Aki's Preschool Years · Learning Through Play

S-teda, Sparkly Spit and Aki’s Other Inventions

This was taken this morning. Isn’t Aki the cutest inventor?

Speaking of his inventions, here are some of his latest creations

The Spy Goggles


The Amazing Gun. Not to be confused with the Powerful Gun.
Who wants a ride on the Disappear Horse?
Another gun whose official name I have forgotten. I don’t feel guilty because he comes up with a new gun invention every 6 hours. How the heck can I track all the names?!

This is S-teda, the talking paper face. Continue reading “S-teda, Sparkly Spit and Aki’s Other Inventions”

Aki's Preschool Years · Learning Through Play · Memoirs of a Mummy

Reading 101

If you have been reading this blog for some time, you’d know that reading is a favorite bonding activity in our family. I have been reading books to Aki since he was 2 months old. At first, he was only interested in chewing the pages but in a few months, he grew more interested in the pictures and the stories. When Aki was a baby, reading to him relaxed him and set the mood for a good night sleep. When he was a young toddler who was not talking yet unlike his peers, reading books about animals and the sounds that they make, inspired him to copy the sounds. As he grew older, reading to Aki made him more and more imaginative and creative. Now as a preschooler, Aki wants to read the books by himself.

When he started identifying the the beginning sounds and the beginning letter of words correctly (I did not teach him this by the way. Special thanks to Aki’s teachers in his toddler class),I took that as a sign that he is ready to learn to read.

I re-read my Guess Who is Talking Now book. This book suggested that we start with Dolch words.  I initially wanted to teach Aki how to read syllables and later on how to string them together. However, English is much more complicated compared to Filipino. So many rules to memorize and there are so many exemptions. So, Dolch it is for us.


Here is how I teach him how to memorize the pronunciation of words

Every  2-4 days, I introduce him to 2-4 new words. I write the words in yellow stock paper. I use small caps since most of the words that he will need to read are not in capital letters. First, I read to the word. Then, I ask him to spell the words. Next, he traces the letters in the air. Sometimes, I give him some clues like “no” plus “t” is “not”. Lastly, my favorite part is asking Aki to use the new words in a sentence. See the list of his funny sentences here. To make learning fun, aside from Dolch words, Aki learns a new word of his choice. Some of the words that he chose are dragon, dinosaur, Mommy, minion and  Whispering Death.

Every day, we set aside some 10 minutes to review. When we review, he reads the words on my DIY flashcards, If he reads correctly, he gets to “save” the flashcard which means I put the word back in our pouch. At the end of the review, we re-read the words that he missed to read correctly. To add a fun twist, sometimes I flash the cards upside down. This never fails to make Aki giggle. Also, instead of flashing the cards, I sometimes ask Aki to close his eyes as he picks a card. I also noticed that Aki likes to be constantly moving when he is learning. Maybe that’s why he hates writing. When we are reviewing, he is on his car, he running or he’s jumping on the sofa. It used to irritate me but I realized that is how I can keep him interested.


On weekends, I try to come up with games related to reading. I blogged about the treasure hunt, here.

We had a reading/bowling game recently. Here, he knocked a cup and had to read the word in the cup. If he read the words right, he gets to save the word. Continue reading “Reading 101”

1001 Things To Do · Aki's Preschool Years · Learning Through Play

A Minion Treasure Hunt

Did you get bitten by the minion bug? I am not a regular in McDonald’s and I definitely do not want a kid who drags his parents to get the latest Happy Meal toy. Suddenly, because of this minion craze, I found myself eating in McDo 3 times in one day. Franco and I also started having more drive thru meals after work. All because of those cute minion toys.

And to celebrate Aki’s mastery of the pre-primer Dolch sight words, we had a little game that involved minions.  A treasure hunt! What could be more fun?  I scattered the newly bought minions and put clues using the words that Aki can already read. It took a lot of self-control not to give the minions immediately. I knew very well how happy he would be to have new minion toys. Imagine, we got the toys on a Tuesday and our game was scheduled the next Saturday because Franco wanted to be part of the event.  The excitement almost killed me!

Ready, get set, go…

1pagehis first treasure


Although he knew all the words, Aki got stumped at this clue because the sentence was long. He was very happy though when he found a minion at the bottom of his basket of dino toys.


More clues

5page Continue reading “A Minion Treasure Hunt”

Aki's Preschool Years · Food · Learning Through Play · Memoirs of a Mummy

Buttered Corn ala Aki

Good morning!
My name is Aki. I like taking pictures of myself when my mother is not looking.


Welcome to my cooking show, Cooking with Aki and Cleaning up with Mommy.

For my first dish, I will show y’all how to make one of my favorite veggie dishes, buttered corn.

First, put several tablespoons of corn kernels in your favorite pan. Special thanks to my Lola Ming for getting a cute pan that is just the right size for me. Now, add water.


Ask an adult to turn on the stove. Because my arms are not long enough for me to hold both the handle and the laddle without getting really close to the fire, my sous chef, Ate Doring was there to help. That way, I can focus on what I like best which is mix-y mix-y mixing.


Let simmer for a minute or two. Add a tablespoon of butter or margarine. Mix well until the butter is completely melted.

Taste testing. Don’t forget to blow so you don’t burn your tongue.


Transfer the corn kernels and the “soup” to your favorite bowl.


Continue reading “Buttered Corn ala Aki”

Aki's Preschool Years · Akisms · Learning Through Play · Memoirs of a Mummy

Akisms: Use ______ in a Sentence

Had I known that teaching Aki how to read would be this much fun, I would had started months ago.


To reinforce the words that we study, I ask Aki to use them in a sentence. Here are some of his answers.

