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  • My Daughter, Who Has Been Obsessed With Road Signs, Could Not Get Enough of This Park

    Do you know about MMDA Children’s Road Safety Park?
    by Din Real Bautista .
  • The author and her daughter
    PHOTO BY Beejay Bautista

    This toddler stage has been really amazing so far. Every day, our daughter is learning new things, and we’re pleased to witness how she gets excited with new discoveries.

    Last February, our little family went on a trip to Bohol to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary. A friend asked if we would bring Monica, and I said YES. Our anniversary has become a reason to have a getaway at least once a year and to let Monica experience traveling even this early.

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    Toddler obsession

    This trip's reward, so to speak, was seeing Monica develop an intense interest in signages and symbols at the airport — she couldn’t get over them. Since our trip, she became fascinated so much that would ask about each and every sign she saw, even the warning sign in her book and toys. Whenever we are out, Monica would point on the No Parking, No Left Turn, No Right Turn, even No Smoking signs. Needless to say, she has memorized almost all public road and traffic signs.

    Here’s Monica reciting some signages:

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    Welcome to the MMDA Children’s Road Safety Park

    So imagine my amazement when we came across the MMDA Children’s Road Safety Park in Manila, which teaches kids about public and road safety. The park has set up what one is likely to see on the road except it's all made in size perfect for a toddler.

    Although the park opens at 9 a.m., the park's staff let us in at 8:30 a.m. They initially thought we just settled for the park because Manila Zoo, which was across the street, was closed for renovation. When I told them, “Dito po talaga ang punta naming kasi gusto ng anak ko ng signs,” they had a surprised look on their faces. There was my baby girl, all 2 years and 8 months old, was holding her “sign book” and was looking so mesmerized with the place already.

    The park itself is only small but covers the road signs and symbols we would see outside. You can bring your child's bicycle or car.
    PHOTO BY Beejay Bautista
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    We had fun walking across the street when the light turned green, and we stopped when it became red. Monica now knows she shouldn’t cross when it’s red.
    PHOTO BY Beejay Bautista
    Do you know what this sign says?
    PHOTO BY Beejay Bautista
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    (While the park has trees, we recommend bringing an umbrella, water, caps, mosquito repellent, and a fan!) 

    I guess our daughter has a strong inclination to anything moving or anything related to transportation. (Last time, I shared her story of wanting to play with cars and trucks in "Please Stop Saying 'Panlalaki Yan' to My Daughter Who Loves Cars and Trucks"). It’s amazing how a toddler’s interests are formed, and whenever our daughter likes something, she will really spend a lot of time learning and playing. As parents, we just follow her lead. We provide her with toys that enhance the interest further. We expose her and share her joy. It has done a great job in expanding not just her vocabulary but also widens what she knows. 

    As this SmartParenting.com.ph article, "Your Child Can't Stop Talking About Her Favorite Thing. Embrace It for Her Brain's Sake," points out, “A child who is encouraged to pursue her interests is also given a valuable opportunity to improve her skills in language and creative thinking, which can help immensely in building her ability to solve problems and navigate social situations. Eventually, when she feels like she has already mastered that topic, she gets a sense of confidence within herself, which may lead to her feeling even more motivated to explore the world around her.”

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    We also love that we learn with her. To be honest, I only know half of the public signages, but I didn’t have any choice but be in “it” too just so I can answer all her questions. At her age, she probably knows more signs than most adults (like me lol).

    As I always say, I love learning with her. I never thought these are the things that would spark her imagination. It’s so exciting to be still observing about signs and talk about it! But an excellent way to teach them young, right?

    Children’s Road Safety Park is located at M. Adriatico Street corner Quirino Avenue, Malate, Manila (in front of Manila Zoo) and operated by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA). Park hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun-Tues & Thurs-Sat (Closed on Wednesdays)

    Din Real Bautista is a proud full-time homemaker. Most of the time, she’s busy raising a kind-hearted and healthy human being named Monica together with the most amazing husband, Beejay. And the rest of her time, she’s making sure her life is better outside social media.

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