Learn to Play, and Play to Learn at Sparkanauts!
Wow, the weeks have passed by so quickly and we’re mid-way into our term at Sparkanauts!
Last month, we shared about little V’s experience at her very first class, and why we felt that attending these sessions with her were enriching and beneficial to both the little girl and ourselves as parents :)
Despite the festive holidays, which meant no classes for a couple of weeks, V was really eager to attend classes, and would often wake up in the morning asking “Me go class?”
By the third or fourth session, she knew attending Sparkanauts class meant that “Teacher Liz” would be there, and she knowingly tells me so!
We’re happy to see that she’s taken well to these classes with a positive attitude, and looks forward to them every weekend. Although there have been a couple of times where she had to be awaken from her nap, she wasn’t cranky or frustrated during class (surprise, surprise!)
So, how has the little one fared over the weeks? Let’s take a look!
Familiarity of environment
Although there was a break from classes due to the festive holidays, resuming classes wasn’t an issue for her. When we drove to Safra Toa Payoh and she saw the big McDonald’s sign, she tells us, “Me go class and eat Mcnonas!”
Ahem. Although technically, those two aren’t supposed to go hand-in-hand, because truth be told, we’ve only had ice cream that one time after class! Boy, did that memory stick in her or what!
Bringing her to level 2 and then to her classroom, she knows to remove her shoes before entering. She enters the class happily, although the recent class saw a room of new faces – her two usual classmates were not there.
But that did not stop her from listening to instructions, understanding them and joining in the fun. Looks like more children are joining in the fun children classes at Sparkanauts too!
Knowing what to expect at each session
When they say children thrive on routine and familiarity, there is some truth to it.
As parents, we don’t enforce a structured routine for her, and most of the time, we “play by ear” or run things on a flexi basis due to our never-ending to-do lists and endless errands especially on weekends.
We’re glad to see that V takes cues easily from the teachers at Sparkanauts, and when the teachers are ready to start a new segment, she eagerly runs forward to join in, unlike during the earlier classes where she’d usually come to me to pull my hand.
Some of her favourite segments?
Music, Parachute Time, Trapeze, Mystery Box and Chime Bar times are some of her particular favourites!
She waits for her turn to play on the chime bar, and watches her peers play, while indirectly learning to be patient while waiting.
She usually sits through and listens during flash card segments such as Words for the Week, Story for the Week and Theme of the Term/Week, and follows any instructions given to the children accordingly. Expectedly, there are times she tunes out and decides to stand away from the class.
Overall, we’re glad she’s able to tune accordingly to focus on the more “serious” segments which requires concentration, and at the same time, switch to energy mode and get her little body moving. Well, we’re not nurturing Einstein here, so no pressure for her to know or recognise every single word or picture on those flash cards ;)
Despite these, she decided that on the fifth session, she’d skip the fruit basket segment of Passing the Toys! No amount of encouragement would get her little bum off the mat, so well, we started counting fruit together :P
Before we started classes, we asked ourselves what our main objectives were, and helping to grow V’s confidence was undoubtedly it.
And we see her progressing with each class: from her flashing a knowing grin when it’s time to dance and sing with the parachute, or eagerly rushing forward to hit the Mystery Box when the teachers bring it out, it’s these little things that we’ve observed how comfortable and confident she has grown.
Best of all, during the first few classes, she didn’t quite like Gymnastics Time and the Circuit segment. But now, she confidently steps forward to be the first one on the trapeze, excitedly asking “More?? More??” when she’s just come off it.
And for the Circuit? Her only favourites at the beginning were crawling through the tunnel and jumping on the trampoline. And most of the time, we had to encourage her to go up the stairs or try out the balance beams – of which, she’d usually skip them.
But by the fifth lesson (despite the break in between), she happily and confidently completed ALL stations THREE times without cajoling! :D K and I were both surprised and proud of our little girl’s achievement! I guess they do surprise us too!
She also took to Gymnastics time better, after trying out the forward roll on her own for a couple of times. We’re glad that she didn’t cry or protest after the movements!
More to come!
We’re thankful for the opportunity to attend these classes, and seeing her happy face each week makes us realise that every effort to spend quality time with her is worthwhile.
Before long, I’ll not be able to join in all the activities as my belly gets bigger (I’m in my 36th week as I pen these down!), and soon, B2 will arrive and daddy will probably have to take her alone. I was just telling K the other day that, if B2 comes, he will need to bring her for classes.
And to my surprise, a couple of days later, V exclaimed out of the blue with “Baby come out, me go class with papa.” I think she understood the situation and she’s happy to continue classes even if mummy would not be able to join in :) Let’s see how things go in the next few weeks!
It would be nice if the teachers could share their observations, helpful pointers and tips with us after each class. While it’s fun to play and learn, we hope to also understand the areas where parents can help encourage our little ones to progress.
We also hope our little girl continues to enjoy her classes and the fun times spent with mummy and daddy! This energizer bunny actively keeps us on our toes, and this precious one-hour with her is time well spent together, for sure! :)
March Holiday Programs are here!
SAFRA Toa Payoh
293 Toa Payoh Lorong 6, #02-01
9am – 5pm Daily