Jasmine: We brought Dylan to a class at Blue House! The description seemed really interesting- about playing with light to investigate properties of objects. Of course, Andrew had to come coz it’s almost impossible to bring Dylan out on my own now, what with the tummy and contractions. Thankfully, I didn’t have to do much for the hour that we were there- just sit down and be with Dylan while Andrew did all the chasing!
The class proceeded at a very relaxed pace- there was welcome and singing of nursery rhymes, followed by two light-related activities, and closure with bubble-blowing and farewell. We’ll let Dylan take over this post, since the activities were planned for him!
Dylan: I was just sleeping soundly in the car-seat, which had finally been turned front-facing after my whining for a few months, when Mummy and Daddy rudely awakened me to bring me to a ‘blue house’ – hmm, didn’t know houses were described by colours! Ours can be called the ‘White House’ then, since our door is white!
Dylan: As usual, Mummy demands a shot with me, when I’ve just been woken up and have my bedhead. I bet it’s just to hide her tummy! No Mummy, I’m not looking at the camera or giving you a smile – of course though, any look I give at this point of time is still considered cute!
Activity 1: Baby Introductions
The first activity required all parents (actually, only mummies! – Daddy felt kinda left out- hence you see him only behind the camera throughout) to sit round in a circle while this lady in the middle sang songs to introduce us to each other! I was the first she mentioned… Yay! Mummy and Daddy desperately tried to get me to wave my hands, but I just wanted to chew on my maracas… Nom nom nom!
We sang some familiar songs after that, like incy-wincy spider, which Granny and Mummy had taught me before – so I had an edge over everyone else, even though they were older! Yay!
Activity 2: Projector Light Show
Dylan: After that, we moved into a corner of the room, where… I’ll let Mummy do the describing of activities. [Mummy: It was the projecting of a video in a darkened area.] Erm Mummy, that’s it?? I could have said that myself.
Mummy: actually Dylan, do you remember that the teacher encouraged you children to interact with and name these high-contrast images?
Dylan: Oh ok.. a wall full of pancakes!
That’s a nice boat – but my submarine at home is way better!
I’m seeing stars!
Ooh… what is this… black with two pointers…
Oh no, it’s a bug! Do something Daddy instead of just clicking away on yr phone… Oh no, there’s a bee too!
Activity 3: Light Table
Dylan: So, after being terrorised by the insects, we went on to the light table area, which I previously loved! This time, it was made even more fun with all these little balls of water! There were even juice bottles around, much like Mummy’s sensory bottles, which I haven’t seen in ages – think Daddy asked Mummy to keep them after I kept biting on them.
Here’s me – practising what Mummy calls my ‘pincer grasp’…. They were fun to bounce and smash too!
But what really zapped my brain cells was doing some transferring! Don’t be fooled by all these tender mother-son pictures, yo, I was doing all the hard work and Mummy was just sitting back most of the time, hoping this activity would last all day.
The beads looked so glowy and yummy I had to try some of them – after all, the cup they came from said ‘Food Republic’.
Oh man, they look just like the pearls in Daddy’s bubble tea – Daddy, can you add these into my milk later? That’ll be 1 Similac Total Comfort with pearls, sugar level 100% – thanks!
Hmm, one container of pearls might not be enough for my milk. Let me transfer some over from the other.
I’ll just take the whole tray anyway – perhaps we can save these pearls for my night feed later!
Ah, since nobody wants, I’ll do everyone a favour and take both trays then!
Final Activity – Bubble Gun
Dylan: Anyway, turns out those ‘pearls’ were not edible. They were waterbeads from the gardening section at Daiso. Found out when I tried to stuff some in my mouth and everyone started screaming for me to stop. Chill everyone – I’m just a baby, putting things in my mouth is what I do! Anyway, so much for the excitement about my milk with pearls.
We went on to the final activity, which was the bubble gun! Now granny had played this with me before, but the bubbles were nowhere as big – excuse me teacher, may I have this instead of the pearls?
I couldn’t hit any of the bubbles and ended up having only one ‘pop’ on my head!
After the final activity, all the other kids left as the atelier was closing, but as Mummy and Daddy had to settle some payment – actually mainly, Daddy… I got to play a bit more! There was fogging outside too, which meant… UNLIMITED PLAY!
There were some of my old favourites, like the mirrored tent. This beats my Ikea mirror at home, now I can check my appearance in three directions at once! Bet Daddy would like one of this in his toilet, eh?
Wonder where my own Yakult pit went to. I just can’t understand Mummy’s concept of storage…
Dylan: Enjoyed myself so much that I didn’t want to go off in the end… kept running back to see the play area and the lovely teachers there. Daddy had to drag me away. Mummy and Daddy, bring me back again some day!
Oh, Mummy is itching to say something, so I’ll let her end off this post!
Jasmine: Since we last came last year, Blue House has also switched out quite a few of its learning areas. I guess this is easier and cheaper to do so at Blue House since many of its learning materials are upcycled, such as repurposing cardboard boxes and egg cartons as shape sorters! Apparently, the founders had been inspired by a study trip to Reggio Emilia province in Italy to revamp some of its learning spaces as well as design new classes, such as this one on light.
There is now a nature/ wilderness corner, complete with tent and natural materials, quintessentially Reggio…
And a basket of fabric scraps with a clothesline nearby. Not sure how this is meant to be used- probably as make-believe and also for exploring textures and “weaving” with fabric, perhaps? A nice open-ended play area with so many possibilities!
And lastly, a cool wooden board with hooks, for hanging or lacing activities, which is great for toddlers’ fine motor development.
Dylan was really quiet and engaged, especially with the light table activity. He was the last one to leave the area and had to be carried away. This may seem trite but it’s such a joy seeing him grow and overcome his stranger anxiety: he was so helpful and helped the teachers pack the books and plastic containers away. Then after we left the atelier, he ran back to the door and stared in longingly while the teachers looked up and waved byebye to him again.
Blue House has this Infant and Toddler Atelier, but they also have kindergarten programmes based on Reggio Emilia, with emphasis on creative expression, outdoor play and community. No flashcards or worksheets in this preschool- exactly what I’m looking for! If it weren’t so out of the way and expensive, I’d totally put him in preschool there 🙂