A preschool is the first place in a child’s life where he/she is away from parental care and comfort. It is where kids learn to explore their senses, interact with peers, and start gaining valuable life lessons. Preschools play a key role in early childhood development and help students to build a strong foundation for the rest of their lives.
From developing a positive learning attitude to helping them read, write, speak, and comprehend, preschools give their students a good head-start for lifelong learning. The training that children gain in a preschool becomes the foundation for their growth for the rest of their lives.
In traditional preschools, the teacher-pupil ratio is about 1:25, and the curriculum is fixed and structured. The child is guided into concepts, which are explained by the teacher.
There is, however, little support for sensory development. As a result, the child may face difficulties in comprehending lessons and may get easily distracted. This is a major pitfall of the structured learning approach.
Nurturing the social and emotional development in children is just as important for their overall as well as cognitive development.
New-age preschools are aware of the evolving needs of today’s young learners and are transforming education through innovation to ensure holistic growth of the tiny tots.
Here are a few activities that preschools can implement to improve the overall learning and development of their wards:
1. Teaching through play-activity boxes
Apart from toys, children should be given educational activity boxes to play with. These play-based educational activities enable kids to create new things, find different ways of solving challenges, and learn their lessons by performing certain tasks.
This form of unstructured play and experiential learning, exclusively designed to enrich and stimulate young minds, promotes early child development in a fun and engaging manner.
2. Teaching through an external environment
Learning shouldn’t be confined within the four walls of a classroom. It should be linked to the real world in a way that allows children to grasp their lessons better.
Infusing real-world learning or organizing field trips for lessons linked with nature can help spark students’ interest and make them more involved in their academic endeavors.
Some lessons like those about animals, birds, colors, vegetables are best taught outside the school to cultivate curiosity and interest amongst students.
3. Building EQ as important as IQ
Emotional Quotient (EQ) is the ability to recognise, understand, and manage emotions. According to studies, poor EQ skills can result in aggression, anxiety, depression, poor academic performance etc.
Therefore, while teachers take lessons to develop Intelligence Quotient (IQ), they should also give adequate importance to building the EQ, as it allows children to manage their emotions and improves educational outcomes, while reducing anxiety and behavioural problems.
4. DIYs for kids
From making paper dolls to turning old bottles into toy cars or making kaleidoscopes, kids should be given the opportunity to unleash their creative energies. They should be given simple materials and asked to produce something out of it.
DIYs are great to inspire kids and keep them engaged, and assist in the overall growth and development of these young learners.
5. Role play
Role play can be one of the most effective and exciting activities for kids. Role plays encourage learning, improve concentration, and enhance imagination in kids.
Children are able to learn many skills and express their feelings better during role plays. It enables them to step into the shoes of fictional characters and act out as per their observation and understanding.