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C a p e

To w n ’ s

b e s t

g u i d e

f o r

pa r e n t s

park and ride creating great play spaces in our neighbourhoods

art & soul creative therapies for your child

hold your


adoptive parents on questions asked by unthinking others

October 2010



the 3D issue difference, diagnosis & diversity education


My dad is a huge dog-lover, and he definitely passed this love on to me. My first dog was a labrador, Tessa. Then there was Karen the rottweiler and, when she died, we got an African Tails special, Tsepang. Some years later, when I moved into my first garden flat, I adopted a staffie, Chloe, and then another, Thug. Which is why, recently, it didn’t take too much begging from my youngest to seek out the new addition to our household – Buddy the Beagle. The animal behaviourists who run our local puppy classes are not impressed. They recommend labradors and golden retrievers as good family dogs. But we wanted a beagle! They are great with children and can run their little legs off, making them perfect companions for long walks in the forest. Much to my husband’s dismay, they also tuck quite nicely into king-size beds, lying perfectly still until enticed out with a chunk of biltong. In the six weeks that we have had Buddy, I have seen our family change. My husband smiles and takes walks with me more and my youngest has a friend to chase through the house as she tries to recover her last pair of unchewed socks. But perhaps Buddy’s greatest conquest has been my eldest. After not such a good day at school, she might have headed to her room, closed the door and turned up the music. Now she comes through the door and beams. Buddy sees her and can barely walk straight for all his tail wagging. He can, in an instant, transform a sometimes angst-ridden teenager into my little girl, who could easily be five or six again, for the carefree joy and love I see on her face. It seems another generation of dog-lovers has been won!

PS Please join us (yes, Buddy too) in supporting The Sunflower Fund’s Bandana Day on 12 October – it’s a great cause.

Hunter House PUB L IS H ING

Publisher Lisa Mc Namara •

Editorial Managing Editor Marina Zietsman • Features Editor Elaine Eksteen • Resource Editor Lucille Kemp •

monthly circulation Cape Town’s Child magazineTM 45 228 Joburg’s Child magazineTM 45 418 Durban’s Child magazineTM 40 028

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Copy Editor Debbie Hathway

Art Senior Designer Samantha Summerfield • Designers Mariette Barkhuizen • Nikki-leigh Piper •

Advertising Director Lisa Mc Namara •


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To Subscribe Helen Xavier •

Accounts Helen Xavier • Nicolene Baldy • Tel: 021 465 6093 • Fax: 021 462 2680

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Free requested Apr 10 – Jun 10

Cape Town’s Child magazineTM is published monthly by Hunter House Publishing, PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010. Office address: Unit 7, Canterbury Studios, cnr Wesley and Canterbury Streets, Gardens, Cape Town. Tel: 021 465 6093, fax: 021 462 2680, email: Annual subscriptions (for 11 issues) cost R165, including VAT and postage inside SA. Printed by Paarl Web. Copyright subsists in all work published in Cape Town’s Child magazineTM. We welcome submissions but retain the unrestricted right to change any received copy. We are under no obligation to return unsolicited copy. The magazine, or part thereof, may not be reproduced or adapted without the prior written permission of the publisher. We take care to ensure our articles are accurate and balanced but cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage that may arise from reading them.

October 2010

contents october 2010

upfront 3

a note from lisa


 ver to you o readers respond


12 reader’s blog a heart-warming story from a dad whose son has autism. By Andy Schwab

regulars 8

features 16 when your child is different s teps for coping with the challenges of raising a child with a learning difference. By Glynis Horning 20 p  ark ‘n play Heather Brookes finds out how to create safe public outdoor play spaces 23 easy italian s imple recipes from Gennaro Contaldo’s new cookbook 26 fighting fit  artial arts for children – Simone Gray m takes parents through the paces



10 u  pfront with paul let children excel at the things they love, says Paul Kerton 15 dealing with difference Marina Zietsman investigates the developmental disorder, dyspraxia 36 r esource: art & soul creative therapies that help little ones going through tough times. By Lucille Kemp 40 a good read  new books for the whole family 42 what’s on in october 58 last laugh Sam Wilson vows to spend less time blogging, tweeting, SMSing...

classified ads 52 family marketplace

30 g  ame on fun games that are also educational – no shopping required. By Julia Lamberti

54 it’s party time


32 w  hat not to ask Donna Cobban speaks to parents who have adopted cross-racially

health 13 breathe easy Lucille Kemp on asthma in children 14 a  ngel’s kiss Chareen Boake looks into the nature of birthmarks

this month’s cover images are supplied by:

October 2010

magazine cape town

magazine cape town

October 2010


over to you restore the dignity in teaching

teaching at home I have been home schooling my children for seven years. I read your resource “education matters” in the August edition of Child Magazine and I have some concerns regarding the section on home schooling. Yes, a home-schooling curriculum can be very expensive,




experience, many parents who start out home schooling pack this curriculum away as they become more confident and



resources for educational materials on the Internet, in the library and at book sales. There is actually an oversupply of free educational

I am writing regarding the industrial action by civil servants, specifically teachers. As an ex-teacher, I agree that the government should seriously consider a more equitable salary for those in the teaching profession. Teaching is not like an ordinary nine-to-five job – it is indeed a calling. Teachers form a vital cornerstone of education. Having said that, I was aghast at the unrest displayed by striking teachers in the media. It was in stark contrast to pictures depicting pockets of learners, mostly Grade 12s, huddled on school playgrounds, forging ahead with independent study. Their calibre is remarkable compared to their insolent teachers who seemingly display careless and irresponsible behaviour. I’m sure that teachers can resort to alternative means of industrial action instead of the mayhem and violence of the current strikes. Let’s restore some dignity and nobility to the teaching profession, and collectively lay a firm education for our children. Mark Kleinschmidt

material out there, so home educating can be as expensive as you choose to make it. The second point I disagree with is that children may get insufficient interaction with their peers. I belong to a home-schooling network, but most of my children’s friends are not home

thanks for my prize

schooled. Children who are home schooled also

Thank you for the awesome Karvol hamper that I won in the June/July giveaway. All the items will certainly come in handy. Thank you too for a fabulous magazine, and to the sponsor for the prize and the prompt delivery. Erashini Govender

get the opportunity to socialise with people of all ages. This will stand them in good stead when they enter the job market one day. The article stated that parents might find it difficult to distinguish between the role of parent and that of teacher. From the moment our children are born, parents start teaching them and home schooling is just an extension of this. Another issue raised was that it might be a problem if your child shows an aptitude for a subject that you find difficult to teach. I was terrible at maths at school, but we have a fantastic maths programme and I am learning maths along with the children. If the going gets really tough, parents can consider employing a tutor to help with a subject. On the issue that the parent would not only have to teach but also do research, prepare lessons and arrange outings; I have found that most curriculums have done all the prep for the parents. As for research, we teach our children how to do it and we investigate along with them. I have found that formal outings are easy to arrange when necessary, but often learning occurs on everyday occasions, such as shopping or going to the beach. Learning becomes a way of life, not just something that happens in school hours.

time more precious than things Let me begin by saying that I have never felt a compulsion to write a letter to any publishing company. I was so delighted to read the article “gimme more” (September 2010), that I just had to respond. The feature echoes my sentiments about materialism – especially concerning the issue of time. I am a working mom who has been fortunate enough to be employed by a company that allows me to work from 7:30am to 4pm.The sole purpose for this is to allow me more time in the afternoons with my seven-year-old son and four-year-old daughter; helping them with homework, playing with them and just being together. If I ask my children whether they would rather, (a) have my husband and I spend time with them, or (b) receive presents, they always answer that they want time with the family. I certainly hope your article inspires less materialism in today’s children so that they can enjoy the art of living more. Anne-Marie Vincent

home-schooled children, allowing them to join in their activities, and some resourceful homeschooling parents offer coaching. Chirani Meyer

October 2010

proud grandmothers I am grandmother of four girls and I thank you for the excellent magazine. I read it first then send it over to my daughter in the UK, who absolutely loves it. She circulates it among all her South African friends as well. Jacqui Munns This weekend I picked up a copy of Child Magazine for the first time. Although I am not a young mother any more (I am a first-time grandmother), the magazine certainly stirred my curiosity and I was pleasantly surprised at what a wonderful magazine it is. And to top it all, it is free! Keep up the good work. Jadwiga Richmond

write to us We would like to know what’s on your mind. Send your letters to:

Lack of sport facilities and coaches is not a huge problem as some schools welcome

enjoying our four-year-old son’s independence and the fact that he slept through the night. I went for a pregnancy test and, when the result came back positive, I started crying – I’m not sure if they were tears of joy or fear. At my first appointment with my gynaecologist, I asked to be sterilised the moment the new baby arrived. I even insisted he wrote it on my file so that he wouldn’t forget. Then I received the biggest surprise of my life. I was pregnant with twins! I burst into tears again. I kept thinking, “Why me? How can this happen?” I was so scared. On the way home, the waterworks were still flowing. From then onwards my pregnancy was high risk, as my identical twin babies were sharing the same sac and one placenta. I was seeing the specialist and my gynaecologist every fortnight and at 30 weeks, the risk was so high that I had a Caesarean. Even as I was lying on the operating table, I reminded the doctor about the sterilisation. Now, my precious babies are almost eight months old and they are doing brilliantly. We love every moment with them, and we even enjoy the attention they get from fascinated onlookers and visitors. Never in a million years did we think we’d be the proud parents of twins, never. Moira Khumalo

double delight In May 2009 I started feeling nauseous and moody, and couldn’t understand what was going on. My husband and I were not trying for a second baby and, to be honest, we were not yet ready to go through the pregnancy and nappy change routine again. We were

or PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010. We reserve the right to edit and shorten submitted letters. The opinions reflected here are those of our readers and are not necessarily held by Hunter House Publishing.

magazine cape town

magazine cape town

October 2010


giveawaysin october sleep tight When your little one has a cold or the flu and is battling to breathe because of congestion, try Nazo vapour patches. Suitable for children two years and older, Nazo vapour patches are designed to safely release the vapours of eucalyptus and camphor while your child is sleeping. Both these essential oils offer symptomatic relief for the nasal congestion associated with colds and flu, making breathing easier. Because the Nazo vapour patch is attached to your child’s clothes, it is safe and won’t disturb his sleep. Now your little one can get the rest they need – and so can you. For more information contact Pharma Dynamics on 021 701 6080 or visit Ten readers of Cape Town’s Child stand a chance to win a hamper valued at R150 each, which includes a teddy bear and a pack of Nazo vapour patches. To enter, email win@ with “Nazo CT Win” in the subject line or post your entry to Nazo CT Win, PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010 before 31 October 2010. Only one entry per reader. Composition: each patch contains 187,5mg eucalyptus oil and 62,5mg camphor

comfort of the womb MooMoo Kids manufactures quality baby and toddler items. The product range includes sleeping bags, kiddigrows, sunhats and the swaddle-bag, the newest addition to the range. This combines the design of the popular MooMoo sleeping bag with the newborn’s need for the womb-like hug that swaddling provides. Night-time nappy changes can be done without taking off the sleeping bag or swaddle-bag – simply unzip the bottom. For more information contact Cam on 073 612 2719 or visit Five readers of Cape Town’s Child stand a chance to win a MooMoo sleeping hamper worth R580 each, comprising the new MooMoo swaddle-bag (0–6 months) as well as a MooMoo sleeping bag (6–18 months). To enter, send your name and postal address to with “CT Child Win” in the subject line before 31 October 2010. Only one entry per reader.

good looking

October 2010


annabella maternity will keep you looking stylish and feeling beautiful throughout your pregnancy and into motherhood. Their designs are feminine, comfortable and incredibly versatile. Your favourite styles will flatter you during and post pregnancy, and allow for discreet breastfeeding. Readers of Cape Town’s Child stand a chance to win one of five annabella maternity vouchers valued at R200 each, redeemable off your online purchase. To view the full range, visit To enter, answer the following question: name one of the eight categories into which the annabella maternity range is divided? (Hint: log on to annabellamaternity. com and click on “our boutique”.) Email claire@ with your name, number and answer with “CT Child Win” in the subject line by 31 October 2010. Only one entry per reader.

magazine cape town

the perfect push chair Mothercare, the iconic British retailer, recently launched in South Africa exclusively to Woolworths and they have brought with them the iconic Spin Pram. Suitable from birth to three years, the pram easily converts to the lie-flat position for your newborn baby with a removable bumper bar that makes getting your baby in and out of the seat much easier. There is also a four-position adjustable handle for perfect comfort when pushing, and a unique one-hand-fold mechanism for ease of use. The Mothercare range is currently stocked at Woolworths Canal Walk 021 555 9911. For more information visit One reader stands a chance to win a Spin Pram valued at R6 999 from the Mothercare range compliments of Woolworths. To enter, email your details to win@ with “Woolworths CT win” in the subject line or post your entry to Woolworths CT Win, PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010 before 31 October 2010. Only one entry per reader.

sweet dreams Along with a clean room, appropriate lighting, and a comforting soft toy, the perfect sleep environment for your child also needs the right bedding. Protect-A-Bed’s full line of mattress- and pillow-protection products offers the ultimate in protection from spills and stains, allergens and irritants such as dust mites and bacteria. The products are also breathable as they are not made of PVC. For more information on their wide range of products, from AllerZip Mattress Encasements to Pillow Protectors and their most popular product, the Super Deluxe Mattress Protector, visit

congratulations to our august winners Barbara Sherwood, Nooria Matthews, Louise Cantin, Nicola Rabie, Carmen

Four readers of Cape Town’s Child stand a chance to win a Protect-A-Bed

Oosthuizen, Marlize Merris, Lisa Parnell and Carey Lotter who win in the My File

family pack containing mattress and pillow protectors, valued at R750 each. To

About Me giveaway; Amnei Steyn and Thembisa Shoko who both win a picnic

enter, email with “CT Child Win” in the subject line before 31

bench from Wooden Elements; Milli Kubach and Lorien Pask who both win a

October 2010. Only one entry per reader.

Crayola hamper; Katherine Reeks who wins a Keedo voucher.

magazine cape town

October 2010

upfront with paul

Paul, Sabina and Saskia


ave you noticed how we all try to perfect in ourselves, and our children, what we are not good at, at the expense – in time and energy – of perfecting what we are already very good at? So instead of being Olympic standard at one or two things, we opt to be mediocre at many things. Reinforcing this is the early need to experiment with lots of different “subjects” and “life skills”, since you don’t know if your child is good at anything until they’ve tried it – the old you’ve-got-to-be-in-it-towin-it theory.


October 2010

So let’s take maths (apologies to all the fabulous maths teachers out there. I actually liked maths at school). Most children grasp counting, adding and subtracting. In modern society, they at least need to know how to count the change in their pocket and measure the distance between A and B. But when it comes to trigonometry and algebra, and advanced theorems – many children hit a wall. Yet we parents fret, employ an army of tutors, book extra maths lessons, and spend valuable hours coaching a child to pass the maths test. Then, having peaked, their interest dissolves into apathy. If they had spent the same amount of time practising and being coached at what they were already good at, or interested in, then the child would be a complete genius at that other thing.

Children should concentrate on becoming a genius at the things they love, says PAUL KERTON.

Educators argue that this is what most sophisticated education systems do (or try to): stream the children into a sensible short list of career and subject choices. Hoping that by the time varsity swings around they should be on course to excel at something, leading to meaningful employment. But do we stream them too late? In Outliers, writer Malcolm Gladwell claims that to be top at anything you need to put in a total of 10 000 hours of hard work. There’s the humungous 800-plus-page tome Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance that dismisses talent and stresses that winners and expert performers of say, maths, ballet, piano or football, are made not born, championing that old nugget “practice makes perfect”. Providing, and this is key, that you are practising what you love. Since if you love something you will want to work harder

at it, whereas if you don’t love it you will resent doing it and remain mediocre at it. The other consideration is age. Not only the age when your child is streamlined and their “interest” discovered, but the month in which they were born. Get this: more than 60 percent of the footballers at this year’s sensational World Cup were born in January, February or March, with the remaining 40 percent spread over the other nine months. Why? Youth football is an age-biased sport with the cut-off at the end of each year. When picking a team you always pick the more “mature” boys and the boy born in January of any year is 11 months ahead – physically and mentally – of the December boy. So if your boy (or girl) is born on 30 December and wants to excel at sport, lie about his/her age. Paul Kerton is the author of Fab Dad: A Man’s Guide to Fathering.

magazine cape town


square holes, round pegs…

magazine cape town

October 2010



it takes a village For ANDY SCHWAB, raising a son living on the autism spectrum couldn’t be done without the community in which they stay.


