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Choosing a

Montessori School

OUT & ABOUT Camps Shows Swimming Horse Riding Holidays at the sea of in the bush



Festive Gift Guide

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CHILD OF THE UNIVERSE MONTESSORI MAG We strongly support and believe in the Maria Montessori Method of teaching and learning, and would like to see as many children as possible be fortunate enough to experience Montessori as a lifestyle. We also believe in the ‘FIRST DO NO HARM’ principle and therefore select our content and advertisers accordingly. We cover topics around Montessori teaching, learning, lifestyle – in the classroom and at home – and much more. We always include links to our articles and encourage you to follow them for loads of insightful Montessori literature. We include a mix of topics relevant to family life, health and well-being. TO SUBSCRIBE Subscription to Child of the Universe digital magazines is free of charge. Simply send an email to with the subject line: Subscribe Montessori Mag and we will email your mag to you monthly. Alternatively you can pop your information onto our website

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Child of the Universe Montessori Mag

How do we inspire our kids to be more grateful? By Rebecca Wolthers

So, in today’s modern world, how do you inspire children to grow up with an attitude of gratitude instead of an “attitude”, if you know what I mean? Many psychologists have studied gratitude and its effects on our well being. People who are more grateful seem to lead more satisfying lives and are more resilient in a crisis or under pressure. I for one definitely want that for my whole family! Rudolf Steiner, known for creating Waldorf Education, said this “Gratitude is the basis for love. When children deepen their appreciation for the natural world, they deepen their love for all of creation.” An easy way to start is to simply as your kids, “What are three things you are grateful for today?” Or, for younger ones, try a rhyme or a song that appeals to you. Giving thanks before a meal is another powerful way to inspire gratitude. Here’s a sweet one for the younger kiddos:

The eagle gives thanks for the mountains, The fish gives thanks for the sea We give our blessings for the food we are about to receive.

2018 is the start of schooling for many children. I’ve been asked this question often in recent weeks: how do I choose a Montessori school? How do I know if a school is ‘real’ Montessori? It’s a great question. Dr Montessori didn’t trademark her theories or her schools and, as a result, literally any school can put out a ‘Montessori’ shingle and call themselves the real deal. The fact is, while there are thousands of Montessori schools around the world, they still make up a very small percentage of the global education footprint and while the number of pseudo Montessori schools is not known, based on anecdotal evidence alone, they are prevalent – and in some countries more than others. It really is up to us parents to educate ourselves about what Montessori is (and what it isn’t) and to do our own research on the schools we are considering for our children to make sure we make the right decision. And before you even start asking any questions, you should also ask for an opportunity to observe the classroom for a period during the school day. If you don’t see Montessori materials on open shelves accessible to the children, child-sized furniture and children moving around the room independently – AND guides speaking to children with grace and respect – run, don’t walk to the nearest exit!

OK, assuming it LOOKS like a Montessori school – materials are clean and the classroom looks organised – it’s time to ask the right questions before you even think of enrolling your child. So here’s my list of 9 questions (at least – I’m sure you’ll have more!) that you should ask: 1. What ages do you have in each class? Multi-age classes are a fundamental aspect of a Montessori environment. Having children of varying ages (usually at least a three year age span, sometimes six years or more) allows children to teach and learn from each other. It also provides opportunities for older children to mentor younger ones. 2. What training and qualifications do your guides have? Is this school affiliated with any Montessori organisation? It’s a hotly debated topic in Montessori circles as to which Montessori training is the ‘real’ training and which is not. Essentially, though, you want to hear that your guides are AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) or AMS (American Montessori Society) trained. Most training centres require a bachelor’s degree for admission.

There are many, many training organisations around the world that claim to train Montessori guides. I’ve seen eight week courses, online courses – you name it. While that is fine for us parents who want to know more about Montessori to provide our children with the best support a home, the training that a Montessori guide undertakes is a completely different ball game. It’s in person, it’s intense, it’s taught over many months (usually up to 10 months straight or an equivalent amount of concentrated time, broken up into several weeks or months at a time) and it is hands on. If the answer you get is that the guides at the school have done a correspondence course or equivalent, your alarm bells should be ringing. There should be at least one AMI or AMS trained guide in each classroom. 3. What freedoms do children have? Are children free to move around the classroom and choose materials (provided they have had a lesson on using that material)? Do they need to ask permission to eat a snack or go to the toilet? Do they have freedom to collaborate, interact and teach one another? 4. What opportunities are there for learning in context? Dr Montessori said: “Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.” In a Montessori school, learning is in context and where possible is based on real world experiences, rather than abstract concepts such as from a text book or a teacher speaking. So children should be involved in activities like cleaning the classroom, researching a real-life project that is of interest to them, growing vegetables in the garden and perhaps even selling them to parents or the community. They actually do these things, they don’t just write about it.

5. Does this school offer 3-hour work cycles? Three hour work cycles are a fundamental part of a Montessori environment and is in stark contrast to other more traditional school settings where there are often 40 minute lessons and then a quick changeover. In some traditional early years’ environments, it is often assumed that children can only concentrate for 15 or 20 minutes, however these quick changeovers actually shorten a child’s attention span. The 3-hour uninterrupted work cycles in Montessori classrooms build deep concentration and any guide you speak to will tell you that this time is actually considered quite sacred. 6. Do you offer rewards such as gold stars or certificates when children do well? Dr Montessori believed that children have an innate desire to learn and that intrinsic motivation is a key driver of a child. External rewards are discouraged in a Montessori classroom as a child’s sense of achievement when completing a task is reward enough. Competition – the ranking of children against one other – is also avoided as collaboration is preferred. These external rewards and comparisons – along with the 3-hour uninterrupted work cycles – are often hardest for traditional schools to step away from, even if they are operating under the name ‘Montessori’. If the response you receive to this question is not satisfactory to you – or you can see for yourself that external rewards are being used with reward stickers or charts to track progress or compare children – this could definitely be a sign that you need to investigate this further.

