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june/july 2010 Issue 35 Circulation 40 052

D U R B A N ’ s

b e s t

g u i d e

f o r

p ar e n t s

imagine nation

give your children the magic they need

Game on

activity boxes that’ll give boredom the boot

straight UP

from slouch to posture perfect

curtain raiser why a bit of drama is good for your children

y a d i l ho kick off

to have fun 63 ways as a family in your city




the waiting is over, the day has dawned and, with tickets firmly in hand, I am ready!

My children are dressed in yellow and green from head to toe and are enthusiastically honing the “art” of trumpeting their vuvuzelas – with apologies to our long-suffering neighbours. Perhaps you, however, need a little prompting to get into the soccer spirit. Then turn to page 48 for info about the matches in your city and the Durban Fifa Fan Fest – taking place on the beach, of course! If, like us, you are staying at home for the June/July school break, this month’s magazine will make all the difference. Firstly, we have banished boredom from your children’s vocabulary. See “mom, dad, I’m bored!” on page 26 for clever ideas for repackaging what you’ve got tucked away in your cupboards into exciting activity boxes. We’re certain these tips will make your life more pleasant! We’ve also visited Pietermaritzburg to bring you our pick of fabulous family fun. So, if you tire of the soccer frenzy you can gather your brood and head off on an outing to this nearby town. See “out & about” on page 34. Let’s welcome the masses, get messy with our children and live a little! Laduuuummmmaaaaaa!

Hunter House P U B L IS H I N G

Publisher Lisa Mc Namara •

Editorial Managing Editor Marina Zietsman • Features Editor Elaine Eksteen • Calendar Editor Tracy Ellis • Editorial Assistant Lucille Kemp •

monthly circulation Cape Town’s ChildTM 45 158 Joburg’s ChildTM 45 160 Durban’s ChildTM 40 052

to advertise Tel: 031 209 2200 • Fax: 031 207 3429 Email: Website:

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

Advertising Director Lisa Mc Namara •

Client Relations

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Durban’s Child TM is published monthly by Hunter House Publishing, PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010. Office address: 1st Floor, MB House, 641 Ridge Road, Overport, 4091. Tel: 031 209 2200, fax: 031 207 3429, email: durban @ Annual subscriptions (for 11 issues) cost R165, including VAT and postage inside SA. Printed by Paarl Web. Copyright subsists in all work published in Durban’s Child TM . 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.

June 2010/July 2010


june / july 2010

upfront 3 a note from lisa 6 over to you readers respond


6 reader’s blog far from family, an ill mom rediscovers the value of friends. By Patrice Gopo

health 11 ear ouch Lucille Kemp looks into ear infections 12 reading the signals caution: cellphone in use. By Donna Cobban


29 inbetweenager in the house Leonora Found faces the challenges of raising an almost teen 30 don’t be a slouch Donna Cobban wants to preserve her son’s perfect posture

regulars 8 wins 10 upfront with paul children’s breakfast requests baffle Paul Kerton 14 dealing with difference understanding and helping the stuttering child. By Lucille Kemp 34 resource: out & about Tracy Ellis scouts out family fun in and around Pietermaritzburg

features 16 round of applause taking your children to the theatre is about more than just their entertainment, says Simone Gray

38 a good read great new reads for the whole family 40 what’s on in june and july

20 twisting the truth a little white lie won’t hurt. Or will it? Tracy Ellis finds out

50 last laugh Sam Wilson has a new, extended list of hobbies

22 give them some magic Roni Jay offers tips on encouraging creative play

classified ads 46 family marketplace

26 mom, dad, i’m bored! ideas for budget-friendly, keep-’em-occupied activity boxes. By Elaine Eksteen

49 it’s party time

this month’s cover image is supplied by:

26 Saheti School Photographer: Lisa Dell

June 2010/July 2010



June 2010/July 2010


sick days Sick, with a tiny baby in her care, PATRICE GOPO learns the value of allowing friends to be family.


have been sick for over a week with a nasty bug that I caught from my adorable seven-month-old daughter. Her little body has thankfully healed, and her darling, inquisitive personality is back. Just in time for me to have the wind knocked out of my sails by some extreme version of whatever she had. The thing about pursuing motherhood as a full-time job is that along with no salary you also have no annual leave – and not a single sick day in sight. So, while my daughter’s health has been steadily improving, mine has been gradually declining – probably exacerbated by the responsibilities of caring for an energetic just-got-mycrawling-legs baby. My husband can only be described as a saint in the ways he has cared for my daughter, our home, and me during my out-of-commission phase. Steaming pots of chicken soup await me in the morning, as do cups of freshly brewed tea with lemon, ginger and honey – and that’s all before he departs for a busy day at the office. He is absolutely wonderful! But, he still has to work, which means I still do too.

Days like this serve to highlight just how far away our little family lives from our extended family, particularly, my mother and my husband’s mother. This means that when I’m sick there’s no-one who can come and watch my baby so I can sleep for a few hours. I know we have good reasons for currently living so far from our family. However, being sick makes me think that the most blessed people in life are those who live across the street from their mothers. I know friends can be a huge help. However, I find it difficult to ask a friend to enter the sick zone to care for my daughter. Whereas, you don’t even have to ask your mother: she’d show up with nourishing food and then clean your kitchen while watching the baby. Or perhaps that’s just wishful thinking? Perhaps, even if we lived closer to my family or my husband’s family, we would still be facing the question of what to do when I get sick. Both of our mothers work, so there is no guarantee either of them would be able to help, even if we did live next door.

calling out an SMS Last night my husband sent a text message to some close friends asking for prayers of encouragement for our little family, with me still sick and him having to travel for work today. Immediately a friend called to encourage him, and another called me to see if she could come and watch our little girl for a few hours so I can rest. The calls and offers of help have kept pouring in. I’ve learned a valuable lesson. Help doesn’t have to come in the form of your relatives. The friends around you can be just as much family to you, too. I simply need to learn to ask for help. My need for a couple of sick days has shown me the strength of our friendship circle in this place my husband and I now call home.