October 2010

hand in hand The old African proverb: “it takes a village to raise a child” cannot be more true than when it comes to children living on the spectrum. My son is very, very active, and loves the outdoors or going to the shops, just as long as he can be on the go. Sometimes during these shopping trips Luca may get irritated and act up, which can be difficult for people to understand. I have, however, learned that if we as parents share our son’s condition with people in our community – why he is

who he is and how they can interact and communicate with him – most people around us turn out to be very supportive and understanding. This is something for which I am most thankful. We have been blessed with so much support from many people living in our community – neighbours, friends, family, people in the various shops that we visit and the other places we go. And the good news is: the number is rising. There’s a particular recent experience, which affected us intensely, that I’d love to share. A few months back my son disappeared from our home. I was busy with a few chores and listening to him playing. Suddenly things became quiet. In those two minutes he’d climbed through a broken window we hadn’t yet replaced. And while I checked each corner of our house in my desperation to find him, he had already headed out into the street

and around the block. As I set off into the road to search for him, around the corner came a man holding my son’s hand. The man, who it turns out is homeless, said he’d seen my son and realised something was wrong because he is never alone. His wife had told him where we lived, and he took my son’s hand and returned him home safely. I cannot thank him enough for his quick thinking – and for doing the right thing at the right time. That it takes a village to raise a child now makes even more sense to me than it ever did.

Readers, this is your column – it’s a space to air your views, share a valuable parenting lesson, vent your frustrations or celebrate your joys. Send your writing to

magazine cape town

PHOTOGRAPH: Jürgen Banda-Hansmann

t’s well documented that autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects between one in 110 and one in 150 children of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Autism affects me through my son, Luca, 12, who has both autism and epilepsy. I don’t think it’s something you ever feel ready for. Despite the fact that I was professionally involved with many people living with a disability, I could never have imagined what my life would look like or how I would cope. I was not ready, nor prepared for it. I guess few people are. Our son’s condition developed at age two. It’s a journey that has needed

us to make some major adjustments to our lives. However, we are most grateful to have a child like Luca. We appreciate that living with this condition wasn’t his choice, neither was it ours, but we have as much fun as other parents with their children.


breathe easy There are ways to stay on top of your child’s asthma. By LUCILLE KEMP

sthma is a chronic disorder of the lungs in which the airways narrow and mucous is secreted, due to inflammation, interfering with normal air movement. It affects 300-million people worldwide and, because it can be life threatening, is a scary condition to live with. Although there is no cure for asthma at present, effective treatment is available to control it, making it possible for your child to lead a normal life. When trying to understand what makes a child susceptible to asthma, consider the child’s history with allergies or atopic eczema and the family’s history of asthma, especially on the mom’s side. Asthma has a strong link to allergies, such as hay fever, which “coexists in 80 percent of asthmatic patients,” says Prof Cassim Motala of Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town. The trigger may vary based on the individual child’s allergy, which could be to particular foods, dust, medicines, pet hair or air pollution. Along with allergens, symptoms are triggered by the common cold, exercise, irritants such as tobacco smoke (the number one no-no), cold air, emotional stress and even laughing, which can tighten the chest. Asthma is identified by wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing. Dr Ishmael Mohlabi, a Johannesburg-based paediatrician, points out that asthma

magazine cape town

is “a respiratory condition and its signs and symptoms may overlap with those of other chest ailments”. Motala says that it’s difficult to distinguish from wheezy bronchitis, which often occurs in the first three years of life. After the age of three, recurring dry wheezing, especially in the middle of the night or early in the morning, is most likely due to asthma.”

airway. Control should be the main goal of treatment, however, “if your child is using their reliever pump more than three times weekly it is uncontrolled asthma,” says Motala. Failure to control asthma will lead to excessive use of the reliever pumps and this is an indication that “medication and dosages may need adjusting,” adds Mohlabi.

be prepared take the three-part approach Avoid the triggers. This means treating the associated conditions such as hay fever, which may mean having to remove plants from your home or garden, not having pets and not smoking in the house (or at all). Understand the disease. Learn and practise the correct and regular use of treatment especially with regards to asthma pump techniques. Children may be given their pump with a spacer, which slows down the speed of the spray coming from the inhaler so that less bronchodilator hits the back of the mouth and more gets into the lungs. Medicate with relievers and controllers. Relievers are asthma pumps that contain bronchodilator medication and should strictly only be used when symptoms occur. Controller medicine (corticosteroid) prevents asthma symptoms by treating the underlying inflammation in the

Motala provides a step-by-step plan when dealing with asthma attacks. Make sure you stay calm and patient, and give your child bronchodilator via pump or nebuliser as soon as possible. “Four puffs of a pump should be given three times at 20-minute intervals,” he says. Depending on the severity of the attack, says Mohlabi, you should also give your child corticosteroids. If your child’s breathing doesn’t improve; take them to the nearest emergency centre. Though many children’s symptoms decrease as they reach adolescence, say both Mohlabi and Motala, the possibility of relapse later in life still remains. To stave off possible setbacks, the asthmatic should then always consider the impact their surroundings (and the triggers it contains) have on their condition. It’s no surprise then, when Motala says this also has implications for the career they choose.

October 2010



angel’s kiss CHAREEN BOAKE investigates birthmarks.


October 2010

on the depth of these vessels, appear as pink, red or blue marks. The most common vascular marks are harmless macular or flat stains, usually pink in colour and called “angel’s kisses” or “stork bites” because of their appearance on the forehead, eyelids, nose, lip or back of the neck. These birthmarks tend to darken when babies cry or their temperature is raised. Marks on the face usually disappear by the age of two while the marks on the back of the neck may last until adulthood. Hemangiomas are flat or raised marks that usually appear a few weeks after birth. Strawberry hemangiomas are bright red raised lesions commonly occurring on the face, scalp, back or chest. They grow quite rapidly and often disappear between the ages of five to 10. Cavernous hemangiomas appear as a red-blue spongy tissue and the borders aren’t as visible as they are with other hemangiomas. They grow rapidly in the first six months and then slow down and often disappear by the age of 10. Port-wine stains are flat purple-to-red marks usually occurring on the face. Lighter port-wine stains may disappear but, in most cases, they remain and get bigger as the child grows, sometimes also thickening and

darkening to form “cobblestones” or lumps. Port-wine stains near the eye and cheek accompanied by seizures at birth as well as eye problems, may be evidence of a neurological disorder called Sturge-Weber syndrome.

should I be worried? Sister Bronwyn Lendrum from Netcare Stork’s Nest in Sunninghill says “most babies are born with some form of birthmark; in the majority of cases these are hormonal and usually disappear within two years”. Johannesburg-based GP Dr Paula Smart says that if there is scarring or the birthmark looks more than just cosmetically unappealing, she would refer the child for further medical advice but she prefers to simply monitor them for two years. Dr Michael Jameson, a Johannesburg-based dermatologist agrees that if the birthmark is uncomfortable, prone to bleeding, situated near the mouth and nose or obstructing vision you should consult your doctor or dermatologist. He further suggests consulting your doctor about any concerns you may have because it’s not always possible to see whether a birthmark poses a danger by mere surface observation. Certain birthmarks can present themselves subcutaneously.

magazine cape town


atches of discoloured skin on a baby’s body, present at birth or appearing a few months thereafter, are called birthmarks. Most birthmarks are painless and harmless, usually fading over time and sometimes even disappearing completely. Pigmented birthmarks can appear anywhere on the body and the most common types, café au lait spots and Mongolian spots, are caused by dilated capillaries near the surface of the skin. Café au lait spots are salmon-coloured patches that tend to darken when exposed to the sun and usually fade as the child gets older. (When these spots present in groups of six or more, however, it may be a sign of a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis type 1.) Mongolian spots are more prevalent on darker skinned babies, bluish in colour and resembling bruises, they often appear on the buttocks, scrotum, lower back and sometimes on the trunk or arms. Moles are also considered birthmarks. They often darken after sun exposure and during the teen years and pregnancy. Certain moles can increase in size or may become cancerous. Vascular birthmarks are caused by an accumulation of blood vessels below the skin’s surface and, depending

dealing with difference

ut of step MARINA ZIETSMAN looks at dyspraxia,


a developmental coordination difference.

ifteen-year-old Victoria Biggs describes life with her “hidden handicap as lying diagonally in a parallel universe – I’m always slightly out of step with everyone else... always with a skewed view of things,” she says in her book Caged in Chaos, a Dyspraxic Guide to Breaking Free. Dyspraxia, otherwise known as developmental coordination disorder, is the difficulty of planning and executing gross and fine motor tasks in the correct sequence. It is found in approximately 10 percent of the population, with two percent experiencing severe problems. It’s also more common in boys than girls. Bruce Bradfield, a clinical psychologist in Cape Town says, “The condition is diagnosed when impairment in coordination has a marked negative impact on the child’s interpersonal and educational functioning. This motor coordination impairment must be beyond what might be expected given the child’s measured level of intelligence,” says Bradfield. Children with developmental dyspraxia appear clumsy, uncoordinated, accidentprone and their movements don’t come fluidly or automatically. Jennifer Luther, Lauren Quintal and Lisa Halland, occupational therapists (OT) at the Child Integration Centre (CIC) in Johannesburg, say this is because “there is a breakdown in the transmission of the message from the brain to the muscles”. They add “these children will have difficulty when first learning a task. The child may approach a task awkwardly and may use inefficient methods to do so. They will be unable to generalise learned skills to other tasks, such as transferring print writing skills to cursive writing.” Symptoms of dyspraxia are evident from an early age (see “reading the signs”). For the Johannesburg parents of sevenyear-old Sean*, the road to diagnosis has been riddled with confusion. “I was pregnant with my third child (Sean is the middle son), when Sean’s behaviour started changing. He would walk and simply collapse. He could not hold things. At first we thought there was something wrong with his legs or hips, but tests showed he was fine,” says his mom, Karen*. Then they thought perhaps Sean was vying for attention because of the new baby, but his symptoms were too severe to be attention seeking. His speech was also delayed and he couldn’t, for example, do simple puzzles. At one stage they were convinced he was autistic. magazine cape town

When he turned three, his parents took him to a neuro-developmental paediatrician and an OT. The diagnosis given was sensory integration disorder, but no mention of dyspraxia was made. “I read an article on the disorder by accident and then googled it. That was the start of his being correctly diagnosed.”

schooling options As dyspraxia is a developmental disorder, the symptoms change as a child grows older, says Bradfield. Many of its symptoms are also indicative of a number of other frequently diagnosed disorders, such as ADHD or autism, which often leads to misdiagnosis.

says Yvonne. Francine sees the school’s social worker to help her deal with her social awkwardness and to help her adjust to new teachers when she changes grades.

moving forward Whatever the severity of their dyspraxia, life can be a daily battle for these children, who are aware of their condition and often describe themselves as feeling out of place and incompetent. The OT team at the CIC say that in order to preserve their integrity the child may appear stubborn, inflexible and uncooperative. “They may feel frustrated as they know what they want done, but cannot achieve it,” they say.

A child with a learning difference uses up to 10 percent more brain power, so praise effort and not output. Sean was eventually moved from the mainstream nursery school and placed in a special-needs school. “He is cognitively on par with his age group, but his fine motor skills are two years behind those of his peers,” says his mom. “The school was a life-saver for us. For the first time he has shown an interest in learning and sings nursery rhymes. It has given Sean a real confidence boost and, luckily, he carries that good self-esteem outside the classroom.” Even though a special-needs school has done wonders for Sean, and his mom believes that he will most likely complete his education at such an institution, there are dyspraxic children coping in mainstream schools. Seven-year-old Francine* attends a mainstream school in Cape Town. Both her Grade 1 and 2 teachers believe she’ll continue to grow at this level of education. Francine has also been misdiagnosed with ADHD, ADD and Asperger’s syndrome, but once dyspraxia was identified, her parents and teachers could constructively assist her. “Francine is the only learner in her class, for example, that uses a computer to complete homework and assignments,” says her Grade 2 teacher Yvonne*. Both Yvonne and Francine’s Grade 1 teacher say her biggest challenge is adapting socially. “She’s intelligent, but shy and introverted and sensory-sensitive. If there is too much noise, she simply shuts down. But she has learned to tell me when she feels over-stimulated, and she then moves to a quiet corner of the classroom,”

But there are ways to help a dyspraxic child. Occupational therapists use a sensory integrative approach, which improves the child’s ability to interpret sensory information and ultimately helps to improve movement and their ability to learn new movements and tasks. Extramurals such as swimming, horse riding and judo are helpful for the same reasons. Both Sean and Francine, for example, love swimming, especially

underwater, most likely because of their sensory-avoidance nature. Bradfield says the treatment of dyspraxia needs to be multifaceted. “On the one level, treatment needs to be aimed at educating the child and their families regarding the nature of the disorder,” explains Bradfield. “The second level aims at enabling the child’s development of coordination by putting goalorientated treatment structures in place, which include OT, speech and language therapy and perceptual motor training.” The third level Bradfield says, would focus on helping the child cope with the range of interpersonal difficulties dyspraxia can cause. To this end Bradfield suggests play therapy. Ultimately therapy starts at home. “We try first of all not to treat Sean differently, but it’s hard sometimes,” says Karen. “When his brothers play cricket outside, he knows he can’t join them, so we make a plan to keep him busy. It’s all about patience, structure, practice and more patience.” The experts say a child with a learning difference uses up to 10 percent more brain power, so praise effort and not output. As Victoria Biggs advises: “Try to teach in a way that your child can understand. He can’t modify the way he thinks, so you will have to modify the way you explain. Different minds cannot work in ordinary ways.” *Names have been changed

reading the signs the symptoms may include… by three years old • babies are irritable and have feeding problems • slow to achieve expected developmental milestones • skip the crawling stage and progress from the “bottom shuffle” to walking preschool – three to five years old • high levels of motor activity and excitability • easily distressed • bump into objects and fall over • hands flap when running • difficulty with pedalling a tricycle • lack of sense of danger • continued messy eating • avoiding toys such as puzzles • poor motor skills – can’t hold a pencil • lack of imaginative play • isolation within the peer group • left- or right-handedness not established • persistent language difficulties • sensitive to sensory stimulation • limited response to verbal instruction • limited concentration by seven years old • difficulty adapting to structured school routine • difficulty in physical education lessons • slow at dressing • barely legible handwriting • immature drawing and copying skills • limited concentration skills • literal use of language • inability to remember more than two or three instructions at once • slow completion of work • high levels of motor activity • hand flapping/clapping when excited • easily distressed • inability to form relationships with other children • sleeping difficulties • reporting symptoms such as migraine Courtesy Dyspraxia Foundation UK,

October 2010



when your child is different Parenting a child with disabilities is a daunting challenge, but

There’s no formula for dealing with this, no magic path.


October 2010

earing for the first time that “your child has a disability is like a klap in the face,” says Adi de Hoop, 49, founder of the SpiritedKidz LearnsPace school and family education centre in Rivonia. She suspected a problem when she started contractions at 24 weeks. “I’m well informed, so when Nimoe was born two days later, and the paediatrician said an echography of her brain showed all was fine, I wasn’t convinced. The fantastic healing mechanism of the brain means

it takes two or three months to show damage, and I insisted on other checks while she was still in hospital. (Tip to other parents: it’s hugely expensive to have these as an outpatient later.)” Nimoe has cerebral palsy with complications. “Nothing prepares you for hearing it, absolutely nothing, even if you’ve intellectually grasped it,” she says flatly. “On a deep emotional level, your very identity is under attack.” “It’s all so alienating, so terrifying,’ says Durban photographer Angela Buckland,

48, whose son Nikki was diagnosed as “low-functioning” at three months. “One of the hardest parts is accepting there can be no proper recovery – it’s learning to let go, and just do your best.” “I wept when the specialist said Tariq had autism,” murmurs Liza Aziz, 41, Durban filmmaker and founder of Action in Autism and its early learning intervention and resource centres. “But I also resolved never to give up on our son. And so began one of the most painfully challenging but also deeply rewarding journeys of our lives.”

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there are steps that can help you cope, says GLYNIS HORNING.

learning to cope

let yourself grieve

No two children with disabilities are alike, even if they have the same condition, says Jenny Head, principal of Pathways special needs centre for children with severe disabilities in Durban, and mother of a son with cerebral palsy. “So there’s no formula for dealing with this, no magic path. Every parent must find what works best for them and their particular child, family, and social and financial situation. But knowing certain things, and being able to find support, can make a major difference to how you cope.”

