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IDA invests S$1.5 million to support preschool centres with technology-enabled toys

Zafirah Salim | Sept. 30, 2015
Called the IDA PlayMaker Programme, this initiative will pilot with 160 centres as a start.

Picture credits: IDA

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) recently launched an initiative called the IDA PlayMaker Programme, which will introduce a suite of child-friendly, technology-enabled toys to preschool centres to promote tactile and more kinesthetic learning experiences.  

According to the government agency, these toys will help young children to explore and find creative solutions. Guided by adults, they can gain abilities like logical thinking, reasoning, sequencing, estimation and inventive thinking. The toys will also encourage them to work in small groups, promoting collaboration, which in turn enables them to develop social and communication skills.

This programme is in line with the Infocomm Media 2025 recommendations, which urges more efforts to introduce younger children to technology. It will pilot with 160 preschool centres as a start, with IDA investing S$1.5 million for these centres to be equipped with technology-enabled toys, ongoing tech support, as well as workshops for educators to understand how to integrate them into the existing curriculum.  

IDA had previously conducted a three-month Proof-of-Concept for the IDA PlayMaker Programme with Preschool Learning Academy@Temasek Polytechnic (PLAY@TP) in January 2015. These learning experiences will be shared with the pilot preschool centres.

Located within the Jurong Lake District Smart Nation test bed, the Yuhua PAP Community Foundation (PCF) centre is the first of the 160 preschool centres to introduce PlayMaker's toys to its children.

"Children are natural explorers with a high level of curiosity. These technology-enabled toys will further cultivate their curiosity and provide the children with numerous opportunities to see their ideas and imagination come to fruition," said Victor Bay, CEO of PCF.

"As Singapore becomes a Smart Nation, our children will need to be comfortable creating with technology. We are very excited that our Playmaker programme gives children the tools not only to have fun, but also to experiment and problem solve together, building up their confidence and creativity," added Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman, IDA.

The IDA PlayMaker Programme will begin piloting in January 2016. A review of the pilot will be conducted with an aim to offer PlayMaker to all preschool centres in Singapore.


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