Exploring Playgroups: A Fun and Beneficial Adventure for Kids to Grow and Learn
No doubt, rapid brain and skill development plays an essential role in the growth phase of children aged below five. A stimulating environment should be provided for young children to play and learn, ensuring optimal development. Thanks to playgroups, toddlers and young children can now enjoy various early learning experiences. Using play as a learning tool has become a crucial approach to enhance student engagement, inclusivity, and overall skill development beyond preschool.
Policymakers, researchers, and educators advocate for learning through play, considering it developmentally appropriate. This approach taps into the natural curiosity of school-age children, making the transition from preschool to school smoother. Vygotsky (1978) emphasised the significant impact of play on child development, fostering speech, cognitive processing, self-awareness, and self-regulation.
Playgroups are an informal set up that incorporate learning basic skills in children. Besides allowing your little ones to gain knowledge about the world around them, playgroups also provide an opportunity for parents and caregivers to exchange childcare ideas and experiences. Here are more reasons why children should join a playgroup in Singapore.
1. Improves social skills
Playgroups offer a safe environment for children to improve social skills, emotionally backed by parents or caregivers. Your little ones are given the chance to interact with their peers when joining playgroups, allowing them to negotiate, share thoughts and resolve conflicts amongst themselves. Through interactive play, children can also gain empathy and compassion. They will learn how to take turns while participating in certain activities, as well as being tolerant with their peers. As a result, children can effectively form friendships and manage their peer relationships. A recent study by Frontiers In Psychology highlighted peer acceptance is positively associated with future academic competence and lifelong satisfaction.
2. Promotes cognitive and linguistic development
There are a wide variety of tailored core programmes to key learning aspects covered by most playgroups, such as music, literacy, language, etc. Schoolhouse by Busy Bees’s preschool centres provide playgroups involving music-integrated curriculum to promote children’s cognitive growth through categorisation, which covers identification of sounds and grouping of instruments.
3. Develops self-discipline
It is often easy to enforce discipline among children through punishments and rules. However, making children understand the importance of self-discipline is more effective in the development process. This is when playgroups come in handy. Featuring routine activities that instil a sense of familiarity in children, playgroups help your little ones possess a sense of self control, contributing to self-discipline development. In addition, children will be comfortable with the daily routines arranged for their playgroups, allowing them to perform certain activities at a particular time, resulting in good time management.
Professor Richie Poulton, leading the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, emphasises a vital skill for kids: self-control. While not the only factor for success, it’s a valuable focus. Recognising self-control in children involves observing their ability to sit still, concentrate, follow instructions, persevere, and avoid impulsive actions. The beauty of self-control is its teachability. Educators can use strategies like modifying common games to highlight self-control elements. Developing this skill, involving regulating emotions and persistence, directly relates to future success, according to Poulton.
4. Develops independence
More kindergartens in Singapore offer playgroups nowadays, fostering greater independence and the development of physical and social skills. Playgroups also promote self-help skills and engage children in play and exploratory activities, empowering them to develop confidence, autonomy and a positive sense of self.
The Schoolhouse by Busy Bees emphasises on inquiry-embedded play based approach. In this context, children are encouraged to make decisions independently through thought-provoking learning experiences. For instance, they are given the freedom to choose a toy to play with. This develops their decision-making skills from an early age, promoting greater independence. When faced with challenges, they learn to think critically, analyse situations, and find solutions on their own, preparing them for a world beyond the classroom.
In today’s context, the significance of play within social groups is often overlooked, yet it plays a pivotal role in shaping future readiness. The Schoolhouse firmly believes in the profound impact of taking play seriously and approaching it with intentionality. Our commitment lies in preparing children for future success. The meticulous design of our programmes and the facilitation methods are all tailored towards the overarching goal of nurturing children for a successful future.
Looking for quality pre-school curriculum and childcare in Singapore? Contact us now for more information.