ONLINE schooling isn't exactly a tool that will work for all tots, as learning at this stage requires much face-to-face contact and interaction. Thus the Zoom classes, save for short periods, might not be ideal for your spunky little one, and you may feel like they're a waste.
And then there are many nurseries and kindergartens which were not equipped to do online teaching, leaving many children with only their tablets for engagement. As such, many parents of pre-K students have opted to self-teach, using apps and TV programmes as well as homeschooling techniques to teach their kids the basics.
What do parents recommend to help tots not enrolled in online school?
Baby First TV
This TV channel distributes content for babies ages 0-3, and their parents. But it's not just TV, there's an app as well as a website with content intended to develop an infant's skills, such as colour recognition, counting and vocabulary, and even printable colouring sheets.
“You won't have to worry about your baby getting too much screen time, as the channel will basically introduce your child to basic building blocks like numbers, colours, animals, art, and music,” said mom Melanie Hutchinson.
Even better are the offshoots — like the Parents First Facebook page for parents to build friendships and turn to a community of parents for anything infant and toddler related.
“I found an interactive TV show on Netflix called Super Why that has been working wonders for my two-year-old,” Candy Daye said. “It helps with identifying letters, learning letter sounds, opposites, emotional intelligence, reasoning, and sentence construction. I also like that the main character is a little black boy who loves to read.”
“I use ABC Mouse. The Mother Goose Club and Word Party are also fun, and interactive sing-alongs are also very helpful. In addition to age-appropriate learning material, these programmes also help with social learning skills and developmental milestones. For example, after one episode on potty training on Word Party, my toddler was immediately interested in exploring her potty (mostly to hear the flushing sound, but still). There are also other things like encouraging the use of social graces, like please and thank you,” shared a mom of a one-year-old.
Little Baby Bum
Little Baby Bum is a fun and educational show for kids featuring classic and new nursery rhymes that are loved by babies and their parents.
“What I like about this — and it's available on Netflix and YouTube — is that it supports social skills and promotes the bond that parents share with their children,”said mom Collette Green. “The songs also help with developing vocabulary.”
Whether you download the app or watch on the web, YouTube Kids provides a kid-friendly, video-watching experience for your child. From kid-friendly and educational shows, to sing-with-me music and training songs, and a whole section on learning, it's an all-in-one safe space. A parent has to unlock the app and this allows the parent to create a profile for each child, as well as have more control — whether they want lots of videos or want to choose their own. The parent can also block any videos or channels that they don't want their children to see.