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


over to you I just love Sam Wilson’s column. It’s painful to read too, though, because my own life has turned out so differently to hers. Firstly, my marriage ended. On the plus side, my sons’ dad is devoted to them and we have remained friends. But my oldest son is really angry. His drawings are full of skulls, blood and dismembered people and he’s extremely rude and confrontational. Having friends over can be torture. We seem to rub each other up the wrong way. He doesn’t trust me and I feel utterly inadequate. The only time of peace between us is at the end of the day when we cuddle up for a story. When I read Sam’s column about what her children have taught her, it was at a time when I felt more clueless than ever, and I had to stop and think. I realised my children have taught me special things too. They have taught me a new vocabulary, like “pitta-pitta” for train, “duddi” for cockroach and “stiggidastaggid” for those times when you need to say “stiggidastaggid”. They also taught me about eating carrots with peanut butter. At the end of the day they’ve taught me to love and let go of the rest – and how to really enjoy a bedtime hug. Anonymous

children and diet I was interested to read the article on “eating for sleeping” in the May issue of Child Magazine. However,

June 2010/July 2010

I would like to point out that scientific research into the relationship between diet, or specific foods, and sleep patterns is limited. Factors that could have an impact are wide ranging, from exposure to sunlight in the morning to early iron deficiency. In light of the fact that no definitive information is available, parents with children who are not sleeping well should consider evaluating the child’s eating patterns overall, rather than individual foods. Children should eat regular, good, mixed meals, planned according to the four key guidelines for healthy eating for children: • starchy foods (such as pasta, rice, potatoes, bread) should form the basis of a child’s meal • plenty of vegetables and fruit need to be included every day (aim for five portions) • milk needs to be consumed every day • chicken, fish, meat, eggs, beans, soya or peanut butter should form part of their food intake. It is thought that certain additives, namely tartrazine (E102), sodium benzoate (E211), quinoline yellow (E104), sunset yellow (E110), carmoisine (E122), ponceau (E124) and allura red (E129) can increase activity levels in children, and these can be avoided, especially in the afternoons and at night. However it is not necessary to eliminate all additives, as many have useful functions in foods. Parents should not undertake an elimination diet for children unless advised to do so by a medical practitioner,

and supervised by a registered dietitian. It is risky to do this as it introduces unbalanced eating plans, shortages of essential nutrients, and large amounts of stress. Should a parent have concerns about their child’s eating, they can seek advice from a registered dietitian. Deborah Hoepfl, PR Coordinator, Association for Dietitians in South Africa (Western Cape)

support on Facebook Both my eight-year-old daughter and my friend’s 10-year-old daughter have dyspraxia. My friend and I wish to build a small community of parents who can support each other in the daily issues we face raising dyspraxic children. We’ve created a Facebook address for this purpose. If parents or caregivers are interested, the Facebook address is Dyspraxic Kids SA. Catherine

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



thanks, Sam Wilson


June 2010/July 2010


giveaways in june & july soccer fever Right on time for soccer fever, Build-A-Bear Workshop® has stocked up on the cutest and softest Zakumi mascots, soccer bears and cool soccer kits. Turn your bear into a soccer fan by kitting it out from head to paw in your favourite soccer team’s gear. Take your children to your nearest Build-A-Bear Workshop® store during the holidays to learn the special Diski Dance. Your child will have loads of fun learning the Build-A-Bear Workshop® war cries and can even have a soccer party. All children who learn the Diski Dance will receive their very own commemorative Diski Dance certificate. Build-A-Bear Workshop® stores are situated in Gateway Theatre of Shopping and The Pavillion. For more information email or visit Durban’s Child readers can win one of three fully-kitted out Zakumis, valued at R279 each. To enter, email your details to win@ with “Build-A-Bear DBN Win” in the subject line or post your entry to Build-ABear DBN Win, PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010 before 15 July. Only one entry per reader.

June 2010/July 2010

fun and fitness Ster Kinekor Entertainment presents the NewU Fitness First Mind Body workout, an interactive game dedicated to the core exercises of yoga and Pilates. Through a customisable programme of exercises, demonstrated by real personal trainers using video and audio voiceover, you can learn a range of yoga and Pilates breathing, exercise and relaxation techniques. The game can be played on a Nintendo Wii console. For more information contact Howard on 011 445 7992 or Readers of Durban’s Child stand a chance to win one of three NewU Fitness First Mind Body games valued at R399 each. To enter, email your details to with “Ster Kinekor DBN win” in the subject line or post your entry to Ster Kinekor DBN Win, PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010 before 31 July. Only one entry per reader.

congratulations to our April winners Junita Bhagirathe, Nathalie Smit, Cheryl Turner, Raganie Israel, Charlene Daniel, Roxann Govender, Sudashni Sayanna, Ari Dibben, Debra De Waal, Michelle Wenham, Raveshnee Naidoo and Yunitha Arran, who each win a Baby Sense hamper; Bianca Hiestermann, Amrisha Belgovind and Michelle Pretorius, who each win a High School Musical hamper from Ackermans.



June 2010/July 2010

upfront with paul

what can I get you

for breakfast?

Paul, Sabina and Saskia


hat do you want for breakfast? Simple enough question, one would have thought. The options are quite limited: cereal, toast, yoghurt and fruit, pancakes, flapjacks, those “health” bars of dubious origin, eggs – any which way you like... We’re just trying to do what the experts say we ought to, namely get something substantial in junior’s tummy before school. In our house chocolate is a favourite request but, as we repeat on an almost daily basis, they need “real nutrients: protein, energy, vitamins and minerals” to help them through a day of hectic energy


June 2010/July 2010

expenditure that includes gymnastics, swimming, playtime and travel. So what is it to be, dear offspring? Blank faces. I was brought up on milk. At school I was always given a bottle of milk at playtime; and I loved cereal, still do. My brood hate milk, despite the promise of calcium, strong bones and healthy growth. Yes, I’ve got strong bones, but growth? I stopped growing at five-foot-eight. So milk maybe isn’t so great. I lump that false promise along with the many food myths that abounded in the ‘50s and ‘60s: spinach makes you strong (Popeye possibly); fish is good for the brain (not if it swam near Koeberg); and carrots help you see in the dark (so why do bunny rabbits keep getting caught by foxes?). Currently they love pancakes, but this is just another phase. Last month it was eggs,

