Written by 9:00 am Baby & Toddler, Preschooler & Up

Digital vs. Natural Worlds: What Preschoolers Really Need

Red SchoolHouse @ PUBRC

Parents, are you doing enough to equip your preschoolers with the tools they need to pursue their happiness and success? With the increasingly digital world they are growing up in, it’s essential they grow up technologically savvy. But early childhood experts also warn that too much screen time can have a negative effect on children. Your job? To get the balance right in these crucial early years.

Ensuring Preschoolers are Future-ready

There is no escaping the fact that today’s preschoolers will be the leaders of tomorrow’s tech-centric world. And it’s not just about teaching them to research via the internet and e-communicate effectively. Believe it or not, by the time your children are in primary school, they are already dabbling in robotics, producing CGI content, and coding digital applications.

Red Schoolhouse @ PUB Recreation Club - preschoolers playing

In other words, to be future-ready, children need to develop all these skills and wield them with confidence. Of course, this means exposing them to the digital world from an early age. Yet we’ve all heard early childhood experts warning against too much screen time.

Indeed, a 2019 study by researchers at KKH and NUH suggests that preschoolers who get their first screen time by the time they are 18 months old may experience more disrupted sleep and be more prone to emotional and behavioural difficulties. This doesn’t even take into account the potential dangers of fake news and cyberbullying. So, what is the solution?

(See also: Cyberbullying in Singapore: is my Child a Victim?)

Raising Nature-smart Preschoolers

To combat the ills and even boost the benefits of technology, ensure your children spend plenty of time outdoors too. According to the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), being outdoors helps children improve their focus to learn better, makes them happier and healthier, and gives them the opportunity to develop skills that prepare them not just for the classroom, but also for life.

Red Schoolhouse @ PUB Recreation Club - preschoolers running

Take it up a notch by engaging your child in purposeful play and meaningful learning experiences outdoors. There are six key areas to focus on as you lay the right foundations for your preschoolers to excel.

1. Social interaction

Allowing your child to play in parks and playgrounds provides them plenty of opportunities to interact with other children. They learn how to share, negotiate, and resolve conflicts together. While witnessing how people live, work, and play on walks around the neighbourhood, they also develop empathy, compassion, and kindness.

2. Physical fitness

For young children, exercising outdoors is necessary for their growing bodies. Whether they are playing balancing games or building sandcastles, they are developing fundamental gross and fine motor skills. Regular physical activity promotes overall health and well-being, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally too.

(See also: 13 Kid-friendly Nature Trails for Easy Hiking in Singapore)

3. Intellectual growth

Children learn best through hands-on experiences. The constantly changing outdoors encourages them to explore and discover new things. It provides an authentic context for children to learn language, mathematics, physics, and about the natural world. They also develop critical thinking skills such as observation and reasoning.

Red Schoolhouse @ PUB Recreation Club - outdoor learning

4. Creative thinking

Help your child develop a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around them. Let Mother Nature herself, through elements like sun, rain, flora, and fauna, inspire and motivate them. These experiences help stimulate brain development and enhance cognitive functions, such as imagination and creative problem-solving.

5. Emotional regulation

As outdoor environments are less structured, children feel free to experiment, take risks, and overcome challenges. More child-initiated activities also result in greater self-esteem and confidence as they get to make their own choices and decisions. Being active in natural environments helps reduce stress and foster positive moods too.

(See also: 5 Essential 21st-Century Skills every Child Needs to Learn Today)

But even the most aware and well-meaning parents are busy ones. We don’t always have the luxury of time to take our little ones to the playground or plan fulfilling playdates on a regular basis. Back yourself up by picking a preschool or childcare that can provide your child with the balance they need.

Find the Best of Both Worlds at Red Schoolhouse @ PUB Recreation Club

Red Schoolhouse @ PUB Recreation Club - preschooler flying kite

If you’re looking for a preschool and childcare service that fills that gap, then we may have a solution for you. Unlike many other space-strapped preschools in Singapore, Red SchoolHouse @ PUB Recreation Club sits on a sprawling 30,000 sq-ft of green.

Children from 18 months to 6 years get that vital space to experiment, express themselves, and explore the world around them. They also get to enjoy healthy and nutritious cooked meals daily!

The core values of the school highlight a Homely Environment, Strong Partnership with Parents, and a Fun, Multi-sensory, and Holistic Experience for all. Facilitated by highly skilled and passionate teachers, these values help shape children into resilient and confident learners, strong and honest individuals, and compassionate and kind citizens of the future.

Red Schoolhouse @ PUB Recreation Club - happy preschoolers

They place strong emphasis on holistic fitness and outdoor learning, and work closely with parents and the community, enabling all children to maximise their abilities, creativity, and potential, both academic and beyond.

Furthermore, using Red SchoolHouse’s award-winning SPICE Curriculum, children from toddler to kindergarten levels get boundless opportunities to develop strong meta-cognition, as well as open-ended and higher logic reasoning skills.

Much focus is given to hands-on learning through a collection of teaching materials specially designed to nurture joyful, successful children, while preparing them for formal school education.

“Each hour spent in the great outdoors brings a great balance to the (digital) force.”

Red SchoolHouse @ PUB Recreation Club believes that the future shall belong to the nature-smart — young children with hybrid minds who become leaders by developing both ways of knowing the world, the digital and the natural. They aim to nurture this generation of leaders by ensuring that spending time outdoors at school becomes part of the new normal.

Find out more about how to ensure that your child is future-ready and nature-smart at Red SchoolHouse @ PUB Recreation Club.

This balanced post is brought to you by Red SchoolHouse @ PUB Recreation Club.

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