When the Standard Chartered Marathon takes place on Sunday, you’ll see, in addition to the sculpted calves pounding the pavement, several sets of chubby legs that belong to the newly-walking.
Within this group are Giselle Chin, three, and her sister Geraine, one, who are part of a seven-person, three-generation family team at the event. With them are their parents, their cousins Dax Chin, five, and Danelle Chin, one and a half, as well as their grandfather. Apart from taking part in the 10-kilometre run, their mum Jacqeline Wee will also be participating in the Kids’ Dash with the kids. While this will be Jacqeline’s first real run, young Dax and Giselle are old pros at the game, having taken part in at least three different runs for kids.
“They’ve already taken part in three runs since last year, the NTUC Run, the Standard Chartered Kids’ Dash last year (main picture above), and the Jurong Lake Run,” says Jacqeline. The 33-year-old, who works in the financial industry, credits her in-laws, whom the family live with, for her girls’ sporty abilities. The seniors are avid ballroom dancers so being active is part of their usual lifestyle. “We live in the east, and they often bring the girls to the East Coast Park to scoot and to cycle,” Jacqeline adds.
If the usual kind of exercise seems too much like work to you and the kids, why not try one of these below? They’re guaranteed to get kids (and parents too) moving – on water, on the dance floor, over steps, on a slackline, and even on a trampoline!
Have you ever met a five-year-old who was not a jumping bean? Me neither. That’s why we’re headed to Amped Trampoline Park as soon as possible. The little ones need to release some of that pumped-up energy and their mama, well, mums are welcome too! According to the good people at Amped, trampolining can help strengthen all the muscles from feet up to the stomach. “Strengthening of the muscles increases the metabolism and speeds up the burning of fat, while the cardiovascular workout helps in burning calories much faster and more efficiently,” it states on the website. You got us at “speeds up the burning of fat”. How does it work? Easy. Just climb on, jump, and keep going. Repeat till fatigued or high on that awesome springy feeling. Trampoline hours at Amped are divvied up into categories for ages 11 and under, 12 and older, and All Ages, so tiny tots don’t get accidentally trampled by boing-seeking aunties and uncles. Kids aged three and under must be parent-accompanied. Those between four and 11 years must have a parent on the premises. Socks are compulsory when on a trampoline.
From $9 to $15 per hour, per person, depending on the time chosen. See the calendar and booking form here.
Imagine walking, jumping, bouncing, and doing stunts (or even yoga!) on a giant length of rubber band. That, in a nutshell, is what slacklining looks like. Started in the late Seventies by a couple of intrepid rock climbers looking for another kind of achievement peak to ascend, the sport has now evolved to competitive levels. Practitioners call it a kind of “walking meditation” that has even been known to benefit children with ADHD. In Singapore, Elephant Slacklines Singapore has brought the sport to primary, secondary and international schools. They’ve also done a slackline birthday party for children aged between five and 10. There are no formal classes yet, but adults and children who are interested to attempt slacklining can try a free session at *SCAPE on Monday evenings, 7.30 – 9.30 pm. There will be the Elephant Slacklines athletes there with fellow slackliners of all levels there.
Private sessions, school setups or birthday parties are $300 for a 2-hour session which includes slackline games, instructions and performance. Contact Elephant Slacklines on Facebook.
Draw kids away from the virtual realm and into real-life games. With parkour, they’ll release their youthful energies by flipping, jumping, climbing, vaulting, and running, and in doing so, develop agility, coordination and master their movements while learning how to react actively to the environment. Kinda like a kungfu star, heh. It’ll also help kids to deal with and confront fears, develop focus, commitment to achievement, and yes, learn to get back on their feet when they fall. And that’s exactly the kind of grit that will help them succeed in life, isn’t it?
A2 Movements has sessions for children from five to 13 years old, at $25 for a one-time session, or $200 for 10 sessions over three months. Instructors are UK Parkour certified and First Aid trained.
Stand Up Paddling (SUP)
Seriously, there are very few sea-sports that toddlers and small children can do on their own. Stand Up Paddling (SUP for short) is one sport where that’s possible! Explore the ocean, teach kids about environmental issues, check out nearby beaches or simply bond together as a family while doing this ‘walking on water’ sport. Ex-Olympians and current Olympic athletes do SUP for fitness/core muscle training, cardio workouts and to train their sense of balance. But you don’t have to be an Olympian to SUP. According to Rachel Ng, Singapore’s very own 2001 Southeast Asian Games Silver Medallist in Windsurfing, SUP can be mastered in one hour – yes, even for kids! That’s her son, at four, doing SUP solo, in the picture above. There’s no need to even stand up at first, if your sea legs are as wobbly as ours. An 11-foot SUP can hold up to two adults and two kids, seated down for maximum safety. Fur pets are welcome too!
Kids’ SUP lessons take place on a one-to-one basis at East Coast Park, at $100 (includes all equipment and life vest) for 75 minutes. Contact Rachel by emailing [email protected], via SMS at 9773 3045, or through her website here. ‘Like’ her Facebook page to receive regular updates on SUP.
Big Bang, 2NE1, Super Junior. Despite sounding like the worst kind of astrophysics and mathematics combined, these are the names of top Korean pop groups that kids love. Don’t understand the language? No problem. These days, the language of dance speaks volumes and those of k-pop groups are the loudest. At the ‘Caltex Passion for Kids’ Programme 2013 earlier this year, 10-year-old Fion Sim from South View Primary School fulfilled her dream of dancing like her favourite Korean pop stars. (The Programme, now is in its second year, brings 200 children from less privileged backgrounds to take part in People’s Association (PA) enrichment programmes, giving them the opportunity to gain knowledge and develop new life skills.) K-pop dance, with its combination of street funk and hip hop, lets kids shimmy, lock, and sweat it out while having the ‘funnest’ kind of fun. Even better, they develop coordination, musicality, and a sense of movement and style that’ll shoot them right to the top of the hip kids lists in school.
Dance Factory Singapore has classes (from $160 for eight sessions) for kids from five years, at various locations. StudioWu at SAFRA Toa Payoh takes in kids from age seven. A four-week course costs $59.90 for members.