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Puppet shows and yoga on the agenda at North Melbourne

Goodstart centres

They may have been operating for just a few months, but the team at Goodstart North Melbourne are already changing the face of early learning in Australia.
The centre, which opened its doors earlier this year, is now offering yoga and drama classes for its children.
With pose names including Puppy Dog on Chair and the Dolphin, the children at North Melbourne are loving their weekly yoga classes, held by educator Aman Kaur.
Yoga provides plenty of benefits for children including managing stress, building concentration and feeling health. It has seen an explosion in popularity in recent years, amongst adults and children.
A study by the University of California found children who frequent yoga instruction saw significant increases in self-esteem, overall fitness and a decrease in discipline problems.
It was these health benefits that encouraged North Melbourne centre director William Shum to set up the classes.
“The yoga puts the children in a great state of mind at the beginning of the day and helps them get started,” Mr Shum said. “There are so many benefits in terms of physical development, coordination, concentration and relaxation.”
In addition, Siu-Yau Yeung, who is an educator in the kindergarten room, is holding drama classes every Friday.
“Siu-Yau plays the ukulele and we do a combination of music and theatre including puppet shows and role plays and we’re working towards creating a script and a show the children can perform,” Mr Shum said.

  • Don’t expect two-year-olds to concentrate for an hour. Most of them will manage about 15 minutes so it’s best to keep classes short.
  • Make it fun. Encouraging them to be a slithering snake or a wise old tree is much more interesting for small children.
  • Use music, pictures and singing to gain the children’s attention.
  • Tell a story so they need to listen.
  • Take breaks by encouraging the children to silently count inhales and exhales and discuss whether the children feel tired or calm, excited or happy.
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