Playfully promoting your baby without overstraining it is important to all fathers and mothers. Getting in touch with other parents to exchange ideas is another major concern in the first year of the child. And of course the babies also benefit from being able to make their first contacts with their peers. Precisely tailored to these needs is PEKiP, a range of games and exercise for parents and their children.
"Education through Movement" was the motto of the Prague psychologist dr. Jaroslav Koch (1910-1979). He found that babies develop well when they playfully move early. A sensational theory in times when the babies spent the whole day in their cots and knew little variety other than eating and sleeping.
The second amazing finding: Babies are best naked. Because only naked babies are not cramped and can pursue their urge to move much more actively and spontaneously. The ideas of Koch were further developed by the German psychologist Professor Christa Ruppelt in the 1970s in cooperation with social workers and teachers to form the concept PEKiP. Today, the courses enjoy great popularity and are usually booked months in advance.
What is PEKiP?
In its current form, PEKiP is a playground and exercise program for parents and children under the expert guidance of a specially trained PEKiP director. The course accompanies the development of babies over 1 year. The children should be 4 to 6 weeks old at the start. Parents and children (usually 6-8 babies with their mothers and / or fathers) meet once a week for 90 minutes.
Warm and secure
Parents and children stay together in this constellation for a year. This means you get to know each other very well. An important prerequisite, because the children should feel comfortable and secure when dealing with their mothers / fathers and other children. In a well-heated room (25-28 degrees Celsius), the floor of which is designed with washable rubber mats, the children are allowed to move and play to their heart's content.
If the babies are still very small, especially lifting, holding and carrying techniques are taught, which are pleasant for the parents as well as the child and especially gentle on the back. Later, exercises are added that playfully support the children's natural urge to move and promote their personal development.
Play with simple means
In addition to these motor exercises and games, it is also about stimulating the senses. The parents receive suggestions as to which toys they can achieve this and how they can be made by simple means themselves. For example, the babies are stroked and tickled with feathers and towels, they are allowed to play with their hands and feet in water or mud, and learn about many different materials by touching them. In addition, music is an important part of the exercises, such as the perception of different sounds or instruments or the singing and moving in the group.
Making contacts is important for both parties. The parents have a platform in the courses. In extensive discussions, they can exchange experiences in dealing with their new role as parents and in the reorganization of their everyday and professional lives. The children find their first contacts among their peers. The latter is especially important, because at any age babies communicate differently, for example at early age through eye contact, later by touching or even more actively in which they crawl towards each other.
Create proximity - allow distance
Another important goal is for parents and their children to get to know each other better. In a joint game and under expert guidance, parents learn to better understand the feelings and moods of their child. In the first six months, it's all about close contact between parents and children. Later, then, releasing plays a bigger role. In the safe circle, the baby learns to leave without fear of mother or father and to first discover and conquer this little world.
Promote without overstraining
The first year of the baby, a time of huge leaps in development. But each child also has its own pace and strengths and should never be perceived as deficient in its development. Maybe the "Krabbelverweigerer" is more of the type "silent observer", who prefers filigree playing with his hands and can use them very early on. Or he is one of the language virtuosos who soon want to explain the world to us. It would be a shame if parent-child courses increased the general competitive pressure, which child was the faster and more gifted one. By contrast, PEKiP courses aim to convey that every baby has its own rhythm, shows different behaviors and develops in its own way.
You should know that:
- PEKiP groups should only be managed by persons qualified by special additional education. Only specialists who have a basic social pedagogical profession are admitted to this training.
- The courses are booked up very fast. Therefore, you should register directly after the birth of the child. Information is available eg at adult education centers, family education centers or on the official website of the PEKiP association.