Outdoor play enables children to enjoy the natural environment as they learn to seek out exercise, fresh air and activity. The child can also experiment, solve problems, think creatively, cooperate with others, etc., thereby gaining a deeper knowledge about themselves and the world. At TIPS, children are encouraged to spend a lot of time in the sandpit and a lot of time in the natural-surface play areas without any footwear. They also do the ‘8-walk’, walking along the shape of 8 on white pebbles. Neurologically, this activity has been found to induce better brain development. This also reduces stress and improves concentration.
Crawling and creeping form an important part of the natural sequence of development. It provides strong neurological foundations for many of the skills needed for later learning. They directly have an impact on a child’s ability to read and write later on. Crawling and creeping promotes the healthy development of visual and postural integration. They also provide important foundational brain pathways for many other visual-motor tasks. Crawling is the first move of a child, which is why it develops and enhances problem solving skills, sensory system and cognition. Creeping exposes a broader view of the world to the child, which expands the child’s ability to process and interact with new information.
Balance beams and other challenging surfaces encourage children to build their core strength and to learn how to balance their bodies in response to level and direction changes. Gross motor play, balance and coordination can also help children build their core muscles, which helps them stay more stable during movement. This activity requires a lot of concentration and the coordination of hand and eyes. Through regular balance walking, kids tend to overcome their fear to try anything new and also develop endurance. They also tend to understand their own left and right.
Open-ended materials like stones, feathers, twigs, etc., are materials that can be used to build or create or to combine to make something new. They provide multiple uses and endless play. They enable children to be creative and express themselves in play, often using materials to explore and represent other things. There is no pressure to complete an “end product” or be bound by limitations. By exploring the materials, children become innovators, designers and explorers as they build, sort, design and stack in a variety of different ways. Playing by their own rules allows children to be creative and have fun.
The practical life area provides the foundation for future learning. The activities are designed to enable the child to explore their environment through movement while gaining harmony with their brain, senses and muscles. This area gives the child direction and movement through repetition and promotes confidence to face challenges and change. The activities in the practical life area appeal to the young child’s sensitive period of order, imitation and self-awareness. These include grasping; spooning; using tongs; pouring beans and water; scooping; opening and closing; stringing beads, and care of the environment through the use of sponges, broom and dustpan.
The sensorial area allows the child to explore the world around them through the senses. These exercises help the child develop a keener eye for discrimination of contrasts and minute details. Each material isolates one defining quality such as colour, weight, shape, texture, size, sound and smell. In using these exercises, the child will gain a sharpened sense of perception, learn basic problem-solving and have the opportunity of abstract learning. At TIPS, children are exposed to various activities like finger painting, kneading wheat flour dough, identifying different fragrances of leaves, sorting out different colour tablets, exploring different textures of cloth and many more.
Circle time helps develop positive relationships between kids through engaging and fun-filled activities. Preschool circle time activities keep kids occupied. It helps them transition from one part of the day to the next. During circle time, children are seated in a circle on the floor and are encouraged to do many activities, while the teacher sees to it that each child is given the opportunity to be involved so that each one equally receives the benefits of circle time. Some of those activities include musical games, cooperative games, talking and listening exercises, finger rhymes, stories, drama activities and a lot more!
Storytelling at TIPS is an interactive session. As a story progresses and develops, children ask questions. This is a great learning activity. In a TIPS early childhood classroom, a story is repeated for 15 days up to a month, at a time. Rather than being bored by hearing the same story over and over again, children delight in the repetition. The story table using natural materials is set up in the classroom for each story and children will gather around this during story narration. They are also free to observe this at any time during the school day for the whole fortnight.
Finger rhymes/play in preschool is hand action or movement combined with singing or spoken words to engage the child’s interest. Teachers use fingerplays to introduce rhymes to children and introduce new concepts. Preschool finger rhymes and songs are fun and can also help children develop gross & fine motor skills, improve memory, and gain social skills. Apart from these, kids tend to develop their language, muscular coordination and rhythmic proficiency. They also develop skills for playing musical instruments. Another benefit from this activity is auditory discrimination. Throughout this activity, kids gain self-confidence and have some fun too.
In the initial phase of education, every child needs engaging and fun ways to learn. Preschoolers pick up many of the basic, but important life lessons during this phase of their life. Kids love to mimic adults, and in the process, they learn about life. Roleplaying activities help them do just that. Dramatic play is an extremely valuable part of the daily curriculum as it helps them to vent out emotions they normally cannot verbalize, leading to language development. In it, the child can control the events and their wishes can come true. Children also feel powerful and learn important social skills.
Animal movements correct a lot of developmental gaps (if any) and help them learn other aspects later. Animal walks are a lot of fun for kids. Not only do the children get to pretend to be some of their favourite animals, but they burn off lots of energy while doing it. Basically, animal walks help kids receive calming deep pressure to their joints and limbs, help strengthen their sense of balance, and develop body awareness. Animal walks have a great ability to calm anxious kids by providing proprioceptive and vestibular sensory input through heavy work. Animal walks also help develop a child’s core strength and muscles.
Object talk is a teaching method that consists of using a physical object or a visual aid as a topic of discussion. Object talk is based on the idea that material things have the potential to convey information. It is believed that teaching through observation of objects helps students recognize concepts better. Object talk at TIPS is done by the facilitators (teachers) in short bursts with 5 to 6 sentences about the physical attributes and the usage of randomly taken objects from the world around us. As kids participate in object talk with enthusiasm and excitement, their listening skills, comprehension and vocabulary are all developed.
Mindfulness is the state of being aware of what is happening in the present moment. One tends to attentively analyse one’s actions and reactions when one is mindful. When kids are encouraged to practise mindfulness, they can understand and express how they feel in different scenarios. Mindfulness activities for TIPS kindergarten children include various breathing exercises and listening exercises which involve children attentively listening to sounds around them. Guided imagination exercises encourage kids to imagine themselves as a tree or an animal or anything. This improves children’s imaginative powers. In addition to these, ‘what are you feeling now?’ conversations help kids express what they are feeling in the moment.
Music ignites all areas of child development and skills for school readiness including intellectual, social-emotional, motor, language and overall literacy. It helps the body and the mind work together. When children participate in music and movement activities in a group, they also develop and refine their social skills. They learn to work as a team, they learn to share and they learn how to be creative in a group environment. Their fine motor skills and gross motor skills will be developed. Maintaining their balance and coordination will improve. Expressing emotions will be a cake-walk once they begin to dance and sing.
When engaged in cooking activities like making a salad or squeezing lemons to make lemonade, children build their vocabulary of food and cooking-related terms and also develop their fine motor skills. Children with well-developed fine motor skills can control a pencil and write with control later on. Cooking activities also encourage healthy eating, independence and sense of accomplishment. Kids become responsible with more focus, confidence and attention. Their basic math, science and other life skills are built. Children begin to explore through their senses and also get excited to try something new every day. On the whole, language development is also induced.
Language is introduced to the children in the order of listening, speaking, reading and writing to improve creativity, knowledge and wisdom. KG kids at TIPS learn English, Tamil and Hindi through various enrichment activities that are given to them right from the time they join the school. Stories, rhymes, nature walk, material work, letter tracing, book reading, sound recognition and sentence writing are some of the activities practised at TIPS KG for establishing an effective medium of communication. Our experienced teachers will also stand with our young Tipsians and guide them throughout their preschool journey.