By The Nation
Playmondo Group chief executive Hansa Kraikosol brought in painting guru Matunart Sosothikul to help coax some truly amazing images out of the children’s imagination, and podiatrist Chanita Phichaphop was on hand with advice for their folks.
Among the star participants were Praewpreeya Jumsai Na Ayutthaya and her sons Yossawat and Sirapakorn Charoensetthakij, Varithorn Kanpaibool and little daughter Ira Pipatchukiat and Achira Charoenrasameekiat with her nephew Ascha.
There were four play zones straight out of nature – a desert, ocean, volcano and jungle – each designed by overseas professionals with safety in mind to boost cognitive development with games such as “Ball Wall” and “Blue Blocks”. Physical development got a goose from the trampoline and climbing wall.
Chanita had solid ideas for every age bracket.
“Family is key to generating good development, in gaining their trust and making them assured about life,” she said. “Family activities are crucial to children’s physical, intellectual, emotional and mental development.
“Development from birth to seven years can be divided into two completely different periods,” she added. “The first period is from newborn to two years, the sensory motor stage, when children learn from their senses and develop rapidly, as seen in their changing positions when they sit and lie down, stand and start walking. They learn how to solve problems and adjust their actions by thinking before doing.
“Parents should play with them and talk to them every day and give them a gentle massage after baths to stimulate the sensory system,” Chanita said. “Ideal toys are colourful mobiles and toys with different textures.
Between two and seven years, they’re learning more and always ask questions, and their muscles are getting stronger.
“They start to play, run and climb, so be aware about their safety. Children at this age believe everything is living creature – a form of animism – and will role-play with dolls and generate real life stories. Parents can help with storytelling that incorporates ethical and moral lessons and being prepared with creative answers to their questions so they can think further on their own.”
Chanita also believes painting is great for the imagination and mental and emotional development and also for building hand dexterity. “Children at three are capable of drawing circles and straight lines. You should ask what they’re drawing. From age five to six, they improve and draw more realistic pictures, mostly created from memory. Parents should compliment and encourage them.”
Matunart was happy to oblige with a painting class.
“Painting helps with concentration and focus and brings its own pleasure,” she said. It helps them express their emotions. There’s no right or wrong in art.
“If parents want to activate their children’s imagination, they can assign a vague exercise, such as telling them to draw the sea. To boost their concentration, sketch an outline and let them fill in the colours.”