7. Does your school participate in standardised testing and do children sit tests and exams and do homework? Here in Australia, every school that receives government funding is required to participate in a federal standardised testing system and I expect the situation might be the same in other countries. However, beyond this requirement tests and grades are not a part of everyday life in a Montessori classroom – your child should not be coming home with papers covered in red marks, corrections and a score out of 10. With testing of children at traditional schools escalating at an alarming rate in recent years, it might pay to listen very carefully to the answer to this question as a school that is not ‘true’ Montessori is perhaps quite likely to fall prey to what is, unfortunately, becoming a cultural norm in mainstream schooling. And if homework is set on a regular basis before high school you may have a problem. 8. What rules are in place in the classroom and how are they communicated to the children? In a Montessori classroom there are usually as few rules as possible. Often they relate to care and respect for self, for others and for the environment. Children learn to manage their own classroom community within these parameters and excessive rules are avoided. If your school has an unending list of ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ plastered on walls and doors, that could be another sign that this school is not as ‘Montessori’ as you might like.

9. How are life skills taught at this school – so skills outside of academics? What you’re hoping for here is a reference to character education and practical life activities including self-care, care of the environment and grace and courtesy instruction which are all core aspects of the Montessori curriculum. Do guides eat with the children? Are children encouraged to care for their environment themselves with appropriate, child-sized tools to do the job? How are conflicts resolved? Observe how guides greet children in the morning and farewell them in the afternoon. Eye contact and a handshake is often the norm, but not always. It’s more about how the guide makes the child feel as he enters the classroom, that the child is welcomed warmly and with respect. The list of questions you could ask is endless – and I encourage you to ask as many as you need to, to feel comfortable with your decision. My guess is that a ‘real’ Montessori school won’t tire of your questions. It is in the school’s best interest as much as yours to make sure your family is a good fit – so another aspect to be aware of is how open the school is to your enquiries. If they seem edgy or hesitant – and certainly if you’re not allowed to observe a classroom during a school day – it could be sign as in my experience, Montessori schools are only too happy to accommodate an enquiring and passionate parent! And a final tip from me. Spend some time at the school at pickup times in the afternoon. Look carefully at the children as they leave the school gate. If they look happy, organised, they are carrying their own bag and lunchbox and they have a light in their eyes – you just might be in the right place.


SAMA MEMBER SCHOOLS & TRAINING CENTRES IN SOUTH AFRICA Eastern & Southern Cape KwaZulu Natal Limpopo Mpumalanga Namibia North Gauteng (PTA) South Gauteng (JHB)

Western Cape Swaziland


FINANCIAL TRAINING IN THE FESTIVE SEASON While there are many ways to improve your financial intelligence, not many can afford it or have the time to sit with their kids one-on-one. Us 21st century parents are always on the go and are barely able to do homework with our children every day. What better way to spend quality time with your children this festive season than giving them the skills they will need when they reach adulthood and the financial responsibilities that come with the title. The festive season is characterised by running an endless list of errands in preparation for that all important day - Christmas. From shopping for presents to spending quality time with your beloved stove to give your loved ones the Christmas dinner fit for royalty, it all comes down to just 24-hours going joyously well. But what of your kids’ preparation to become financially responsible adults? Having free time to do nothing is the best part of the festive season according to any child you ask. Parents are either on official leave, have closed for the year at their place of business or have ceased all business until the following year to recharge for the new year. This is the perfect time to start their financial training and do it at an appropriate pace.

As parents, we tend to equate our children’s learning ability to their age. We are guilty of coddling our children and doing everything for them when they can do it themselves.

Conscious Life Magazine

A 2010 Gesell Institute study found that though there is a clear path all children's brains take; each child has his/her own rate of reaching milestones. Hence parents cannot skip stages ahead of their children’s cognitive development. Children’s financial development, however, seems to be overlooked at every milestone reached. Combining their cognitive developments with their financial training may be the formula that parents should implement to raise kids that are capable of logical financial decisions in adulthood. Starting them young is key. The ages between four and twelve is when the first learning neural pathways are developing in a child’s brain and that’s when we need to start to teach them about financial intelligence. Let us not repeat the words our parents said to us to the next generation; “I wish I knew then what I know now.”

Training them from toddlerhood to do “grown-up” tasks is a mission, albeit a short lived one. Start small when it comes to the chores your child can do. They can be jobs that that give them a sense of independence like letting them make the bed in the morning. Once children start to realize that mom and dad are a reserve bank bursting at the seams with money, they will begin asking more and more. The “I want [fill in ridiculously expensive toy’s name here]” conversations usually start between the ages of 3 and 5. This is the stage in parenthood where doing the shopping alone is preferred over taking your kids with. Avoiding the hassle of saying “No!” to your child when they see something shiny at the store is something that comes first on your monthly grocery list. It is a battle field riddled with time bombs otherwise known as tantrums. Between ages 4 and 6, your child is learning the magic of maths. He/she is constantly coming up to you and trying to impress you by counting to a grand total of ten. Parents can use this to their advantage. You can link their math to money by introducing them to it. When I say money, I mean the coins and bank notes that make up our currency. Introduce them to a coin a day and explain its worth by listing what he/she can buy with it. You can even show them coins that are no longer in use today. This will open their minds up to the physical concept of money and help them ace their maths homework every time. Money Savvy Kids is not just a product. It is a pathway to developing mind-sets that will ensure South Africa’s children not only work their way out of poverty, but that they have the tools to stay out. Financial education can make a difference. It can empower and equip young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to take charge of their lives and build a more secure future for themselves and their future families.

For more tools for raising money savvy kids, download our book ‘Raising Money Savvy Kids’ by Kathryn Main from our website link below for only R50: ct/raising-money-savvy-kids/ Activities: Suggesting an arts and crafts session to your four to six-year-old to create your own money will put you right up there as the greatest. Using that opportunity to teach him/her about money will have your child a step closer to understanding the inner workings of the real world.

While picking the colours of your makebelieve money, you can start the money conversation. You can start with, “Did you know that money is made by the reserve bank?” And when they ask questions, you can fill in the blanks for them. Remember to throw statements at them that will evoke them to ask more questions. Here is a list of statements to get your child interested: 1.

2. 3.

