With Noah entering N1 this year, we’ve had to say goodbye to his beloved Sparkanauts teachers, at least until he settles down properly in school. He’s been attending classes there since he was about nine months old, and we’re definitely thankful for all the help that the teachers have given to us, in supporting Noah’s physical development.
For those of you who are wondering what Sparkanauts is, it’s actually the new name for Gymnademics!I believe in learning through play, so I really like their new tagline: Learn to Play. Play to Learn. Anyway, while we were all busy celebrating Christmas, the Sparkanauts team was busy revamping the place, and have added new quotes and mascots, in line with their new theme.
Noah and his favourite Sparkanauts Teacher
The new Sparkanauts classrooms
Sparkanauts has a very unique curriculum, combining physical activities with music, flash cards, stories, and other fun components, all designed to help children learn through play. Classes may seem fast-paced initially, but I have come to realise that they are perfectly timed to keep the young ones engaged, as they have much shorter attention spans than adults. The activities are created to stimulate the children’s brains, and refine their physical abilities.
The children are introduced to a new topic each week, and the teachers will show them various words and pictures relevant to the topic. In the Pilot programme, the children have to match the word cards to the corresponding pictures, after learning about them the previous week. To my surprise, many of them are actually able to do so, with minimal prompting from the parents and teachers. I was given a smaller version of the word and picture cards one week, and Noah really enjoyed playing with them at home. The packs can be purchased at $8 after each class, and can be used together with the Parent Child Bonding Package that is filled with materials based on each week’s theme, which Sparkanauts emails to us every week. (Please note that the cards in my photos are smaller than the ones that are currently sold.)
Learning about Space
Matching the words to the pictures
When Noah was younger, he really enjoyed being on the trapeze, but as he grew older, he started running away instead of waiting for his turn on it. Initially, I thought it was because he didn’t like waiting, but Teacher Rachel pointed out that he tends to avoid activities that he isn’t confident of doing, which was spot-on. I’m really thankful that she continued to be patient with Noah, encouraging him to try, and reassuring him that she would be right there to catch him if he fell.
On the trapeze
A smile at last!
With plenty of encouragement and guidance from his teachers, Noah is now a lot more confident on the circuit, be it going up and down the stairs, jumping off platforms, or balancing. It’s really a huge improvement from when we first returned from Adelaide, and he insisted on holding my hand throughout the circuit.
The mobility and gymnastics exercises target different skills, and for someone who is completely clueless when it comes to gymnastics, these have been really eye-opening. I’ve learnt so much from the teachers, and try to work on some of the easier skills at home with Noah, whenever possible.
On the balance beam
“Walking” on his hands
Trying to do Jumping Jacks
One of the children’s favourite segments must be parachute time, where they make the circle big, small, and go round, according to the song. This is followed by a story and the Mystery Box, and they absolutely love tapping on the Mystery Box, so that it will reveal the activity inside.
Some of the Mystery Box activities
Noah loves music, and tries his best to follow along when the teachers sing action songs. He absolutely loves playing the piano, and often pretends to do so at home, while singing to himself.
Singing an action song
Playing the piano
I could go on and on about what we love about Sparkanauts, but it is definitely better for you to experience it with your child, so do sign up for a trial class by giving them a call, or dropping them an email. You might also like to check out my previous blogposts about their classes, which I wrote when Noah was still learning to crawl, when we just returned from Adelaide, and most recently, when Noah first attended the drop-off Chinese classes.
Disclaimer: We were invited to attend the Pilot classes at Sparkanauts for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was received. All photos, videos, and opinions are my own.
******* SPECIAL GIVEAWAY FOR READERS OF GROWING WITH THE TANS!
Sparkanauts is generously sponsoring THREE free trial classes* to our readers! One winner will be selected randomly via the widget below, and the other two will be selected by Sparkanauts via Instagram.
To particpate via Instagram, simply complete all these steps:
1. Follow BOTH @Sparkanauts and @GrowingwiththeTans on Instagram. 2. Repost the giveaway photo, found on the GrowingwiththeTans’ Instagram account. Don’t forget to tag both @Sparkanauts and @GrowingwiththeTans! 3. Post a photo or video of your child playing, tag both @Sparkanauts and @GrowingwiththeTans, and add the hashtags #GWTTSparkanautsGiveaway #PlaytoLearn. You can submit as many photos and videos as you like!
CLOSING DATE FOR BOTH GIVEAWAYS: 26 January 2015, 2359h
*This giveaway is for first-time students only. We reserve the right to pick a new winner if the winner selected is a current or ex-student of Gymnademics/Sparkanauts. Instagram winners will be picked at the discretion of the Sparkanauts management.
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