If you’re looking for something outside of the normal sports box and a new exciting way to keep the kids active, the following five non mainstream sports options will help build their fitness, confidence and social skills in a fun and engaging environment.
1. Movement Playground: 93 Bangna 33, Bangna-Trat Road
The world’s fastest growing lifestyle sport, parkour is an activity that involves moving quickly and logically over a series of obstacles, usually in an urban space. Bringing this excitement to Bangkok, the Movement Playground runs a series of “Ninja” classes for 6 to 15 year olds at all levels. By balancing, climbing, swinging and vaulting over a series of obstacles, this safe and encouraging environment helps young parkour enthusiasts develop strength, flexibility, coordination, teamwork and confidence – all while having a heap of fun at the same time. Prices start from 550 baht for a 60 minute drop-in class.
2. Capoeira Angola Bangkok: 491/22 Silom Road Silom Plaza, 3rd floor
Originating in Brazil, Capoeira Angola is a traditional African-Brazilian cultural art that combines playful sparring, acrobatics, music, dance, philosophy and history. Bringing this art form to a younger generation, Capoeira Angola Bangkok runs classes for children aged 4 to 8, inspired by CAPO4KIDS (an enrichment programme started in Chicago, USA). This graceful and highly social form of physical exercise allows children to develop their coordination and musicality through physical movements, singing, playing percussion instruments and creative dance. The cost for a full term (which includes 9 sessions) is 2,700 baht per student
3. Bangkok Wing Chun: 60 Soi Lasalle 17 Sukhumvit 105
Just a 4-minute stroll from Bearing BTS station, Bangkok Wing Chun runs a range of martial arts, self-defense and fitness classes for various ages and abilities. Alongside Wing Chun and Muay Thai classes, state-of-the-art exercise facilities include a training ring, 200-meter running track, free weights and punching bags. The classes are great for exercise and confidence building, and while the kids sweat it out in the gym, parents can hang out in the coffee bar with free WiFi. Single sessions start from 700 baht for Wing Chun and 500 baht for Muay Thai.
4. Yoga for kids at Iyengar Yoga Bangkok: Fifty Fifth Plaza, Sukhumvit Soi 55
Opened back in 1999 by American Justin Herold, Lyengar Yoga Bangkok is Thailand’s first accredited centre for Iyengar yoga. The emphasis is on developing body alignment and breathing through props such as cushions, belts and blankets. Along with adult sessions, children (6 to 12 year olds) can stretch, twist and flex during ‘Yoga for Kids’ classes – held twice a week on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Prices start at 500 Baht per class.
5. Rock Domain Climbing Gym: 1780 Bangna-Trad Rd, Bang Na.
Billed as the biggest climbing facility in Thailand, Rock Domain Climbing Gym has over 1,100 square metres of climbing space dedicated to novices and seasoned pros alike. The Bouldering section, Top Rope Wall and Lead Wall each have over 100 routes with varying degrees of difficulty – great for young climbers learning the ropes. Climbing instruction and courses are also available to lend technical tips, and support and all the gear you need can be hired or bought from the on-site shop. Prices start from 400 baht (300 baht for those under 18).