Which are the right kind fiona-dutuof activities for my child? How can I help him/her discover their talents and develop to his potential? How many clubs should I plan in a week? These are questions asked by all parents when their child reaches 3-4 years old.

Fiona Duţu, Head Teacher in Acorns Nursery comes to parents’ aid with some valuable advice:

Choose at least one sports activity

We live in a society in which children tend to become sedentary once they become interested in gadgets. A love of sport can be developed from a young age and can therefore contribute to your child’s health and also develop his social and emotional skills when a sport is chosen which your child is drawn to.

        1. Opt for co -operation rather than competition

Children are still developing attitudes and potential: “ An activity which involves the need for competition against other children can affect your son/daughter’s self esteem and impede their learning. On the other hand, activities which encourage collaboration will help your child discover their potential and will help them develop social skills” explains Fiona Dutu.

It is recommended that competition in extra curricular activities is introduced after the age of 11.

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  1. Fun and the development of different abilities are the most important at this age.

Courses, games and sports which take place after the usual pre-school programme should take place in a positive atmosphere in which everyone is happy, smiles and offers friendship. Children learn more easily while having fun and should be able to discover and practice their talents without feeling any pressure.

  1. Watch and listen to your child!

If your child gets ready enthusiastically for swimming, piano lessons or German, you are heading in the right direction. Otherwise, you should continue to look for the right kind of activities for your child before negative changes begin to show in their behavior. Not all children are able to express their feelings or opinions about what happens to them however all parents should know how to read their reactions.

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  1. Find out your child’s level of development from teachers.

In order for you to choose activities which will match your child’s needs, educationalists encourage us to review our children’s progress daily and periodically. For example in Acorns Nursery, (which follows the British model), assessment techniques are used from a child’s first day in pre-school.

“In Acorns, we take notes on the children and teachers tell parents each day about the activities that their child took part in, progress made in different areas of learning or if their child did something for the first time. Each week, all the teachers who work with each child exchange information and plan activities to match their observations, “ explains Fiona Dutu, Head Teacher in Acorns Nursery.

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  1. What can we do to make sure our child is not over tired?

Firstly, if your child enjoys what he/she is doing their energy can seem never ending. Here the parent should intervene and decide how often their child part in any activity – specialists usually recommend a maximum of 2-3 times per week.

Fiona Duţu: “There are nurseries which provide enough optional activities during the week, taking into account the needs of each child. In this way we ease the burden on parents trying to find the right clubs for their child”

Here are a few of the optional activities available in Acorns: Investigators Club, Recycled Art, Green Club, Raw Vegan Cooking, Ball Games, Fun Maths, Chess, ICT. etc.

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