and last year Saskia even loved Weet-Bix! Pancakes mean that Gran or myself have to remember to make a batch of mixture and put it in the fridge to “settle” overnight. When they are at friends’ houses they devour anything that they are given, more out of politeness than genuine enthusiasm. At home politeness goes straight out of the window. Then there is the great yoghurt debate. To me yoghurt is yoghurt, whether it has Barney, Rambo, Pooh Bear or Barbie on the packaging. Yoghurt is basically curdled cow’s milk with lashings of flavouring and sweetener, and the odd offcut of real fruit. Give the children a blind-tasting of six strawberry yoghurts and they would not be able to tell the difference; such is the power of branding – even at age two. You see children at the supermarket fridge driving their parents

insane: “Not that one, this one. Not this one, that one.” What children need is a lesson in appreciation. I once went on a serious mountain leadership course on the rugged and bleak Pyrenees where we had to catch, kill and cook our own food, as well as clamber up rock faces and sleep under a bivouac. When you are half way up a mountain after a 10-hour ordeal: cold, wet, exhausted and starving, believe me, you really don’t care whether it’s a Barbie yoghurt or a Pooh Bear yoghurt, rabbit, snail or pigeon. You don’t even care if the food has been cooked properly, whether it has bones in it, scales on it, or is speckled with dirt. You just want to get it down your throat. Now children, I repeat, what can I get you for breakfast? Paul Kerton is the author of Fab Dad: A Man’s Guide to Fathering.



Chocolate! I don’t think so, says PAUL KERTON.


ear ouch In winter colds are rife, making your baby more susceptible to ear infections. LUCILLE KEMP looks into how to fight them. n ear infection occurs when mucous collects in the nasal passage, blocking the Eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the back of the nose and throat. This blockage is a breeding ground for bacteria that normally live in the nose and throat. Ear infections can advance quickly, and can lead to glue ear, which is difficult to detect and treat and can cause impaired hearing. Another very painful end point of an ear infection is a ruptured eardrum. Ear infections are common among infants as their developing Eustachian tube is short and horizontal, making it easier for bacteria to migrate from the nose and throat up into the middle ear. Babies are more likely to get ear infections after a cold or sinus infection. Other factors that increase their risk are allergies, tobacco smoke in the home, infected or overgrown adenoids, and excess mucous and saliva that’s produced during teething or from using a dummy. To know that you are definitely dealing with an ear infection, look out for at least two of the following symptoms… Your child may be irritable and cry inconsolably from the pain, he may pull at his ears, wake up throughout the night or have diarrhoea (the bacteria responsible for ear infections can also attack the intestines). Look out for a fever three to five days after a cough or runny nose has developed. Sucking and swallowing can hurt, so your baby may

pull away from the breast or a bottle. Remember not to jump to conclusions based on just one symptom – an infant pulling at her ears, for instance, could just be teething. It’s important that you don’t try to medicate an ear infection yourself. However, if you need to manage things while you wait for an appointment with your GP, Allison Jordaan, resident pharmacist at Paulshof Pharmacy in Petervale, Johannesburg, suggests the following: “For babies, it is probably safest to go via the nose to decongest, ideally with baby saline nasal drops to dislodge the mucous backup and a pain suppository for immediate relief.” Be wary of giving your child cold and allergy medication if you suspect an ear infection. Doctors and pharmacists have found that certain popular decongestants may dry up a runny nose but can contribute to an ear infection. “Before medicating with antibiotics, your doctor may advise you to observe your child’s symptoms for a 24- to 48-hour period, while allowing their bodies time to fight the infection naturally,” says Dr Japie Roos, a paediatrician at Parklands Hospital in Durban. While observation is risky, our bodies are sometimes able to heal themselves. Your doctor will tell you whether it is a viable option for your child – comforting to know if antibiotics are not your preference.


prevention is better than cure Lifestyle changes that can help reduce your child’s risk of an ear infection: Breastfeeding. This lowers your child’s chances of getting ear infections by boosting his natural defences. Try to reduce your child’s chances of getting a cold. If your baby is on solids, make sure she is getting a balanced, nutritious diet. Possibly seek a smaller day-care setting. Investigate possible allergic reaction. Take action to lower the risk. Feed baby upright. Feeding your baby while he is lying down can cause the milk to irritate the Eustachian tube. Keep the nose clear. Use steam, saline nose drops and suctioning.


June 2010/July 2010



reading the signals Because we can’t be sure our cellphones aren’t damaging our health, it’s better to play it safe, says DONNA COBBAN.

These are the same waves used to cook a chicken in a microwave oven – albeit a cellphone uses a much lower frequency.


June 2010/July 2010

learned from the tobacco saga and not use the existence of uncertainty as a reason to delay action. While the jury is out, we should perhaps be practising prudence.

playing it safe Several countries, including Russia, Germany, France, Israel, Finland and those in the United Kingdom, have issued warnings against children using cellphones, and in early March the state of Maine in America put forward a proposal that could enforce cellphone manufacturers to apply a permanent, non-removable warning label to every unit sold there. The label would cover at least 30 percent of the plain area of the phone and caution users to hold the unit several inches away from their heads or to use earphone-and-speaker technology. While in France a proposed bill may result

in a ban on advertising cellphones to children under 12, and a further ban on the sale of phones to be used by those under six, it could also become compulsory for all handsets to be sold with accompanying earphones. France has also stipulated that manufacturers bring onto the market a phone that only allows texting, thereby eradicating the need to place the unit near the head. And, finally, what of South Africa? I am heartened to see that Vodacom, in their brochure entitled A Parent’s Guide to Cell Phones states that: “Science can never provide a guarantee that a situation or a technology is completely safe. Because of this, and the fact that cellphones have only been in widespread use for a relatively short time, research continues to provide further understanding”.

how to reduce your risk According to CANSA, there is no conclusive evidence that cellphone use causes cancer but they are continuously monitoring the situation and recommend the following as precautionary measures: • Limit the number and duration of calls. • Use text messages when practical. • Switch sides of the head when the call is long. • Use a hands-free kit or the speakerphone mode to keep the phone at a distance from the head. • Instruct children and teenagers to limit calls to emergencies, as they are more vulnerable to long-term health effects. Other precautionary measures you might consider adopting include: • Do not sleep with a switched-on cellphone beside you. • Ensure children, especially teens, are not keeping and sleeping with the phone under their pillow to text friends after dark. • Do not use the cellphone if the signal bar is low as the signal will “try harder” to make contact. • Keep your phone out of trouser and breast pockets – spermcount problems, as well as cardiovascular problems, have been noted. • Some evidence suggests that the radiation levels are at their highest just as the connection is made, so waiting for the person to answer before putting your phone to your ear may significantly cut radiation levels. • Radiation-protection covers are likely to increase the RF signals, as the signal increases as it attempts to make contact.




