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Play to Learn: FREE mini eBook!

kids activities free ebook play to learn

So how are you guys doing? We're a week into the coronavirus lockdown and with all the uncertainty and bad news going around, it's really been a stressful period so I want to spread a little joy especially to our little ones at home.

So the past few days, I've been working during the kids' nap and sleeping times creating a mini ebook with a week's worth of activities for toddlers and preschoolers.

All of these activities make use of everyday materials that hopefully you already have at home. The mini eBook is FREE to download for everyone. The link to download is here.

Here's an example of one of the activities you can find in the Play to Learn mini eBook:

I hope you will find this helpful and share it with others who need it. Let's all stay optimistic and playful! We can do this together!

Sensory Play

sensory bin play rainbow rice

When the twins turned 2, I discovered the magic and benefits of sensory play. Sensory play is any activity that stimulates any of the 5 senses: taste, smell, sound, touch, and sight. It's a great way for kids to learn because it allows them to actively use their senses and explore to understand the world around them. 

So why is sensory play beneficial for kids?
  1. Research shows that sensory play helps build cognitive skills which are important for problem solving. 
  2. It allows children to practice fine motor skills and increase coordination (squeezing, pinching, scooping, pouring, etc.).
  3. It helps in vocabulary building (Learn words to describe characteristics of objects: sticky, cold, wet, etc.).
  4. It inspires imagination and creativity when children come up with different ways to play. 
  5. It's FUN!!! Children really enjoy hands-on experiences. 

sensory bin rainbow rice play

For me, the easiest way to incorporate sensory play into the twins' activities is by creating sensory bins. It stimulates sight, touch, and sound all at the same time. The first sensory bin I made for the twins was super simple: just rice and and some spoons, cups and funnels. They spent about 55 minutes pouring and scooping and later on pretending to sell me some "rice juice." That's a long time for a two year old to stay focused on one thing.  They loved running the rice through their fingers, scooping up a handful of it and watching it drop, and even shaking it in a cup because it reminded them of the sound of rain. They even invented their own game: rice foot spa! They took turns pouring rice over each others' feet. Judging by their laughs, it sure sounded like a lot of fun. It was a total win for me! Who knew that a common household item like uncooked rice would be able to hold their attention for more than 30 minutes!?

Rice will always be a favourite sensory bin base for me but I've also started experimenting with different kinds of sensory bins each week. The most successful one to date is our bean scooping and pouring sensory bin which the twins played with for a total of 5 hours in one day! It was a playroom miracle! If you want to see our bean scooping bin (hehe that was kind of a tongue twister), head on over to Instagram and follow @startermama where I document the twins' sensory play activities.

sensory bin scoop pour beans

sensory bin scoop pour beans

sensory bin scoop pour beans

Jollibee Fast Food Pretend Play With The A Twins

Audrey and Antonino's love for Jollibee started about two months ago when they first saw a Jollibee statue at a mall. They both pointed to it and asked "Who's that?" Joey and I simply answered "That's Jollibee." then went about doing our usual errands. But since then, the twins' eyes would light up whenever they would see Jollibee's face on a billboard, sign or store front while we're out driving. In fact, during a recent road trip to Tagaytay, they entertained themselves by looking for Jollibee. Kind of like the usual find the red car game. They had a blast shouting "There's a Jollibee on my side" whenever they saw Jollibee and Bye Jollibee!" when they could no longer see him.

Then, about two weeks ago, the twins started getting very picky about their food. After almost a week of mealtime struggles, my mom (aka LaMom) suggested we order in some Chickenjoy for lunch as their weekly treat since they love crunchy food - tempura, fish and chips, and corn flakes. I wasn't so sure about it at first because you know how toddlers are when you try to introduce new food to them. We're at the terrible terrific two's stage. But, long story short, we ended up calling Jollibee Delivery at around 11:30AM. Well, my mom was right (Isn't that funny about moms?) - they loved it! They ate one piece of chicken each, no questions asked, and they declared that they "love so many deliveries."

So last weekend, we took them to Jollibee for their first in store experience. They ordered their kiddie meals, ate Chickenjoy, and even got the free toys! Then I had another treat for them back home...

Disclaimer, I'm not a DIY mom, not even close, but armed with Google Images, a printer, and a bit of glue, I repurposed their play kitchen into a Jollibee counter. I made a sign and menu board then added their cash register and some of their existing food toys which matched the Jollibee menu. LaMom also saved and framed the takeout menu as an extra prop. Watch the video above to see the twins at work. My non-DIY mommy heart is full. Watch until the end to see how much they love Jollibee!

Hope you enjoy watching this week's video and check out the other videos in our channel too! We'd really love it if you subscribe, share, and give our video likes!

Being Financially Prepared For Twins

Two Sundays ago, I had a super fun time sharing twin parenting stories with fellow twin moms Fran Ang, Dr. Kristen Cruz and Raquel Borja-Chua at Mommy Mundo World for The Asian Parent's talk called Twinterested! Expecting and Raising Twins.

Twin Parenting Talk at Mommy Mundo World

mommy mundo twin parenting talk

When Fran (Frannywany) messaged me one night on Instagram if I could join her on stage at Mommy Mundo World for The Asian Parent's talk about raising and expecting twins, I said yes right away. OK, she sent the message at night and I was only able see it the following morning. Yikes sorry! The twins took forever to fall asleep so I wasn't able to get any me time (aka browsing Instagram and watching Youtube videos) that night. So I said yes the moment I read her message at around 6AM the next day. Luckily she was also awake. Of course she would be. She's also a mom of twins! We always have to wake up way ahead of everyone at home or else all our activities for the rest of the day will be delayed by 30 minutes each. Hehe!

Conversations with Two-Year-Olds

conversations with two year old twin toddlers

Audrey and Antonino have been talking up a storm and I just find some of their statements so funny. For example...

What The Stock: Maternity Fashion According To Stock Photos

maternity fashion funny stock photos
Maternity clothes don't have to be drab. We've seen plenty of great pregnancy looks from Kate Middleton, Miranda Kerr and Meghan Markle to mention a few. But if you look at pregnant women in stock photos, you'll see that all they wear are crop tops! Check out the stock photos below to see how pregnant women style their baby bumps.