11 fun activities that kids will enjoy

By on February 29, 2012
As spring 2012 makes its presence felt by the gradually stabilizing two-digit celsius Tokyo temperature,  there’s no denying that the season of wearing heavy layers and hibernation is finally over.  What better way to welcome the start of longer, brighter days than to add cheer to your brood by planning activities ahead in time for the much awaited spring break.   Not all children are the same so we have put together various activities to choose from where even the most picky one can have his share of fun!
Ride a Roller Coaster
One of the most talked about roller coasters in the world Vanish, is located in Yokohama Cosmo World.  It is the world’s first roller coaster to go underwater.  One exciting ride lasts a little more than a minute.   ¥700 a ride   (entrance to the park free) A thrilling sight to see as much as to experience.   Not recommended for the faint of heart. Other attractions suitable for babies to 3 years old also available.Age limit until 64 years.    Height restriction: at least 120 cms
http://senyo.co.jp/cosmo/ (in Japanese)
 2-8-1, Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama,
231-0001   Tel 045-641-6591
Nearest station:   Sakuragicho Station: JR Keihin Tohoku Negishi
Line / Municipal Subway
Minatomirai Station: Minatomirai Line
Swim Indoors
Some kids are at their best behaviour when inside a pool. To some children, the sight and sound of water splash signal “playtime”. Saitama area has an all-year-round pool called Aqua Paradise Patio, housed in a Spanish style dome just like a luxury resort facility complete with a 25m swimming pool, slides, spinning slider, wave pool, lazy river, etc. There’s also a wet and dry sauna as well as jacuzzis for moms to relax in.Open 9 am – 9pm
Admission ¥800 (adults and high school students)
¥400 (Junior high students) ¥200 (elementary-middle school students)
Infants freeNearest station: Fukaya station by JR Takasaki line
Saitama Prefecture, Fukaya, Kashiai

Play all day at the Taiya-Koen (Tyre Park)
This playground will appeal to children with boundless energy. The place is obviously packed with all things tyre, thus the name. A gigantic dinosaur made of tyre reaching to the sky, tyre “monsters”, regular and tyre swings, bridges, slides, climbing equipment, and loose ones that children are free to play around with. Climbing through the dinosaur’s tail will attract younger kids while older ones will be challenged climbing up the spine. Kids including parents can haul tyres up the steps and “tube” down the wide concrete slide. The park is equipped with shaded picnic tables where parents and kids can enjoy meals packed from home. Family restaurants and shops are close to Kamata station. Plan to spend a good amount of time here … it could be hours before your children “tire” of this playground!

Taiya-Koen 1-6-1 Nishi Rokugo, Ohta-ku 03-3772-5692

Train: From Shinagawa station, take the Keihin Tohoku line to Kamata station. Take the west exit and then turn left, walking through Tokyu Plaza, Keeping to the left, follow alongside the tracks and walk straight for 10-15 minutes. Just past the driving school, the park is on your right.

NOTE: Bring a stroller for younger kids, as the walk back to the station afterwards might be too much for them. Some side street parking is also available.

Last Call for Kids to Ski!
If you have missed a visit to the slopes last month, you still have another month to do so. Until the end of March, beginners, novice, intermediate, and advanced ski instruction for kids ages 3-12 are available at Evergreen’s Outdoor Center. You have the option to choose from private or group lessons.

Half day lessons in the morning start from 9:30am until 12 noon. Afternoon lessons start from 1:30 until 4pm. Evergreen instructors are all English-speaking with German, French, and Spanish instructors available on request. For more information, visit http://www.evergreen-hakuba.com/japan-ski/kids-lessons.html

Learn Karate
If discipline and focus are not your child’s strong points, learning Karate may just be what he/she needs. Japanese and foreign parents know that when they sign-up their kids for a Karate class, not only do children have fun meeting new friends, they also learn zen principles of discipline that can be applied in daily life as they grow.

Mugen Karate
Tel.   03-5856-5575

Learn Guitar
Are you raising the next Justin Bieber?  Is he showing signs of interest in music?  Most singer/songwriters started their hit songs using the guitar. A lot of them started early.   If you think your child can carry a tune and has a flair for music, take him for
guitar lessons at The Marvelous Sun & Son music where lessons are taught in English from ages 3 and above.  

If you haven’t experienced fruit picking in Japan, it is a good time to do so. March is the last month to appreciate one of kids’ most loved fruit, the ichigo (strawberry).   Embark on a “All-You-Can-Eat” strawberry trip to the farms, get your hands dirty, have loads of fun, take photos and share them on facebook!

Kawatsura Strawberry Farm http://chiba4u.com/1583/e/html/mail.htm
Niikura Farm   http://niikuranoen.com/
Strawberry picking tours  http://www.yokoso-japan.jp/en/39350.html

Build Blocks
Good news to kids from 3-10! Tokyo Legend Discovery Center will be opening in June 2012 at Decks Tokyo Beach Mall in Odaiba. This is a good time for parents to form a Lego playgroup where children’s skills in creating and building blocks will be put to practice. If you are raising a Lego newbie, it might be helpful to take formal lessons in the game. Check out www.legoeducation.jp (Japanese only)

Spring/Summer Playgroup

2012 Spring course at Gregg International School
Special spring class will be offered from March 26 to April 3 at GIS. Elementary level students will be offered Language Arts, Science, and Health and Fitness. Arts and Crafts, cooking, singing, dancing, including science will be offered to preschoolers. http://www.gis-j.comSpring and Summer classes at Ohana
Ohana International School is pleased to announce that it will be having an Open Morning on Friday, March 16th 2012 from 9:30am to 11am. This is a wonderful opportunity for families interested in quality Early Childhood Education to come and see our “school with a difference”. We pride ourselves on being personal, nurturing, multi-sensory, unique, environmentally friendly and individualised; while embracing difference, teaching children how to take care of the earth and giving to the broader community wherever we can.Please contact the school to reserve your time as places are limited. Our regular programme will continue on this day, giving parents an opportunity to see “Ohana in action”. We are looking forward to meeting you sharing our beautiful boutique preschool with you.A Fun Summer with Ohana will commence on 11th June 2012 with another exciting, adventurous month of Summer School.

Tel: 03-3451-0087
E-mail: Ohana.International.Sch@gmail.com
Website: www.school-in-tokyo.com

Young children pay attention to everything they see. The joy of pretend play in the form of art brings out the creative streak in them as they give meaning to shapes and color of objects they create. Children enjoy the sense of having their own space and time to be free to decide the idea, lines, dots, shapes, color to bring to their artwork, making them proud and confident.

Check out what’s on offer at these schools of art for children:

Grab a tennis racket!
Junior kids will find tennis drills fun and exciting. If you are raising an aspiring Andre Agassi, starting to expose them early to the sports will do them good. Agassi started tennis at age 3. While there are so many tennis lessons offered around Tokyo and Yokohama, there are only a few in town that teach in English. Spring being a peak tennis season, check out which school suits you best.

www.midorigaoka.co.jp (Japanese lessons)
www.jumpingsmash.org/school/ (English lessons)

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