When you discover your child has a disability, you go through the same stages as with a death, says Jenny – denial, anger, blame, guilt, questioning why you, and fear you won’t cope. “You’ve lost the child you thought you’d have, your dreams for their future and yours, and your way of life.” The stages don’t follow the same order for everyone, but it’s vital you let yourself go through them all, says Adi. “Because I’d anticipated what was coming, I didn’t go through denial. I just said ‘Okay, this

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is what it is, so what can I do to make things better?’ And I didn’t grieve properly – there wasn’t time, with a screaming, very demanding child and work to take care of. Eight years on, I’m still often an emotional wreck.” Relatives and people in society often don’t know what to do or say when a family has a disabled child, and the embarrassment they feel often blocks them from offering helpful support to the family, says Stellenbosch psychology professor Leslie Swartz, author of Able-Bodied:

October 2010



It’s one of the most painfully challenging but also deeply rewarding journeys of our lives. Scenes from a Curious Life (Zebra Press) and co-author with researchers Kathleen McDougall and Amelia van der Merwe of a photographic book on disabled children by Angela Buckland, Zip Zip My Brain Harts (HSRC). “With other big life challenges, there’s often a beginning and an end to the difficulties, so it’s possible to imagine future closure and acceptance,” he says. “But with a child with a disability, parents have a long journey ahead of them with no end in sight – it’s a life-long journey, and brings a change to every aspect of family life. At each stage of the child’s development, parents may experience a new sense of loss as they think about what they would have been experiencing had their child not been disabled. But they may also become more conscious of positive aspects.” It can be hard to get a balance, and parents are often encouraged to focus only on the “specialness” of the child instead of expressing difficult emotions like anger, frustration and disappointment. But bottling emotions is unhealthy – they need to be released. “Most mothers cope much as I did,” says Liza. “We cry, we shout, we fight and we busy ourselves in action!”

Getting support from parents on the same journey can be a lifeline not only for coping emotionally, but for negotiating what Adi calls “the minefield” of professional and alternative health practitioners you encounter along the way. “Some are very good, but some are not, and you’re so desperate you’ll try anything,” she says. “Other parents can be invaluable, tipping you off about who is who, and offering practical advice and support.” The best way to find parents in your area is to ask a medical professional. “Some say they can’t share patients’ contact details for professional reasons, but if you hear that, leave!” says Adi. “Decent doctors will gladly put you in touch.” You can also contact organisations specialising in your child’s condition (see “support groups” on page 52).

start intervention early Get professional help the instant you think there may be a problem with your child, says Jenny. Take them to be assessed at your clinic, local hospital or a children’s assessment centre, and always get a second opinion.

find support Unburden with others in a similar situation, advises Swartz. “No-one understands as they do. Parents often feel isolated because of the extra work and financial load, and it can be socially awkward to go out.” It’s common for relationships to crumble under the strain. “If a marriage has a slight crack, a child like this can destroy it,” says Jenny. Some fathers are involved and supportive, but many men ignore their emotions rather than deal with them, and can’t handle the sense of failure or the demands of parenting a special needs child. Some escape in affairs or walk out.

Once you settle on a professional you are comfortable with, do whatever therapy they advise. “It may not cure your child, but it will help them be the best they can be,” she says. Quality of life is not about abilities, but feeling safe, comfortable, well and loveable; being engaged in meaningful activities; learning as much as possible; and having achievements to be proud of, however small – even just being able to tie shoelaces. “Keep reminding yourself of this,” Jenny urges.

help them be their best In an age when medical science seems to have answers for so much, it can be hard to accept that there is no cure for your child’s condition. It’s one thing to explore realistic options, but you can unnecessarily prolong


October 2010

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– physical, sensory and intellectual, says Tammy Greyling, an occupational therapist at Pathways Pretoria. “Show them how to do as much as they can, from dressing to using the toilet – keep showing them over and over if need be.” Break down tasks and ideas, and use short sentences, simple words, gestures and pictures. Don’t expect too much or too little, and give your child the chance to do things themselves before stepping in, she adds. “Don’t criticise mistakes, encourage them to try again. And be sure to give them the chance to help you, even just sorting socks – everyone likes feeling useful and appreciated.”

help yourself

your grief and pain – and strain your finances – by following false hopes, say she and Adi. These hopes don’t always spring from unscrupulous professionals being out to make money. Professor Swartz and his co-researchers report that doctors too can struggle to accept that there is no cure. Some then “heroically try to do more and more investigations to find a cause or cure when they suspect – or even know – this quest is hopeless”. Others try to protect themselves from a sense of helplessness and despair by trying to cut off emotionally. “What we need to learn from are those encounters where both the parents and the doctor get it right,” they conclude. “Where it’s not about fixing problems, but about working together in a constructive, respectful and helpful way.”

Unburden with others in a similar situation, no-one understands as they do.

Finally, look after yourself – for your child’s sake and your family, but also because you too have rights and needs, says Swartz. “In later life, parents who sacrifice themselves entirely for their children can become a burden to them, relying on them in return.” Accept any offers of help, and take time for yourself, even if it’s just a relaxing bath while someone else watches your child. Brothers and sisters can feel neglected or be embarrassed by society’s prejudice, especially when they are adolescents. But some become more emotionally mature and compassionate – one of Jenny’s daughters has become a counsellor and works with children with disabilities. “It’s very hard having a child with a disability,” Jenny says, “but they will always enrich your life.” If you find you can’t cope, and have signs of stress and depression (problems sleeping and eating, constant irritability, headaches), or still feel angry or guilty, it’s vital you take action, says Swartz. “Talk it over with a trusted friend or doctor or get counselling.”

“There comes a point where you must stop looking for an answer and just get on with it,” says Angie. Although each child is different, most respond best to intensive tutoring and stimulation. Depending on the extent of the disability, your child may be able to fit into a mainstream school or have to attend a school for children with special needs. You can also learn to stimulate your child yourself in different areas of development

real relating how to support parents with a child with a learning difference or special needs • Don’t stare or comment, they notice. • Don’t look the other way – make eye contact and smile. • Don’t give advice, they’ve heard it all. • Don’t offer well-meaning platitudes (“special parents are chosen to parent special children”); it’s patronising and can belittle their loss. • Do give practical help if you see they need it. • Do offer to do chores like shopping for them. • Do offer to sit with the child while they go out, or simply take a bath or nap.

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October 2010



park ’n


Children have the right to play, but how can we create safe spaces in our

s children, my friends and I used to spend hours playing in the garden, riding our bicycles in the street and playing with the other children in our neighbourhood. Most properties had no walls, and we could move freely among our friends’ houses. We were not aware of our parents keeping an eye on us, although they probably did. We felt carefree. Being safe hardly entered our heads – except for warnings about watching out for the occasional car while riding our bicycles in the road. Save for the weekly school sports practice and the inevitable piano lesson, we were free to play, and play we did. Today, our children have somewhat different experiences. Seldom do children enjoy the kind of carefree communal play we once had. Reading this article, my


October 2010

12-year-old daughter exclaims: “You got to walk to your friend’s house? That’s so unfair. Why can’t I?” For most parents, keeping their children safe is a key concern. We don’t allow our children to walk alone to friends’ houses or go to the park without adult supervision. We avoid parks and other open spaces that may not be safe. At home, we make sure the doors are locked, and we keep an eye on our children when they play outside. Concerns about safety have for the most part curtailed free social play.

policy on play Early this year, at a nationwide consultation in Johannesburg organised by the International Play Association, South

African children’s organisations met to discuss conditions that prevent children from being able to play. The meeting was part of a worldwide consultative initiative across eight countries, to promote Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 31 states that “every child has the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.” In addition it says that “member governments shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.”

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neighbourhoods for them to do just that? HEATHER BROOKES finds out.

At this meeting, delegates identified the key challenges in guaranteeing South African children the right to play. The greatest challenge highlighted was a shortage of safe public spaces for children to play and insufficient resources to develop and maintain them. Delegates stressed the importance of play in children’s lives and the need for everyone – both government and ordinary citizens – to take responsibility for ensuring that children can play in safe environments. The International Play Association advocates the critical importance of play in children’s lives. Play helps children learn about themselves and the world around them. Play develops social skills as well as language and vocabulary, logical thinking and problem-solving abilities. Play is also key to a child’s imagination and creativity. Play gives children the chance just to be, or to be who or whatever they want to be. Organisations such as the Active Learning Libraries point out that there are different kinds of play. Creating a balance of these is essential. Creative play such as making things; imaginative play like make-believe and role play; active play that involves physical activities to develop coordination – these are all essential for a child’s physical and mental health and development. A balance between playing alone and with others is also important.

the economics of creative play The nature of play, access and parental involvement differs across culture and economic groups. Some cultures expect intensive parental involvement, while others tend more towards leaving children to engage in free play.

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Parental participation can stimulate and enhance the benefits of play. Free play without parental involvement allows children to expand their imaginations and choose their own activities that may not conform to any rules, said experts at the Johannesburg conference.

Whatever their culture or economic group, South African children have one thing in common: they do not have sufficient safe public play spaces. How much does economic situation play a part? Children from upper-, middle- and low-income groups may all have insufficient opportunities for play, but not always for the same reasons. Parents of more privileged children tend to overload their offspring with structured activities and often do not allow enough time for free play. In contrast, there are also many children in poor communities in South Africa who have become heads of households with adult responsibilities. Poverty means no or minimal access to toys and books as well as technological play resources that give children advantages they need to cope in a technological world. Experts at the conference concluded that we haven’t done enough to address children’s opportunities for play in our country. Whatever their culture or economic group,

South African children have one thing in common: they do not have sufficient safe public play spaces.

piloting parks City planners do not always take children’s needs into account. Lack of funds and public support has resulted in a number of recreational facilities becoming derelict or being closed. When the Durban municipality closed Umgeni River Bird Park in 2009, concerned parents got together under the banner of The Child Friendly City Campaign to have the park reopened. As a result, June 2010 saw the gates opening again. Durban parents are now campaigning to revamp and reclaim the city’s parks. The eThekwini Parks Department has agreed to make Bulwer Park a pilot for rejuvenating other parks. “This pilot project plus the opening of the bird park shows that citizen action works,” says Dr Mary Galvin, member of The Child Friendly City Campaign. Around the country, communities are attempting to reclaim public green spaces and make them appealing and safe. One such success story is the revamping of George Hay Park in Parkview, Johannesburg. Residents have succeeded in making their local park into an attractive, child-friendly and safe space. Michéle Karamanof, who lives in Parkview, has been one of the driving forces behind turning George Hay Park into a well-maintained and appealing area used by residents and children on a daily basis. And “it’s when residents use the parks, that security concerns fall away,” says Galvin. Karamanof and other residents, along with the Parkview Residents’ Association, worked closely with Johannesburg City Parks to have the playground

October 2010



equipment renovated and to put safe surfaces under it all. An existing toilet block was fixed up and fenced to prevent vandalism and theft. City Parks funds a janitor for the toilet block seven days a week, and services the park on a regular basis. “It has been all about creating ongoing relationships with City Parks and residents,” says Karamanof. The Residents’ Association and the church opposite the park fund a park keeper three days a week to keep the park tidy and clean. Parkview Residents’ Association raises money for the park by holding community fun days there. A combination of energetic people, an active residents’ association and local stakeholders cooperating with local municipal structures is the way to go, says Karamanof.

on your turf So what can parents in other areas do? Cynthia Morrison, the director of Active Learning Libraries in South Africa and president of the International Toy Library Association, gives some useful advice: “The time spent playing with your children or making the time to take them somewhere to play and just being there with them means so much and builds a stronger relationship. “Find out about interesting and safe areas that together provide a good range of activities – playground equipment; rocks or safe trees to climb; sand; space for ball games; place to ride a push bike, trike or bike; an area for skateboarding or roller skating; or a stream to walk along on a dusty, natural path – as at the Sandton Field and Study Centre,” she says. “Lobby the municipality for more of these areas and to clean up existing ones. Volunteer to clean them up yourself and involve your children, their schools and other families in the community.”


October 2010

sign up Keen to get involved with organisations promoting

Fun. For more info contact: childfriendlycity@mail.

play? Here are a number of suggestions to get you in or visit or

the swing of things…

International Play Association (IPA) was founded

A Chance to Play is a programme that links playing

in 1961 and is run by volunteers. Its mission is to

and sport with learning and training initiatives for

protect, preserve and promote the child’s right to play

disadvantaged children and youth. Contact: 011 482

as a fundamental human right. IPA is driving the Global

1768, or visit

Consultations on Children’s Right to Play. For more

Active Learning Libraries South Africa is a toy-

info visit:

library service that provides toys, games and play

Parkview Residents’ Association is happy to chat

equipment to schools and other organisations that

to other residents’ associations that would like their

need them, as well as training for those that receive

input on revamping the parks in their neighbourhoods.

the items on how best to use them. There are 200 toy

Contact: or visit

libraries in South Africa. If you have good quality toys

Sunshine Association works with families and

and games to donate, Active Learning Libraries knows

communities for the development and inclusion of

of many preschools without play materials. Contact

children with special needs. They have daycare, a toy

Maxine: 011 484 0333, info@activelearninglibraries.

library and sibling programmes as well as home-based or visit

support. Contact: 011 642 2005,

Active Schools Association promotes play and

or visit

physical activity for cognitive, social and emotional

The South African P.L.A.Y. Forum will be launched

learning. It works to provide spaces for positive interaction

this year. It will be made up of professionals and

through play in school environments. Contact:

parents interested in better play spaces for children,

021 691 4012, or visit

especially places to which the community has free

Child Friendly Cities Campaign is a global

access. For information about the launch contact

movement started by UNICEF now taken up voluntarily

Maxine: 011 484 0333

by a group of Durban parents to make eThekwini a

Woz’obona is an early childhood development service

child-friendly city. Their campaign aims to make public

group promoting children’s safety and early childhood

spaces such as parks, sporting and cultural facilities

development in preschools. It offers social support,

accessible, safe, well-maintained and appealing to all

child referral support as well as life skills activities and

children. Join them at Bulwer Park in Glenwood from

play support. Contact: 011 482 3647, wozjhb@

3pm–5pm on the last Saturday of every month for Park or visit

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book extract

easy italian

Simple and delicious recipes from GENNARO CONTALDO’s latest cookbook.


s you probably know, Italians have a lifelong obsession with food – but what you might not know is that they also have an obsession with the wellbeing of their children, almost to the point of madness! From a very early age, babies join in with the family meals – sitting in their highchairs, observing and listening to what is happening at the table. Mothers and grandmothers ensure the babies have a properly balanced meal and they will be encouraged to have three small courses so that all vital nutrients are given. A big fuss is made over the babies if everything is eaten and, if it is not, the women in the household enter into serious discussions as to what they should give them for the next meal. This attention continues throughout their childhood – and sometimes even into adulthood until the son or daughter leaves home. Still, I feel we Italians fuss too much over our children’s eating habits – as long as the children eat some good food, then it is okay. If they like pasta, give them pasta, varying the sauce if you can. Get them to help with the cooking and encourage them to try new things – if they like it, great; if not, don’t worry. I do believe if a child sees you trying new things and eating healthily, then he or she will do so in time, too. I must admit, it is not easy to feed children, especially when they get to the age where they understand more about the world around them. They can refuse point blank to eat peas, or suddenly decide they don’t like cheese, even though up until the previous day cheese was their favourite food! Children are entitled to change their minds and to have their own likes and dislikes, and sometimes they will simply go through odd phases of refusing certain foods. Believe me – I have two six-year-olds so I know what it can be like! I hope your children will enjoy the meals. But they are not just for children – the dishes can be eaten by the whole family.

