My two and a half year old Ibnat just loves "Tumble Tots". I enrolled her in the "Tumble Tots" physical play programme ( for ages 2-3) around four months ago at around the same time that we relocated to Singapore. "Tumble Tots" is a UK based programme which has age specific physical play programmes for children from the age of six months to seven years.
Parents are present during the 45 minute session once a week and they participate with the children encouraging them all along and lending a helping hand when necessary. I like being with Ibnat and helping her along and I feel very contented when she completes an activity station satisfactorily. She sometimes get distracted by the other activity stations and the trampoline on which she loves to jump........
Young children learn through movement and this is what is encouraged in "Tumble Tots". Going to "Tumble Tots" has proved to be beneficial for Ibnat in a number of ways. It has helped her pick up English and appreciate the fact that movement can communicate messages and represent actions. For example in the beginning of each session the instructor asks the children how they are and wiggles their thumbs while saying that everything is fine.
The music and movement and activities like climbing and rolling is intended to develop the children's sense of balance, agility and coordination. Activities like passing bean bags to each other or rolling a stick down a slope into a hula hoop promote eye and hand coordination . Children are encouraged to roll, crawl, jump and stretch (Ibnat's stretching actually looks like a dance sequence). Ibnat now knows which is "right" and which is "left" because of a song that the children dance to in "Tumble Tots" which goes something like"Put your right hand in, put your right foot in ......".
Ibnat's ability to follow instructions have also improved because in each activity station the instructors explain to the children the sequence of activities to be performed and gives a "demo" using a doll called "Polly".
The only downside is that the sessions are too short. A 60 minutes session would have been better....I feel.