“To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.” – John Dewey”
As any parent can tell you, providing your child with the opportunity to discover their passions in their formative years can play a determinant role in their development and overall happiness. From signing them up for music lessons to martial arts classes, many parents make it their mission to help their young ones find their passions in hopes of helping them grow into the best possible versions of themselves.
But what about the passions that don’t come from a lesson or a class?
With technology currently wielding a virtual monopoly on kids’ imaginations, and attention spans shrinking by the day, it’s up to parents to introduce their young ones to wonders of the (non-digital) world at large.
Indeed, despite what years of marketing would have us believe, passions are rarely discovered –much less, nurtured– by staring at a screen. Thankfully, with the advent of affordable flights, an entire literal world is now just a few clicks away.
Of the nearby countries for Filipino families to visit, few are as ideal (or convenient) as Singapore, especially for those with younger children.
An indelible blend of cultures and history, Singapore has no shortage of world-class attractions and options for parents and children alike to explore, experience, and, yes, discover their passions.
Where the finer things come to life
With four main cultures to draw from, along with its standing as a global melting pot, the Singapore arts scene encompasses very imaginable taste, style, and genre.
Proving that it’s never too early to discover and develop a passion for art, visitors arriving in February and March can take part in the Singapore Art Museum’s Toddler Art Workshops.
The program features different themes across each of its ten sessions, where children aged 18 months to four years old, can discover a love and appreciation for art and color through sensory play. Through exposure to different media, workshop participants are invited to be themselves as they learn about the world around them.
Best of all, they will be able to take their artistic creations home at the end of each session. Who knows? Your child could be inspired to be the next great art sensation!
If you have slightly older kids, you may want to stop by on Fridays when the facility extends its hours till 9pm, and everyone is welcome to check out the exhibits for free!
With live music acts taking place outside, they will be exposed to different forms of art – from traditional visual media to the performance variety, it’ll be a night at the museum your little ones won’t forget.
On land, sea, and air!
As though integrating thriving greenery into a thriving cityscape with limited space wasn’t impressive enough, it’s doubly impressive to know that Singapore manages to make room for animals as well!
First up, the Singapore Zoo, where the large lack of visible cages and enclosures allow you to get up close and personal with at over 2,800 animals from over 300 species, with additional special exhibits and attractions.
For a more immersive experience, your kids can even try their hands at caring for animals and take their first steps towards a career in wildlife management with the Junior Zookeeper camps as they foster a love of animals and conservation.
Fans of marine life need not feel left out, as the S.E.A. Aquarium located on nearby Sentosa Island is home to more than 100,000 marine animals from over 1,000 species.
Your kids’ imaginations will be stimulated by the amazing underwater world as they encounter sea creatures of every shape and description in a setting you have to see to believe. Here, as they come face to face with different species, they can be inspired to learn more about the wonders that lie beneath the waves.
Fine-feathered friends are the featured attractions at the Jurong Bird Park. Recognized as one of the world’s most renowned sanctuaries, over 400 species fly free here, offering families real life encounters with some of the prettiest and rarest creatures on the planet.
The Bird Park’s many shows and exhibits will introduce your children to the large variety of winged wildlife our planet has to offer and teach them the importance of preserving them for future generations to appreciate.
With Singapore being home to some of the finest zoos and aquariums in the world, your young ones will experience the animal kingdom in ways they never dreamed possible, and can even spark an interest in conservation and research into nature’s wonders.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
To infinity, and beyond!
Science comes to life at the lotus-shaped ArtScience Museum. Your kids will be amazed at Future World, an experiential exhibit where visitors are encouraged to interact with artwork that imagines the future of society.
The ArtScience Museum also plays host to a variety of exhibits from around the world on a multitude of subjects, including pop culture, film, and history. Budding historians, scientists, and even filmmakers have had their young minds fired up in fields of passion as vast as their imaginations, with attractions built on the likes of the Harry Potter series of films, the sinking of the Titanic, and even dinosaurs!
Budding Einsteins will find much to love at the Singapore Science Center where, through shows, performances, and over 1,000 interactive hands-on exhibits, visitors learn about different aspects of science, mathematics and technology in a casual, entertaining manner.
And, depending on when you visit, the Science Center features mid-year and end-of-year blockbuster exhibitions, which add to the overall excitement of learning.
Thanks to the Center’s hands-on approach to its exhibits, your kids will touch, push, and feel their way into a love for the different sciences.
The Great Outdoors
Singapore’s national parks are wonders of conservation within the urban landscape. With vast swatches of land, it’ll make you forget you’re actually in a city.
Nestled in the heart of Bedok Reservoir National Park, Forest Adventure is an extraordinary treetop obstacle course and playground that the whole family can enjoy. Broken up into courses for different age groups, Forest Adventure features a Kids Course for 5-10 year olds, where little adventurers can try conquering 22 obstacles and even a Mini Course for kids 4-years old and below, with trapezes and balance beams.
As they learn to overcome each obstacle, they will also be able to appreciate the environment around them that could put them on the road towards passion for nature and exploration that will compel them to protect the environment.
And, not to be left out, brave parents can check out the Grand Course for adults, with its 44 aerial challenges including a 333-meter zipline!
For those looking for a more relaxing time outdoors, they can head on over to Pulau Ubin, a former granite mine and current site of Singapore’s last traditional villages or kampongs, as locally coined.
A short bumboat ride away from the main island, visitors can go trekking or rent bikes as they enjoy the laid back, rustic ambience.
Guided tours will be of special interest to history buffs and budding photographers looking for the perfect shot, while the more adventurous can avail of one of the public campsites and pitch a tent to spend the night under the stars. If you ever wanted to teach your kids to just slow down and appreciate the joys of a simpler world, or develop a passion for nature, Pulau Ubin is the place to do it.
No matter which area of passion you choose to explore with your children, Singapore is definitely the place to expand their minds and appreciate the world through learning, discovery, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Because on an island where anything is possible, you never know what you’re going to find.