As we usher in the New Year 2020, Marymount Kindergarten welcomes the 2nd batch of playgroup children. Children at playgroup age are often anxious on their first day of school, they had to step out of their comfort zones without their parents, get accustomed to a new environment (the school, the peers and the teachers) and adapt to new routines. Put them all together, you get confusion, overwhelming emotions, insecurities and the occasional screams. We use the following strategies to settle the playgroup children:

1: Routines

The playgroup children go through routines including mealtime, circle time, music time, and outdoor time. Routines reinforce good habits and soothe the children’s emotions as they feel less stress while participating in the activities. Most importantly, familiarity with routines allows them to look forward to school.

2: Engagement

Engaging children with interesting activities give them the attention they desire and allows them to see teachers as playmates rather than gigantic unknown figures. Teachers at MKG plan the age appropriate activities and participate to engage the children. Activities such as, craft works, playing catching, building blocks, singing songs and dancing.

3: Communication

We encourage parents to discuss positive aspects of school with their children that they enjoy, to talk about their teachers’ names to increase familiarity and allow their child to bring in items that they are comfortable with for a start. These will help children increase familiarity and assurance that the school is a safe environment for him/her to grow and learn. Apart from these, teachers also seek the cooperation from parents to refrain from long goodbyes in order to create a less anxious and tense environment for the children.

With the three rules, the playgroup teachers definitely look forward to a fruitful year ahead!

Written by: Mrs Christina Ng (PG Teacher)