very day my two-year-old reaches for my cellphone and just before he touches it he takes his hand away, looks at me sternly, wags his index finger in the direction of the phone and says “no, no, no”. It is something with which I have never let him play. When I first refused to give it to him I was not sure of my reasons. It had something to do with why I would not let him play next to an electricity substation and why I’d think twice before buying a house next to a cellphone mast. When others offer him their phones to play with, I gently pry the phone from his hands and return it graciously to the owner. Push me for my reasons and my answers would have been vague and uncertain. Maybe I am obsessing over nothing? Up until I had a child I never gave much thought as to how cellphones work. I worried a bit when masts started shooting up all over the show. Though, when they disguised the masts and made them look like live palm trees, I was impressed. As a parent, I feel differently and so I went in search of the facts. “Cellphones emit radio-frequency energy; this energy is a form of electromagnetic radiation,” is what I first read. The very word radiation sends out an air of alarm, but my fear is apparently unfounded as electromagnetic energy can be divided into two types: ionising and non-ionising. Ionising energy is what sends radiologists scurrying from the room seconds before your x-ray fires (it has been proven that frequent exposure to

this kind of radiation poses a cancer risk). But what about non-ionising energy – the kind emitted by a cellphone? These are the same waves used to cook a chicken in a microwave oven – albeit a cellphone uses a much lower frequency than a microwave. So while we wouldn’t stick our heads into a microwave oven, is it safe to have cellphones glued to our ears? No empirical evidence exists to say we shouldn’t. But as Devra Davies, a North American-based epidemiologist and writer stressed in a recent talk at CANSA: “The absence of evidence of any kind does not translate into proof of safety.” It would thus be prudent to apply what is known as the “precautionary principle” to the use of cellphones, particularly in children and teens. The European Commission Communication states that: “When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause-and-effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.” Given the length of time it took to admit to a direct correlation between smoking and lung cancer, it seems somewhat absurd yet unsurprising that there are not yet any agreed-uponby-all research results. Various groups point fingers at others – the sample groups used made only one call a week, different phones emitting different radio-frequency (RF) levels were used, children were excluded, some subjects lived too near or too far from cellphone masts, and so on. It’s a measurable that resists measurement, but it is vital that research continues as cellphone usage is now a way of life. Thankfully some large-scale worldwide research is currently underway and this time children are being included, with one research undertaking, the Mobi-Kids project, dedicating itself exclusively to children. Davies believes that current research results, which claim that there is no risk are largely flawed as brain cancer can take several decades to develop, and so we need to wait for the results to arrive. Furthermore, she believes we should have


June 2010/July 2010


dealing with difference

talking point LUCILLE KEMP looks into how parents can help children who stutter.

facts and findings Developmental stuttering is the most common form of stuttering in young children. This happens when a child’s developing speech and language abilities aren’t able to meet their verbal demands. According to The National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), developmental stuttering runs in families, and earlier this year it confirmed this link by isolating three genes said to be responsible for stuttering. In addition, stuttering has been thought to be associated with higher levels of


June 2010/July 2010

the neurotransmitter dopamine. Late last year, Dr Gerald Maguire, the director of the Kirkup Centre for the Medical Treatment of Stuttering at the University of California, completed a nine-year study that conclusively made the connection. Whether due to genetics, dopamine or other factors, 10 percent of South African preschoolers will stutter. Of these, 60 percent will be boys and 40 percent girls, and one percent will be chronic, with the pathology persisting into the teenage years or even adulthood. However, early intervention (before stuttering becomes established) is effective in helping many children achieve normal fluency. Research shows that the prognosis for recovery from chronic stuttering is good with 65 percent of preschoolers who stutter recovering in the first two years of stuttering and about 74 percent recovering by their early teens. In particular, girls seem to recover well.

case in point Shortly after three-year-old Cole Ryan started stuttering, his parents Clare and Linsley started taking him to a weekly onehour speech therapy session. “At these sessions, which lasted six months, the therapist did not interact with Cole. She observed the interaction between Cole and me, and at the end of each session she would give us an evaluation. We were given tasks to do with him at home. I also came up with my own tasks to help him,” says Clare. Within a year he had fully recovered from his stuttering. This style of therapy might seem strange and a little too hands-off on the part of the therapist, for some, but it’s commonly used in assisting stutterers. This indirect approach teaches parents about normal language and fluency development, stuttering, and the conditions that may worsen a child’s speech disfluencies. The parent is also taught how to make communication changes at home. The direct approach, on the other hand, teaches the child to produce more fluent

an overwhelming world But it’s not just the obvious speech-related issues that need addressing. “Children who stutter become embarrassed, frustrated and angry at themselves and others,” says Johannesburg-based child psychologist Cristine Scolari. This often comes with despondency, sadness, a sense of

unfairness and an overwhelming feeling that something is wrong with them and won’t get better. Stuttering worsens when others tease stutterers about their speech impediment. As a result, says Cristine, children will often withdraw and become self-conscious so that social interactions – such as meeting new people, asking or answering questions or talking on the telephone – exacerbate their stuttering. Building self-confidence is thus an essential tool in the stuttering child’s recovery, which is why play therapy or psychotherapy can be beneficial. During psychotherapy, children are taught ways to express their feelings other than through verbalising. This also helps with peripheral issues such as developing social skills, learning how to deal with teasing, and working through their anger and frustration. Some also recommend adjusting a child’s diet. Try “cutting foods containing sugar, caffeine, colourants and preservatives,” says pharmacist Felicia Rubin, as stimulants can exacerbate stuttering.

