Monday, 25 April 2016

Pylones Philippines & Dolldalita Dollmaker: Doll-Making Workshop

Team Hernandez took a break from Playschool Hunting and Blogging this Sunday when we attended a dollmaking workshop at Pylones Philippines in PowerPlant Mall, Rockwell. Despite having zero-skills in sewing and dollmaking, I bravely signed up for the workshop sponsored by @Pylonesph and @dolldalitadollmaker. We simply wanted to take a break and bond as a family.

Besides, after IG-stalking @pylonesph and @dolldalitadollmaker, I knew Team Hernandez would enjoy the day! 

Everyone knows that Pylones is home the cutest and funkiest stuff imaginable. Pylones is the perfect place for this one-of-a-kind workshop. Their shop in Rockwell is cat-heaven for me already. (hint: this where you shop me a gift!). 
cats! cats everywhere! 

the cutest candy jar ever

@dolldalitadollmaker speaks for itself. The account and business, owned and managed by Mommy Jac, sells Waldorf-styled dolls. You can even ask her for custom-made stuffed dolls. Prices are very affordable, too! 

The event started at 2pm, and Pylones soon got filled with Mommies and Daddies with their daughters and surprisingly, their sons! I love how dolls aren't stereotyped as girls' toys anymore. 

Mommy Jac

Each family was given Mommy and Daughter patterns and sewing kit.

Little girls were supposed to help their Mommies by making the Daughter doll, but since Baby Charley was more interested in eating the stuff, looking a the cute displays at Pylones, and playing with the other babies, Boss 'Ayat ended up making the Daughter Doll instead.

Not that he was complaining cos he sews better than I did! 

Baby Charley holding the hair of the dolls 

Time for stuffing the dolls 

The legs are secured in place, thanks to Daddy 
After an hour and a half of "pretend" sewing and doll-making, the workshop ended, and we're very happy that Baby Charley got to take home two new dolls made by her Mommy and Daddy. 

The workshop really was a blast! Everyone present had fun sewing, making dolls, and bonding with each other. I believe besides the free Mommy and Daughter dolls and the newly discovered skills *ehem!*, what we loved more was the great opportunity to bond with each other as a family and a great kwentuhan topic in the future. 

Our finished Mommy & Baby dolls 
Our Mommy and Daughter dolls may not be close to perfection, but we're proud to tell Baby Charley in the future that Mommy and Daddy made them for her. 

Thank you @PylonesPh and @Dolldalitadollmaker for this awesome Sunday afternoon. 

You may check their websites and IG accounts for details. 

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Playworks Early Childhood Center

Playworks was one the playschools that first caught our attention during the Mommy Mundo Preschool Fair in BGC. Baby Charley was instantly smitten with Playworks' colorful displays, engaging activities, and really friendly teachers. These are why we're convinced we're considering Playworks for Charley's playschool.
Baby Charley during the PReschool Fair 
Plaworks is a play-based progressive program that is focused on responding to the children's interests to create meaningful learning experiences. Their activities are developmentally-appropriate that target different learning areas like physical development, social and emotional development, language and literacy, mathematics, discovery of the world, and art. 

All of their graduates enter the big schools of their choice like Assumption San Lo, Poveda, Xavier, Ateneo, La Salle, and other international schools.

My 16-month old baby's artwork
Sensory Play with balls and jell-o! May I say, the apron looks really cute!! 
Playworks has Young Toddler Classes (Babies and Toddlers) and Nursery Classes (Preschool). The students are grouped by age; hence the class schedules, activities, curriculum, and materials are all appropriate for the kids' age. Each class has a very low student-teacher ratio, and Mommies can be sure that their kids are well-attended. 

Young Toddlers Class
There are also summer classes, after-school activities like Galileo English and Math Enrichment Program, Twinkle Stars Ballet, Language Classes (Filipino and Foreign Languages), Arts & Crafts, Acrylic Painting, Sports, and IT Programmes.

What We Love About Playworks

* Developmentally-appropriate Activities
Because the kids are grouped according to their age, the activities, materials, schedules are tailor-fit for them. For example, in Charley's class (Young Toddler at the Purple Room), the kids have whole group activities like Circle Time and Story Time. These activities teach appropriate social skills like being part of a group or even learning how to share. 

Story time/Dancing Time with Teacher Gabby
Charley loves how these bells sound when she walks and stomps her foot
There are also small group activities and hands-on experiences where the children learn through play. I think because there are various small centers in the classroom, children can learn pre-reading, pre-math, and pre-science with the help of the teachers.

Charley building pipes while her classmate picks from the Science center 

Finally, there is also Free Play where the teachers work with the kids one-on-one or in small groups. 

Music Time
One of the many sensory activities 
* Low student:teacher ratio with well-trained teachers and staff 
Each class has very low student:teacher ratio. In fact, there are 2 teachers and 1 teacher-aide in each class. This way, Mommies can be confident to leave their kids in the classroom. 

Lessons are in English, but teachers also consider the vocabulary each child uses at home. There are different types of nationalities in each class, but the kids adjust well and non-native speakers even learn English from their teachers. 

Art time
Moreover, teachers receive a yearly training or workshop from Red Cross. Also, each room is cleaned and sanitized after each class, and toys are washed every week. However, mouthed toys are removed from the classroom right away to be disinfected. I find this very helpful especially during the flu season. 