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October 2010


book extract

fritelle di patate potato cakes with leeks and bacon These are tasty and nutritious savoury treats that your children will love. They take very little time to prepare and cook, and make a nice snack or accompaniment to a meal. Delicious for adults, too – I would serve the potato cakes with a green salad dressed with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 600g potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped 4T extra virgin olive oil 1 leek, finely chopped 50g bacon, finely chopped 2 egg yolks 10g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated 60g cake flour salt (optional) Boil the potatoes in plenty of slightly salted water until tender. Drain and mash. Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, add the leek and bacon, and sauté over a medium heat, stirring from time to time to ensure it doesn’t burn. Add the egg yolks, Parmesan, flour and a pinch of salt, if using, to the mash. Then add the leek and bacon, and mix well. With your hands, take a little of the mixture and form flat rounds. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan. Cook the potato cakes over a medium heat on both sides until golden. Remove, drain on kitchen paper, and serve.

pasta e piselli tubettini with peas This quick and easy pasta dish is a complete meal, which is cooked using only one pan. It is popular throughout Italy and can be made in different ways, using other ingredients such as cream. I find cream a little rich, though, especially for children, so I add egg yolks at the end instead to make it creamy and more nutritious. It’s a great way to get your children eating eggs if they don’t like them – they will never know! 25g butter 4T extra virgin olive oil 1 small onion, finely chopped 2 slices of pancetta or bacon, finely chopped 200g fresh or frozen peas 4 basil leaves (optional)

1 litre hot water 60g Parmesan cheese, half shavings and half freshly grated 240g tubettini pasta 2 egg yolks pinch of salt (optional)

Heat the butter and olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion and pancetta or bacon and stir-fry on a medium heat for a couple of minutes, ensuring they do not burn. Stir in the peas and basil and cook for a further couple of minutes. Pour in the water, add a pinch of salt, if using, and the Parmesan shavings, and simmer gently for 10 minutes in order for the flavours to infuse. Add the pasta [if you can’t find tubettini, try farfalle (bow tie) or conchiglie (shell pasta)] and cook with the lid half on until al dente, stirring from time to time. Add more hot water, if necessary. The pasta needs to be able to cook properly but once it is al dente, the water should have been absorbed. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and grated Parmesan in a small bowl. Add this to the pasta and mix well until cooked. Remove from the heat and serve immediately. Tip: you can add a few cherry tomatoes with the pasta to give the dish a little colour.


October 2010

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muffin al mais savoury sweet corn muffins Muffins are fashionable now in Italy. They are a great teatime snack and, because they are homemade, you know you will be giving your children the best. If you prefer, you can substitute peas for sweet corn and omit the ham or replace it with salami. I dedicate this recipe to my nephew, Mario, who is a muffin maniac! 2 eggs, beaten 85ml milk 110g butter, melted 250g cake flour 2t baking powder ½t bicarbonate of soda

100g tinned sweet corn, drained 30g cooked ham, finely chopped 30g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated pinch of salt (optional) 8 paper muffin cases

Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C. In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk and melted butter. Gently fold in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, if using. Then stir in the sweet corn, ham and Parmesan. Divide between the 8 paper cases and fill to the top without levelling out. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden. You can check if they are ready by inserting a wooden skewer – if it comes out dry, the muffins are done. Leave to cool and enjoy!

about the book Gennaro’s Easy Italian (Headline) shows enthusiasts of this country’s cuisine how “anyone, no matter how basic their skills or how limited their time, can make and enjoy tasty Italian food”. Followers of this popular chef will enjoy his comments which pepper the recipes offering a window into Gennaro’s family life plus the Italians’ obsession with food. Available at leading bookshops.

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October 2010



fighting fit SIMONE GRAY guides parents through the different martial arts available to children.


he successful eighties movie Karate Kid, featuring Ralph Macchio, certainly had a generation of teenage girls’ hearts a flutter – and a wave of young boys trying to catch flies with chopsticks while practising the crane kick. The remake, featuring Jaden Smith (Will Smith’s son) and Jackie Chan will kick off on South African big screens as this issue hits the streets. It will no doubt boost a whole new generation’s interest in the martial arts. And,


October 2010

while 12-year-old Jaden might succeed in making these disciplines newly cool, there are a number of other reasons this old (and I do mean old!) physical activity is great exercise for children. Jeanette Bensted-Smith, a paediatric physiotherapist from The Children’s Therapy Centre in Petervale, says that martial arts have an effect on four key aspects of children’s physical development: strength, cardiovascular endurance, balance and coordination. “The sustained hold positions in different stances help develop the strength of the trunk and limbs,” says Jeanette. Forward punches and kicks also

help to develop the strength of the shoulder and pelvic girdles, and contribute to the development of bilateral integration. Martial arts emphasise control rather than speed during movements, which means children recruit the correct muscles rather than compensating by rushing the movement (and using the incorrect muscles as it is easier). The total body workout improves cardiovascular fitness, and kicking while maintaining a good upright position as well as sustaining different stance positions naturally improves balance. Finally coordination is developed through different sequences of punches and kicks.”

Pat Gordon, a Cape Town occupational therapist who has worked with children with learning differences for the past 25 years, often recommends a martial art as an extramural activity because of the many benefits and its limited expense (compared to something like horse riding, for example). She says, “The exercises build up muscle tone and core stability and at the same time involve a lot of reciprocal activity, which develops the use of both sides of the body and is certainly beneficial to children.” No matter what martial art is chosen it can be used as a powerful educational and personal-development tool. Coupled with

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A black belt is a white belt that never gave up!

the emphasis on discipline and respect (for the teacher, the parents and the participant), which lie at the centre of all martial arts training, each session provides a focused and fun form of physical exercise, a chance to gain self-confidence, learn social skills, self-control and worthwhile lessons in self-defence.

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knowing your karate chop from your judo throw There are a variety of disciplines from all over the world available on our shores. Japanese martial arts include aikido, judo, jujitsu and karate to name the most prevalent. The most popular Korean martial arts export is taekwondo, while kung fu is the well-known

martial art that originated in China. The newest kid on this ancient block is the AfroBrazilian capoeira. While detailed information about each type is best demonstrated by experienced masters, a brief introduction of the above styles will give you an idea of the martial art that might best suit your child.

aikido What distinguishes aikido (way of harmony) from most other martial arts is its nonviolent character. This is a defensive martial art that aims to neutralise an incoming attack through a variety of techniques

including joint locks, immobilisation pins, and throws to bring the attacker under control – preferably without damaging either person. Unlike many other martial arts, there is absolutely no element of competition in traditional aikido training. There are no tournaments, no matches, no winners or losers. You can start aikido from the age of five or six years old, however Bruce Allemann, Fourth Dan Aikido of Fish Hoek Aikido Club in Cape Town, recommends starting at about nine years old, unless separate training is available for the five to eight years age group.

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You should be able to judge the safety by watching how well children are falling without mishap – and loving it.

judo In contrast to aikido, judo (gentle way) is a martial art primarily focused on competition and is based on moves similar to wrestling. Points are awarded to competitors based on techniques, pins, and overall opponent control. During judo competitions, opponents are often in close physical contact, so children interested in judo should be made aware that this is a physical, demanding and, at times, intimate discipline. Michael Job (Sixth Dan) from The Judokan, a judo club situated in Wynberg, Cape Town, says, “Despite the physical contact, injuries are extremely rare, compared with other contact and even non-contact sports. Beginners are taught to fall properly, and you should be able to judge the safety by watching how well children are falling without mishap – and loving it!” Coaches prefer to take children of at least six years or older. Many young children train only once a week, but twice a week is preferable, certainly for teenagers and seniors.


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Martin Dixon, chairman of the Ju-jitsu Association, says the recommended starting age is four or five years. Commitment to training is essential. He says, “The difference between a white belt and a black belt is that a black belt is a white belt that never gave up!”

karate Karate (empty hand) is perhaps the most well-known martial art. Although it uses both aggressive and defensive moves, karate stresses defensive tactics. In karate you will use throwing, punching and blocking. A child can begin karate at the age of four years old. The club cost varies but be aware there are a variety of tournaments, gradings and gashukus (training camps) to stimulate students’ interest. These activities form the foundation of their development and personal enrichment in karate, but they do add to the overall cost. Training usually starts at twice a week for 45 minutes to an hour depending on age. Gradings occur on Saturday mornings every three months and the camps and tournaments happen during the year.



Jujitsu (compliant art) is one of the oldest styles of martial arts. It is based on unarmed self-defence and involves sparring. Although jujitsu was developed almost 400 years ago, its basic purpose remains the same: to defend yourself against armed or unarmed attackers. Although the primary focus is self-defence, clubs also cater for those who wish to do jujitsu to keep fit, and even those who want to learn something new and have fun while at it. Jujitsu works on physical and mental development by teaching agility, timing, flexibility and a knowledge of the body.

Taekwondo (the way of the foot and fist), considered the most competitive martial art, is characterised by impressive displays of high standing and jumping kicks as well as punches and fast footwork. It combines self-defence, sport, exercise and meditation with the aim of developing physically, mentally and spiritually. Taekwondo was originally created for the military and holds onto that tradition with brutally effective techniques for practical self-defence, although this training is coupled with moral and ethical best practice to ensure skills learned are not misused. magazine cape town

Taekwondo is popular with people of both genders and of many ages. Children from the age of five years old are welcome at selected dojangs (training halls).

kung fu Kung Fu (well done) is a multifaceted martial art that includes duan quan, tai chi chen and black tiger kung fu. The physical aspects include throws, sharp blows, holds, chops, grappling and other techniques of selfdefence. The philosophical teachings of this martial art combine threads of Buddhism and Taoism, and it teaches children selfdefence, self-respect and self-awareness through discipline and hard work. The different styles of kung fu accept students at different ages. Ian Galvin of the Chinese Martial Arts and Health Centre in Durban recommends a minimum starting age of seven years. The average time of training is usually between 30 and 45 minutes, twice a week.

to music and song. The game is fluid and frenetic, ranging from the acrobatic to the defensive. It is characterised by extensive use of groundwork, as well as sweeps, kicks and blocks. The music and fluid motion has made this the fastest growing martial art in South Africa. Children are taught strength, flexibility, coordination and self-defence. Sofia Stathopoulos from Capoeira Cordão de Ouro SA says, “Children may begin at three or four years old, although they usually start at around six years of age. Usually children do a one-hour long class a week. She adds, “What sets capoeira apart is the holistic combination of movement, dance, music and culture. Children benefit from capoeira because it allows them to develop a strong sense of confidence and discipline in a highly creative and fun environment.”



Capoeira combines aspects of self-defence, dance and acrobatics. It was created by African slaves in Brazil during the 16th Century. It is the most laid-back in attitude but the most vibrant of the martial arts discussed here. Participants form a circle (roda) and take turns sparring in pairs in the centre

A group of four and five year olds learn capoeira with Contra-Mestre Espirrinho

why they like it… “I love it the best. It is fun. I like the jumping, playing and balancing.” – four-year-old Nurah, who does capoeira “I like the music and the funny games.” – Sarah, five years old, who also does capoeira “I like doing katas and the boxing. I feel healthier and like the exercise. Before I was always so shy and scared of people, and now I’m not so much any more.” – Sakeenah, 12 years old, who does karate

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October 2010


how to

game on Learning is most effective when it’s fun! Here are 10 games that will teach, entertain and stimulate your child, without breaking your budget. By JULIA LAMBERTI


October 2010

This is an interactive game that can be played by one or more children and adapted to suit any age group, while teaching a variety of topics in an accessible way. Hide an object or picture in your home or garden and ask the children to find it and rush it back to you. They essentially recognise the word you say, search until they find the item, and bring it to you in an upbeat game setting. You could, for example, hide pictures of farm animals and designate a picture of a barn as “home base”. You can then reward them accordingly. The choice of topics is endless and in that way children can learn about a variety of subjects.

connect the dots This game is best suited to children of preschool age, and helps them memorise the alphabet and numbers. Use a scrap of paper and pencils to draw an incomplete picture. The incomplete part would contain some dots, which if connected in the right way, complete the picture.

To help the children connect the dots in the correct order, write an alphabet or number against each dot, in chronological order. This is a simple, creative way to familiarise youngsters with letters and numbers and their correct order.

sentence savvy This game is a great way to better children’s vocabulary and can be played by two or more players from the age of about nine and older. It is also a great indoor activity for the winter months and only requires pencils, pens and a timer. It begins with players agreeing on a word four to seven letters long. Players then create a sentence using the letters of each word, in the order they appear in the word. If the word is “shirt”, for example, the sentence could be “Sally helps Ian rent trucks”. The rules are that you cannot use the main word selected (shirt) or repeat words twice in any sentence. Set a time limit of a minute or longer for the players to construct their sentences. Each player then reads their sentence and a point is given to

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recognition, running and rewards

players who have a sentence that makes sense. A new word is chosen after each round and the players can decide how many rounds they play. The player with the most points at the end is named the victor.

fill the gap! This activity helps children at all developmental stages improve their spelling. You will need magazines, blank paper, pencils and scissors. Cut out pictures of different items and write the incomplete spellings of each picture in large letters against the items. To win the game, players fill in the blank spaces within the words with the correct letters. The words you choose for this game can be anything for which you can find a picture. In the initial phase, choose simple and short words, and advance with more complex words as the game progresses, or as appropriate for the age of the participants.

mismatch magic This is a great indoor game for a small group of children, five years and older. Divide the children into two teams and have one team leave the room while the others alter objects in the room. (You can also use a number of objects arranged on a tray.) After three minutes the other team will return and has one minute to try to spot the mismatches. Any changes that do not get noticed score one point for the team that made them – and the team with the highest score wins. This is a great game to improve memory and concentration.

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naming game This game can be played by anyone five years and older. It’s a fun activity to help alleviate boredom on long trips and can be played by two or more participants. Each player takes turns naming things from categories such as “animals”, “cities” or “geography”. Each person must then give another example of the proposed topic, one that starts with the last letter of the previous name called. So, if the first word is “elephant”, the next person could call out “tiger”, followed by “rhino”, for instance. It’s a great way to keep the mind alert, refresh your children’s general knowledge, and solidify their understanding of the alphabet.

treasure hunt This game familiarises little ones with the look and feel of money. Bury coins in a small baking tin filled with sand and then have your toddler or slightly older child find them with a plastic spoon or their fingers. Identify each coin they unearth and have them sort their “treasure” into piles. Just remember that coins are a choking hazard for very young children so keep a close eye on them as they rummage.

total recall This memory game can be played by two or more players from the age of six years old and up. You will need a tray with a dishtowel to cover it, 20 small objects (or fewer depending on the age of the players), paper and

pencils. Get players to form a circle around a covered tray of items and then remove the cloth for a minute or two. Once the tray is covered again, players then get three minutes to write down the items they recall seeing on the tray. The winner of the game is the person who lists the most correct items.

word association For two or more players from the age of seven and older, the game begins with a player shouting out a word and the other participants responding by each shouting out a word they think of in relation to this word. If a word doesn’t relate to a previous word, it can’t be used. Play goes around to the left, with each player coming up with words at a more rapid pace. A player who takes too long, or who gives a word unrelated to the previous one sits out for the rest of that round. A point is given to the “last man standing” in each round, and you can decide beforehand how many rounds you are going to play.

shop spotting When you are in the supermarket, you can play a letter- and number-finding game with children as young as six years old. The idea is to have children try to find certain letters and numbers on packages and tins. This is a fun way to keep them occupied and mentally engaged, and you less harassed as you make your way down the aisles.

October 2010



what not to ask Families who adopt cross-racially are often the subjects of unwanted scrutiny. Donna Cobban speaks to a few of these parents about the stress this probing can cause.

meet the families: Laurie* and Craig*, mother and father to two adopted daughters aged two and three, with a room being kitted out for adopted baby number three due to arrive before the end of the year. Heather* and Catherine*, both mothers to an adopted daughter, aged three, with a second adopted baby girl expected soon. Julia* and David*, mother and father to an adopted son and daughter, aged five

Erica* and Tony*, mother and father to an adopted girl and boy, aged four and two.


e are in the local restaurant of a small Western Cape town – there’s my son, my friend Laurie and her two girls. We are on holiday for a few days and have selected this spot to have lunch because there is a small play area for our children, all of whom are under four. As we sit down, I notice a couple staring at us, the man mutters something under his breath, looks in our direction and shakes his sad head at us, as if the world as he once knew it is now finally coming to an end. Laurie doesn’t see this. I bristle and am on the verge of walking over to him and telling him what I think of him, when I stop


October 2010

myself. Our children matter far more than this man does and, for their sake, he is best ignored. He didn’t shake his head because our children were loud or out of hand, no, he shook his head because Laurie’s girls are black and coincidentally, the rest of us, Laurie included, are white. Later when he has left and the children are out of earshot I share the experience with Laurie, who is no stranger to the interest, both positive and negative, that her diverse family attracts. Laurie is of the belief that “our children choose us, and that we will be called to parent a specific little soul, regardless of how that little soul comes to us”. Nothing could be truer when magazine cape town


and two, and a biological son, aged 18 months.

you see Laurie, her husband Craig and their two daughters together. For a number of years they tried to conceive and when having a baby the normal way didn’t pan out as expected, they adopted. “I would not change a thing about the way our family was made, or how our wonderful children came into our lives,” she tells me. “What I would change, if I could, for the benefit of my children, would be the prying questions of strangers. “The fact that our children have darker skin than we do seems to make our family an object of fascination wherever we go, and we are invariably confronted with questions that can be extremely personal. These questions did not worry me much when the girls were babies, but now that the girls are older and understand almost everything that is said, I find these questions really difficult because I know the girls are interested in what is being asked as well as the answer,” says Laurie.

