thelabsingapore

Developing your child’s fine motor skills

Every baby has an innate curiosity to explore the physical limits of their body when they’re born. Generally, they are able to roll over by the age of four months and hold items by eight months. During these early stages of their life, your child develops motor skills.

What are motor skills? Motor skills are movements and actions of the bone structures. There are generally two groups of motor skills — gross motor skills and fine motor skills. As your child learns to walk, run, jump and play ball games, they’re developing gross motor skills, which engage the large muscles in their arms and legs, as well as improve the coordination of their entire body. On the other hand, when your child writes or zips clothes, they’re developing fine motor skills which make use of the small muscles in their fingers and toes.

Importance of fine motor skills

When your child is able to coordinate their fingers and toes, they are able to complete simple everyday tasks on their own as well as use tools like scissors and pencils. Furthermore, your child’s handwriting and cognitive learning abilities will improve.

Developing fine motor skills

As your child starts to develop fine motor skills, they need your unending support and patience in guiding them along the way. Here are some possible activities you can do with your child:

Quick and easy tools found at most homes: Tweezers, clothes pins or chopsticks. Use tweezers, clothes pins or chopsticks to pick up and sort objects like beads, cereal, cotton balls, pompoms or other small objects (watch closely for choking hazards).
Provide them with a variety of art supplies like chalks, crayons and finger paints when they are drawing and unleashing their creativity.
Encourage them to use utensils when eating. It is normal for children to mess up when they are initially learning about using utensils, so do be patient towards them.
Let them play with small objects like beads, marbles and Lego pieces. Since Lego pieces come in all forms and proportions, attaching Lego pieces together require fine control of the strength of the smaller muscles. Hence, playing with Lego pieces will improve your child’s dexterity.

The more your child practices using their smaller muscles, the better their dexterity and strength. Hence, introducing some fun activities and games involving the use of small items will go a long way in building their fine motor skills.

So, why don’t we start ‘training’ our fingers with our children, starting from today?

In The Lab, students age 5-9 years old learn coding with the use of Lego robotics. Connecting the bricks with precision and detail strengthens fine motor skills and improves hand-eye coordination. Picking up LEGO pieces with their fingers builds muscles and skill your child may need when holding and controlling a pencil to write or draw. Curious to understand or learn more about our programs?

Sign up for a complimentary trial class now!

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Difference between physical and online classes – What is your choice?

Before the pandemic, online classes for kids were almost unheard of or not a popular choice to parents. It was the ugly duckling of higher education, being less prestigious method than classroom-based courses. Nowadays, online classes seem to be the way to go. Given that we have been almost 2 years into the pandemic, our young learners and parents have adopted and embraced online as a new way of learning.

Online and classroom-based education are two different types of learning. Although both offer high-quality learning, each has its own teaching method and establishes its own channels and guidelines for learning.

Online education uses the Internet and information and communications technology to provide students with tools like chats, blogs, video conferences and shared documents, making courses dynamic, intuitive and easy to follow. This asynchronous system enables students to attend classes, work, communicate, take exams and access content wherever they may be.

Another aspect of remote learning is that it stimulates students’ independence and curiosity, collaborative work, critical thinking and self-directed learning. This system also diversifies sources of knowledge. With classroom-based learning, students go to a physical classroom where the teaching and much of the learning takes place. With this method, the students take a more passive role and adapt to the teacher’s rhythm and teaching method. The teacher is the primary source of information.

However, the above advantage of online learning assumes that the student is proficient with the use of technology and possesses a reasonable level of maturity. This comes with age and does not work well for young students ages below 7. Young kids are visual and social creatures. Most don’t have the finger dexterity to proficiently use a keyboard or even have the maturity level to explore and be independent.

To sum up, a choice between physical and online learning depends greatly on the age of the learner.

In The Lab, we offer online classes for students ages 7 and above, but strictly only physical classes for our The Lab Kinder Program for ages 5-6 years old. For more details on our programs, do visit our website at https://www.thelab.sg/programs/

Tagged with: , , , , , ,

The Importance of Technology… and Coding

 

COVID-19 has pushed companies over the technology tipping point—and transformed business forever. Digital adoption has taken a quantum leap at both the organizational and industry levels. More so than ever, the understanding of technology is paramount even to a lay man on the street.

As such, kids should learn coding, not just to aspire to be a programmer, but to have a better understanding of the technologies around them. The skills acquired through learning coding goes a long way as well.

Understanding machine operations, conditionals, and progression in coding projects strengthens logic. Being able to break down issues into small, separate parts and figure out how each is affecting the other will help kids think in a systematic and objective way, rather than relying on solving problems emotionally.

In The Lab Singapore, we teach kids coding but focus strongly on learning through play to make it fun and enjoyable for them. Play is far more powerful for children, than many parents realize. It is the key to learning. Researchers and educators across the world have found that play can help enrich learning and develop key skills such as inquiry, expression, experimentation, and teamwork.

Our goal at The Lab is to help students learn to ask questions, express themselves, collaborate with others, and take creative risks. We also want them to retain their natural curiosity and to never lose the excitement of learning something new. All those things are achieved by making learning fun for children.

To find out more about us and the team, visit our website at www.thelab.sg!

 

 

 

 

Tagged with: , , , , ,

How can The Lab Singapore help in my child’s DSA application?

 

Meet Jay!

He used coding as one of his talent areas for his DSA application into SST (School of Science and Technology). Jay started coding at a very young age and is one of the pioneer students of The Lab Singapore.

Throughout his journey with us, Jay has collected several achievements which serves well for his DSA portfolio.

Here are some of the activities that we provide to create a comprehensive portfolio for your child:

Project-based curriculum for all students

One of the key focuses of the curriculum is the ability of students to apply and abstract programming concepts that they have learnt. This is done through the completion of a project or projects before graduating from a The Lab program.

Project based learning encourages students to develop a balanced, diverse approach to solving real-world problems. Studies have shown that project-based learning is linked to significant improvements in student test scores, attendance, and classroom engagement.

Monthly awards for students 10-16 years old

The Lab Singapore has several internal awards for a student to be placed on the leaderboard. We conduct monthly coding competitions and several merit awards such as The Fastest Coder, The Best Project and The Best Code awards for your child to collect while having fun coding with us!

Annual The Lab Hackathon for students 10-16 years old

The Lab Singapore has more than 500 students. Because we are that big, our internal competitions are highly prestigious. We organized an internal hackathon for students in The Lab 10-16 years old program in June so that students can display their coding prowess and exhibit enhance teamwork and collaborative skills amongst members.

Annual International/National Competitions for students 7 years old and above

For students who are below 12 years old:

For students who have completed The Lab 10-16 years old Advanced program: The Lab Singapore introduced a Competitive Programming Course for students who are serious in uplifting their coding skills. The course is focused on participation in international competitions. The preparation work is highly intensive, and students are required to commit between 6 – 9 months.

Letter of Recommendation

The Lab Singapore provides a letter of recommendation and consolidates the list of achievements done by your child throughout his/her coding journey with us.

Join us for a free trial class now.

Register @ www.thelab.sg!

 

Tagged with: , , , ,