Do you have a child who is a nature-lover? Someone who loves flowers, enjoys playing with insects and pointing out different species of birds to you each time?
Then, you might want to enroll them to be Garden Troopers at Gardens By The Bay during the upcoming school holiday. From bird and insect watching to creating one’s very own nature journal, your child will get a taste of what it is like to be nature’s Sherlock Holmes for a day. He/she will discover the intricate links between plants and animals.
They have two programs: Green Encounters and My Outdoor Adventures.
Green Encounters is suitable for kids aged 7 to 9 years old, while Outdoor Adventures are more for older children 10 to 12 years old. This is a great program to revise science topics: living things and diversity for primary four students.
Green Encounters is a one-day program. The timing is 9am to 3:30pm at $80 per child ($60 if you are friends of Gardens by the Bay). The younger kids take on the role of a junior horticulturist where they will embark on an exciting botanical scavenger hunt and create a mini air-plant garden of their own to take home.
Outdoor Adventures is a two-days program. The timing is 9am to 5pm on both days at $150 per child ($120 per child if you are friends of Gardens by the Bay). Read the review of my daughter’s experience at this workshop.
My Outdoor Adventures (Review)
I was initially concerned that two full days might be a bit too much, but after tagging along on the first day, I can understand that two full days were needed to fully cover the topics without the kids feeling too rushed or overwhelmed.
Do arrive early to allow time for a leisurely walk to the Cannonball Room where you can drop off or pick up the kids. Meals (lunch and two tea-breaks) are provided during the two days. The morning of the first day was spent playing ice-breaker games, warming the kids up to one another. They were also introduced to their mentors, who are Junior College students.
The mentors will help supervise the young garden troopers and help them along during the two-days. My daughter’s group had two very nice “big sisters” who took great care of their needs and played with them during the breaks. After the first day, she was ready to go solo with her group of big sisters (the other two girls in the group were a year ahead of her).
Plant Families Fun — Flower Dome & Cloud Forest
After a quick morning tea break, the garden troopers headed over to the Flower Dome to learn interesting facts about some of the key plant families at the Gardens. The facilitator or “teacher” was able to clearly explain and introduce the names and characteristics of the different flora and fauna.
I highly recommended this workshop for kids because it offers the opportunity for our kids to explore nature “live”. Kids could retain a lot of information because this workshop is interactive, fun, and engaging their senses to process the “data” they picked up during the two-days workshop.
After a brief introduction, the kids are given tasks or assignments. They can work in groups or alone, and the mentors assigned to their group will tail and guide the kids along. Kids are also encouraged to ask questions along the way and clarify any thoughts they may have.
The Flower Dome was celebrating Lilytopia during the June school holidays with a stunning display of more than 50 varieties of lilies along a charming hippie camper-van and guitar. How could we resist taking pictures of the beautiful lilies? Currently, their theme is “Tribal Tempo” which marks the first large-scale South African floral display in Singapore. Join us on a safari tour across the colorful landscape of South Africa (till 30 Oct 2016). The Flower Dome is open from 9am to 9pm.
Then we headed to the Cloud Forest to learn about the plants from a cooler climate. We have not been to the Cloud Forest before so this was a real treat. Admissions to Flower Dome and Cloud Forest are included in the package.
Lunch & Insect Mania — Fragile Forest & Wild Flower Field
Then the kids got ready to head out to the Fragile Forest & Wild Flower Field to look for butterflies and insects to learn about the special relationship between and the plants. Bring along hats, water bottles, sunglasses (if any) and insect repellents.
It was a bit of a walk to the Fragile Forest (about 10 minutes). Our kids, used to being chauffeured around, began to complain about the heat and the distance. Our gardener-host (in long-sleeved green top) greeted us and showed us the plants that will attract butterflies and insects.
Tea Break & A Plant of My Own
The kids returned to the Cannonball room where they cooled off and rested. Then, it was time to plant her own butterfly-attracting plant. She even got to bring it home so she could attract her own butterflies.
Overall, I thought the kids were kept fully occupied with lots of hands-on activities and fun learning experiences. Also, they were very well looked-after by the mentors. My daughter, she really enjoyed herself and did not mind attending the next day’s program on her own. I take that as a very good sign.
Day 2 — Garden Troopers
On the second day, they will take a closer look at the world of our feathered friends at Kingfisher Lake and the surrounding areas. They will be taught useful bird-watching tips so that they could spot the birds and watch them in their natural habitat. In the afternoon, they will head to Dragonfly Lake to “investigate the mysterious drop in the dragonfly population and try to “save them before it is too late”.
After lunch, the kids will stay in the cool Cannonball room to learn about Nature’s superheroes. Then they will utilize their newfound skills as Wildlife Adventurers and participate in a friendly competition after their tea break.
We enjoyed this experience so much we want to share this experience with you! We are conducting a giveaway for the next Garden Troopers session.
TWO lucky readers will get to register their kids at the Garden Troopers Outdoor Adventures workshop at the special fee of $120 AND receive a pair of complimentary tickets to the Flower Dome with their registration. .
What other workshops do your kids like to attend during the school holidays. You may also like to check out these holiday workshops for kids.