Our #SigeSabado #SigeSaMantsa Weekends

Since the kids started going to school two years ago, we haven’t been able to do arts and crafts activities as often as we used to do.  Whenever we do have free time, we try to squeeze in a craft or two.

(Click here for arts and crafts activities )

Those “free times” are far and few in between though. So just imagine the look in my little ones’ eyes when this big box was delivered to our home last summer!

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The Sige Sabado box contains materials for eight activities that engage kids in fun learning experiences.  Some are really messy to do but they’re so much fun you wouldn’t the mess at all.  Here are three of the activities we’ve already done.

Raise a Mongo Plant

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Make a Popsicle Pen Holder

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Create an Animal Balloon Papier-Mache

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Not every Saturday can be a #SigeSaMantsa day for us but the kids never tire of asking if we could do one of the activities in the box.  At the rate we’re able to do the activities, our craft box has us covered until the year’s end.  After we finish all the eight activities, I could just get more arts and crafts ideas from Breeze Philippines website.

Do you have any #SigeSaMantsa actvities you love to do at home?  Do share some fun ideas with us. 🙂

Fun Family Bonding Activities You Can Do At Home

Staying indoors shouldn’t be a bore.  There are plenty of things you can do together as a family.   Here are some fun activities you can do at home:

  1. Play Board Games.  Got some bored grade schoolers at home?  It’s time to bring out those board games and gather the entire fam for a game or two.   Monopoly, Scrabble, Boggle, and Snakes & Ladders are just some of the classics we grew up with.  Older folks would definitely have a blast playing Taboo, Cranium. Pictionary, Battle of the Sexes or Scattergories.
  2. Sing Your Hearts Out.  Set the volume of your karaoke players on high and have a blast belting out ballads, pops, blues, and rocks.  Just make sure you don’t annoy the neighbors.
  3. Get Into The Groove with Gaming Consoles.  Can’t take your kids off their games?  Join them as they play Kinect or Wii.  These games get you on your feet and moving around it actually makes for a great workout.

 

TV Watching With My Preschoolers

One of the benefits of being a stay at home mom is that I get to monitor my children’s activities, especially tv watching, throughout the day.  I don’t have to worry about them picking up vulgar words or inappropriate actions they might see from telenovelas which are househelps’ fave afternoon watch.  Believe me, I know several moms who come home aghast at the vocabulary their children have picked up while left to the care of helpers all day long.

  1. Watch with Your Children.   Televisions often become babysitters when parents need to finish some chores, but this shouldn’t be the case.  Even if they’re watching cartoons or an educational show, sit beside your children and take time to ask questions or to discuss what they are watching.  Most of the time, I’m preparing answer keys or drafting articles on my lappy while the kids are watching television.  That way, they know that I’m also enjoying TV time with them and I get to interact with them while doing my work.
  2. Be Selective in Choosing Programs.  Not all cartoon programs are meant for little children.  Even some cartoon shows on kiddie channels exhibit some sort of violence and bad behavior that very young kids might imitate.  Choose interactive programs that prompt the children to answer questions or repeat words and phrases.  My preschoolers watch several programs on three kiddie channels. Among their favorites in our certified mommy&kids-approved list are:
    • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (Disney Junior)
    • Umizoomi (Nick Jr.)
    • Dora the Explorer (Nick Jr.)
    • Doc McStuffins (Disney Junior)
    • Jake and The Neverland Pirates (Disney Junior)
    • Tayo the Little Bus (Disney Junior)
    • Hi-5 (used to be shown on Nick Jr but will preview on Disney Junior next week)
    • Special Agent Oso(Disney Junior)
    • Baby Chef(Baby TV)
    • Oliver(Baby TV)
  3. Opt for DVDs or VCDs.  If you have no cable service, I’d highly recommend you purchase or rent some DVDs instead.  And even if you do have cable TV, it’s also great to have their fave shows ready for viewing anytime.  Our DVD collection mainly consists of Barney,  Hi-5, Walt Disney Classics, Disney Pixar Movies, and VeggieTales. We also have several classic musicals, such as Orphan Annie, Mary Poppins, and The Sound of Music, that I let the children watch.  Yes, my preschoolers know Annie, Mr. Warbucks,  Maria, and the Von Trapp children and can pretty much sing most of the songs in the musicals we grew up with.
  4. Set a Limit on TV Time.  Please don’t raise future couch potatoes by leaving your kids in front of the television the entire day.  Try to regulate TV time to no more than two hours per day.  Also, give them breaks in between.  Turn off the TV or take time to engage them in conversation for a few minutes after about 15-30 minutes of television.  What I do with my kids is I ask them questions about the program they’ve just seen, reinforce lessons learned(if there are any), or repeat movements they’ve seen on the show.

