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Expat Life: Fun Activities for Kids Over the Summer

Summer is a season that a lot of people look forward to, especially kids. Despite the humidity, it’s the perfect time for families to hit the beach in Indonesia, enjoy the outdoors and take interest in new hobbies.

While living in a foreign country can be intimidating for some, this is a great opportunity to let your kids explore and adapt to a new environment. They can make new friends, learn more about the local culture or perhaps develop skills.

To help you plan ahead, we’ve rounded up a list of fun activities that you and your kids can enjoy to make their summer one that’s productive and worthwhile. In no particular order, here are 11 ways expat children can spend the summer in a new country.  

1. Summer camps

What better way to teach your children about independence and resourcefulness? Summer camps are great opportunities for kids to learn about trusting others, working with different kinds of people and building relationships. At a young age, the experience can slowly prepare them for the years to come as they gain confidence and step outside their comfort zones.

Some schools that offer this are Tutor Time Indonesia, APM Boarding School, Discovery Center and the Green School in Bali.

2. Music and voice lessons

Does your instrument-wielding child dream of being the next Carlos Santana? Is she always singing in front of a mirror with a brush in her hand? Can he start drumming up a rhythm on lids and boxes? If you think your kid shows an inclination towards music, enrol them at the nearest music school this summer.

Learning instruments and vocal techniques can teach kids discipline and patience. It can also help to boost their self-esteem. Kindermusik is known to be a hit in Indonesia and even starts teaching newborns the power of music. Other schools to consider are Yamaha Music School, Elfa Music School, Purwa Caraka Music Studio, Sekolah Musik Cantata and Sekolah Musik Duta Nada.

3. Dance classes

No matter what genre your child is into, there are several dance classes that can help her develop. Letting kids join these kinds of lessons can keep them active, provide opportunities for socializing and serve as an avenue to express themselves, just like any form of art does.

Forever Dance Center in Jakarta teaches classes in ballet, hip hop, breakdancing and K-pop choreography. It also offers private lessons where you can have sessions at the studio or from the comfort of your home. Children can also immerse themselves in Indonesian culture by learning traditional dances.

4. Theater, arts and crafts, hobby classes

By taking these classes, your children are able to hone their creativity. Not only is it fun, it also helps them embrace who they are and confidently express their individuality. Therapists explain that art is valuable because it allows children to process their world, helps them deal with scary emotions in a safe way and gives them critical sensory input. These classes are commonly offered by schools over the summer so it shouldn’t be hard to find one nearby.

Places like Kidz Art Indonesia and Global Art Indonesia have programmes dedicated to the arts. The Indonesia Dance Theatre stages famous acts such as The Little Mermaid and The Nutcracker, while the Julia Gabriel Centre in Jakarta offers an educational drama programme. Aside from arts, kids can also spend the summer learning new hobbies like cooking at the Young Chefs Academy Indonesia or Koki Kecilku.

5. Sports and other physical activities

Sports can teach kids important lessons in teamwork, patience and perseverance. Not only does it keep them physically fit, it also teaches them the importance of success through hard work and accepting failure while striving to improve. There are all sorts of sports classes offered by schools and organizations in Indonesia. RockStar Gym teaches classes in gymnastics, martial arts, futsal, basketball, tennis and swimming. They even have dance and yoga classes too.

If they don’t want to take classes, they can also enjoy other activities such as beating the heat by ice skating at the Sky Rink in Mall Taman Anggrek or bowling at places like the Millenium Bowling Alley or the Artha Gading Bowling Centre.

6. Advanced academic classes

They may take a break from school, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t enhance their skills in math, science or English. Taking enrichment classes or workshops in academic subjects helps them improve in areas that they struggle with. It also allows them to expand their learning in a fun environment. Most schools also offer these classes during the summer, but if you want a unique experience that could potentially benefit them in the future, let them try Engineering for Kids Indonesia.

7. Playrooms and playgrounds

There is a wide range to choose from in the archipelago. Kidzania is a well-known edutainment centre, as it lets them experience all kinds of occupations such as being a doctor, fireman, pilot, policeman, construction worker and more. There are over one hundred occupations and professions to role play in this kid-sized replica of a city.

Miniapolis has several kiddie attractions while Club Kembang has a large outdoor playground plus different kinds of workshops for parents and children. If your children love Legos, they’ll definitely have a blast at Bricks 4 Kidz.

8. Beaches and water parks

Sometimes kids can get cranky when it’s hot and humid. Make the most of your summer and have a fun day with your family by taking them to a beach or water park.  Nothing beats the refreshing water, splashing about at the pool or the chance to play on the water slides. For starters, Ancol’s roster of destinations is sure to give each family member a memorable time.

9. Amusement and theme parks

Disneyland may be your child’s dream spot, but for now, you can take them to the nearest amusement park. Some of the country’s most popular picks are Ancol Dreamland, Jakarta’s main theme park, and JungleLand Adventure Park, a huge recreation area filled with several attractions as well as the country’s biggest Science Centre. 

10. Movies

Does your kid want to see the latest animated film? Spend some quality bonding time by taking them to the cinema. Granted, this is sure to just be a quick excursion, but can a matinee can be a nice filler on an otherwise lazy afternoon. Make it extra fun by bringing them to Cinemaxx Junior, Indonesia’s first cinema for kids. It’s a novel concept that allows children to play at the movies. They can enjoy their favorite flick by sitting on relaxing sofa beds, beanbags and loungers. They can also play in ball pits, tube slides and giant trampolines.

11. Outdoor activities

Summer is all about outdoor adventures, activities and trips. You can take them on a walk to the park, camping, hiking or observing cultural shows. Teach them about animals by bringing them to places like Bali Safari and Marine Park or Taman Safari. Have them enjoy fun activities in an open air environment such as Bali Treetop or you can take them to the Devdan Show in Bali for a spectacular showcase of culture.

Image credit: Tiket 

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Ish is a writer/doe-eyed wanderer who breathes adventure, lives to explore, and finds happiness in nature. Not much of a coffee junkie, but a firm believer of seizing the day. She resides in the Philippines.