- Written by Queen Munguti for KenyaKidz
Kenyan parents seeking to develop their children’s skills and give them a chance to express themselves can enroll them in a club called Smartie Me that specializes in occupational therapy.
“Occupational therapy is a way in which we let a child express themselves through art unbounded. We let draw what it is on their mind or whatever they would like but guide them on drawing instructions only,” said Rehema Njoroge, an art teacher and the founder of the club.
“This allows them to communicate freely and express how they feel with fear that they will be reprimanded. Also by exposing children to a broad spectrum of experiences, it may activate latent talents and it allows them to make mistakes. If they have to do things perfectly, they will never take the risks necessary to discover and develop a gift or talent.”
According to the My Child Without Limits organization, a child development website, the main benefit of occupational therapy is the mastery of skills that help children develop, recover, or maintain daily living skills. It helps them be self-sufficient and productive.
“The desired outcome of the occupational therapy is to help children learn to be as independent as possible. This can range from improving physical abilities so the child can participate in self-care to helping the child be prepared to perform school-related activities,” read an article its website.
Rehema was inspired to start the club due to having a firsthand experience with the benefits that art can have on an individual. As an art student and later as a teacher she noted that it is not offered in the school curriculum thus children do not get to enjoy its benefits.
“With unbounded art such as this, children get to socialize with others, those that are shy are able to converse freely in school and they even interact with their parents more,” said Rehema.
Besides occupational therapy and activities, Smartie Me also offers other activities such as games, baking and decorating.
The club’s age range is three to 14 years old. The classes are one hour long and charges depend on the activities that the parents want their child to partake.
To get in touch with them call: 0711111114 or 0724220484.