“My child is only 18 months old, and cannot even sit still for 20 minutes, much less a whole lesson. Is it really worth it to send him to school?”
“At such a young age, how much are they really able to learn? They have their whole lives ahead to sit in a classroom. I want to keep my baby at home just a little longer.”
“Is it really worth it to pay for playgroup? If it’s mostly just free play, then my child does not need to go to school for that.”
These are some of the questions and feelings that parents may have when deciding whether or not to enrol their child in a playgroup in Singapore, which is meant for kids aged 18 months to 2 years.
Playgroup is suitable for children entering the early years of their preschool education – a critical time for developmental learning and cultivating social skills.
Below, we address whether playgroups are really worth the investment.
Playgroup gives your child an early start
As little as they may seem, do not underestimate the learning potential and curiosity of young minds. Some 18-month-olds may not be able to stay focused for an entire storytelling session at first – but give them a month or two and observe how their attention improves drastically.
With the right balance of lessons, sharing in groups, as well as multi-sensory experiences such as stories, music, songs, puppetry and kinesthetic activities, your little one will pick up both cognitive skills and EQ skills in playgroup.
To prepare young minds for the future, it is essential to build up their social awareness and empathy. In an ever more technology-run world where an increasing number of jobs may be automated, what can set your child apart is his or her “soft skills” and EQ.
The good news is that these skills can be learned from a young age in playgroup – and will go on to benefit them for an entire lifetime.
Playgroup in Singapore is far from child-minding
Be discerning about which playgroup in Singapore to enrol your child. Some parents may worry that playgroup is just another “child-minding” or “babysitting” service. Other parents may fret about their children being stuck in a classroom all day. It is normal to have these concerns – we are their parents, after all.
However, the best playgroups in Singapore come with an expert-backed, age-appropriate, dynamic curriculum that fulfils the needs and potential of young active learners.
Whether it is through theatrical-centred activities, “Creative Impulse Exercises”, field trips, outdoor play, along with exploration through different media, the key in a play-based playgroup curriculum is to engage children in the learning process with enthusiasm and “bring to life” every aspect of the curriculum.
Children are active learners and they learn best when they are actively involved. Dynamic activities in playgroup can encourage children to embrace learning as fun, rather than something to be feared or dreaded.
Playgroup can be worth the investment
If your child has not been enrolled in childcare up to this point, then depending on your family’s arrangements, perhaps your child has been taken care of by you yourself, the grandparents, or a helper at home. Maybe your child attends weekly music classes and play dates as well, so there is at least some social activity and stimulation. For some, that may be enough.
What more can playgroup offer?
Playgroup in Singapore is not about hour after hour of aimless free play – nor is it about “drilling” little 18-month-olds with lessons. Playgroup provides a creative and enriching environment filled with movement and games, music, art, rhymes, stories, group projects, dramatic play, hands-on learning, as well as the exploration of the beginning of reading, writing, and math.
At the playgroup level, MindChamps Reading & Writing, a programme developed by global early childhood literacy experts, is tailored to foster a lifelong love of reading, writing, and storytelling starting from young.
Playgroup Champs reap enormous, far-reaching benefits of an effective early education based on the groundbreaking “3-Mind” foundation, which greatly helps them transition to the more structured learning environment later in their learning journey.
Written by Jenny Tai
To find out more about MindChamps PreSchool’s playgroup programme: