Playgroup is the first step of your child’s academic journey and serves as an important basis for all future learning. It is not only a place where your child learns to be independent, how to share, and how to follow instructions, but also a platform for children and parents/caretakers to interact in a dynamic and enriching way. And most importantly, it should be a place where your child learns to love school and learns to love learning!
Here are a few factors to consider when choosing a playgroup for your child:
Teachers conducting playgroups should be positive and caring, allowing children to learn and advance in their development.
At miniDalton, teachers are happy and in good spirit. You will find them upbeat always with a smile on their face as they hold their hands or give an encouraging pat on the back. It is important for teachers in miniDalton to promote positive communication with young children. Teachers always get down to children’s eye level when they speak to children, as making eye contact can make children feel safe and respected, and enhance the connection between teachers and children.
Choosing a playgroup that’s a good match for your individual child.
A single activity playgroup that involves a lot of sitting may not be a perfect fit if you have a high energy toddler per say. At miniDalton we incorporate a variety of activities during the week to introduce child to a well-rounded curriculum consisting elements of music, visual art, sensory and baby play gym. Our classes are theme specific for each week but there are times when children have a strong interest in certain themes. Teachers in miniDalton try to be flexible and to respect children’s preferences as they will modify their planned activities in order to meet the child’s needs.
It is important that the playgroups way of teaching compliments the way you educate your child and fits into the bigger picture of what you want for your child.
At miniDalton, the school motto “Im not led, I lead” runs through the core of the program, teachers in miniDalton inspire and assist the child’s own discovery by showing them where to look rather than what to see. Children are given the independence and confidence to grow and learn in a positive and nurturing environment.
Free playing has been proven to be one of the best ways for preschoolers to learn and develop social competence.
Playing and physical activities stimulate brain growth and enhances early development. At miniDalton in addition to structured free play sessions, we also encourage children to explore and engage all their senses through messy play. Here, children are given much freedom and encouraged to try different materials for different results.
Playgroups offer opportunities for children to know the world through their five senses.
An important aspect of the miniDalton program is sensory integration, through exploration and manipulation of varied and age-appropriate materials through imagination and play. While children investigating and exploring different objects, they are making connections and understanding the world around them through their senses. Our aim of sensory activities is to support children’s cognitive development and motivate them to be curious explorers.
The physical classroom / area of interaction should be clean, safe and child-friendly.
miniDalton emphasizes on providing a safe and nurturing environment. Children are encouraged to explore and become comfortable with their surroundings. Our spacious classroom settings also allow children to explore and move around freely, and to stimulate their imagination and creativity.
Student Teacher Ratio
An appropriate student-teacher ratio helps ensure every child receive more one-on-one time and attention.
At miniDalton our class sizes are no more than 10-12 per classroom allowing better attention to the child’s social and emotional needs. Teachers are flexible and acknowledge each child is unique with different backgrounds when creating relationships with each child.
Preparing for next step
An important part of attending a playgroup is to prepare and equip children with the necessary tools and skills for their Kindergarten life.
Once your child has reached 24 months, the program is designed to further supporting your growing child by assisting them to ease into a classroom setting. Children’s creativity, imaginative play and social development are emphasized. Priority for admission to Little Dalton Kindergarten is given to miniDalton Playgroup students who have attended at least 2 terms in their current playgroup year.
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