Pre-school outdoor learning kits for parents launched; 3,800 kits to be distributed

Minister of State for Social and Family Development Sam Tan (left) takes part in an outdoor activity with young children at the resource kit's launch on July 13, 2019.
Minister of State for Social and Family Development Sam Tan (left) takes part in an outdoor activity with young children at the resource kit's launch on July 13, 2019.ST PHOTO: ZHANG XUAN
Mrs Shamala Ganessaraj, 40, watches as her daughter Aarya, 6, creates two-object patterns using pebbles and other items collected outdoors.
Mrs Shamala Ganessaraj, 40, watches as her daughter Aarya, 6, creates two-object patterns using pebbles and other items collected outdoors. ST PHOTO: ZHANG XUAN

SINGAPORE - A resource kit targeted at parents to encourage their pre-schoolers to pick up new skills while exploring the great outdoors, was launched on Saturday (July 13).

The kit, "Creative Conversations: The Scent of Spices (Parents' Edition)", includes items such as activity cards. Parents can use the kit to guide their children into creating their own hanging mobiles using leaves of different sizes and patterns.

They can also teach their children how to identify garden spices using the guide provided.

A map, included in the kit, suggests locations such as Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Marina Barrage, and Geylang Serai, as places parents can bring their children to for these activities.

The kit was launched by Minister of State for Social and Family Development Sam Tan at Fort Canning Park.

More than 3,800 kits will be distributed to pre-schools. Parents can also download the kit online at go.gov.sg/thescentofspices.

Among those who tried it out on Saturday was six-year-old Aarya Ganessaraj, a Kindergarten 2 pupil. With encouragement from her mother, Mrs Shamala Ganessaraj, 40, Aarya was able to identify spices such as cumin seeds and cardamom pods.

Mrs Shamala, an editor, said that the kit is a good starting point for parents who want to teach their children new skills but do not know how or where to start.

The kit was developed by the Early Childhood Development Agency in partnership with the National Library Board, National Museum of Singapore and National Parks Board.

The activities in the kit are intended to encourage a wide range of skill development such as critical thinking and problem solving. A separate booklet also contains suggestions of local books parents can borrow from the library to supplement their outdoor learning adventures.

In December, an extended version of the kit will be rolled out. It will cover outdoor learning in community spaces such as void decks, wet markets and hawker centres.

Mr Tan, in his speech, said outdoor learning is critical to holistic early childhood development. He cited benefits such as better physical and mental well-being.