Our First Playgroup Experience

12:30:00 AM

Here it is! Our first playgroup experience at, and also review of, The Mind Planet. So I mentioned the Mind Planet twice in my blog, once in my First-Timer Bazaar Experience and again in my Quick Guide About Playgroups post. We enrolled Miggy, 2.5 year old son, at the Mind Planet for a playgroup class last month; March 2015. Here's our experience and what we thought about it:

Disclaimer: This is The Mind Planet's Official Logo, I grabbed it from their site.

First Impression
The class schedule for the playgroup was 2 hours a day, 3 times a week. We picked the M-W-F morning schedule, since it helped us become more disciplined in making Miggy sleep early, and therefore wake up early. My husband and I didn't have a problem with the 2 hour schedule because we are well aware that toddlers have a limited attention span who also tend to be grumpy when you pull them out of playing too early. So two hours is the perfect amount for our son.

On the first week of the playgroup we, the parents, were allowed to accompany our children in the classroom. The room was rather small, but big enough for 12 kids and 3 teachers to fit in. It's immediately understandable that the room is meant for kids only (besides the teachers). The Mind Planet made it clear with vocal reminders and signage that parents are not allowed in the classroom during class hours. We can peek or stay by the stairs (the classroom is upstairs) but we can't interfere.

Child-Proof! and I Appreciate it Very Much!
The room is definitely child-proof for me. The tables don't have hard edges and the shelves are tightly stuck to the walls. The door is as high as the average hip and has two locks, one on the inside and one on the outside so even witty tots can't get out. Regarding the room's design or appeall; let's just say our son, Miggy, said, "Wuaww! It's Ossam!" (translation: It's Awesome!)

DISCLAIMER: I did not take this photo, it is not mine.
I grabbed it from the Mind Planet's facebook photos.

The toys at the Mind Planet are the kind of toys I dreamed of giving Miggy. These are the constructive kind of toys where kids can freely build and tear their creation down. Let's just say that there are Lego-like toys everywhere and wooden blocks that look reaaallly colorful and enticing.

Teaching Strategy and Method

The main objective of the Mind Planet, I think, is to help the children develop good social skills, brain and muscle development and also... a bit of independence from mommy and daddy. All of this is in preparation for pre-school so that the separation anxiety can be lessened and kids can experience some positive discipline.

The Teachers
During the first week where the parents were allowed to accompany their kids in class, I noticed that the teachers rarely use the time-out method but rely on distraction to solve disputes among toddlers. Wow, that sounded too serious. I meant to say, they did not raise their voices at all, said "that's bad" to a kid or completely ignored someone crying. Let's just say, they seemed to really care about the kids. They also emit an aura of... homeyness, it's obvious that they love what they do and will not trade it for the world.

DISCLAIMER: I did not take this photo, it is not mine.
I grabbed it from the Mind Planet's facebook photos.

Their decisions in handling each child were perfectly well-balanced, there were no favorites, no underdogs or left-outs. But they do tend to the neediest the most, while equally paying attention to the other kids. It's amazing how their tolerance and patience remained firm even though the other kids were practically wailing at their ears. I thanked God one day I didn't have to be a teacher.

Kids' Awwwctivities
The playgroup provided a lot of activities, around three to four plus snack time and singing and reading. It's heartwarming and "nakakataba ng puso" when we saw our son do arts and crafts and play on his own. Here are a few examples of the activities that our son and his classmates did in the playgroup:

Yes, they have art activities, lots of it, and I must say it always gives me the "kilig" each time Miggy shows us his work at school, like this one:

They do cater to the ABC-123-Red-Blue-Yellow that we mothers would like to teach our kids early on. Here are one example of how the teachers at the Mind Planet taught my son and his classmates about colors:

They have lots of activities that practice their motor skills which I am sure will help them to hold their pencils for writing in the near future. This simple coloring activity itself helped my son take control of his wrists. I swear after three weeks at his playgroup he's coloring more within the lines than all over the drawing book.

DISCLAIMER: I did not take this photo, it is not mine.
I grabbed it from the Mind Planet's facebook photos.

Mini Graduation
I wasn't able to make any friends with the other kids' mommies, I guess I'm still trying to improve on that. I can't seem to find anything to say or share, since most of the moms there look a bit older than me and, well, more experienced too. It didn't stop the Mini-Graduation from being a pleasant day.

Yes they have a mini graduation; there was a potluck among parents and the parents enjoyed eating while the kids roamed around like little monkeys. The theme was Hawaiian and I made a crude lei out of colored paper, because I'm so cheap I wouldn't even buy crepe paper for it. It's also the assessment day where the teacher will tell you about your kid; what he's good at and what he needs help in. Miggy's assessment? Independent but not used to other kids. We enrolled him again in the hopes of helping reduce that habit, since we feel that it's because he's not used to kids that's why he's being physical around someone new.

Class Picture of March Playgroup (MWF 9am)

DISCLAIMER: I did not take this photo, it is not mine.
I grabbed it from the Mind Planet's facebook photos.

My son is the one wearing a Woodstock shirt who is staring blankly at some photo coach somewhere. I guess, in conclusion, I feel that the Mind Planet has exposed my son to situations he would never have experienced if we stayed at home instead. I'm not a sociable person and that makes finding kids to play with difficult for Miggy. I am glad my husband and I decided to enroll him in a playgroup, Miggy is now able to approach other children with some confidence and learning to have "favorites."

Thank You Mind Planet!

We are enrolling him again this June for a 6-month program, hoping that he can overcome his hitting habits and learn how to say Hi in a healthy way. Just in case a teacher or staff from the mind planet comes by this post, I want to say thanks for taking care of my son during his time there. I'm not really good at being sociable but I do know how to appreciate authenticity. I'm glad I inquired about your playgroup, it is the best educational decision I made for Miggy so far.

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