Summer break is right around the corner! You may have already considered enrolling your child in a summer program but use this season as an opportunity to make meaningful memories with her as well. Inspired by wonderful ideas from the book 1,001 Ways to Live Wild: A Little Book for Everyday Adventures by Barbara Ann Kipfer (P799 at National Book Store), here’s a list of what you can do with your child (it doesn't require a big budget):
1. Put on a concert. Do your little ones love to sing and dance? Plan out a full-on show at home! The first thing you need to do, of course, is to make a list of songs she’s going to perform. Singing along to the recorded track is great, and a cappella works fine too.
Then, pick a spot in the house where you want the stage to be. Set it up by making a banner with her name, arranging lights (bring out the lamps and flashlights!), blowing balloons, and cutting up streamers and confetti. Don’t forget to make a poster for the event with the date, time and place of the concert. Distribute to members of the household so they can watch the show!
2. Meet new furry friends.
Whether you’re planning to adopt a furry buddy or not, visitors are welcome to pet and play with the animals at a pet shelter. In Metro Manila, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in Quezon City rescue, take care and put up animals for adoption. They’re more than happy for you and your child to spend a day with their pups and kitties.
Before going, you can check out their website and Facebook page to get to know a little bit about their animals. You’ll find cute profiles and descriptions of wide-eyed creatures for adoption. Pick a favorite and meet them in person at the shelter! Call the shelter in advance if there’s any additional info you want to know (including what dog and cat treats to bring!) Consider donating to the good cause as well.
3. Do the gadget-free challenge. Can you and your child survive a whole day without screens? Then take on the challenge! Instead of spending hours on end glued to gadgets (peaks are allowed), think of up games and activities you can do together. Yes, there’s board games and playing cards but there’s a whole lot of other things as well.
Cool off from the heat and wash the car. Teach your child kitchen skills and make afternoon snacks (we’ve got recipes here). Create a scavenger hunt list for things found inside the house. See who finds the most things beginning with the letter A, for example. The possibilities are endless! 4. Scavenge for books at the library.
What better way to raise a reader than spending a day surrounded by books. Libraries are open and free sources that we don’t take enough advantage of in our daily lives. Show your child that reading is a worthwhile and fulfilling interest by allotting a day just for book hunting. Peak your child’s interest by looking for exciting adventure and picture books at the nearest bookstore or library. Books aren’t just educational; they’re fun too!
There are several public libraries in Metro Manila. Right off the bat, here are 10 superb ones, as recommended by Spot.ph. But, the one we love right now is the recently renovated Quezon City Public Library. They have a children’s area (complete with bean bags!) that’s perfect for getting your little lost for a whole afternoon inside a story. It also has its café where you can eat and drink while enjoying a book together -- a children’s encyclopedia with cookies and iced tea, perhaps? And, if you need to look something up, the library has free Wi-Fi. 5. Go on a nature walk.
When was the last time you got away from the hustle of the city to the tranquil embrace of nature? Now, when was the last time your child visited a park? A nature walk will do the both of you some good. You’ll enjoy the peace and quiet, and your child will get to appreciate nature. Options for fantastic parks include the La Mesa Eco Park and the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center (seen in the photo above). The latter is the home of the only Philippine Eagle in Metro Manila. It’s worth a visit if you haven’t seen one in person!
Don’t come unprepared, though. The books above showcase a variety of plant and animal wildlife in the Philippines, make great walk companions. See if you can spot a few of them on your nature walk! Find the A First Look At... series from Tahanan Books (P350 each or P150 in soft cover versions) in bookstores or online at Pumplepie.com.