Catching a Breather: 5 Ways to Keep Your Toddler Busy

While you may be tempted to sit your toddler in front of the tv and call that a fun activity as you catch a breather, it is a far cry from keeping your little one busy. There are fun and exciting ways to stimulate, challenge, and keep your toddler busy and out of your hair. Here are five easy ways to keep your toddler distracted and entertained.

Playdough

Playdough is a great way for your toddler to be creative. Whether it’s homemade dough or store bought jello playdough, your toddler squashing and rolling a piece of playdough can play on the senses and spark curiosity. The best thing about playdough is that it allows for your toddler to play “make pretend,” from monsters and aliens, craters, candy, cupcakes, pizzas, mom and dad, houses, to eyes. Provide a tray, playdough, and a comfortable space, and let your toddler’s imagination run wild.

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Shape Sorter

Sorting is a way to stay busy, and creating a shape sorting activity for your toddler may be just what you need to get a little me time. It’s a fun and a useful activity that your child can enjoy, identifying and naming shapes. You’ll need a shape sorter with accompanying shapes. Instruct your toddler to put specific shapes into the sorter, such as “find the circle,” or a specific coloured shape, for example, “show me green triangle.” Shape sorter is a great example of “learning is fun.”

Chunky Puzzles

A puzzle doesn’t have to be a puzzle, or maybe you need it to be to keep your toddler busy. Either way, there are many easy and enjoyable puzzles that your toddler can do on his or her own. Getting chunky puzzles of stories, your toddler likes, alphabet shapes, and farm animals can keep your child excited and engaged. Puzzle boards can be 4, 6 or, 9 pieces. Be sure to build the puzzle and show how it makes a picture before allowing your toddler to go at it alone.

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Race Cars on Tape

One of the best toys for 2 year old boys are cars, and if you want to keep your toddler busy, create a race track on the floor using masking tape. If your boy doesn’t already have a little toy collection, buy him his favorite toy car, create a track in the hallway, then let him race his car or cars down the track, while you put your feet up.

Nature in a Bag

There are many colorful things out in nature that are a marvel for your toddler. Creating a sensory nature bag gives your child something to explore. Fill a small bag with things like different leaves, grass, pine cones, and rocks, and let your toddler reach into the bag and discover each item.

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There are many easy and exciting ways to keep your toddler busy. Let your toddler get creative with playdough, solve chunky puzzles, sort shapes, race their fast car and explore nature in a bag. All the while, you catch a breather.

Mga Kwento Ni Nanay: A Storytelling Workshop

Children love stories!  Undoubtedly, children love hearing stories in whatever form – in print, read to them, read on their own, on television, in movies, etcetera. It may sound surprising to some, but majority of children prefer listening to stories read to them by their moms.  They may not always enthusiastically show it but they do love it when their parents read them stories before they sleep at night.  Try to recall your own childhood. I’m pretty sure you treasure those bedtime stories your mom used to read to you.

I believe that all mothers are natural storytellers.  Some just need a little prodding to help bring out this gift.  This weekend may just be the right time to unleash the Mother Goose in you.  On November 24 and 25, the Gateway Gallery in partnership with Adarna House is holding the 2nd Mga Kwento ni Nanay: A Storytelling Workshop.  This workshop is designed to strengthen the reading campaign of the Gateway Gallery by involving parents, guardian, teachers and volunteers in the community.  If you want to learn helpful techniques to become an effective storyteller, this workshop is perfect for you.

This activity not only emphasizes the benefits of reading but espouses spending quality time with our children for their overall development.  We’ve often been told that the best gift we can give to our loved ones is time.  Well, what better way to spend that time than sharing stories with our children.

Mga Kwento ni Nanay: A Storytelling Workshop is just one among many programs of the Gateway Gallery that promotes the benefits of reading and the importance of literacy in our society.  Read on to learn more about this advocacy.

 

Press Release

The Gateway Gallery, managed by the J. Amado Araneta Foundation (JAAF) – the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the Araneta Group, strongly believes in the importance of reading and literacy. In June 12 this year, the Gallery unveiled its “Liwanag Reading Corner”, a 7-piece mobile wooden sculpture inspired by the story of the Lamp and the Moth told by Teodora Alonzo to the young boy Jose Rizal. This one-of-a-kind art piece aims to promote our Filipino heritage and encourage reading by showcasing select books on Philippine history, culture and arts for all ages.

GATEWAY GALLERY PROGRAM

Reading has insurmountable benefits that cannot be neglected. It fosters individual growth that can spur national development. Encouragingly, the Philippines does not lag behind on basic literacy. In 2013, 96.5 percent of 74 million Filipinos 10 years old and over were basically literate. Basic or simple literacy – is the ability of a person to read and write with understanding a simple message in any language or dialect. Furthermore, nine out of every ten Filipinos 10 to 64 years were functionally literate. Functional literacy includes not only reading and writing but also numeracy skills. The skills must be sufficiently advanced to enable the individual to participate fully and efficiently in activities commonly occurring in his life situation that require a reasonable capability of communicating by written language. A functional literate person is one who can at least read, write, compute and/or comprehend. Also, persons who graduated from high school or completed higher level of education are classified as functionally literate.

