. My conclusion is it was either Aufa’s low attention span or the trainer could not engage with a 4 year-old. He ended up playing ukelele for 30 minutes and the drums for another 30 minutes. The trainer was not enthusiastic anyway. We also went for Tweedlewink in Puchong trial class. An enrichment centre to stimulate your right brain. I like the place with all their learning tools. It looks and feels fun to be there where within 45-minutes, a child will be taught counting, general knowledge, language, IQ, music, geography & fine-motor skills.

Which is the best? I really do not know but I strongly believe that one should bring along their children for a trial class to see if it fits them or not. When is it too much? When the children are not showing any more interest in their classes and they simply look burnt out by the end of the day. Perhaps I should start enrolling into classes myself this year. What would you suggest?

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