Author Archives: Ash Hamzah

Why is Music Important for Children’s Development?

Musical intelligence can be developed over time through exposure to music. It is an important part of childhood learning and can help children share across communication and developmental barriers.

Babies will often enjoy music and songs that incorporate touch, faces, steady rhythms, simple repetitions, one-to-one games and tunes that calm and make them feel safe. They respond to regular movements like swaying, rocking and bouncing to music.

Toddlers will often enjoy musical experiences that allow them to use their large movements, feel parts of the song when they hear their name added, interactive music games using finger puppets, scarves and other props with music. Pre-schoolers will enjoy the same musical experiences you offer to babies and toddlers. Above all, there is a growing interest in group games that challenge their developmental social skills. They also enjoy using their more advanced gross and fine motor skills to respond to music with different actions. They can help make props for musical activities and stories as well as create their own performances to share with others.

6 Reasons Why Play is Important for Children

  1. Children learn and develop cognitive skills – like math and problem-solving in a pretend grocery store and by learning new vocabulary.
  2. Play helps your children grow emotionally. It is joyful and provides an outlet for anxiety and stress.
  3. Make time for play. As parents, you are the biggest supporters of your children’s learning. You can make sure they have as much time to play as possible in the day to promote cognitive, language, physical, social, and emotional development.
  4. Learning and play go hand-in-hand. They are intertwined activities which are not separate.
  5. Play outdoors. Remember your own outdoor experiences of building forts, playing on the beach or playing with other children in the neighbourhood? Make sure you create memories of outdoor play for your children too!
  6. Play is a child’s context for learning. Children practise and reinforce learning in multiple areas during play. It gives them a place and a time for learning that cannot be achieved from completing a worksheet. E.g. Get children to write and draw menus, set prices, take orders, and make out checks when having the context of being in a restaurant.

In summary, play provides rich learning opportunities which boost children’s self-esteem, leading to success in life!

Boosting the Social and Emotional Health of Children

Children who are socially and emotionally healthy tend to demonstrate, and continue to develop, several important behaviors and skills (adapted from McClellan & Katz 2001 and Bilmes 2012). Children’s social and emotional health affects their overall development and learning. 

Research indicates that children who are mentally healthy tend to be happier, show greater motivation towards learning, have a more positive attitude toward school, more eagerly participate in classroom activities, and demonstrate higher academic performance than their peers who do not have a good mental well-being. (Hyson 2004; Kostelnik et al. 2015). 

Here are 3 strategies to promote social and emotional health in children

Strategy 1 : Establish trusting relationships

Young children develop and learn in the context of relationships. A trusting and caring teacher–child relationship is essential for children’s optimal development (Raikes & Edwards 2009). Children who have trusting relationships with their teachers are, on average, more willing to ask questions, solve problems, try new tasks, and express their thinking than their peers without such relationships (O’Connor & McCartney 2007). 

Strategy 2 : Consistently showing warmth and affection

Children’s social and emotional well-being are proven to be nourished by their teachers’ warmth and affection. Showing respect is a key way to connect with children and strengthen positive relationships. It helps them feel more confident about themselves, to be more competent to explore and learn.

Strategy 3: Listen with full attention and reinstate what children say

Listening to children attentively and reflectively enhances their self-worth and confidence. When adults actively listen to children, they convey that they care about what the children have to say. In response, the children are more likely to share their thoughts, feelings and ideas.

At Carpe Diem, our teachers are trained and qualified to pay close attention to children’s needs. We strive to promote positive experiences in school to strengthen their intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligences. We have planned experiences to teach young children appropriate social skills and methods to manage emotions. This is aligned to our goal to raise children who are confident, creative and competent.

How can I support my child in improving his or her literacy?

Fluency develops gradually with substantial practice, but you can help enhance this process. 

Here’s presenting a 2-Step Approach to achieve your goal of having your child improve his or her reading skills.

Step 1 : Memorize, memorize, memorize!

When your child is just setting out on his journey towards reading fluency, encourage him to memorize short books, poems and chants. Children who memorize something as a beginner reader feel more successful, and fluent readers are strongly motivated to continue “reading.” 

Step 2 : Recognize sight words

Read a sentence to your child and have her read it back to you. You may want to encourage your child to run her finger under the words as she reads them. Allow your child to set the pace and follow a beat behind him  or her, still modeling expressions but allowing your child to read first.

In the process, you will also model for your child the importance of reading.

At Carpe Diem, our Literacy Programme offers a comprehensive reading programme to nurture the love and joy for reading. Contact us to know more!

