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Playgroups Can Do More

Playgroups Can Do More

Stay at home moms might not see the importance of sending their child to a playgroup since she can be with them 24/7. Reading, counting and good manners can be taught at home and there is no doubt of achieving this mile at our own households. However, playgroups do not actually offer free time to the parents but a developmental curriculum for the children, more importantly, their social skills. They will be playing and interacting to each other the whole time at the same time completing development process as a child.

With that being said, it is important that our toddlers are attending a playgroup that prioritizes his well-being as well as his peers. Being careful and critical with the community that we plan to bond our child with is a must. We should assess the competencies of imparting good conducts both at home and at a playgroup. While we are most likely to send our child to playgroups to let us have extra time for other duties, monitoring their performance and behavior can say a lot about the playgroup they are attending.

If you are looking for a good playgroup in Singapore to start your child in, do consider Mulberry Learning Centre in Singapore. They carry the Reggio Emilia framework and Habits of Mind curriculum which are both excellent programs for your child. As a top notch preschool centre, you should check them out here.

To guide us in ensuring the quality of the playgroup we are planning to send our child to, we have an article from Maanasi Radhakrishnan.

5 Advantages and Disadvantages of Sending Your Child to Preschool

Are you thinking of admitting your child in a preschool before he or she joins kindergarten?

Pre-schools often have specialized curriculum and approach to education and also offer a lot of advantages, especially to working moms. On the other hand, your toddler can benefit from staying at home during these developmental years. Read more here

Enrolling our children to a playgroup means giving him more chances of having fun, interacting with children in the same age, and learning to develop independency. A good 2-3 hours of non-stop playing, singing, dancing, and arts learning basic fundamental knowledge is enough for parents to imagine what would their child be in future; which field he excels and which one does he need to practice more. However, all of these activities are fairly implemented to every child and it is their own ability that will determine their talent.

Anyhow, a child who is not trained according to what his brain and body needs will compromise his potential and we don’t want to do that to our kids. Parents and teachers are the best people to help them respond to their requirements and be the best that they can be. As they move to primary school until they pick up what passion is, the core activities from their playgroup years will be contributors. Letting them do what they should help them shape their dreams and aspirations as they grow older.

This article from Tracy Tristam will give us examples of activities can be helpful for our child and to parents, as well.

Playgroups in Singapore for under-fives: music, dancing, sensory play and more

If your nursery rhyme repertoire needs some new material or you’ve exhausted your art and craft stash, these organised playgroups offer loads of fun that will help tots improve their motor skills, introduce them to music, art and craft, and help them build their social skills – all of which will help kids settle into school when they’re ready for the next big leap! Read more here

Kids have their own strengths, abilities, talents, and their own pace for learning. Some might seem slower than the others or we think that there are kids who are too advanced for their age. Disregarding this, we have to remember that there is a certain time for every kid to show signs of intelligence in a given field—whether in academics, music, arts and crafts and more. The role of playgroups and parents in this case is to guide them as they discover what they can do.

Along with that are kids who are taking their time to socialize with others and they have a different method of doing so. Kids with autism have this kind of different socializing and learning ability and they are in need of extra attention from the adults. Their activities and tasks should be crafted carefully and is guided as they do it. Having this special behaviors compared to others does not mean that they should be filtered out from the crowd. Rather, help them blend in by teaching children with typical learning ability to accept what might seem strange and foreign to them.

This special and moving article from Autism Speaks will show us how playgroups have helped children with autism.

Program encourages children with autism to engage in imaginative play with others their age, with minimal adult interference

The researchers designed their study to measure the benefits of a program called Integrated Play Groups. Developed over the last decade by study co-author Pamela Wolfberg, the program encourages children with autism and their typically developing peers to engage in creative play of mutual interest. Read more here

In general, playgroups aim to help a child develop skills and sense of independency and for the parents to either have extra time for themselves or spend time with their child learning when they go to playgroups with them.  The advantages and disadvantages of a playgroup depend on how it is facilitated and the curriculum that is put into practice. Since the children are the main priority, the programs are carefully measured if it is helpful or will just tire the kids out from them.

