Every day this week has dawned bright and sunny – just like back home.
It has been quite windy too, perfect for some saranggola (kite) fun. The little ones don’t even stop when the wind dies down – they simply run around tirelessly with their saranggola soaring above them.
Of course, one place you need never wait for a gust of kite-flying wind is at the beach. At the last beach we visited, some kiteboarders were taking advantage of the endless breeze and having a blast – making me sorely wish I had brought some kites!
Though the kites we use now are freebies from somewhere, we’ve made our own easy homemade kites in the past from colored paper, barbecue sticks and string. They assemble quickly and work great (unless it’s super windy), and kids can even decorate their paper kites before flying.
One of the kids has activity restrictions at the moment though, so I’ve had to come up with games that don’t involve running or jumping. Luckily, someone brought out the hula hoops and I remembered kids back home having fun with sticks and old tires…
I brought out some bamboo sticks we got from the dollar store and … Voila! A less strenuous yet challenging game for all – hoop rolling!
No mere variant of hopscotch, piko is in fact more challenging and loads more fun. In addition to the usual throwing of the pato (marker) on to consecutive squares and hopping from the first to the last square and back, piko adds an interesting twist.
After each player’s pato completes the rounds of all the squares, the player turns around and throws his pato behind him onto the piko squares on the ground. Whichever square it lands on becomes that player’s bahay (house) which none of the other players are allowed to step on.
One of the kids kept asking “When do I get a house? When do I get a house?” – The prospect of earning a bahay is doubly thrilling, since it not only rewards a player but also serves as a penalty to the rest. Plus, he gets to write his name on his bahay square. 😉
Although being outdoors of itself has its own benefits, playing Filipino street games brings with it added skills and benefits.
Tumbang preso teaches kids eye-hand coordination and aim even without adding a taya (It) – having a taya additionally teaches kids multi-tasking: agility in avoiding being tagged while at the same trying to hit the target cup.
Flying a saranggola teaches kids intuitively about aerodynamics – how to adjust the string tension based on wind velocity, lift and drag.
Hoop rolling teaches kids intuitively how to balance and move a rolling object at the same time.
And finally, piko teaches kids not only how to balance, hop and bend down on one foot, but also teaches eye-hand coordination at throwing a pato at a target square, as well as counting and name-spelling – if you number the squares and write names on bahay squares.
Very educational and healthy fun indeed!