One step ahead – The new Indian Express



Express news service

When Shreya Mittal became a mother last year, she started reading early childhood development frantically. Everyone wants the best for their child, but Mittal was determined to get started sooner rather than later. “When my daughter was born I knew I couldn’t wait until kindergarten because I had read in various books that 80% of brain development occurs in the first three years. I wanted to stay on top of things, just like other parents, ”she says.

With many children now starting preschool early enough, it is not uncommon to see small children attending classes with their mothers. The daycare environment is also becoming more and more competitive, forcing the child to be prepared in advance. Fortunately, a plethora of recently released toys, learning tools, and tech help make this easier.

Mittal filled this gap in preschool education by launching Curious Cub, where it makes age-appropriate ‘passive learning’ wooden toys sold as play kits. Advocating play time with a purpose , these toys are based on the Montessori philosophy with its two-pronged “Learning by Doing” and “Learning to Learn” approach. Simply put, toys should be handled by the child as they please, thus arousing their curiosity and encouraging them to be active learners.

Journey Matters Advisor and Founder Drishti Goenka has chosen to highlight the importance of Socio-Emotional Learning (SEL) in a sea of ​​cognitive development tools. She launched a set of alphabet cards called A to Z of You and Me, to teach SEL vocabulary to young learners so that they can better understand their own experiences by exploring themes of inclusiveness, mindfulness, consent and benevolence. She explains, “If we break down ASE into simple skills, they involve a child’s ability to sit still during the circle time, listen to a story, take turns, be compassionate when their friend is upset, etc. For example, if a child is unable to listen to a story, how will they understand the story? Therefore, cognitive, social and emotional development go hand in hand.

Likewise, Pooja Midha, co-founder of Wonderhood, a 3T edtech start-up, believes in working on global development, thanks to her “toy first, technology and teacher help” approach. Their early learning program called wonderLearn focuses on cognition, speech and language, general awareness, art, music, social skills and more, using a combination of their toys and their team. ‘teachers. Plus, for parents who prefer to be the teachers themselves, they offer a wonderLearn Explorer program where learning takes place at their own pace thanks to pre-provided content and toys.

Shumee Toys is another local toy brand with a passion for the development of recreation, child safety and sustainability. They create attractive and open wooden toys, games and activity boxes for children 0-6 years old.

Each Shumee toy is handcrafted with natural materials. There are three very important questions to ask when choosing an early development tool, according to founder Meeta Sharma Gupta: “Can the child play with this toy multiple times and in different ways without getting bored? Does this toy allow the child to be creative and imaginative? Can this toy encourage independent and collaborative play?


Curious teddy bear
✥ Level 1 play kit for 0 months + upgrades to level 11 play kit for 21 months +
✥ Each playset contains 10 play essentials and is priced at £ 2,999.
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Journey Matters: A to Z of you and me
✥ Set of 26 alphabetical flashcards with stories and illustrations geared towards socio-emotional learning
✥ Priced at £ 1,250 per set
✥ Pre-order on
Wonderhood wonderLearn Program
✥ Choose from age-appropriate membership plans focused on holistic development through the use of toys and technology under the guidance of teachers.
✥ Plans start from 2,000
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Shumee Toys
✥ Choose from a number of eco-friendly and kid-safe baby essentials, toys and subscription boxes
✥ Prices start from 375 per toy
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