Introductory

Toddlers’ Workshop offers age-appropriate classes for different age groups in both Afrikaans and English from Monday mornings 09:00 until Saturdays 13:00.

  • New-born – 14 months: BabyGym 2 (recommended);
  • 3 – 6 months;
  • 7 – 12 months;
  • 13 – 20 months;
  • 21 months – 4 years.

Parents sign up for a ten-week term and need to give a term’s notice in advance to guarantee their toddler’s space in the group is not taken by someone else on the waiting list.

Each toddler/baby receives a Toddlers’ Workshop T shirt on registration and a certificate when ready to move on.

All classes offer intellectual, social, emotional, physical development enhancing sensory motor integration. The program is structured to enhance the toddler’s drive towards independence, whilst offering the emotional security of having mom at hand. A variety of instruments help develop a sense of rhythm and the songs contributes to language development. A huge focus is placed on sensory motor activities and messy and creative activities helps develop the whole child.  The other focus is on gross motor development to reach the appropriate milestones and to develop them in sequence. Tea times accommodate the mom’s desperate need of contact with other moms/parents.

Toddlers’ Workshop is a child development programme for toddlers of 3 months to approximately 4 years. The programme for toddlers 3 months to 22 months is different to the older age group.

A toddler is a perceptual motion machine. At the workshop the toddler can move forward in a “yes” environment encouraged by the fun-filled experiences to be found at every step of the way. The workshop enhances the child’s sense that the world is a safe and exciting place to explore.

Toddlers’ Workshop – Baby Group is the result of many years of development, starting with toddler groups in Green Point, Cape Town, where Celia Kossar, a teacher psychologist and remedial teacher with experience in family therapy, now the principal of Toddlers’ Workshop, designed the toddler programme. Together with her husband, Otto, an educationalist, they combined a psychological approach with an emphasis on the concept that “acceptance is the key to growth”.

In 1988 the first experimental baby group developed at Green Point and gradually developed a recognition of the strong need for motion in early childhood. Over the years the programme has been refined and developed, and new and better equipment has been designed to enhance the child’s sensory – motor integration process, the basis for all higher learning.

Programming has been designed to take toddlers step by step through early motor development while educating the parents so that they become more aware of what to expect and when. The awareness of the sequential nature of developmental stages helps to reduce the negative psychological stress that results from unrealistic expectations.

The basic motions of jumping, rocking, spinning and balancing are as essential to the child’s growth as food. Often in the home the child hears “NO!” when attempting to “feed” his or her needs. At Toddlers’ Workshop we say “YES!” to those needs and help the child and parents to understand the basic nature of those requirements.

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The programme is divided into three activity periods.

SENSORY STIMULATION PERIOD

This first section comprises of:

  • equipment time – e.g. puzzles
  • creative play – e.g. finger painting
  • gym time
  • and tactile experiences

This section of the programme is intended to provide sensory stimulation, particularly tactile (touch) and kinetic (movement), as this lays the basis for further cognitive and co-ordination skills to introduce them to a variety of new and appropriate experiences. We recommend that the mothers work individually with their babies during this time and focus on encouraging the child’s experimentation with the activity being presented.

The toy time is not a test of the baby’s intelligence or skills, but rather allows for a freedom of natural curiosity rather than organised play procedures.

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Toddlers’ Workshop is a child development programme for toddlers (age 20 months – 4 years).  It offers a weekly session of 90 minutes which is attended by both mother, father, granny or nanny and child.

The session includes working on an extensive array of specially selected educational equipment, as well as movement activities, a group music session, story time, social activities, consisting of a snack time and outdoor play time. (Climbing equipment, swings, water play, etc.)

Professionally trained leaders

Workshop owners and leaders hold a Certificate and/or Diploma in Family and Child Development. They are available to answer mother’s queries and to assist them if necessary.

AIM OF TODDLERS’ WORKSHOP

The aim of Toddlers’ Workshop is to establish in the toddler an independent work style which is at the same time orderly. By providing the toddler with opportunities to work with a variety of interesting apparatus, his curiosity is aroused, his mental activity and motor co-ordination are challenged, and his concentration is developed. The presence of the mother is important in that it reduces the child’s anxiety and sets him free to concentrate on his environment. Her presence also facilitates and enhances the child’s learning patterns.

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