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Is it OK to put an 11-month-old in a toddlers club?

Q: My son is almost 11 months old. I am thinking of putting him in a toddlers club run by a play school wherein the child has to attend the sessions thrice a week-one hour a day. The mother has to accompany the child for all the sessions. The school basically has three different rooms. One is a language room, where there will be story telling, teaching different colours etc. The second one will be the drama room, where they will hold puppet shows, have a doll house etc. And the third is the motor room, wherein they encourage the children to co-ordinate muscle movements of different body parts. Will these kind of activities and interaction with children of his age group help him for his future growth? Is he too small for such activities? Are these things taught at home enough?

A:From your description of the Toddlers Club, it does seem as if they would pitch the activities to the age level of the children and that it could be a lot of fun. It would be an opportunity for the child to be in the same room with others of his age and for the mother to meet other young mothers. It will also be a chance to find out how professionals handle the issues related to the education and amusement of young children. And it is only three times a week and with the mother present. A good home can of course provide many of these activities, if the mother is talented and has time. This is often not the case. I know of many parents who leave the TV and a caregiver, or even a grandmother who watches TV all day to take care of the child. You will have to consider the alternatives and make a decision. If the activities in the play school are planned for his age group, he is sure to benefit from them. It is not only the future that you have to worry about, its the present. Consult your family and friends and make the best decision in the interests of the child and his situation.

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