The pandemic may have challenged educators across the world in multiple ways but some Indian playschools managed to tide over the difficulties with insightful teaching methods. These five institutions continued to educate and engage their young students with fun and informative techniques.
Founded in 2005, Little Elly’s curriculum is based on Montessori and Steiner methodologies and their offline classes include toys, books, activities and games, art, craft, storytelling, puppet shows, and field trips. A few of these elements were used online to engage the children during the lockdown phase. Online classes comprising storytelling and an education program that served the developmental and educational needs of the kids ensured that no child felt isolated or left out in the absence of a tangible learning environment. Learning programs were tailor-made for the specific needs of various age groups to encourage academic, artistic and practical learning and stories like “The Little Red Hen” helped children to connect with life lessons in a fun and positive way.
Established in 1927, Podar Jumbo educates children via the Playway methodology and also adapted to the pandemic by delivering online quality education to its young students. The virtual classes were unique, developmentally appropriate, and facilitated students to communicate, interact, and learn concepts in an online live setting. The emphasis was on skill-based learning and constructive engagement with activities such as Circle Time, literacy, numeracy concepts, stories, fun activities, and games. Parents also interacted with teachers virtually to clarify doubts and give and take feedback about the progress of their children.
The Treehouse Play School
This pioneering virtual playschool chain broke new ground during the pandemic with borderless teaching modules and a strong emphasis on role play, storytelling, circle time, and socio-dramatic plays. Teachers kept the little ones updated with academic concepts while taking care of their emotional needs and mental health during the challenging time of acute social isolation. Dancing, music, craft sessions, and a lot more, helped kids to express pent-up energy and channel it constructively. Tenets of child psychology were utilised to get kids excited about a learning experience or activity and the lesson plans were designed by well-trained teachers to make the virtual classroom experience as interactive, engaging, and free-flowing as possible. There were easy-to-follow skits about COVID-appropriate behaviours and special occasions were celebrated virtually. Personalised modules facilitated writing, reading, and arithmetic skills with minimum discomfort and the emphasis was on developing the cognitive, social and emotional skills of children and to make them future-ready.
Kangaroo Kids Education continued to educate children even during the lockdown period with “theme-based, experiential, neuroscience led learning tailored to different learning styles of children.” Technological resources have been part of the teaching methodologies of the institution even before the pandemic and the transition to virtual classes was seamless with a focus on a balanced curriculum to enhance learning outcomes and ensure holistic mind and body development. With the help of in-house apps and a learning management system, learning and teaching processes continued uninterrupted during the lockdown. The Virtual Schooling Program positively engaged and motivated children to stay happy, active with lesson plans and structures that were adapted to suit virtual schooling.
The well-known chain also offered virtual preschool classes to its students to ensure that the early learning, critical from a developmental point of view, was not interrupted by the pandemic. With the help of digital books, recorded daily curriculum, fun activity sessions, initiatives were crafted to nurture the mind, body, and soul. While a language-based program provided a strong vocabulary foundation, mathematical and scientific concepts were taught with hands-on activities. A fitness program was also included to develop motor skills, muscle strength, and mind to muscle connection while picture books and music videos help children develop and practice skills for social and emotional development.