Tuesday, August 7, 2018

ONCEKids Back to School Checklist (Part 3 of 4)

By: Kate Camillo

Hi guys. Welcome back. As you can see this is the third part of a series, check out the previous blog posts to get caught up to what we’re going to talk about today. We are all sick and tired of seeing the same blogs and posts about pencils and glue sticks and folders. While those are important, we’re here to discuss more unconventional things that need to be addressed in time for back to school.


Back to school is a busy time for all, kids have to be put back on a schedule that they were not used to during the summer. It is best to ease your child in because the last thing you want is a tantrum the first day of school because they are tired and don’t want to get ready for school. Start by waking them up a little bit earlier than they normally would. If your child is a natural early riser (which if you are that lucky, I’m jealous), then you have nothing to worry about. I’m not saying wake them up at 6 am, but maybe 9 instead of 10, the act of being woken up is going to prepare them for school. Along with wake ups in the weeks leading up to school, it is good to have your child get ready, such as getting dressed and eating after the wake up so they are used to having to do something in the morning. This is very different from them waking up whenever they please and wearing pajamas all day. Lastly, you should set time aside where they have something they have to do, to mimic a school day. Maybe have them read for half an hour, or sit and focus on something like the Fujimini game. You don’t have to play teacher and whip out a lesson plan, but an hour of having something they have to do will prepare your children for the inevitable, school. Of course these things are in no means necessary, nor do you have to do them everyday, but this could help with potential argument that occurs the morning of the first day of school.

Once school starts it is going to be hard to focus on anything else. You’ll ask them how their day was and help them with their homework and learn how to do whatever math teachers are teaching these days. It can be hard to connect with your child outside of this. Next on our list is making time to spend with your child that can help your relationship and help them detach from school. You can read together, play the Fujimini game together, check a weekly blog such as the Fujimini one, or anything else you can think of. It is important to make time to hang out with your kid. Don’t get so caught up in back to school that you forget the relationship you had in the summer, the fun one where you played games and went to the park.

Fujimini Island is a community that can help you do this, we have a game, a blog, an instagram, a website, coloring pages and so much more. We see the value of parents being with their kids and are here to help. (Another shameless promo, I’m sorry, but not really because it’s my job). Promo or not, that statement still holds true, we are here to help bond together mother (or father) and kids.

Checklist so far:

  • Provide your kids downtime
  • Encourage new forms of reading
  • Get their creative juices flowing with imagining stories
  • Ease them into structure
  • Spend time together

Countdown until September 1st: 25 days!! It’s getting so close! I can almost smell the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!!!

Find ONCEKids Publishing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram here.

I hope you’re enjoying the last couple weeks of summer and we’ll see you next week!

Monday, July 30, 2018

ONCEKids Back to School Checklist (Part 2 of 4)

By: Kate Camillo

Welcome back fellow moms. We’re getting closer and closer to back to school! I know you’re as excited as I am. This week we are going to continue last week’s topic of a back to school checklist. Before you roll your eyes, go check out last week’s blog that describes how this isn’t just your average checklist that gets handed out on the first day of school.


Today we’re going to talk about reading. Inspiring your child to read is big responsibility. Some kids “hate” reading. No one actually hates reading, they just think whatever they are reading is boring. If you can find a more interesting way to incorporate reading into their lives, why not do it. With all of this technology, there are so many forms of reading other than picking up a picture book. Show your kids blogs, expose them to the combination of storytelling and technology. Comic books, blogs, websites, and many other sources of reading can help your child blossom into the scholar you hope them to be.


From reading your child can turn to writing. By playing games that include storytelling they can become interested in making up their own stories. This can help them with their writing skills in school. Storytelling to writing essays, your child will be able to do it all.

Reading and writing are those skills you can sneakily add into your kids life without them knowing. I’m sure they would notice if you asked them 5x5 and would yell at you about how “It’s the weekend!” By encouraging them to catch up on their favorite characters through a blog, or ask them to tell you story to get their creative juices flowing, you will be stimulating their mind. As a parent, it is your job to enrich their education.

As of right now, on our checklist we have:

  • Provide your kids downtime
  • Encourage new forms of reading
  • Get their creative juices flowing with imagining stories

33 days until September 1st! 33! We’re so close. We’re almost there. We got this.

Monday, July 23, 2018

ONCEKids Back to School Checklist (Part 1 of 4)

Written by Kate Camillo

Back to school! Back to school! Let’s shout it from the rooftops! It’s almost that time where we can send our kids back to school!! Best time of the year! I’m sure you saw the title and were like “nope, I’m out”, but don’t worry this is not going to be your basic back to school list comprised of pencils and 2 inch binders, which leads me to wonder if 2 whole inches are really necessary. This is our ONCEKids out of the box checklist designed to remind you of the not so obvious things to prepare for the upcoming school year.


