Summer Online Activity for Kids – Learn Filipino

For those looking for an “online” activity for their children where they don’t need to leave the house, I want to share with you this online Filipino class by The Learning Library.

This summer, they launched their course called Wika’y Galing! Online.  It’s the very first online program for children learning to speak Filipino as a second language. 

When Zeeka was 2, she was really good at speaking Filipino. For some reason though (and I heard a lot of kids are in a similar situation), they forget how to speak Filipino and would rather speak in English. I guess it’s because a lot of the content that we see online are in English. I also think that we haven’t really exposed her enough also to Filipino content.

This summer, I decided to enroll her to this online class of The Learning Library. She had her assessment already. She knew how to read and say Filipino words like our body parts, but when it came to words like Maaliwalas or Maaraw, etc., she had to practice more.

This course was created by The Learning Library in cooperation with Adarna. Once your child is enrolled, s/he will have access to over 100 Adarna books. Also, the course will have a teacher that your child will interact with. You will need to choose a schedule so that you’ll have a teacher who can guide your child.

For more information, you can visit www.wikaygaling.com 🙂

Happy learning!

Creative Writing for Kids: 5 Surefire Ways To Boost Skills

Creative writing is an important skill for our kids. 

In this age of smartphones and handheld devices, creativity and writing remain as top requirements to ensure our kid’s future.

I should know. In my years as an entrepreneur, it took creativity to resolve issues I’ve encountered.

It also takes creativity to get people to be interested in you and your product.

That’s why I also try as much to increase my daughter’s creative writing skills.

Creative Writing Benefits for Kids

Our kid’s generation may be tech-savvy, but science backs up the fact that the act of writing is more beneficial for the brain.

Writing on pen and paper can keep our brains sharp and can also influence us into more positive thoughts. Hand movements during writing activate a huge part of the brain responsible for healing trauma, language, and working memory.

Here are other benefits of handwriting and creative writing for our kids. 

1. It helps manage stress. 

Stress is a natural occurrence in everyday life. Children, for example, go through the pressures of school, their homes, and relationships with their peers. 

Writing poems, short stories, or creating cartoons can unload a lot of stress for kids.

It also helps release unwanted tension and encourages them to divert their attention to something more productive and creative.

2. It encourages deep thinking

I love it when Zeeka does her drawings and shows them to me. Watching her draw and create a story out of it is such a great joy for me.

Every story she tells lets me take a peek into what’s going on inside her head. And I’m really glad to hear how much her stories are growing.

Check out our drawing time here: 

Now that she’s six years old, her stories are becoming more complex.

Her characters are becoming more intricate. And I’m really glad I’m getting to witness her progress.

3. It increases comprehension and learning 

Creative writing also helps kids do better in Math and Sciences.

Studies show that writing helps the brain create the same patterns one needs to learn Math and Science.

One needs sharp observation and documentation skills when it comes to learning Sciences and figuring out equations.

Both can be improved through systematic approaches and observations which can also be developed through creative writing.

4. It helps them process big emotions. 

Children go through a lot of stress even as kids.

Every now and then Zeeka tells me she feels sad or angry, even frustrated when she doesn’t get what she wants.

Sometimes she tells me she’s lonely without her friends.

Even if it doesn’t sound as serious to us, it’s a big deal for them.

That’s why it’s also important for them to learn how to recognize, process, and handle their emotions.

Creative writing helps them write down what they feel through stories, characters, and situations. 

Child psychologists have used similar techniques in therapy to help children open up and share details about them or their trauma.

Doing so helps kids focus on their strengths and the good side of things rather than dwell on their negative emotions or trauma.

5. It increases focus 

Children are naturally curious. And it’s perfectly normal for them to have concentration issues because of how they’re exploring the world. 

They get bored easily when things aren’t fun and they shift their attention somewhere else. 

While creative writing may not be a part of your kid’s priorities yet, there are some exercises that can prepare them for writing. 

These include doodling and drawing.

Drawing helps them visualize their materials better. This is a great exercise in developing characters and settings.

Harvard Health Blog also confirms the health benefits of doodling, especially for kids.

Doodling, it turned out, is like our brain’s last attempt at staying focused and awake.

It also eases psychological distress and activates the brain’s “time travel machine”.

Doodling puts us in a relaxed state where our minds attempt to find lost pieces, make sense of the present, and help us visualize our future. 

