Growing and Developing with Sparkanauts
Fun times sure speed by when you’re enjoying, and this was how we felt when our term with Sparkanauts ended :(
Each weekend, we shuffled to SAFRA Toa Payoh so little V could engage in kid-friendly activities.
Seeing her progress from a reserved child who didn’t really want to participate initially, to a more confident girl who takes instructions easily and joins in without hesitation (save for being distracted at times, which is entirely normal for tots!) and we knew the effort and time spent was well worth it!
Previously, we shared our first impressions and what the children were exposed to with the Sparkanauts program, as well as our mid term review as our little girl’s confidence bank grew, much to our delight!
Happy times at Sparkanauts
Attending classes at Sparkanauts was always welcomed with happy smiles. That is true even for us as parents. Honestly, it didn’t feel like it was a chore where we had to rush to get out of the house on a weekend, and fighting the jams to get to the other side of Singapore. Seeing her having fun for an hour (plus exercise for us!) makes a great parent-child bonding session too!
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Children learn best through play and constant exposure. Lil Vera enjoys her classes at @sparkanauts as it allows her to explore a range of activities and these help to grow her confidence bank week by week. Last week, the little ones played with strange textures while they try to hold the squiggly ball under their chins, under their armpits and between their knees, bringing much giggles with these bodily movements! During the circuit segment, Vera now happily gets on the balance beam – something she used to skip during the earlier days! And, we learned about the different owls during class too – hoot hoot! And, Lil V's fave segment? Hanging loose on the trapeze! Weeeeeee! 😝
Little V knew that she would enjoy herself and would often ask, “Me go Teacher Liz class??, or “Mummy, I want (to) go Sparkanauts class!”.
She gets upset if we tell her that there’s no class that particular day, or when we were unable to make it for that day’s class.
We’ve watched her participate (or not) in each activity – and for her fave ones such as the trapeze, singing, music or parachute time, she’d definitely be more attentive and would move forward on her own to attempt them, often with us taking a step away from her :)
There are days she would take some time to warm up, or when she was extra tired or missed her nap (she’s a professional nap striker since she was a baby!), she seemed to tune out. But later, she would be all chirpy and would want to stay on after class to explore the setup for the next class, by happily climbing or jumping around!
Back at home, she would sing songs that Teacher Liz has taught them – the welcome song (which she happily sings to include her classmate’s name! or even daddy, mummy and herself, and just about anyone!) with actions and the ‘Hip Hip Hooray’ song which is sung at the end of every class.
Our little girl’s development
We’ve shared in the first two articles on how Vera has progressed with the different activities, and it’s amazing how children absorb information and learn through play!
We’re not seeking to groom her into some brainiac overnight by pounding her with enrichment lessons. Our intention was simple: to expose her to a variety of learning opportunities, and we’re glad we did!
Learning should not be stressful for both the children or parents, and neither should parents continuously compare their kids with their peers. This may sometimes happen unconsciously, but it’s important to rein oneself.
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Just last night, lil V returned from school and whispered into my ears, "Mummy, I want (to) go Teacher Liz's class…" She said it so earnestly without blinking, looking at me straight in the eyes. I knew she missed having fun at @sparkanauts, where we spent a term flexing muscles, conquering obstacle courses, singing and dancing, listening to stories and hanging on a bar amongst other child-appropriate activities! Looking back, she has definitely grown in many ways and undoubtedly, her confidence bank has been building up too! So while I was in confinement, daddy and daughter enjoyed some bonding time together. Seeing these pictures makes me realise that our little girl has grown so quickly! Slow down, baby!👧🏻 We've got a trial pass for a lucky child. 🙋🏻If you'd like to immerse in a play date with your little ones, stick around for the giveaway!
So here are some of the key areas where this toddler has blossomed at:
- Confidence – I’ve always been mentioning about her confidence bank growing, and this definitely takes the cake. She now takes on circuit time, even climbing up odd -shaped blocks or walking on the balance bar, more readily. Being able to complete the circuit several times in a class does say a whole lot, especially when she only wanted to go for the trampoline or the tunnel during the initial classes!
- Mobility and agility – Hanging on the trapeze without the teachers clasping her little hands, enjoying the swings on the trapeze and excitedly asks for more, doing simple gym activities such as forward rolls, hanging on the bar and being turned upside down etc. – actions we never thought she would dare to do, but she did! This aids development in gross motor skills and body coordination too!
- Gross motor skills – Story of the Day or Song of the Day would involve certain actions as part of the Sparkanauts program, and the little kids love that! Teacher Liz would demonstrate actions while singing, and little V would follow suit. So much fun watching her get engrossed too, while we observed her further away from the group!
- Rhythm and movement – Intertwined with the development of gross motor skills, music time allows the children to move with the rhythm! When it comes to the chime bars, all the children loved having a go at it! We usually let Vera hit the notes on her own without holding her hand as we felt that would allow her to be more independent while listening to instructions accordingly. It’s not about hitting all the right notes every time, but giving it a shot matters alot to the little ones too.
- Independence – This is something we hope to cultivate in our little girl. As a young tot, and now a big sister, independence would contribute to her growth and confidence, as well as the dynamics within the family. Most of the time, we leave her to do the activities on her own, except during times when some craft work require the involvement of parents, or when she needed a helping hand during circuit time. A little goes a long way!
- Focus – Focus is an important development aspect for a child. At 2 years old, we know it’s impossible for her to be 100% focused at all times, especially with their short attention span. That’s the reason why each activity during the Sparkanauts class is short, but that does not mean being too quick, leaving children and parents scampering to follow. I’d say that the pace is ideal, even when switching from one activity to another, we don’t actually feel the rush and pressure to catch up or get lost. This allows the child to focus on each activity at a comfortable pace, before moving on to the next.
Someone’s been promoted
Well, the little one has recently been promoted from Junior Pilot to Pilot class!
Happy to receive this news from Teacher Liz who has been assessing her progress, and now little V is ready to move on to the next program! Looks like our little girl is growing up slowly and surely :)
Want to WIN a trial class at Sparkanauts? We’ve got 3 tickets up for grabs – read on to find out more!
***EXCLUSIVE READERS’ GIVEAWAY!***
WIN 3 COMPLIMENTARY trial classes (worth $58 each)!
3 lucky bubs get to attend a trial class at Sparkanauts for FREE! Follow the steps below and stand a chance to WIN!
How to Participate:
1) LIKE The Hooting Post!
2) Comment on our Facebook post (the one with this article) by telling us why you’d like to WIN the trial class. Don’t forget to set your account to ‘public’ so we can verify this step.
***BONUS entry: Increase your chances by following us on Instagram and reposting the contest image and hashtag #THPperks!
Terms & Conditions:
1) Contest ends on 30 April 2016, 2359 (Singapore time).
2) This contest is opened to Singapore addressees only.
3) Limited to one winner per household.
4) Winners will be announced on The Hooting Post, and winners will be required to provide their contact details so the Sparkanauts team can get in touch with you on the delivery/collection of your prize.
5) Terms and conditions may change without prior notice.