Play Sense Virtual Play Group
When we were asked to partake in a week trial for Play Sense’s new virtual playgroup I was a bit skeptical, to say the least. Aryan is a busy body and an outdoors child. I kept thinking to myself “I can’t even get him to sit still and watch a video, how was I supposed to keep him focused on a screen for 30 minutes”? I, however, decided to accept the challenge and tackle it with an open mind – I mean since the classes were focused on kids between the ages of 2 and 4, I knew that my child would not be the only busybody in the group (which 3 year old isn’t busy?). The first meeting was a mess (I’m here to be honest). Aryan wanted nothing to do with his teacher, he couldn’t sit still, and he kept pushing the buttons on my laptop going in and out of the Zoom meeting. I felt so discouraged and frustrated, and maybe even a little embarrassed, but his teacher immediately reassured me that this is completely normal and that he will adapt sooner than later. She was right. Day 2 he was a bit more at ease and actually participated in the activities and listened to the stories. Day 3 he was excited and asked when he would be phoning his teacher, he also loved interacting with his friends and kept pointing to the screen asking to see “his friends”. By day 4 he was completely comfortable in front of the screen. He confidently asked questions, and shared in conversations between him, his teachers and his friends, and the experience became so much more pleasurable. I was actually able to sit back a bit and let him do his thing (for the majority of the time).
So, I thought I would share some of the things we loved before we get into the nitty gritty, yet serious things:
- I loved that he got to interact with kids his age – it was very clear that he needed that stimulation and social interaction after being away from all of his friends for so long.
- I loved that the teacher was so gentle and loving. She never once lost her temper, instead she kept encouraging them, and showered them with so much love (even when they were all doing their own thing).
- I loved how accommodating everyone was. If one of us were unable to attend the class in a timeslot, his teacher jumped in to make arrangements to try and avoid that the little ones miss out on a class.
- I loved the support. His teacher was there all the time to help you out, answer some questions and she even sent some additional activities when we were unable to complete the specific activities for the day.
- I loved how we all felt like a little family, even though we have never met or even seen each other. This may sound really weird, but yes I never saw the other moms, yet seeing the photos of the little ones doing their activities, and seeing the little ones interact with one another made me feel like I was part of a little family.
- I loved that you are not just thrown into a group, but that you are connected with people in and around your area! Playdate arrangements have already been made with some of Aryan’s new friends.
Now, first things first. What is the Play Sense virtual playgroup all about?
This program is also known as the Play Sense @Home program and it actually started during the lockdown. Play Sense @Home is a homeschooling program for toddlers to help make life a little easier for all types of moms all over the country. Play Sense @Home offers a daily routine for your toddler as well as a qualified virtual teacher. Play Sense helps moms and dads give their toddlers the best foundation for learning through play. The platform connects qualified early childhood teachers with up to 10 children (more than likely less – Aryan”s group were only 3) in a nurturing virtual playgroup. The fun thing is that parents don’t only have the peace of mind that their toddler’s learning journey is supported by inspiring and engaging teachers, but also that their learning takes place in the safety and the comfort of their own homes, which I know is very important considering everything that is happening outside. For more info you can visit https://playsense.org/play-sense-online/
How does the Play Sense @Home program work?
Once registered your child will be divided into a small group where he/she will be connected with kids in and around your area of living. Every morning, at a specified time, your child’s teacher will Zoom into your house and host a morning ring where the they will do some reading, music and have story time together. Everyday you will receive 2 activities that can be done throughout the course of the day with your toddler. The fun thing is that should you be a work from home mom, and an urgent meeting comes up, you can ask your toddler’s teacher to please occupy your child for a while at any time of the morning through Zoom on a different device. At the end of the morning the little ones will re-group with the teacher via Zoom and just connect, do a fun activity together and enjoy a snack in each other’s company. The teachers are there to support parents to entertain, guide and play with their toddlers.
Now that you know and understand what playsense is all about, let’s look at some advantages and disadvantages:
|1. Your child will receive much needed socialization with friends his/her age.||Since the morning and afternoon meetings are run via Zoom, you will need a proper, stable internet connection. The connection is so important as the little ones easily lose focus and gets frustrated when they can’t hear the song, teacher or their friends.|
|2. You are connected with moms and toddlers in and around your area, which is awesome for playdates later on, and to make new friends.||You will still need the time and someone to do the actual activities with your child.|
|3. Your child is being taught by a qualified teacher, who is also available to provide you with step-by-step guidance for each activity planned.||The quality of the lessons via Zoom meetings will vary greatly. It will all depend on your own child’s mood, and energy level. If they are tired they might not be interested at all.|
|4. Mom/dad get to be a part of their child’s development||The little ones have a very short attention span and lessons might be a lot shorter than expected, since you really need to follow their lead.|
|5. You are provided with a complete curriculum to do with your child||It takes some time for them to get used to the whole experience, so don’t make your final judgment on the first day. Give it 3-5 days.|
|6. Your child is being taught in the safety of their own homes||Although Zoom works on any device, we found the features to be different on a cellphone and a laptop. On a cellphone Aryan couldn’t really see his friends like he could on the laptop.|
|7. The program on its own is very safe – you need to submit ID documents, and participate in a meet-and-greet with the teacher to confirm both you, and your child’s identity before gaining access to the platform.|
|8. The registration is quick and easy|
|9. The program is perfect for stay at home moms and working moms (and a nanny can easily do this with your child as well).|
|10. You can buy the online program kit which provides you with all the resources you might need for the entire month, so no need to run to the shops for arts and crafts supplies.|
|11. The activities create some bonding time between parents and toddlers.|
|12. The classes are small, guaranteeing that one on one attention that the little ones still need.|
|13. The zoom calls can be done on any advice such as a laptop, tablet or cellphone|
All-in-all we had a very positive experience. Aryan really surprised me with how quickly he made the adjustment and he absolutely loved the social interaction. His teacher Henriette was so creative in the ways that she used to keep them occupied and get them involved. She was also super supportive and accommodating and Aryan grew to love her in a very short amount of time. Aryan enjoyed the activities that were set out for them, and I really do believe it’s a superb program for any mom who has a toddler at home, decided to homeschool and are unsure of where to begin.
Play Sense @Home is currently offering a week free trial for parents to test, experience and enjoy the program. You can register by simply tapping on the link https://parentenroll.playsense.org/?utm_source=influencer&utm_medium=IG&utm_campaign=monique
You have nothing to lose!
Aryan & Mommy