Monday 24 August 2015

Unstructured play at Kaboodle Kids

Our nowadays kids can be rather over scheduled in school and after school. Looking at the amount of time spent in school, I often feel that they are missing out too much on unstructured play. And the benefits of free play is immense. To name a few, free play allows:
  • Protection against pressure and stress from parents
  • The flexibility to adapt to circumstances
  • Social and emotional learning 
  • Decision making skills
  • Peer interaction and
  • Self discovery
We love having free play games like blocks and bricks at home. Games that often come with no rules, no right or wrong, where Js can direct their own play and let their imagination run wild.

Adding to our free play list, we recently came across Kaboodle kids, where Js had a great time of unstructured play. It's not the usual playgym where a slide prompts a kid to use it only as a slide, or toys that are directed for certain play usage. Kaboodle is simply a space of huge soft blocks with no limit to play and creativity. I really love watching them engage in this kind of purposeful play.

The imagination ground

We visited Kaboodle on a weekday afternoon, and spent about 2 hours in there. It was quite a bliss as it wasn't crowded. I could tell Js were overly excited over those big foamy blocks, their eyes went huge with jaws dropping really wide. They looked lost for a start and kept asking, "What can I do, Mummy?" I guess they are often too compelled by instructions that they weren't able to start something without direction.

I threw them a few suggestions, "How about a car, tanker, home or castle?" I don't know if they registered my suggestions, they zoomed off without me completing my thought list. Excited kids, I know. It was probably also the best time to build their kid's size dreamy and princessy castle, where they can sit and 'live' in! I told Jare to build his favourite Lamborghini so we could all drive in it. Seriously, it's a place where anyone can construct, dream and imagine big. 

Working on his luxurious car

Whilst play took place, the man and I sat by the bench to take pictures and admire their simple joy. We observed how they played, that teamwork, cooperation, sharing and trading of blocks, as well as ideas negotiation were evidently what kids don't learn out of books. Truly, there's so much contentment in watching the kids do undirected play, expressing that freedom of happiness.

I was tempted at some point of time to direct them on positioning certain pieces, but hey, I'm reminded it's their play. Not mine. There's a reason for every 'lazy parenting.' In any case, we stayed away till a time I thought we should all play together as a family. Yay, I played too!

We had a great time of bonding.

His huge shoulder bag!

The play area is clean, bright, airy and relatively huge for such play. Floor is not carpeted, so it does look really clean and well maintained. It is therefore compulsory to wear non-slips socks (adults too) as it can be rather slippery. Tucked by the side of the play area is a cosy party room which suggests a great venue for birthday parties. Talking about which, do check their Facebook page for private party closures. Avoid wasted trip.

For the size of the blocks, this unstructured play is recommended for kids above 3 years old. Js had a really great time in there, and as usual, we had a tough time peeling them away from fun. Jazz was upset that we have to abandon the castle for the realistic home, and we obviously can't bring that along. She suggested that we could take a picture instead. Glad that got her leaving contented.

Her house of dreams with a soft cover roof

And here's an idea for picture moments. The man caught us by peering his lens through a foam block. Looking creatively good!

My daughter, my friend!

Do check out this fun place, if you've not. Also, from now till 30 August 2015, you may quote 'Mum's calling' upon entrance for a 10% discount. Have fun!

Kaboodle kids
902 East Coast Parkway (Big Splash)
Block B, #02-05B
Singapore 449874
Contact: 6247 7020
Opening Hours: 10am to 6pm daily

Fee structure:
3 years old and above
Mon to Fri: $25 for unlimited hours
Sat, Sun and PH: $25 for 2 hours ($10 for for additional hour thereafter)
Below 3 years old
Mon to Fri: $10 for unlimited hours
Sat, Sun and PH: $10 for 2 hours ($5 for for additional hour thereafter)

OR 10 visits membership at $220

Disclaimer: Media invite. All opinions and photos are solely ours.

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