While there are a ton of cool indoor playgrounds to choose from here in Singapore, we love to take our toddlers to a good old-fashioned playgroup too. If your nursery rhyme repertoire needs some new material or you’ve exhausted your art and craft stash, these organised playgroups offer loads of fun that will help tots improve their motor skills, introduce them to music, art and craft, and help them build their social skills – all of which will help kids settle into school when they’re ready for the next big leap!
So if you fancy a bit of parent participation (go on, you know you have just as much fun with Play Doh) and are looking for somewhere where your under-fives can hang out and make some new buddies before they start school, then we have some super fun picks for you and your little one…
Parent and child fun at White Lodge
We love nothing more than hanging out with our small people (before we know it they won’t be so small and won’t want to hang out with us!) so love the Parent and Child Programme happening for kids age six months to 2.5 years at White Lodge. Fun activities include circle time, music and movement, art, sensory play and outdoors adventures. Sessions run for 90 minutes, and if you’re caught on the hop and unable to attend, helpers and other care givers are welcome too. All round loveliness!
White Lodge, 75E Loewen Road, Singapore 248845 and 102 Guillemard Road, Singapore 399719; www.whitelodge.edu.sg
State-of-the-art sensory play: Infant and Toddler Atelier at Blue House
If tactile play is the name of your little one’s game, mixed in with a great big dose of singing with musical instruments, plus a dash of art and craft, the Infant and Toddler Atelier at Blue House Nursery and International School is where it is all happening. With two locations at Turf City and UE Square, these beautiful, Reggio Emilia-inspired spaces are a toddler’s dream come true: they can explore a wind tunnel, splash paint, examine leaves against a light box and make new friends, all with the security of mum on hand for those wobbly, shy moments. For little ones aged six months to three years – drop-in sessions and packages are available.
TIP: Check out the Daddy & Me sessions on Saturday mornings!
Blue House Nursery and International School, 2 Turf Club Road, Singapore 287988, and 83 Clemenceau Avenue
#-01-35/36 UE Square, Office Tower, Singapore 239920; www.bluehouseatelier.com
All singing and dancing action: Musical Monkeys
Get ready for some high-energy singing and dancing fun! Aimed at little monkeys age five and below, this is a parent/guardian participation class filled with traditional songs and nursery rhymes (with no pre-recorded music: it’s musical instruments and singing all the way), and a different instrument will be introduced each week for kids to experiment with to create sounds (and noise levels!) of their own. Bonus for German-speaking fams: join the special sessions each Friday for a dose of German language and culture!
Musical Monkeys, various condo locations, p. 9008 0417; www.musicalmonkeys.sg
Sensory craft adventures: Bouncing Beans Playgroup
Based at Nexus International School, this is an independent playgroup for tots age zero to five. Mums and dads get to hang out and mingle with new friends while the small folk play happily and safely in the informal educational, fun and sensory learning spaces (think Play Doh galore with role play stations and art ‘n’ craft areas). So if you have a little bean who would love to play with new pals, then bounce along to Nexus on a Tuesday, Thursday or Friday –but don’t forget to RSVP first on their meet-up page: spaces are limited.
Bouncing Beans Playgroup, Nexus International School, 201 Ulu Pandan Road, Singapore 596468, www.meetup.com/Bouncing-Beans-Playgroup
Outdoor escapades: St George’s Mums and Tots
If your kids are all about fun, and not so much about structure, then head to St George’s Church in Dempsey with your little ones: this playgroup is for newborns up to four years. Throw yourself into two hours of indoor and outdoor play, which includes a 30-minute sing-a-long sesh for the warblers amongst you.
St George’s Mums and Tots, St George’s Church, 44 Minden Road, Singapore 248816, p. 6473 2877 ext 103; www.stgeorges.org.sg
The more mess the better: Mucky Pups Messy Play
If your small bundle of energy is a fan of getting a little bit grubby and a whole lot creative, then you would be barking mad to miss out on Mucky Pups. Run by a mum who knows her messy stuff (she has two boys of her own), this is a 45-minute parent participation group that involves singing, dancing, games, bubbles and, of course, art: aka mess! We love that this is a flexible class to suit busy lives: the first session is free and after that you only pay if you attend. Plus, you don’t have to tidy up once the messy mayhem has finished! For kids age one to three.
Mucky Pups, various condo locations, p. 90023568; www.meetup.com/Mucky-pups-creative-mum-child-group
Music and movement: Dancing Kids
With two parent participation classes to pick from, and based at condos around the East Coast, Dancing Kids knows a thing or tutu about having fun through dance. Its Music and Movement class is aimed at littlies age six months to three years old and involves songs, games, musical instruments and of course that all-important parachute at the end of the session – mums and dads get to join in too! But if you have a budding ballet dancer in the family then why not join a Mummy and Me ballet class? Sessions will include mime, co-ordination exercises, songs and props, and some high-energy fun!
Dancing Kids, various condo locations, p. 9028 9485; www.facebook.com/dancingkidssg
Cooking, craft and free play: Waldorf Steiner Playgroup
This East Coast based playgroup encourages parents to be actively involved in its hands-on activities for tots age 18 months to three and a half years. Baking, chopping food, and arts and craft are just the start, and there’s lots of free play, songs and stories to enjoy. The group is kept small at just eight kids, so this is a great choice for little ones who are not keen on a big crowd.
Waldorf Steiner Playgroup, 72 Elite Park Avenue, Singapore 458895; email email@example.com
All-round fun: Zesty Spot
A drop-off playgroup, Zesty Spot is a life-saver for busy parents whose kiddos who are ready to take the next step in independent play. Kids have great fun exploring topics such as music, stories, and of course playtime with new pals! Classes are designed for tots from 15 months to four years.
Zesty Spot, 2 Pandan Valley, #B1-209 Pandan Valley Condo, Singapore 597626, p. 6467 3511; www.zestyspot.com
Wiggle, jiggle and jive: Jiggle Wiggs
If your little one is a bit of a mover ‘n’ groover then this drop-in, parent participation class is fab for you both. Jiggle Wigs is a music and movement class aimed at babies and toddlers along with their parents. Mums, you also get to wave the scarves, shimmy with the shakers and blow the bubbles too, so jiggle your way to its Facebook page to check out timings and locations to suit. For kids seven months to three years old.
Jiggle Wigs, various condo locations, p. 8607 5610; www.facebook.com/jiggle.wigs
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