There is no doubt that babies and toddlers learn more about the world and themselves through social interaction and various external stimuli, gaining important new skills along the way.
During these early, formative years, children experience a learning curve which becomes the basis for the rest of their lives. It is of great importance that they are exposed to as many positive stimuli as possible to gain useful behavioural associations.
Enrichment at Home?
Some parents wonder whether these skills can be achieved without sending the children to enrichment classes. The answer is yes. Enrichment activities can be provided at home without sending them to a class.
Everyday activities such as dancing, reading to them, going to a park or inviting friends’ children to the house –provide opportunities to develop their skills.
However, being able to do these daily is something that parents can’t afford without a lot of effort especially when both are working. Enrichment classes come through as a better option since they are more stimulating for the child than staying at home with a helper and watching TV the whole day.
What Are the Benefits of Enrichment Classes?
The first aspect to consider is that one of the most important ways in which babies and toddlers can learn is through social interaction with their peers as well as with other children and adults. Children start to look forward to meeting their friends and attend the classes, which shows a development in their social skills.
Another common benefit is language development. This is another factor that motivates parents to send their children to preschool enrichment. Families that are predominantly English speaking don’t want their mother tongues to be completely lost in their children, so they can send them to a centre that exposes them to Mandarin or Malay, which are the most common to find.
The next area to consider is that children learn and explore their world through play. It is always great to be able to grant them an environment in which they can play, dance and sing. And if parent and caretakers are no able to arrange this kind of stimulation at home, toddler enrichment classes are very helpful.
How to Choose the Best Enrichment Class?
There are countless options out there, so parents can be confused when attempting to make a choice. The following list will help you out both analysing your options and identifying things to look for in a preschool enrichment:
There are always trends in education but don’t assume that a spike in the popularity of those programmes mean that it’s always good for your child. Instead, try to see what will bring the most benefits to your little one – after all, no one knows her better than yourself.
Be open for the fun
It is important that programmes lay a strong academic foundation including content such as English or Mandarin. However, always keep in mind that other types of activities like swimming and music might be very enjoyable for your child and can add to her life in different ways.
Complementing the previous point, choose classes that are play-based, engaging, age-appropriate and meaningful. Remember that children learn best when they are having fun and the process of learning is practical to them.
Always prefer teachers that are early childhood trained and/or have the passion for working with young children. You can tell that just by observing how teachers interact with children in a respectful and loving manner in class.
Visit the place
Have the chance to meet other parents and ask them about their experiences with the centre. This is first-hand information that you won’t find anywhere else.
Last, but just as important, make sure the place is safe and hygienic. Remember that your toddler is going to spend several hours a week in this place so you don’t want them to be exposed to any kind of toxicity or pollutants. Having an air purifier, for example, is a big plus.
Read more about clean environments for babies
Finally, to help you in your research we are providing you with a list of enrichments classes available in Singapore. We consider that they have the elements outlined previously.
• Aquaducks – Swimming school. aquaducks.com.sg
• Chengzhu Mandarin Centre – Mandarin class. chengzhu.net
• Coach Leo – Football school. coachleo.sg
• Julia Gabriel – Speech and drama class. juliagabriel.com
• Jazz Cats – Ballet class. jazzcatsltd.com
• The Learning Lab – English class. thelearninglab.com.sg
• Da Little School Holiday Camps – Holiday Camps. dalittleschool.com.sg
• Bibnogs – Language school (English and Mandarin). bibinogs.com
• The British Council – English school. www.britishcouncil.sg/learningwithtimmy
• Crestar Learning Centre – Various activities. crestar.com.sg
• Happy Train – brain-training lessons. happytrain.com.sg
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