Showing posts with label Fun & Games. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fun & Games. Show all posts

Friday, August 28, 2020

5 ways to encourage your kids to be more physically active

The last 6 months have seen our kids quarantined in our homes to keep them safe from the novel coronavirus. Unfortunately, kids need sunshine, exercise, and lots of play to be healthy, too. So if you're lucky enough to have a garden or a roof deck, do go out and play there! I live in a condo so it's been tricky. What I do is tell my kids they have to exercise first (and finish their list of art, literary, music activities, plus chores) before they can play on their gadgets. So that's really pushed them to work out!

But today is the weekend! We can go to our condo's amenities deck and play there! Today's guest post offers 5 other ways to encourage kids to be more physically active.

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GUEST POST - There are invaluable benefits that your children can receive from regular exercise. Physical activity is crucial for your child’s health and development, but in the social media world we live in, your kids may be more interested in their news feed than getting outdoors and taking up a hobby or sport.

As parents, we want to do what’s best for our children, so if you’re concerned about their behavior, weight, or general wellbeing, here are 5 ways to encourage them to be more physically active.

1. Find Fun Activities

If your child doesn’t enjoy a particular activity or sport, the chances of them sticking to it are slim. It’s important that they find something that stimulates their brain and keeps them entertained. Otherwise, they are more likely to throw a tantrum, which no parent wants to deal with. There are tons of hobbies and sports that your child can partake in, such as swimming, tennis, and baseball. If your child loves to play baseball, installing fencing will keep your neighbors happy

2. Make Time for Exercise

If your children are of school age, it’s likely that they have a mountain of homework and other planned activities to adhere to, but that’s not to say that they shouldn’t exercise as well. Scheduling time for physical activity is crucial, regardless of how busy their schedule is. Children need time to get outdoors and play, so if they’re spending the majority of their day indoors, putting other things on the back burner and letting them have breaks is a good idea. This is extremely important for their mental health and wellbeing.

3. Get Rid of Distractions

Whether you like it or loathe it, social media is used by many children across the country. While there are some benefits to social media, if left to their own devices, children will spend every waking hour behind their smartphone or tablet. Distractions like the TV and computer emit blue light and can have a negative effect on your children, such as difficulty getting to sleep and mood swings, so switching off the TV and eliminating distractions at various intervals is key.

4. Set a Good Example

You can’t expect your kids to be physically active if you’re not doing so yourself. Children pick up on their parents’ patterns of behavior, so if you’re preaching about the benefits of regular exercise but are lounging around the house, this will set a bad example to your kids. Children who see their parents regularly participating in sports and physical activity are much more likely to try it out themselves. There are lots of activities that you can do as a family, which can be a great opportunity to bond with your kids, as well as reap the health benefits of exercise.

5. Speak to Your Child’s Doctor

If you’re struggling to get your child motivated to exercise, it may be wise to book an appointment with your child’s doctor. They will have a better knowledge of what sports and activities are suitable for your child, as well as what strategies you can implement in your home life to get them interested in physical activity. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially if you have major health concerns about your child’s weight, as your doctor is there to help you, rather than judge.

Regular physical activity can be a great opportunity for your kids to socialize with others, improve their fitness, and boost their concentration levels. All children can benefit from regular exercise, so while it may be hard to motivate them at first, as long as your kids find hobbies and sports that they enjoy, you will notice a huge difference in their behavior and health.

* This is a guest post, with my edits. To place a guest post, email for my rates. Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash

Monday, February 17, 2020

Your family will have a super fun day at Cheeky Monkeys - just like we did!

My kids love Cheeky Monkeys play place! I feel like it's a family secret because everyone else goes to other indoor play areas and they're already really crowded, which, for me, takes out a lot of fun from the play. So when we discovered Cheeky Monkeys and its vastness and newness, we fell in love! Here's a little peek!

First of all, we love Cheeky Monkeys because they thought of parents. They set aside this large area called the café just for us. We can wait for our kids within the establishment. We can have coffee or merienda. We can even work since there's free WiFi. We're accessible to the kids all the time but it's separate from the play areas so it doesn't feel chaotic. I really like that Cheeky Monkeys thought of the most important people—the parents paying for everything!!! Hahaha

Joking aside, parents really should leave their kids alone when playing. That way, the kids learn how to figure out what kind of play they like, how to play on their own, how to play with other kids, share toys, resolve conflicts if the other kids don't want to share haha

I like that the Café makes sitting down and leaving our kids alone sooooo attractive. I think it discourages helicopter parents from forever hovering over their kids. "Baby, play here. Play like this. Share that toy. Hey, other kid, share that toy with my baby! No? Bad kid! Baby, let's play somewhere else!" Good grief. But if you truly are a helicopter parent or you want to take photos of your kids playing, that's fine! The interactive play area is big enough to accommodate grownups!