Gamifying Creative Writing for Kids

Gamification has been a huge buzz word not only in the tech industry but also in other areas like education.

Educators from all around the globe have turned to apps and games to help students maximize learning and make it fun.

But did you know that board games also help in boosting creativity for kids of all ages?

Yep, you got that right. Board games. And I must admit, I’m a board game fanatic.

In fact, we hold regular board game sessions at home with friends and family. 

Here’s what it usually looks like at game nights… 

What I love most about it is the challenge of quick thinking, and the strategies it takes to win. 

I’ve been reading a lot about how old school role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons help improve children’s creativity through storytelling. 

Even the world’s greatest writers and novelists acknowledge the impact that Dungeons and Dragons have on their writing skills. 

Goerge R.R. Martin, Dan Harmon, and even Stephen Colbert admit that a huge part of their creativity stems from playing the game in their youth.

The game can last from three hours or three years.

How is it played?

A ‘dungeon master’ gets to run game and create critical situations where the players respond with their own narrative.

Players can also choose the characters they portray. Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the characters respond to crises according to their powers. 

Check out this fun tutorial from The Try Guys:

So how exactly does playing board games like D&D help in boosting creativity, especially with kids? 

For one, it’s an endless story with unlimited possibilities. Children get to come up with their own stories and characters. 

It also develops quick wit and enhances situational awareness. 

Playing the game encourages teamwork and promotes complex problem-solving skills.

So how does it make your kid become a better writer? 

Studies show that the highly social and collaborative nature of role-playing games has a huge effect on learning. It helps improve crucial soft skills, like listening intently and responding to the challenges set by the game master.[1]

It also taps into the player’s abilities like decision making, invention, calculations, negotiation, active spatial visualization, and storytelling.

UEC Philippines: A Unique Way to Teach Creative Writing

One of the reasons why I like UEC Philippines is because they make writing fun. 

Unlike traditional schools, Unique English Classroom provides kids with a chance to run wild with their imagination.

Children learn the basics of reading to the intricacies of storytelling, reading, and writing through four progressive programs. 

UEC also focuses on the more important aspect of communication: reading comprehension and confidence in communication. 

Headed by Catherine Khoo, children under the Unique English Classroom program get to explore the English language through practical application. 

They also use different ways to fire up your kid’s imagination and improve their storytelling and creative writing skills.

Younger kids learn reading and writing through storytelling activities.

Later on, they progress to drawings and illustrations to tell their stories. 

They also do comic books with their own stories.

They even play Dungeons & Dragons and learn how to develop their own world and characters. Dungeons & Dragons will be available in all UEC Centers this coming summer. This activity is for kids ages 9 to 16 yo. I told Zeeka about it and she said she can’t wait to be 9 years old! haha!

Check out the kids of UEC San Mateo as they play it here: https://www.facebook.com/UniqueEnglishClassroom/videos/1486421058176426/

Help your future writer excel in creative writing. Learn more about UEC Philippines today. 

For inquiries, check out their website here: https://uecyoungauthors.com.ph/

WarnerMedia and TotallyAwesome Work Together!

Have you ever heard of TotallyAwesome? It’s the leading kids digital media company in the Asia-Pacific region, reaching over 170 million kids monthly across desktop, mobile and online video. The company operates a kid-safe and compliant content and advertising platform, so you need not worry about what ads your children are seeing. TotallyAwesome makes sure brand engagement with the youth market is safe, effective and entertaining.

Recently, TotallyAwesome has announced a collaboration with WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks in the Philippines.

This is great news for advertisers who care about bringing safe content to children. This collaboration between the two companies give access to both companies’ advertising platforms through a unified kids-safe advertising proposition. They give kids’ brands a platform where they can talk to kids safely.

In the Philippines, WarnerMedia sees that there is an increasing number of children creating and consuming content online. Warner Media commits to providing kids-safe content through its own platforms, as well as through this collaboration.

Awantika Sood, WarnerMedia’s Kids and Entertainment ad-sales lead in Southeast Asia, added, “As children consume more and more digital content, the need to present an omni-channel, brand-safe solution to our advertising partners is very important to us. Adding to WarnerMedia’s own capabilities, our collaboration with TotallyAwesome platforms is a strategic move as it provides advertisers in the Philippines a one-stop shop to reach kids in quality and safe environments across linear, digital and social platforms. We look forward to a fantastic collaboration with TotallyAwesome.”