recovery begins at home To some it’ll come as a relief to know that the experts put you, the parent, in charge of your child’s recovery. However, if you find this more daunting than comforting, take heart, there are a number of easy-to-implement things you can do to help your child improve. Don’t make a big issue out of the stuttering, unless your child broaches the 1 subject. If she does bring it up, speak in a casual and matter-of-fact way to avoid making her feel self-conscious. If your child brings up his stuttering in conversation, avoid using big words. 2 These include “stuttering”, “stammering” or “speech therapist”, which may frighten him and make him feel there’s something wrong with him. Instead, use words that are part of his vocabulary such as “stuck words”. Don’t instruct; lead by example. Children tend to mimic their parents, 3 so speak slowly, use short sentences and pause before answering their questions. Keep your voice soft and relaxed. All eyes on them. When your child speaks to you, make sure you look at her 4 and give her your full attention. If you are impatient, your preschooler will feel pressure to “get it out”, making her stuttering worse. Do not interrupt your child when he’s speaking. A child is more relaxed and 5 less likely to stutter if he knows he won’t be interrupted. Don’t pressure with questions. Let your child speak about what she wants to 6 talk about. Praise your child each time something is done well. This will increase 7 his confidence. Allow your child to express her frustration or embarrassment. Acknowledge 8 her feelings by saying “I understand how frustrating that must be for you”. Provide an atmosphere of acceptance of all types of speech, this includes 9 stuttered speech so your child will learn that she is okay.




he time in your child’s life when she is most likely to stutter is precisely when she is developing language skills and growing her vocabulary. So, how then, do you know if you’re dealing with a routine stumbling over words, which will pass, or genuine, lasting stuttering? A preschooler, aged three to six years, who’s occasionally repeating words and sounds is most certainly not a cause for concern. “It can simply mean they’re stalling for time as they search for the right words,” says Arina Coetzee, a Cape Town-based speech therapist. This is a regular part of language development and one that’s generally outgrown by the age of seven. Also, stressful changes, such as the arrival of a new sibling, a change in school or a parent returning to work, could temporarily affect speech. However, if your child’s stuttering has been severe and constant for at least a month, it might be time to visit a speech therapist. In addition to your child repeating, blocking and omitting words and sounds, signs to look out for include tension in his shoulders, jaw or cheeks. Does she look away or clench her fists, blink repeatedly, or stamp her feet with frustration related to trying to get out the words? These signs of stress can be additional indicators that your child’s stuttering is something that needs addressing – if you are unsure, chat to your child’s paediatrician or teacher.

speech, either through modelling easier speaking styles, or through feedback from the parent or speech therapist to your child about her fluency. Most therapists use a combination of the two techniques. “Family knowledge, involvement and input are critical factors for successful therapy,” says Dina Lillian, a Johannesburgbased speech therapist affiliated with the organisation, Speak Easy, a stuttering support group. She says Cole’s recovery is a case of a job well done by both parent and therapist, and sees treatment as a 50:50 partnership between the two. The strength in Cole’s treatment lay in the ability of the therapist to equip and empower his parents to help him improve.


June 2010/July 2010



round of


Taking your child to the theatre is good for a lot more


here’s nothing quite like live theatre. The shuffle as the audience takes their seats. The hushed tones as people chat, flip through programmes and munch on chocolate Whispers. Then there’s the thrill as the curtain is raised to unveil a new world and the fantastical characters that inhabit it. And, if you’ve managed to catch a show with your children, you’ll have enjoyed the added pleasure of hearing the performance punctuated by their gasps and giggles. Although most of us are used to observing the world on TV, the intimate joys of experiencing entertainment outside the box can be a real treat. In addition, there are a host of other benefits and


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lessons that children take away from getting involved with the performance arts from a young age. Most obviously, if we expose our children to drama and theatre, they are likely to develop an appreciation for the arts. But there are emotional and psychological benefits too. Growing up has its challenges and a love of the arts (in any of its forms) can be a comforting release or offer a momentary escape. Heather Schiff, clinical psychologist, drama therapist and co-director of the Bonfire Theatre Company, explains why theatre and or participation in drama is so important, “Children instinctively use drama auto-therapeutically, with



than just their entertainment, says SIMONE GRAY.

theatre, or participating in drama, “isWatching an excellent means of creating empathy and

facilitating an understanding of others’ feelings. no outside direction or superimposed structure. Dramatic play is a child’s way of symbolically expressing and resolving internal conflict, releasing pentup feelings, exploring hopes, fears and wishes, and discovering new life roles and stances, which is central to any child’s development.” Theatre and drama enable children to recognise how to express themselves physically and emotionally in a healthy manner, help them understand underdeveloped parts of themselves, and assist them in putting things into perspective – all of which can go a long way to empowering them. Perhaps, though, it is the stretching within (and outside of) our comfort zones that reveals the most obvious social benefits of theatre. Through puppetry, acting or physical theatre we can expose


our children to tales of other cultures, historical events and traditions. We can teach our children to appreciate and respect another’s personality, experiences and talents, and create spaces for community dialogue to introduce our young citizens to many points of view. Heather believes this is particularly relevant for South Africa. “In terms of the South African situation and fostering connections between people,” she says, “watching theatre or participating in drama is an excellent means of creating empathy and facilitating an understanding of others’ feelings. While watching theatre we can be transported into the hearts, minds, bodies and stories of others in a way that can transcend race, class, gender and age. In this way, deeper levels of communication and understanding can be reached.”

In addition, performance arts, through the development of the imagination, promote creative thinking, a life skill that is beneficial in all spheres of our lives. Children who are able to think creatively will often become the entrepreneurs of the future and leaders in industry – as they have the ability to invent solutions and create something where yesterday there was nothing. Neuroscientists have established that for the brain to work efficiently, both hemispheres must be activated. Therefore, it is important to stimulate, develop and exercise the right brain (the creative and visual centre) as well as the left brain (where verbal, analytical

and logical functions are located) in all children (whether any creative aptitude is shown or not). By ensuring we provide a comprehensive education, we are in fact working more effectively to achieve optimum performance of the brain. And what an excellent way to increase vocabulary, improve communication and listening skills, assist in memory, self-discipline and concentration, and develop interpretation skills – outside of a classroom. One of the best things is that with live performance these educational benefits are all developed in an interesting, entertaining and fun environment, which doesn’t seem like learning at all.