We want acknowledgement as a family, as mother and child, as brother and sister, regardless of the fact that we look different. “How do I reply to: ‘What happened to their real mom?’ or ‘Do they have the same mom?’ when I am the only mom they know? How does it make my girls feel when people ask ‘are they real sisters?’ and then push me for an answer that will satisfy them?” she continues. And the questions don’t stop at the girls’ biological history. Laurie, who cannot imagine having any children other than her own two beautiful girls, is often taken aback when strangers ask whether she has her ‘own’ children – an equally confusing question as her children stand by and listen. It’s a question of such a personal nature that we would think twice about asking it of a neighbour or an old friend we hadn’t seen in many years. Laurie and the rest of the families in this story have seriously pondered these invasive requests for information from complete strangers and can draw no satisfying conclusions, other than that magazine cape town

cross-racial adoption is not yet common enough for it to be boring, for it to be nothing other than what it is – a family out and about. One day it will stop heads turning and people staring, it has to. Skin colour shouldn’t matter. But in the mean time these families continue to face challenges they shouldn’t have to.

colour code A couple whose family has without a doubt had a tougher time in the public eye than most, are parents Erica and her husband Tony, who were raised in a conservative Afrikaans community. They wanted more than anything to be parents. After many failed IVF treatments, they turned to adoption. Erica tells me that looking back at that time of her life she sees adoption as “an ever-present golden thread of hope that held everything together during those brutal IVF years. The only thing that made IVF a more viable option at that time, and I am extremely sad to admit it today, was race.” Today Erica is mother to two beautiful children who happen to be a different race to her and her husband, and today she could not feel more differently about the racial difference. She and Tony do draw curious stares – they are a striking couple and often the subject of unwarranted attention. Erica tells me about a beach holiday on which they purposefully sat apart from other families to avoid attention. Two men returning from a fishing expedition

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No, but I mean, are they real brother and sister?

walked past and said loudly “Ag shame, look, they are trying to be @#$&! Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.” This, Erica recalls, is the third worst thing that has been said to her about her diverse family. When she tells me what the other two things are, I cry, and then I elect to exclude them from this article as they cannot reflect a majority opinion – at the very least I have to believe that, and hope with all my heart for these families and beyond that I am right.

ousting interrogation While not all the families I spoke to have been on the receiving end of such disdain, they have all been subjected to questions of a highly personal nature. Erica narrates for me a scenario all parents of siblings in this article are familiar with: Stranger: “Are they brother and sister?” Parent: “Yes.” Stranger: “No, but I mean, are they real brother and sister?” Parent: “Yes.” Stranger: “Oh, sorry, I know they are [while making funny eye gestures] ‘brother and sister’ but are they reeall?” Parent: “Yes!!!” Erica says of the scenario: “This


October 2010

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question is irrelevant – whether or not they share the same biological mother, there is nothing fake about their relationship.” The other mothers are quick to agree on this and almost all move on to the next most commonly asked questions “Where is her/ his real mother?” “I am the real mother,” rarely satisfies this asker. But it is here that curious information gatherers will most likely be met with a brick wall as all the mothers have a similar answer to Laurie’s, which is as follows: “I am completely open to talking about adoption and the way in which it has built my wonderful family, but there are simply some stories that are not public domain. There are some stories that are the girls’ own, and they should be the ones who decide how much of those stories they want to share, when they are old enough to make those decisions.” Julia chooses to tell people that “all the information about my children’s birth and biological background belongs to them. What they do with the information is ultimately up to them. But, the important part is that they are my children, always will be, and they are brother and sister, and always will be”.

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I would not change a thing about the way our family was made, or how our wonderful children came into our lives. attention attention I ponder the senseless scrutiny under which these families live. I am a single mother, but no-one ever asks where my son’s father is or why his blonde hair differs to my own brown locks. Clearly I fit into the colour-by-numbers palette of our society and am left largely alone. Yet the attraction we do draw is of the assuming kind. My son is big, so his father must be a rugby player. These sorts of comments we get daily and I have never thought much of it, until now, when I learn that assumptions of the positive kind in cross-racially adopted families are too rare a thing. Heather says that, over the Soccer World Cup, they were at a hotel in town

and started chatting to a North American family. Not one question was asked about their daughter and when the mother turned to Heather and said: “You have the most beautiful daughter,” Heather felt pride and big salty tears in one go – she doesn’t get enough of that. Erica has another similar story. “I remember once standing in a shopping queue (a dreaded place where you usually get asked ignorant questions). Another mom saw how my son complained about wanting a sweet at the cash point and said to me, “We moms have got our work cut out for us.” The fact that she acknowledged me as a mom, just like her, struggling with the same issues that all moms do, was so liberating.”

Erica says that their GP has not asked a single question about the whole adoption thing. “It was never relevant to the issues at hand (the children mostly had flu) and he was never prying. He just accepted us as a family and that truly is all we want. We want acknowledgement as a family, as mother and child, as brother and sister, regardless of the fact that we look different.” While all the families feel the object of too much attention, they all feel more connected to the society in which they live and this Julia notes, has been a really positive experience. “My husband and I and our youngest child have been given a bridge into communities that I believe we wouldn’t have had, had we not adopted. My son does not fail to get greeted by other Xhosa men – normally in Xhosa. My daughter has her hair braided by the Xhosa ladies of the neighbourhood without me even asking. These are invaluable interactions in our diverse and complicated society. I feel like I am being held by these people too – and we all seem to be holding my children – as a community – not as individuals.” *Names have been changed

October 2010



art & soul Creative therapies have become an effective way to treat wounds that medicine just can’t reach. By LUCILLE KEMP

art therapy what it is… Art therapy gives the child a chance to express and explore their thoughts and feelings through producing their own artwork. Using art as a means of communication and self-expression is less threatening than using just words. The child’s artwork forms the focus of discussions between the child and therapist as it represents the child’s thoughts and feelings. The sessions should be led by the child at their pace so that they have the chance to explain what their artwork means or represents.

case in point… Johannesburg-based art psychotherapist Samantha Davis tells how art therapy helped a seven-year-old boy with emotional and behavioural problems to identify his emotions in a useful way – as he found he could control the art materials he was using, he also found control of his emotions. Another verbally through his free play with the art materials.

who it helps… Art therapy provides an opportunity for children to play; it is confidence building and self validating. Insight, self-awareness and self-reflection develop as the child is given the freedom to experiment or creatively test ideas. Art therapy teaches the child creative problem solving, especially when they feel their artwork has turned out “wrong”. It has proved to be helpful for children with depression, emotional and behavioural problems, autism, ADHD, developmental delay and those with learning difficulties.

for more information… visit


October 2010

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eight-year-old boy living on the autism spectrum learned to communicate non-

drama therapy what it is… Drama therapy concentrates on play and improvisation, allowing the child to express their feelings and emotions in an unthreatening environment. The two main techniques used in drama therapy are role-play – where something in the story line relates to the child’s situation – and mask-making – the mask allows the child to hide behind the created character making it easier to face uncomfortable emotions. case in point… Johannesburg-based drama therapist Kirsten Meyer spent six months working with a group of HIV-positive children aged seven to 11 years to develop their emotional, social, and mental abilities. Kirsten describes how the role-playing gave the children enough distance from their HIV status to allow them to voice it for the first time, and vent over the issue of secrecy and disclosure within the group, as well as in their lives. who it helps… Through roleplaying in a group setting, drama therapy can be good for a child’s social skills, teaching them how to tolerate others and how to better react to others and their differences. It is also helpful for children who have suffered from abuse of any kind. Allowing them to wear a mask can be a safe way for these children to bring their problem to the fore and to confront their emotions. It increases selfesteem and general confidence, builds up self-defence mechanisms and reduces disruptive behaviour. for more information… visit

music therapy what it is… Music therapy uses music-making as a means of communication and emotional expression. This is achieved through structured activities such as singing, listening, playing instruments, composition, improvisation, movement to music, music and imagery as well as talking about the music or experiences in sessions. case in point… The Music Therapy Community Clinic was invited by the Cape Flats suburb of Heideveld to offer music therapy sessions to children who were dealing with a death in the family, were witnesses to violence, subject to physical, emotional or sexual abuse or had an absent parent. The various musical activities in the music-therapy programme helped the children deal with their trauma and process emotionally disturbing issues. It empowered them to deal with difficult life experiences in the future. who it helps… Music therapy aims to improve a child’s emotional and social abilities. Music therapists also work with children with learning disabilities, those with mental illnesses, the mentally and physically handicapped, the terminally ill and the traumatically brain injured. for more information… visit or visit the University of Pretoria website

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October 2010



poetry therapy play therapy

what it is… The poetry therapist assists the

what it is… Play therapy uses games and toys to help children express their

child in coming to terms with and expressing the meaning of their experience or disease by using and creating poetry. The focus is on the message and meaning of the poem rather than the words. Poetry therapy uses the rhythm, image, mood and metaphor of the poem to get through to the child but for poetry therapy to remain effective, says Clanwilliam-based poetry therapist Professor Wally Willies, “the process must be adapted to the age of the child”. For example, reading poems to a three-year-old might soothe away temper tantrums because of the rhyme and rhythm, but a 10-year-old will probably benefit from the content and style of a narrative poem. Poetry therapy trains the child to access the meaning of their own thoughts and feelings and to understand people around them. case in point… Wally describes how a four-year-old girl had become inexplicably disruptive as soon as lunch- or suppertime arrived. The counsellor and mother hit on the strategy of singing the girl’s favourite nursery rhyme “Hickory Dickory Dock” to distract her from her refusal. Wally says, “After a week of chanting this together, punctuating the rhythm with spoonfuls of food, the negative associations with disciplined eating changed through the enjoyment of rhyme, rhythm and positive anticipation.” Wally also explains how five weeks of poetry therapy helped create a more positive attitude in a 10-year-old boy who had become withdrawn and silent as a result of his parents’ divorce. Also how four sessions of poetry therapy helped an 11-year-old girl find a sense of calm and peace after she was hospitalised for a bone marrow transplant, and had become afraid of dying. who it helps… Poetry therapy will help the child to understand and make better sense of their situation, as well as their own thoughts and feelings. It is said to help those with obsessive-compulsive disorder, low self-esteem, those suffering from anger issues or any child in a circumstance where they feel emotionally overwhelmed. for more information… visit

emotions, thoughts, wishes and needs. It works particularly well with children from three to four years old. Rather than having to explain what is bothering them, play in a non-threatening environment allows the child to communicate at their own level and pace. The child is thus able to feel at ease about getting in touch with feelings, which she may not be aware of or may be too scared to admit to or face. The therapist actively participates in the process assimilating stressful experiences from the child’s life in order to prompt the child to deal with them, says Stellenboschbased play therapist Helene van Niekerk. A play therapy session usually involves activities to facilitate sensory awareness, helping them become more aware of their emotions and thoughts about an event or something that they might be worrying about subconsciously. These activities include smelling different things, touching a variety of textures, working with music, clay, paint, stories, puppets or sand.

case in point… Helene describes how play therapy helped an eight-year-old experiencing separation anxiety. Helene asked her to make her sadness out of clay while she had her own clay puppet talk to the child’s “sadness”. This helped the therapist discover why she was feeling sad when she was separated from her parents and enabled the therapist to talk to the child about what she could do to empower herself. Play therapy helped the girl to discover what she was feeling and why, and helped her to feel more in control of her emotions and behaviour.

who it helps… Children experiencing anger, loss, divorce, crisis and trauma, relocation, hospitalisation and chronic illness; those who suffer from anxiety, depression, ADHD and autism, and those with a wide variety of social, emotional and learning problems.

for more information… visit or


October 2010

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sandplay therapy what it is… Sandplay therapy is a non-verbal form of psychotherapy, ideal for children from the age of six years. The sand represents the unconscious. The child unknowingly recreates their unconscious in the sand. This allows them to see their issues and, once recognised, to correct these themselves. Sandplay therapy allows the child to make use of miniature figures to create their own sand stories. The miniatures represent everything in the world, from religion and race to animals. Durban-based clinical, family and marital therapist Reyhana Seedat says “the child’s sand scenes go from chaos to struggle and finally to resolution – when the meaning of the child’s unconscious thoughts become clear”. The therapist observes and does not interpret anything to the child, which allows a child’s own realisations to surface and for recovery to take place in the child’s own time.

case in point… Reyhana explains how an 11-year-old girl came to her with “failure to thrive” as a result of not eating, which was brought on by problems at home. The sandplay stories she created were centred on setting the table with food but her initial choice of table from the collection of miniature figures was a coffin. After the fifth sandplay session, she made a breakthrough and chose an actual table from the miniatures on which to place the food.

who it helps… Sandplay therapy frees inner feelings and memories where the child regresses to past experiences, facilitating healing. Sandplay therapy breaks down inhibitions with spontaneous play, something that comes naturally to a child.

the power of animals Although animal-assisted therapy doesn’t fall under the creative therapy heading, it’s very valuable in treating children. It is used in numerous health-care facilities as an added therapy for cognitive improvement in children with developmental disabilities. The animals used for animalassisted therapy must have a calm temperament and friendly disposition. They must be obedient, gentle, enjoy being with people and like to be stroked and fussed over. Animals used include horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, dolphins and elephants. Of these, it’s worth highlighting horse therapy or equine facilitated learning (EFL), the essence of which revolves around the child being in the presence of a horse (more than caring for or riding a horse). This has a healing quality, making the child calmer, more communicative, and less likely to become fixated on negative events. EFL has shown to work effectively with ADHD children, who are able to focus on grooming or leading the horse, when they usually struggle to concentrate for long periods. Children with autism who are withdrawn will begin to express themselves, often using new words or gestures. Because of their relationship with the horse, the

Since sandplay is a creative form of therapy that doesn’t use

child starts to realise what they can achieve, and their overall self-esteem gets a boost. EFL also

talking, it allows for exploration and insight into deep emotional

helps children with Asperger’s syndrome, bipolar disorder and severe antisocial and aggressive

issues such as anger, depression, grief and for those difficult and

behaviour. It is effective with those who struggle to communicate, interact with other people and

deep-seated emotions arising from abuse.

carry out instructions.

for more information… visit

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for more information… visit

October 2010



for toddlers

a good read

Busy Harbour and Busy Funfair By Rebecca Finn (Campbell Books, R65 each) There is a lot to keep little fingers and minds busy in these books. They can use their fingers to push, pull and turn tabs that will bring the fairground and a world of water to life. The books encourage hand-eye coordination and the lively text introduces rhyme and rhythm. Children as young as eight months will find the stories simple enough to follow and the activities and illustrations will keep toddlers turning the pages. Other titles in the Busy Books series include Busy Farm, Busy Town, Busy Park, Busy Airport, Busy Garage, Busy Railway and Busy Beach.

for preschoolers Christian the Hugging Lion By Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

Fancy Nancy’s Perfectly Posh Paper Doll Book

(Simon and Schuster, R98) This is the true story of Christian the lion, now told to children four to eight years old. Christian was born into a long line of zoo lions. When John and Ace bought him from Harrod’s exotic pet department he was a three-year-old cub. But Christian soon grew too big to live with them in their small apartment, so Ace and John flew him to Kenya so he could learn how to live in the wild with other lions. To give their beloved lion a chance to adapt, they put off their first visit for several months. When Ace and John finally went to see him, he had not forgotten his London family – and he greeted Ace with a big hug.

(Harperfestival, R56) Girls between the ages of four and eight just love the Fancy Nancy books by Jane O’Connor. This book offers eight pages of outfits and over 70 stickers to mix, match and create gorgeous outfits for Nancy and her best friend Bree. There are two paper dolls and clothing options for soirées (that’s French for parties Nancy will tell you), glamorous balls, dates with friends and even fashion garments for a slumber party. The book includes instructions on how to put together the dolls and their stands, how to make the paper outfits and use the stickers.

for early graders


Roaring Rockets By Tony Mitton and Ant Parker

Abby’s Aquarium Adventures By Heidi de Maine and Keli Hazelton

African Seashores By Sally MacLarty

(Macmillan Children’s Books, R62) Children can join a trio of wacky animals as they blast off into space. Little boys, aged two to six years, will love the big, bold illustrations. The adventure starts with an action-packed blast off, includes a trip to the moon and ends with a sizzling splash into the ocean when they return home. Children’s poet Tony Mitton is a former primary school and special-needs support teacher. He is also the author of the award-winning The Red & White Spotted Handkerchief.

