Meet “Jepoy Dyip” – An Exclusive Giveaway



Si Jepoy Dyip is the brand new 6-book series by our favorite Filipino author and illustrator, Jomike Tejido. The first time I saw Jepoy through an advanced digital copy (Thanks, Jomike!), I literally shrieked with delight. Jomike has truly outdone himself with the concept, storyline, and illustrations of these books.

My first thought: how lucky are the kids who will get to know Jepoy Dyip!


What is it about?

The books are about Jepoy and his adventures in the busy streets of the town of Pag-asa. The first book, which will be officially launched today at the  National Children’s Book Day celebration in Museong Pambata, is about how Jepoy finds his own niche amidst the many vehicles plying his town.

Children will feel for Jepoy as he encounters failures, and they will surely cheer for him as he eventually becomes the town hero.

Aside from the bright illustrations, children will love that each story comes with a toy. Jomike, who also happens to be the creator of Foldabots, includes 3D paper crafts in each book so you can make your own town scene featuring Jepoy and his friends.

Don’t worry, craft-challenged moms and dads, there is a YouTube channel that shows you how to build the toys. Re-enact the entire Jepoy series or, even better, spark your child’s creative juices by letting him tell his own Jepoy stories!



What I love most about the entire series, however, is its depiction of very Filipino sights and experiences. I have read the first book and it truly feels like home.

From the main character to the townscape, children will be able to relate with everything that they see and read about in Jepoy Dyip. It would even make a great gift for relatives abroad who want their children to have a taste of Filipino culture.


After a year in the making, Jomike is finally ready to introduce his latest baby to the world. We got a first glimpse of the completed diorama at our “Planning Your Literature-Based Preschool Homeschool” workshop last Saturday. Jomike was our honored guest!


Oh, if you’re wondering why  we’re such big fans of Jomike Tejido, click here.


An exclusive giveaway

We are so honored to be hosting a giveaway of one Jepoy Dyip – Book 1 today, National Children’s Book Day. Jomike is coursing all his giveaways through The Learning Basket. We will have another giveaway in September, with all 6 books (1 set) going to one winner.

For now, though, dear friends, please be happy with our giveaway of the first Jepoy Dyip book.

Click here to join the giveaway!


Have fun!



4 Things Kids Get To Do When We Don’t Bring Entertainment For Them

I’m not the type to lug around a big bag full of toys and books when I go out with my kids. It just never crossed my mind. After all, I hardly remember to bring wipes and extra shirts for them!

We have recently been out and about more than usual. And strange as it my sound, it just dawned on me one time that my children are quite well behaved. They are so very easy to be with, even when we were out really late.

I realized that because I wasn’t whipping out an iPad, a book, or a sword out of my bag, Little T and Little Sir found ways to occupy themselves. I decided to observe them some more and discovered 4 things kids get to do when they don’t have entertainment in front of them.

 No need to entertain kids

1. They practice their observation skills

Observing people and surroundings is not just idling about, but is actually a great learning activity. Children think about what they have observed and make conclusions about it.

Like other curious kids, my son notices the most mundane details about people and things. He lets simmer what he has seen in the cauldron of his mind and asks me about them days or weeks after.


2. They talk to people

Tablets and smartphones are the death of conversations. Instead of talking to each other, we tend to just look down on those little bright screens.

Banning gadgets when going out has allowed our family to be engaged with each other. We talk, laugh, and just enjoy each other’s company. It has also enabled us to encourage our usually reserved daughter to “go ask the waiter,” “tell the lady what you need,” and “say hi to the little girl if you want to play with her.”


3. They get creative

I believe in children’s innate ability to make up something with what appears to be nothing. After all, I was a child once and in the period of daily nationwide black outs at that!

Experts agree that boredom should be welcomed, because as Dr. Teresa Belton says, it is “an important trigger for creativity.” My children’s creativity on a restaurant table actually inspired this blog post. They found the order number stand fascinating and made up stories around it as they pretended that it was a slide.


4. They try different activities

Without a book or a toy to distract them into their own zone, kids get to look around and see what they can possibly do. This leads them to try activities they might have otherwise missed.

My aunt recently died and during the wake, I couldn’t help my cousin because Little Sir was asleep in my arms. And though “enjoy” is a word I’d rather not use in relation to death, Little T enjoyed her time offering food and drinks to other mourners. She hadn’t done anything like it before.


My bag usually only has Little Sir’s superman cape-cum-bib and it’s a major effort to remember to bring extra shirts and snacks for him and his sister. Blame my forgetfulness and general disorganization, but I don’t mind not bringing anything else, especially entertainment, when we go out. My kids don’t need it.

What have you observed about your kids when you go out?


Make magic!

Mariel Uyquiengco

5 Things You Can Do to Teach Kids How to Pray the Rosary

Praying the rosary is one of the things that I have long wanted to impart to our daughter. May being the month when we honor Mary in the Philippines, our family finally found the perfect opportunity to dedicate time last month to get to know Mary deeper and finally teach our four-year-old how to pray the rosary.

Understandably, with their very short attention spans, it is important that we prepare our preschoolers for this wonderful experience. Here are 5 things that we have been doing the past few weeks that may help your family in your daily prayer time as well:


1. Wait

I’ve been wanting to try praying a Decade a Day with my preschooler ever since I read about it last year in the Catholic Heritage Curriculum that we use for our homeschool. Knowing my Energizer Bunny, though, I knew that I had to wait until she was ready.

And she definitely was not ready at age three. I knew this because she kept tuning out during our attempt to pray a decade after making pipe cleaner rosaries as grandparents’ day gifts to her lolos and lolas a few months ago. I was glad to see her gain interest the past month and it was great timing, too, since we wrapped up our school year in May and winded it down with daily rosary time with the family.


Pipe cleaner rosaries
Photo from


 2. Prepare

To sustain her interest, we read lots of books about Mary. It helped that we knew a lot about Our Lady from our Jesse Tree activities too.We made a Mary diorama craft to add to our home altar and went to church to offer flowers to our Mother.


Mary Diorama from

We also learned the basic prayers months in advance and explained to her how the rosary works. We read this lovely book about praying the rosary that explained why we honor Mary with the rosary, what the mysteries mean, and how to use one’s rosary.


3. Set realistic expectations

As most of you parents of preschoolers know, our little ones cannot be expected to sit or kneel for long periods of time. So, do not expect prayer time to be the same with them.

In our family, we decide whether to pray the full length of the rosary or just a decade. If I see that my daughter is in a playful mood, I suggest that we just pray one to three decades instead of forcing her to complete the rosary.

Expect also a lot of pauses to answer questions such as, “Where are we now?” and take time to show her which part of the rosary is not being prayed. We use a book with simple explanations of the mysteries as we go along, so queries like, “Why is Mary sad?” or “What is happening here?” also make our prayer time longer than usual. These are questions, however, that I believe should be answered because it makes our children understand the importance of the mysteries and prayers.


We love this rosary companion book for kids!


4. Be consistent

As in every habit, consistency is key. It is something I struggle with personally, so I am glad when our daughter reminds us when it is time to pray. The more we are consistent with prayer time, the more our children will take it to heart.


 5. Model

Showing our children the proper way to pray and a good attitude towards prayer are still the best way to teach them about it. Despite the many questions that pepper our prayer time, I still make it a point to really put myself in prayer mode to show the Energizer Bunny that praying the rosary is not mere lip-service but is actually one of the best ways to communicate with God and Mary.


Our daily family rosary time, admittedly, is a work in progress. I would love to know how you do it in your homes!