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Theatre and drama enable children to recognise how to express themselves physically and emotionally in a healthy manner.

showtime! If the prospect of trying to get your children to abide by theatre etiquette is putting you off, here are some tips that might help to keep the drama on stage rather than in the audience… • Choose the right show. The best place to start is by taking your child to an age-appropriate theatre production. While your little ones will still need a certain amount of self-discipline in order to get through the entire show, the theatre environment will joyfully embrace the unrestrained reactions of your children rather than frown upon it. You can be certain that child-friendly productions will have bright costumes and jolly jokes to engage and entertain young minds. You can “promote” young theatregoers as they grow and are able to appreciate and enjoy more challenging works. • Do your homework. Prepare your child in the days leading up to the show. Introduce them to the story and the characters they will meet; if there is a book about the play, read it together. Part of what makes these outings so special is the excitement and build up – so, work it. • Be clear about expected behaviour. Let your children know how they are expected to behave. It might help to explain that in order for the actors on stage to do their job, each audience member needs to remain still and quiet when it is time to do so, and join in when it is called for. • Plan for a quick getaway. If this is your child’s first time at the theatre, it might be a good idea to get an aisle seat so you can, if necessary, duck out without disrupting the audience.


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• Cover all bases. On the day, make sure your child is well rested. The tired “niggles” can be tough at any time, never mind in a theatre. Make sure your child has eaten before the show. If you need to bring a snack, ensure it is a quiet one such as fruit roll, a biltong stick or home-made popcorn in a sandwich bag. Make sure all have had a toilet break before the start. • Get your timing right. A long wait before curtain call can derail a smooth operation. If unassigned seating means you need to arrive earlier to get a spot that suits your family, make sure you bring something quiet to amuse your little ones. If this fails, get somebody nearby to keep your seats and wander around the theatre complex or garden and burn off a little energy. Theatres are fascinating places so, if you have extra time, explore the environment. Chat about the sets if possible. Point out the lighting grid. As your child gets older, it might just be these inner workings that hook their interest. • Be prepared to leave. If something in the show – such as a monstrously mean witch or a particularly treacherous troll upsets your child, take him out into the lobby to console him. Explain that the characters are only actors doing their jobs well. Don’t force him to return to the show. • Talk about it. Intermission is a perfect opportunity to share thoughts about the show and ensure your children are following. Remember, they don’t have to like every show but make each trip worthwhile by getting them to discuss what it is they don’t like and articulate why.


taking to the stage Once an interest in theatre is established, drama classes might very well be the next step for your little ones. Here’s how they’ll benefit: “Drama classes are a fantastic means of developing confidence, self-esteem and essential communication skills,” says Duncan Rice of The Helen O’Grady Drama Academy, which has centres in all the major cities around the country. “Releasing a child’s creative and expressive potential through drama is one of the keys to healthy educational development.” “All sorts of children benefit,” adds Andrea Nel, director of the Rising Star Academy in Durban. “The extrovert gets a chance to act out and enjoy herself. The introvert learns to come out of his shell by participating in games and taking part as a group with less pressure. A child with ADHD, for instance, may also benefit as the environment allows children to be active and creative but at the same time teaches self-control.” So, while you may not want to encourage your children to emulate Hollywood’s many poor role models, taking part in a little dramatic expression might be just what they need to become more confidently themselves.

encore! Looking for a live performance for the family? Turn to page 47 of our “what’s on” pages for our pick of child-friendly shows this holiday season (see “on stage and on screen” in the “just for children” section). Here’s a handy cut-out-and-keep list of theatres that regularly put on live performances especially for children. Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre (UKZN, Glenwood) , 031 260 2296, Hexagon Theatre (Pietermaritzburg), 033 260 5537, Hilton College Theatre (Hilton), 033 383 0126, Izulu Theatre (Sibaya Casino), 031 580 5000, The Amphitheatre at Botanic Gardens (Musgrave), 031 309 1170, The Barnyard Theatre (Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Umhlanga), 031 566 3045, The Catalina Theatre (Wilson’s Wharf), 031 305 6889, The Heritage Theatre (Hillcrest), 031 7654197, The Playhouse Company (Central Durban), 031 369 9596/9540, The Pumpkin Theatre Club (Ballito), 032 946 2121, The Rhumbelow Theatre (Umbilo), 031 205-7602, The Theatre – St Anne’s College (Hilton), 033 343 3300, Upper Deck (Ushaka Marine World), 031 328 8067, Note: school holidays are particularly good times to find children’s theatre productions, with many theatres running special programmes.


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twisting the truth Could our little white lies be turning our children into expert fibbers? Tracy Ellis takes a look.

being clever or covering their tails As it turns out, my son’s skilful lying is a normal part of his development and not at all inappropriate for his age. And, according to new research, his well-crafted story could point to signs of advanced intelligence. Authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman believe lying is a more advanced skill than telling the truth. In their latest book, Nutureshock: Why Everything


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We Think About Raising Our Children Is Wrong, they claim: “A child who is going to lie must recognise the truth, intellectually conceive of an alternate reality, and be able to convincingly sell that new reality to someone else. Therefore, lying demands both advanced cognitive development and social skills that honesty simply doesn’t require.” Ken Resnick, a Johannesburg-based educational and child psychologist, offers another point of view. “Children are born subjective and very impulsive. Their instinct is that of self-protection and they are constantly seeking approval from those around them. They are scared of consequences and letting their parents down.” Resnick believes that children lie because they are unable to control their impulsivity and that as they mature and learn that lying is their choice, they will accept the consequences more easily.

leading by example I recently decided to keep a white-lie journal. My lies were not elaborate. I fibbed about the ice cream being finished when the children asked for some. I fibbed about loving a birthday gift I did not like. I lied about my day being fine to avoid talking about it. I told my son it wouldn’t hurt if I pulled out his wobbly tooth. (Boy, did that durban’s



arents lie. We do it every day. We lie to our spouses, our friends, our colleagues and our children. Our lies may not hurt anyone; in some cases they may even serve to protect, but what effect are these (mostly) little white lies having on our offspring? Just what impression are we natural-born liars making on our children? Could we be teaching them to lie? My neighbour once gingerly enquired whether we had ever given any children up for adoption. It turned out my four-year-old son had told her he had a little brother who I didn’t want and had given away. She’d had her doubts about the story, but the amount of detail he offered, coupled with his matter-of-fact delivery, caused this 35-year-old schoolteacher and motherof-three to question her own ability to tell truth from fiction.

one backfire!) And, I learned that I told at least one white lie a day (including fibs by omission). I was not as honest as I thought I was. And I started to question what kind of role model I was. The phone rang. “I’m not here,” I instructed my husband. Did my children hear that? Yes. Did they understand that I was asking my husband to lie? Perhaps, says Resnick. “Children are very involved with what’s going on in their own world and are most likely not clued up about the white lies we are telling.” He does, however, believe we can teach them the value of honesty. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry: “Parents are the most important role models for their children. When a child or adolescent lies, parents should take some time to have a serious talk with them and discuss the difference between make-believe and reality, lying and telling the truth, the importance of honesty at home and in the community, and alternatives to lying.” Experts agree that if your child catches you in a lie, you should admit to it. Explain why you lied and that what you did was wrong. Children can learn the difference between a hurtful lie and a pro-social lie, or one that protects another’s feelings.