(Creda Communications, R90) The sea is a fascinating place and children can join Abby on an adventure that will take them from the rivers in the Amazon to the oceans of the world. Discover the creatures that live in and near the sea and the people who get to work with them. Abby is an aquarist and will share many secrets with you. This is the first book in a series of South African books that will look at marine life, life in an aquarium, animal careers and conservation. For outlets or to order, email

(Random House, R45) Children will enjoy hours of fun colouring in with this selection of Africa’s seashore life. There are more than 40 images to colour in, each accompanied by an interesting caption to help budding artists and young naturalists learn about the seashore as they work through the book. In the middle of the book is a gallery of all the creatures and plants in full colour, providing a clear guide as to which crayons or paints to use when colouring in the outlined images. Sally MacLarty, who lives in the Karoo, is an illustrator specialising in the fields of education and natural history, and particularly in children’s books.

October 2010

magazine cape town

parenting books

for preteens and teens

visual feast

Gods & Heroes By Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda (Walker Books, R260) Part of the best-selling Encyclopedia Prehistorica series, this book takes young readers on a grand pop-up tour of centuries-old myths and legends. They can explore the banks of the Nile of Ancient Egypt and visit Zeus’s kingdom on Mount Olympus. The book also explores the frozen lands of the Norse Gods, ventures to the Far East where the Jade Emperor ruled from the heavens and visits the wilds of Oceania, where the jealous Pele’s volcanic rage simmers just below the earth’s crust.

The Mousehunter – Mousebeard’s Revenge By Alex Milway (Faber Children’s Books, R106) This is the third instalment in the very popular The Mousehunter series. In the first books young readers met Emiline Orelia, who dreams of becoming a great mousehunter someday. She works as a mousekeeper for the wealthy Isiah Lovelock, bestselling author of The Mousehunter’s Almanac. In Mousebeard’s Revenge, the Old Town is playing host to the International Mousing Exhibition and it should be the greatest event the world has ever seen. But one person is determined to ruin everything. The thug Mousebeard is back and Emeline and Scratcher are facing their biggest adventure yet.

Happy Kids By Cathy Glass (Harper Collins Publishers, R110) In this guide, parenting expert Cathy Glass introduces you to the three Rs – request, repeat, reassure – her effective technique for bringing up well-behaved and happy children. Based on 25 years of fostering experience, in which Cathy has cared for more than 50 children, many with emotional and behavioural problems, Happy Kids contains the secret of her parenting success.

for us Worst Case By James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge (Random House, R215) This is the third book in the Michael Bennett thriller series. This time the son of one of New York’s wealthiest families is kidnapped and held hostage. His parents can’t save him, because this kidnapper isn’t demanding money. Instead, he quizzes his prisoner on the price others pay for his life of luxury. In this exam, wrong answers are fatal. Bennett leads the investigation, and with 10 children of his own (some he fosters), he can’t begin to understand what could lead someone to target anyone else’s children. Worst Case is an action-packed read with heart-pounding suspense – in true Patterson-style, it’s a real page-turner.

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Ja, No, Man By Richard Poplak (Penguin Books, R52) Richard Poplak was born in Johannesburg in 1973 and emigrated to Canada in 1989. This is an eerily familiar portrayal of the life of an ordinary white South African growing up in apartheid South Africa. Told with humour and selfawareness, Poplak’s story brings to life his gradual understanding of the difference between his country and the rest of the world. A startlingly original memoir that veers sharply from the everyday to the bizarre, Ja, No, Man is an enlightening, darkly hilarious and, at times, disturbing read.

Every Parent’s Nightmare By Bruna Dessena (Quickfox Publishing, R114) The author has been a child abuse activist for more than 17 years and she was a Childline counsellor. In this book she discusses the signs of abuse, the abuser and the grooming process, how to address the problem, supporting a child, the legal process and preparing for court. She gives the facts without melodrama – this book is a valuable tool for both parents and teachers.

October 2010



what’s on in october Things to do, places to go, ways to give back, talks and exhibitions plus loads of fun for the whole family. compiled by LUCILLE KEMP

2 sat

special events


FUN for children


only for parents


bump, baby & tot in tow


how to help






bump, baby & tot in tow

how to help

Cape Town International Kite Festival Children will love the spectacle of a kite-filled sky.

I, Claudia Kalk Bay Theatre is showing this one-hander by Susan Danford who was nominated for a Fleur du Cap for her performance.

Adoption discussion group A talk with the author of The Greatest Gift for parents considering adoption or who have adopted.

The Earthchild Project Introduces yoga and gardening in schools and takes teachers on retreats.

October 2010

magazine cape town


Freshpak Fitness Festival Contestants of all fitness levels are welcome to participate. Get your active children to partake in the FitKids event.

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October 2010



SPECIAL EVENTS 1 friday Cre8tive Kids at the Cape Outdoor Expo Family entertainment with fun activities for the whole family. Ends 3 October. Time: 10am. Venue: Bien Donné, off R45, Franschhoek. Cost: adults R50, children 7–16 years R10, under 7 years free. Contact Jenny: 021 790 7877 Despicable Me premieres Evil Gru is planning the biggest heist in the history of the world. He is going to steal the moon. But it seems the world’s greatest villain has to get past a new challenge: three little girls named Margo, Edith and Agnes. Comedian

Steve Carell is responsible for the voice of Gru. Showing in 3D at all cinemas. Table Mountain Cableway spring special Two children under 18 travel free with every adult return ticket for R170. The special is valid every day, including weekends and public holidays. Ends 31 October. For more info: visit The Sunflower Fund Bunch for a Bunch cookery demonstration will inspire you to cook fresh and aims to give you healthy and mouth-watering ideas for a delicious champagne brunch. Time: 10am–noon. Venue: Pick n Pay head office, 101 Rosemead Ave, Kenilworth. Cost: R110. Contact Adi or Chris: 021 701 0661 or

2 saturday Freshpak Fitness Festival Contestants of all fitness levels can participate in a variety of events including the swim, duathlon, biathlon and triathlon, which are open to individuals or teams. Younger fitness fanatics can participate in the FitKids event. Time: 9:30am. Venue: Clanwilliam. Cost: R30–R275. For more info: clarelin@, or to enter visit Lourensford MTB Classic Families can do the 15km family cycle loop or walk/run 4km with your toddler. Ideal for children 4–18 years. Time: 8:30am. Venue: Lourensford Wine Estate, Somerset West. Cost: R25–R65. Contact: 021 884 4752 or visit Simon’s Town Penguin Festival Celebrate African Penguin Day with a beach release of rehabilitated penguins. Other highlights include snake and raptor shows, a jumping castle and games for children. The festival’s theme is “All Creatures Great and Small”. Go dressed for the occasion and stand a chance to win a prize. Ends 3 October. Time: varies. Penguin-release time tbc. Venue: Boulders Beach Lodge parking area, Simon’s Town. Cost: varies. For more info: visit

3 sunday 8 – 10 October – Rocking the Daisies


October 2010

Athol Fugard’s People are Living There deals with the fear and anguish that comes

with the thought of growing old and being forgotten. Also 4, 10 and 11 October. Time: dinner 6:30pm, show 8:30pm. Venue: On Broadway, 44 Long St, CBD. Cost: R75. Contact: 021 424 1194 or visit

SA Chelsea Flower Show exhibit View SANBI’s award-winning 2010 SA Chelsea Flower Show exhibit. Ends 10 October. Time: 8am–6:30pm. Venue: Marquee Lawn just below the Kirstenbosch Tea Room, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. Cost: R10 additional to garden entry fee: adults R37, children 6–17 years R10. Contact: 021 799 8783

2 sat

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9 saturday

8 – 10 October – Cape Town International Boat Show

8 friday Breedekloof Outdoor and Wine Festival Activities include live music, foodand-wine pairing, quad-biking, mountainbiking races and fynbos hikes, as well as a tagged fishing contest, fun runs, trail runs and adventure challenges. Ends 10 October. Time: starts 9am. Venue: wineries in Rawsonville, Slanghoek, Goudini and Breede River. Cost: weekend festival pass R40, which includes access to the festival and free wine tastings at cellars. Contact: 023 349 1791 or visit Cape Town International Boat Show View a wide range of all things boat-related and nautical, including boat and yacht accessories, diving and fishing gadgets, motor boats, jet skis and water-sport

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equipment. There are activities and events for the whole family. Ends 10 October. Time: varies. Venue: CTICC and V&A Waterfront. Cost: varies. For more info: visit Rocking the Daisies This environmentallyconscious music festival features four live music venues, camping, a food village, traders’ market, wine tasting, art exhibitions and a children’s playground with experienced staff to look after them while you let your hair down. Children under 12 welcome if accompanied by parents. Time: Friday shows start 5pm, Saturday shows start 10am, Sunday shows 10am–4:30pm. Venue: Cloof Wine Estate, Darling. Cost: varies. For more info: visit

Dinner with a difference: the chefs who cook with soya and pilchards Celebrity chefs Reuben Riffel and Margot Janse prepare dishes made from the staple fare of those school children who are given a hearty daily meal by the Peninsula School Feeding Association. Time: tbc. Venue: Reuben’s Restaurant, Franschhoek. Cost: R370. Contact: 021 447 6020, kristi@pfsa. or visit Nutwood Forest Montessori Preschool annual concert Time: 10am–11am. Venue: Sea Point High School hall. Cost: adults R20 and children under 16 years free. Contact: 021 439 4874 The Fairmont Community Festival Attractions include carnival big rides, water walkers, games and entertainment, “chaos” computers, market stalls, a festival of food plus Good Hope FM broadcasts its Top 30 Countdown from the festival. Time: 9am– 6pm. Venue: Fairmont High School, Durban Rd, Durbanville. Cost: adults and children 6 years and older R10, toddlers R5. Contact Cherylleigh: 082 494 2603

Celebrate Life Festival A weekend to explore ways to uplift your body, mind and soul. Learn how to go green, get healthy and nurture your spirit. There are several demonstrations, exhibitions, speakers and stalls. Time: varies. Venue: The River Club, Liesbeek Parkway, Observatory. Cost: varies. For more info and a programme: visit

10 sunday Kirstenbosch Winter Concert Series Catch Flat Stanley as the last of the winter performers. Time: 7pm–8:30pm. Venue: The Silver Tree Restaurant, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. Cost: R135, which includes a welcome drink and a starter. Contact: 021 762 9585

9 sat

October 2010



16 sat

Toddler Sense Seminar In association with Toptots, this mother-and-child seminar is led by Sister Ann Richardson, who is also author of Toddler Sense. Learn about what makes your toddler tick through topics covering sleep, health and nutrition, managing behaviour, discipline and potty training. Talks include “The Power of Play” by Shannon Eggers and “Should our Toddlers Watch TV?” by Lizette van Huyssteen. 16 October. Time: 8am–1pm. Venue: Kelvin Grove Club, 144 Campground Rd, Newlands. Cost: R290; including a goodie bag. To book contact Debbie: 031 262 4962, 082 467 8236, or visit The Toddler Sense Seminar will also be held in Port Elizabeth on 2 October at the Raddison Blu Hotel.

Outsurance 94.5 Kfm Gun Run Participants can take part in the 21km halfmarathon or the 10km run/walk. Families are encouraged to do the 5km fun run/ walk. Start time: 21km 7am, 10km 7:30am and 5km 7:45am. Venue: races start in Beach Rd, Mouille Point and finish on the Sea Point Promenade opposite Winchester Mansions and Rocklands Beach. Cost: R15–R60. For more info and to enter: visit or pick up an entry form from sports shops and running clubs.

16 saturday

12 tuesday

18 monday

Bandana Day Buy a Bandana for R15 at all Pick n Pay and BP Express outlets and wear it today in some great new styles. For more info: visit Rocking all over the World A musical journey that will have the whole family itching to dance. Ends 31 December. Time: Monday–Saturday 8pm, Sunday 2pm. Venue: Barnyard Theatre, Willowbridge Lifestyle Centre, Tyger Valley. Cost: Sunday and Tuesday is buy one, get one free R160, Wednesday–Saturday: R120. Contact: 021 914 8898 or visit

Christmas Gift Fair The fair offers children’s clothing and toys, décor items, food and deli products, jewellery and accessories, handbags, clothing as well as a selection of men’s gifts. Ends 21 October. Time: 9am–6pm, late night shopping until 8pm on 19 and 20 October. Venue: Simon’s, Groot Constantia Wine Estate. Cost: R20, which will be donated to the Children’s Hospital Trust, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. Contact: 083 679 4495, carryn@thechristmasgiftfair. or visit

Khanyisa School Spring Fair Support the school’s annual fundraiser. There will be lunch, snacks and entertainment, white elephant and second-hand book stalls, crafts, children’s activities and more. Time: 11am–3pm. Venue: Khanyisa School for Supportive Education, 4 Victoria Rd, Plumstead (behind the Centre for Creative Education). Cost: free. Contact Jenni: 021 761 1709, or visit

15 friday Wine on the River An open-air, family-friendly wine festival involving wineries from the Robertson Wine Valley. Ends 17 October. Time: Friday 11am–8pm, Saturday 10am–6pm, Sunday 11am–3pm. Cost: R60–R200. Children under 18 years enter free, activities on a pay-as-you-go basis. Contact Marylize: 023 626 3167 or visit


October 2010

15 – 17 October – Wine on the River

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19 tuesday M-Net Cares “Drive for the Cause” golf day is being held to raise awareness for breast cancer. Men are welcome and are permitted to join in the tee off provided pink shirts are worn with bras on top. There is a prize-giving dinner after the event. Time: 11am. Venue: Bellville Golf Club. Cost: R300 per golfer. Contact Kelly: 082 802 0855, or visit

20 wednesday National Down Syndrome Awareness Day Down Syndrome South Africa wants to promote the abilities of people with the condition through their campaign entitled, “It’s All in the Genes”. Show your support today by wearing jeans, sporting one of their skin-mark tattoos or a green ribbon (R5) and donating an additional R5 to DSSA. Contact Roxanne: 0861 DOWNSA (0861 369 672) or 082 608 0078

20 October – National Down Syndrome Awareness Day

21 thursday Open day at Disa Park Preprimary Come and meet the staff and view the facilities. Time: 9am–9pm. Venue: Clifford Ave, Vredehoek. Contact: 021 461 7431

23 saturday Cape Town International Kite Festival hosted by Cape Mental Health in association with Heart 104.9FM. Ends 24 October. Time: 10am–6pm. Venue: lawns surrounding Zandvlei, Muizenberg. Cost: adults R15, children R5. For more info: 021 447 9040, or visit Full moon hike Get the family to hike to the top of Klapmutskop for spectacular views. Time: 5:30pm. Venue: Dirtopia Trail Centre, Delvera Farm, R44 near Stellenbosch. Cost: adults R50, children

under 10 years R25. Contact Dirtopia: 021 884 4752, or visit Kidz2Kidz Santa Shoebox Project call for volunteers This year the Santa Shoebox Project, a non-profit organisation that collects Christmas gifts for socially disadvantaged children throughout South Africa, is asking for your help. Time: 10am– noon. Venue: NG Kerk Hall, 55 Kloof St, Cape Town. For a volunteer application form contact or visit

28 thursday Tyger Valley Lifestyle Expo Displays throughout the centre. Ends 31 October. Time: Thursday–Saturday 9am–7pm, Sunday 9am–5pm. Cost: free. For more info: 021 914 2852, 083 456 2879 or

29 friday Playshed Halloween Party for children 1–5 years. It includes two hours of play, a party pack and snacks. Only 20 spaces available. Time: 10am–noon. Venue: The Playshed, Oude Molen Village, Alexandra Rd, Pinelands, next to Vincent Pallotti Hospital. Cost: R75. Contact: Madré or Jeanne: 021 801 0141/2, 074 196 2778, or visit theplayshed. The Baby Expo Ends 31 October. Time: 9am–6pm. Venue: CTICC, 1 Lower Long St, Cape Town. Cost: R50, children under 10 years free. Entrance into the Barney show is free but don’t forget to reserve your seat as these are limited. Book through Computicket: 083 915 8000 or visit TEARS charity auction The Emma Animal Rescue Centre is raising funds for a new rescue centre for dogs. This entertaining evening is hosted by Ish Hendricks. Time: 7pm. Venue: The Grill Room, Kelvin Grove, Newlands. Cost: R300, which includes a three-course meal. Cash bar available. Contact Marge: 021 785 7014 or 084 805 8185 or Marilyn: 083 651 6346

