Monday, December 06, 2010

Activities for Baby in Egypt: A Review of Dados Egypt

Finding things to do with a young child in Egypt is not easy. This has been a great source of frustration for me, particularly being from a place like Kentucky where green grass is everywhere and activities for children abound.

Here in Egypt green spaces are usually surrounded by a fence, and you have to pay admission to enter by the gate. Then once you get inside, you find the playground old and decrepit and unsafe for young children.

All I wanted was to let my son swing, for heaven's sake. Was this too much to ask?!

Our solution to this problem finally was to join an Egyptian sporting club. But that is a subject for another time.

So when it came time to think about trying to find any sort of class for my son - music, art, or even just story time - I honestly had no clue where to begin. At first I was determined to find something close to home. He was young and took naps at random times, so I preferred to stay on our side of town.

Then I discovered Dados. A friend of mine had taken her son to both the Music and Create Fun classes in Maadi and recommended both classes to me.

So we tried a Create Fun class. The age range for this class is pretty large, from 10 months to 3 years. It's all about letting your child discover things through his senses.

My son at the Create Fun class
For example, we went to a class based around rice. Each activity allowed him to discover rice in a different way.
  1. Small square bean bags filled with rice to throw and touch.
  2. Larger socks filled to the brim with rice that to bang on the padded floor.
  3. A baby pool filled with rice allowed him to sit in the rice and discover the feel of it on his hands and feet.
  4. Cooked rice to squeeze out into ropes to feel it (and taste it) on his hands.
  5. Finally making a *sushi* snack of bread, cream cheese, cucumber, and rice. 
We tried the Music class as well. This particular class is perfect for my son at his age now (1 year). The age range is from 3 months to 5 years (although most of the children in the class are 1 to 2 years old).

With the music class, the teacher brings out a new instrument for each song. At the age of 1 year, it is helping him to learn not just about music but also how to watch the teacher and to play his instrument at the same time. Then at the end of each song, they *clean-up* together by putting up the toys. This is a difficult lesson for him to learn (giving away the new toy after just a few minutes), but he is also watching the other kids and learning this way as well.

We live in Heliopolis and have tried the classes in our part of town. But I personally enjoy the Dados center downtown in Zamalek more, even if it is farther away.

There are other classes offered at the Zamalek center that are not offered anywhere else. For example, there is a Story Fun class on Saturdays that we might try because I believe my son might enjoy as well.

All in all, I must say that I have been impressed with the overall experience with Dados. These are the first of this type of classes that I have tried with my son, and he has enjoyed them thus far.

I have been looking into other classes like this around town, so if I find anything else I will be sure to let you know. What about you? What kinds of activities do you do with your child?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Erin,
    If you still live in egypt then you have to visit My Gym Egypt. the first kids' fitness center in heliopolis. We have a variety of classes for kids starting 6 weeks old to 13 years old.
    You can check the facebook page:


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