After trying Medley Toddler, I decided to give Sparkanauts next door a try. Sparkanaut has a more holistic approach. It is also a 60min, once a week program.
Alexis tried the Baby Cadet, a program tailored for babies 5 to 12 months. According to the school, Baby Cadet class builds the foundation for your child’s future learning. It helps to stimulate visual and auditory senses to prepare for reading and writing. It also strengthens the body for confidence and train for nimble movements. The program is a combination of gym, flash cards, music & movement, play and story telling all in one.
The teachers will introduce a new theme every week. They will have flash cards where they will sing and flash the cards to the child individually. The child will also get to play with some instruments like tambourin or bells to expose them to sounds and coordination.
Each week the teacher introduces an alphabet to the child. The alphabet is printed on a flash card in a textured material. The teacher will encourage the child to trace the alphabet and show the child an object related to the alphabet.
In Sparkanauts Baby Cadet class, there is a trapeze session where the child will be asked to hold on to the handle bar of the trapeze for 30 sec. The child would then be swung towards the parent. Alexis loves this part. This, according to the teacher, is to train the child’s arm and also to let them know when to hold and when to let go.
Then comes the gym time; children are encouraged to crawl around through the obstacles to build their strength and awareness of the surroundings. I personally find that the baby gym had helped Alexis to develop her crawling skills better. Prior to that, she was always doing the leopard crawl. After the trial, Alexis went home crawling. 🙂 I think it is due to peer influence as she saw all the other babies crawling in class.
One part of Sparkanauts Baby Cadet class is a mat time where the children are placed on their back and the parents would lift and drop the colourful parachute. Alexis enjoys this and always sits up at this time. Who would want to lie down when there are so many activities around.
I find this program very interactive for the child. Parent would need to be prepared that there will be a parent & child gym session during the class where you will have to swing, lift and hop with the child. It is pretty tiring but a good bonding session with your child.
The school will email parents the class materials after every lesson. Parent are supposed to go back and reiterate the learning through revision of the materials. Hard copy can be purchased at $60 for 10 sets or $10 per set.
The only part that would probably deter me from signing up again is the feeling I have that the school is not keeping to the standard of hygiene. I felt that they do not clean the toys or materials after the class. When asked, they told me they clean once a week which I find not acceptable.
The cost for Baby Cadet class is higher than Medley Toddler at $698 for 10 lessons. If you are a SAFRA member you get 1 additional lesson for free.
Appended is the class time table:
Sparkanauts is located at:
SAFRA Toa Payoh
293 Toa Payoh Lorong 6, #02-01