6

Story Time with the Pirates at Tutoring Club

Just off the shores of Never Land
A hideaway at sea
Yo Ho! Yo Ho!
Let’s Go! Let’s Go!
A pirate band outwits the plans
of Captain Hook and Smee
Yo Ho! Yo Ho!
Let’s Go! Let’s Go!

Kids, boys especially, are a big fan of pirates and buccaneers, thanks to the ever popular Jake and the Neverland Pirates on TV. When I saw this invite of Storrry Time with Pirrrates, I jumped at it, sure that DA would have a good time. It was originally slated on the 20th of September but due to typhoon Mario’s devastation, it was rescheduled to the 27th.

Story Time with the Pirates

The place was teeming with kids already when we arrived. While waiting for the program to start, the kids got to do some colouring of pirate artworks.

Story Time with the Pirates

Avast mateys! There’s one buccaneer! And he turned out to be the storyteller. The story for the day was A Pirate’s Night before Christmas. 86 Days before Christmas, by the way.

Story Time with the Pirates

The kids started to gather around.

Story Time with the Pirates

It wasn’t long before they all crowded up close to see the pictures in the book (much to DA’s dismay so he kept saying, “I can’t see! I can’t see!)

Story Time with the Pirates

The kids look enthralled with the pirate story.

Story Time with the Pirates

To spice up the whole storytelling activity, these tokens were introduced. Pretending that these were gold-a-blooms or gold coins, those who answer the questions correctly get a coin. These can then be used to buy treasure in the store later on.

Story Time with the Pirates

Oooh! This caught DA’s attention! He wanted to get one as much as the next kid. He instantly came out of his shell and started shouting answers. “I found a pirate! I found a pirate!”, he’d add.

Story Time with the Pirates

After the story, there were games for the kids to earn more gold-a-blooms. This one is a game of sequencing, arranging the photos in the sequence of the story. It’s more for the older kids though so we didn’t get to join.

Story Time with the Pirates

The next game was for everyone so we got all excited again. Hidden all over the room were these photos, we were supposed to collect those that were related to the story. We got 2 more gold-a-blooms from this game.

Story Time with the Pirates

While everyone was falling in line to buy treasure in the store, we took a moment to have a photo op with these mateys!

Story Time with the Pirates

There’s the treasure store! Toys, candies, marshmallows were up for grabs. You just had to present your collected gold-a-blooms to exchange. This was so you won’t take the tokens home because Tutoring Club actually uses them as rewards in their tutoring classes.

Story Time with the Pirates

After all that fun, the sponsors had their turn giving a short message about their products.

Story Time with the Pirates

About the Sponsors

Tutoring Club Tutoring Club is a skills-based tutoring center that teaches Math, Reading comprehension, grammar and writing composition skills. It has 5 branches all over the metro, namely, Alabang, Banilad Town Center in Cebu, Bonifacio High Street, Rockwell, and San Juan.

Story Time with the Pirates

SRA! I remember doing these in high school before. Someone always had to get these boxes from the teacher’s room.

Story Time with the Pirates

JoomaJam Ritmo Learning Lab’s first multimedia, music-driven preschool learning tool for parents and other grown-ups. JoomaJam brings you rockstar-made, educator-approved, kid-friendly songs with fun learning activities! Their bi-lingual CDs feature some of the renowned OPM artists like Gary Valenciano, Jolina Magdangal, Rivermaya, and The Itchyworms.

Story Time with the Pirates

ZAP With ZAP, you can get 5% – 20% cashback at your favorite establishments all over the metro just by using your mobile phone. You just have to register for free, start earning points and you can then pay with the points you’ve earned. I’ve already signed up and you can use my code CPOLICAN to earn your first 50 points! 🙂

zap

Hearty thanks to these sponsors for making the event possible and to Akiba Cafe for the yummy iced coffee and to The Royal Piccaidlly Restaurant and Cakery for the delectable cupcakes served during the event. Thanks also to Mommy Bloggers Philippines for sharing the invitation.

Till our next pirate adventure! Arrrgggh! See ya chum!

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16

How to Detangle Jewelry

I’ve had this necklace for years but it’s also been years since I’ve last used it. You see, it has a really bad and ugly knot near the pendant that I have tried but failed to detangle. Just recently, I read somewhere that baby powder can actually help do the trick. Judging by the knot, I was doubtful that it would work but it’s still worth a shot. So here goes…

Detangle Jewelry

Materials Needed:

  • Baby Powder
  • Needles
  • Tangled Jewellery

Detangle Jewelry

I put a little powder onto the knot and used the needles to work on it. It was a good while before I had any progress but progress it was. I found that it was best to lay the jewellery flat on the table and use a needle on each hand to remove the tangles. Work on it as you would shred meat. 🙂

Detangle Jewelry

After about 15 minutes, I was able to completely remove the knots! Yahoo! Jewellery saved!

Detangle Jewelry

For other brilliant uses of baby powder, I found a Reader’s Digest article on it here.

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7

Yummy Healthy Macaroni Salad

Ingredients: (Clockwise from top left)

  • 1 Carrot, grated
  • 2 Chicken Breasts, boiled, skin removed, shredded
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • Lots of Grapes, sliced (around 1/3 kg)
  • Cheese, diced (I used the Kraft Eden one)
  • 4 Boiled eggs, diced (I had 2 extra because we just love ’em!)
  • 400g Salad Macaroni (cooked according to package instructions)
  • Mayonnaise (I used Lady’s Choice MayoLite)

Macaroni Salad Ingredients Macaroni Salad Ingredients The fresh grapes added a touch of sweetness to the salad. I’ve tried raisins before but not everyone in the family liked it. I used to put canned pineapple bits until I found this fresher alternative. Cutting it up into pieces was the hard part though since they were rather small. I don’t have any fancy magic kitchen tools so I just used plain kitchen scissors to do the trick. Macaroni Salad Ingredients To make, simply mix all the ingredients. Serve chilled. Macaroni Salad My kids love this! The great part is that they get some veggie and fruit servings from it when they normally would not take as is. Yum yum yummy! 🙂 BlogSign

17

Building a #healthierPH with Unilab Foundation

One of the things that I often pray for is good health – good health for me, for my family, and for my dear friends. That small circle however, does not seem to be enough as Unilab Foundation, Unilab’s humanitarian arm, wants to take it a notch (a great notch!) further to include the entire Philippines! Curious as to how the whole country can be rallied to be healthy, I signed up to join the #healthierPH event held last September 16, 2014 at Sentro 1771 in Capitol Commons, Pasig. Unilab Foundation invite

This delectable display of food was already waiting for us when we got there.

Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

The place was set up with a touch of techy-ness to keep up with the “social media rockstars” (ahem ahem, I felt so honoured to be referred to as one) who were the guests of the event. Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

Papers in the form of iPads were ready on the table for taking notes.

Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

On every table, there were these gadget holders (useful for taking selfies!) for us to use. It held the event’s program that was in the form of an iPhone. Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

These were the key words in our media kit, which we’ll later learn are Unilab Foundation’s programs to help build a #healthierPH. Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

The program kickstarted with Unilab Foundation’s Executive Director, Rhodora Palomar-Fresnedi giving the opening remarks. She shared that she used to work for various countries but a bigger calling came, and that was to come back home and be of service to her countrymen. Hooray! Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

How to Build a #healthierPH?

This slide sums up the programs that Unilab Foundation designed to build a healthier Philippines one person and one community at a time. Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

  • Bayanihan Sagad aims to educate and empower the Filipino elderly by promoting active ageing and a healthy lifestyle.
  • Project Inclusion seeks to prove by way of a research study that hiring PWDS, particularly those with Autism and Down Syndrome, is the right thing to do because it is good for the business and it is good for the employed PWD.
  • Leadership Journey helps train doctors be leaders in their profession so that they can lead patients to better health in their role as department heads, hospital directors, heads of missions, and officers of medical societies
  • Play It Forward targets children’s holistic development and aims to significantly improve their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being through play.
  • Ideas Positive is a venue for college students to share their innovative and sustainable ideas which will address health and wellness concerns of their chosen communities, and more importantly, turn those ideas into reality. 

Okay, so How Can We Help?

To build a healthier Philippines, each of us must volunteer and contribute our share. Now before the word volunteer sends you running and making excuses, this concept of volunteerism has adapted with the digital age. Gone is the idea of having to physically be at a certain place to be able to volunteer. We can all volunteer just by clicking our mouses and tapping our keyboards. No extra money to give? No problem. No extra time to spare? No problem! Through the #healthierPH Volunteer Portal, one can share a talent or simply click the share button to volunteer.

During the event, there were 2 laptops there for the guests to create an account. To be able to try the whole process would take a while though so I waited to get home to get my hands on it. I’ll show you a walk through below.

Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

Apart from the Volunteer Portal launch, there was also an Instagram selfie contest during the event. Among the winners were these two lovelies, Mommy Celerhina of Reigning Still Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

and Kisty of Kisty.net (Oh yes, her hair is really pink! 🙂 )

Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

Oh look, there’s the real social media rockstar getting serious at the event! 🙂 I think he might be having a hard time choosing which activity to volunteer. LOL! 🙂 Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

#healthierPH Volunteer Portal

When I finally got in front of the computer, I went to www.unilabfoundation.org to create an account and see for myself how the whole thing works. To create an account, one can choose to register or use his Facebook account to login. Not wanting to be bothered by a registration form, I chose the latter. Once done, I was shown my profile. There’s my purple girl voluntar (volunteer avatar) at zero points. You can customize the gender and colour of the voluntar by clicking Edit Voluntar on the top right. Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

Excited to get started, I clicked on the Plus sign on the upper right corner and was shown this page, the Volunteer Project List. This page lists all the current programs where I can volunteer. I simply had to click on the button under the corresponding activity that I wanted to be a part of. Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

I tried one of the activities with the X2 multiplier, Blog it Forward. I was supposed to blog about the importance of play in a child’s development and submit it in Unilab Foundation’s Facebook page.

Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

After volunteering for that, I went back to my profile. There was a locked/greyed out gift waiting for me. It said that I can only unlock it once I’ve rendered service. Oh, darn! Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

And so I chose another one, one that does not need to wait. My EQ is low that way. LOL! I chose the simple click and share ones and was immediately rewarded a gift. Yey! 🙂 The item also came with a healthy tip associated with the gift.

Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

After X number of days, I finally finished my the blog assignment. Read about it here. I submitted it and immediately after, the reward reflected in my profile. 2 Chocolates! Yum! 🙂 Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

Wondering what I could do with the items and why my earned points remained zero, I decided to try to Use the items. Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

As I used up the items, my points increased by 10. The three items (2 chocolates and 1 comfy bed with pillow) totalled to 30 points. Apart from Use, one can also Share the item. I haven’t tried the Share though as I have no more items. I’ll have to volunteer some more to be able to give you some. 🙂 I’m almost halfway through the first level and I can’t wait to reach the next! I’m also excited to be rewarded with uncommon, rare, very rare, ultra rare, super rare, mega rare, and special items (whew!) in the future.  🙂 Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

In the spirit of volunteerism and of good health, I urge you to try this too. It’s a different and fun way to share our time and our abilities to contribute to a better and healthier Philippines. BlogSign

28

The Value of Play

Every night, dear husband would ask DA what he did for the day.

DA would happily reply, “I played!”

This would always lead to the daddy scratching his head, doubting whether the kids were actually learning anything as the days go by.

While play may sound trivial and unimportant, there is more to it than meets the eye.

Play

Everyone seems to know how to play, even babies do. Give them a set of cups and they’ll start tinkering with it, essentially “playing” with it. It’s the way they learn and develop essential lifelong skills. Playing, whether indoors or outdoors, single or in groups, benefits young children by fostering imagination and creativity, problem solving skills, fine and gross motor development, and even social and language skills.

Our Play at Home

These are some of the plays that we do at home. Most of them cost nothing and yet they allow us to reap a good deal of benefits, both for our young kids and for us, as adults.

Phone Conversations One time, just for fun, I held up a mobile phone, pretended to dial, and started an imaginary conversation. DA picked the habit up and has since loved making imaginary conversations as well. We started with “talking” to people he knows, like relatives, so that he has concrete things to say, like “when are you coming to visit?”, “what are you doing today?” As he was introduced to superheroes, Spiderman, Thor, Captain America, and Hulk became his phone buddies. What’s really funny is that he makes realistic expressions and would even laugh as if his phone pal had actually said something funny. Dear husband calls us crazy whenever he hears us doing this but I say we’re just being creative and imaginative. 🙂 

Play - Phone Converations

Stacking Cups These are great for babies in developing their fine motor skills as they learn how to pick up the cups. They also help in developing the child’s problem solving skills as he learns how to put them on top of each other. It’s so cute to watch their chubby hands manipulate the cups, willing them to fit. They might get frustrated though if they cannot do it so try to add a little help to keep them going.

Play - Stacking Cups

Ktichen Fun While I cook in the kitchen, I let the little one do his own play there as well. He’s free to open up the cabinets and drawers and play with the things inside (no sharp utensils, of course). One of the things he came up with is this arrangement of mugs and dishes. I was so amused by it that I just had to take a picture. It’s free play and yet I can see the organization skills already. 

Play - Kitchen Fun

Making a tower of cups is also our play in the kitchen. I showed him where to get the cups and how to stack them up. From time to time, he’d open up the cabinets and get them out to try a balancing act with the cups.

Play - Kitchen Fun

Running Around Every kid’s favourite! 🙂 This physical activity beats being glued to the iPad or TV anytime.

Play - Running Around

Jenga From time to time, we’d do play as a whole family. This is a good game that can include even the toddlers. While they may still need help, they can already take part in deciding how to keep the stack from falling. They also have a roaring good time when the whole thing falls down!

Play - Jenga

Playdates We haven’t been to a lot of playdates but those that we’ve been to have been fun. Playing with same-aged kids develops social and language skills among them. We’d sometimes listen to the kids’ conversation and get bewildered but they seem to understand each other well. Issues of sharing (more like non-sharing) of toys would sometimes arise though but we took it as a good teaching opportunity. 

Play - Playdates

How about you? What sort of play do you do at home with your kids? 🙂

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P.S. This is my volunteer work for Unilab Foundation’s project of building a #healthierPH through Play It Forward. 🙂 Read about it here.