Did you know that there are other types of money other than the one we use every day? Do you know how mom and dad get money to buy everything in the house? Do you know where we keep our money safe?

Hurling these statement and questions at your four-year-old while you make your fake money is a fun way to get them interested in the institution of money and get them to understand how money will be an integral part of their future. It is your job, after all, to talk about financial responsibility with your kids.

Once you are done creating your new currency, you can start to explain the concept of money and how it is spent in the household by using your pretend currency as a physical substitute. Use the pile of notes to represent the money that mom, and dad earn to ensure that the family has everything it needs. Then list the family’s monthly expenses – this can range from groceries, entertainment, etc., - and draw from the pile for each. This shows how the family spends money monthly. You can explain how the remaining money from the pile goes to savings such as the family holiday or his/her future university fees. Despite what many parents may think, children between these ages understand money because they are exposed to it every day either at home or when they are with friends at school. Reciting the money poem below with your child is a fun way for them to learn too. It is also a familiar method of learning for children in this age group. They learn through nursery rhymes in grade R and by doing things that make their imagination come alive. Parents can recite with their kids as many times as they wish per week for a few weeks and ask basic questions that will help them gauge how well their children are grasping the concept.


Enter to WIN One of 5 Copies of Raising Money Savvy Kids eBook!

Raising Money Savvy Kids is a book for all parents who want to start giving their kids the financial education they never had. Financial literacy is a cornerstone of prosperity and security. It builds confidence and knowledge in the lives of individuals and the country. We cannot address the issues of financial inclusion and equitable and sustainable socio-economic development without addressing financial literacy. To Enter: 1. Email us at Subject: Raising Money Savvy Kids 2. Answer this Question: What are the first two lines of the money poem in the Money Savvy Kids Article this month? 3. Elect 3 friends to receive Conscious Life Magazine for free by including their email addresses. Terms & Conditions: The Competition Ends on the 31st of January 2017 at 12pm. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The competition is not open to directors, agents, employees or consultants of Money Savvy Kids.or Conscious Life Magazine. The competition is not open to readers who have won a prize with us in the last 6 months.

Child of The Universe Magazine

Raising Kids Positively Raising Kids Positively is all about improving your relationship with your children, growing their emotional intelligence, and a balance of kind and firm discipline. Psychologist Carol Surya makes this easy with her new website and three easy-to-use routes: a children’s self-esteem game, a conscious parenting book and workshops. InnerMagic Perfect for today’s busy families, is a game to consciously spend more quality time together, without devices or distractions. Expertly designed for selfreflection, self-expression and empowerment, InnerMagic benefits include teaching emotional intelligence while also strengthening all areas of development as you play! Everyone loves it because it gets all players moving, thinking and speaking. Magically encouraging children to talk more easily, develop critical thinking and practice making healthy choices. Ideal for parents, grandparents and educators to play with 5 to 13 year olds.

Order yours today and be reminded of your inner potential. All information available on Email : Phone: (044) 533-5655 Mobile:: 071 671 6337

The Magic of Mindfulness Author Carmen Clews has found a magical way to bring mindfulness into your home and school! “The Magic Mat and its little secret…” is a delightful children’s book (with free DVD animation) offering fun, physical stretching and calming techniques to develop happy, relaxed, loving and healthy children. Used as a story at bedtime, or done actively with the DVD at home or as a group activity in the classroom - with regular use the benefits are magical. Children relax more, improving in balance and co-ordination, as well as memory, focus, patience and selfcontrol. Readers (age 5 to 12) hop on board their very own Magic Mat, transforming them into animals with various beautiful qualities. Finally, they relax, discovering their own higher selves, learning to feel love, compassion and gratitude. Read what buyers say about this magical tool kit, visit the Facebook page, watch the video clip – or simply order yours today.

The Planting Seeds for Life Education Series, also by Carmen Clews, teaches mindfulness and positive values to children aged 10 to 14 years. Enchanting African stories guide the reader through group discussions, visualizations, songs and other learning activities all aimed at improving well-being. The book’s 25 “seeds”, each written as a lesson plan, include the essential life skills of making wise choices; improving communication; managing emotions; problem solving; forgiveness; positive thinking; self-reliance and environmental conservation. If only we’d all learned these skills at school.

Contact details : Website : Email : Video : Magic Mat Seeds for Life

You will need: • • • • • • • • •

plastic bowl plastic cup paint sharpie marker garden soil real or fake succulents blue glass rocks smooth pebbles flowers, mini mushrooms, etc…

Directions: First, you want to find a container for your fairy garden, my favorite container is one of these old enamel pots with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage. My Grandma used to have a pot just like this so it always makes me think of her and I smile! Fill it up to the top, I do this whether I am using real plants or fake succulents because it is inexpensive filler and gives the natural look to my fairy garden. Set your container of soil aside so you can work on your mushroom house. I wandered the aisles trying to find something that I could use to create the mushrooms and found this summer plastic cups and bowls, in a 4 pack,, stacked they make the perfect mushroom Smurf house and you can make a whole village for just a few dollars. I drew out my door and window with a sharpie marker first, go ahead and make your door all the way to the opening of the cup because we are going to cover up about 2″ of it. After you are happy with your design paint your windows and door in with acrylic paint, flip over the bowl and add some spots to your “mushroom top”. Allow paint to dry.

Hot glue a small bead to the door for a handle. While your paint is drying you can create a fun patch with your small pebbles, and some “water” using the blue glass beads, be sure to leave room for your mushroom house.

Press your cup open side into the dirt about 2″ down. Add glue to the top of your cup and press the bowl down onto it to create your mushroom house. Then start adding your plants and flowers around the house to create a woodland feel. We were pretty happy with the final result and I see an entire Smurf colony in our future! We left our Smurf Fairy Garden open for any Smurfs that may wander in but if you would like you can grab a set of these Smurf Figurines to add to the imaginative play.

By Stephanie

Happy Surprise, Happy Surprise – "Something very good is about to happen." You are in for a well-deserved treat! Don’t try to guess what it is because then that will spoil the surprise! Allow yourself to once again be childlike and just allow the joy and happiness to flood your heart chakra as you wait in anticipation. Whatever the gift or surprise is, it will be filled with unconditional love and will be something positive and good. Perhaps you will receive an unexpected gift or a kindness that someone does for you. It might be that you will receive some good news or a visit or call from a dear friend that you have not had contact with for a very long time.