30 saturday Amazing Duck Race Today, more than 1 700 yellow bath ducks race down the Elsieskraal Canal in Pinelands. A day of activities, art and crafts, games, food, festivities and fun is planned for the whole family. Buy a duck in time for the race and stand a chance to win prizes. La Gratitude Preprimary hopes to raise

23 October – Cape Town International Kite Festival

magazine cape town

October 2010


calendar enough funds for major upgrades to the school. Time: 1:30pm. Venue: Elsieskraal Canal, La Gratitude Preprimary, Pinelands. Cost: individual entry R10 per duck, corporate entry R50 per duck. For more info: 083 701 7588 or Lynda: 021 531 4961 (mornings only) Ascarium An evening of fierce and fabulous encounters with your children. Time: 5pm– 8pm. Venue: Two Oceans Aquarium, V&A Waterfront. Cost: adults R110, children R60. For more info: 021 418 3823 or members@ Bergvliet Primary School Fun and Food Fair with craft stalls, a dog show and fun events such as duel towers and a bungee trampoline, foefie slide, mechanical bull and a water slide. Time: 10am–3pm. Venue: Bergvliet Primary School, Children’s Way, Bergvliet. Cost: free or R60 per day ticket for access to all the fun equipment. Contact: 021 715 1103 Claremont Spring Fair Family fun with a food fair, activities for children such as sand art, rides, beading, tombola and hair spraying. For the parents there is live music, Christmas gifts and plants for sale and auctions. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: St Stephen’s Church, 86 Belvedere Rd, Claremont. Cost: free. Contact: 021 674 3446 Michael Oak Waldorf School Peace Fair The annual fundraiser fair showcases art and crafts, a second-hand book stall, Christmas cakes and activities for children. Time: 11am–3pm. Venue: Michael Oak


October 2010

Waldorf School, Gibson Rd, Kenilworth. Cost: free. Contact Tarryn: 021 797 9728 or Zip Zap Circus performs at Stellenbosch Waldorf School Fair Time: shows noon and 2:30pm, fair 9am–2:30pm. Cost: adults R50 and children R35. Venue: Stellenbosch Waldorf School, Annandale Rd (off Baden Powell Drive or the R44). Cost: free. Contact Shelley: 082 715 3043

FUN FOR CHILDREN art, culture and science Fabric-painting workshop Step-by-step teaching for adults and children. 9 and 30

October. Time: 8:45am–10:45am. Venue: Pinelands. Cost: R25 for the kit. Contact Wendy: 021 531 8076, 082 391 4954 or Itz van Allez crafting workshops 8–9 October. Time: 7:15am–5:15pm. Venue: AGS Church, Voortrekker Rd, Bellville. Contact: 021 911 0962, 082 452 4524, or visit Kiddies’ sand art workshop includes sand art card-making and colour expression. For ages 4 and older. Time and venue: Eden on Bay Shopping Centre every Sunday 9am–3pm; Hout Bay (opposite mainstream shopping centre/community centre) every Sunday 10am–4pm; Tokai Porter Estate Farmers’ Market every Saturday 9am–1pm. Cost: R20 per card made. Contact Lana: 072 931 2344 or Tick Tock – the Mouse & the Clock Morris Mouse, goes to visit his cousin on the other side of the overgrown garden. 24 September–3 October. For children aged 5–12 years. Time: Monday–Friday 11am– noon, Saturday and Sunday noon. Venue: Iziko Planetarium. Cost: adults R20, children R6. Contact: 021 481 3800

classes, talks and workshops

Fabric-painting workshop

Cooking class for teens Practical classes teaching 14- to 18-year-olds how to prepare a three-course dinner. 30 October. Time: 2:30pm–5:30pm. Venue: 13A Summit Place, Summit Rd, Nova Constantia. Cost: R250. Contact: 072 291 2208 or

Kindermusik with Nats

Kindermusik with Nats Music and movement classes that stimulate a child’s brain. For more info: 076 814 7981, 072 227 4879 or visit Little Chefs four-week cooking course Children (8–14 years) complete basic and advanced cooking skills in a professional and fun environment. 29 October–19 November. Time: every Friday 2:30pm–4:30pm. Venue: 3 Vlei St, Aurora, Durbanville. Cost: R700. Contact Lisa: 073 227 3404 or Short Chefs nutritional programme offers holiday cooking classes for children and their parents. 16 and 23 October.

magazine cape town

Time and cost: 2–3 years 9am–10am for R90; 4–7 years 11:30am–1pm for R120. Venue: 179 Circle Rd, Tableview. Contact: 072 430 8813 or The Shining Way for Kids workshop Give your children the chance to understand themselves, and to make the right choices in life. 10 and 31 October. Time: 6– 9 years 9:30am–12:30pm; 10–13 years 2:30pm–5:30pm. Venue: The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Rd, Woodstock. Cost: R450 per child, per workshop. Contact Cathy: 082 377 4319, or visit Tots n Pots cooking and baking workshop affords guardians quality time with children while encouraging healthy eating habits in children. Time: Monday: 2–6 years 2pm–3pm; Wednesday: 3–6 years 2:30pm–3:30pm; Saturday: 2–10 years 9am–10am. Venue: Daisies Coffee Shop, The Garden Shop, Doordrift Rd, Constantia. Cost: R640 per term (eight weeks) or R85 per class if space available. Contact Chene: 083 649 7405, chene@ or visit

finding nature and outdoor play Full moon hike 23 October. Time: 5:30pm. Venue: Dirtopia Trail Centre, Delvera Farm, R44 near Stellenbosch. Cost: adults R50, children under 10 years R25. Contact: 021 884 4752, theteam@dirtopia. or visit

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Wheel of Excellence The giant observation wheel offers panoramic bird’seye views of Cape Town, Paarl, Table Mountain and Robben Island from fullyenclosed cabins. 12–15 minute round trip. Time: Friday and Saturday 11am–10pm, Sunday 11am–8pm. Venue: Canal Site, V&A Waterfront. Cost: R70. Contact: 021 408 7600 or

family outings Ascarium An evening of fierce and fabulous encounters you can enjoy with your children. Time: 5pm–8pm. Venue: Two Oceans Aquarium, V&A Waterfront. Cost: adults R110, children R60. For more info: 021 418 3823, members@aquarium. or visit Bergvliet Primary School fun and food fair 30 October. Time: 10am–3pm. Venue: Bergvliet Primary School, Children’s Way, Bergvliet. Cost: free or R60 per day ticket for access to all the fun equipment. Contact: 021 715 1103 Cycle Out of Poverty charity ride Two groups of 20 women cycle through the countryside to raise funds for the farm Goedgedacht, a charity that helps rural children out of poverty. The route goes via Riebeek Kasteel, Wellington, Bot River, Greyton and ends at Elgin Country Club. 14–17 October and 28–31 October. There are activities to entertain the family. Time: 1pm. Venue: Elgin Country Club. Cost: free. Contact Lisa:

Buffalo Drift Kids Camp

Nutwood Forest Montessori Preschool annual concert Time: 10am–11am. Venue: Sea Point High School hall. Cost: adults R20 and children under 16 years free. Contact: 021 439 4874

holiday activities Artjamming holiday programme 27 September–1 October. Time: Monday– Friday 10am–12:30pm. Venue: Cape Quarter and Willowbridge. Cost: R120 per person includes box canvas, all supplies and a snack pack. Contact Willowbridge: 021 914 9224, Cape Quarter: 021 447 0355 or visit Bizzy Bodies holiday programme 27 September–2 October. Time: 11am–noon or 3pm–4pm. Venue: Westlake Business

Park. Cost: call to enquire. For more info: visit Buffalo Drift Kids Camp For children 8– 13 years. Camp 1: 26–29 September; Camp 2: 26 September–1 October. Venue: Buffalo Drift, Ruigtevlei Farm, R44, Porterville. Cost: five days R1 750, three days R1 000. Contact: 082 258 3764, joy@buffalodrift. or visit Cape Youth Adventures camp open day for children from Grade 1–7. 2 October. Time: 8am–2pm. Venue: Jan van Riebeeck High School, Kloof St, Gardens. Cost: free. Contact Herman: 021 855 4701 or visit Flippers Swim School holiday programme A 15-minute swimming lesson daily for five days. 27 September–

October 2010


calendar Time: 11am–2pm. Venue: meet in Muizenberg; and start at the Zandvlei River mouth and walk towards Strandfontein. For more info: or visit


27 September – 1 October – Giraffe House

1 October. Time: 9am–noon. Venue: 8 Oxford Rd, Observatory. Cost: R275. Contact Nikki: 083 747 9196, info@flippersswimschool. or visit Giraffe House wildlife children’s activities for children 5–13 years. 27 September–1 October. Time: 10am–11am. Snake show: 11am. Venue: The Giraffe House Wildlife Awareness Centre, Tyger Valley. Cost: adults R45, children R25. Contact: 021 884 4506, info@giraffehouse. or visit Gold of Africa Museum holiday programme for children 7–12 years. 27–30 September. Time: 9am–noon. Venue: Gold of Africa Museum, Strand St. Cost: R50 per day, including all materials. Contact: 021 405 1540 or museum@ Kidz Playzone holiday programme 27 September–1 October. Time: 9am– 4:30pm. Venue: 10 Pastorale St, Durbanville Business Park, Durbanville, off Klipheuwel Rd. Cost: no extra cost for the programme and magic show. Contact: 021 979 4872, 084 575 2546, or visit Kidzville at Tyger Valley Centre Free drop-and-shop zone for parents with children 3–10 years. 24 September– 3 October. Time: 10am–5pm. Venue: Tyger Valley Centre promotions court. Cost: free. Contact: or visit Kirstenbosch Nature Explorers holiday programme 27, 28, 30 September and 1 October. Time: 9am–1pm. Venue: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. Cost: R250 for two days. Contact Alex: 076 657 1899 or visit Ratanga Junction is open 22 September–3 October. Time: 10am–5pm. Venue: Century City. Cost: varies. Contact: 0861 200 300 or visit Silver Tree holiday programme for children 3–10 years. 27 September–1 October. Time: 11am–noon. Venue: Silver Tree Restaurant, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. Cost: free. Contact: 021 762 9585 Two Oceans Aquarium coastal cleanup day In support of International Coastal Clean-up Day, aquarium staff and volunteers are cleaning up Zandvlei Estuary and Muizenberg Beach. 28 September.


October 2010

Constantia Waldorf Night Market 29 October. Enjoy crafts and food stalls. Time: 5pm– 9pm. Venue: Constantia Waldorf School, Spaanschemat River Rd, Constantia. Cost: free entry, parking R15 per car. For more info: visit CY Market 29 September–3 October. Time: Wednesday–Friday 10am–7pm, Saturday 10am–5pm, Sunday 10am–2pm. Venue: Alba Guest Farm, Vissershok Rd, Durbanville. Cost: R10 for over 14 years, free for younger children. Contact: 083 234 8606 or visit Earth Fair Food Market for healthy, fresh food. Time: every Saturday 9am–2pm and every Wednesday 3pm–8pm. Venue: South Palms, Tokai Main Rd. Cost: free entry. Contact Jacqui: 084 220 3856 or Elkanah House Schoolyard Market 9 and 30 October. Time: 9am–1pm. Venue: Elkanah House, 85 Sunningdale Dr, Sunningdale. Cost: free entry. Contact Michelle: 021 554 8586 Nitida’s Farmers’ Market 29 and 30 October. Time: 29 October 5pm–9pm, 30 October 7:30am–noon. Venue: Nitida Cellars, on the M13, Durbanville. Cost: free entry. Contact: 083 651 0699 Porter Estate Produce Market Every Saturday, weather permitting. Time: 9am– 1pm. Venue: Tokai. Cost: R5 per car. Contact: 082 334 5434 or visit Stanford Sunset Market on the Village Green 1 October. Time: 6pm–8pm. Venue: Stanford Village Green, Stanford, Whale Coast. Cost: free entry. Contact Steph: 028 3410 340 or Western Province Preparatory School Market 28 October. Stalls include ladies’ wear, home décor, jewellery, children’s toys and clothing. Time: 10am–4pm. Venue: WPPS, 49 Newlands Rd, Claremont. Contact: Caron: 021 761 8074

29 September – 3 October – CY Market

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on stage and screen Children’s Theatre at Delvera Time: noon every Sunday. Venue: Delvera Wine Farm, Stellenbosch. Cost: R40. For more info: 021 884 4352 Despicable Me premieres on 1 October at all major cinemas. Hypnotist Andrew Newton live 2 September–16 October. Time: Wednesday–Saturday 8:30pm, 9 and 16 October 11:30am. Venue: 3 Arts Theatre, 260 Main Rd, Plumstead. Cost: R60–R70. Book through Computicket: 083 915 8000 The Rainbow Puppet Theatre presents Snow White and Rose Red, ideal for children four years and older. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 October. Time: 10am and 11:15am. Venue: Constantia Waldorf School, Spaanschemat River Rd, Constantia. Cost: adults and children R20. Contact Alison: 021 783 2063 or

playtime and story time Bizzy Bodies play and party time A venue with huge space to run and jump and a coffee shop. For children up to 13 years. Time: Monday–Sunday 10am–5pm. Venue: 23 Bell Crescent, Westlake Business Park, Tokai. Cost: from R30. Contact: 021 702 0505 or visit Bloubergstrand Library story time Certain Mondays and Wednesdays for 10–15 minutes. Call to enquire. Ideal for 8- and 9year-olds but the library does accommodate older children. Time: from 3pm. Venue: Andrew Foster Rd, Bloubergstrand. Cost: free. Contact: 021 554 1641 Book Lounge story time Every Saturday. Time: 11am. Venue: 71 Roeland St, Cape Town. Cost: free. Contact: 021 462 2425 or visit Brackenfell Library story time Every Wednesday, excluding school holidays. Activities included. For children 3 years and older, but will accept younger children. Time: 10:30am–11:30am. Venue: Paradys St. Cost: free. Contact: 021 980 1261 Durbanville Library story time First Thursday of the month. Time: 10:30am– 11am. Venue: Oxford Rd. Cost: free. Contact: 021 970 3094 Eikendal Library story time Every Tuesday and Thursday. Time: 10:30am–11:30am. Venue: Van Riebeeck Way, Kraaifontein. Cost: free. Contact: 021 980 6160 Folio Books story time suitable for ages 3–9 years. 2 October. Time: 10:30am. Venue: Folio Books, 207 Main Rd, Newlands, opposite Westerford High. Cost: free. Contact: 021 685 7190 or foliobooks@ Hout Bay Library story time Every Friday for children 2–5 years. They normally show a movie after the story. Time: 10am– 11am. Venue: Melkhout Crescent. Cost: free. Contact: 021 790 2150 Jimmy Jungles Indoor Adventure Playground Time: Monday–Sunday 9am. Venue: Bellville and Claremont. Cost: from R35. Contact: 021 914 1705 or info@ Kloof Street Library story hour Monday ages 2 and older, 3pm–3:30pm, up to 2 years, 3:30pm–3:45pm; Tuesday up to 2 years, 9:30am–10am with a little Afrikaans thrown in. Contact: 021 424 3308 magazine cape town

2 October – Lourensford MTB Classic

Kraaifontein Library Afrikaans and English story time for children from 2–10 years. Call Nelia to enquire beforehand. Time: Wednesday 10am. Venue: Brighton Rd. Contact: 021 980 6209 Rondebosch Library story time Every Wednesday and Friday for preschoolers from 3–5 years. Time: 10am. Venue: St Andrews Rd. Contact: 021 689 1100 Somerset West Library story time For more info contact children’s librarian Paige: 021 850 4458 or 021 850 4526/7 The Butterfly Project helps children and teens through music, art, storytelling and play therapy. 4–16 years. Time: Monday–Friday 3pm–6pm. Venue: 14 Mayfair Ave, Newlands. Cost: R180 per hour. Contact Margi: 083 737 8386 or

sport and physical activities African Brothers Enrol your child in soccer lessons. Contact Ben: 072 650 7676, Lynell: 071 876 8026, abfamarketing@ or visit Lourensford MTB Classic For the family. 2 October. Time: 8:30am. Venue: Lourensford Wine Estate, Somerset West. Cost: R25–R65. Contact: 021 884 4752, theteam@dirtopia. or visit Meridian Hiking Club offers a range of day hikes, weekend trails, longer trails and conservation activities. Contact: meridian@ or visit The All Rounder Cricket Academy clinics Ages 9–17 years, 8 October–3 December. Cost: R425. Ages: 5–9 years, 8 October–3 December. Cost: R280. All equipment supplied. Practise time: Friday 5pm–6:30pm. Venue: Cape Town Cricket Club, Victoria Rd, Plumstead. Contact: visit

only for parents classes, talks and workshops CPR and first-aid classes for adults, children and infants. The course thoroughly covers what to do in an emergency. Selected Wednesdays and Saturdays. Time: 9:30am– 3pm. Venue: Cape Town Medi-Clinic, Maternity Lounge, 3rd floor. Cost: R220, includes manuals. Book through Daniele: 084 593 2314 or Also, enquire about Daniele’s nanny classes at Cape Town Medi-Clinic October 2010


calendar Parent education and inspiration meetings (Parent Chat) 21 October. Time: 10am–noon. Venue: tbc (southern suburbs). Cost: R100. Contact: steph@ Sugar and Spice cooking training class Practical, hands-on classes for your nanny/domestic covering vegetarian meals and main-meal accompaniments. 2 and 16 October. Time: 9am–noon. Venue: 13A Summit Place, Summit Rd, Nova Constantia. Cost: R400 per class or R350 if more than one class is attended. Contact Russ: 072 291 2208 and Sugar and Spice four-week nanny training course Give your domestic worker all the skills, knowledge and confidence she needs to care for your baby and young child. Venue: from 6 October every Wednesday afternoon: Bowwood Baby Clinic, Claremont; from 8 October every Friday morning: 65 Somerset Rd, Green Point. Contact Kirsten: 083 406 0028, or visit

Time: Wednesday–Saturday 8:30pm. Venue: Kalk Bay Theatre. Cost: R100. Contact: 073 220 5430 or visit Verdi’s Requiem is performed by the Symphony and Philharmonic Choirs of Cape Town and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra with conductor Victor Yampolsky. 7 October 8pm and 10 October 4pm. Venue: City Hall. Cost: R130 or R150. For more info: Book through Computicket: 083 915 8000

out and about Canal Walk Summer Fashion and Beauty Showcase Be the first to know about the hottest summer trends. Throughout October. For more info: visit

on stage and screen Athol Fugard’s People are Living There 3, 4, 10 and 11 October. Time: dinner 6:30pm, show 8:30pm. Venue: On Broadway, 44 Long St, CBD. Cost: R75. Contact: 021 424 1194 or visit I, Claudia maps the inner world of a misfit adolescent through four exaggerated comic characters. 20 October–13 November.