Now, let's check out the 3000-sqm interactive play area! Mamas, I have more photos than these. But my kids have told me they really don't want me to post so many photos of their faces so these are the only ones I have where their faces aren't so visible. So here's what I can share:

The slide!!!
Lots of places for little arms and legs to climb!
This is quite a physical challenge as the kids cross to the other side while hanging on for dear life!
Obstacles to avoid, tunnels to crawl through!
Trampoline joy!
Twisty slide!
Bridges to cross!
Run and swing swing swing!
The pictures below are of the Clubhouse. It's separated from the play place. It's a 2-story building that houses the role-play area so your kids can play house, pretend they're shopping, stuff like that. I like that it's on the other side of the room so that the kids there can play in peace.

Now behind those doors are the party rooms. They're big and cute! I think it'll be super fun to have your kid's birthday over at Cheeky Monkeys! I know they have party packages so do check them out when you drop by.

Okay, other stuff I loved at Cheeky Monkeys:

1. The toddlers have their own area. I didn't take photos because none of my school-age kids visited the toddler area. But I think it's thoughtful—and safe!—that they separated the big kids from the little ones.

2. The kiddie activities! When we visited, there was a face-painting thing going on but my kids weren't interested because they were having too much fun playing.

3. The bathrooms. They're in the facility! No need to get a stamp, put shoes on again, walk out and run to the faraway CRs! The kids need to pee or poo? No problem! The bathrooms are clea, too. And very child-friendly.

4. It's sooooo affordable! On weekdays, it's just P350 for the first hour and the accompanying adult is free! I don't understand those play places where they won't allow you to leave your kid alone but then they'll charge you for accompanying your kid. So unjust!
    Now, to clarify, it's one kid-one adult for P350. If you have only one kid and you bring daddy, yaya, lolo, lola, auntie and uncle, well, they have to pay an entrance fee of P200 each.

5. They accept credit cards!!!

Cheeky Monkeys really have thought of everything! The only negative thing I can say about it is it's far from us. Actually, it's not. It's the traffic that makes it far. But if you're from Makati, Manila and thereabouts, MET Live at Pasay (just before Mall of Asia if you're coming from EDSA) isn't that far. Plus, there's parking!

For more details like weekend rates, check out their website: Cheeky Monkeys PH. I think they have classes and arts and crafts and stuff that your kids will love. Plus, summer is coming up fast so if you're looking for activities for your kids, check out Cheeky Monkeys!!!

Cheeky Monkeys is on the 2nd floor of MET Live Mall of Pasay City.

Monday, June 03, 2019

Iñigo and Piero love Ready, Steady, Go!

Summer was super fun for my two younger boys, Iñigo and Piero, because of Ready Steady Go Kids! Every Saturday, we trooped to the 9th Avenue School at BGC, Taguig, for an hour of fun and fitness with other kids.

You know how people call play the real work of kids? Well, this is exactly like that! The kids may seem like they're just throwing and catching balls or jumping up and down or chasing each other. They look like they're just playing but really they're developing eye-hand coordination, learning what their bodies can do and how it moves, building strength and flexibility, learning focus and patience and determination, learning to listen to instructions and pay attention to others—and doing all of that while having fun!

Ready Steady Go is Australia’s largest and most reputable multi-sport and exercise program for preschoolers (aged 2.5-7 years). We have been with RSGK since they launched here in the Philippines 5 years ago. At first, we were skeptical because it was just play. They can play at our playground for free! But at the very first session, when Vito was just 4, we saw that Vito learned motor and social skills fast. We were converted to the Temple of Play!

RSGK offers a high-quality, physio-designed program that teaches children the fundamentals of 10 different sports in a fun, non-competitive, team-based environment. There are 5 sports covered in each term. Each class focuses on a specific gross motor, hand-eye/foot-eye and/or balance activity to complement the sport component. The program has a structure repeated each week so that the kiddos become familiar and comfortable with the routine. It's not drastically different from each class, which is good because kids like familiarity.

So far, my kids learned basketball, golf, and tennis. But not in a competitive way. It was really just taking the basic moves of the sports and then using them to teach kids how to use and develop their muscles and social skills. It's really fascinating to watch the coaches apply sports to instill useful life skills! 

The classes run for 45 minutes. Best to go early so your kids can settle in. We also stay and play with the other kids after the class ends so we spend about an hour to an hour-and-a-half at RSGK. Super fun, mamas!

If your kids have summer vacation now or if they have classes but you want them to improve their motor skills or if you have a preschooler, please enroll them at Ready Steady Go! Super highly recommended! Topaz Mommy-approved! Register here:

You can also follow their Facebook page to find out more: I can't say enough good things about RSGK! Please enroll your kids na!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Boys chasing birds and birds chasing boys

This is my favorite time of the year in Manila. On Holy Week, the streets are empty and quiet. The sky is free from smog and is a piercing blue. Well, except this Holy Week. I think it's the first ever Holy Week that's cloudy and rainy!

