Interacting with Your Child with the Language of Arts

【Interview with Carsten Rakutt & Crisel Consunji, Founders of Baumhaus】

Founded by Carsten Rakutt and Crisel Consunji, Baumhaus is a creative learning and family development center with locations in Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui. Established four years ago, Baumhaus strives to build a supportive community, empower families to develop creativity and foster independence in children.

“Our goal is to inspire creativity and independence to prepare them with the skill sets they'll need to be successful in the future,” says Carsten.

Carsten moved to Hong Kong from Germany 8 years ago with a thriving shipping career. He met Crisel who was running a small learning center offering Kindermusik program at that time. A trained early childhood educator, Crisel has taught in both Academic and extra-curricular organisations. Together they
decided to make a change.

“We realized that the life components of parents and children are always separated in Hong Kong. We all have a very structured life. We have breakfast together in the morning, then we send children to school and we go to work. In the evening, it’s the same structured approach to get ready to bed. Play time for kids is very limited,” Carsten pointed out. “We wanted to change this. We wanted to change the narrative of this structured life to encourage more open communication between parents and kids.”

While Carsten is in charge of the operational side, Crisel takes charge of the curriculum and program development at Baumhaus. Crisel has experience in both early childhood and young adult education, and has a gift for interacting with children. She was a musical theatre performer in Philippines and in 2008, she moved to Hong Kong to become the lead vocalist in Hong Kong Disneyland. Because of her passion for teaching, she decided to pursue her education credentials, and build up her career in early childhood education in creative arts.

“Throughout my career as a performer, I realize the power of the arts. I understand first-hand how it helps people accept and express themselves as well as support the development of children. Arts Education allows young people to tap into their talents and build confidence,” says Crisel.

Crisel and Carsten truly believe that the arts is an untapped tool for education and that creativity is vital and a necessary skill for the 21st century.

“The future of our society will not be merely academic. For our children to be an accomplished human being in the future, they’ll need these core skill sets in them – creativity, passion, resilience, communication, collaboration and critical thinking,” says Carsten. This involves the integration of the whole family. Therefore, Baumhaus is built as a community based center where they can integrate parents into the education.

THE PROGRAMS

The classes at Baumhaus involve two main areas, music and drama. Through their Kindermusik and Performing Arts program, children are encouraged to express their creativity and individuality. Starting at 3 months up to 3 years old, the Kindermusik program is designed to promote the holistic development of children through music. By giving them a voice, it allows children to be independent and build their self-esteem.

Performing Arts, on the other hand, is the bridging program after Kindermusik. It helps children to transit from a play-based music class to a more structured environment, getting ready for stage performance. “Our teaching methodology is a mix of play and structure. This is to prepare children for the gradual change of learning environment when they go to kindergarten at 3,” Carsten explained.

FAMILY-INFANT-TODDLER PROGRAM and MORE

This year, Baumhaus is launching a new program called Family Infant and Toddler (FIT) Program. FIT is an observation playgroup program for birth to 18 months. It is created especially by Baumhaus based on research and their experience in holistic early childhood education, designed to support toddlers’ development and more importantly for parents to observe, recognize and celebrate where their child is at physically, emotionally, cognitively and socially.

In an effort to provide families with more quality experiences, Baumhaus is in collaboration with partners who share the same vision. Edge N’ Pointe and Mini Mandarin are amazingly successful programs in their own right and provides Baumhaus with quality dance and language classes.

THE BAUMHAUS EXPERIENCE

At each Baumhaus center, they have their signature tree house at the playroom. Crafted and built in Germany, the tree house follows the European Standard of Safety for children’s playgrounds and is designed to stimulate children’s inquiring nature, imagination and creativity. Carsten indicated that “We intentionally provided children a space that allows them to explore, make mistakes, fall safely and even bump into each other. This way, communication, collaboration and resilience need to happen, and these are what we want our children to learn from at an early age.”

Baumhaus is committed to build a supportive community and help families nurture children’s creativity. “Children naturally speak the language of the arts. They sing before they speak, and they dance before they walk,” Crisel pointed out. Baumhaus truly has a unique way to teach and interact with children through music and arts. Their team is devoted to show parents this new way to interact with their children, empower families and support the child.

 

Baumhaus Wai Chai Annex Open Day is on 23 June. Free admission! Register now to reserve your spot!