For brands who need more information on how to connect with TotallyAwesome, you can email them here: pr@totallyawesome.tv

Young Authors National Competition: What You Need to Know

UEC Philippines is hosting Young Authors National Competition, a scholastic writing contest specifically made for Filipino young authors and writers.

Exciting prices and awards await the lucky winner. But most importantly, aspiring young writers get the chance to learn more about creative writing through the event. 

Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming Young Authors National Competition.

Young Authors National Competition helps boost your young author’s confidence

It’s one thing to teach young authors creative writing. It’s another to get them motivated to write.

That’s why kids need to be a part of a young author’s program.

Writing competitions are a surefire way to help kids do better. Having a goal that drives them to do better can do wonders for their skills. It also helps them build their confidence. 

And Unique English Classroom Philippines does just that. 
UEC Philippines is not your traditional English program. They offer a range of unique programs that helps kids fall in love with reading and writing in the English language.

One of which is preparing kids to become better at creative writing through contests and competitions. 

Creative writing is a skill. The more you practice, the better you become. And with the right feedback, kids can be better communicators and writers in the long run. 

Better communication skills boost one’s confidence levels and also help improve their self-image. 

Because of this, children will be more open to trying new opportunities and taking more calculated risks. 

Writing competitions open doors of opportunities for your child

Networking at a young age can do wonders for your child. It allows them to meet kids with the same interests and also open doors for them. 

Writing contests like the Young Authors National Competition also connects kids to potential mentors.  

These mentors can provide young authors and writers with the necessary feedback and guidance. 

Professional writers, guests, and judges get the chance to see your child’s work. This gives your kids access to golden nuggets of knowledge that can greatly improve your kid’s writing skills and style. 

Who knows, your young writer may just be the next best selling author the world is waiting for?

Parents get the chance to show support for their young writers

In between work, raising kids, and paying the bills, most parents struggle to spend quality time with their kids. 

Events like these help parents show their support to their children’s passion and bond with them at the same time. 

It means a whole lot for kids to know that their parents encourage their dream. It boosts their confidence and increases their willingness to try new things. 

Competitions, whether it be physical or mental, can have outstanding effects on children.

Pediatric neuropsychologist Timothy Gunn puts it in perspective. According to him, competitions and contests help kids learn the value of hard work and consistency. 

It also teaches them self-efficacy and cooperation among their peers. 

Kids with parents who encourage healthy competition also have a better chance of participating in events and activities again. They also win and lose gracefully. 

Losing is never easy, especially when kids have given it their all and fall short of winning the top prize. But with their parents’ support and encouragement, kids get to process the loss easier and faster. 

Competitions help kids create a process for writing

Here’s a confession that I know most writers relate to. I tend to edit what I write while I’m writing. 

And it’s one of the worst tendencies to have as a writer. 

When your brain edits as you write, it hinders the creative process.

The goal of the first draft is to let your thoughts flow like a spring. Once you’re done, that’s the time you polish. 

Writing camps help correct this kind of tendencies for young writers. 

This training will help young authors sharpen their skills and introduce them to new and better ways to write. 

For starters, kids get introduced to brainstorming techniques. They also get tips on the best research tips for developing plots and characters. 

Kids develop patience, humility, and resilience through continuous feedback and handling revisions. On top of that, they also learn how to self-edit, review, and polish their ideas to make their stories better. 

How to join the Young Authors National Competition 2020

Do you have a child that’s interested in becoming the next best selling young author? This is your chance to make it happen! 

The journey starts on January 11, 2020, Saturday, 9 AM to 11 AM at UEC branches near you. 

This writing competition is open to UEC and Non-UEC students aged 9 to 16 years old. 

Each participant is expected to write a 1,500-word short story with a theme to be announced on the day of the competition. 

Judges for the event will be coming from the UEC Philippines head office and UEC Singapore. 

Three top winners will be chosen and given a chance to compete on the national level. And a special Reader’s Choice Award will be given to one. 

This event is free. All you have to do is to click here to register and compete

The next Young Authors Competition will be on a nationwide level and comes with a 2-day creative writing boot camp. 

So what’s in it for you and your young writer?

