These products and services from entrepreneurs in the city can help to make your life easier in the current climate!
It’s been tough going in Hong Kong these past few months for small, local businesses. And with the kids expected to be out of school until at least 20th April, we bet you mamas and papas are feeling a bit stretched too! Thankfully, there are a lot of local ventures and mumtrepreneurs here who have come up with a few life hacks and activities to help you maintain your sanity, at the same time as keeping your kids intrigued, entertained and healthy.
*Editor’s Note: The situation in Hong Kong regarding closures and restrictions on opening hours due to the coronavirus is constantly evolving. All businesses mentioned were operational at the time of publishing, but please check before signing up. Most are taking extra precautions, but please make sure you follow the latest government advice and stay home if you have recently travelled overseas, have interacted with anyone who has been away, or display any symptoms.
Keeping the kids busy at home
School’s out which means that the kids are going to be spending a lot more time indoors (and at this time, it might be the best choice for them too). There are a lot of local businesses in Hong Kong that have fantastic toys, books and subscriptions that are not only educational, but engaging and fun too.
Trying to keep up with your kids’ education can be tough from home. Thankfully, Tinkerer Box offers fun and creative STEAM-based subscription boxes for kids aged 3 to 12 (you can cancel the subscription at any time). It’s also worth checking out the items in its online shop, and don’t miss its great blog, which has plenty of tips for parents (including this piece about home learning).
If your children are more into crafting, look at craft boxes from Bizzie Bee or Activity Box. Bizzie Bee crafting kits help support the Lizzie Bee Foundation, a registered charity here in Hong Kong, that helps underprivileged families in the city. Created by a teacher here, Activity Box offers educational and fun boxes with different themes every month. It has a flexible subscription plan, along with free shipping in HK. Its blog is also full of DIY and upcycling activities for kids, as well as posts relating to child development. A new craft subscription service, Campfire Crates, offers crafts, a storybook and activity book, all aimed at teaching children about different cultures around the world.
Smarter Concepts has a fabulous playbook to help with kids dexterity and creativity. It contains 12 interactive soft pages and is a Brain Child Award winner. What’s even better is that the books are also crafted by women in The Philippines who want to work, while staying from home. The business helps support a small cottage industry there.
Little Bean’s Toy Chest is the creation of a Hong Kong mum who creates wonderful and engaging quiet books for kids. These are great for keeping little kids entertained, while working on their fine motor skills. Some of the books are even Hong Kong-themed and you can also get them personalised.
Another way to keep your children engaged is with free, printable worksheets and activity books. We loved these online projects from CreativeKids. For those whose kids are enrolled for regular art lessons at the gallery, don’t worry! Those are still on as normal. These are additional fun activities for those with a creative streak.
Getting the kids out of the house
You and the kids are still going to need some fresh air! Thankfully, there are plenty of places that have remained open for business, while also taking extra precautions with cleanliness to ensure they are safe and fun little havens for the whole family.
Sports & adventure camps
Proactiv Sports is still running camps for kids of all ages. From basketball, gymnastics, soccer, tennis, swimming and more, there are plenty of activities to get your little ones involved in. It also offers free trials, with its camps taking place in various locations across Hong Kong.
Being outside is a great way to stay healthy and avoid getting sick. A-Team Edventures is running some great spring camps for kids that include rock climbing, coasteering, stand-up paddleboarding and exploring the amazing intertidal zones at Cheung Chau. There is also a school work and beach programme, aimed at helping kids finish their homework before they take part in adventures on the beach. Parent-kid camps are available too! Groups are kept small and you can easily enrol online.
What kid doesn’t love to play in the forest? Or get dirty? Well at Hong Kong Forest Adventures, kids from ages 2 to 8 years can do just that. They can explore the forest safely, play in the mud, climb trees, catch grasshoppers, build forts and paddle in the river. With schools being off, Hong Kong Forest Adventures has extended its Play 852 birthday celebration that takes place every Friday until mid-March. It’s suitable for kids of 1.5 to 7 years of age. There are also a variety of other camps and dates to choose from.
Exercise & activity studios
Ryze is open for all kinds of acrobatic fun and it’s a great way to get your children to burn off excess energy! With adjusted hours for rigorous deep cleaning, this trampoline park is also a safe choice for kids to go and have a good time. Little Yogis wants to encourage healthy, mindful, and active lifestyles for kids ages 3 to 8, which includes eating well. This means that its yoga classes are also followed by a cooking class. The studio is still open and has started some new practices to help keep the studio virus-free. This includes temperature checks, additional air purifiers and allowing extra time for cleaning and disinfection. With drop-in options available and discounts for siblings, Little Yogis is a great way to help your kids to become mindful and healthy adults. Many other indoor playgrounds like SuperPark and Verm City are open as well (check websites for adjusted hours).
Taking care of your family’s health
If you’re looking for a few extra ways to keep your family healthy, given the current situation in Hong Kong, there are few small local businesses and brands that you should consider. Some are offering useful products or helpful tips for natural and toxin-free ways to keep homes and hands clean.
Make your own!
We’re big fans of Petit Tippi’s eco-friendly products and services, such as its cloth-diapering workshops and essentials. Now, it has the perfect recipe for a DIY baby-friendly hand sanitiser. Check it out!
Natural products to buy
Bathe to Basics is a local brand that offers eco-friendly, natural body care, household products and hand sanitisers. Look at its anti-viral collection. Buy online, in-store, or through available vendors around Hong Kong.
The runner-up of Sassy Hong Kong’s (our sister site) Reader Awards 2019 for best skincare brand, we all love ZeroYet100 for its great, all-natural and highly effective deodorants. This entrepreneurial venture by two Hong Kong women has now added hand sanitisers to its list of products. They are available online, in-store, or through available vendors around Hong Kong.
Bathe to Basics, S403, Block A, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2858 8135, [email protected], www.bathetobasics.com
Where to shop
There is no better time to avoid animal products! One Vegan Shop offers vegan-friendly grocery and natural cleaning products. Available online and in-store.
From the founder of The Cakery, comes a sustainable online concept store, KIRR (Keeping It Real & Raw), with household, pantry, natural cleaning products and hand sanitiser. It even has a page dedicated to “fighting the coronavirus“. KIRR also has a great blog with recipe ideas, tips on sustainable living, lifestyle, and more.
KIRR (Keeping It Real & Raw), www.kirr.hk