While the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) are calling the Government to task this week over the UK’s failing and 'dismal' numeracy and literacy standards, Music Bugs, a nationally based preschool music group is taking a rather more positive and playful approach in tackling this important issue.
Music Bugs, which in 2008 was voted as the UK’s Best Music Classes in the ‘What’s on 4 Little Ones Awards’, promotes the development of numeracy and literacy skills by introducing a range of fun and multi-sensory activities to children from 6 months to 4 years of age. The classes are held in local community centres, village halls and day nurseries throughout the UK by a growing team of franchisees who all support the company’s ethos that early play experiences are a vital part of a child’s development and are crucial in shaping their future social and academic success.
Claire Bennett, the founder and Managing Director of Music Bugs, which currently welcomes nearly 2000 children to its classes each week, says: “Children within this age group are like sponges – they are very receptive to external stimulus and we put this to very good use by introducing a wide range of activities that help to prepare them for school and beyond."
The sessions use music and singing activities, as well a vast array of exciting props – puppets, pom poms, bubbles, scarves, teddies, instruments, parachutes, balls and hobby horses – to engage the children’s attention and give them the confidence to get involved.
Bennett explains: “A toddler may just think that they are having fun, sitting on mum or dad's lap and playing with a hand puppet, but they are actually building up an awareness of order, sequencing and patterns which help to develop counting skills and critical thinking. It is often the case that the child is having so much fun, they don’t realise that they are actually learning and being very clever indeed."
Notes for editors
Music Bugs classes were launched in Swindon in 2004 by Claire Bennett, a former nurse and mum to 4 children.
The company launched it’s franchise opportunity in February 2007 and currently welcomes nearly 2000 children aged 6 months to 4 years in 13 locations around the UK
In 2008 the company was voted as the UK’s Best Music Class in the What’s on 4 Little One’s Awards and is up for further nominations in 2009 for ‘Best National Toddler Activity’ and ‘Best National Preschooler Activity’ as well as a nomination for it’s Doncaster based franchisee, Anna Murray in the ‘Most Outstanding Activity or Class Leader’ category.
For further information or images, please contact Claire Bennett on 0844 578 1010 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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