December 7

Our Kindermusik Experience

From July to October 2015, Little H attended the Cuddle and Bounce class at Kindermusik in Capitol Hills (near Ayala East Side village). Cuddle and Bounce is the program for kids six months to 2 years old. This is ideal for kids who are already crawling or those who just started walking. 

Allow me to share my observations of Kindermusik class that we attended. Please note that this is applicable only to the one that attended in Capitol Greenstreet and not of the entire Kindermusik franchise.
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June 9

Mom Kat Recommends: TEAM UMIZOOMI

Team Umizoomi is a Nickelodeon show of three friends who takes on different adventures in order to help their friends. The main objective of the show is to teach preschoolers the concept of math such as counting, shape sorting, patterns, additions, subtractions and skip counting. I also liked how it teaches the value of team work and  patience. My son started watching its episodes even before he started school. On his second year in pre-school, they started having more math drills even at home.   I noticed he did not have a hard time at all. I can say that the show helped him early on.
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November 8

LEGO @ Shell!

I grew up surrounded by Lego® because my brother has several models. It is a great toy as it improves hand eye coordination especially for younger kids and broades imagination as well. My firstborn son is also becoming very fond of these cute blocks. However, his interests is more on car models which is why Lego® is not his favorite toy yet.

But Shell Philippines came up with this wonderful promotion wherein you can buy a Lego® Ferrari model for every purchase of gas! Very affordable! How cool is that?!
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September 13

WHAT TO EXPECT THE TODDLER YEARS: A Mommy must have!

Raising a child is a big challenge for parents, especially first time moms like me. I often wonder if my experiences in raising EA are the same with most parents. And now that he’s a toddler, challenges seems to come in everyday. Aside from words of wisdom from my mom and mother-in-law, my constant and reliable companion in this journey to toddlerhood is the book What to expect the Toddler years. The title may be familiar to some. This is actually a spin-off of the famous What to expect when you’re expecting and What to expect the first year books
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July 31

Mom Kat Recommends: BUBBLE GUPPIES

Bubble Guppies is a show in Nickolodeon which features animated preschool mermaids and mermain. This has become my son’s favorite show before going to school because it somehow mimic’s his classroom setup in his progressive school such as circle time, lunch time and outdoor play.
I also like the show because I find the characters so cute and the songs are catchy. One of my favorites is the song that teaches kids how to take care and love their pets. At their age, preschoolers get fascinated with pet animals and it is a good thing to teach them how to take care of their pets and consider them as members of the family.

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Hope your kids enjoy the video as much as mine did!

April 24

Preparing kids to social events

My son Heinel is a very shy boy. He gets pretty stressed out on birthday parties, weddings, school programs and other social events because it means meeting strangers and going to an unfamiliar place. But he was slowly able to get past that. Today I will share with you some ways that helped my son to relax and enjoy social events:
        1. If your child is terrified to go somewhere, ask him what scares him the most, then address his fear.
      My son usually says he does not like birthday parties because he gets shy with other kids and their parents. We tell him that it is alright if he does not want to play with them and if he really feels shy towards the adults, he need not talk but just have to smile. This makes Heinel feel that we understand him and we respect how he feels by not forcing him to do something he is not ready to do.
       2. Go to the venue earlier than the time of the actual event. 
     Arriving the same time as everybody does can be very overwhelming to children because they see strangers and unfamiliar environment all at the same time. Arriving earlier will give them time to have a feel of the place, and explore the vicinity of the area without bumping into other guests. He gets to see slowly how people starts coming in and saying hi to him one by one as oppose to arriving later  and have several people greet them at once. 
    3. A week before the event, prepare your kids by talking to them about it. 
     For our son, letting him know in advance allows him to have time to absorb the idea that for that weekend, we will not be going to the mall. The best method is to show him the calendar and point the date of the event. Then everyday, as I remind him, I show him the calendar again so he can see how many  days more before we go.
     4. Set a positive mood for the event.
     Whether it is a birthday party, wedding, family get together; it is best to create a positive picture on his mind like telling him what is in store for him such as magicians, puppets, yummy food, balloons, etc.. set the mood that the place is fun. 
      5. Be a friend. 
     Go around the area or join games with him. Do not scold him for being shy, it is not his fault after all. 
     6. Bring a favorite toy. 
     Venues are new environments and kids need to feel secure. Bringing his favorite toy can help him feel at ease. It can also start a conversation with a friend or an adult. Before, when we attend birthday parties, Heinel  warms up only to people who talks to him about his toy. Also, if he really does not want to participate in the party, having a toy will distract him so you and dad can join the activities.
Just like in anything, all our kids need is a little time. He will not be super shy forever. Just give them time to come out of their shells. I do hope my tips will be of help to you. Feel free to share yours too!
March 29

Teaching my toddler to write

Heinel’s teacher always praises him for his good writing skills. I find this a compliment because it is a result of our writing sessions that we started at home when he turned 3.
Before starting on any learning program for my son, I always assess whether he is prepared for it. By the time Heinel was 3 years old, he is already very familiar with the letters of the alphabet and is showing interest in writing. I’ve proven that no matter how good the program is, if my child is not prepared, it will not provide positive results and will lead only to frustration to both me and my son.
For our writing drills, I decided to group the letters of the alphabet depending on my assessment of its degree of difficulty for a child. Letters with simple horizontal and vertical lines are easier, compared to letters with curves and swirls, thus, they come first.
To help with our writing drills, I bought two workbooks; 1 for line strokes, and 1 for letter drills. There are several workbooks available in your local bookstore for you to choose from depending on your preference. I bought Heinel workbooks in which he can trace the lines initially, and then later on, there are blank spaces for him to write the lines on his own.
We begun with writing drills on basic lines; vertical and horizontal lines. The first few study sessions was a bit frustrating to Heinel especially when he could not figure out yet how to properly hold a pencil. At that time all that I can to do is to be patient and be encouraging. As much as I want to teach him how to hold a pencil, that is something that he has to figure out on his own depending on where he’s comfortable at. After mastering the basic horizontal and vertical lines, we proceeded to letters with vertical and horizontal lines such as letter E,F, H,I, L, and T.
After letters with horizontal and vertical lines, we proceeded to drills on slanting lines. Then followed by practicing letters A, K,M,N, V, W, X, Y and Z.
After letters with slanting lines, we proceeded to curve strokes. This is more challenging for Heinel as it requires more control of the pencil in achieving the different curve strokes. Once familiar with the curve strokes, drills on letter B,D,J,P,R, and U followed.
The last series of drills involved wavy lines then followed by letters C,G,O,Q and S.
Heinel and I have writing drills every weekday, 30 minutes each session. On days when he feels inspired, we have two sessions. I try to limit it to 30 minutes so as not to tire him out. This schedule also works well with working moms like me because we still have time to play. Usually, we have 2-3 sessions per letter but not all in one day. But we don’t mind extending if I feel that he needs to practice more. He does not have to write it perfectly, just as long as he remembers it properly without any help from me.
Aside from a writing being a learning activity, it is also a great chance for me to bond with my son. The key is to be supportive and encouraging. I always end our study session with a hug and praise for a job well done.