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Beijing babies learn by playing around
( 2002-05-30 10:00 ) (1 )

A extraordinary contest for all babies and kids aged up to 6 in Beijing begins on Saturday to welcome in International Children's Day.

Known as "2002 Health Babies Game," the contest aims to educate babies and kids through play activities.

"It is not a real contest actually," said Zhang Yonghong, general manager of Beijing Fun Dazzle Amusement Co Ltd, the main sponsor of the game. "We just want to offer a special environment where kids learn to play and play to learn.

"Since the game is free, the number of the little players is expected to reach 5,000."

This is the third time Fun Dazzle company has organized such a contest, building on the success of the events held in 1997 and 1999.

The contest, held in three branches of Fun Dazzle in Chaoyang and Shijingshan districts of Beijing, will last for two months until August 1.

Two photographs of participating children are all that is needed to register in the event.

Kids will be separated in nine age categories. Different games have been carefully designed by experts in pre-school education to fit different characteristics of age both physically and mentally.

For example, for babies from 9 months to 1 year, crawling games are the priority.

One such activity involves babies being encouraged to crawl in a straight line over various cushions. Parents are asked to stand at the end of the line to encourage their babies.

The champion baby will be the one who crawls over all cushions the bravest and fastest.

"Babies will benefit a lot from our games," said Ou Mujie, an expert in pre-school education and one of the consultants of the contest.

Ou claims 50 per cent of people's basic abilities - such as speaking, distinguishing, jumping, running and even studying - are developed by the age of 4.

"But because most babies in big cities in China are over protected by parents, their chances of learning are being ignored or are taught in the wrong way," Ou said. "So it is also a good opportunity for all parents to learn how to cultivate their babies through play and games."



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