Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bust your child's boredom

"Bust your child’s boredom"
Sun.Star Davao, Aug. 15, 2009

One Saturday morning, preschool teacher Lani Castillo-Concepcion overheard this conversation between her sister Lea and her 10-year old daughter Mishra.

“Mommy, anong gagawin ko?”, Mishra asked. Lea replied, “Mag-computer ka muna or maglaro ng DS Lite”.

After a few hours, Mishra came back to Lea and asked again, “Mommy, anong gagawin ko?”.

“That day alone, my niece asked my sister three or four times as to what she was going to do. What does this scenario shows us? She is bored. She has nothing to do”, says Lani.

“If she was given exciting kiddie activities, Mishra will not be asking a lot about what she is going to do”, observes Lani.

Knowing that this predicament is quite common with young kids, Lani recently conducted a make and take workshop for parents on how to “Bust your Child’s Boredom”.

Learning with Lani

Lani is a graduate of Humanities with a field of specialization in Education from the Center for Research and Communication (now University of Asia and the Pacific).

The 36-year old Dabawenya has taught previously in PAREF-Rosefield School, Quezon City; Childstart International, BF Homes, Paranaque; and Blessed Elena Academy, Pasay City. From 2002-2007, she worked as a pre-kindergarten teacher at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.

In 2007, Lani returned to Davao City where she opened KidzWonder Play Center.

“I can teach elementary grades but I concentrated on early childhood education for 3-5 years old. I have also attended trainings on Sensory Integration (a neurological process of organizing sensations), multiple intelligences, and Zoo Phonics – a kinesthetic program for language arts”, explains Lani.

In her 16 years of teaching, Lani always emphasizes hands-on experiences because she believes there are many ways for children to learn. Her forte is on beginning reading (particularly with Zoo Phonics – check, science as well as arts and crafts.

Inspiring activities
“Most of the activities that I introduced during the workshop have been tested by Family Fun. With these projects and activities, I hope to keep boredom away”, Lani enthuses.

Here are some basic tips for inspiring activity (quoted from Family Fun):

1. Post a list of your favorite boredom busters by doing a boredom bottle or a checklist. You may create a box of activity cards through the use of index cards and put in activities to address the different critical thinking aspects such as knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

2. Create fun zones. Set up places in the house for your kids to go to when they are bored or need something to do. Have a designated table where they can work on activities and without having to clean up every time. Have some books ready for them to read too.

3. Be spontaneous. That surprise factor can keep you child excited and entertained. Choose an activity that is out of the ordinary like mixing up a batch of washable paint or face paint.

4. Have a few tricks up your sleeve. There will be time when your child will need to stay longer at home like when they are sick. You may want to have a handful of extra special activities planned. Have a box of supplies for special projects.

“There will be days where a ball or a set of building blocks can keep your child busy. There will be times when even after letting your child play with all the toys or read his/her favorite books, boredom will sink in”, Lani warns.

The solution? Keep a good supply of versatile toys and materials.

“Bear in mind that we don’t want you buying stuff. Use what you have at home. If you have the budget, spend for more materials to be used for arts and crafts. We want to inspire imaginative play. We want to encourage pretend play”, Lani encourages.

Boredom buster activities

For the “Bust Your Child’s Boredom” workshop, Lani taught some of these boredom buster activities to the participants:

Boredom Bottle. Materials: plastic bottle, pieces of plain paper/colored paper, stickers and ribbons. Decorate your bottle with stickers, sequins etc. (preferably ones that you can easily stick to the bottle). In the pieces of paper, write down the boredom busters you want to use. Crumple them or fold whichever you want as long as it can get in and out of the bottle. Tie a ribbon or tie twist.

Wind Bags. Tie together the handles of a plastic shopping bag with the end of a ball of string. Staple a few 2 foot length of ribbon to the bottom of the bag for kite tails. Do this for outdoor activity.

Salt Paint. Ingredients: 1/3 cup salt, ¼ tsp food coloring. Spread in pan to dry before putting in shakers. To mix the salt and coloring faster, put them in a zipper bag. Store the salt paint.

Feelie Bags. Materials: Hair gel, food coloring (if needed for the clear gel) zipper bag. Add food coloring and gel into zipper bag. Seal it well and let children manipulate. For add-ons: Put glitter, sequins or small items the size of coins.

Shape Pasting. Cut out shapes (for variety you can cut out pictures from magazines), glue and paper. Put glue on paper and paste the shape/picture from magazine of choice.

Play Dough Recipe (uncooked): Ingredients: 3 cups flour, 2 tbsp. cornstarch, 1 cup salt (preferably rock salt), 1 cup cold water, 2 tsp. vegetable oil, food coloring. Mix the water, salt, oil and food coloring of your choice. Gradually add flour and cornstarch in until the consistency of bread dough.

With these stimulating activities, your kids can say ‘bye bye to boredom’!

KidzWonder Play Center is located at #33 Diamond Village Phase II, Angliongto Ave, Davao City. KidzWonder is accepting children for the Play School Program (3 to 5 years old) and Child Care Services (3 to 6 years old). For inquires, please call 3018057 or visit

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