Category Archives: Activities

Boat ala Crib

child’s play manila has moved to its permanent home!

This was definitely one of the more memorable storage days I’ve had.

Every 6 months or so we have to place my daughter’s outgrown clothes into storage. It has become more challenging since she has some sentimental favorites– graphic towels and tees, jelly shoes, fuzzy socks. I know better than to pick that battle and just let her be.

We unearthed a box that came with an Ipod speaker and inspired by such blogs as No Time for Flashcards, brainstormed a bit on what we could do with it. She immediately sat inside it and decided to make a boat.

Click here and find out what our boat looks like!


Echo Mode

child’s play manila has moved to its permanent home!

Me: Are you a baby or big girl?

Daughter: Big girl!

Me: Are you big girl or baby?

Daughter: Baby!

She’s right. When she doesn’t get what she wants, she can cry like a baby but turns the tears on and off like a big girl, a future Dakota Fanning.

My toddler has been in echo mode for the past 2 weeks. You know, repeating the last word I say to make it appear like we’re having a conversation– nothing too different from attending a boring cocktail party for work.

Click here for more echo conversations.

Road Trip

child’s play manila has moved to its permanent home!

Find out what your child can learn from a road trip. Click here!

The World as She Knows It

child’s play manila has moved to its permanent home!

Continuing the series on child x-ray vision and getting to know your toddler from the inside.

When your toddler seems to be breaking things left and right remember this: Toddlers are rookies in life. They don’t know any better.

Do you remember moving into your first home? Everything seemed perfect when you found it, inspected it and renovated it. And then you lived in it. Totally different story.

Click here to find out how similar you and your toddler are afterall.

Down to some REAL business

Child’s Play Manila has moved to its permanent home! Come visit!

…More tricks for those tired days!

What do you do with business cards that have nothing to do with your job?  I’m talking about the cards for restaurants, galleries, exhibits, and stores. Why do you pick one up and where do you keep them? I keep these kind of business cards if they’re pretty and for the ” just in case” scenarios (i.e. just in case I win the lottery and remember that I have the card of those things I didn’t need but suddenly do need now).  Well just in case never happens *ahem*  hasn’t happened yet. But in the mean time,  my daughter is putting those cards to good use.

Click here to see what you can do with business cards once you turn on your child vision!

Child Vision…Activate!

So you’re tired from work, from your day, from your life. You come home to your bouncing toddler and she wants to play while you just want to cuddle. She’s sick of her toys and you don’t feel like doing crafts, don’t feel like inventing a story– don’t really feel like thinking period. But she’s pleading for attention and you want to deliver.

What do you do?

Child Vision… ACTIVATE! Look at your house with the eyes of your child and you’ll find easy ways to make your time with her the most memorable part of your day.

Now let’s a take a look around the house shall we?

1. You see:  a bag of your stuff

Hand bag

It's not just a bag...

She sees:  forbidden treasure

Bag of your stuff

It's a treasure chest!

Anything of yours is extremely interesting to your child. And if your stuff is off limits then take a second and remember the high of scoring alcohol using a fake ID. THAT’S how she feels when she accesses your forbidden stuff.  So why not give her a free pass? My daughter is a make-up fan so she immediately seeks the kikay kit in my handbag (and her grandmothers). Other ideas: let her explore your gym bag, your laptop bag (sans laptop). When my daughter is tired of my handbag, she tries to sneak into her dad’s gym bag and likes to handle..hmmm… his kikay kit.

2. You see: toy containers

Go kart equipment

These are multi-functional...

She sees: go-karts


If she fits into anything, all you have to do is push. You will never see or hear such PURE  JOY in your home. And for that you will summon up the energy to push and push..and push again.

3. You see: bath basin / bath tub

Not just a bath basin

This is not just a bath basin...

She sees: swimming pool

pool toys

Swimming is like taking a bath or taking a bath is like swimming:)

She loves the pool why not re-create it when she takes a bath? It took me 22 months to figure this out. My daughter is so much easier to bathe now that we added her favorite pail and a random funnel to the mix. She just loves pouring away and has even more fun with no bathing suit in the way. Now she whines when the bath is ending rather than the beginning.

4. You see: parenting magazine

not just for parents

Smart Parenting is not just for parents...

She sees: kiddie catalog

Smart Parenting is for kids too

Smart Parenting is for kids too!

Fortunately, magazines are laid out so nicely that they’re attractive to children as well. Case in point: the August 2010 issue of Smart Parenting. Let her leaf through the magazines and you can talk about what you see. In our case, she pointed out everything she recognized and even associated them with her friends. All I had to do was seriously pay attention and interpret her toddler accented English. (“I” sounds like “E”, can’t say “O” unless it’s “No” that kind of thing)

5. You see:  curtain

The curtain has feet

Curtains aren't just for blocking out the light

She sees: peek a boo

My curtain came with a kid!

They're for tiring out your kids!.. and laughing and surprising and watching the news.

This is especially useful when you’re aching to lie down and take a breather.  I also find that pretending I can’t see her  works as well. Plus, it’s the easiest way to catch the news on TV. When she uses the curtain for the peek a boo action, I super exaggerate my surprised reaction so she’s goaded to peek a boo more and is doubly surprised, doubly giddy and doubly tired.

Ok you got me. Activating child vision is tiring –more for you than your child. That’s what happens when you allow yourself to see your home as a playground. Endless possibilities! So you’re more tired and try to come up with ways to get your child to go to bed earlier. Hey if you played hard, you definitely bonded harder. If you ask me falling asleep with your child is one of the great last acts to your  day.

What have you discovered with your child vision?


My daughter has acquired the new habit of returning things to its rightful owner. She sees her dad’s glasses in the hall way bookcase, she knocks on the door of his bathroom to return them. She finds my bag, messes around with my stuff and returns individual items to me with a proud smile  (ingenious tactic on her part).  Of course, if I’m really looking for my hair  brush, she just says “No more” (i.e. “I don’t know. I don’t remember, I don’t want to) and I find it DEEP inside her closet. Ok, so she’s selective about what she returns. She’s ONE.

So she chanced upon a piece of mail with the London Business School (LBS)  logo last night. She grabbed it and handed it to her dad. He then instructed her to find everything else in the house with the same logo. She’s ONE, right? Well she ran down to our room, turned on the lights, opened the closet and rummaged through my husband’s hat collection. She delivered 2 caps (yes, he has two caps that look exactly the same).  And she wasn’t done. She proceeded to the kitchen and reached for the LBS sports bottle (yes, he IS a huge fan of his alma mater),


London Business School FOREVER

London Business School FOR-EVER!

 London Business School, are you reading this? I say give all your alums free stuff so their kids have LBS engraved in their  little minds. Future applicant, future recruiter,  and  brand loyalist right here!

Does your child have an affinity for a brand? Challenge him to find everything related to it and prepare to get your socks knocked off.

Have an awesome weekend!