Saturday, December 13, 2014

Holiday Things to Do: Santa School (A Review)

When the twins went to The Giving Treehouse for their holiday camp, Muffin complained. He heard tales about lava lamps, kites and trampoline parks (though he was there for that bit) and wanted to know why he didn't have camp to go to. He's like I was as a child, I wanted to do everything my brothers did even though I wasn't old enough or ahem, I was a girl.

So when the opportunity for him to go to camp, he jumped at it. And better yet, it was a Christmas- Santa themed camp, by BlueTree Education, which thrilled him to bits. There were Christmas related songs, stories, make believe and most importantly, craft that kept him busy and happy.

The most fun bits for him were always the craft bits of the day. Over the five days, he made snow men, reindeer antlers, a reindeer that they then had to hunt for when they went reindeer hunting (for the sleigh not for food!) and eventually an impressive and beautiful snow globe.

He took a while to get used to the place. I suspect it had to do with being in a younger class where most kids had their parents there and I did the 'dump and go.' But as with all things Muffin, he was okay after a while.

For Muffin, a lot of processing happens internally so it's usually over a period of time that we see the full impact of anything. It was only on Day 3 of what he aptly termed as Santa School that we realised how much he'd internalised when he started giving me 'right-left- straight' instructions in the car (they learnt directions in order to guide the reindeers pulling Santa's sleigh) and ransacked our bookshelves for snowman books. We seem to be woefully short on that front. 

What tickled me most of all was when one of the teachers sent me a picture of Muffin being dressed up as a Christmas tree. When I asked him about it, he burst into gales of laughter and told me in sputters how he had to stand still while other children decorated him. He also added that he had a star grow out of his head but it wasn't there anymore because he bumped himself and the star dropped off, like the reindeer's antler, he added.

But in all seriousness, Santa School was really well thought out and the teachers were articulate, fun and played with the kids as if their own. They exuded confidence in dealing with the little ones and I knew that, despite Muffin's initial protests, he would be okay there. And when I came in to pick him up later the first day, he was chummy with "Snowman Sock Aunty" (Aunty Diana) and liked "Snowman Hairband Aunty" (Aunty Mabel).
And the craft! I've talked about the craft. But I can't stop talking about them because they were all oh-so-pretty. This year's Christmas tree is adorned with, not just the traditional baubles, but all the craft bits that JED have come home with and Santa School Christmas-ed up our house really nicely.

So was it a hit? I think it pretty much was, especially when he got to meet Santa and Santa gave him sweets. He did whisper to me that it wasn't the real Santa but that was okay by him. Did he want to go to Santa School again? Nope. Because Santa only comes once a year, at Christmas.

That's fair enough.

Santa School was run by BlueTree Eduction, a newly established enrichment centre, offering pre-primary and primary programmes. It's run by ex MOE teachers who want to create fun learning workshops during the holidays for preschoolers and primary school goers.

I had a look at the regular programmes that they run for the school going crowd as well and to be honest, I really wanted to do it too or teach it; a whole CSI episode to teach investigative writing? Complete with a dead Barbie doll, I wouldn't mind doing that even as an adult.  Anyway, for more of their programmes, keep an eye out on their Facebook page.

BlueTree Education is offering $50 off their regular programmes (for the first payment only) for all Diaperbag readers. Just let them know you came by through the Diaperbag.

Address: 271 Bukit Timah Road, Balmoral Plaza #02-15 Singapore 259708
Nearest MRT: Newton Bus Services
Balmoral Plaza Bus Stop): 48, 66, 67, 170R, 171, 700, 700A, 960
Contact number: +65 9106 4702


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