Are you thinking if you should send your toddler to childcare?
Besides childcaring support, children’s development grow exponentially during the first few years, and being in a playgroup offers numerous benefits to nurture their foundational development. In Singapore, children from 18 months old to 2 years old join a playgroup to learn in a safe and conducive environment that supports holistic growth.
When it comes to language development, toddlers suddenly unlock a language explosion and become more expressive. According to children’s literacy development milestones, this experimental stage for your child is on-task and further sets the stage for raising strong communicators.
How does attending playgroup benefit toddlers’ language development?
1. Learns through a language and literacy programme developed for toddlers
Most parents are unsure about how to teach and what to teach. Typically, parents search for random activities online and try to find time to work with their kids. However, with limited time and resources to teach children using the right educational materials, they may not be exposed or engaged at a comprehensive degree as compared to being at playgroup.
Childcare centres in Singapore put in place an age-appropriate curriculum for playgroup children to suitably enhance their language exposure and acquisition. With a dedicated programme in English and Chinese, toddlers who are exposed to a bilingual environment at an early age often show more interest, better grasp and confidence in both languages.
2. Expands vocabulary bank and association in different real-life scenarios
Through dedicated activities and programmes drawn up for toddlers, children in playgroup are exposed to new vocabulary in their daily exposure to both languages. By embarking on experiential learning and strategic activities to complement literacy goals, tots pick up new words and meanings. Next up, they will be able to apply and use them in the right context!
3. Boosts listening skills through social interactions that are natural or planned for
Being able to understand instructions and sharpen active listening are life skills that toddlers start familiarising themselves with at an early age.
With thematic learning opportunities that are part of the curriculum and also through informal conversations such as group discussions, children are sharpening their language acquisition. Through observation and social interaction, they pick up these skills from experienced educators, listening to their peers’ ideas and thoughts. These are part and parcel of being an effective communicator.
4. Increases phonemic awareness
During the toddlerhood phase, children enjoy rhyming words and listening to stories. In fact, this kickstarts a healthy reading habit and interest in phonics, which is a key pre-reading skill. Thus, attending playgroup exposes children to phonetic sounds because this is the ideal age for children to learn phonics.
5. Discovers how “fun” words can be and learns to express through linguistic abilities
At playgroups, children are encouraged to speak, sing and express themselves through dramatic play.
While learning to share ideas confidently using spoken words, their confidence grows as they uncover their abilities to share their thoughts and feelings in different groups. Sometimes, activities can involve a small group discussion.
Additionally, these young learners get the chance to share their thoughts in front of their classmates, boosting their self-confidence and awareness too.
6. Inspires imagination and storytelling skills
Children pick up concepts very easily but more often than not, they lack the opportunity for them to be creative. Playgroup activities often incorporate activities that stimulate a child's problem-solving and critical thinking.
Through imaginative play, imagination and narration are awakened. Being able to express themselves paves the path towards pre-writing too, and writing skills are what they will need to master before starting primary one.
Enhancing language development from playgroup and beyond
Little Footprints Preschool focuses on an immersive bilingual environment to support children’s language development and more. All key learning areas outlined in the Nurturing Early Learners (NEL) Framework are meaningfully designed and integrated for effective learning tailored to support toddlers and above.
Book a tour at the nearest Little Footprints Preschool to find out how our core and specialised programmes support language development from playgroup to kindergarten.
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