By Emily Setona
QWAQWA – As South Africans celebrate Youth Month, an organisation of young Phuthaditjhaba people called Landing Hand invited crèches to the Phuthadithjaba Park last week Friday for some edutainment that included cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse, Peppa Pig, Black Panther and Spiderman on the guest list.
According to Tshenolo Motloung,Landing Hand started in 2015, with the aim of teaching young disadvantaged children basic skills through edutainment.
“Our kids from the public school environment are not exposed to many of the opportunities that children from private schools have. Landing Hand saw this gap and decided to bring cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse and Black Panther to these kids in a bid to promote learning through play,” Motloung said.
One of the educators from Landing Hand Tutu Selepe says her focus is on teaching phonics and alphabet the alphabet to the children. “Phonics is about teaching kids the sounds that letters of the alphabet make so that they can put letters together and create words. We have lots of activities planned to engage the children through edutainment,” Selepe said.
Edutainment is mostly about learning through play, this gives children the confidence they often lack because of always being kept in the classroom environment for long periods of time and only going to the play ground during meal breaks.
Educator Pulane Senji from Stepping Stone Pre – school in Beruit Makabelane’s Old Hostel said: “I am glad that we brought our toddlers to this event because it exposes them to a different environment and allows them to build their confidence by being around other people and seeing cartoons that they only get to see on TV, in real life.”
“As Landing Hand we are very glad that this day finally came and that a group of seven crèches honoured our invitation and brought their toddlers here today; learning through play builds confidence in children, and teaching them basic skills from an early age builds a proper foundation for previously disadvantaged kids,” Engelina Selepe one of the organizers said.
The children at this wonderful event were very excited and jumped in joy to see Mickey Mouse, Black Panther, Peppa Pig and Spiderman up close and personal.