live it up
Published On: November 24, 2017 09:17 AM NPT By: Swasti Gautam
The place is beautifully designed with attractive rainbow ceilings, Mickey Mouse mirrors, car chairs, and an indoor play center for children. With spacious interior, friendly staff and a huge range of facilities, this is actually a one-stop solution for all your child’s needs. Located in Naxal, Kathmandu, Giggles is a childrens’ day care, salon, and lounge. “Giggles is a boon for working parents. It is an entirely new concept in Kathmandu and it is indeed a wonderful place,” says Rashmi Pokharel who has a three-year old daughter.
A gadget free day care
“For working parents, school holidays are often a big problem,” says Ruby Jaspreet Sharma who has a four-year old son. Although against their will, kids in Kathmandu are locked inside the houses during holidays with an iPad or a television remote in their hands. “Giggles often engages children in various productive activities. I personally like their camps where children are made to do yoga and various other physical activities,” says Sharma.
The day care facility encourages young children to keep electronic gadgets aside and have fun in real life. “We intend to give them the childhood we were fortunate enough to have before the advent of technology. We have various indoor games like blocks, puzzles, and scrabble which children these days do not know how to play,” says Agrawal. They also involve children in activities such as drawing, painting, and reading.
At least once a month, Agrawal organizes a ‘good touch and bad touch’ session that teaches children how to be safe in their homes as well as in school. Zumba, yoga and dance sessions are also organized a few times a week. “With very few parks in the valley, children do not usually get enough exercise in Kathmandu. That makes them extremely unhealthy. We have frequent yoga, zumba and dance classes to tackle that issue,” says Agrawal adding that Giggles also screens movies for kids provided the parents are okay with the content being shown.
“I find Giggles day care safe and enjoyable. I don’t find myself fretting about my son when he’s there. I think the team at Giggles have created an environment where your child can have fun and learn something new at the same time, and as a parent I’m grateful for that,” says Sharma.
Fun activities and holiday camps
Summer and winter camps are also organized during school vacations. “This camp instills in kids’ various skills such as dancing, singing, sharing and developing good manners. My kid enjoys their camps a lot because she can make lots of new friends there and enjoy her vacation. Otherwise, she would just be sitting at home,” says Mura.
These camps also have personalized sessions for children who need special assistance. “There are parents who come up to us and tell us that their child is bad at public speaking. So we organize special one to one session with those kids to boost their confidence level,” says Agrawal.
Their camp, however, isn’t limited to indoor activities like painting, writing, and reading only. They make sure kids get plenty of outdoor time and the much-needed vitamin D by organizing treasure huts, teaching them the basics of gardening, etc. “And you can be sure that your kid will be getting some exercise too. Zumba and yoga hold permanent slots at the camps,” adds Mura.
“If I go to some other salon, my daughter often gets irritated and bored. She wants to go home as soon as possible. But at Giggles, mothers get their own chance to relax while their children are engaged in some other activities. Along with their children, even mothers can get their haircut, pedicure, manicure, massage, and hairstyling. Fathers can also have a haircut at this place,” says Kundvalli Jhunjhunwala who almost four year old daughter enjoys going to Giggles with her mother during the weekend.
While leaving kids anywhere, one of the primary concerns parents usually have is regarding security but Giggles takes care of that too. “At other day care centers, there have been various instances where children have been abused by the nannies. So to make sure children are safe here, we have installed CCTV cameras everywhere,” says Agrawal. They also do not let any of their male staff enter the lounge where children are playing. Many parents we spoke to confessed that knowing there are cameras all over the place let them ease up a bit and not worry about their children unnecessarily.
With everything well thought of and planned, Giggles aims to create a safe and comfortable environment for children and share the responsibility of their working client. “I’m a mother myself and I know how difficult it is to handle personal and professional responsibilities at the same time. I hope through Giggles I’m able to help working parents and lighten their load a little bit while making sure their kids are well taken care of and grow up just fine,” concludes Agarwal.
Pampering our kids
“Most of the salons in Kathmandu are not children friendly. I remember my son used to hate going to a hair salon. Getting a haircut was a nightmare for him,” says Min Agrawal, founder and owner of Giggles. That is how she got the idea of running a salon that primarily caters to kids.
“When I started researching about kids’ salon, I realized that it is a ‘big thing’ in the rest of the word. So I decided to start one in Nepal too. I wanted it to be a cute and attractive place where kids could enjoy and have fun, all while getting the dreaded haircut,” says Agrawal.
Most parents The Week spoke to also seemed extremely satisfied with the services provided by Agarwal and team. “My daughter insists on going to Giggles every time she needs a haircut. The place is very convenient for me as well. While my daughter is preoccupied with playing games, I can get a much-needed oil massage at Giggles,” says Kyoki Mura who has a seven-year old daughter.
“I believe that a full body massage is extremely essential for kids and their mothers. For that, we have homemade body scrubs that help in keeping your kids healthy,” says Agrawal adding that though all their facilities are targeted at kids, mothers too can get some pampering.
“Giggles also provides special facilities for kids such as hairstyling, manicure and pedicure, nail art, and lice treatment. We go there during the weekends as mothers can relax at the spa there and kids have a wide range of activities to choose from,” adds Mura.
Rashmi Pokharel says that the best part about giggles is that her daughter feels very comfortable there. “They have very friendly staff and they know how to handle children well,” she says claiming that her child loves spending her holidays at Giggles as they get to do something different every time. Activities such as face painting and temporary tattoos are also available.
“The salon at Giggles offers various facilities for both boys and girls. They use products that are safe for children and I love the homemade hair oils they have,” adds Pokarel.
Apparently, the owner makes most of the hair packs and oils herself to ensure they are organic and chemical free, and thus safe for use. And the same goes for products used for facials. These products cater to various skin problems that teens usually face such as acne and pimples.
“I celebrated my daughter’s birthday at Giggles. My daughter and her friends had a wonderful time there. The place also offers spa parties which my daughter enjoys,” says Yulia Koirala, owner of Sushila Arts Academy. “Young girls enjoy their grooming sessions while talking and giggling with their friends. It is a relaxing and fun activity for them,” adds Koirala. After the spa, kids can put on their makeup, wear nice dresses, cut the birthday cake, and have a dance party.
Lounge parties, on the other hand, are especially designed for boys where they can have fun, dance, play games, and watch movies with their friends. “We have had customers who want spa parties for their young boys as well. So there is no gender barrier as such when it comes to spa parties,” says Agrawal.
Koirala confessed that holding a birthday party at Giggles lessened a considerable load of catering children’s parties. “Giggles takes care of the decoration, cakes, food, and return gifts as well. That way children can have their dream birthday party and parents are not pressurized about the arrangements,” says Koirala adding that Giggles can also be a perfect venue for baby showers and various other kids of parties.
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