It could also be that your dreams are about to come true and that something you have desired for a very long time is about to materialise although it might not manifest in a way that you expected it to hence the surprise!

You could also be about to surprise yourself as you discover how much strength, love and wisdom that you actually do have when you have to use it in an unexpected situation. Whatever it is that you are about to receive be sure to give gratitude and thanks for as this will bring in even more gifts for you to experience and enjoy. Remember that the more you give, the more you will receive!

Unicorns Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue as interpreted by Margi McAlpine

“Education should be a social and human endeavor of interest to all.” ~Maria Montessori “We want to go see Ms. Maren,” was the request of three of my former preschool students. Their mother, Pat, made arrangements for the boys to visit after school. The day arrived, and the boys came through the door, gave me a hug, then selected work off the classroom shelves. Pat and I visited over a pot of tea in the kitchen alcove. I waited for the boys to come “see” me, but they worked away and didn’t say a word. Two hours passed and it was time for them to leave. “Thank you, Ms. Maren. I love you,” each boy told me, but I felt a little like a girl who’s been taken to the prom and never asked to dance. It didn’t seem like the boys wanted to visit me at all. The next day their father called and told me how much the boys had talked at dinner about visiting me. That is when I discovered the child’s point of view. To a child the adult in the environment and the environment are perceived as one and the same. To the boys, I was my classroom and every activity in the classroom was me. The child’s love of the adults in his or her life extends to the surroundings that include those adults. We are given, just by being present, our children’s love and trust. Children, by nature of being human, love and trust the adults in their lives, and everything around those adults. Being at grandma’s feels a lot like being with grandma.

It is this encompassing love that allows us as parents and grandparents to be powerful teachers, even if we are unaware of children learning from us. For those of us who choose to teach, we need to be fully aware of this magnificent gift of love the child offers us.

On summer days, the music from the neighborhood ice cream truck brings bring back memories of my childhood: long shadows in the afternoon sun, the Oklahoma blue sky filled with cotton candy cumulus clouds, the scent of the mimosa tree, the houses across the street, my father’s aqua 1958 Fiat in the driveway. Because these memories were created by a child’s intense love of place, or the love that surrounds family, they are vivid and fresh. As an extension of the love I have for my family, these remembrances remain intact after more than fifty years. All of us, from the driver of the ice cream truck to a neighbor a block way, create a child’s sense of place, a place where love will be directed, attention will be focused, and life will be lived. Each of us plays a vital role, whether we are aware of it or not, in creating a child’s love of the world. The part we play in a child’s life, conscious or unconscious, large or small, should compel us to be the best we can be.

by Maren Schmidt

Yes, every day. Better yet begin and end the day with fresh air. The best way to wake up and to unwind from the day. Do Not be Afraid Get dirty. Be welcoming of critters. When I heard one of my Montessori instructors say “in order to create a sense of awe and wonder in children, you need to hold back your fears”, my journey to embracing and loving every thing about the outdoors began. I could no longer say, “oh, gross,” or jump when I saw a spider, or explain my irrational dislike of raccoons in front of my children, at least when they are first discovering the natural world. Embracing and become aware of my own fears of the natural world has changed the way I explore the outdoor environment. I am definitely less afraid myself. So it is easy for me to project that onto my children.

Question & Research When I did discover these fears of mine, I took it as an opportunity to learn more about the critters. So, I was never really a fan of slugs. I held back, though, and decided, instead to accept that these creatures must exist for a reason and human should easily be able to co-exist with them. Sure enough, I was right. As I learned more about slugs and taught my children about slugs, I came to respect their existence on this great earth.

Respect & Be Kind to ALL Living Things I used to, without hesitation, stomp my foot down on spiders, beetles, and insects of all kinds. Plants were trampled upon without a second thought. Once I began learning about insects and plants, you truly do begin to respect them. You want to be kind to them, respect their place on this great earth, care for them, and make space for them. Butterflies and caterpillars are easy to accept. Bees, though, not so much. So, take five minutes to learn about the amazingness of honeybees and you will soon do all you can to make certain these insects live a healthy and prosperous life.

Explore without Hesitation, Not without Knowledge The short way of explaining this one is: don’t eat plants you don’t recognize. Exploring without boundaries is a romantic notion but let’s be honest a little education goes a long way. Understand the area. Learn about the plants and the animals living in the environment. Then you can be prepared to be safe, to explore with some security and to treat the area in a way that it needs to be treated, naturally.

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Take a Wilderness Survival Class I have not taken a wilderness class myself. Perhaps some day I will do so. For my boys, though, learning “survival” and other outdoor skills is a priority and will be a part of their childhood through nature immersion camps, outdoor education and the boy scouts. This learning is not so much about making sure my boys can survive if they are stranded or lost in the woods. More so, by learning these skills, they gain valuable emotional and problem solving life skills. How to stay calm. How to think outside the box. They build confidence and security in knowing they can fend for themselves, that they are truly self sufficient.

Read about Environmental Stewards and Pioneers Who were they? What inspired them? Why did they have such passion about the environment? There is so much to learn from history and others’ journeys. Let their paths inspire you to want to learn more and to be with the outdoors more.

Learn Something New Every Day We’ve all heard this one but apply it specifically to the outdoor environment whether that something new is a type of bird, a plant in your neighborhood or a vegetable you want to protect in your garden this year. Maybe even explore a new area of your region.

Teach Others One of the most satisfying and gratifying ways to appreciate and to love nature is to teach others in your life. I have witnessed my son explain to a friend what insect skates on top of the pond water, then how you can tell how old a tree is by the number of rings in its trunk. There is joy in his teaching. He sees the face of his friend light up, the eyes of his friend squint with thought and questions.

