Kuwait has a growing number of quality preschools and nurseries including bilingual, Montessori, play-based, Reggio and more. Most accept children ages 1-4 years but a handful also accept babies as young as a few months old and / or offer afterschool hours. See a list of our favorites with full contact information here.
Kuwait's spring is short and sweet - with only a few weeks of clear, sunny skies before the heat of summer kicks in full force. Enjoy the time outdoors at a local park or playground. Kuwait Moms Guide loves visiting the local parks and playgrounds and has a full round up of places to visit with the kiddos here.
Last year I visited Dew's Studio in Salmiya to experience for the first time the pleasure of pottery. I've always wanted to try it and finally had the chance. The studio is beautiful, light and airy with lots of sunlight, warm hardwood floors and shelves and shelves showcasing hand made pottery, glazed and unglazed, in every imaginable shape and form.
Throwing is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable things I've ever experienced. The wet clay, the spin of the wheel and the complete focus needed to manipulate the clay create a full immersion, sensory experience and you walk out afterwards hardly realizing that two hours have gone by. I highly recommend it for quality time with hubby or the kids and even if you just want to relax and create something with no pressure and no expectations.
In fact, Nada, the owner, encourages you to focus on the experience and the process rather than the final product and this is a perfect approach for children and beginners.
So this weekend, I decided to take the girls and give them a chance to experience it. Sabel took to it like a natural, spending nearly the entire time immersed in the process. She played with the clay (we tried both the lush white stone clay and then the soft brown earthy clay), creating bowls and cups and saucers, flattening it out and then building it back up. She's only seven and I was surprised with how focused and immersed she was the entire time. Safyre enjoyed it to but then got distracted by the soft furry Lujain (the resident rabbit).
The studio offers walk in classes for children, teens and adults (see pricing below) as well as full length courses, studio access, birthday parties and private events.
A rain forest in Dubai?
Last year over winter break we took the girls for a short trip to Dubai. I wasn't up for shopping so we instead visited The Green Planet. Located near The City Walk in Al WAsl area, The Green Planet is a five-story simulated rain forest inside a building. I was a bit skeptical at first but hubby convinced me that the girls would really enjoy it and he was right.
The Green Planet looks like another Dubai building from the outside until you round the corner and see the cylindrical glass casing that houses the ‘rain forest’. Inside there are literally thousands of plants, free flying birds, butterflies (sadly these are quickly eaten by the birds when released) and other insects and reptiles.
The Green Planet is multi-storied, so you start at the top and wind your way down, around a massive rain forest anchored in the middle by a simulated tree. Birds including toucans, parrots and others native to tropical rain forests fly freely around the atrium. The staff are friendly and offer short lectures on the animal and plant life.
Our girls had the chance to pet a snake – something both weren’t too keen to try but eventually did. They learned that contrary to popular belief, snakes aren’t slimy but as Safyre noted, “they are squishy under their skin, like they just ate a giant rat!”.
There is a butterfly exhibit showing the butterflies hanging in the chrysalis stage with a staffer to explain the process. Reptiles, a sloth, jeweled beetles and other small animals comprise the most exciting of the exhibits and there are a few interactive videos that help explain what an ‘ecosystem’ is and how it works.
To walk the entire ‘forest’ takes about an hour, more if you pay to pet the sloth or feed the feed. We stopped to watch birds being fed and take photos.
If you are planning a trip to Dubai over the winter break, I highly recommend this. It was an unusual and educational experience that we all enjoyed. Totally worth it and one of the highlights of our trip.
Entrance is AED 99 (AED 89 if you book in advance).
Sunday – Wednesday: 10am-7pm
Thursday – Saturday: 10am-8pm
(Last tickets are sold one hour before closing)
Kuwait now offers a full buffet of after school and extra curricular options for kids including academics, arts & crafts and sports. In our newest guide, updated for the 2018/2019 academic year, we've got the details for the most popular programs around the country. We hope you find it helpful.
Back to school is often one of the most stressful times of the year for both moms and kids. We stress and worry about so many details – uniforms, backpacks and lunch boxes and school supplies, finding the class room and meeting new teachers and making sure we’ve got all the logistics organized for getting them back and forth to school, fed and rested, then homework and dinner and bedtimes.
Meanwhile our kiddos are fighting their own fears – worried about finding old friends and making new ones and establishing their place within a new class, building a relationship with a new teacher and new classmates and taking in all the new and challenging information and responsibilities of studies.
Rather than continue with this trend, however, I’m going to tweak our planning to try and make it as stress free as possible. Here’s some of my ideas:
Wishing all your kiddos a happy and peaceful start to the new school year!
1. Go ice skating or swimming – There are two ice skating rinks in Kuwait @promenadeicekw & the skating rink in Kuwait City and you can always get a day pass to the Swimming Pool complex in Salmiya.
