Ntataise is a Mpumalanga-based Early Childhood Development NGO. The organisation focuses on children, ECD Centres/Play Groups, as well as practitioners and parents. Ntataise provides tools and skills to ECD practitioners, age-appropriate resources for Play Groups/ ECD centres, and engaging play-based activities for young children. To date, Ntataise has reached 165 educators, 12 caregivers and 45 children through the Six Bricks Project, and it has reached 160 teachers/practitioners and 4402 children through the DUPLO Play Box Project.
Playful Learning with DUPLO
Many of the ECDs working with Ntataise support the use of playful tools. DUPLO Play Box is seemingly a favourite to children and educators alike. With a plethora of colours, shapes, sizes and textures, DUPLO is ideal for multi-sensory development. With DUPLO, children get to tinker with ideas, use their imagination, create, problem solve, test hypotheses, strategise, plan and ultimately, use language to describe both the process and the outcome. ECD practitioners report that children love playing with DUPLO “once young children begin playing with these [DUPLO] elements, they do not want to go back to other activities”. Seemingly, DUPLO brings joy to children.
Playful Learning with Six Bricks
With COVID-19 redefining learning and play beyond a school, centre or classroom context, Ntataise has increased its efforts to support learning at home. As part of the programme, Ntataise conducts home visits to promote learning through play using Six Bricks. One of the Ntataise facilitators reports that initially parents showed a lack of interest in learning through play, however, after a workshop with a facilitator, their attitude slowly changes and parents begin to understand the value of learning through play. According to a facilitatior in the parenting programme, “by engaging in stimulating activities, children express their feelings freely because they talk to their parents”. Ultimately, Six Bricks fosters a bond between children and parents, especially for those parents who ‘play’ with their children. A thumbs up to Ntataise's efforts :-)
A child having fun with DUPLO