We have to start prepping for this time as a collective mom-unit. The night before the first day is not the time to figure out how this show is going to be run. We have to have our routine mastered, our pencils sharpened and our kids well-rested. I am sure your child’s wonderful educators will provide you with a list of items they need in the classroom and in their backpack. I STRONGLY suggest you buy tissues, pencils, and other things in bulk for your child’s teacher as a sign of appreciation on top of the list they give you because most of the supplies bought for classrooms is paid out of pocket by the teachers, not provided by the school. But we’re here to talk about what goes on at home, after school and before school.

While back to school can be stressful for us, it is actually more stressful for the kids. It is a complete change in their routine of staying up, watching movies, sleeping in and eating Mickey Mouse shaped chocolate chip pancakes in the morning, or more likely eating Eggos and Trix cereal. Kids need down time once school starts! They need time to relax and wind down after a long day of studying spelling words and learning their times tables. (This is only kind of sarcastic). Video games are some of the best ways for kids to relax. They get to focus on something else. I mean you’ve been here, you’ve read all the reasons why video games are fantastic, there’s no reason for me to repeat myself. But, I am going to direct you to my previous blog posts if you have absolutely no idea what I am talking about. Fujimini Island the game is coming out right in time for back to school. Yes, I did just shamelessly promote myself and product. But more importantly, they need to escape school after they finish their homework, watch a show, read a book, play a game.

Alright, so this series (if we can even call it that), will continue next week and maybe even on to the week after. I really don’t know. If I’m being completely honest, I haven’t written it yet. One thing I do know is that it will pick up right where this left off with more items for our back to school checklist that is not really a back to school checklist. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Also, the Fujimini Island blog will be up soon with character descriptions that really complement the books.

Countdown until September 1st anybody? 40 days. FORTY. That’s 3,469,985 seconds in case you were wondering. Let me know your child’s first day in the comments down below and I’ll add that to our countdown at the end of every blog.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Video Game Advantage for Kids: Video Games = Good? (Part 6 of 6)

By: Kate Camillo

Hopefully everyone is realizing the many positive, exciting and fantastic aspects of video games for children! Video games are actually an important contributor to children’s interactions, socialization, development of strategy and reflex action, and more. Our exploration of this topic has us saying with confidence - Video Games = GOOD!


We have talked about problem solving skills, concentration, focus, creativity, history, culture, neurogenesis and so much more. Video games are a normal part of childhood now as we are in the age of technology. There are games out there for everyone; sports games, racing games, historical games, single player games, multiplayer games. There is a video game that suits everyone’s interest whether it be tending to pets or racing your Lamborghini through the streets of LA. Your children will be able to meet other children through games and form a friendship based on similar interests. They can play together and learn how to work as a team or they can work on their leadership skills while teaching the rookie how to play a game. The act of teaching is very powerful for a child because they not only feel confident in their skills, but they also feel listened to. Competition is in our nature as humans and video games are a healthy and safe way for kids to express those competitive urges. Games help to motivate children, with rewards for going further on in the game. This motivation and drive can be rekindled as a child grows in school and their career. They will always feel driven to reach that next level, that next step. Video games aid in the improvement of the brain’s speed. This can affect coordination, decision making and multitasking skills. If your child is the best of the best, they can even compete in international competitions where they battle other gamers. This is a new category of sports called eSports, the “e” standing for electronic. By 2019, it is estimated that eSports will have an audience of 427 million people. Yup, MILLION! The top eSport gamer in the world has earned $3.7 million. Again, MILLION! Gamers are no longer the quiet kids in the class, they are strong, personable and are making some serious money. Video games just keep getting better and better!

Thanks for tuning into this series, I hope you enjoy what we have coming up for you next!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Video Game Advantage for Kids: Video Games = Good? (Part 5 of 6)

By: Kate Camillo

Welcome back guys! I hope everyone has been enjoying this series so far. We are almost done and will be moving on to a new topic in the next couple of weeks. Before we get down to business, I just want to suggest to you guys to follow ONCEKids and Fujimini Island on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates, posts, and much more! 


Let’s talk about parent-child relationships. It can sometimes be hard to relate to your child if you have completely different interests. Video games can be a great way to connect with your child. You can play together or against each other. Video games also switch up the dynamic between parent and child. It will be your child’s turn to teach you how to do something. This will give your child a chance to have a leg up over mom and dad in something. This can do wonders for a kid’s confidence and overall mood. By giving a child the opportunity to teach a skill, you are helping their communication and social skills. They are also learning the value of practice and patience. Playing a game together is a great way to bond, the conversation between the two of you will come naturally. Playing against each other is also a great way to bond. It will spark a healthy competition between the two of you and will create a continuous setting to spend time together. No one gives up after a loss, there is always a rematch! Always a “same time, same place!” Always an “I’ll get you next time!” This ensures more time to bond, compete and grow a relationship. 