2. Learn to knit or crochet – Several places offer workshops for adults and children. @fakhri_arts @littlemomsgroup @needlesandyarn
3. Tour the playplaces. For younger kids, @playkuwait Discovery and Promenade malls, or @futurekidkuwait Kids, @magicplanetmena.
For older ones, try @trampoofficial in Murouj. There’s a new playplace in @alhamratower too.
4. Get some books. Take the kids to the book shop @spectrawidebookstore @thatalsalasil @q8bookstore & Dar Al Athar Al Islamiyya has storytimes on Saturdays. Better Books in Salmiya is doing a summer reading challenge for kids. (visit their FB page for more info).
5. Do some YouTube art/crafts/science experiments – There are a million+ videos for kids to do arts/crafts. Check your supplies and search based on what you have on hand. Just be sure to view the video first and make sure its age appropriate.
6. Take them to work with you for the day – if you can – and give them small tasks.
7. Learn to code. There are tons of free or low cost resources online for learning to code and even summer camps here that offer it. Introduce them to the concept and see if they want to take a class – online or in a camp: @catchcaravan
8. Go for a workshop. @artspaceq8 @7erafy @thelittlesewing_instituteetc offer lots of summer fun workshops.
9. Put on your sneakers and go for a marathon walk around the Avenues. Take the kids to lunch afterwards as a treat.
10. Take a yoga class as a family. There are like a gazillion yoga places in Kuwait. Ask for a class for moms and kids.
Finally, kids should also be able to entertain themselves. Give them some books, legos, puzzles, building blocks, colors and paper & leave them to it. Trust me, it’s good for you and them.
#KuwaitMomsGuide #KuwaitMoms #KuwaitKids #q8kids #q8moms #kuwait
There is so much to see/do at the newly opened Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Center in Maidan Hawally. There are six massive museums:
2. Arabic & Islamic Science
3. Science & Technology-Human Body
4. Science & Technology-Transportation/Robots
5. Natural History-Ecosystems
6. Natural History-Our Earth.
We spent 3+ hours during our first visit and barely scratched the surface.
We visited Space, Ecosystems & Science/Human Body but did not have time to explore all the exhibits in each. Its worth it to visit one or two at a time and save the others for the next visit in order to get the full experience. Also be sure to tour the outside grounds to see all the amazing sculptures including dinosaurs and some by Nadim Karam.
There is also a Fine Arts Center and the museums will offer regular workshops, performance and outdoor activities. Regular workshops, lectures and other activities will also be taking place and you find the updates on the ASCC social media and website.
Saturday: 9am to 7pm
Monday: 9am to 7pm
Tuesday: 9am to 7pm
Wednesday: 9am to 7pm
Thursday: 3pm to 10pm
Friday: 3pm to 10pm
(Be sure to go early. Sale of entrance tickets will stop 1 hour prior to closing; museums closed 30 minutes prior to closing.) Timings may change on public holidays.
Adults (18+) KD 3
Kids (18-2) KD 2
Under 2: Free
1. Wear comfortable shoes
2. Take snacks/water for the kiddos. There are cafes (the ones in Science / Human Body museum & Arabic-Islamic art were open but I didn't see a lot of kid friendly-food.)
3. Go early. It gets crowded fast & they will stop letting in new visitors when capacity is reached.
4. Be prepared to get lost or be given wrong info. We were directed to the wrong entrance for the rainforest/ aquarium 2x & told there was a cafe somewhere there wasn't. It's newly opened so staff are also still learning their way around. Be patient.
5. You won't be able to see it all at once - so take your time & enjoy all the exhibits at your leisure. You can always come again to see a different museum
6. Definitely do the Planetarium in the Space museum. It's an extra KD 2 per person but TOTALLY worth it.
7. When you enter Science / Human Body, get the swipe card. It will track all your games / scores & give you a record at the end. Also the kids need one to run the race tracker, play basketball & soccer and most of the games. Oh and the giant, multi-story slide inside ST-Human Body is amazing! Be sure to take your kids to enjoy it.
Visit the museums website here to learn more
One of my favorite places to take the girls for a morning outing is the Bayan Botanical Gardens at Bayan Palace. The gardens are only open to the public on Thursdays from 9:30am to 1:30pm so its something special when we have a chance to go.
The gardens are comprised of manicured lawns with grass, fresh flowers and small ponds and three massive green houses. There are thousands of plants representing six different gardens and four different climate zones including tropical, dry, Mediterranean and European environments. There are small waterfalls, a pond with some fish and a sitting area for those who want to take a break and relax.
The gardens make the perfect field trip or play date destination. There is no good or drink available, however so be sure to bring water for the kiddos. We've visited several times since it opened in 2015 & always discover something new each time we go.
Entrance is free but you should bring your Civil ID & register at the reception.
Now is the time to get outside and play with the kiddos. Every year Kuwait Moms Guide updates our extensive list of our favorite local parks & playgrounds. Check it out here.