No Chalk-Talk With Akannksha Ghiya Khandelwal, Founder Of ‘Peppy Playfulls’
- IWB Post
- September 18, 2015
Typically, you would expect a lot of excuses from your toddlers, but not in the case of ‘Peppy Playfulls’ – an after-school classroom for Jaipur kids. With a teacher like Akannksha, you will be amazed to see your toddler enthusiastically waiting for the next class.
Akannksha told us how she had always wanted to create her own brand for kids’ education. She says, “I was long thinking to bring music into primary education. Oh my god, have you seen how quick their fresh minds are at remembering poems and movie songs? I still remember my nursery rhymes! When the idea of ‘Peppy Playfulls’ came into my mind, I jumped with excitement. Next day, I was in the field structuring its foundation.”
That’s true! When we reached to this particular class Akannksha was conducting at city’s Podar Jumbo Kids’ School, little ones were found singing a beautiful song about the 29 states of India. Isn’t it a cool way to remember all of them? (We need to learn this song too!)
Akannksha tells, “I have even written and composed songs about 7 continents, rivers, etc. You should see how much these lovelies enjoy singing and dancing to such songs. Occasionally while the music is playing, I ask them to spot these rivers/countries/continents on the map, thankfully, they never disappoint me.”
Akannksha gives each enrolled child a folder that includes maps, lyrics of all her composed songs and some worksheets. Her concept and mission are clear – to instill a sense of fun in education for toddlers. She conducts ‘Peppy Playfulls’ classes in every 10-15 days enrolling only about 15 kids, so that she gets enough time to come up with exciting new strategies every time.
She exclaims, “Apart from this, we read books with word-play, form words from jumbled-up letters, count words in sentences, play rhyming and alliteration games and do other kind of brainy exercises like matching concerned words, etc. However, in hindsight I spend more time on polishing their skills rather than running after them to complete the worksheet and creating pressure which is already happening in schools these days. Probably this is the reason why they are thrilled to come to ‘Peppy Playfulls’ after school time. I include art and craft, science, geography in my classes for an over-all accomplishment.”
Akannksha narrated us instances of how shy kids have been able to come out of their shell and indulge in dancing and singing with other kids. “Mothers tell me how expressive their kids have become. It’s such a good thing”, beams Akannksha.
While the chit-chat was going on, few more students appeared for the class. Dressed in printed frocks and colorful knickers, and carrying fashionable handbags (no school bags, mind it), these kiddos seemed all geared up for their own version of High-school Musical.
We curiously asked, “Is it easy to handle a class full of naughtiness?” To which Akannksha replied, “I have never met any child in my class who misbehaves. It is definitely because I don’t restrict them from laughing loudly, singing in the class and discussing with one another. After every brainy activity, I let them loosen up with songs and educational videos with cartoon characters. Plus, I organize my classes at incredible places like this colorful school, Mr. Beans Coffee Café, Purple mini movies lounge, etc. The ambiance is always lively. The social set-up here is different.”
Besides this, Akannksha keeps hosting mini events where her students perform various acts, having their parents in attendance. This includes quiz between children and parents, dance activities, skits, etc.
And like every profession teaches you many things, ‘Peppy Playfulls’ for Akannksha was no exception. She told us how much patience she has gained in all these years. In her own words, she has become a better parent to her little one. She remarks, “When anyone of them shouts, I sit quietly. I don’t scold them and say ‘Keep quiet’ in a louder voice. I do what they are supposed to do – to sit quietly and sincerely in the class. Seeing me, they grab the lesson and imbibe it. This is how I am making them learn, and in the process, teaching myself the art of patience and compassion.”
What a brilliant way to tackle kids! We bet not every parent knew this trick.
Psst, we so want to go back to our childhood now.
Photo courtesy: Nupur Agarwal