29 April 2015

Tuesdate at Little Tycoon Playhouse

Instead of buying Riley new toys, I wanted him to have new experiences in his young age. We are not exactly a rich family where we can afford to give him everything a child his age may want. But I will certainly try to expose him to the real world in  a way that his toddler mind can handle and understand. 

Immediately ran to the cars as soon as he stepped inside

With playhouses / playgrounds, he is able to experience interacting with kids and learning how to deal with different scenarios. Sharing is still hard for him but a gentle reminder of "Share your blessing!" is enough to make him want to share the toy or play space. He is also starting to converse with other people. 

Just yesterday in the playground, a kid accidentally stepped on his fingers. He immediately told me what happened and after he felt better, he started telling other kids that he hurt his fingers. It's funny because the other children are puzzled why Riley was telling them that information.

I've discovered this relatively new playhouse located at the 2nd floor of Westgate Center, Filinvest. The banners that I saw posted on the lamp posts in the area notified me that they just opened. If not for those, I don't think I would have known about them as that area is too far from the mall and not really noticeable. 

Wide play area

Variety of shops for the kids to choose from
Doorways are a tad small for adults but I can't complain as they are meant for the little ones

We dropped by on a weekday afternoon and since it's existence is almost unknown, Riley was the only one playing there! One hour play time fee is at P200 and you have to pay an additional P50 for the adult companion. Unlimited play time is at P400 which is not too bad. I hope in the future they will have an option for an additional 30 minutes play since if you exceeded the grace period of 5 minutes they will charge you automatically for another hour.

At the stage area, where he wanted to take home the balloons

Inside the cafe

Inside the Japanese restaurant

Riley served me a salad since I was on a diet!

At the salon checking out the hair cutting tools

Depositing the coins in the bank. He said he can finally buy Cra-Z-sand!

Inside the toy palace. It's scary to think how he will be able to reach the other toys without an adult present.
It was a well spent afternoon at the Little Tycoon Playhouse. Riley did not want to leave when his hour was up! I heard they also accept birthday party reservations as one customer was confirming her set-up while we were there.

We would definitely be back soon and hopefully more kids will flock this place so he can have playmates.

07 April 2015

Surviving a road trip with a toddler

Dazed and tired but still okay at the Bangui Wind Farm, Ilocos Norte

This year was our first Holy Week road trip as a family. Prior to our trip, I have done some research on how to prepare for the long journey with a toddler. Based on my experience, no matter how many useful information/guides you read, nothing comes close to actually experiencing it firsthand and learning from that.

Our adventure took us up north to Ilocos Sur, home to the Heritage Village of the Philippines--Vigan City. I have not been to this province and despite knowing that we will be having a 8-10 hour drive (which stretched to 20 hours because of the Visita Iglesia stopovers), I eagerly prepared for our getaway.

Here is my list to survive a road trip with a toddler:
  • A variety of snacks - I packed different kinds of biscuit and cookies that I know Riley likes. Much better if they are packed in small quantities so you can give it little by little. You don't want them to be so full till they puke on you while on the road.
  • Drink packs - Riley still drinks water and milk and since he seldom drinks the pre-packed ones, I let him have it on the trip.
  • Toy cars and coloring materials - He was given a 10 piece set of Matchbox cars as a present so we gave it to him during the trip. It was a great time-waster when he is not sleeping or eating. The coloring materials was not really used as much as the cars but it is better to have a back-up activity for him.
  • A small bag with necessities - Riley is not toilet-trained yet so we had a bag that only contains diapers, soap, wipes, powder and a change of clothes. This was a life-saver since you do not want to be rummaging your luggage every time the little one needs to go to the potty. 
  • A pillow - We brought along his small pillow so he can snuggle with a familiar thing and have a good rest.
  • Songs, videos and games - I loaded my phone with his favorite songs, videos, and games so he can have other things to keep busy with. And bring along a fully charged powerbank in case your battery needs more juice.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste - Call me a neat freak but I did not want Riley to have milk stains on his teeth.
  • Plastic bags - For vomits, dirty diapers and the amount of wrappers from all the snacks!
Sleeping like a log

And the most important thing to have in surviving a road trip with your little one is to have patience. Lots and lots of it. If you had a toddler that would not stop talking, singing or wiggling for hours, you would definitely feel like exploding and I almost lost it a few times. My secret? Chocolates and gummi bears. Lots of it! It helped keep me sane and relaxed enough to handle my energetic toddler.

Luckily, we survived with no tantrums and although my poor back is still sore from our travel, I would not hesitate to bring Riley for another road trip in the future.