This rainy holiday reminded me of our trip to Tagaytay a few months back. I only told you about it on my Instagram but never got to share the truly fun photos from our really wet weekend. But no rain can dampen the spirits of my boys. Nope!

They ran and played under the rain, in the mud, in the puddles, chasing ducks and geese, then screaming when the big birds started chasing them.

It was raining hard when they fed the birds.
But they refused to go under the umbrella with me.
They enjoyed this so much and I enjoyed just watching them!
Watching the boys and the birds chase each other was fun too! Although I went closer... just in case!

When they did stay inside, they played and drew and chased each other and hugged and tickled each other. Many days they annoy each other to tears, but just as many days they spend on being absolutely the best boys a mother could ever ask for.

Posing for Papa's camera!
Then ignoring everyone as they get to work on their chalk art.
Piero's obsessed with sharks.
Iñigo's obsessed with Piero!

I liked this vacation. We should go on holiday again. I miss the days when Vince and I worked from home and only when we liked and we could just up and leave whenever we wanted to. Of course, those days were when we didn't have such huge expenses (a.k.a. tuition haha).

We usually stay in the city during Holy Week because we LOVE the empty city but the kids want to go hiking and camping. Do you have any suggestions for kid-friendly places like that? I'd like the boys to go on an adventure again!

P.S. Vito's not in the photos because he's already avoiding being photographed. And that's okay. I always ask the boys if I can take their photos and share on social media. And when they give their consent, that's the only time I share!

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

We're going to ToyCon! You can go, too!

This post is brought to you by SMART.

But first, a confession: I had no idea that ToyCon was a big deal in this country. I'm not a toys kinda girl so it just was never in my radar. But my husband is a toys geek and a few weeks ago, he brought it up. ToyCon. He was wondering if he and our sons should check it out. Yes, my sons are toy geeks, too. We discussed it a bit, then I forgot about it because diba nga I'm not really a toy person. But I am a Game of Thrones fan so when Vince said, "Hodor will be at ToyCon!", I was so in!

We're going to ToyCon, people!

Thanks so much to my blog partner, the unrivalled mobile services provider Smart Communications, for sponsoring ToyCon 2016 + Pop Life FanXperience! Smart is inviting its subscribers—like moi!—to the biggest toy convention and pop culture event, with promises of awesome prizes on top of the fun experiences this weekend. 

Yes, it's this weekend na, guys. From June 10-12 at the SMX Convention Center. Mark your calendars! ToyCon 2016 will showcase toys, games, movies, cosplay, anime, and collectibles. There will be a 25-foot Voltes V statue! A Stan Lee Excelsior exhibit! Themed zones from Marvel, DC, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Cartoon Network, Capcom, Namco and DOTA! Etc!!!

Smart isn't just sponsoring the event, it's also making fans have a more fun experience na pang-social media (because ika nga ng mga millennials, if there's no picture, it didn't happen!). Smart created larger-than-life toy boxes of iconic shows like Game of Thrones, Lego, and X-Men! Magpa-picture, i-share, and please use #SmartTOYCON for your Instagram posts.

And here's my favorite part: There will also be celebrities, comic artists, and creative directors from iconic TV show and films. Like Kristian Nairn a.k.a. Hodor from Game of Thrones (I want to hug you for HOlding that DOoR!). And because I watched and loved Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, I'm so looking forward to seeing Dean Cain!!! Other Hollywood stars making an appearance are Daniel Logan from Star Wars, and Bronson Pelletier and Kiowa Gordon from Twilight. Thai heartthrob Maurio Maurer will also be there. R&B artist Frankie J din at marami pang iba! Go na!

We're going to ToyCon, people! And you can, too!

If you're a Smart subscriber like me, you can get a chance to win ToyCon 2016 tickets, too. Just post a photo of you on your social media accounts dressed up as your favorite character. Walang costume? Okay lang! Just share a screenshot or photo of your favorite video game or toy! 

Make sure to use the hashtag #SmartTOYCON! Wag kalimutan yan. Many contests are not won dahil hindi marunong sumunod sa instructions!!!

So do it like this:
Superheroes ready to go to #SmartTOYCON 2016!
But first, pizza. Because even superheroes need super fuel. See you at #SmartTOYCON!

Good luck!!!

Anyway, if you go to ToyCon, do check out the Smart Zone booth, where you get a chance to win exciting prizes such as Smart Bro Pocket WiFis, limited edition jackets, toys, and gaming gears. Bumili lang ng Smart SIM at load or mag-subscribe sa bagong Smart Postpaid Plan and you get a chance to win!

