THE BOONS OF A PLAYSCHOOL
What a sight it is, to witness your little ones socially engaged, physically active and mentally charged, among their peer group of 15 odd toddlers.
While it is the mother who notices and acknowledges the growth and development in her child after having enrolled the child in a play group/ playschool, many others would more often than not criticize this very decision of the parent and accusing them of “burdening” the child by making them go to a school at such a tender age of say 15 months – 24 months. All this criticism without knowing the ground reality of what exactly a playschool is, how it works and how it helps a child in early developmental stages of life.
WHAT IS A PLAYSCHOOL?
A playschool is a place where a toddler develops his/her sensory-motor skills and social skills in a very fun, engaging, friendly and monitored environment. Typically there would be about 10-20 children in a class spending around 1.5 hours – 2 hours per day under the supervision of a trained, qualified and certified teacher. The ideal teacher-student ratio is 1:10, suggested by experts. A good playschool does not focus on academic activities like reading or writing, instead, their aim is to make sure that every toddler, upon finishing the said program, has instilled age-appropriate behavior and gained new friends to grow up with. Hence, there is absolutely no academic pressure on them, unlike what some people think otherwise.
Sure some of you may believe that getting a child into a routine at such a young age when they have just learnt to talk and walk, is unfair on them and that, the concept of a playschool is rather a gimmick to make money because in today’s generation both the parents are working and hence a day care or a playschool come to their rescue.
We believe that this thinking is quite narrowed down in a way that oversees the benefits of such a structured, organized and proven-to-be-successful program of a playschool. The society needs to broaden their mindset and see what these programs have to offer for these innocent little children.
So let us look at some of the advantages of enrolling your little munchkin in a playschool.
- Learning by way of fun –
Playschools provide with such age-appropriate toys like dolls, teddy bears, etc. to the toddlers that helps them in learning basic skills such as feeding the doll, dressing up the doll, etc. which can be transferred as a self-help skill, so they will learn to feed themselves, dress-up themselves, etc. Toys like building blocks teach kids about colors, develop their creative skills, motor skills, etc.
These kids are sure to have a ball with activities like colouring, drawing, dance, music, roleplay/theatre, etc. these activities teach them certain important skills like taking turns, helping each other, listening to others, etc. Kids tend to develop language skills much faster since they interact with kids of their age on a regular basis.
- Removes the fear of school –
A very important message that a playschool delivers is, that school is not a scary place. In fact, it is a place where a child will be spending most of its time comfortably in learning, making friends and having a lot of fun at the same time. It will make a child better prepared for the future years and will know what to expect from a classroom environment.
- Free play –
Children can choose which toy they want to play with. They are not forced to do anything because a good playschool understands that a toddler can have mood swings and short attention spans for a particular activity. However activities like snacking will be fixed in order to instill a sense of having a fixed mealtime, identifying one’s own school bag, lunch box, etc.
- Reduces clinging onto parents –
This is one of the most important perks of enrolling a child in a playschool. If a child is suddenly put in a school at the age of say 4, there will definitely be a lot of separation anxiety experienced by the child because he/she would have never been separated from the parent for such a long duration of time. Hence, a playschool plays an important role in helping the child come out its shell into a whole new world of learning, fun and meeting new faces.
- Meeting new parents –
The benefits are not only for the child, but also for the parent as they get the opportunity to meet other parents who are sailing in the same boat. Parents get to learn new, helpful and meaningful parenting techniques from their peers and hence, learn a lot themselves along the way!
Well, to each his own. I would just like to end on a thoughtful note – do what you think best fits for your child. It is you, the parent who is the best decision maker for your own child and nobody in this world can replace you. As they say in Hindi – “kuchtoh log kahenge, logo kakaamhaikehna” J
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