Toddlerhood is an exciting time when the building blocks of learning are fostered. As budding explorers, playgroup children should have a wide variety of activities to encourage a positive attitude towards learning.
Playgroup age is when children’s fine motor, self-help, oratory and many other skills develop by leaps and bounds. That is why playgroup programmes at preschools such as MindChamps Woodlands are designed to facilitate the learning process for kids aged 18 months to 2 years old.
Take a look at what makes playgroup in MindChamps Woodlands stand out (including the fun-filled activities kids get up to during the day)!
Exciting Excursions Take Learning Out of the Classroom
At MindChamps PreSchool @ Woodlands, learning extends far beyond the classroom. Each term, the playgroup class go on an excursion tied to a theme that the kids show particular interest in. For instance, in Term 1, they learnt about Myself and My Family. Ms Malar, a Playgroup teacher at MindChamps Woodlands, noticed that her students loved hands-on activities and sensorial experiences.
Thus, an excursion to The ArtGround was organised to fulfil the kids’ interest in hands-on experiences. Furthermore, to tie this to the theme of Myself and My Family, parents were invited along. Kids got to bond with their families and share in the experience. One of the highlights was participating in a parent-child music session at The ArtGround together, where they danced to music and played various instruments.
Other excursions include a trip to the Goat Farm as an extension of the Farm Animals theme. The kids got to feed the goats and observe the milking of the goats.
In another term, the playgroup kids ventured to Quan Fa Organic Farm, which is related to the theme of Growing Things. Often, Chinese and English lessons are designed to allow kids to explore different yet related aspects of a theme. For example, in Chinese class, the kids focused on vegetables, while in English class, they learnt about Uncommon Fruits.
Unconventional Lessons Spark Creativity
How do playgroup teachers at MindChamps Woodlands ensure that kids remain interested throughout each lesson? The answer: Creative activities that engage all the kids’ senses to satisfy their curiosity.
Jumping off the aforementioned English theme on Uncommon Fruits, Ms Malar described how her playgroup class got to taste a few different fruits in several lessons (such as longan, rambutan, mangosteen, and more).
When Ms Malar noticed that her students “fell in love” with longan, she created lessons that incorporated this fruit. For instance, the kids learnt how to make longan jelly during their Gourmet Moments class that week. They especially enjoyed learning how to peel and take out the seeds. The kids also delighted in a game where they balanced longan on a spoon while walking from one of the class to the other.
This is just an example of how lessons are taught in unconventional ways in playgroup at MindChamps Woodlands. After all, playgroup sessions are meant to be fun and lively.
“Whatever interests the Champs, that is how we go about implementing the lessons,” Ms Malar said.
Integrative Learning Keeps Children Engaged and Inspired
In the playgroup class at MindChamps Woodlands, different subjects are integrated into a weekly theme. For instance, even a simple lesson about the colour white can be tied to numeracy, language arts, and arts and crafts sessions.
Ms Malar’s class went on a walking trail in the classroom to discover different white items. That week, the kids learned the letter W, applying the colour white to other “W” words, such as “white web” and “white watch.” During numeracy lessons, the children learnt to unfold a spider web. They then counted and pasted spiders on the “white web.” Although the whole week may be about one theme (the colour white and the letter “W”), the children learn about it in different ways to keep the lessons exciting.
Integrative learning sparks imagination and keeps children inspired. Another highlight in Ms Malar’s class was during the Superhero celebration, when they were visited by the Singapore Police Force. It was quite a treat to see and ask questions to real-life police in the classroom. The kids even got to sit in a police car parked outside. Through this fun interaction, they learned about Superheroes in the real-life sense, not just in the abstract.
Values at MindChamps Playgroup in Woodlands
The playgroup programme in MindChamps Woodlands fosters the foundation for children’s learning journey — be it intellectually, physically, or socio-emotionally. Good education does not stop at what to learn; it also teaches how to learn. Positive attitude counts for a lot.
The MindChamps Education and Life Philosophy of 100% Respect, Zero Fear nurtures kids to become Champions and develop the following 10 values:
- I am Confident
- I am Grateful
- I have Integrity
- I am Self-reflective
- I Focus on the Beauty in Others
- I Embrace Setbacks as Setups
- I Value Feedback as a Seed for Growth
- I am Creative
- I am Compassionate
- I am a Life-long Learner
At every turn, these 10 values are instilled holistically in the playgroup kids in MindChamps Woodlands through their excursions, unconventional lessons and integrative curriculum.
Ms Malar said she is pleased with her students’ improved focus in MindChamps Playgroup in Woodlands. Young children are known to have shorter attention spans, but if teachers inculcate the importance of completing activities and the value of “Embracing Setbacks as Setups,” children will learn to be life-long learners.
Written by Jenny Tai