Ideally, young children should not be allowed to watch television at all.  However, there are now plenty of really educational shows that can be viewed by children and that provide them learning opportunities. Just do remember to regulate television watching and never ever let your television babysit for you.

The Ultimate Summer Camp at SM Marikina Starts This May

Guess what greeted us at the Atrium of SM Marikina when we went there earlier today?  One colorful sign that invited kids to join The Ultimate Summer Camp from May 14 to 24.

Well, summer may be almost over and May rainshowers may have started to cool the stifling heat but it’s not too late to have more summer fun before school starts this June.

The Ultimate Summer Camp is open to kids age 4 – 12 years old and include eight different workshops and other activities.  From May 14 to 24, kids will get to learn from a Magic Show & Tutorial, a Sports Clinic, an Art & Scrapbook Workshop, a Do-It-Yourself Workshop, a Mad Science Exhibit, a Cookie Decorating and Pizza Doodle Activity, a Modeling Workshop, and a Dance Workshop.

To register, just present P1,000 worth of single or accumulated receipts from any tenants of SM Marikina and pay the registration fee of P550.  The Summer Camp Kit which contains a shirt, an apron, a cap, a bag, and a lanyard is already included in the registration fee.

Only the first 100 kids to register can join The Ultimate Summer Camp so do drop by their registration booth at the Atrium Area from May 5 – 13 anytime between 1pm and 8pm. Register your kids for some great indoor summer fun at SM Marikina this May!

 

*Disclaimer:  I am not connected in any way to SM Marikina management and am just sharing this news to moms like me who are looking for worthwhile activities for the little ones.

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PLAYhouse PreSCHOOL: Toddlers Exploring the Solar System Through Tots School

Unlike other three-year-olds who are now in preschool, my little girl goes to school at home, in our dining area. We’ve put off enrolling her since her immune system is quite weak.  Good thing there are now plenty of sites that provide ideas for toddler activities.  My toddlers and I have been using Starfall.com and Time4learning. I also prepare worksheets for them to do at home.  And, of course, we’ve got our music and movement activities and arts and crafts messy time.

However, there are days when I am unable to prepare worksheets for them especially now that school has started and I’ve put on my academic tutor hat. Thanks to Mommy Chris of The Mommy Journey, I found another site that is rich with resources for toddlers and preschoolers – 1+1+1+1 Tots School.

We’re using the Space-themed printables for this week’s Space Exploration. Today, we did the S printables which I used with the Solar System Pack.  I only print in draft to save on ink and laminating the cutouts are a bit costly so I just make do with board paper.

Here’s how our Space Exploration went last Friday and today:

I cut out the pictures of the planets and asked Jade to stick them onto the wall.  After naming the planets, we counted them, and identified the biggest and smallest planet.  Jakei counted with us and kept pointing at planet Earth.  I kinda miss Pluto though.

Lining up the Planets on our wall

Little boy proudly points to our own planet Earth

Jade was able to trace the letter S neatly and has shown improvement in coloring pictures.  Jakei still needs plenty of work on writing and coloring but he was able to name all of the pictures shown.  He even used the correct color for the star.

I printed two sets of the shapes with stars in them and gave each toddler one set.  Both of them were able to recognize and name all the shapes except for the hexagon.  We’ll be using them tomorrow for a matching game. The cards with objects found in space were used for vocabulary building and for sorting.  I asked Jade to group all those that begin with the letter S.  Two other cards, the space shuttle and space station, were also used for our counting activity. Jade is already able to recognize some color words. She read white, pink, yellow, green and blue correctly and was also able to use the correct crayons. (By this time, Jakei has lost interest in our lesson and chose to munch on some Koko Krunch.)

  

For our activity on counting, I placed a picture of a space shuttle at the foot of the wall and a picture of a space station a few feet above the space shuttle.  The S printables from Tot School came with star cut-outs with the numbers 1 to 20.  I asked Jade to help the space shuttle go to the space station by placing the stars in correct order.  She was able to do 1 to 10 without help but needed some assistance finishing the task.

All printables we used were downloaded from Tots School’s vast resources. We’re continuing our Space Exploration theme for the rest of the week. For our Thinking Tuesday tomorrow, we’ll be doing some worksheets.  I’m still thinking of a craft we can do for our Wonderful World of Wednesday.  Do share ideas if you have any.