The event will be facilitated by none other than Unique English Classroom’s Catherine Khoo

A joining fee of P1,500 will cover the two-day writing boot camp plus snacks. 

What’s great about this national essay contest? Even non-UEC students can participate and learn more about creative writing. 

Students will get the guidance they need to create better stories and a much-needed confidence boost before they participate.  

The contest winner will get an all-expense-paid trip to Singapore for two. The top three winners will also be invited to be a part of the prestigious International Youth Author’s Club. 

They will also learn how to become better writers through a free month mentorship from the UEC founder and head trainer. 

What a steal! 

Signing up is easy. All you have to do is register here

You can check out the payment details in their flyer below.

I recommend this creative writing boot camp for kids. 

In today’s world, cultivating your kid’s creativity and imagination is no longer an option. It’s a necessary element in ensuring their future success. 

Want to know more about the Young Authors National Competition? Check out their website today. 

DG Goat’s Milk Now in the Philippines!

Once upon a time, there was this lady with premium and “sosyal” sorbetes that was made from DG goat’s milk.

Seriously though, there is nothing wrong with wanting the BEST for yourself. When we have better stuff, sometimes, most of us feel embarrassed for having these things in our possession. But don’t be! We all deserve to have the best things in life.

One of the things that I wasn’t able to give Zeeka when she was younger is goat’s milk. I have heard about it from friends and relatives. I didn’t really research about it (although people kept telling me it was good for kids), but the price and how much it costs was a deterrent. Plus, to add to that, it wasn’t readily available in the market.

So when I heard DG Goat Milk Beverage for Kids (for 3 years old and above) is launching in the Philippines, I had to check it out myself.

DG is the Philippines’ first and only Premium Powdered Milk sourced from Goat’s Milk!

DG Goat’s Milk is produced and imported from one of the places that I’d love to visit — New Zealand (from the Dairy Goat Co-operative in Hamilton). Also, they choose only the healthiest Saanen goats (Swiss breed of domestic goats) from New Zealand to ensure having milk of the highest quality 

Yesterday, I listened to the differences between goat’s milk and cow’s milk. These were the things that were discussed.

Goat’s Milk is Naturally More Complete 

Goats produce their milk through Apocrine Secretion, where milk fat and bioactive components in mammary secretory cells are enveloped by cell membranes as they are secreted. As a result, milk produced by goats have naturally occurring bioactive components such as: 

  • Polyamines for intestinal cell growth and digestive capacity development
  • Nucleotides for gastrointestinal health, maturation, and recovery
  • Free Amino Acids and Glutamic Acid for immunity and gut energy
  • Taurine for bile salt formation (necessary for fat digestion), brain and retina development 
  • Growth Factors such as IGF1 and TGF Beta for immunity and growth development 

What I got from this is that your kids will have healthier tummies and stronger immune systems. You’ll notice that since all of these are in DG Goat’s Milk, there is no need to “fortify” the product with nutrients that our kids or we can get.

Goat’s Milk is Easier to Digest 

Casein, the solid part of the milk protein produces curds in our stomach. Compared to milk sourced from other animals, DG produces a very loose curd structure with a high proportion of water that is easily broken apart, thus facilitating easier digestion of milk proteins. 

Goat’s Milk is Less Allergenic 

β-Lactoglobulin is the whey protein that stimulates milk protein allergies. Compared with milk from other animals, DG has lowest levels of β-Lactoglobulin; thus making it less allergenic. It was mentioned though that for this benefit, more studies have yet to be conducted.

Goat’s Milk has more CPP! 

Casein Posphopeptides (CPP) binds more binds minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Thereby, increasing the solubility and absorption of these minerals. 

This component is higher in DG, which can help your children grow healthy and strong! 

I laid down all of the fact for you here (which I got from the discussion yesterday) for you to make an informed decision. I also got to learn about why Goat’s milk is more expensive than cow’s milk. It’s because goat’s milk production is lesser (4x less) than what cows produce.

Aside from the things that I mentioned, the ice cream that I tasted that was made from Goat’s milk was really yummy! I actually can’t wait to try DG (for myself… haha!).

So for those interested to purchase DG Goat Milk Beverage, it’s available in Lazada (click here) and Shopee (click here).

Thank you so much, Anya, for letting me know about this event. A big shoutout, too, to the other mommies in the launch yesterday! It was fun seeing you all!