Developing your child’s confidence through communication activities at Carpe Diem preschools

Communication and confidence are some of the most important aspects of early child development. Having conversations with your children encourages them to express their needs and desires. If they lack the confidence to do so, they might struggle to ask for help when its required.

Nurturing your child’s communication abilities at a young age is critical for building their confidence. When your child can speak fluently and confidently with others, they will be understood and accepted by their peers. As such, their self-confidence grows. In this article, we share three types of communication activities we use at our Carpe Diem Preschools across Singapore to develop children’s communication abilities and confidence.

  1. Hands-on learning activities

The best childcare centres in Singapore often involve children in active learning activities for cognitive development. Hands-on activities such as creative storytelling and phonics games will develop conversational skills and also enhance literacy in children. Through these activities, your children can learn the proper pronunciation of words. This gives them the confidence to use those words regularly in conversation with their peers. In doing so, their confidence grows when they feel accepted by their peers.

2. Targeted small group learning activities

Children best develop interpersonal and intrapersonal skills in small group learning activities. Most preschools include class discussion and collaboration in their lessons. At Carpe Diem Preschools, we practise communication and language skills in small groups daily. Our children share ideas, jokes and recount interesting stories to forge friendships with each other, and also learn more about how others think and react. With constant repetition of such activities in a relaxed environment, our children’s confidence in their social and communication skills grow.

3.Play-based learning opportunities

Learning processes developed through play is necessary for the development of your child’s communication skills. Children thrive in a positive and fun-filled environment. In Carpe Diem preschools, our communication activities are selected carefully after considering your child’s learning style. To enhance their communication and emotional skills, our children learn through dramatization and role-play activities. Acting helps build their confidence to express and articulate their thoughts and emotions effectively.

As one of the best preschools in Singapore, we are confident that our learning environment will unlock the full potential of your child. Our multiple intelligence based curriculum identifies and nurtures children into capable communicators and confident individuals. Reach out to us to find out more about how we can help your child to be more confident today!

Building Your Child’s Resilience

Building your child’s resilience is crucial as it is the foundation upon which other traits are built. Resilience is the ability of an individual to bounce back after facing a certain degree of adversity or stress.  When children grow to be more resilient, they are more confident, courageous, and capable of dealing with challenges.

It is never too early to start building your child’s resilience. Resilience is not exclusive to the genetically blessed and can be nurtured at practically any age. In fact, the brain and biological systems of a human being are the most adaptable in the early stages of life. As one of the best childcare centres in Singapore, Carpe Diem Preschools seek to unlock the fullest potential of your children by developing their resilience at an early age.

3 Top Tips To Build Your Child’s Resilience

  1. Establish relationships

When your children socialise and connect with others, it provides social support and strengthens resilience and empathy with the parties involved. Likewise, a stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent/caregiver enables the child to develop qualities such as planning ability and observation skills. Parents and caregivers are the primary role models for their children. Children are more likely to build resilience when they can emulate role models that are capable of displaying calmness and confidence in challenging situations.

2. Positive Reinforcement

If your child is having difficulty coping in tough situations, you could remind him or her of former situations that they performed well in. If your child has displayed confidence in certain circumstances- such as in classrooms, let them know they did a good job. This boosts your child’s confidence and motivates them to be more confident and resilient in other scenarios as well. Even small gestures of encouragement such as ‘Good job! You played so well with your cousins’ goes a long way.

Avoid backhanded compliments or veiled insults such as ‘What happened! You were doing great just now’ or ‘You are really improving; this is much better compared to what you were doing just now’. Reminding children of their failures is rarely helpful as it induces doubt in them. Doubt hinders optimism, which goes hand in hand with resiliency.

3.Regular Exercise

It is firmly established that exercise is an effective way of building your child’s resilience in a fun and engaging manner. Exercise helps develop their mental strength and makes them more resilient to adversity and stress. Carpe Diem Preschools’ Multiple Intelligence based curriculum includes a customised physical activity programme specifically tailored to help your child develop fitness, coordination, and other motor skills within a safe and supportive environment. As one of the top preschools in Singapore, reach out to us to find out how we could be partners in raising resilient Little Legends for tomorrow

How does Carpe Diem’s Multiple Intelligence-based curriculum support my child’s reading and writing development?

Carpe Diem preschools’ Multiple Intelligence-based curriculum aims to develop the eight innate intelligences of every child. One of the eight intelligences is Linguistic Intelligence.