Develop trust with your children by always keeping your word and offer an apology and explanation if for any reason you can’t. Use classic stories such as Pinocchio, The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Boy Who Cried Wolf as conversation openers with younger children. If children behave badly don’t force them to lie under interrogation. Children will sense they are in trouble and will be more likely to lie about what they have done to avoid disappointing you. Children will lie more often and become better at it when they fear the threat of punishment. Make it easy for them to tell the truth by using a calm tone and gentle approach. Verbally express appreciation when they tell you the truth, but don’t let them off the appropriate discipline when they come clean. And never use lying as a tool for parenting. Telling a thumb-sucker that she will get purple spots on her face may scare her into stopping but eventually she will wise up and you are ultimately undermining her sense of trust in you. So while The Tooth Fairy gets a free pass, the next time your child picks his nose, before you tell him that his face is going to cave in, sit him down and use the opportunity to be honest – with him and with yourself.

lying through the ages Ages 2–4: Young children are still learning to differentiate between reality and fantasy and will make up stories and tell tales, often believing their own lies and stories. Their lies are often obvious, for example, they may say they did not eat the chocolate cake when there’s evidence all over their face. Ages 5–8: By the time children are at school they understand that lying is wrong but may still label any false statement a lie. For instance, if (due to unforeseen circumstances) you have to go back on a deal you made with them, they might accuse you of lying. Children this age lie mostly out of fear of disappointing their parents, teachers and friends, or to avoid punishment. When given the opportunity they will almost always come clean. Ages 9–13: Preteens lie mostly to avoid responsibilities such as doing homework and to protect their friendships and their social status. At this age they may start keeping secrets from their parents. The isolated, age-appropriate lie is not cause for concern. So when should we seek help? “When little lies become big lies and the lying increases in frequency,” says Ken Resnick. “When lying is linked to socially inappropriate behaviour, such as stealing and truancy, and the consequences of the lies negatively affect people other than the liar.”


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book extract

give them some


One of the most important things you can do for your children is to clear enough time and space to allow their imaginations to lead their play. By RONI JAY

flying cat. I said I’d be delighted, and they introduced me to a rather charming black and white cat that was dozing under a bush. I remarked that it didn’t seem to be flying at the moment. No, they explained, it never flew when anyone was looking. I asked how they had ever found out, in that case, that it could fly, and they said that they had never seen it themselves but they just knew. I’ve always remembered this because I had a disappointing number of friends who were in the habit of telling their children things like, “Cats can’t fly” or “Dragons aren’t real, you know”. When you’re very small, anything is possible. The moon is actually looking at you, you could grow up to be a superhero, your cat might really fly. As you get older, slowly the world starts to anchor into place around you. Your perceptions become fixed, and fixed into the same boring rut as everyone else’s. The moon can’t actually see, you can’t develop superpowers, and obviously your cat can’t fly. It’s a bit sad really. As the world gets weighed down, so does your imagination. It all gets boxed in. Along with your creativity and your ability to think laterally. So why inflict it on our children sooner than we have to? I was impressed with my friends for resisting the temptation to cast doubt on their amazing flying cat’s abilities, because that’s what children need: they need the magic to last as long as possible.


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I’ve never understood how so many parents join in the Father Christmas conspiracy (well, you have to, or you’d be ostracised by all the other parents at school), but don’t provide their children with any other magic. And yet magic is what childhood is all about – freedom from tedious reality, freedom from the constraints of adult life. Over those 18 years we have our children for, we have to slowly feed in reality, responsibility and obligations, but we should be fighting to keep the magic alive as long as we can.

give them space The first and most basic requirement children have in order to enjoy the magic is a blank canvas. They can do magic all by themselves, they just need us to get out of the way. Small children can believe in all sorts of things we can’t. Their bedroom floor really is a battlefield in miniature, the back lawn becomes a gymkhana ring, those Lego bricks are truly a spaceship.

When you’re very small, anything is possible. The moon is actually looking at you, your cat might really fly. What’s more, children are free of the thoughts that can tarnish things for us. A small child can get blissfully covered in mud or paint without a thought for the scrubbing they’ll have to go through to get it off… so durban’s


any years ago, before I had children of my own, I visited a friend who had two boys aged about six and eight. They asked me if I would like to meet their

long as we keep our mouths shut and don’t spoil it for them by pointing it out. The biggest inhibitor for many children is that they just don’t have enough time to do magic. They are ferried from ballet to soccer practice to clarinet lessons to drama. And traipsed around to half their brother’s or sister’s classes too. Now, lovely as it is to do ballet or drama, it’s no more important than doing nothing at all, which is pretty important itself. I should also add that there is a very rare type of child who needs to be constantly stimulated and finds it hard to play imaginatively.

landscape for creating games. Even the back garden – maybe with a few empty cardboard boxes supplied to kick-start their imagination – will give them long hours of fun.

That’s what children need: they need the magic to last as long as possible. And if you’re worried about them getting soaked or muddy, then get them kitted out in head-to-toe waterproofs. Be warned that if your children aren’t used to entertaining themselves, they might need a little time to get into the idea or require a bit of prompting or ideas from you to get them started.

computers kill magic

The less you do for them, the more your children’s minds will do for themselves. So rather than take them to a bowling alley or a ceramic-painting workshop, take them somewhere almost empty. That’s not to say you should never take them to the funfair or the movies, these things can feed their imaginations later, but never forget that the real magic is in wide beaches and open hills, country fields and grasslands. What your children will find there is real magic, and they’ll be free to create as much more of their own as they like. Best of all are the kind of open spaces where you can hide, or where the terrain is unusual. Sand dunes are another perfect