What it Means to Play Safe in the Sun… It’s so important to know the dangers of exposure to the sun and also how to reduce the risk of skin cancer which is the result of skin cell damage that begins in the lower part of the epidermis (the top layer of the skin). At least 80% of suninduced skin damage occurs before the age of 18 and only manifests later in life. Reducing the Risk The good news is that the risk of skin cancer can be reduced by respecting the sun and following these tips: • Avoid direct sunlight between 10 am and 3 pm. Stay in the shade or under an umbrella as much as possible • Wear protective clothing; wide brimmed hats and UV protective clothes / swimsuits • Wear sunglasses with a UV protection rating of minimum UV400 • Always apply sunscreen regularly (SPF of 20 – 50) according to skin type. Anyone can get skin cancer, regardless of race, age or sex. People with fair skin have a higher chance of getting skin cancer while dark-skinned people are still at risk. • Avoid Sunbeds and Sunlamps • Spot-the-spot: Check your skin carefully every month (follow A, B, C, D, E rules) – find more info here…

Screening CANSA has five mole-mapping dermoscope devices called the FotoFinder used to examine moles and help reduce the risk. Every client with suspicious skin damage is referred for an intensive skin evaluation. Examinations are available at some CANSA Care Centres. People with albinism are the most vulnerable for damage by ultraviolet radiation. CANSA successfully lobbied and helped to ensure that the government now supplies approved sunscreen (aligned to the CANSA Seal of Recognition standards) at adequate levels of supply at public hospitals.

Get to Know the Lingo… Knowing your skin is important, but knowing what terms like SPF, UV, UPF and spot-the-spot means, is just as important – especially when it comes to staying safe in the sun. • SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and is usually found on sunscreen bottles – it’s a measure of how well it protects your skin against UV rays and indicates how long you could spend in the sun before burning when protected by sunscreen, compared to when you have no sunscreen on. CANSA encourages the use of SPF 20-50 according to skin type. • UV refers to ultraviolet light emitted by the sun. UV rays have disruptive effects on skin cells, which cause sunburn, and can result in skin cancer. • UPF is similar to the SPF indication on sunscreen, but UPF is usually found on clothing. It indicates the Ultraviolet Protection Factor of clothing, sunglasses and hats, to protect you against the UV rays of the sun. • Spot-the-spot is a term to encourage you to do self-examinations on your skin. It’s important to keep a track of marks, moles and spots on your skin and to make note of any changes. Make sure to follow the ABCDE rules when doing these selfexams.

Skin Cancer Common in SA South Africa has the 2nd highest incidence of skin cancer in the world after Australia, as far as Caucasians are concerned. Myths • • •

• •

The sun is only dangerous in summer or on a hot day Sunscreen will protect me completely from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays One or two cases of sunburn won’t result in skin cancer People with darker skins are not at risk for getting skin cancer Sunbeds are a safer alternate to obtain a tan

The Truth About Tanning There is no such thing as a healthy tan – even a sunless tan… In recent years there has been a considerable increase in the use of sunless and self-tanning products such as sprays, mousses, gels, pills, nasal sprays & injections called Melanotan 1 and 11. Melanotan 11 has serious side effects, and may induce malignant melanoma. CANSA warns against this product.

Tips: Sunscreen & Protective Garments

Although some self-tanning products contain sunscreen, it offers minimal ultraviolet radiation protection. It does not provide protection from the ultraviolet rays of the sun and CANSA strongly discourages individuals to use any form of tanning product.

With credit to TED-Ed. Original video at Why do we have to wear sunscreen – Kevin P. Boyd

FOLLOW THESE TIPS 1. Use an Effective Sunscreen


• We have raised our Seal of Recognition standards & requirements for sunscreens. In addition to current SA standards, as of 1 April 2013, sunscreens bearing our Seal need to comply with the European Colipa Standards. • Our new CANSA Seal of Recognition logo (CSOR) appears on approved sunscreen products and is a guarantee that the manufacturers of these UV protective products have complied with CANSA’s strict set of criteria – see new logo to the right. • See list of CANSA’s SunSmart Sunscreen Partners… • Be sure to use a sunscreen with an SPF of between 20 and 50 & 30 and 50 for fair to very fair skin. • Products usually expire two years after manufacture – don’t use a product that has been opened and used after a year has passed.

2. Apply Sunscreen Correctly • It’s important to know the best SPF for your skintype • Always apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside and re-apply at least every two to three hours

3. Wear Protective Clothing • Wear sunglasses with a UV protection rating of UV400 • Wear protective clothing & swimsuits and thicklywoven fabric hats with wide brims – avoid caps where the neck & ears are exposed • Buy SunSmart garments & apparel… – look out for CANSA’s swing tags (right) & SunSmart Choice logo (top right) on clothing, hats & summer fun accessories.

Hey Gorgeous Gorgeously Natural Sunscreen R175 Or

Educate & Protect Children • Our youth should take special precaution when spending time in the sun – two blistering burns before the age of 18, can dramatically increase the risk of getting skin cancer later in life. • Parents and schools need to play an increasingly important role in educating our youth re being SunSmart. Unfortunately a recent study shows that most schools are not SunSmart. Read more…

Article courtesy of CANSA

Tel: 0800 22 66 22

December is a time for giving, showing love & appreciation for those you cherish and love. Here are some lovely gift ideas to help you cherish the ones you love this year‌

At Boody, form meets function. Our bamboo basics for adults and babies are cleverly designed, skin-healthy, eco-friendly and wonderfully soft. Boody fits seamlessly into your lifestyle. Affordable luxury, every day.

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Handcrafted skincare solutions using high performing organic specialist oils and pure essential oils - 100% natural, free from additives and chemicals, cruelty free.

BODY CARE RANGE Body Oils 100ml Body Oils 200ml Butter Balms 100ml Bath Soaks 500g Nail Serum 10ml

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Shop online at |Festive Season promotion – buy any two items & get 20% discount. Free gift wrapping on festive promotion items. Free shipping on orders over R500. Selected items also available at & All Earth Probiotic products are officially Proudly South African. We believe that we are all responsible in growing employment, transferring skills and, as is our nature, innovating to make a difference to our country. Bokashi Food Waste Recycling Starter Kit: R220

25L Bokashi Food Waste Recycling Kit (2 x 25L bins): R440

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Two Earth Gardens: Made from up cycled advertising material. Simply pick your shape, hammer in the stakes, then fill with potting soil and compost. Then plant your veggies and herbs into the garden and enjoy! R400

At Boody, form meets function. Our bamboo basics for adults and babies are cleverly designed, skin-healthy, eco-friendly and wonderfully soft. Boody fits seamlessly into your lifestyle. Affordable luxury, every day.