Though the statistics looks good, the number significantly drops when comprehension or higher level of literacy is considered. Only 5 out of 10 elementary graduates can read, write, compute and comprehend. While this number improves as the students reach high school, only about 60% of the population actually reaches high school thus, attaining this level of literacy. Employment/ looking for work (28.8%), Family income not sufficient to send child to school (15.7), and lack of personal interest (14.9) are top 3 reasons for not attending school/ dropping out.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVE

The Gateway Gallery Reading Program aims to foster literacy or love for reading and books among Filipino children. It supplements the current DepEd programs on improving the literacy rate in the country with emphasis on promotion of Filipino history, arts, and culture.

PROGRAM COMPONENTS

Unveiled during the Philippine Independence Day on June 12, 2017, the “Liwanag Reading Corner” is a 7-piece mobile wooden sculpture inspired by the story of the Lamp and the Moth told by Teodora Alonzo to the young boy Jose Rizal. The one of a kind art piece aims to promote our Filipino heritage and encourage reading by showcasing select books on Philippine history, culture and arts for all ages in the gallery.

Kuwentuhang Adarna sa Gateway Gallery is a monthly storytelling session for community children. The activity aims to promote book enjoyment through animated storytelling and activities. The stories are told by storytellers from Adarna House using Adarna books. The session ends with distribution of snacks and educational gifts.

The Liwanag Reading Caravan is a storytelling – school campaign where celebrity storytellers visit nearby schools to promote the value and habit of reading. It also encourages the students to visit Gateway Gallery’s Liwanag Reading Corner for some “after-school reading”.

Mga Kwento ni Nanay is a one-day storytelling workshop designed to strengthen the reading campaign of the Gallery by enlisting parents, guardian, teachers and volunteers in the community. Participants are briefed on the value of reading and helpful techniques to become effective storytellers. The activity not only emphasizes the benefits of reading but espouses spending quality time with the children for their overall development.

In the last 5 months since they launched their reading program, they were able to reach 230 children, trained nearly 100 storytellers and distributed more than 150 books.

This November 24 & 25, as celebrate the National Reading Month, the Gateway Gallery is holding its 2nd Mga Kwento ni Nanay : A Storytelling Workshop in partnership with Adarna House. The workshop is designed to strengthen the reading campaign of the Gallery by involving parents, guardian, teachers and volunteers in the community. Participants are briefed on the value of reading and helpful techniques to become effective storytellers. The activity not only emphasizes the benefits of reading but espouses spending quality time with children for their overall development.

Pitch-In for Fitness with an Outdoor Sports Pitch

Playing in the neighbor’s yard or community park are common past times for kids of the 20th century. But this is now a rarity for kids today – especially those who are hooked on their gadgets. Given the importance of fitness in one’s overall well-being, everyone should be encouraged to participate in outdoor physical activities and sports. One way to do this is to provide kids with facilities like an outdoor sports pitch or playground.

Sports facilities in the school and community provide kids with a venue to explore different physical activities. This helps promote physical, mental, and social wellness in the community. However, not all communities have ample sports facilities to service the needs of their residents. This makes it harder to encourage people to get into sports. If you have extra space in your property then you may want to consider having your own outdoor sports pitch. This can be your contribution to sports and fitness in the community. You can also make money out of it by renting out the facilities for private events.

The usual concern in building or installing an outdoor pitch is limited space and budget. But this can be solved by installing MUGA or Multi-Use Games Areas instead. According to FIBA rules a basketball court should measure exactly 28m x 15m while a tennis court would require space of about 23.77m x 10.97m. This means you will need a minimum of around 54m x 27m of space for both pitches. On the other hand a MUGA would only require around 37m x 18.5m and you can already play basketball, tennis, and netball in it. Aside from saving on space, MUGA also saves on the cost of building and maintaining multiple pitches.

All Purpose Outdoor MUGA Court Surfacing

It would be great to have your own outdoor sports pitch. Aside from having free use of the facility anytime you want, you are also taking part in community building by encouraging kids to engage in sports and fitness activity. But if this is not possible, then you can simply involve your kids in sports activities in school and the community.

Totally Cool Augmented Reality Books from Scholastics

My kids are bookworms! There’s no question about it. Aside from being bookworms, they’re also advanced readers.  One factor that contributed to this is that we kept them away from gadgets during their early years. They learned to appreciate and to love books because of this.  I’m guessing that they love smelling the pages just as I do. Ebooks may be convenient and more affordable but it cannot parallel the satisfaction we get from flipping through page after page of paperbacks.

However, when they reached school age and became exposed to games their classmates play, we eventually allowed them some gadget time – always closely monitored and timed though. 😆 They do look forward to being able to use their tablet or my phone to play games or watch videos. Old-fashioned mom though still prefers that they just stick to their paperbacks.