Video games help as a way to alleviate many things such as anxiety, stress, pain and cravings. The focus needed for games can be used as a helpful distraction from everyday bothers. Video games let you escape the outside world and completely dive into a new one where those everyday stresses do not exist. What a great book can do for some, a great game can do for others. Your kid had a hard day at school, let him go play his favorite game for an hour and watch his bad mood get replaced with an awesome one!

I am going to take this opportunity to drop a quote from a CBSNews article about a study done on effects of video games on children and I am sure it will speak for itself. “Those who played video games ... were associated with the highest levels of sociability and were most likely to say they were satisfied with their lives. They also appeared to have fewer friendship and emotional problems, and reported less hyperactivity than the other groups." 

The next time you see your child playing a video game ask to watch or even join! Hope you enjoyed this week’s blog and we’ll see you next week!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Video Game Advantage for Kids: Video Games = Good? (Part 4 of 6)

By: Kate Camillo

Welcome back, I hope you are enjoying your summer and having fun with your children! We’ve talked about problem solving skills, organization, culture and history. It’s now time to discuss some more educational benefits of video games! Who knew video games provided such great benefits for our kids? Studies have been done and research has been collected and I’m here to present it to you week by week in small bite-sized portions and who doesn’t love a little bite-sized snack? So get ready to sink your teeth into this week’s blog on video games.

Let’s start out with some words that parents will inevitably find impressive. Video games are proven to aid in neurogenesis. Neurogenesis is the growth of neurons. Video games stimulate that process. How impressive is that?! Video games also help kids recognize patterns. Along with seeing patterns, video games help with seeing in general. Video games can provide children with improvement in vision as the contrast sensitivity function of their eyes is being used. This allows them to be able to better detect contrast in images and surroundings. There’s even rumors about video games helping people with dyslexia develop learning strategies! The constantly changing environments that require intense focus can help those who suffer from dyslexia by providing them a place to practice the intense focus that is needed when dealing with the disorder. 

Having your child play video games increases their ability to think on their feet, make decisions, and enhance their multitasking skills. Throughout a game there will be multiple challenges a player  faces and there is absolutely no way to be successful without rapid thinking, action, and reaction; multi-tasking is built into the games leveling systems.  Video games reward risk-takers, but only the smart ones! Most games are programmed to be pro-risk. Learning to take educated risks that pay off? Sign me up! That’s exactly what kids should learn and why video games are important. Not only are your children learning and having to abide by the rules of the game, but they also have chances to take risks and have those risks pay off in real time. 

Last but not least, video games help kids make friends! They play online with each other; they can use a new game as a topic of conversation, and they can play against each other. Sometimes children have a hard time making friends because of a lack of similar interest or connection. Through video games, children interact with others playing games they are passionate about. Video games are worldwide; your child is potentially interacting with others from different countries and learning about those cultures. (Rewind to last week). While competing and working as teams, children are bonding and becoming friends. Children look forward to not only playing the game, but playing with their friends. It kills two birds with one stone. Video games provide friendship for kids, along with the dozens of other benefits! 

We are deep in this series and it just keeps getting better and better. Check back next week for more. Thanks for reading and keep on playing!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Video Game Advantage for Kids: Video Games = Good? (Part 3 of 6)

By: Kate Camillo

This week, we will be discussing how video games can spark children’s interest in history and culture! If you’re new, check out our previous blogs on other awesome benefits video games can bring to children- self-expression and problem-solving skills are on the rise! We’re halfway through this series and if you’re not on board yet, you are about to be! So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the virtual ride!
Children divulge into other worlds and outer dimensions easily; they dive head first into other cultures and new places, learning about cultural traits and exploring places through their games. Most popular games bring kids into a new virtual world, leading to expanded perspectives and knowledge of the surrounding world. The content in these video games inspires kids to learn and research. And we certainly cannot forget that content counts! As a parent, there are many opportunities to encourage your kids to learn about all sorts of topics such as world history, geography, ancient cultures, and contemporary international relations. It's time to take advantage of these opportunities and spark your child's interest in history, culture, and all related subjects. Video games are part of our contemporary culture; we need to embrace and pull out the best elements and benefits of them. 
As we know children's brains are like sponges, absorbing everything. It’s time to embrace video games’ learning and growth opportunities. Whether it’s the history of the very streets they walk on or the culture of a country thousands of miles away, children are constantly learning about what interests them and their peers. This creates a bigger platform for you, the parent, to be more involved in your child’s interests. This is a way to connect to your children; help them learn more about the place where their favorite or loathed character lives – whether it’s ancient Greece or the farmlands of Scotland, video games animate what can tend to be a boring subject for many – history! (sorry Mr. Moore; my high school history teacher). Learning history through a video game is a great tool that we need to take advantage of, parents!

The Fujimini Island Adventure book series, website, social media and game app appreciates and strives to expose children to Asian culture. While playing our game and reading our books, your children will be learning and having fun at the same time! Which truly is what we want, right?

Thanks for tuning in and staying clicked in! Next week, same time sound good to you? Awesome, see you then!