Linguistic intelligence deals with children’s ability to understand both spoken and written language, as well as their ability to speak and write. By developing this intelligence, they will have the ability to use language to express themselves well. Public speakers and writers have high levels of linguistic intelligence. A high linguistic intelligence begins with learning to read and write at an early age. In this article, we share three great ways Carpe Diem’s Multiple Intelligence-based curriculum supports your child’s reading and writing development to build high linguistic intelligence:

  1. Innovative and engaging language activities

Carpe Diem Preschools’ Multiple Intelligence based curriculum provides a variety of unique language-centric activities to better engage our children in reading and writing. Our early childhood educators conduct dynamic and fun-filled activities such as word-matching games, crossword puzzles, dramatization, storytelling, recitation of poems and rhymes. For older children, we encourage them to spell words through decoding and invented spelling

2. A reading space called Shakespeare

In our Shakespeare learning space, we provide a large variety of high-quality and bilingual reading materials that are readily accessible to our children. We also adopt the Shared Book Reading approach to develop adult-child participation in the reading process. This emphasizes reading for meaning and enjoyment over just accurate decoding. Big books are traditionally used as a shared reading text type. The larger picture sizes help children to focus their attention and follow the story better while listening as the teacher reads. Big books are known to be more fun and exciting for children to experience in comparison to smaller, wordier reading texts.

3. Early childhood educators who specialie in language learning

Top kindergartens in Singapore typically have two prominent qualities. Firstly, they should provide an engaging and effective curriculum. Next, their educators should also be well-trained and qualified to deliver the benefits of the aforementioned curriculum. At Carpe Diem Preschools, our dedicated early childhood educators are motivated and passionate about learning new ways to enhance their student’s reading and writing abilities. Children learn to read and write differently and have different learning speeds. We recognise each child’s unique learning style and help them improve with the right learning materials that will build their confidence as well as maximise their full potential.

Carpe Diem day-care centres in Singapore offer a robust Multiple Intelligence Curriculum that nurtures our children’s reading and writing abilities to their fullest potential at an accelerated pace. Reach out to us to find out in greater detail more about our curriculum and learn how, together, we can raise your child as a Little Legend!  

How does Carpe Diem Preschool’s Multiple Intelligence-based curriculum prepare my child for school readiness?

To succeed in today’s world, one needs a mastery of different skills. Hence, it is important that your child nurtures different aspects of their intelligence in ways that respect their individual interests and strengths. Top preschools in Singapore such as Carpe Diem Preschool’s provide children with an environment to develop their own multiple intelligences.

In our preschools, we adopt a specialized curriculum that will bring out the best in your child. Our multiple intelligence-based curriculum prepares your child for school readiness in these ways:

Our learning environment nurtures your child’s language development and abilities. We develop your child’s conversational skills through creative storytelling, rhymes and games. Our class discussions encourage children to speak with confidence and take an active role in learning new vocabulary words. Our curriculum enhances your child’s understanding of spoken language and gives them a head start in beginning reading and writing.

1. Develop language and literacy skills to shape confident communicators

Our learning environment nurtures your child’s language development and abilities. We develop your child’s conversational skills through creative storytelling, rhymes and games. Our class discussions encourage children to speak with confidence and take an active role in learning new vocabulary words. Our curriculum enhances your child’s understanding of spoken language and gives them a head start in beginning reading and writing.

2. Develop creative and confident children who can problem solve

Our guided play activities promote exploring numeracy and scientific concepts. Fun-filled activities such as cooking and baking will give your child first-hand exposure to counting and measuring. We also explore shapes through puzzle fixing and sculpture making where your children will develop shape recognition, symmetry and concentration. Hands-on learning connects theory and practice while reinforcing practical applications. The curiosity and creativity they develop will help sustain attention, grit and perseverance to attend to problems and work out solutions.

3.Develop child’s physical development through gross and fine motor activities

Our outdoor learning experiences promote fitness and build your child’s motor skills in a safe and supportive environment. Through activities such as running, balancing, climbing and maneuvering through obstacles, your children can look forward to interactive, sensory-driven games and activities in nature. These collaborative learning opportunities develop your child’s interpersonal skills as they work together, share ideas and build relationships with others. These interactive skills are valued in physical education where teamwork is promoted in sports and games.

To conclude, it is important to nurture your child’s intelligence based on their individualized interests and strengths.

Being one of the best preschools in Singapore, our team of experienced teachers are confident that our learning experiences and environment will bring out the best in your child. Be it artistic intelligence, naturalistic intelligence or even musical intelligence, we will identify the way your child learns best and use multiple strategies to nurture them to their fullest potential. Reach out to us to find out more about our curriculum and how your child can become a Little Legend today!