Most likely, Scholastic knows that many other moms have similar sentiments. This is probably why they came out with their augmented reality books – books that encourage children to read while enjoying their gadget time.

The Magic of Augmented Reality

Whoa! It’s AWESOME!!! This was the first reaction of the two kids when they first tried out the app.  It’s like VR only better!  In virtual reality, the kids play in an artificial environment; but, in augmented reality, they play in their actual environment.  It’s bringing something inanimate to life and interacting with it in real time.

It’s totally cool! It’s showing on the screen like it’s really real! Like it’s really there in real life! – Jade

If you’re still confused about what augmented reality is, just think of it as something like 4-D.  It’s like adding another dimension to a 3-D image. When you hover your phone or tablet over the page, a lifelike image pops out and becomes part of your own environment. THEN you can interact with this image by making it move around and even taking pictures together with it.

 

In the books from Scholastic, our kids’ favorite characters come to life with the power of Digital Magic.  Now that we’re hopefully all clear about what augmented reality is, let’s check the books out in the next two posts.

Click here for Transformers Robot in Disguise: Where Crown City Comes to Life.

Click here for My Little Pony: Where Equestria Comes to Life

Fun Programs at The Galileo Summer Learning Camp 2017

Still in search for summer activities for your kids?  Check out the fun programs at the  Galileo Summer Learning Camp.

 

(Press Release)

Importance of Summer Learning

Galileo Summer Program 2017

The summer vacation has arrived and students are all very excited to hit the beach or go out of town. After spending ten months inside the classroom, finishing projects, doing homework at night and weekends, and studying for examinations, students definitely look forward to taking a break during the summer time for play and fun with their friends.

For teachers, the break means an uphill battle with the “summer slide.” Studies show that students could lose up to 2 months of literacy and math skills throughout the summer season, especially that the preschool and grade school years are the crucial stage to develop foundational skills needed in the long run. To solve this problem, enrolling kids in a Summer Program that runs for an hour or two per day answers the learning gap.

We at Galileo acknowledges the different learning pace and style of each child, taking into account one’s need for an encouraging and positive learning environment. Our organization aims to improve students’ academic aptitude by cultivating mastery of Math and English skills in a fun and meaningful way, thereby making them lifelong learners.

This summer, Galileo will be offering programs that will help prevent summer learning loss in an exciting ways. These innovative programs tap into the interests of the students while at the same time teach them with essential and practical learning skills.

The Galileo Summer Learning Camp (SLC) is a summer program that taps into a child’s interests while exposing him to a wide range of activities, preparing him for school, and further enhancing his social skills. This year, the Galileo Summer Learning Camp brings the fun and learning to the streets through its theme: Celebrating Filipino Games and Culture. This module celebrates the Filipino culture of connecting with friends through games, while at the same time strengthening body coordination, strategy, and skills.

The two-module Summer Learning Camp features well-known Filipino games for children and bring it to the classroom. These games will be integrated with other activities unique to the Galileo Summer Learning Camp such as art activities, creative storytelling, interactive songs, and cooperative playing.The SLC focuses on bodily-kinesthetic learning enriched with cognitive- related learning because the toddlers’ age, (1.5- 3 y.o) is the time when they need to develop motor skills, along with their thinking and perception skills.  In addition, some learning concepts such as shapes, colors and few letter recognition will be introduced.

The Wikang Filipino is a Filipino Reading Program — students will be reading Filipino texts to develop their reading comprehension and vocabulary in Filipino. Explore the world of wonder and discover what it means to be a child in a Filipino culture.

The two-module program offers local titles from Adarna Publishing House that not only teaches students to comprehend Filipino texts, but also increases their appreciation for the Filipino culture.

The Summer Math Club is a program integrating Math concepts to real-life situations, it aims to enhance student’s mathematical ability, creativity, and critical thinking skills.

The two-module program aims to teach money management and entrepreneurship along with the Math concepts essential to each lesson such as basic operations, percentage, decimals, measurement, and graphs.

The Junior Robotics: Creative Engineering is a theme-based program which uses LEGO Education’s WeDo materials and activities. It encompasses specific subject matter such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Language.

Based on case study, each project task will eventually lead the students of all ages into the ability to acquire new knowledge. Being well-equipped with the continuous knowledge they had learnt, students will have better capability to adapt in the ever-growing technology environment. This program is in collaboration with Cyberland International Education Centre Singapore.

The Digital Summer Camp: Coding and Technology is a techie summer treat that allows children to have fun while learning digital skills. This programming course aims to break classroom walls and create a learning space that will boost child’s creativity using technology. It also encourages learning through collaboration and cooperation. With Power Mac trainers as their mentors, children will be able to enhance their use of digital tools and bring life to their imagination. This is in collaboration with Power Mac Center, one of the recognized leading Apple Premium Reseller, Authorized Education Reseller, Authorized Training Center and Authorized Service Provider in the Philippines.

For more information about Galileo Summer Programs, you can call 8451234 or email  info@galileoenrichment.com.