Me: Use I in a sentence
Aki: I want to be a minion!

Me: Use AND in a sentence
Aki: Mom and Dad is cousins.

Continue reading “Akisms: Use ______ in a Sentence”

Aki's Toddler Years · Learning Through Play · Memoirs of a Mummy

Save-the-Caterpillars Project

Aki and I made an important discovery about caterpillars recently. They don’t start as little green creatures. Instead, they are dark brown and white when they hatch. All this time, I thought this furry thing was insect poop.


Imagine how amazed we were when we inspected our calamansi plants an hour after. The brown thing became a cute green caterpillar!

Because of this discovery, Aki and I started a project. We call this project “Save the Caterpillars” Project. Remember how the birds attacked the caterpillars in our garden? That was quite traumatic so we want to be heroes by saving them. Basically, we inspect the calamansi plant in the garden for baby caterpillars and transfer them to the plant in our mini backyard which is not frequently visited by hungry birds. This way, we increase the fighting chance of these little critters to become a beautiful butterfly.


Since we started this project, we have seen 3 opened cocoons. In two instances, there was a butterfly beside the cocoon. I want to think that we just missed the grand cocoon opening by minutes. Continue reading “Save-the-Caterpillars Project”

Aki's Toddler Years · Learning Through Play · Memoirs of a Mummy

First Day on the Job

I took a leave yesterday because


May 27 is Aki’s first day in his first job! Ever! My boy is part of the McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Workshop 2013.

Every summer, several fast food chains in the metro offer workshops for children. I inquired with three. There is Friday’s but there is no branch close to our place. Jollibee was my first choice because the closest branch is just a 10 minute walk from our house. Plus, they have drive-thru. Wouldn’t it be cool to see your kid hand you your order via the drive thru window? Unfortunately, we were not available during the workshop days and they only have one run. I went to the closest branch at least 3 times but they kept telling me they are still waiting for word from their head office if they will run the workshop again. Lucky me, there is McDonalds and they have 8 schedules for the workshop. The fee is very minimal at 550 only. That already includes the shirt, cap, bag, daily snacks and materials.

Aside from the fact that there is no way I am going to miss watching Aki work, I took a leave because I want to personally make sure that Aki is clear on the rules, rules that the facilitator will not tell him.

Rule # 1. No nose-picking! I reiterated this to him several times. Hehe. Side story: we were invited to a kiddie birthday party in Makati Shangrila early this month. It was my first time to attend an event there. Flooch, the same talented guy who made Aki’s first birthday party a success was the host. Every minute he was holding the mic was fun except for one instance. Aki joined one of the games and went to the stage. He was wearing his traffic enforcer costume, which by the way, did not win the best costume award (yes, I am bitter. haha). Suddenly, I wanted to hide under a rock. Standing on the stage, in front of everybody, mostly senior managers and directors from our company, Aki started to pick his nose in what felt like 30 minutes. Probably it was only for 10 seconds but it felt like eternity to me. Oh well, that is rule number 1.

Rule # 2. You can’t suddenly (pretend to) fall asleep. Like what he always does to me, when he does not like what he is being asked to do.


Rule # 3. You can not transform into a dinosaur and roar at the customers.

When we got there, Aki was immediately at home. He was the smallest but he made friends right away. Kuya Iann, the facilitator asked us, stage mommies, daddies and lolas to leave the function area. That did not stop me from peeking. From the glass door, I saw Aki  listening, laughing and participating.


After the 20 minute discussion came the most awaited part of the parents. Kids were assigned to different stations.

Aki’s first task was to place burgers inside a plastic bag. He did it well and he did it with a big smile.


When it was his turn at the counter, I was the first in line. I ordered for a small McFlurry cup which he made with the help of Ate Hanny.


Continue reading “First Day on the Job”

Learning Through Play · Memoirs of a Mummy

Vet for a Day

Last weekend, Aki accidentally hurt a butterfly. I know it was an accident because he was only trying to show it the way out of our house. I told Aki that to show that he is really sorry, he needs to be a veterinary for a day. I asked him what sick animals need. He said they need food. I remembered from our trip to Lost Eden that butterflies like watermelon slices which we had in the ref.

We placed the injured butterfly on top of the watermelon cube and watched it feed. Aki sang for the butterfly and played sleepy music.

Continue reading “Vet for a Day”

Family Field Trips · Learning Through Play · Memoirs of a Mummy · Photoshoots · Playdates

Playdate at the Fun Farm at Santa Elena

When we went to the Fun Farm last August, we went with friends. We were with the families of Faye of Chronicles of Maia, Rachel of Mommy Mama Rat and Erlaine of Glamma Momma. I think the reason why our pictures turned out so well is because we genuinely had great time at the Fun Farm. Going there is a such a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of city living. How I wish there is a nearby farm here in Paranaque.

Some of the things that we did

Carabao Caritela ride. As you can see in the pictures, only the mommies enjoyed this part of the trip. Hehe. This is one of the first things we did together. The kids were still warming up to the place and to each other.

Horseback riding

Fishing. I so looked forward to this because Aki has not tried fishing before. All the little fishies were returned to the pond by the way.

Potluck lunch. We had peanut butter sandwishes, fresh fruits, barbeque and Spanish sardines pasta. I finally got to use the colorful plates, utensils, bowls and cups from Ikea. My tita got them on sale, 1 pound or 60 pesos for a pack of six items (bowls, plates and cups).

Boat ride in the mini pond.

Animal feeding. We fed the fish, ducks, rabbits and guinea pigs.

Indoor playground and sandbox.

Rope Crossing.

This is one of my absolute favorite shots of the day. I want to have a girl! Continue reading “Playdate at the Fun Farm at Santa Elena”