The tiny tots at Mitra were delighted to see the bag that contained the parachute. As I slowly pulled out the colorful thing, children kept guessing what it was! Some said it was a jacket, some said it was a tent, bag, sheet, raincoat and so on. Finally as the huge parachute was out, the children all with sparkling laughters held the parachute and opened it wide. They lifted the parachute up and down like a sea wave filling it with heir smiles and shining eyes. As they let go of the parachute, it fell on the floor and subliming within it were their enthusiastic voices.
It was a great delight to be part of the Safe and Sensitive Schools project and conducting a Quality Circle Time session with the preschool kids at Mitra Academy. The children were actively involved from the very beginning till the end of the session. They comfortably voiced their opinion. In fact, I was amazed to see how these young kids so honestly and candidly articulated their thoughts. They had done QCT before and so were somewhat familiar with the circle and some of the activities. One child mentioned delightfully, “we are going to have circle time”.
We began with getting to know each other’s names. The children then wished to play a game called 'fruit salad' which they enjoyed a lot. One of the girls excitingly gave each of her friends fruit names and as they exchanged places, the room was filled with laughter and thrilling commotion. The children continued to suggest game as I happily took up their ideas and we enjoyed together. The main focus of the session was about ”Sharing” and I narrated a story with 2 puppets and the children were able to give simple solutions to the characters about “why they should share”.
The two hand puppets, a naughty elephant named Pogo and Harry the panda, who wished that Pogo would share his toys with him were a hit with the children. They were mesmerized by the puppets and wished to help Harry. They came up with several suggestions like 'only if harry shares the toy, pogo will also share', 'they are friends, so they should share toys' and so on.
As the session proceeded a curious innocent question came up, “How do plants make food”. Since this was not part of the session and other children would have felt left out, I promised her that we will discuss it in “bubble time”. Bubble Time is a beautiful concept where the facilitator and the other person are metaphorically in a bubble with one another talking face to face.. Her string of curious questions amazed me..I also realized that once her teacher had left a topic about plant making food unexplained and it stuck with her. This fantastically reflected her presence of mind and how children observe and remember things.
I couldn’t believe that the session went on for 35 to 40 minutes with all the children engaged through out ! Finally I went around greeting the children and they responded with their captivating smiles.
Also, the teachers during the feedback session seemed to be highly motivated and one of the teacher also generously commented, “The session was very good. We hope we can do the same so that the children enjoy as much”
The session was enthralling and the children absolutely adorable. I felt that it is the warmth and the high energy that transcends between the facilitator and the children that makes the session so interesting. It only strengthens my belief that is shared by the SASS team that QCT is useful for all ages of children, the difference is how it is taken forward......
Posted by Nirali Parikh, Preschool Coordinator, TTF Bangalore