A teacher-aide on the look out while the kids are playing 
* Safe, conducive environment
Each classroom is huge for the class, so our babies can crawl, walk, run, and jump more freely and more confidently. Learning materials are also strategically placed in the classroom, so the kids learn something wherever they look.

Snack Time
The play area is HUGE with toys of all kinds. There are cars and trucks (Charley's favourites), dolls, and soft baby gyms for everyone. 

There's also a diaper-changing station, a waiting area for the fetchers, and a bigger area with tables and chairs. 

Finally, the whole school is aircondtioned and has a security lock by the entrance. 

Fees, Schedule 
What we love more about Playworks is that it offers different types of class schedules. There are early morning classes, late morning classes, and afternoon classes, so Mommies can just choose which will fit their babies. Some students attend classes everyday, others 3x a week, while some 2x a week. Fees vary depending on the schedule and age of the child.

The following are the fees for the summer activities as of SY 2016 - 2017.  You may simply call, email, or visit Playworks for SY 2016 - 2017 tuition fees. Fees of children who will not be attending the whole school year (for example, students may attend 6 months of schooling only) will be pro-rated.

Location and Contacts 
Aguirre Campus
2/F Aguirre Building
108 HV Dela Costa St.
Salcedo Village, Makati City

Three Salcedo Campus
2/F Three Salcedo Place
123 Tordesillas St.
Salcedo Village, Makati
(Just across Jaime Velasquez Park; Look for UCPB; Near Coffee Bean)

Right across Jaime Velasquez Park

Baby Charley enjoyed all her activities at Playworks. She loves her teachers who are very friendly and accommodating, and she looks forward to her classes everyday. Mommies, Daddies (yes, Daddies!), and yayas whom I met there also have just good words for the playschool.

We also notice that Charley learns new words from the teachers and even applies at home what she has learnt in class. For example, she packs away her toys and sits down on the chair during meal time once you sing the songs she hears in class.

Indeed, Playworks Early Childhood Center is highly recommended as a playschool. 

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Playschools in the Metro 2016

Most big schools nowadays require their incoming Pre-K to attend at least 6 months of Nursery or Playschools, and I am one of those mommies who are having second thoughts about sending our babies (yes, babies!) to schools early. You can read about my thoughts about this here.

However, many mommies of the millennials, I would like Baby Charley to have a good foundation that will prepare for our target big school, and life in general. My roommate (my husband, btw) and I have had discussions on this and we're on the process of discerning whether or not to send Baby Charley to a playschool this school year.

I think Charley would benefit from early socialization and interaction with other kids her age while learning things we may not be able to teach her on our own. On the other hand, my roommate feels that Charley is just too young for school. Period.

We do acknowledge, however, that soon (or probably next year) Charley will be attending a playschool in preparation for our target big school. Here are some of our non-negotiables.

1. Location and schedule. 
As much as possible, the playschool should be in or near Makati or Taguig, so Charley won't get tired during her travel time.

Moreover, we also prefer playschools that are flexible in schedules. I know some schools offer a 5x, 3x, or 2x schedules for toddlers, and th
ese options are really important to us. Personally, our family prefers a twice a week schedule because it gives Charley enough time to rest.

2. Approach. 
Big schools and playschools follow different approaches in their curriculum - traditional, progressive, and montessori. You can read about those approaches here. The big school we're eyeing for Charley is an example of a traditional school; however, as much as possible we wish that her playschool should have a balance among the three approaches. I don't know how it's possible, but we have this notion that playschools should be fun for kids without sacrificing the essentials.

In our case, we just want Baby Charley to reach her milestones appropriate for her age and to be less sungit at home. Believe me, we have no plans of making her a Promil-baby! 

3. Teachers
Teachers can make or break a student, and are the strongest reasons why a student would like to attend school. One of the mommies I talked to had teachers on the top of her priorities for her daughter.

We're not looking for the best teacher ever. I believe Mommies simply want a teacher who loves and is passionate about what she's doing.

So far, here are some of the schools we have in mind. We're scheduling a visit to each of them, and I'll update you through my blog and future posts, Mommies, as soon as possible. For the mean time, I have provided a link to their websites and contact details so you can check on the schools, too.

1. PlayWorks Early Childhood Centre
2/F Three Salcedo Place
123 Tordesillas St., Salcedo Village, Makati

2.Colors and Shapes Learning Center
Ground Flr. Unit G8
Prince Plaza Condominium
106 Legazpi St., Makati City

3. 9th Avenue School 
M/F Active Fun Bldg., 9th AVe cor 28th Street
Bonficaio Global City, Taguig
(02) 856.1478

4. MindChamps International Pre-school 
Penthouse Level, Jecoprime Building
20th Drive, McKinley Business Park
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City

5. Summit School 
University Parkway cor 38th Drive
Bonifacio Global CIty
16 Sta Potenciana St. Urdaneta Village, Makati City

6. Little Archers Learning Center 
1012 Arnaiz Avenue
San Lorenzo Village, Makati
02.546.6059/ 0998.9928.229

Please let me know if you have other playschools in mind, too. Thank you, Mommies! :)