By Nickky Faustine P. de Guzman

It is alarming that kids these days belong to “the most sedentary generation in history.” So said Sam Kass, White House chef and head of US first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program. In the Philippines, child obesity caused by an inactive lifestyle has been increasing since 1998 according to the 2015 National Nutrition Survey of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute.

So if fingers are the only things that kids will be moving this summer (because children will be glued to their gadgets while on vacation), it’s time to get them moving and learning — in real life. The good thing is that there are many programs available that will get kids to look up from their screens this summer — from cooking classes to acting workshops.


If the kids think that their baon (packed lunch) is boring, it is time to pass the chore to them and let them be the chefs of their own meals. Who knows what culinary invention they might come up with?

At the Maya Kitchen’s Magical Adventure, kids and teens can take cooking and baking classes at Maya’s headquarters at the Liberty Bldg., 835 Arnaiz Ave., Makati City.

The classes are as varied and tempting as a box of chocolates; they will have a hard time choosing what to get.


For instance, there’s a theme called “Eat In What You Eat Out,” where children can learn recipes inspired by well-known fastfood joints and restaurants — think fried chicken, buffalo wings, and cold desserts. Classes are offered from April 12 to 15 and May 10 to 13.

It is never too soon to start eating healthy, so kids can learn all about juicing and healthy wraps on April 23.

But then again, kids do have a sweet tooth. To satisfy it, there is a Bars and Cookies class (also on April 23) which lets future pastry chefs get hands-on experience at preparing their own oatmeal raisin cookies, coconut bars, and butterscotch brownies.

The courses range in price from P750 to P8,000 depending on the class. For details visit .


The Center for Culinary Arts, Manila and its Young Chefs Boot Camp is open to budding culinary enthusiasts seven to 16 years old. The camp, which runs until May 27, aims to hone the cooking skills of participants, encourage them to explore their own kitchen creativity, as well as expand their culinary palates.

They can explore the flavors of the world one country at a time with the “Cooking My Way Through Asia,” with classes on April 18-22 and May 2-6. Meanwhile, a class on “My Ultimate Comfort Food” will be held on April 11-15, and May 16-20. There are also pastry classes and classes on Filipino cuisine.

Offered are basic and semi-advanced hands-on cooking classes, each course consisting of five sessions, from Mondays to Fridays.

Each course costs P8,500. For details call 696-9083 for CCA Podium, and 218-8566 for CCA Manila Katipunan; or e-mail or

There is more to art than a perfectly curated Instagram feed filled with perfect flat lay posts and filtered photos. This summer, it’s time to get your kid’s hands on making the real thing. Ignite their inner Pablo Picasso or Frida Kahlo at the Gateway Gallery, the museum at the Araneta Center, which offers its second Artsy Summer Workshops on all Saturdays of April. The gallery is located at the 5F Gateway Tower 2, Araneta Center, Quezon City.


Open for children ages six and up, the arts and crafts workshop will have kids creating tote bags, tie-die shirts, and scrapbooks. Kids age eight and above meanwhile can enroll in the beginner’s painting class, which will teach them discipline and acrylic painting techniques.

Classes cost P4,000 inclusive of materials. For details visit .

If Rak of Aegis has yet another re-run in the next 10 years, make sure that your kids would be ready by then. Running until May 27 is PETA’s (Philippine Educational Theater Association) annual summer workshop program for kids and teens who have what it takes to be the next theater superstars.


PETA offers workshops for kids from ages six to 12, which will open up their creativity and imagination; and for teens ages 13 to 16, which aims to focus on different disciplines of theater from writing and visual arts, to dance and music.

But if they want to stay off the stage and hone their production skills instead, there is also a Visual Arts program.

At the end of the summer programs, all students will have a final production to display their improved skills.

Classes cost P8,000 to P11,000 depending on the course. For details call 725-6244, 0905-369-6003, or visit

At the Trumpet’s Playshop, kids and teens can choose from different classes that range from dancing and DJ-ing to public speaking and poetry reading, bringing them a step closer to their dreams of becoming the next top VJs, dance masters, and all-around performers.

As befits a respected theater company, Trumpets offers classes where kids can learn the fundamentals of musical theater including improvisation and storytelling.

There are also dance classes where teens can learn how to groove and move from the A-Team, which won at the “Olympics of hip-hop,” the World Hip-Hop Dance Competition in 2014.

From hip-hop, we move to hugot (drawing out deep emotions). Teens and even adults can learn the art of hugot with Juan Miguel Severo, a popular spoken word artist known for his viral video Ang Huling Tula na Isusulat Ko Para Sa’yo. His class, called “Paano Ba Humugot?” will be held on April 23 at Fully Booked BGC.

The other classes will be held at KidzCity at The Podium and SM Aura and Hip Zone in Alabang Town Center.

Enrollment starts at P4,500 depending on the course. For details call 901-4364 and 818-1111 loc 235, or 0917-5864177

Hit two birds with one stone — hone a child’s artistic expression and get them physically fit — by enrolling your kid at the Ballet Philippines Dance School and its seven-week intensive training program classes that run until May 22. Offering a variety of classes for kids as young as four years old, the choice includes hip-hop, classical ballet, and modern and contemporary dance, taught by some of the best dancers in the country including Nonoy Froilan, Gina Katigbak-Garcia, and Rhea and Dumdum-Bautista.


In between the dance sessions is a weekly lecture series where students have the chance to interact with artists at the Ballet Philippines dance schools at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and SM Aura Premier in Bonifacio Global City.

Tuition ranges from P16,300 to P19,000 depending on the course. For details call (02) 832-368 or (02) 531-4436.

Just because regular school is over does not mean learning is too. BrainFit Studio Philippines works on children’s self-esteem, penmanship, learning speed, and attention span in a modern and casual setting. The studio, which has branches in Greenhills, BGC, Binondo Manila, and Amoranto, Quezon City, assesses a kid’s capacity and customizes lessons based on their evaluation.


“Each individual has a unique brain profile. We assess each brain’s strengths and weaknesses with a Cognitive Map, an evaluation tool that determines which of a child’s five brain pillars need enhancement,” said BrainFit Studio founder and clinical physiotherapist Cheryl Chia in a statement.

The five “brain pillars” are sensory coordination, attention and memory, auditory and language processing, visual and spatial processing, and social-emotional regulation.

Tuition starts at P7,800 per month for eight sessions. For details call 554-0381 or visit