For the second year now, Mirra finished the year with a two week-long group summer program for children – in two batches, for children aged 7 years and younger and for 8 years and older. Through the year, Mirra follows the one-on-one model in its remedial program, wherein the facilitator, child and parent work together. During the two weeks of Santulan, the learning happens in small groups of five. About 32 children signed up for this program this year.
What a learning it has been for all of us! Children work so beautifully in collaboration and with compassion and connect with each other so seamlessly. They come to each session each day with such openness and excitement – anxiety giving away to trust and belonging. Santulan taught us to have faith in them, in their shared spirit, laughter and joy and above all in their authenticity.
During Santulan, the children go through three stations each day - Movement, Language and Communication and The Arts.
In the Movement Zone, children explored obstacle courses in the form of spider-web and tyre paths; manipulated rubber bands on a simple screw board; did exercises with components of cross patterns, sequence and rotation exercises; used props like textured balls and hoops in creative dance; enjoyed visual treats as they explored playing with lighted balls, played with the lighted sand box, a DIY kaleidoscope and marbles in a maze of 8. The older children tried their hand at simulated movement activities using Kinect games on Xbox 360. The little ones had a cool day as they finished with ice pack toss, chiselling ice with spoons to find a hidden treasure and ice skating using their hands. Both groups explored yoga in a fun ways.
In the Arts zone, children had fun making dolls out of socks, dream catchers using bangles, strings and beads, putting together a collage of the sea using sand and paints, painted their hearts out using shaving foam, bubble wraps, paints and brushes, kneaded with such attention as they prepared to make objects with white clay and prepared calming sensory bottles to carry home. Visual art seemed to catch the attention and interest of every child. Engagement and participation was complete, even if touching wet paints was uncomfortable.
In the Language and Communication zone, children learnt to work and have fun as a group, communicating and collaborating with each other be it during games such as carom, playing cards and dumb charades or during role play and simulation. Shopping and 'going to a restaurant' role play had them interact with each other, making decisions, handling money and waiting for their turn. The older children participated in mock elections. The little ones explored language sensorially - listening to the sounds of the environment, feeling objects from feely bags, singing and listening to the rain songs as they experienced rain from water sprays. They had great fun playing “Housie” and setting up their own house. Some of them had interesting conversations around their objects of interest and did a lot of pretend play. On a day that the children played with “no agenda”, they all established their own boundaries, chose their favourite objects and had fun with their friends.