Team Arbo: My Family of Gamers

When I was young, my concept of playing was running around in our garden, playing hopscotch or shooting hoops with my sister in the garage of my grandmother’s house. It’s so interesting to compare what we do now with our daughter Zeeka with my childhood experience. So much has changed over the years. Much has changed also from what we were playing before COVID 19 happened with what we are playing now. 

Prior to the pandemic, we would play board games with her. My husband and I would also have weekly boardgame nights with friends. My husband has this massive collection of tabletop board games probably totalling to close to 100 board games. 

When the pandemic hit, we still continued playing (just the 3 of us — my husband, daughter and myself), but most of our time is now spent on playing online games. We each have our favorites. My husband loves role playing games, farming & life simulators, horror games, etc.. I love horror games and life simulators, too. My daughter who is in lower school loves farming & life simulators, casual games and games like Roblox and Minecraft. 

Why do we love gaming and why do we encourage our daughter to play?

We believe and have noticed that she learns a lot of things from playing online, too. And we noticed that she learns how to formulate sentences while interacting with other players. She learns new words. Self-awareness is also something taught by strategic games, as well as empathy. Some games also teach her how to be more creative. 

Speaking of games for kids…

We saw this site where you can find games that your kids can play, and currently, they have over 100 games. It’s My daughter super loves this site! If this is your first time navigating through the site, scroll to the footer so that you can see the different games that fall into different categories.

Here are her top 4 favorites:

Batman Gotham City Speed Game: Lego Collecting Game

Batman will race through the city on his BatMobile collecting blocks and studs while avoiding enemies. So all your child needs to do is use the arrow keys and control the BatMobile. The more blocks and studs that you collect, the higher the score.

It is a fun game that your child can play to teach them how to control  the keys and to teach them direction.

Guardians Defenders of Mathematica KS2 Math Learning Fantasy RPG Game

Teach your kids to solve simple mathematical equations and problems. When they do, they can kill enemies, beasts and monsters in this game. Basically, Guardians Defenders of Mathematica is a role-playing game where you choose to be one of these characters: Knights, Warriors, Elves, Rangers, Witches or Wizards. Every round, you are given some math problems to solve and when you successfully solve it, you get to attack your enemy. If you don’t, the enemy attacks you. After each round, you gain XP and go to the next round.

King Rugni Tower Conquest: Fun Base Defense Strategy Game

So for this game, you are building defenses against enemies who are attacking your land. By gaining more and more points, you will be able to get stronger weapons that you can build. Points are earned by killing enemies, so you need to be strategic in building your weapons and choosing which weapons to build at the right time.

Toon Cup 2020: Cartoon Soccer Game for Kids

This is my daughter’s favorite game, so far. 

She proudly represented the Philippines.

She chose Adventure Time characters to be her players. So your child can choose their players while checking out their speed, Shot Power and Tackle Accuracy. There are also more characters that you can unlock later on the game if you have enough coins.

It’s a fun game that your kids can play and my daughter learned more about different countries and flags.

From her experience, I saw that she really learned a few things for each of the games that she played. Since they have more than a hundred games here, I can’t wait to see what other stuff she’ll be able to learn.

Their newest games are added in this link. They usually have new games, so my daughter actually bookmarked this site!

We don’t stop Zeeka from playing since we, as a family, believe in work or study / life balance. We also know and sees that she gets to learn a lot while having fun and playing games.

How about you? How do you make learning fun for your kids? Are you family who loves gaming and playing?

Johnson’s #PlayforReal Event

One of the concerns that I have with my daughter is that when we give her the iPad to use primarily for learning, she doesn’t want to let go of it. She cries and goes into a tantrum whenever we try to take the gadget away from her. The problem that we have as a couple is that we know that technology is an important part of how we live today. It is said that 36% of Filipinos have about 10 gadgets per household*, thus making the use of gadgets a necessity for daily living (Survey conducted by Microsoft Philippines in 2011). But, honestly and personally, I don’t think it’s doing her good at this point in time.

I have always known, through workshops that I attended before, that playing is an integral part of teaching your child. It is through active sensory play when all their five senses are awakened to discover and learn the world around them. This has been proven by Johnson’s baby in a social experiment to see how children respond to gadget play versus real play.

But of course, if you are a busy mom, it’s so easy to get tempted to just give them a gadget so that you can go on and do your daily chores. I attended the Johnson’s #playforreal event recently and I am thankful that I was again reminded that there are a lot of instances where sensory play can be incorporated into our daily lives. Playing need not be so planned out. It need not always be timed or “scripted”. You can play with your child during bath times, during times when you need to change their diapers or even during potty training times.

“As a brand committed to the happy, healthy development of children, we at Johnson’s believe that every activity that a child does can mean so much more to him,” says Trina Tanlapco, Johnson’s Associate Marketing Director. “Active play is integral and essential in the holistic development of children to let them discover the world around them. As a brand, this is something we would like to keep reminding parents of. With the information and products we offer, parents can let their children turn playtime to a time of learning while they #playforreal. ”

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During the event, I saw how Zeeka enjoyed active and sensory play. I saw her just dive into a pail of paint and just at creating a beautiful masterpiece with her hands (which we oftentimes see as just mess… haha!). I saw her play with water and I just let her be, even if she was soaking wet. Oftentimes, it is so hard for us parents to see all of these mess, but this is how our children will get to learn about the world around them. Monica Javier, a teacher who has worked with preschool children for more than ten years, says that active sensorial play help children prepare for bigger things ahead of them which is why it is encouraged to be integrated in early education. “More than fun and entertainment, play actually helps children to expand their knowledge about themselves, allows communication with others, develop new competencies that may prepare them for challenges of the bigger environment.”

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Make playtime more fun for your kids. Don’t worry about the mess. Don’t worry about the noise that they will make. Make your kids #playforreal so that they grow up to be inquisitive, creative, talented, confident and responsible citizens! To learn more about how you can do sensory play at home or in your school, visit