Activities for Kids Aged 0-3 at KAUST

By | October 12, 2016

KAUST is a brilliant place for families with young children. For one, it’s a small, safe community where people look out for one another. There are also a lot of easily accessible and affordable activities to do with young kids. Recently I reached out to the KAUST Community Facebook Page to encourage parents to share their favorite activities for this age group. Below is a compilation of their responses.

I have two small requests as you read through this post:

  • Please let me know if this post is out of date! I’ll be happy to add, edit, or remove any items from this list to keep it up to date over time. Leave a comment to let me know what’s needed.
  • I’d like to work with others in the community to write posts like this for other age groups. If you’re  interested in collaborating, let me know!

Thank you to all those who contributed to this post!

Activities for Kids Aged 0-3 at KAUST

Everyday Activities

Playland Soft-play

Playing in the ball pit at Playland

Playland is a safe, indoor soft-play area which is available to kids age 0 to 11.  Located at the Island Recreation Center, it is 4-stories tall and can accommodate kids who need guidance from their parents or those who are comfortable playing independently. Costing just 5 riyals per visit per kid, it is my family’s favorite spot for an easy and cheap way to entertain the kids out of the house.

Soft-play area at the Racquet Club

Softplay

Playing in the smaller soft-play area located at the Racquet Club in the Gardens residential neighborhood

There is a smaller soft-play area at the Racquet Club for children age 0-5. It is a nice place to host a playdate or to meet other parents of young children.

Playgrounds

kids at the park

The parks don’t have much shade, so be sure to use lots of sun screen.

There are dozens of playgrounds and parks at KAUST. There are lots of slides and climbing frames for the kids to enjoy. Plus – you guessed it – lots and lots of sand!  Most houses are less than 5 minutes walk from the nearest park. The most popular park in the evenings as far as I can tell is the skate-park near the Gardens Mosque.

Swimming pools

pool

The infinity pool at the Island Recreation Club is my favorite

There are 3 large swimming pools and 2 baby pools for the KAUST community. These are a great way to teach kids to swim and keep them cool. The outdoor pools are chilled in the summer making them a comfortable temperature all year long. There is an informal swim group of parents with babies every Wednesday morning in the baby pool at the Island Recreation Center. (- Leona Mueller)

Note: If you’re moving here soon, bring swim diapers and lots of baby sunscreen from home as both are hard to find here.

South Beach

beach boys

The water is warm all year long!

South Beach is a large beach for swimming. It’s in a semi-enclosed cove and there are no strong waves or currents, making it perfect even for our youngest residents. There are also some play houses and toys for toddlers. For older kids and adults there are large inflatable rafts for jumping and climbing, lots of watersport activities, a snack shop, as well as an indoor beach hut with a pool table, ping pong, and more.

Golf

golf-vicky

Introducing golf at a young age. Photo used with permission.

The golf course is aimed at older kids and adults, but bringing baby along on a quiet day can be fun. “I was surprised how much enjoyed kids golf! My oldest wanted to try so [the baby] wanted to follow! He was trying to put balls in the holes and keep the stick!” (-Vicky Bougiatioti)

Ride-on Toys at the Harbor Sports Club

ride on toy

Enjoying one of the new ride-on toys at the Bowling Alley

There are a bunch of new ride-on toys at the bowling alley in the Harbor Sports Club. For older kids and adults there are also arcade games, pool tables, and my personal favorite: air hockey! My kids can easily spend 45 minutes playing on the ride-on toys while I have a cup of coffee and help them on and off the toys.

King Abdullah Monument

king abdullah monument baby

Does anyone have a better picture of the monument which I can put here??!

There is a monument at the north end of KAUST dedicated to the founder of the university. It is a beautiful spot on the water and a nice place to explore with kids. It’s “good for playing, cycling, crab searching, shells, seeing fish etc.” according to Henriette Van Iperen

Getting out of KAUST

camels and baby

me and my bedu baby

Saudi is incredibly family-friendly in general, so there are lots of activities out there for kids. In Jeddah there are tons of soft-play areas and exploration facilities for older kids as well as dozens of small amusement parks. My favorite thing to do outside of KAUST though is to take them to explore in the desert. There are lots of solitary areas in the region to go off-road for a picnic, hiking, or camping. This is an especially popular thing to do in the cooler winter months.

