Little children are like sponges. Each day, they absorb lots of new information from different sources. It is important to feed their growing brains with correct stimulation in a playful way that keeps them engaged and promotes their mental, physical, social and emotional development. This is where a good playschool steps in. Teachers at a play way are specially trained to deal with young children who grasp new concepts differently from others. Toddlers also have a short attention span, so it is through activities that we can teach them different things effectively. Here’s why choosing a proactive playschool can have a huge impact on your child’s overall development:
What is a Play School?
A play school or pre-school is the first step to a child’s formal education, outside home. Children as young as eighteen months’ old can get enrolled in playschools and stay there for up to three hours each day. As the name suggests, at a playschool there is play based learning and positive stimulation through toys and activities that pique a child’s interest and helps in developing his social skills and sensory-motor development. In a way, a play school is a building block before a child begins formal school and it helps him prep for it by teaching him preliminary skills like staying away from parents, sharing with peers, following commands and instructions, retaining and applying new knowledge. Some children don't like going to play school but gradually they start adjusting and there.
Age criteria for play school
Most playschools accept children who are eighteen months’ old and upwards. However, you must not rush sending your child to a play school depending on merely his age. Instead, if you feel like your child can cope with being separated from his caregivers for a few hours, can communicate his basic needs, is ready to be potty trained and is curious to know more – you can enroll him.
Day care facilities in play school
Some playschools also provide day care facilities for parents who may not have adequate support at home to look after their kids while they are work. Day care means that these centres look after kids long after regular school hours are over and provide additional facilities mid-day meals, nap beds and both soft indoor and outdoor play area. Daycare centres have trained and verified staff that take care of children and keep them away from harm. Most playschools make use of security cameras so that parents can keep a watch on their kids mid-work too.
What is the Importance of playschool for kids?
It is not mandatory to send your child to a playschool. However, it definitely eases a child into formal education and teaches him crucial skills that he may not learn at home, because of repetitive routine, limited interaction or busy parents.
If you are wondering if playschool is good or bad, here’s how sending your child to a play school will help him:
Your child will learn to stay away from his caregivers and grapple with separation anxiety better
Kids who have been to a play school know what to expect from regular schools. They are able to deal with staying away from home for longer hours better than kids who get enrolled into a formal school straightaway. Since the working hours at a playschool are few, they also allow parents to sit in, letting kids become familiar with this new routine easily.
It will develop your child’s language skills
Most kids start attempting their first words by the time they are eighteen months’ old. When they start play school, they are compelled to communicate their needs to others and this encourages them to pick up language quicker.
playschools focus on empowering kids with basic skills that they need to look after themselves. They usually have trained staff that frequently takes kids to the toilet and encourages them to pee and poop on the seat and not in their clothes. They also help take off and wear their pants themselves.
playschools encourage children to do things on their own, without the help or intervention of others. They encourage kids to eat on their own, use the toilet on their own and give them practise in other essential day-to day activities under the supervision of an elder to help them achieve confidence in themselves.
In the shared environment of a play school, kids learn that all toys, games and books belong to everyone and not one single child and so they must take turns playing with them. This teaches them to share.
Following a routine
Kids get a sense of routine and direction in their days when they start attending play school. This teaches them the importance of getting up on time, dressing up, leaving for school – and thus discipline gets instilled.
Sensory motor development
Young ones need stimulation to learn new concepts. They need space and freedom to try out new things – playschool is just the kind of safe environment where little kids can explore their world safely and without harming themselves.
Essential playschool activities that must happen at every playschool
If you’re wondering what exactly toddlers do at playschools that is different from home, you’re not alone. Here are a few things that your child will find himself occupied with at his play way:
Children find different kinds of toys fascinating at different stages of their life. While sound and light toys will attract a one-year-old child’s attention, blocks and pull along toys will be more fun for two-year-old children. The right toys encourage hand-eye coordination and develop gross motor skills in children and it is the job of trainers at pre-schools to find educational toys that stimulate children’s’ learning.
Sensory activities and messy play
Children learn through play and they like to make one big mess of everything. So, teachers at playschools will encourage them to do activities that involve splashing colors and creating new shapes and patterns out of them or touching and feeling different objects that feel different to touch.
Daily interaction and communication to encourage self-help
Teachers at a play way read aloud books, encourage children to share their feelings, have games like dress up and role play that involves public speaking to encourage the verbal development of young ones.
Introduction to everyday concepts through music and dance
Nursery rhymes go a long way in teaching kids the ways of the world. Singing also helps kid frame sentences while dancing helps them express themselves.
Things to see before deciding on a play school kids:
Before you set out on enrolling your child to a preschool, here are some things you must look out for:
Distance from home
This will be the first time your child will be staying away from home. It’s better to choose a play school that is near your home, so that in case of emergencies – like a child getting sick, or crying out for home – you can reach in time.
Although most playschools follow a standard time of late morning hours, it is better to check if their working hours match with your routine too.
Make sure you check on the qualifications of teachers who are employed at a playschool. They must have passed either NTT or basic teaching training program or B.ed to be qualified to handle kids. The additional staff should also be technically trained and equipped to meet the needs of children.
Most playschools employ security cameras to keep an eye on the activities of their staff and children. In case, you’d want to keep checking on your kids through cameras, some schools do allow the option of letting parents in on the password of the security cameras.
Student versus teacher ratio
Ideally, there should be 2 teachers per 10-12 kids in a class. Young ones have more needs and require to be looked after more than older kids.
Word of mouth
Check in with the references of other parents. Don’t only believe what a school has to say about itself through advertisements. Word of mouth is a good source to go by.
Every school follows a teaching format that guides them through the school year. While some like to employ textbooks too for pre-schoolers, others like to have planners that detail activities and games that cover different aspects of learning. You can check in on this syllabus to further to get an idea about what learning is being passed on to your child.
1. What is the difference between playschool and nursery?
Nursery is the beginning of formal school education for your child, while playgroup is the space where kids learn basic skills like staying away from home, and learning to be with peers. In a way, playschools prepare kids for nursery.
2. Is there any difference between preschool and playgroup?
No, they both mean the same thing. They are both preparatory spaces for formal school.
3. At what age should a child begin play school?
The minimum age requirement for beginning play school varies from 18 months to two year old.