And a word from ToyCon's sponsor: "For the ultimate fan experience at the event, be sure to load up with Smart Big Bytes 50, which now lets you enjoy 2x data with 700MB for your dose of surfing, and access to top apps like Facebook, Instagram, Viber and Twitter, plus additional 600MB for streaming your favorite videos on YouTube and iflix – valid for three days for only P50. Just text BIG 50 to 9999."

We're going to ToyCon! See you! Say hi to me and my SalesVIPs!!! 

For more of Smart promos that let you live out your passions, follow its official accounts on Facebook (, Twitter and Instagram (@SmartLife). 

Monday, April 04, 2016

Game boys

So cute my Topaz Mommy readers! Topaz Mommy is my now-dead mommy blog and the last post I published there said that when my kids turn 6 years old, I won't post their faces online anymore. Not a few readers sent me messages saying they miss the boys already. One even said, "I've seen them all from pregnancy to birth to birthdays. Wag mo naman ipagdamot!"

Nyak! Dearest reader, si Vito po ay hindi pa 6. Sa August pa. Yung dalawang sumunod ay 3 and 1 pa lang. So may oras pa po tayong ma-enjoy sila rito sa aking blog at sa Instagram (follow @francesasales @topazhorizonblog and the hashtag #SalesVIP!). Wag mag-panic! May 5 years pa tayo, and baka by then may iba na kayong cuties of other mom bloggers na katutuwaan.

In fact, para hindi niyo isipin na madamot ako haha, let me share with you a few of the thousands of photos we have of the boys. Only a few make it to social media! The rest we pore over obsessively, usually on those nights just before we go to sleep but the kids still aren't sleepy. So I show them their photos, I tell them the stories behind the pictures, and sometimes I make up silly bedtime stories a la comics style using their pictures.

Like this for example:

The Day Piero Became a Gamer

Once upon a time, there was a little boy named Piero 
who wondered where his brothers disappeared to. 
He found them in Papa's bedroom where they were battling evil foes.
"Holy macaroni!" Piero said. "Vito and Iñigo are slaying monsters by the hundreds!"
"And they're using these magic black things to be heroes."
"Mama, how do I get to be a hero, too?"
"Vito's going a bathroom break? He just said he needs to wee-wee? And that means..."
"Die! Die! Die!"
Piero: "What happened?!?"
Vito: "Mama, Piero made me lose my game!"
"Give that back."

Heehee. Our stories are really super simple, nothing that will ever see the light of day (er, except for this silly one!), and the boys usually scroll through my photos and they'll pick a few from when they were babies or from when they were somewhere else, and then they'll beg poor, sleepy, exhausted me to tell them a story. And I do. And they're so easy to please. And they laugh and laugh over my nonsense stories till I finally tell them to stop their delaying tactics and go to sleep.

And they do, happy with new memories to dream about in their sweet sleep.

Aww, those pictures of the boys are nice. Maybe I can share with you more old photos every first Monday of the month? I really do have thousands upon thousands! These are from New Year's Eve. Our kids don't play a lot of video games actually, about twice a month maybe, and only during the day. But it was New Year's Eve and we wanted to keep them awake to greet 2016. But they tired of playing and off to bed they went. Fun photos from a night I had actually forgotten about. Thank goodness for photos!

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Engineering for Kids makes learning tons of fun!

Oh my goodness, it's summer!

Well, in the Philiipines, it's either summer season or rainy season so it's actually been summer for a while now. But because we just had a graduation, there's suddenly a clear line marking summer break. And there's just a ton of things to see and do for kids! Like trips abroad, holidays by the beach (our beaches are the best in the world!), activity centers, sports clinics, art workshops, and summer classes.

My kids recently got to try Engineering for Kids and LOVED it. They did. Iñigo even had a meltdown when it was time to go home (this came as a shock because Iñigo doesn't have meltdowns anymore!). Even Vito and Piero lingered and dawdled when it was time to go home. They had so much fun!

They made a moon from DIY play dough. This activity taught them about shapes, texture, numbers.
Waiting for snack time!
Enjoying snack time!
They made rockets to blast off to the moon!
Iñigo built Iron Man from giant Legos.

Now let me tell you a bit about Engineering for Kids. Engineering for Kids is an educational program based heavily on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In a rapidly developing world, engineers and scientists are what's desperately needed but schools don't seem to devote enough time to these subjects, and when they do, maths and sciences are deemed both boring and stressful by students. Engineering for Kids makes STEM fun, challenging and hands-on. Kids learn how important STEM is to understand their world and how it works and to come up with solutions to many problems big and small. Very useful life skills!

If you're near the Katipunan Ave. area in White Plains, do check out Engineering for Kids. It's right by the gate of Blue Ridge, across Pan de Americana, the building with upside down vehicles. Here are their summer offerings:

Enrol in any of the programs and use my discount code: SMILE-0316B. Enjoy!

To learn more about Engineering for Kids and STEM curriculum, click here.