A Guide to Programmes and Activities for Your Kindergarten Child

As parents deeply invested in our children’s learning, choosing the right preschool with the best programmes and activities is crucial. The term “preschool” is an all-encompassing term that defines any institution that provides early childcare and education.

Preschools in Singapore are then sorted into two sectors: childcare and kindergarten. After all, the kindergarten years (5-6 years old) are a milestone stage of education, and the right preschool plays a significant role in shaping a child’s development. 

Whether through dramatic play, loose parts play, reading and even cooking or water play, there is a wide range of activities that are great for developing skills and knowledge in kindergarten-aged children.

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Problem-solving skills in kindergarten children

As adults, we often run into tiny little hiccups all day that require us to use our problem-solving skills. It could be something as simple as figuring out how to open a tightly-sealed package, or how to fit all our groceries into the shopping bags that we have. 

However, what may seem like obvious solutions to adults will not be so obvious to children. Problem-solving is a skill that is not necessarily innate. Rather, these skills were honed since childhood, with practice and guidance from adults. To learn to solve problems with the resources they have, children need to develop critical thinking skills

For example, playing with open-ended toys (such as loose parts, building blocks or magnetic tiles) allows children to stretch their imagination and pick up specific knowledge. How do the tiles and blocks fit together? How can they make a bridge sturdy enough to hold a toy car? How can an item be used in different ways for different ends? 

Such problem-based learning activities allow them to learn not just in a fun way, but organically as well.

Language and Literacy Skills

It is certainly a cause for celebration when parents finally hear their child’s first word. In fact, one of the biggest milestones in a child’s development is language acquisition, because reading, writing and speaking are key to learning. Children pick up language naturally through interaction, not just with their parents, but with children around them. 

Through fun and engaging activities like word games or dramatised readings, children can be encouraged to pick up language more quickly and expand their ever-growing vocabulary. Even simple things like singing nursery rhymes helps them to pick up concepts like rhyme and rhythm. 

Preschool programmes are specially tailored to ensure that children thoroughly enjoy acquiring language. Some such activities include reading a widely varied range of storybooks, encouraging children to write and illustrate their own little stories, and even journaling.

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Cultural Immersion

One of the greatest benefits of cultural immersion during the preschool years is that it actually improves cognitive development. Apart from the obvious perk of children picking up another language (or two!) in the years when language acquisition is easiest, cultural immersion also helps to broaden children’s horizons, fostering empathy, understanding, and good communication.

One easy way to approach multicultural immersion is through food and language. It can be great fun for children to be introduced to new types of snacks and dishes from countries all over the world, and to learn simple words like ‘thank you’ or ‘hello’ in other languages. In programmes such as KiddiWinkie’s Backpack Stories, children get to experience other countries’ cultures and visit the world from their very own classroom.

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Current Affairs

It might be a worrying idea to consider discussing current affairs with our children. However, as citizens of the world who will someday inherit the earth, it is important to keep our children engaged and to love the place they live in. 

Discussing current affairs does not have to be scary, since teachers and parents help to curate the topics discussed and manage the discussions at a level that is palatable for their age. Some topics that you might want to consider chatting with your child about are the environment, health, and the community - all of which have simple enough concepts for your child to understand. 

For example, why do some people wear surgical masks? Why is it important to dispose of our rubbish in the correct bins? Why should we give up our seats to the elderly and others in public transport? 

With the assistance and guidance of teachers, preschoolers can navigate news for kids with confidence and understanding. Here at KiddiWinkie Schoolhouse, our children participate in Kiddi Newsroom which allows our preschoolers to read and ask questions about current affairs with the assistance and guidance of teachers. 

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Art

Another big milestone for children is when they start to be able to draw shapes, letters and numbers - and can scribe meaning to them. Letting children draw, colour and write to their hearts’ content certainly has very clear benefits, not only for their motor skills but for their creativity and socio-emotional skills as well.

In preschool programmes like KiddiWinkie’s Artsy Fingers, kindergarten children are first given the freedom to explore art in their own capacities, and later are introduced to the works of famous artists and their art styles. Encouraged to use these artists as inspiration, children can develop their gross and fine motor skills, language, and cognitive skills. 

Fitness and Teamwork

You may find that your little preschooler has more energy than you can keep up with, but that is a good thing! According to ActiveSG, physical activities can help not only with growth, but with dexterity, weight management, and improved self-esteem, among many other benefits.

One important way that physical activities help children grow is the understanding of teamwork and cooperation. Through collaborative games in preschool, they learn to work with each other toward a common cause. It is also heartening to hear children cheer each other on and learn to manage disappointment if things do not go their way - an important life lesson!

During fitness sessions, trainers use these opportunities to inculcate positive values such as sportsmanship, teamwork and resilience in our young ones.

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Choosing the right kindergarten

It might seem difficult to choose a kindergarten that incorporates all these activities thoughtfully into their curriculum, but the best preschools in Singapore will rise to the challenge. KiddiWinkie Schoolhouse, for example, has put in an enormous amount of effort to ensure that their programmes are age-appropriate and encourages their children to tap into their curiosity, creativity, and interest in learning.

Book a tour to learn more about KiddiWinkie Schoolhouse and our inquiry-based approach.
 

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