Choosing a bilingual program for my child’s preschool years

As educators, we pride ourselves on establishing language foundation in a child’s formative years. Nurturing your child’s linguistic talents at a young age is extremely crucial to effective bilingualism and literacy development. Also, being introduced to languages at a young age has social and cognitive benefits as well. Over the years, demand for Chinese language acquisition is increasing in preschool education as parents look to immerse their children in a Mandarin-rich environment. In this article we share four key factors to consider when choosing the best bilingual preschool program for your child:

  1. Active learning opportunities

    Top preschools in Singapore such as Carpe Diem involve children in active learning activities for cognitive development. Children are encouraged to explore objects with their senses and form connections from their lived experiences. Hands-on activities such as creative storytelling, rhymes, and games will develop conversational Mandarin skills and improve literacy in children.

  2. Experiential learning opportunities

    Consider if there are lessons with purposeful play for children. For example, our children learn through guided play set in different contexts and broad themes (family, school, community, etc). This enhanced discovery approach to learning develops their knowledge through meaningful feedback and reflection on their experiences.

  3. Collaborative learning opportunities

    Children best develop interpersonal and intrapersonal skills in small group learning activities. Most preschools include class discussion and collaboration in their lessons. At Carpe Diem, we practise Mandarin language skills in small groups with games and experiments. Our children share ideas, build relationships with their friends and learn more about how others think and react.

  4. Play-based learning opportunities

    Learning processes developed through play is necessary to a child’s development. The skills fostered in play are different to those in rote learning (with a focus on fact memorisation). In our preschools, we use play interactions to develop the 8 multiple intelligences in our children. For example, our children learn through dramatisation and role play to enhance their communication skills. Through acting out their life experiences, we build their confidence to express and articulate effectively.

To conclude, it is important that the bilingual programme chosen is systemically planned and catered to your child’s learning. Children learn and excel best in a positive, warm environment that helps them appreciate the language. As one of the best preschools in Singapore, we are confident that our curriculum nurtures children to their fullest potential. Our multiple intelligence learning environment identifies and nurtures children into creative problem-solvers for the 21st century. Reach out to us to find out more about how we can help your child master languages and raise your Little Legend for tomorrow.

3 Useful Tips to Multiply Your Child’s Intelligence

As parents, we understand the importance of preparing your children up for a lifetime of success. The best preschools in Singapore should elevate and expand your child’s potential with curriculum that multiplies their intelligences. As such, we would like to share three useful tips that will guide you to multiply your child’s intelligence at home:

  1. Fun reading experiences
    Learning to read is one of the best methods to multiply your child’s intelligences. Most importantly reading has to be engaging, fun and pleasurable for both parent and child. Regular reading brings with it many wonderful benefits such as building good communication skills, effective learning and improved focus in daily activities. You probably remember your favourite storybook as a child and the memories of your parents reading to you. Reading a story together or singing some nursery rhymes are great ways to encourage parent-child bonding. You can even act out your favourite parts of the book with role-play and bring the book to life! Such moments are not only precious but incredibly important for developing their language skills.

    Here are some points of consideration when choosing a book for your child:

    • book length
    • the age of your child and current language ability of your child
    • aspects of emergent literacy (making meaning, phonics, text structure) found in the book that you wish to bring across to your child
    • how the story will intrigue your child (themes, characters or messages)
  2. Simple mathematics in everyday activities
    As parents, creating an inviting, numeracy-rich environment at home is the first step towards beginning your child’s math journey. Creating a numeracy-rich environment is surprising easy. Many simple, everyday activities already strengthen their association with numbers. Most, if not all children have fond memories of their favourite home-cooked dishes. Why not turn this into a fun learning experience? Involving your child in simple cooking and baking exposes them to measuring, weighing and even decimals in a fun way. This will boost your child’s confidence towards learning mathematics and their problem-solving skills will improve too! Stimulating your child with real-world examples and a positive mindset is key.

  3. Early art exposure
    Early art exposure is a great way to develop your child’s creativity and imagination in a fun way! Art teaches children how to express their thoughts visually and creatively. Finger painting is a great activity for sensory development for infants. In our early years curriculum, our children are also guided through drawing, painting, printing and sculpting. We teach them to express themselves through art and share their feelings. As parents, you also incorporate nature into their learning experiences and use the world around you to teach your children about art! You could bring your child for a walk in the park and collect natural materials such as leaves, flowers, etc. From there, you could make a beautiful nature collage together with glue and paper.

    Different children have different strengths and intelligences. When your child begins to show an interest or a particular strength in a few intelligences, you can then leverage on his strengths and provide him with more activities that will grow his talents. You can also search for a preschool environment that nurtures children based on their individual strengths and intelligences. As a top preschool in Singapore, Carpe Diem’s Multiple Intelligence approach aims to develop all eight intelligences every child possesses. Reach out to us and learn how, together, we can raise Little Legends!