Boody Long Sleeve Onesie Sky: R379.95 Boody Baby T-Shirt Rose: R199.95 Boody Muslin Wrap 2 pack: R429.95

All items available at: or see website for available stockists.

Angel Care 403 Snuggletime Co-Sleeper Nest: Snuggletime Co-Sleeper Camp Movement & Sound •Secure sleep space for baby Cot: Monitor •The ideal two-in-one co-sleeper in the comfort of your bed •LCD sound monitor with •Breathable mesh lining camp cot (from birth to three sensor pad •Compact, space saving years) •Digital room design •Use as an add-on bedside crib temperature display R950 or stand-alone camp cot •Soothing night light Baby City and Baby Boom •Drop-down side provides easy R1999 access to soothe and comfort Available at: Baby City, baby Baby Boom, Toys R Us, R1499.00 Dischem & Available at: Baby City, Baby Boom & Toys R Us For more info and full list of stockists please go to

The Alkaline Diet: What Is It And Does It Work?

The alkaline diet is making news headlines. Why? Because the modern diet is increasing the acid content of our bodies. threatening our pH levels – the delicate but vital balance of alkali and acid in our systems. Let’s discuss the alkaline diet, how it works and if it’s worth it.. If you’re getting through your day on coffee, sweets, snacks, fast foods and after-work wine or beer (come on, we’ve seen those queues!), think twice. Your amazing body is, as they say, ‘a finely tuned machine’. It’s quite capable of maintaining that fine-tuning, and that includes the delicate job of balancing the levels of acid or alkaline (the pH levels) in its fluids and tissues. Your body needs a tightly controlled pH level of 7.365 to 7.4 in its blood to function properly. If you eat poorly, the levels of acid in your system increase. That weakens your body’s defenses against degenerative diseases such as bone loss, arthritis and muscle wasting, and even tumours. ‘Even very tiny alterations in the pH level of various organisms can cause major problems,’ says natural health practitioner Dr Josh Axe.

So what is an alkaline diet?

We are what we eat

An alkaline diet helps balance the pH level of the fluids in your body, including your blood and urine. Your pH level is partially determined by the mineral density of the foods you eat, so eating an alkaline diet can help to:

In the past two centuries, mass industrialisation of our food supply has disturbed the mineral balance in our diet. So the food we eat contains less potassium, magnesium and chloride, but far more sodium (salt) than before. Normally, our kidneys keep our levels of calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium stable. But a diet of overly acidic foods places a strain on this function. We’re simply eating too many refined fats, simple sugars, sodium and chloride. And the result? We’re ageing faster, our organs are battling to work properly, our muscle strength is declining, and we’re losing bone mass. High acidity levels are robbing our bodies of vital minerals. And you know what? These conditions are avoidable…

Improve the ratio between potassium and sodium, which may benefit bone health, reduce muscle wasting, and ease other chronic diseases such as hypertension and stroke. • Increase magnesium – needed to activate vitamin D. • Improve the production of growth hormones and vitamin D absorption, which also help protect bones and ease other chronic diseases. Growth hormones also promote cardiovascular health, memory and cognition. • Help fight inflammation, and possibly help benefit certain chemotherapeutic agents that require a higher pH.

Take our advice to alkalinity in your body: • •

Wonder what ‘pH level’ means? What we call pH is short for the potential of hydrogen, and is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of our body’s fluids and tissues. It’s measured on a scale from 0 to 14. The more acidic a solution is, the lower its pH (battery acid is 0; bleach has a pH of 13). The more alkaline, the higher the number is. pH levels vary throughout the body (the stomach is the most acidic area), but the optimal human body tends to be around 7.4.

• •


Get fresh. Eat seven to nine servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. (You’ll find a comprehensive list here.) That includes all our favourites: avocado, baby potatoes, broccoli, bananas, ginger, garlic, lemons (yes!) and olive oil. Look to that perennial favourite – the Mediterranean diet. Raw foods are the best. Most fruit and veg can be used fresh in salads – in fact, cooking depletes foods of their alkalising minerals. Tired of salads? Try steaming foods lightly. Juicing is good too, especially when you add fresh or powdered grasses – they’re a great source of chlorophyll, which helps alkalise the blood. Up your intake of plant proteins. Eat nuts, especially almonds, seeds such as raw pumpkin seeds, and beans. Exercise daily, but don’t spend hours at the gym. Breathe deeply. You inhale oxygen and exhale acidic carbon dioxide. And relax too!

Take our advice to improve alkalinity in your body: • •

• • •

Get fresh. Eat seven to nine servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. (You’ll find a comprehensive list here.) That includes all our favourites: avocado, baby potatoes, broccoli, bananas, ginger, garlic, lemons (yes!) and olive oil. Look to that perennial favourite – the Mediterranean diet. Raw foods are the best. Most fruit and veg can be used fresh in salads – in fact, cooking depletes foods of their alkalising minerals. Tired of salads? Try steaming foods lightly. Juicing is good too, especially when you add fresh or powdered grasses – they’re a great source of chlorophyll, which helps alkalise the blood. Up your intake of plant proteins. Eat nuts, especially almonds, seeds such as raw pumpkin seeds, and beans. Exercise daily, but don’t spend hours at the gym. Breathe deeply. You inhale oxygen and exhale acidic carbon dioxide. And relax too!

• •

Artificial sweeteners. Trans fats, sugar, refined salts, refined foods, fast foods, takeaways, alcohol, tobacco, pizza, chips, chocolate, ice cream. You know the drill!

