COVID-19 is making more and more children stay indoors as vacations and family outings are being red for safer times, and weekend movie plans, birthday parties and play dates are being shelved. Singapore has been resisting closure of schools, however that too is a distinct possibility as the country fights another wave of infections.
Here are some new educational resources in the market to ensure that children’s learning and development is not disrupted in these trying times:
Playship Edventures: Learning Adventures for Preschoolers!
Playship Edventures is a Singapore based new educational digital resource for young children. Playship Edventure Launchpack includes printables and other downloadable digital learning resources which are both curriculum-based and discovery-led. The idea is to make learning fun and engaging for preschoolers while making it easily accessible for caregivers. Each Playship Edventure Launchpack is based on an original story with a Southeast Asian focus.
The curriculum-based content is related to Language & Literacy, Discovery of the World & Science, Numeracy, Art and Music. While discovery-led activities offer experiential learning to children such as investigating about plants and animals, smells, people, places and so much more. The launch packs also contain a Food for Thought section for parents to assimilate, discuss and reflect on with the children.
The activity packs are designed to ignite curiosity in young minds, encourage sensory play and experiential learning. For example the activity packs in a Senses themed launchpack include among others- senses cards; touch and feel packs where a child can create art using texture; lets investigate & what am I looking at for the curious minded and scent-sational with a guide pack to create own scent.
Playship Edventures is the brainchild of Moses Sia, an experienced educator-artist who regularly works with young and old, and Rebecca Yao, who is a mother of 3 children, art instructor and content creator.
My Messy Box – “Messy Play” for the Senses!
Sensory Play can be a powerful tool in the hands of parents, caregivers and educators in keeping young children gainfully engaged and preventing disruption of learning at a time, when many might be forced to stay at home. My Messy Box is a subscription based resource that provides sensory play kits for parent-child learning activities at home.
These kits are delivered to families and contain materials and instructions for exploratory, sensory, and craft activities. There are different themes for every month, and different categories of boxes to target specific milestones of varying age groups. Parents are meant to set up the activities and guide the child through them. You can subscribe to My Messy Box kits here.
Video how-tos for sensory play, story-book based activities and craft ideas can be found here. Parents can read My Messy Blog for more learning tips and free downloadables. Parents can also check My Messy Box’s Facebook and Instagram pages for updates, resources and free downloadables published every day. For more info on My Messy Box kits, please visit http://mymessybox.sg.
“Parents can take this time to be active facilitators of their child’s learning process. Get them involved in daily chores around the house like preparing lunch, wiping down surfaces etc. Not only does this allow the parent and child to strengthen their relationship but at the same time allows the parent to provide quality interactions through practice of daily living skills. Parents can also engage in simple play activities together with their child to ensure continuous and authentic learning experiences through play.”- Education Specialist at My Messy Box
Play Beyond The Screen – Play at Home to Stay at Home!
‘Play Beyond The Screen’, is a health communication project being spearheaded by final year students of Nanyang Technological University’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. The campaign seeks to encourage and empower parents with children aged 1-5 to better manage their young children’s screen device use through active mediation and interactive play, in order to counter the negative health impacts of excessive and unregulated screen time on young children’s development.
The campaign becomes even more relevant in light of the COVID-19 situation when children might end up glued to screens for an unhealthy length of time. Excessive screen time is linked with problems such as myopia, language and speech delays and attention disorder in young children.
The project stresses on the need for sensory play for young children as they are not conditioned to engage in abstract thinking from screen device use. Experts opine that direct experience with interactions and toys can facilitate a child’s mastery of sensory, motor skills and aid problem-solving, imagination and social skills.
The campaign facilitates parent-child interactions by offering them innovative ways of offline play through the specially curated Stay-Home-Play Kits. The Stay-Home- Play Kit includes four sets of crafts materials, an original Screen-free Adventures Card Deck and A Guide to Effective Parenting In This Digital Age informational booklet. The craft materials, namely a finger painting activity, a DIY play dough, a pasta craft set and a sand art activity have been designed for preschoolers.
The popularity of these kits can be assessed by the fact that 700 of these kits were snapped up within 3 minutes from their launch! For more information on Play Beyond The Screen or to recreate one for yourself, please visit https://www.playbeyondthescreensg.com/ .