The Atelier - Review

This is a sponsored post for The Atelier and was first published on 

As parents, we all want only the best for our children – be it food, or toys, or books or their school! We even look for the perfect playschool for our little ones; the one that will prepare them to spend some time away from home and also help them learn the basic skills required for them to have an easy ride when they start school.
So we begin with well-known names or ask around friends and family as to what playschools they would recommend; and secure an admission for our children. We check that the playschool offers convenient hours and hope that they will take good care of our children.

We don’t necessarily see what the environment of the place is like – not the standard books, swings, trampoline, blocks etc., but the real environment where our child will spend time – like say, are there trees for our children to run around, is there a pond or a fountain for our children to enjoy, whether the school encourages children to explore their surroundings – things like that.

After all, many of the recommended playschool names we shortlist are run by franchisees anyway; and have the standard books, swings, trampoline and the standard “educational” toys for children. So the child goes there, learns to stay out of home for a few hours, learns to play with other children, listens to some songs and stories and is taught the basic alphabet and numbers and we are all happy!

But what if I told you, that I have recently been to a playschool that is nothing like the usual? What if I said that it not only looks and feels unique but also employs a very unique philosophy to educate children? What if I told you that there are no “standard educational toys” there, but real, natural things such as leaves from plants, actual rocks and pebbles, clay and other natural things for children to explore? That they allow children to play in water, in sand, jump in puddles, mess with strings of wool, play with natural light, shadow, basic simple paper or wood?

Well, this place actually exists and is called The Atelier, an up and coming playschool in Bangalore. A sister concern of Sanskriti The Gurukul, a renowned ICSE and ISC affiliated day boarding school in North East India; The Atelier was founded in 2013 and started operations at its first studio in Guwahati in the year 2014. The place I visited in Bangalore is its second studio which launches on July 30, 2016 and everyone is invited to join in the fun!

What is amazing about this lovely playschool, in addition to its all-natural environment of course; is that the children in this play school are protagonists in their own learning, while the mentors take on the role of co-learners and collaborators. They believe that the learning and perception of children is not merely based on what the instructors think or the curriculum decides it should be, but rather what the children experience themselves; and are in the mood for that day.

Another beautiful thing about this charming place is that when children feel like taking a break from all this free and friendly learning process, they can explore their very own backyard which they can access right from their own classroom! And oh, if the mood strikes them, they can also decide to explore one of the mezzanines that their classroom is connected to – so they can look down on the entire space that constitutes their school, and feel like a King, or just plain go there to get away and hide!

This quaint playschool in Bangalore offers a dynamic and versatile environment that respects children; and ensures that learning happens through experience and exploration, at the child’s own pace. With a preschool program for 2 to 6 year olds and an infant toddler studio for little ones between 6 months and 2 years of age, The Atelier believes in using a wide range of materials and symbolic languages, so as to encourage children to express themselves.

At the Atelier, the educators believe in creating opportunities for children to test the versatility of everyday things like leaves, flowers, twigs or even clay; and explore their dynamic nature. They believe that environment is extremely important for children to learn and understand things around them; and their focus is on providing an environment to children where they are happy to express themselves and in the process learn and understand about things around us – all at a pace that they are comfortable with and at the time they are ready for it.

The Atelier takes inspiration from the Reggio Emilia Approach; which as per Wikipedia, “believes that children are “knowledge bearers”, so they are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas about everything they could meet or do during the day.” The best thing about this philosophy is that it ensures learning through the child’s own unique view.

Of course, in addition to projects and play, The Atelier also allocates a dedicated time to structured instructions that will help prepare children for when they begin proper schooling. But the distinctiveness of The Atelier lies in the fact that they invite parents too, to be actively involved in their child’s life at the school, via meaningful communication, periodic group meetings, workshops, personal meetings and events.

All said and done, The Atelier seems to be a charming place where children will learn through play and experience; something all of us parents will be happy to have our children do, rather than merely follow instructions and “do as they are told.” If you ask me, this I think, is one playschool, where children will really enjoy and look forward to going every day!

For more information you can visit the website of The Atelier.



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