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Wonderhood is a Noida, India-based Edu-Tech startup on a mission to make early parenthood enjoyable, joyful, and simple. They are disrupting the early learning field by demonstrating that learning outcomes CAN be effectively delivered anywhere with high student/parent involvement through “wonderLearn” – continuous as well as focused goal-based programming. For children aged 2 to 6, they use 3T i.e toy-first, tech-enabled, and teacher-aided approaches to early learning.
Here is an excerpt from the interactive session with Ms. Pooja Midha, co-founder of Wonderhood where she explains the vision, technology, and programs offered by Wonderhood.
Prateek: What is the vision behind Wonderhood?
Pooja Midha: Wonderhood, a first-of-its-kind EdTech startup is on a mission to make early learning a fun, delightful, and rewarding experience. We take a comprehensive 3T ‘Toy-first, Tech-enabled and Teacher-aided’ approach to early learning for children between 2 and 6 years old. Through ‘wonderLearn’ (Wonderhood’s TRULY-INTERACTIVE LEARNING program), we are disrupting the early learning space by demonstrating that knowledge outcomes can be effectively delivered anywhere, anytime.
The company founded by Pooja Midha and Kavitha Mohammad in 2017 aim to make the journey of early parenting, fun and rewarding. Just as we lived through the parenting and Wonderhood journeys ourselves, we as founders realized that there are a few areas that are very close to each parent’s heart. ‘Learning’ always surfaced as a top priority along with a child’s health and happiness. We are working towards bridging the gap in the early learning space by bringing its unique strength in product design and learning content development together.
Prateek: Trapped inside the homes for almost two years, what psychological issues might children face? How Wonderhood can help?
Pooja Midha: So the issues and problems faced by children due to the Covid pandemic are different for each age segment. For children between 6-12 years, it restricts their ability to learn, play and interact which is vital for the physical, emotional, and just overall development of this age group.
For preschool children, while they find homes very comforting and hence enjoy being at home and around their families or extended families, it has severely curtailed their social interactions with anyone outside the family. Normally children of this age would start going to a pre-school and start developing early social skills by interacting with teachers (adults outside the home), other children. But that interaction is limited now. causing increased stranger anxiety. Another impact is speech delay being experienced by a large number of children. Many parents like this come to us, with issues of speech delay, the fact that child is not listening to parents or is unresponsive. These are all effects and outcomes of current external circumstances
Wonderhood helps address this by enabling live interaction for a child with a teacher as well as other children. With a small teacher-to-student ratio, each child gets personalized attention and they get a chance to develop social skills and get to see their peers, and also learn in the process. Wonderhood is also enabling Parents/grandparents to meaningfully engage children at home in a constructive manner.
Prateek: How can the activities by Wonderhood help in the overall development of the child?
Pooja Midha: The entire learning experience of Wonderhood has been put down very thoughtfully and with education experts. Through the learning program that includes toys, puzzles, books, activities, live classes Wonderhood helps develop problem-solving, thinking skills, sensory and motor skills, social skills by virtue of live interaction, ability to work and play in groups, listening, and understanding and many more. The program really focuses on building all the key skills that children need at this young and nebulous stage.
Learning focus and goals
Toddler (2-3 years)
- To lay a strong foundation for pre-learning skills
- To develop body awareness
- To develop basic environmental awareness
- To instil creativity and imagination
- To encourage learning through play
K1 (3-4 years)
- To develop cognitive, social, literacy, numeracy, awareness, and art skills
- To introduce a little more structure to learning
- To encourage exploration of their surroundings and environment
- To instil a sense of curiosity in the world
- To continue to accept and mould a sense of awe and wonder
K2 (4-6 years)
- To provide a deeper understanding of cognitive, social, literacy, numeracy, awareness, and art skills
- To provide more structure and instructions through the learning method
- To develop pre-writing and reading skills
- To encourage foundational steps to independent activities and a sense of self
- To encourage a sense of wonder, exploration, and awe through play
Prateek: How can the interactive approach help in the digital transformation of education?
Pooja Midha: Children retain 75% of what they do compare to 5% of what they hear or 10% of what they read. This is further enhanced when the child reflects on her or his experience and shares it with the peer group. In a continuous learning model, the children are first introduced to a concept through physical toys & puzzles. The same concept is reinforced by teachers through supportive activities and application in a live interactive session. Children would further immerse themselves and practice the concept in a multimedia environment through repetition.
Younger children may look to acquire knowledge from others in the group. And peer interaction benefits across a range of skills and concepts, such as puzzle completion, planning, math, and verbal memory. There is no better medium than digital to collaborate and interact with other children across geographies and age groups.
Prateek: Books, toys, online sessions, activity sheets, and much more. Tell us about the research and development of the services and products please.
Pooja Midha: Wonderhood has been working with the age segment of 0-5 years for many years now. So as a company we understand the needs of the Parents and children in this segment. Apart from this the entire wonderLearn program is developed and done by educational experts with 20+ years in kindergarten education itself. Then our team of toy and product designers gets together to design the most fun, educational and sturdy toys (we don’t just do one-time use and throw activities). This is augmented by digital experts who are building very meaningful games for children. For children of today, digital is a friend that needs to be adapted in moderation. hence we make digital meaningful for them. Finally, our expert teachers who bring in very diverse experiences including the Waldorf-Steiner method, play-way method, experienced and trained with the University of Singapore, come in for a very fun live interaction with children. All of this together makes a very enriching program.
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