In a deeper sense, a playgroup is one way of a doing humanitarian service and is not only designed to let the kids play, laugh and do their thing. Teaching them to socialize, see the uniqueness among everyone do not only prepare them for school but for the future. Whatever happens after preschool years depends on the child and their parents but the learning, merely reading alphabets and counting numbers will stick to them through the years.

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How To Encourage Curiosity In Your Child


How To Encourage Curiosity In Your Child

Children are always inquisitive, curious to learn. As parents and teachers you should channel the child�s curiosity to help them reach their full potential. Nursery school in Singapore believe in the fueling of curiosity and they use exploratory and engaging games to promote learning in the young learners. Stimulating curiosity gives rise to an urge for knowledge and children tend to become more creative and imaginative that helps them gain more confidence as individuals.
Here are five ways Singapore Nursery School Chiltern House suggests you can promote curiosity in children.

Answering questions � A toddler has a myriad of questions to ask. No matter how scary or irrelevant it seems to you, come up with an answer. A healthy mind needs a lot of food for thought. So feed your child�s growing curiosity and be assured no harm will be done.

Explore � Visit new places with your child it can be a different park or maybe another country. Take a walk together, go to the museum. Let the child observe and discover new things. An early exposure to diverse cultures enriches their experience and also helps them be not just curious and knowledgeable but also more empathetic and appreciative.

Ask questions � Instead of letting kids ask questions all the time, do a little role reversal, ask them questions. Help them to find the answer to your question, lead them to a book or a source from where they can get the answer but let them arrive at the solution themselves.

Stimulating environment � Give your child a stimulating environment at home. Ask them to participate in redecorating the book shelf, take their opinion as to how you should arrange the books, ask them why. Try stretching the routine sometime to accommodate an element of surprise, give them reasons to be curious.

Cultivate interest � Some children take to music and some to painting or swimming. Whatever is that grabs attention of your child that keeps them motivated is a good influence for them. If your child is interested in painting, show them works of da vinci, Frida kahlo, van gogh or anyone you can think of. Take them to an art gallery. Encourage the child to get fully engaged in their interest as much as possible.

Curiosity is also the best method for self-learning. Encourage the child to learn new things and also apply their newfound skills. Watch them grow as self-confident, determined adults.

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Healthy snacks for your child


Healthy snacks for your child

Sending your child to nursery school in Singapore is difficult enough as you will be leaving them in the care of someone else. Along with them you also need to ensure that you are providing them with good healthy snacks for school. Here are a few snack ideas that your child will love and are surprisingly healthy for them.

If you are looking for a Singapore nursery school, do consider Chiltern House for its holistic and excellent programme. Check out their website here today!

Popcorn
This is always a hit with your child and in addition, it is also a whole grain. There are almost 4 grams of fibre in every serving of popcorn that makes it not only healthy but also filling. You can also mix it up and use different recipes to ensure that your child enjoys their snack.

Ice Pops
These are a great summer treat and very easy to make in just about any flavour under the sun. In addition, when you make these yourself you know what you have put in. Ice pops made with orange juice are rich in vitamin C and if you add a bit of greek yoghurt in the mix you also have health probiotics for your child.

Cookies
Although these surgery treats may not seem like the healthiest option the trick is to control the ingredients that go into it. You can use whole wheat flour instead of refined flour and also add in a few rolled oats to give the cookies a boost of fibre.

Peanut butter
Natural peanut butter that does not have any kind of added sugar or fats can be a great snack option for your child. It provides them with the healthy fats and proteins that they need to grow. You can make it even healthier by pairing this with slices of fruit or whole wheat toast.

Cheese
A good cheese has a lot of flavours and can be used in just about any way possible. This makes it an ideal snack option for your child.

Homemade pizza
This is just a glamorized sandwich which makes it more likely that your child will eat it. By making it at home you can rest assured that your child is eating healthy ingredients in a super fun way.

Chips and dip
This is a super healthy option for your child. Using whole wheat pita or even tortilla chips along with dips such as hummus, salsa, or black bean dip can help you promote healthy eating habits. In addition, you can also encourage them to eat vegetables with the dip by cutting them into fun sizes.

