Toronto, Ontario (PRWEB) May 30, 2013
On a breezy Saturday morning, the clouds scattered in the clear sky from the sun’s radiant light, while at a distance the birds chirped away high up in the trees. Listening carefully, children’s laughter comes from a nearby playground where one can find a small, energetic group of children and their parents following several facilitators to complete several myriads of “obstacles.” Children found tremendous fun from rolling on the grass with their parents, crawling to find ways in a maze constructed with colorful silk and bamboo sticks, to climbing to the top of a 2 feet wide, 6 feet tall tree trunk. Yet, children are calm and orderly, without facilitators screaming at the top of their lungs.
This is not your typical playground. Rather it is an obstacle course fully designed by Milaa. “Milaa’s obstacle course is designed based on the developmental stages essential for reading, writing, and arithmetic,” says Katherine Fulford, Chair of Early Childhood Education at Waldorf School, Milaa’s Chief Program Designer.
On the surface, the “obstacles” are fun for the children, and are great alternatives to free-play in a public playground. Underneath, they are carefully designed to prepare children for academic learning in the future. “Climbing a rope and walking on the balance beam allow a child to understand the concept of speed and distance, which is important for mathematics,” says Paul Jan, founder of Milaa and a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Along with walking in a pathway that looks like a figure 8 while carrying water in a cup, these activities do also stimulate a child’s eye tracking ability which is beneficial for reading, hand-grip endurance for writing, and the hand-eye coordination for note-taking and other tasks involving multiple organs.”
The obstacle course mimics the developmental stages that an infant goes through but are often neglected by many caregivers. The course is designed in a way to provide children ages 3-6 the opportunities to work on their under-developed area(s). Each “obstacle” is designed to deliver specific developmental needs to a child. The course begins with a rolling activity to warm up all the limbs in the body to prepare them to take on other activities, an important step neglected by many parents and educators. Balance beams help develop a child’s spatial awareness for determining speed, distance, and the relationship between objects. “Many children fake their ability to balance by rushing on the balance beam. However, it is children’s ability to maintain balance in slow motion that matters for learning,” says Fulford.
“Milaa is a great and unique concept,” says Min Zhao, professor of marketing at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business. “It is very refreshing to see my children learn through natural environment versus what many children are doing today – learning through iPad.”
“Children at this age [3 to 6] have a natural inclination to spend time with their parents, and learn more as their parents become a part of the learning process,” says Fulford. This is very unconventional in today’s society as we are used to dropping kids off at a play date or stay in the background while children play in the park. “This is what makes Milaa different from other programs, in a very good and positive way,” says Jan.
Milaa’s next event will be held on July 13, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario.
Milaa, an acronym that stands for Morality, Intelligence, Leadership, Athletic, and Artistic, was founded with the following principles:
1. Holistic approach enhances learning, especially at a young age
2. Sensory experiences and the sense of imagination are essential for child development
3. Milaa aims to build a community for parents who appreciate the holistic approach
Milaa’s vision is to educate parents concerning the importance of the holistic approach to learning, provide the essential sensory experience for a child’s development, and create a community to preserve and advance a child’s development.
Milaa is founded in 2013, and is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. For more information please visit its website at http://www.milaainfo.com or send your questions and inquiries to info(at)milaainfo(dot)com.
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/5/prweb10783343.htm.
Copyright©2012 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved