SingaporeMotherhood | Parenting

February 2017

12 Not-so-ordinary Arts Activities That Give Your Child an Extraordinary Talent Boost

Bored with the usual piano and ballet classes? Why not try these fun and unconventional arts programmes designed just for kids?

Just about every child in Singapore has been enrolled into the usual Maths and Science or Creative Writing enrichment classes. Then there are piano lessons, as well as speech and drama courses. Did you know that there are more unique activities available? They are equally educational and may even be more fun for your kids.


Could exposure to the arts from a young age help in your child’s academic success later in life? The A List Singapore, our country’s first full-fledged arts and culture guide published by the National Arts Council, reported that the fifth batch of students from the School of the Arts (SOTA) achieved a 100 per cent pass rate for the International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations last year. Can this be attributed at least in part to their focus on the arts? Read more about it on

Anna Salaman, Creative & Executive Director of Playeum, backs this up. “Participating in the arts provides children with real life skills: experimentation and ‘artplay’ lead to resilient and confident learners, for one. Others include increased dexterity, informed risk-taking, collaboration, increased focus and communication skills.”

Here’s a list of some of the more unconventional arts programmes kids in Singapore can take part in. Which ones would your child like to sign up for?

Musical Adventures

1. Play the Cajon

You may have seen musicians tapping on what looks like a wooden box they sit on. It’s called a cajon (pronounced ka-hone), a percussion instrument originating from Peru. The Cajon Society, a social arm of BEAT ’ABOX, aims to create a friendly environment where kids can establish new friendships through exploring beats and rhythms together.

2. Join an Orchestra

If your child is already learning an orchestral instrument, why not let him be part of the kids’ philharmonic@sg? Budding musicians receive suitable nurturing to develop their ensemble playing skills and get to perform together as an orchestra. The Seed Orchestra is for kids aged four to seven who have attained or can demonstrate Grade 1 proficiency. More advanced levels can move on to the Junior and Senior Orchestras.

3. Opera Singing

Does your child love to sing? The Singapore Lyric Opera Children’s Choir is looking to recruit members aged eight to 15. The repertoire ranges from operas to musical theatre from all periods, genres and languages. Members get performance opportunities in the Singapore Lyric Opera’s opera productions, concerts and outreach activities. Auditions are held every Saturday – email [email protected] for a slot.

Beyond Ballet

4. Tahitian Dance

Founded by two sisters from Tahiti, Tahiti Dance Fitness teaches children and adults the Ori Tahiti, a beautiful cultural dance originating from their French Polynesian island. Combined with modern jazz basics and stretching, relaxation and wellness tips, kids aged three and up learn body awareness, focus, coordination, grace and self-confidence, core values to help them blossom into outstanding individuals.

5. Bollywood Dance

A fusion of traditional Indian and contemporary western dance forms, BollyDancing Singapore offers a beginners class for kids aged five to 11 years. Learn choreographed dance routines of the latest Bollywood numbers. Those little feet are given age-appropriate training while building flexibility and core strength. Most importantly, the aim is to develop confidence on the dance floor and in everyday life.

6. Art with Yoga

Combining art, storytelling and yoga, nurturing facilitators at Canvass teach children aged five to 12 about different yoga poses and their origins. At the same time, they learn basic body anatomy, non-verbal ways of expressing themselves, and how to focus via simple meditation and breathing exercises. Therapeutic activities using music, sound, nature and art are used to encourage creative and analytical skills, independence and constructive concepts.

Visually Arresting

7. Digital Manga Art

Does your child enjoy watching anime or reading manga? Now they can learn how to create their own Japanese comic art in courses conducted by InkFusion. Kids aged eight and up will learn how to illustrate on a digital platform, as well as techniques on traditional hand-drawn manga. Who knows, your child might be the next great movie animator out there!

8. Cartoon Drawing

If Disney cartoons are more your kid’s style, then check out the Cartoon Class from Studio Haroobee. Under the expert guidance of former SPH infographics journalist, Mr Patrick Chia, children can learn how to bring facial features to life by way or cartoons and caricatures. Just like in their favourite animated movies! Each class, held at the Esplanade and Rochester Mall, admits no more than 10 kids.

9. Digital Photography

Have you been surprised when your kid takes a photo and the results are better than your own? Let them hone their skills at Panoramic Kids’ creative photography courses for seven- to 16-year-olds. Using nature, landscapes, food and animals as subjects, kids learn to view the world from different perspectives, develop imagination and critical thinking, and gain confidence in self-expression. Each student will be provided with a DSLR camera to use throughout the course, and take home prints of their five best photos, with the rest archived into CDs. Exhibitions are also held to showcase their best works. SingaporeMotherhood readers enjoy a five per cent discount; email [email protected] for details and quote “SMarts” upon enrolment.

Crafting Explorations

10. Tinkering Fun

Kids aged five to 12 who love to explore, experiment and invent should head to the Children’s Centre for Creativity on the last Sunday of every month. Playeum’s Tinkering Sunday sessions offer open-ended themed activities for them to do just that. Each facilitated session uses carefully curated materials and tools, and parents can join in too. From whittling a magic wand from scratch to even making a powered car out of recyclable materials, each parent-child pairing will go home with a self-made project and a set of fun experiences.

11. Paper Quilling

Quilling is a unique art form that transforms slim strips of coloured paper into beautiful pop-up designs. Conducted by Art Pazionate, this is perfect for children with nimble fingers and oodles of creativity. Its repetitive nature can soothe restless natures while providing an outlet for whimsical imagination. Kids can shape the paper strips into various quilling shapes and put them together to create animals, flowers or something abstract! Finished artworks can become greeting cards or take pride of place in a frame on the living room wall.

12. Batik Painting

Learn the traditional art of waxing a design on fabric and painting with fabric dyes at workshops conducted by Impressions Art Studio. Kids aged seven and up can create their own bag or pillowcase with their resulting batik masterpiece. They can also get creative with glass fusing, while younger ones aged four and up can try clay work and pottery painting.


This sponsored post is brought to you by The A List Singapore – Singapore’s Essential Arts & Culture Guide. #ALISTsg

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12 Not-so-ordinary Arts Activities That Give Your Child an Extraordinary Talent Boost