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Meet, greet and repeat: Punjab school hosts ‘Playdate’ for toddlers 

With an array of sensorial and theme-based activities, kids learnt how to enhance their skills



What is Play Date? It is simply a social occasion arranged for children to play together. How does it help kids? Well, it works in the same manner as having your social interactions. So, imagine how it was for you when the first time you ever spoke to a person! How did it feel? You probably won’t even remember. Why? Because interacting with each other is a natural urge of human beings.

As social animals, it is a necessary milestone that must be met in time. And, to ease this process for new learners, Rhythms Kinderworld in Jalandhar hosted Play Date sessions from 20 March to 28 March, 2023. It was open to all children from age 2 to 4 years. Each day of the week, the hour-long sessions started with a circle hour consisting of different rhymes which were taught by the teachers of Rhythms Kinderworld.

Sharing her experience of teaching the children, Ms Ritu Mehra, an educator says, “Once you free a child’s potential, you will transform him/her into the world. Therefore, activities like these are vital for a child’s growth and development. I was happy to be part of it.”

Many sensorial events such as dry pouring, thumb printing, sensory walk, were organised to augment children’s eye-hand coordination, gross and fine motor skills. Some outdoor activities during the sessions included football, yoga and dance.

Speaking about why ‘Play Dates’ are important, Ms Nidhi Ghai, Incharge at Rhythms Kinderworld shared, “In these days, students become familiar with the culture and ethos we offer at Rhythms. Surely, it is different and exciting for these children who have just stepped out of their mother’s lap into a world of possibilities. To make them feel comfortable, our teachers conducted many activities such as yoga, dance, art, craft, jolly phonics and storytelling. About 30 students attended it and seven teachers took care of the children with all the love and affection. All parents were happy to leave their wards in our hands.”

She continued, “Further, I would advise parents to set up such sessions at home too. It is easy. All you need to do is to devote your time to your child. Some ideas on how to do it are: 1) Create a straight line on the floor and ask your child to put utensils on it. This activity will improve their sitting-span, concentration and focus. 2) Take some towels of different colours and soak them in water. Then ask the child to pick out and segregate them. It will help boost their attention-span and decision-making ability. 3) Ask your child to pour a solid or liquid item from one vessel to another. This will work wonders on improving their eye and hand coordination. 4) To advance the fine motor skills of a child, give him/her thick crayons and let them scribble or draw. 5) Lastly, sit with him/her and enact a story. Remember to modulate your voice, showcase the right expressions at the right time in order to keep them engaged.”

Surely, a child’s development is influenced by the environment that is made available for them. Ms Sonali Pusri, another educator from the school says, “Parents must help their kids in building their motor skills and eye-hand coordination early on. This prepares them well before they enter a proper school.” Ms Ghai resonates a similar thought for parents. “Never ignore your child. They need a listening ear as much as you do. So, remember that their sense of worth is attached to how much attention you pay to them.”

Further sharing her thoughts, Ms Pallavi Dang, class teacher of Pre-Nursery-A says, “Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”

Mrini Devnani is a Principal Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, conducts interviews, and contributes content to the website. Previously, she served as a Correspondent specialising in Edu-tech for the India Today Group. Her skill areas extend to Social Media and Digital Marketing. For any inquiries or correspondence, you can reach out to her at [email protected]