Tinkering with Parent-Toddler Activity and Communication

by Santosh

Megh my 18-month old, and I’ve been regularly attending the Parent – Toddler Activity sessions at the Serra International pre-school. The key idea behind the activity is to have teachers teach the parent, teach the children. This principle is the inverse of what you’d expect from a day care.

What is working for the Activity? I’m glad we’ve got some awesome, enthusiastic teachers at Serra who’ve selected and put together the activities. Their experience has helped me catch on to some of the more nuanced assumptions I’ve been making when working with Megh. For instance, when going over colors, I think of introducing colors as a label attached to an object. For instance, here’s a red truck. On the other hand, when the experienced educator looks at the same problem, she starts with matching two objects with the same color to introduce the importance of color. It is only later does she communicate the label for the color.

Besides the experienced teachers we get access to the schools facilities, including their craft supplies, educational material, toys and their physical activity center. When making purchases for home, I tend to underestimate what a toddler can use by simply going by manufacturer age recommendations. In an art session, Megh quickly took to painting his hands with a wide art paintbrush and thick paint. His grip, composure and concentration when painting were surprise firsts to watch. I’d think this blind spot isn’t just limited to me.

What isn’t working out? As you can imagine there aren’t many takers for a facility like this one. The parent-toddler activity isn’t anywhere as viable as a day-cares primary activity which is to take on direct responsibility of the kids. For now, parents get a choice of one session timing set down inconveniently in between work hours.

Overall, I’ve found attending these sessions to be incredibly valuable for parents who want to learn to work better with their kids. Toddlers get the bonus wholistic development of a day-care outside home. Approaching it bottom-up, the activity is a wonderful addition for a pre-school as they already have the infrastructure in place. It would be interesting to figure out how to reconfigure the activity with better viability in mind. For instance, is the activity better suited for a large work-place where employees already have day-care facilities in place?