19 October – “Drive for the Cause” golf day

Live music at the Rainbow Room Designed to be on par with that of top international jazz venues. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31 October. Time: 8pm. Venue: The Rainbow Room, Mandela Rhodes Place, Church St, Cape Town. Cost: R50 per show. Contact: 072 875 9723, or book through M-Net Cares “Drive for the Cause” golf day 19 October. Time: 11am. Venue: Bellville Golf Club. Cost: R300 per golfer. Contact Kelly: 082 802 0855, kelly@ or visit

support groups Autism Action Cape Town Contact: 078 578 7958, or visit Autism South Africa For lists of professionals that work in this field, support groups and their wish list contact: 011 484 9909, 021 557 3573, info@autismsouthfrica. org or visit Childhood Cancer Foundation of South Africa (CHOC) helps parents to meet other parents and survivors. For more info: visit Depression and Anxiety Support Group Contact a counsellor Monday to Sunday 8am–8pm: 011 262 6396 or for a suicidal emergency contact: 0800 567 567. For more info: visit Down Syndrome SA Down Syndrome South Africa (DSSA) is an umbrella to 12

regional associations or parent groups. For more info: 0861 369 672, dssaoffice@icon. or visit Little People of South Africa supports those with dwarfism as well as their families. Time: 2pm every third Saturday of the month. Venue: Bethany Fellowship, 225 Lansdowne Rd, Claremont. Cost: free. Contact Rachelle: 082 366 8074 or SpiritedKidZ LearnsPace is a non-profit and committed special education centre that works toward the advancement of those with learning differences and physical challenges. For more info: 082 854 1300 or visit The Disabled Children’s Action Group Venue: 16 Broad Rd, Wynberg. Contact: 021 797 5977

bump, baby & Tot in tow

classes, talks and workshops Adoption discussion group with Terri Lailvaux, author of The Greatest Gift, a story for children about adoption. This is for anyone considering adoption, involved in adoption or who has adopted. 9 and 16 October. Time: 9am–1pm. Venue: Kenilworth. Cost: R50. To book: Cape Town Medi-Clinic Obstetric Unit tour Pregnant parents considering giving birth at Cape Town Medi-Clinic are invited to book a tour of their facility. Booking is

family marketplace


October 2010

magazine cape town

The Mama Bamba Way weekend workshop

advised. Time: every Wednesday 10am. Venue: 21 Hof Street, Tamboerskloof. Cost: free. To book, contact: 021 464 5500 Me-a-Mama antenatal classes start first Saturday of each month and run for four weeks. Fun, interactive and sociable antenatal classes with midwife Emma Numanoglu, who will prepare you for

magazine cape town

whatever labour option you choose as well as for the early days at home with your baby. Time: Saturday 10am–noon. Venue: Rondebosch. Cost: R900. Limited places. Contact: or visit Me-a-Mama Pram Power Hour Postnatal fitness workout with your pram. Shed your pregnancy weight, have fun out in the elements with your baby and meet other moms. Time: 10:30am and 3pm. Venue: Monday, Wednesday, Friday in Constantia and Mouille Point. Cost: first session free, then R410 per month. Contact: fitness@ or visit The Baby Expo Everything you need to know about pregnancy, babies and parenting. 29–31 October. Time: 9am– 6pm. Venue: CTICC, 1 Lower Long St, Cape Town. Cost: R50, children under 10 years free. Book through Computicket: 083 915 8000 or visit The Mama Bamba Way weekend workshop Birth preparation classes for women, their partners and their babies. 16 and 17 October. The course consists of 15 hours’ group instruction. Time: 10am–5pm. Venue: The Long House, Dreyersdal Farm Rd, Bergvliet. Cost: R1 500 per couple; includes a copy of The Mama Bamba Way: Inner pathways back to the power and pleasure of birth and the CD, The Mama Bamba Way: Guided Relaxation For Birth. To book contact: Robyn: 021 715 0525, robynsheldon@ or visit

The Parent Centre moms-to-be and moms-and-babies’ group meets every Thursday. Time: 10am–noon. Venue: 2nd floor, Maternity Section, Kingsbury Maternity Hospital, Wilderness Rd, Claremont. Cost: R35, includes refreshments. For more info contact The Parent Centre: 021 762 0116, or visit Toddler Sense Seminar in association with Toptots 16 October. Time: 8am–1pm. Venue: Kelvin Grove Club, 144 Campground Rd, Newlands. Cost R290, includes a goodie bag. To book call Debbie: 031 262 4962, 082 467 8236, or visit This seminar will also be held in Port Elizabeth on 2 October at the Raddison Blu Hotel. Tots n Pots tiny tots cooking and baking workshops for 2–3 year olds. Time: Thursday 2pm–3pm. Venue: Daisies

29 – 31 October – The Baby Expo

Coffee Shop, The Garden Shop, Doordrift Rd, Constantia. Cost: R640 per term (eight weeks) or R85 per class if space available. Contact Chene: 021 464 5500, 083 649 7405, or visit

playtime and story time Clamber Club These groups are divided into three age groups for children between 9 months and 3 years. For more info: visit Jimmy Jungles has secure facilities for toddlers and children from 6 months. Time: Monday–Sunday 9am. Venue: Bellville and Claremont. Cost: from R35. Contact head office: 021 914 1705 or info@ Observatory Library story time Every Wednesday for children 1–4 years. Time: 11am–11:30am. Venue: Station Rd. Cost: free. Contact: 021 447 9017 Planet Kids An ecofriendly, indoor play and activity centre that welcomes children with disabilities. Time: Monday– Sunday 10am–6pm. Venue: 3 Wherry Rd, Muizenberg. Cost: varies. Contact: 021 788 3070 or visit Playshed Halloween Party for children 1–5 years. Time: 10am–noon. Venue: The Playshed, Oude Molen Village, Alexandra Rd, Pinelands. Cost: R75. Contact: 021 801 0141/2, or visit Enquire about their nanny mornings on Thursdays.

October 2010



Playtime for babies and toddlers

Plinka Plonka Play Indoor play area. Time: summer weekdays 9am–5:30pm, weekends 9am–1pm. Venue: 171 Buitenkant St, Gardens. Cost: children under one year enter free, one year and older pay R40 for the first hour. Contact: 021 465 0503, playatplinkaplonka@gmail. com or visit Scallywags Play Café The café has a separate play area for children under 3 years. Time: Monday–Saturday 9:30am– 5pm. Venue: Scallywags Play Café, 44 Belvedere Rd, Claremont. Cost: R45 for unlimited play, siblings R35. Contact Lindsay: 021 671 5988, 083 662 8414 or Sea Point Library story time Every Wednesday 10am–11am for preschoolers and younger. Venue: Main Rd, Glengarriff. Bring a photocopy of the baby’s birth certificate for membership to the library. Contact: 021 439 7440/1

support groups Adoption Support Group for parents considering adoption, going through the process of adoption or who have already adopted and need support. Time: Wednesday 7:30pm–9:30pm. Venue: Rondebosch. Cost: tbc. Contact Jean: 084 685 4839 or Hi Hopes Home-based support for families with deaf children up to 3 years old. Once a week for an hour. Cost: free. Contact Renee: 021 938 6066, 076 891 8188 or La Leche League’s breastfeeding support groups Panorama 4 October. Contact Carol: 021 558 5319 or Irma: 084 258 8203. Durbanville 12 October. Contact Trudy: 021 913 2816 or Tiffany: 021 913 3586. Parow 20 October. Contact Dilshaad: 021 930 2475. Time: 10am. Cost: free Post-natal Depression South Africa For more info: SA Preemies A national support group for parents of premature babies. Contact: 080 773 3643, 012 333 5359, or visit

how to help Do It Day A call-to-action volunteer campaign that connects people with 1 400 good causes around the country. Do It Day is all about building a community of volunteers in South Africa and demonstrates how powerful volunteering is when it comes to changing lives. 15


October 2010

and 16 October. Time: generally 10am– 3pm. Venue: project dependent. Contact GreaterGood SA: 021 762 7944, info@ or visit Harvest of Hope organic vegetable box initiative Boxes of freshly packed vegetables are grown in food gardens that are maintained to the highest organic standards by local township groups. Each group is made up of three to eight farmers, most of whom are women, anxious to feed their families. These growers are able to provide for their families and hope to sell the rest of their crop. A full box of a range of seasonal organic vegetables that will feed a family costs R95 per week. (Smaller families can share a box). This can be paid per term at R1 235 or per month at R380. Harvest of Hope delivers boxes of freshly picked vegetables to selected schools one day per week for parents to collect when they fetch their children. Each week they return their box and collect their new box of fresh veggies at the end of the school day. To order contact: 021 371 1653, harvestofhope@abalimi. or visit Lunch Buddies This is a school feeding programme by FoodBank South Africa (FBSA) that provides children, from underresourced schools, with sandwiches made by children from more resourced schools. The children at the donor schools pack an extra lunch, which they leave at a collection point at their school. FBSA fetches the sandwiches and delivers them to the beneficiary schools. FBSA also regularly hosts sandwich jams, which are fun events that can be held in a FBSA warehouse, a school or even a shopping mall. If you would like to participate in the Lunch Buddies programme or a sandwich jam, contact Roxy: 021 531 5670 Music Therapy Community Clinic The Music Therapy Community Clinic is a non-profit organisation that provides music therapy to underprivileged and previously disadvantaged communities. Music is a social resource; a way to heal and strengthen communities as well as individuals. The clinic’s vision is to use active music-making to impact the psycho-

social fabric of the communities. It has been used in projects to help those exposed to violence and trauma, and those in a hospital setting. Monthly or once-off donations are welcome to fund their Heideveld trauma project, Siyaphila HIV/Aids project or Music for Health project. You could also sponsor a child to have music therapy sessions or organise a Play it Forward concert in your home. For more info: 021 671 5196 or visit The Clothing Bank The Clothing Bank supports unemployed mothers, who would otherwise battle to find employment, through their 12-month training programme. The Clothing Bank provides much needed support to other NPOs and government welfare institutions by supplying them with clothing. The Clothing Bank needs volunteers to help with everything from operations to event management. They need donations of new or second-hand clothing in good condition. Clothing should be washed and packed in boxes. They require funding for the training programme and to run the warehouse facility. For more info: 021 447 3334 or visit The Earthchild Project This registered non-profit organisation enriches and uplifts the lives of children through a school programme that offers extramurals and holiday programmes. It helps teachers by hosting monthly retreats. Earthchild Project teaches practical skills on how to live a more balanced and fulfilling life, with a focus on self-awareness, health and wellness, and the environment. How you can help: • Become an Earthchild Project volunteer and donate some free time in your professional area to supporting the various project initiatives. • Become a member by donating R100 a month for a year. • Buy a worm farm (worm farming kits are sold in two different sizes costing R800–R950). • Join the mailing list and spread the word about the positive work they do. Contact Janna: 021 462 2218, 083 409 9185, or visit

it’s party


The Earthchild Project

don’t miss out! For a free listing, email your event to or fax it to 021 462 2680. Information must be received by 11 October for the November issue, and must include all relevant details. No guarantee can be given that it will be published.

magazine cape town

magazine cape town

October 2010



party time



October 2010

magazine cape town

magazine cape town

October 2010


last laugh

confessions of a laptop addict


Joe, Sam and Benj

ndreas asked me the other day: “What are we going to do about the screen addiction?” “I have no idea!” I responded. “The boys do spend a helluva lot of time in front of screens, don’t they? But they don’t play violent games, and they are often watching Discovery channel.” “I am not talking about the boys, Love,” he said, gently shaking his head. “I am talking about you.” The worst bit? He’s right. How can you limit your child’s screen time when your own is hideously uncontrolled?


October 2010

My laptop is practically another appendage, and if I haven’t tweeted about something, it hasn’t really happened. All day, every day, I email, SMS, facebook, google, blog, tweet and IM. But then I am paid to do so. It’s the evenings that are the problem, though – when I come home and do exactly the same thing. As I write this, a creeping coldness is working its way up the back of my neck, as I realise the last person I say good night to many evenings is my boss, before I close my laptop and tuck it under my bed. Then in the morning, my sleepy fingers fumble for my iPhone, where I check my mail, the news and my twitterstream before both eyes are even fully open. For relaxation I watch back-to-back episodes of the series du jour on, yes – you guessed it – my laptop. I was once having a marathon viewing session, when Joey came in and feigned a shuddering death next to me: “Aarghh! I’ve lost my mother to Lost!”

And Andreas, for all his gentle fingerwaving, is not much better. He collects speeches and interviews from favourite thinkers and authors, and spends hours poring over the home PC downloading things and checking his gazillion thoughtful RSS feeds. (That’s what clever people do on the Internet while we are sending each other lolcats.) Not so bad, perhaps until you add in all the sports channels on DStv, and the fact that he’s the only person I’ve ever met who will watch the entire Tour de France, in addition to the usual rugby, soccer and cricket. So, is it any wonder the boys have as many friends on Club Penguin as they do IRL? (That means “in real life” for your nonlolcatters out there.) Not really. Why am I telling you all this? Because we reached a turning point this weekend. We are currently watching our way through the Star Wars movies, and I was gobsmacked by how my sons know the names of every

random character, planet, spacecraft and alien in the series. “Boys, there are hundreds of names and characters in these movies, you can’t possibly know them all,” I said, partly in horror but partly in pride. Benj looked at me, quizzically. “You know that Star Wars Wii game you bought for my birthday? You know how it’s called ‘The Complete Saga’?” “Well, we haven’t really played anything else for a month,” Joey told me. It was a moment, folks. The next day, we sat down as a family and decided to limit ourselves – parents and children – to two hours of home screen time every day, which includes the computer, smartphones, the Wii and the TV. I’ll let you know how it goes. We’re looking forward to seeing, well, the sun. And possibly IRL itself. Sam Wilson is the Editor-in-Chief of Women24, Parent24 and Food24.

magazine cape town


SAM WILSON comes clean about her issues with the screen.

Child Magazine | Cape Town October 2010  

Cape Town's best guide for parents

Child Magazine | Cape Town October 2010  

Cape Town's best guide for parents