The Chiltern House Nursery School focusses on the child’s health and encourages parents to send healthy snacks with their kids.

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What are the factors I need to consider while choosing a preschool for my child

What are the factors I need to consider while choosing a preschool for my child?

Choosing the perfect preschool must sound like an impossible task however it is not so difficult if you know what to keep in mind and what really matters in the long run. Read this article below by Eshok Valley Preschool to find out the main types of settings to choose from.

Looking for a preschool in Singapore can be a daunting affair with the many preschools providing different aspects of quality education. However, Chiltern House Singapore has shown to be one of the best in providing a headstart for your child. Do check out their site above today.

Types of preschools

Preschool is a big objective in both the child’s and the parent’s life.  Most childhood experts say that going to a good preschool program aids in promoting a child’s social and emotional progress.  Studies have also shown that children who attended high-quality early education programs are more likely to have better test scores and grades, go to University, and have better-paying jobs. So how do we choose the one that is best for our child? Read more here!

 

In Singapore, some of the common settings found in preschools are:

  1. Kindergartens (usually 3-4 hours in the morning OR afternoon);
  2. Full-Day Childcare (child-minding only)
  3. Full-Day Childcare (with a preschool curriculum)
  4. Half-Day Childcare
  5. Flexi-Hours Childcare

 

The next thing you need to know is teaching philosophy employed by the preschool. The following article by Karen on Noodle will give you an amazing insight into what you need to know. 

At this point, you might be unsure of what preschool to send your child to. If you are serious about giving your child a headstart not just academically but also in social skills, Chiltern House Preschool is definitely the preschool to send your child to.

The common teaching philosophies

The most common type is the Traditional classroom system having a structured curriculum. The system devises specific objectives which the children have to build their goals around. Learning is through recognition of letters, numeric, various sounds and shapes e enhance problem-solving and listening skills. Hence the activities are teacher-directed which means the teacher passes down a set of instructions and sets the goals to be achieved by the child. In this children are not left so much on their own to explore. The children have to follow a dress code and have to be toilet trained by the age of 3.

The second most common type is progressive in which developmental is prioritized through keeping the teaching system child-centered. Here, the philosophy is that children need to explore and learn through imaginative play, art, and block-building. The progressive classroom is typically set up as a series of “centers” where learning can take place using open-ended materials. Read more here!

The school usually has a play area and an area for painting and a puzzle area. Teachers adapt to these environments instead of keeping expectation from the child for a certain goal. They keep checking up on kids in their own chosen engaging spaces and encourage them to go forward with their own ideas. Now that you are aware of the teaching philosophies available, you have to know about other factors affecting the running of the preschool. This article below by Vanda is sure to help you out!

 

Other factors to consider

First you need to know if it is government run or private. Most state owned schools do not have the freedom to design or alter their own curriculum.  The next thing is the budget. You need to see how much you can pay for the services of the day care centre, especially if you are on a small budget. The next thing you need to be worried about is the locality. Some people prefer having it near their work place, some near their home? The snacks served also impact your child’s health so they are not to be kept out of the equation either. Ask what type of snack is served to the children and how much time is allotted for naps.

Also need to be checked is whether the school is accredited and a background check is also important to know the school’s reputation. You must also look carefully at the minimum qualifications of the teachers hired, First Aid/CPR availability in case of emergencies and the environment. Determine the pervading atmosphere of the play school or day care centre as you walk around. Is it a place where children are comfortable and taken care of? Do you think it would be the best place for your child to spend his/her early days? Read more here!

 

Some factors are to be known through observation only. You can simply look around to see the emotions of the children currently enrolled there. Do they look happy and having a good time? Is the infrastructure good enough for your child to play around freely? Do they provide extra curriculum activities such as sports dance or music to support the creative growth of your child? And last but not the least, are the toys provided by the school promoting mental growth?

 

 

To conclude, all these multiple factors together determine the quality and suitability of a preschool for your child. Then combine them with your needs to choose the schedule for your child and voila!

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