Chronic stress, not enough fibre, lack of exercise (or over-exercising), pesticides and pollution can also increase your body’s acid levels

Foods to avoid These foods contribute most to acidity and inflammation – cut them out if you already have acidity related conditions, or eat them in moderation to support your wellness: • • • • •

High-sodium foods such as processed meats and cheeses. High sugar / refined carbohydrate containing processed breakfast cereals such as corn flakes, rice crispies, etc. Eggs. Caffeinated drinks and alcohol. Pasta, rice, bread and packaged grain products. All grains, whole or not, create acidity. (Although barley and oats are only mildly acidic.)

Conscious Life Magazine

Support your body with wholeherb products Whole-herb products may help balance your body naturally – in conjunction with a healthy diet, exercise and the recommendations listed above. Turmeric may help alkalise your body, and has natural anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps your liver, digestion and metabolism. Get Turmeric capsules here. Cayenne is highly alkaline, with natural anti-inflammatory properties. Get Cayenne capsules here. Turmerynne™ combines both turmeric and cayenne with a shot of black pepper to aid absorption – perfect if you’d rather take just a single capsule. Get Turmerynne™ capsules here. Ginger has a pH of 5.6 to 5.9, similar to that of figs, fennel, leeks, parsnips and romaine lettuce. Ginger also improves digestion and boosts blood flow. Get Ginger capsules here

Flora Force wishes you a healthy, energetic spring! CAUTION Consult your health practitioner before taking any herbal supplements. Always consult your health practitioner before taking any herbal supplements, especially if you are taking other medication, and especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. References Axe, J. Alkaline diet: The key to longevity and fighting chronic disease? New Life Nutrition. Schwalfenberg, G.K.The alkaline diet: Is there evidence that an alkaline pH diet benefits health? Journal of Environmental and Public Health. 2012. 5546/

Conscious Life Magazine

Vegan Diet “The Healthy Natural Alternative�


Vegans and vegetarians are often faced with the dilemma of choosing the best diet to feed their companion canines, taking into consideration not only their own ethics, but also the best interests of the dog/s they are taking care of. Fortunately, even though many people would assume that a dog couldn't possibly be fed a 100% vegan diet, nothing could be further from the truth! Despite descending from wolves, the domestic dog is classified as an omnivore. The classification in the Order Carnivora does not necessarily mean that a dog's diet must be restricted to meat.

Unlike an obligate carnivore, a dog is neither dependent on meat-specific protein nor a very high level of protein in order to fulfill its basic dietary requirements. Dogs are able to healthily digest a variety of foods including vegetables and grains, and in fact dogs can consume a large proportion of these in their diet. In the wild, canines often eat available plants and fruits.

As a matter of interest, there is even one dog which could completely be a Vegetarian and that is the Chow Chow. The Chow Chow originated in China (Tibet) where it was raised as a meat source for human consumption. Since the Chow Chow was used as a meat source for human consumption, it was fed a diet of grains and vegetables - to produce a tender marbled meat. Some may still argue that a vegan diet for a dog is unnatural in some way, but its important to note that in nature dogs wouldn't eat anything like what is commonly found nowadays - in a can or in pellet form.. Most commercial pet food is made of very questionable meats, not fit for human consumption, that would otherwise be thrown away. These foods are filled with preservatives and other additives that, over time, can detriment the health of your pet. Indeed, studies conducted on pets fed commercial meat pet food reveal that diet-related complications can include "kidney, liver, heart, neurological, visual, neuromuscular and skin disease, bleeding disorders, birth defects, compromised immune system and infectious disease.“ So, not only is it possible to feed dogs a nonmeat diet, it can also be very nutritious and balanced. In Europe, there are plenty of commercially available, healthy vegan diets. There is no reason why vegan / vegetarian pet lovers in our country shouldn't have the same choice. For this reason Vondis Holistic Pet Nutrition has developed a well researched balanced Vegan diet, where you can be assured that your companion will receive all the correct nutrition and thus enable them to lead happier, healthier lives.

Vegan Diet Recipe and Nutritional Value In presenting any nutritious meal for human or pet, meat or vegan, there are two important considerations. The cooking method which you use to prepare your food and the other is the quality and choice of ingredients. Vondis has always adopted scientific procedures to prepare the food and therefore, certain ingredients are left to simmer on a low heat and there are some that are included raw. This very special Vondi’s cooking process ensures maximum nutritional value and digestibility. In choosing the ingredients, we have utilized scientific and nutritional data to formulate a recipe that is totally balanced and nutritious and that will ensure a healthier and longer life. Some of the ingredients include brown rice, millet, lentils, peas, barley, wheat germ, rolled oats, beetroot, butternut, sweet potato, carrots and a variety of freshly picked herbs. To ensure the perfect balance we also supplemented with calcium gluconate, zinc gluconate, taurine, yeast, lecithin, kelp, dandelion and vitamin c.

So, not only is it possible to feed dogs a nonmeat diet, it can also be very nutritious and balanced. In fact, what started out as diet for moral and ethical reasons, has now be become popular for the treatment of ailments like skin disorders, arthritic problems and bladder disorders.

NOTE: Vondis Holistic Pet Nutrition non vegetarian meals include Beef, Chicken, Mutton, Ostrich and Special Chicken for Sensitive Skin.

Hippotherapy and Therapeutic Riding At The Yard on Third

Hippotherapy involves the use of a horse’s movement in therapy. It is a therapy technique that can be used by trained Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Speech Therapists. How does it work? The child is mounted on a specially trained therapy horse or pony. As the horse/pony walks, its movement is translated into the patient. Through clinical reasoning and evidence based practice, the horse’s movement: Can be guided and changed depending on the client’s needs Is used to get an active response from the client Facilitates functional and more efficient movements in the client’s body The horse or pony used is specifically selected for each client, to make sure it is the right size, gives the desired movement to the client and has the right temperament.

Who can benefit from Hippotherapy? Hippotherapy is specifically for clients who have moderate to severe motor and/or sensory disorders. When a child is referred for Hippotherapy, he/she will be assessed by our Physiotherapist. The assessment will: Determine if Hippotherapy will be beneficial and safe for the child Identify any contra-indications to Hippotherapy Aid in developing individualized therapy goals for the child Aid in selecting the right horse for that child The therapist will then work one-on-one with the child towards achieving their therapy goals.

