Julia Gabriel Holiday Class Overview (23/11-28/11)

It’s been a really long time since I’ve blogged coz I’ve been busy with stuff, and among them it’s bringing Alicia to Julia Gabriel Holiday Class (PlayNest) in the last week of November 09.

It was an eye-opener and I must say that Alicia and I enjoyed the lessons there. The theme of the week was “Birds”, so stories, puppets, art and craft and even the excursion revolved around Birds.

The only thing regrettable is that I hardly took any photos or videos at all throughout the week as I had no hands to do so as only one accompanying parent is allowed and my hands were tied just looking after her!

Here’s a summary of how the lessons are like:

For her agegroup, the lesson usually starts with Free Play (20min) to let them warm up to the place and the instructors. I think this is actually quite good as young children need time to get used to a place first before they can settle down to learn effectively. Also, I see it as buffer time in case we are late that day, though parents/helpers are encouraged to attend class on time – and for the record, I was always early for class! 🙂 During this time, they are allowed to play with the toys the instructors have taken out and scattered all over the play area in the room. Storybooks are also within reach so the children can flip through them if they are not interested in the toys. After that, the kids would be encouraged to help the instructors keep the toys and prepare for class.

After the toys are kept, the instructors would start by singing some songs and after that introduce the puppet of the day to the children. The songs sung at this point are the same everyday so that the children can recognise the routine. Of coz the puppets were also birds since the theme of the week was Birds. After they take turns to greet the puppet, the puppet will be kept and it would be getting ready for storytime (there’s also a routine before we get down to storytime).

After the story, it would be time for the Magic Box where children get to take turns to tap on the box (which is actually filled with the art materials for the day). The instructor would then demonstrate what to do then the kids will go to the little tables and chairs in the room to start on their art. This was actually very challenging i think, becoz the instructors required the children to do painting (with hands and other materials) so a big mess is only to be expected. 🙂 It was fun nevertheless. After that, we’d bring the children to wash hands and get ready for snack time. This is where the children would sit on the little chairs at the tables again and await their organic snack provided by the instructors. Each of them would have a tupperware (with a lid which they are supposed to remove on their own as part of training of psychomotor skills and it comes with a suction bottom so they can’t fling it about) in front of them and after they remove the lid, the instructors will come round to fill it up with organic snacks/ cookies. For this agegroup, no spoons are provided as I think they want them to have practice eating finger food using the pincer grasp.

After snack time, the children would prepare to go out to have outdoor play (this is supposed to train the gross motor skills). After outdoor play time, it would be washing up and going back to class for song and movement. There would be someone playing the keyboard or the guitar while songs were sung and there’s also some movement involved so the kids really like this part of the lesson. Finally, it would be time to say goodbye and JG does this by singing the song “Goodbye Bubbles” and an instructor would be blowing bubbles while the kids go wild chasing them. 🙂 Then it’s really time to say goodbye at the door where the kids will take turns to say goodbye to the instructors and the puppet of the day. Alicia never fails to want to give an extra hug to the puppet! 🙂

And that’s how a normal lesson goes for PlayNest. 🙂 It may seem like a lot of play but I do see Alicia pick up things that are taught in class even though the enrichment class was only for 5 days. Alicia will be joining PlayClub next year as she will be turning 18mths in Jan 2010 so lessons will be a little different. Plus next year she’d be attending the Bilingual PlayClub so I guess that would be another adventure for both Alicia and I!

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