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You Have to See This Life-Sized Fishing Game a Pinay Pastor Made for Her Daughter
PHOTO BY courtesy of Bettina Ragsag
  • We are always amazed by moms who choose the DIY route for their kids, whether it’s planning a birthday party, designing costumes, creating playpens, or crafting tiny dollhouses. Not only does it show their ingenuity, but it’s also a testament to the things moms will do for their kids.

    Bettina L. Ragsag, 30, doesn’t consider herself a DIY mom, but she tried her hand at it when she realized she and her husband had been spending a lot of money on unused toys.

    “Last December, my husband and I visited our family’s ancestral house in the province, and I saw a big cabinet full of unused toys — some were almost brand new and some remained unopened. I saved a few for my daughter, but it made me realize that we needed to be wiser in spending our money,” Bettina shares with SmartParenting.com.ph in an email interview.

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    As a child, Bettina was used to having many toys. “My dad worked abroad almost all my life. Whenever he came home once or twice a year, we would always have a scheduled trip to Duty Free, and he would give us a bag to fill with all the toys we wanted,” she shares.

    The mom of one knew it was her dad’s way of showing his love and making them happy. But while she is forever grateful to her father, Bettina wanted her child to play with toys that would truly be beneficial to her development. Bettina began researching age-appropriate toys for her 2-year-old daughter, Shiloh, and decided she would only choose toys that boosted Shiloh's cognitive, physical, and social skills. She also tried creating these toys herself.

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    Easy and simple DIY activities for kids

    Bettina, who is a pastor for a Christian church in Batangas, worked on the activities during her spare time. She was motivated to complete the projects because she wanted to keep her toddler busy and avoid screen time. And it was all worth it because Shiloh “loved it so much!” the mom shared.

    First project: toddler activity table

    Using cutouts, Bettina made a "city" for her daughter. Additional toys like foam blocks and toy trucks completed the look!
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Bettina L. Ragsag


    • Table
    • Printouts
    • Scotch tape
    • Scissors
    • Plastic cover
    • Light and dark green Japanese paper

    TOTAL COST: Php450-550

    Bettina says you can use any table at home. In their case, they made use of a wooden table her grandfather fashioned out of scrap wood. For the printouts, she searched online for printable roads, houses, and trees. “Printing cost me around Php200,” she says. She then wrapped the printouts with a plastic cover to make it water-resistant.

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    Second project: life-sized fishing game

    We have to admit this life-sized fishing game makes us want to play, too!
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Bettina Ragsag


    • Tarpaulin printout
    • Printable fish cutouts
    • Arnis
    • Yarn
    • Magnet
    • Metal ring puncher
    • Glue stick

    Total cost: Php775

    Bettina's daughter, Shiloh, clearly loves playing 'catch the fish'!
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Bettina Ragsag

    Bettina downloaded the design of the mat online and printed it on a tarpaulin. She also searched for fish cutouts and had it printed and laminated at a computer shop. She stuck metal rings on the fish and fashioned a fishing rod using a magnet, yarn, and an Arnis bought in the market.

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    Choosing DIY over store-bought toys

    The materials are easy to find and the steps easy to do, so Bettina encourages other moms to try it out for their children. In fact, when she posted photos of the mat and table on a Facebook group, other moms were amazed and also chipped in their ideas.

    A helpful tip from another mom: print out a variety of backgrounds like a kitchen, forest, city, and Lego blocks that you can interchange for different days. It will make play time even more exciting!

    As for Bettina, she’s already planning her next DIY project — a kitchen set for her daughter. “Aside from the joy that I see in her face, I can say it’s really fulfilling seeing your child achieve her milestones because of the things you give her. It makes it all worth your time, effort, and money.”

    Are you also a DIY mom or dad? Share your creations with us in the comments, message us on Facebook Messenger or email us at smartparenting2013@gmail.com. We'd love to feature your story!

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