Why does it work? Hippotherapy is so effective because it influences, enhances and integrates function in multiple systems, including the Sensory systems Neuro-motor system (muscles) The cognitive system.

Hippotherapy is not intended to be done as a treatment program on its own, but as one part of the client’s plan of care.

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS The most important thing to consider when doing Hippotherapy is safety. Horses are wonderful and gentle animals, but they are still a live animal and can frighten easily. Hippotherapy will never be conducted if it is considered unsafe for the client, or for the horse. The horse will always be led by a trained horse expert, who can recognize signs of discomfort or stress in the horse. The therapist will walk alongside the horse and the client on one side, and there will always be another person, walking alongside the other side of the horse. This can be a family member or a volunteer.

Therapeutic riding: Therapeutic riding is a horse-riding program that enhances and strengthens movement the child already has through exercise and activity on horseback. • Therapeutic riding • Is appropriate for children who have minimal to moderate motor and/or sensory disorders. • Can be a progression of Hippotherapy once the child reaches their Hippotherapy goals • Has the same therapeutic benefits of Hippotherapy • Is usually run in small groups by a professional horse riding instructor. Our therapeutic riding program at The Yard on Third has been developed in conjunction with our Physiotherapist, who is trained in Hippotherapy. Contact details: Physiotherapist at the Yard on Third: Angela Kruse 076 347 7177

Benefits of Hippotherapy and Therapeutic Riding: Hippotherapy and Therapeutic Riding can result in improvements in the following areas: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Arousal and attention Balance strategies Bi-lateral integration Body awareness Circulation Dynamic postural stability Endurance Midline orientation Mobility of the pelvis, spine and hip joints Muscle tone Muscle strength Musculoskeletal alignment Neuro-motor dysfunction Posture Problem-solving movement strategies Respiratory function Self confidence Sensorimotor integration Symmetry and alignment Timing and co-ordination


EarthRise Mountain Lodge is set in the heart of the majestic Maluti Mountains, in the heart of the Eastern Free State and 17kms from Ficksburg. It is the perfect place to Retreat, Relax, Reflect & Recharge. We are a community owned lodge and social enterprise, creating patient activism, activating communities and uniting for a beautiful future. All our profits go into community development. Stay updated on Facebook with the developments happening in the beautiful Naledi, Franschoek & Earthrise Community

EarthRise Mountain Lodge caters for all your functions! Be it a Wedding, Conference, Anniversary, name it! Our doors are always open.

Mobile: 087 808 2709 Email :

FIND & BOOK ECO-FRIENDLY ACCOMMODATION IN SOUTH AFRICA is your green heart guide to eco-friendly accommodation throughout beautiful South Africa. We partner with all kinds of accommodation establishments that operate in an eco-friendly, sustainable and responsible way. So whether you opt for a luxury boutique hotel or rustic tree house, you can feel good knowing your holiday supports a place that serves the environment and community in a positive way. To help you make these good choices, we are committed to growing a wonderful selection of urban and country, luxury and rustic green accommodation options where you will love to stay! Search for your next green getaway on by location or type; the Check Availability & Book Online green button will enable you to check real-time availability, make a booking & secure online payment through the Nightsbridge booking system at no extra charge.

WHAT IS ECO-FRIENDLY ACCOMMODATION? Eco-friendly accommodation is defined as a lodging establishment with structural features that minimize the impact and footprint on the environment; as well as well as those that follow green living, sustainability and eco-friendly practices.

WHAT ARE GREEN HEARTS? Look out for the Green Hearts Seal of each establishment. We are proud to showcase all of our members and love to highlight their specific efforts to protect and conserve the environment. Seals display between 1-5 Green Hearts as awarded to them for their positive Green Acts. Here`s more info!

Conscious Life Magazine

At Operation Smile we believe every child suffering from cleft lip or cleft palate deserves exceptional surgical care. For too many families around the world, safe surgery is not an option. At Operation Smile we believe every child deserves exceptional surgical care. We believe all children deserve to be treated as if they were our own.

EVERY 3 MINUTES, a child is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate and may suffer from torments, malnourishment and difficulty with speech. We dream of a world where no child suffers from lack of access to safe surgery. Learn why we do what we do in the video below.

That’s what drives each and every one of us: our global network of medical professionals, who donate hundreds of thousands of hours toward the care of children around the world each year, and our supporters who are moved every day to make a difference in the lives of children they’ve never met.

How you can help Operation Smile South Africa Building 17, 103/104, Waverley Office Park 5 Wyecroft Rd, Observatory 7925 (+27) 021 447 3608 NPO number 083-117 NPO

A child’s cleft lip or cleft palate can be repaired for as little as R5500 and in as few as 45 minutes, but your gift is more than a surgery. All of our supporters give renewed hope to children and families around the world.

Dear Reader, Because of animal lovers like you, Humane Society International is working around the clock to fight the gruesome dog meat industry – to end it for good. We’ve slammed the doors permanently on nine dog meat farms in South Korea and rescued more than 900 dogs. Not only that, but we’re lobbying hard for better laws throughout Asia to fight the cruelty, transition farmers out of the business of cruelty, and so much more. Here is one transformation that we can't stop smiling about. Sophie was rescued just this year from a horrible life on a dog meat farm. Now, she is running free and playing in the grass, surrounded by the love of her forever family:

This kind of ending never gets old, but so many other dogs still need you.

You can make a difference for dogs caught up in this brutal industry: Sign the dog meat pledge today.

With you by our side, we're committed to this huge fight against the dog meat trade. We’re closing farms and rescuing the animals; we’re raising public and political awareness of the cruelty involved; and we’re growing substantial support for a phase out and ban of South Korea’s dog meat farms. Become a part of the global campaign to end the dog meat trade—sign your name right now. Thank you, for protecting animals from cruelty all across the globe. Sincerely, Kitty Block President Humane Society International

with much appreciation to our advertisers, contributors, endorsers and our readers namaste

Cotu Montessori issue 41 December 2017  
Cotu Montessori issue 41 December 2017  

How to choose your Montessori school for next year, what to look for. Educational toys of high quality, The art of doing NOTHING. Taking Mon...