Monday, November 17, 2014

Holiday things to do- heART for art (A Giveaway)

The holidays have arrived and I have been asked, with deep seated panic, by other parents 'WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THE KIDS DURING THE HOLIDAYS?'  and then followed by the question, what sort of holiday classes the twins will attend. For most part, I try not to send them for classes, for a variety of reasons.
a. They are generally expensive when I have to multiply them by two or three.
b. Holidays are meant to be just that, holidays- away from structured classes and time.
c. This article together with others about free play vs summer camps echo quite loudly in my head.

I have, occasionally, signed up for classes for JED. It happens when the children are genuinely interested, ask to attend them and we can find space in our budget for them. The other situation is usually when we have to travel and JED are parked with the grand-maters. In that situation, the grand-maters and carers often need some time away from what can be very demanding children so we build in time-outs and breathers for them (the carers not JED) by sending them off for a few hours every day.

When I have to pick holiday programmes for them, my general rule of thumb is that they have to be non-academic, fun and either invokes creativity or are creative and they have to have to pass muster by said child.

Jordan's request for holiday programmes usually run along the lines of arty or dancey classes and over the years, we've figured out how to pick the good ones for her. We've also figured out a way of weeding out the duds.

Arty classes cannot
a. Be large- Art work, especially on canvas requires some supervision. If a class is too big, the pieces come back looking like they fell off a production line or in a total mess. 

b. Have right and wrong- I once had an art teacher who complained about how the twins had done things wrong. All they had done was to add their own personal flourishes into the art piece. That got them labelled as 'disobedient'.

c. Be uniformed- Usually there is a theme for art classes but when a child decides to use his fingers to do dots rather than a paintbrush, it should not result in a scolding. Art at this point is about allowing a child to explore the various mediums of the form.

d. Expect you to pay for the ridiculous- We're done with dance camps where we have to end up paying for tickets and costumes for End of Camp show pieces. 

The classes that worked were always the ones that
a. Had teachers or facilitators that made the children feel comfortable and spoke to the children at their level. They were also the ones that how to relate to children.

b.Had structure. It wasn't that creative and fun meant free for all. Little ones thrive on structure because they have an idea of what to expect and where they were headed to next.

c. Had activities pitched at the child's levels. That showed that they weren't just out to fleece the parents but had some sort of understanding as to what a 3 or 4 or 5 year old was capable of and how long the attention span was for that demographic.

So, Jordan and my choice of an art studio is heART studio. It's small but the ambience is cheery and the teachers engage. In my book, any place that can convince 'does not like new experiences' Evan to do try something different (we sent both of them at the same time) is a win in my book. No tears, excitement at being able to muck about with chalk and get dirty meant Mommy was quickly forgotten.

Jordan loved playing the the chalk on canvas and loved how she was shown to get her pinks just right.

All this and the interesting one- day camps they had made it on top of my list for art holiday programmes.

Even 3 year old Muffin who at that point hadn't gone for anything of this sort allowed Packrat to leave him for 3 hours where he splattered and painted on a canvas and surprised us with a space ship, Mars (in his words) and Earth. My favourite part of his painting was actually the stars.

Jordan and Evan haven't been back to heART in a while though they had a lot of fun there and remember it fondly.  Muffin has since gone back again for another of their vacation programmes where he got to paint Obi-wan Kenobi. He would have gone back for every repeat session if I had let him because he wanted to do a collection of Star Wars paintings.  

So, because it's the holidays coming up and to celebrate the beginning of it, Diaperbag is giving away two holiday camp classes from the many available;

  •  A Canvas Painting session of Mr or Miss Fox from Mr Fox's Adventures-  for 3 to 4 year olds 
  • A Canvas and Clay session of  Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer one for 7 year olds and above
Both classes are on 12 December at 1.30 pm to 4 pm.

Here's how to win one.  
1. What's the one favourite thing that you or your kid likes to draw? (I love drawing snails. I don't know why. All my notes from JC and uni days are filled with snails) Do this by 24 November 2014. 
2. Leave us your name and email address so that we can contact you. 
3. Check out heART Studio's FB page and like it so that you get updates on their courses. 

Some thing to note:
  • The child has to be within the age range for the specific workshop. 
  • No repeat winners are allowed. 
  • Winners will be notified by email, through the email address provided. (So don't forget to leave one!) 
  • Winners must confirm by reply email or phone call, within three days. Otherwise, we'll take it as you aren't interested and give it to someone else
  • The workshops have been specifically picked by heART Studio so they can't be swoped for another  day or another workshop. 
  • No existing students allowed, we want to let the uninitiated have an opportunity. 
  • This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only.

Schedule for Dec 8 to 12

Schedule for Dec 15 to 19 

heART Studio very kindly gave JED an art session for each of them in exchange for this post. But the two cents worth of opinions here are ours. 


  1. My 3yo son Ryan loves drawing apples.


  2. Hey there, Serene here. I used to like drawing fruits when I was a kid and I still do. Fruits are fun to draw when I doodle with Asher - they're colourful, of various textures and shapes and we give them different personalities :)

    Give me the good news at

  3. My son Benjamin, loves to draw animals, especially dogs!


  4. My 6yo Megan loves to draw from her imagination and 4yo Gayle loves to draw princesses and castles - basically the 'Frozen'-scape. They'd *heART* the holiday art camp!

    1. P/S: please contact me at with good news! thanks heaps! -june

  5. My newly minted 3 y.o. will only draw circles!


  6. My 7 year old loves to draw people, castles, princesses and lots more!
    I just like to see her draw :)
    Gan Say Bin

  7. My 7 year old daughter Brinda loves to draw the scene of a beach!!


  8. I've been drawing turtles at the top corners of all my notes and homework my entire life and I don't know why. Probably because they are the easiest to draw. Can't go wrong with circles!