It’s an exciting time to parent. Parents and children are spoilt for choice. How about with the internet, mobile devices, unlimited TV channels and shows and child support organised programmes!
All these child friendly programmes offer massive opportunities for learning and play. They offer exposure, play, socialisation and other multiple benefits.
“Children ought to be given opportunities to create, learn how to make decisions and solve problems”, says Mary, a Play Therapist. Many of these programmes may not support these objectives.
Though these programmes appear to offer entertainment, cultural exposure and a globalised view, they lack in local content, edutainment, respect for African cultural outlook and the aspects of creativity and problem solving.
As such, there is need to identify and source programmes, learn and play material and content that relevant to our children locally. The challenge is real since we on one hand are preparing global citizens, while on the other we are building local pride, local problem solving approaches and local decision makers.
The role of learn and play consultants, educationists and play therapists is therefore increasing.
This growing sphere is challenging but has enormous opportunities. Walking through candy world in Dubai, children theme parks in Singapore and other world class examples of creativity in children inspires parents to seek oppotunities that abound.
Joan Gathungu(PhD), founder of Kids Learning Hub and Kids Holistic Learning Zone believes in holistic learning in children. An educationist and a mother herself, she urges parents to critically evaluate any learning and play material availed to their children. She believes in parents working closely with teachers and educationists to provide challenging and development oriented programmes and material to young learners.
“Develop thinkers and problem solvers from early on, you will never lack in globalised local solutions just like Asian countries have done.” says Dr Gathungu.