Monday, 27 August 2012

The Start of Our Art Lernen-Reise: 25th Aug'12

As IZ asks to draw every day, I am naturally inclined to send him to art class. Initially when I searched around, I found that at 20months, he is too young to attend any. The art schools I found are mainly for kids aged 3 years old and above. Disappointed, but I didn’t have a choice but to draw and paint at home. Once, we even had a paint date at home, Theme: National Day with his friends.
Painting Date @ Home on National Day 9th Aug'12

My friend, YJ managed to locate a few schools that take in kids as young as 20 months. We shortlisted 3; Artbug, Gymboree and Abrakadoodle.

The very first thing that caught my eyes was the video of kids in their classes. One of the kids were not wearing top, he was a mess, WITH PAINT! I love that! IZ would love it too! IZ would fall in the Babybug category. So I called to enquire more, willing to sacrifice to travel by Circle Line from our place to Bras Basah. The school is walking distance from Bras Basah.

Unfortunately, during the call to arrange for trial class, I got to know they are changing their syllabus in Sept. From an all art class, they are going to include song & movement, show & tell etc, leaving art a miserable small portion.
Thus, I decided to pass.
Location: Tanglin Mall or Vivocity (the best possible for us)
They have a class called Art I catered for kids from 18 to 24 months. IZ would fit perfectly in this. Upon reading more, I found out that they asked the kids to wear socks during the class. I immediately strike Gymboree out of my list. How to learn painting without getting yourself dirty?
This was my last choice as I didn’t find the locations convenient nor the fees are extremely cheap. Then, I found out we could take MRT to Botanic Gardens and cross a small road to their Bukit Timah branch at Cluny Court. It’s just 5 stops away from us. On 10th Aug, I wrote to them to ask for trial arrangement on 25th Aug, the Sat IZ doesn’t have music class. IZ will be going to Twoosy Doddlers.
Their reply was disappointing. They told me the date was 2.5 weeks away, which makes it difficult for them to tell me if we could go for trial. Oh well, I pushed my hope behind my mind.
Then, they wrote to me on the Wed and told me they made arrangement for us to attend trial class! Yippie! I confirmed immediately and asked what we should bring. Michelle replied that we do not have to bring anything but try to dress IZ in non-expensive clothes as the paint they’ll be using is special.
I was all excited for few days, and I told IZ on Fri that we were going to art class, he nodded his head. We took MRT from Serangoon, within 14 mins ride, we reached Botanic Gardens. It was our first time, so I took a picture of IZ.
Outside Botanic Gardens Station
I had difficulty finding the class at first, as I didn’t know where to head upstairs. I asked a Phil helper, she told me can cross Cold Storage and up using a lift or escalator.
Going to Bukit Timah, I half expected classy set-up etc. Indeed, the court was fully of “classy stuffs”. I found Abrakadoodle easily. It’s so nice from the outside! Saw many “ang moh” kids too.
Outside Abrakadoodle
The receptionist asked me to let IZ roam about to warm up. Oh my, that wasn’t a good idea, as IZ started to touch and take out all the Crayola stuffs they display for SALE. Gosh!
Warming up

At 10.15 sharp, we were asked to enter the classroom. IZ was given sanitiser and to take body temperature. But he started to cry, probably thought I would leave him there. Assuring him I would be with him, we sat on the floor together. I saw other kids were either wrapped up with an apron or an adult T-shirt. Damn, why didn’t I think of that? I dressed IZ in a Doraemon shirt that his grandma bought for him cheaply, from the market. :-(
The teacher (pardon me for I didn’t get the teacher’s name!) looks young, speaks with a faint accent and really engaging. She started with a greeting song, and then read a story about shapes from a story book. She invited the kids to join in, engage them to tell her about shapes, and what’s formed by combining different shapes together. And then she taught the kids on different types of brushes, ie. big, small, long and short brushes. She taught the kids how to dip them into the water and rinse, and dry them up on a piece of cloth and dip into paint and started painting. Then, the kids were supposed to cut the painting into shapes and then stick onto the frame. Some of them are meant to be pop-out.
When all are done and dry, it was show & tell time! Teacher says IZ should listen too. So, the kids who are very vocal, started talking about their masterpiece. I thought IZ would not be needed as he can’t talk much yet. But teacher engaged him to point to triangle and circle, and which shape he likes the most. I was impressed that IZ was not neglected coz he is not talking yet.
Teacher ended the class by a goodbye song, and throws a dog soft toy to each of them, ask them to catch. IZ stood there and let the dog fall. Hahahaha!
So, IZ got to learn about shapes, brushes, painting, cutting, putting glue, pasting, show&tell and catching!
Outside, the kids were given a stamp on their hand, and a packet of biscuit. IZ finished the biscuits immediately while I signed up for our artistic journey ahead!
Proud of his work
Close-up of his Elizabeth Murray Doodle
Given a free T-Shirt upon registration
PS: Unfortunately, IZ has to end his music adventure for the time being as the timing clashes with each other, and we found IZ is bored in music class as he knows most of the songs already. Only when teacher sang new song did he pay 100% attention. That’s the backfire of too diligent practice at home I guess.


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