Not quite a gym, and certainly not a school, PlayWisely is a developmental play programme that optimizes each child’s natural learning through movement
Do you have a high-energy kiddo who’s wearing you out? Have you heard complaints from teachers about your child’s inability to sit still, or pay attention?
Here’s the thing, mamas: children are supposed to be active! In fact, many children learn far better through play and movement rather than sitting at a desk or filling out worksheets. With a curriculum endorsed by cognitive scientists and world-class athletes (Nadia Comaneci, maybe you’ve heard of her?), not to mention 12 years of success in the United States, PlayWisely has just arrived in Singapore to help your little ones (from 4 months to 3.5 years of age) move and learn better. Its Singaporean founder, Maurice Quek, came across PlayWisely when living in Europe and was so impressed by its effect on his own child that he decided to open a studio when he returned to Singapore!
Every child is different – some might thrive in a group setting, while others do better in a one-on-one scenario. With small group classes (limited to just four kids at a time) and one-on-one sessions, PlayWisely helps every child move to learn (not learn to move) in a fun environment that maximises their learning capabilities.
Created by American gymnast Patty Hannan in 2006, PlayWisely presents kids with super fun, age-appropriate physical activities that challenge and engage them. When we attended a trial class with our 1-year-old, for instance, he had a ball chasing balls and putting them in a bucket, climbing up a ramp, and rolling a ball back and forth to play “catch” with the coach. All of these activities were geared toward working on hand-eye coordination.
Learning is always tailored to each child’s individual interests, and kids are never forced to do something they don’t want to. For instance if a child prefers to throw a ball during balance week, the activity will be adjusted so he can throw a ball to his parents while walking up a balance beam.
With kiddos’ brains stimulated by these activities, short bursts of learning and flash cards (such as counting, singing the alphabet song, or looking at shapes) are woven into the class. In this way, children learn that there is a time for focus and attention, and a time for play. Any and all learning is concept-based, it’s never about rote memorisation. PlayWisely is truly about leveraging a child’s natural learning capabilities, which in turn instill self-confidence in a positive, supportive, low-pressure environment.
Does your child have special needs? Coach Maurice is also currently working with children on the autism spectrum to help them improve certain cognitive functions, as the PlayWisely methodology has been shown to help them effectively overcome some physical challenges.
Because all classes are accompanied, parents can see first-hand which activities their kiddos most enjoy, and then implement them at home as well (no more “I’m bored” allowed!). The parent-accompanied classes are wonderful for parent-child bonding. Plus, PlayWisely parents who sign up for a package can join their exclusive Facebook community (launching in December), where they’ll receive weekly tips on activities to do with kids at home, along with other expert advice on helping your children develop holistically.
Between 6 months and 3 years of age, children’s brains develop quite rapidly, and even have the ability to rewire themselves; the PlayWisely program aims to boost cognitive, physical and motor abilities by stimulating those marvellous little brains. In an ongoing study currently happening in the U.S., results have shown a marginally significant differential increase in cognitive scale scores amongst children who underwent 16 weeks of PlayWisely training over a 10-month period. Pretty cool, huh?
But enough science talk, let’s have some fun! During the month of November, parents can get a free class with every 8-class package purchased. Classes are short and sweet, at a kid-friendly 40 minutes per session. Gift vouchers are also available in case you want to buy a trial class for a friend or family member.
Sassy Mama readers can get 50% off a trial class (regular price: $50) with the promo code PWITHSASSYMAMA.
So whether you want to help your active kiddo burn some energy, or you simply want your baby to boost brain power and motor skills in a fun and supportive environment, perhaps it’s time you got them to PlayWisely!
PlayWisely, 200 Turf Club Road, #04-06 The Grandstand (Lift 4), Singapore 287994, Tel: (+65) 8752 5002