Being a playground which focuses on Table Top play, Busy Cards' main objective is to provide an extrinsic motivation to spark an intrinsic motivation to learn. This is Selore's second session with the Busy Cards, we are still working with our teachers to do some fine-tuning here and there at the time of writing so pardon the random scribbles you might see on the card.
Busy Cards come in 3 stages depending on the age of your child. Stage 1 for 2-3 years old, stage 2 for 3-4 years old, and stage 3 for 5 years old and above. Each card comes with a candid trivia on its cover with a space for your child to doodle or write, colour pencils are available upon request.
The first 'mission' she needed to complete was 'Knowledge of the World'.
She was quite happy with the fact that this toy came from the older kids' section. She was tasked with matching the flags to the board, which she did with relative ease. It was hilarious watching her try to pronounce the names of the African nations as phonetically correct as she could.
There was a mistake on the board with the spelling of Sudan, which I corrected. When Selore saw this, she immediately flipped all the flags over to the back where only the name is shown. I asked her how she would be able to match without looking at the flags itself, to which she replied, "I want to match them by the names." It was totally unexpected and further convinced me that kids are really curious by nature, with the right environment and resources, they are definitely capable of outdoing our expectations
Ultimately, she was 1 short of completing the last activity before she got a little restless but I still awarded her the stamp for the effort she put in. That's 3 stamps down, and 3 more to go.
She was short of 1 stamp on her tangram 'mission', so she requested to do this next. This is one of my favourite activities in Busy Tables, as it requires you to recreate many different outlines using a fixed set of pieces. It hones your logical thinking and visual-spatial skills, which is why I strongly encourage all my staff to work through the entire range of tangram puzzles as part of their job orientation.
As it was a tier 3 activity, the puzzle was relatively tough, and was a good test for Selore's patience as she had to constantly trial and error. Eventually, with some "Why not flip that piece over" and "Wanna try turning it around?" kind of prompting, we managed to earn the 4th stamp.
Keep your toys after playing!
The Rainbow blocks caught her attention while she was putting away the tangram puzzle, so we took a short break from Busy Cards. She was pleased to be able to arrange the rainbow colours in order, and started singing some rainbow song she learnt from school. Music and singing is really not my thing so I have absolutely no recollection which song it was, only that the lyrics included the word rainbow and mentioned all its colours.
Experimenting with alternative ways of stacking
I waited patiently for her to finish playing with the rainbow blocks, she kept the blocks and wanted to finish up the rest of the card, she chose shoelacing board for her next challenge.
Putting in the puzzle pieces: Easy-peasy
The 1st tier activity of this shoelacing board was simple, she had to put in the puzzle pieces, which she did with relative ease. For the 2nd tier activity she had to insert and criss-cross the shoelaces through the holes, this was a little challenging for her and I had to assist her a little.
It took a while, but we did it!
The 3rd tier activity requires her to tie a knot, but that's something for another day, so I'll leave it to her mum :)
Showing her card to the staff to redeem her token
Getting her prize from the capsule machine!
It's almost her naptime now, so we had her sanitise her hands and waved goodbye to everyone.
Well, is this it?
No way, she bugged us the entire Monday to bring her back to complete the card, so we came back on Tuesday and completed it she did. She was delighted with the mystery prize she got and got started immediately on a new card.
Guess you'll be seeing her around on your next visit!
This is Jeff here, if you've been to Busy Tables before, you'd most likely have seen me around. As many of you already know, I have a boy aged 5 and a girl aged 3. We have always believed in creating balanced, holistic play and learn experiences for them, hence the decision to start Busy Tables as an ideal venue providing kids with the experience of purposeful, table top play.
Over here, instead of jumping, running and going wild, kids get to sit down, focus and interact with a wide variety of toys, manipulatives and learning resources.
We are really heartened by the feedback we have received thus far, and we will do our best to come up with new programs and items to constantly improve the Busy Tables experience.
The purpose of this post is to share with everybody my personal take on the Busy Tables experience. My wife had some last minute errands to run with my boy last Sunday, while I need to pop by Busy Tables so my teacher can break for lunch. Long story short, I got(had) to bring 3.5 year old Selore to work!
Bringing my girl to work is a literal playing affair.
This way in!
Getting in is fairly simple, once you've made payment or presented your package card, simply proceed to the shoe rack to remove your shoes.
Next, help yourself to the hand sanitiser, 1 pump dispenses exactly 1.1ml of sanitiser, which is the manufacturer's recommended amount.
Lastly, have your temperature checked by our staff and you're all set!
The Dark Room is one of the first sections you will come across, Selore used to be afraid of the darkness during her first visits, but it's one of her favourite spots now.
It is a small quiet room, where kids get to not only experiment with the overlapping of colours, but also see common items in a different light (literally!). The colour paddles are definitely her favourite items here as she repeatedly overlapped the different paddles to see the resulting colours.
Attention span is a scarce commodity with kids this age, so she quickly moved on to the sensory area, where we have hundreds of Bunchems cluster balls. These cluster balls provide an extraordinary sensory experience, you can also make all sorts of figurines and objects with the accessories provided, just don't get them tangled in your hair!
Having clumped all the bunchems together into a mock bowl of 'Ice Kachang', it's off to the Moluk section, you don't get officially started over here until you spin a few rounds in the Bilibo!
Moluk is a Swiss brand which designs very unique toys for kids. Its range of Bilibo, Nello and Oogi toys work seamlessly together to bring out the imagination in kids!
It's been more than 30 minutes so far and she's really in the mood now, time to get her seated so we can start on our Busy Cards, which I will elaborate in the next post.