Registration Required

Kindermusik

kindermusik

Kindermusik is fun! Photo used with permission.

More info on Get Active (accessible only on campus)
Kindermusik is a music class for babies and very young kids run by community member Leona Mueller. “Kindermusik meets at the Racquet Club in the Soft Play Area. Mondays at 10:00am (1-3 years), Fridays at 9:00am (sibling class), Saturdays at 9:00am (12 to 20 months), 10:00am (2-3 years), and 11:00am (babies). It is a pay-for class, and families are encouraged to take a free trial to see if it resonates with them. Our schedule and info is on the Get Active website (accessible only on campus). Contact info is on the Get Active website or via the Kindermusik at KAUST Facebook group” (- Leona Mueller)

Gymnastics
More info on Get Active (accessible only on campus)
Gymnastics classes are newly available at KAUST for kids age 18 months and up. My son goes once a week and loves it. “We also very much enjoyed parent-child gymnastics for 1.5-3 year olds […] By far, Gymnastics is my daughter’s favourite after school activity.” (- Leona Mueller)

Movement
More info on Get Active (accessible only on campus)
There are classes for kids ages 3 and up who love to move to music. They have ballet and tap offered for children ages 3 and up. They also have a new kinder movement class for ages up to 3 which will start in November 2016

Football (Soccer)
More info on Get Active (accessible only on campus)
The Little Kickers football program is a popular class for young kids. “The coaches, who hail from Spain, are personable and have grown in experience since their first days at KAUST. I look forward to this time all week, and appreciate the value and love for sport that it is instilling in my daughter.” ( – Leona Mueller)
Note: I can’t seem to find accurate info on exact ages for this program – if you have it let me know!

Story Time

community library

Exploring the community library’s selection of books


This event is on a regular schedule but is free and does not require registration. More info on Get Active (accessible only on campus)
Story time is a volunteer-organized event at the community library, every Sunday at 10am. “Story time this year is run by Elise, a teacher and mum from Australia. She has put together a lovely, varied and thorough program that includes songs, rhymes, a craft and stories. Certainly not to be missed. We KAUST parents are very lucky to have her experience and preparation at our fingertips.”  (- Leona Mueller)

 

Parent-led activities

“KAUST is full of various different plants and flowers. Me and my son love to go for walk on the weekends for flower/ leaves hunting. We collect the ones which are on the ground. We talk about colors, size, shapes and smell. At the end, we bring our treasure home to create the craft. its so much fun and we never get bored of it.” (- Archana Bora)

sunset family

Enjoying a sunset walk. Photo used with permission.

“We love going for walk and seeing beautiful sunsets with our 3yrs old. He loves sand, Red Sea and looking at the sun as it takes long dip in the Red Sea! Cyrus second favorite spot is stadium where we can fly put kite in quite open space.” (-Nimisha Rajawat)

 

Special thanks to the KAUST community contributors for your help in crafting this post.

Follow me on social media:
  • Hafsa

    Hi Claire
    I have googled for months now and I found nothing on students with kids at kaust. Can you please let me know whether students pursuing masters degree at kaust have day care facility for their children?

  • Hi Hafsa –
    Yes, there is a service provider called Building Blocks private school that operates at KAUST. They are available for infants all the way through until they go to proper school. Everyone who lives here has access to it and the rates differ depending on your status – for instance the normal rate is heavily subsidized for students.

    I’ve been thinking of writing a post on here about the day care. Do you have any other general questions that prospective KAUSTies like you might want answered about the facility?

  • tracy

    Do you require the services of a hacker for your ethical/unethical hacks? or feel the need to spy on employees,spouse or kids,change school grades,etc ..contact cyberhackinglord@gmail.com, he’s time conscious and reliable..check him out and you won’t be disappointed..serious enquirers only!!