Five fun activities for Hong Kong children with active minds
Are the children in your family looking for some mental stimulation beyond schoolwork? We've found five fun and educational activities in Hong Kong they can join. Most providers offer classes for children of all ages; check their websites (links below) for details.
The annual Kids4Kids “Powered by Youth Forum” this year has as its theme Take Action! To be held on two days, September 12 and October 10, the forum will feature keynote speakers from a cross-section of society. Children taking part will work with facilitators to brainstorm how they can use their “power” creatively, and explore global and local issues they're passionate about, to initiate community action projects. “We give youth the chance to expand on their personal power and passions – to see their potential as change makers,” says Danielle Stutterd, executive Director of Kids4Kids. “Every day at Kids4Kids we are inspired by the stories of young people who use their talents, energy, and creativity to serve others. With half the world’s population under the age of 25, there are millions of kids around the world ready and willing to do something positive - if given the opportunity.” The best ideas will receive HK$3,000 seed money to bring their projects to life. For more information, see kids4kids.org.hk
If you have children with an interest in robotics and technology, then the workshops at Brainchild are a must. Its highly structured courses focus on science and technology, engineering and computer programming, and take a hands-on approach to learning that incorporates creative and critical thinking. Participants will practise computer programming, and learn how to build and assemble things. “Our aim is to stimulate creative thinking in children to unleash the wonders and thrill of invention and discovery. We provide alternative educational experiences for children by helping them to think more creatively; provide opportunities for discovery; and build their confidence and personal satisfaction through accomplishment,” says founder Jimmy Choy. Courses cover topics as diverse as 3D printing, glider making, solar soldering and calligraphy, in which children learn the fine art of Chinese painting from art master Lee Siu-ping of the Central Institute of Fine Arts in Beijing. For more information, see brainchildltd.com
Having fun while you learn is the goal of ActiveKids. “We specialise in providing fun and educational programmes to children. With over 11 years of operation in Hong Kong and more than 50 schools and clubs participating in our programmes, we have a strong track record of delivering the best-in-class courses, ranging from science, cooking, chess and arts and crafts. This is where children develop their love of life-long learning,” says ActiveKids’ founder Grace Yue So. Courses include “Stormy Chefs”, which teaches children about nutrition, hygiene, food etiquette and cooking; a “Science Adventures” course that provides hands-on learning; and “The Chess Academy”, which teaches players new skills and offers lessons in how to compete and learn from mistakes. “Through chess, children will undoubtedly acquire invaluable skill sets such as developing stronger spatial reasoning, attention span, sportsmanship and confidence,” said So. For more information, see www.activekidshk.com
Bricks 4 Kidz
At Bricks 4 Kidz, participants use Lego blocks to help them think in three dimensions while at the same time improving motor skills. Children learn patience, communication, problem-solving, language skills and how to cooperate with others. “Organisational skills are developed by using our labelled project kits and these skills transfer into every area of life; at school, home, or in the workplace. Children are most efficient when they can quickly and easily access the materials they need to complete a task,” says co-founder Duncan Lauder. For more information, see bricks4kidz.com.hk
Teaching children about money is important, and one fun way to do it is through Pinworld (www.pinworld.co). Interactive games and role play teach children how to apply principles of maths and economics. There is a virtual bank, called the Pin Bank, from which each new “Pinner” gets 1000 pin coins; players can save some of the “money” that’s not spent at the “store” to donate to charity or spend on playing games. Participants get a Bank Statement summarising their transactions. Pinworld was created by Anuja Agarwal, who quit her job as a banker in Hong Kong. Her passion for wise money management also prompted her to form the Pinnacle Learning Centre, which provides workshops where children learn about saving, budgeting, and being an entrepreneur. For more information, see https://www.facebook.com/PinnacleLearningCentre?fref=ts