Not only do screens of any kind, including PlayStations and Xboxes and all the rest, eat time; they also destroy magic. It’s a scary thing, but if your child spends too long in front of a screen, they will forget how to play. So ration the time they spend in front of a screen. My experience is that children who spend all their time in front of a screen grow into adults who do the same thing. But children who have limited screen time until early teens may pig out on TV and computers for a few years, but in time they revert and become adults for whom TV is an occasional pleasure rather than an essential way of life.

magical times Your children will put a lot of magic into their lives by themselves if you just give them the space and the freedom to do it. But you can still contribute in all sorts of ways. Do you remember Christmas as a child? If you were lucky enough to have parents who made an effort, Christmas will have been that clichéd magical occasion that you see in books and films. That’s what your child needs. It’s not silly, it’s

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crucial to your child’s development. And it’s those safe, secure, loving times that will create a child with confidence and the selfassurance to cope in the big scary world when the time comes. So come on, what could you do to make Christmas even more magical? And once you’ve got Christmas sorted, what about Easter egg hunts? What about birthday parties with home-made cakes? Summer camping trips, and winter walks with flasks of hot chocolate? Or all snuggling up on the sofa under one blanket when the wind is howling and watching a favourite DVD as a treat? The traditions aren’t just an extra effort that no one appreciates. Even if the children don’t tell you now that it matters to them, it really does.

Lovely as it is to do ballet or drama, it’s no more important than doing nothing at all, which is pretty important itself. The best things of all for a child are the routine activities that they repeat every year, or even more often. It’s like asking for the same bedtime story night after night when they already know it by heart. Sometimes it seems pointless, but actually the fact they know it so well is the whole point. It makes it safe and predictable and secure, like a favourite teddy, or like eating your favourite comfort food when you feel down (probably the thing your mother or father used to give you as a child – interesting, that). The whole point is that you always get Mom’s chocolate cake on your birthday, or Granny and Grandad always turn up on Christmas Eve. Whatever cultural, religious or secular events you celebrate in your family, you can find ways to make them magical.


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I do realise that you have a life. You can’t spend your entire time carefully hiding chocolate eggs, or hanging out bunting. The best way to make these things magical and memorable for your children is to put a huge effort into two or three big events every year, rather than do all of them halfheartedly. Just pick the ones you know matter most to your children and think about how you can make them even more special. If you have two or more children, it can be more fun to have one huge magical party a year rather than two or three little ones. They can have a few friends for a cinema trip and a sleepover on their birthday, and then go all out with a huge joint bash once a year. It’s worth singling out bedtime as being probably the best of all opportunities for everyday magic, at least up to the age when your children insist on taking themselves off to bed on their own. A really good bedtime routine will give your child a feeling of magic, comfort and security they’ll spend the rest of their lives trying to recapture. You can’t beat the feeling of being snuggled up in your mother or father’s arms, listening to a story.

magical settings It’s not only events that can bring magic in your children’s lives. It’s also their surroundings. When your child is old enough, get together and redecorate their bedroom. Even on a limited budget you can still create a jungle, or an underwater scene, or a princess boudoir. This is exactly the kind of thing that helps your child feel special and safe. For some reason, there are few things that children enjoy more than making dens. I remember doing it as a child, outdoors with branches and rugs, and indoors with blankets and furniture. Children can construct their dens with huge creativity, and they often become a bear’s cave or a soldier’s dugout, as well as a safe space your child can call their own.


You can create a treehouse (if you’re lucky enough to have a suitable tree) or a playhouse for your children, which will get endless use, and you can give them the wherewithal to build their own, perhaps more temporary, structures. Don’t moan about the blankets getting covered in twigs – just find them a blanket you don’t care about so much and let them get on with it. Indoors, allow your children to fill up the corners of their bedrooms or playroom with bizarre arrangements of cushions and tablecloths and upside-down chairs. Okay, you may need them to tidy them away eventually, but let them have a good play first, and maybe even leave them up for a few days as a treat in the holidays.

get out of the way Once you’ve done the vital job of giving your children some magic, and some freedom to enjoy it, all you have to do now is let them get on with it. There’s no point doing all this great work if you’re not going to let them enjoy it. Don’t try to make them think like adults about boring grown-up things like tidying and mending. Give them playthings that you’re prepared to see muddied or damaged and then watch your children cover them in mud and accidentally tear them. That’s where cardboard boxes are so good. If you don’t want your child to get grass stains on their trousers, don’t stop them rolling in the grass. Just give them

a different pair of trousers. Don’t make them conscious of mess by telling them to change their clothes three times a day. Otherwise as they get older they’ll find it harder to enjoy themselves because they are worrying about whether they’re getting muddy or wet. Obviously if your child is really filthy you don’t want them bringing it into the house. A grass stain won’t come off on the furniture, but mud may, so it’s reasonable to get them to change out of clothes that are filthy. But don’t make a big deal of it – just make light of it and say, “Goodness, you’ve been having fun. Let’s just change those trousers before you get mud all over the house.”

more magic The things that add magic to your children’s lives are the ones that give them space and freedom to exercise their own imaginations. They already have quite enough that restricts and hems in their minds. When people say, “Childhood doesn’t last as long as it used to”, what they mean is, “The magic doesn’t last as long as it used to”. So here are some of the best things for helping your children keep the magic for as long as possible: • dressing up boxes, costumes, make-believe games • empty cardboard boxes, sticks, bits of string, and other assorted objects that can be endlessly adapted • picnics (jam sandwiches will do fine – the food doesn’t have to be important) • open spaces – woods, beaches, parks, hills • water – lakes, rivers, streams, the sea, or even just a hosepipe • myths and legends • surprises • trips to the theatre • fantasy movies (but only good ones) • holidays and day trips • exploring and little adventures • bedtime stories • stories you make up yourself.

about the book In The 10 most important things you can do for your children (Pearson), Roni Jay offers parents invaluable skills for navigating the years from toddler to teen. Easy to implement, the advice is given in an accessible, practical way that will motivate and help you as you seek to grow children and teens that are happy, independent and well adjusted. It’s available at leading book stores.


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mom, dad, i’m bored! Here’s how to banish this phrase from your

curate the bits and pieces you unearth into similarly categorised boxes. Your children are certain to find something they feel inspired about somewhere in these. Happy holidays! efore the school break kicks in, we suggest you prepare a couple of activity boxes to whip out whenever one of your offspring says they’re bored. The good news is that you won’t necessarily need to go out and buy anything. This keep-’em-occupied plan is about repackaging and recycling what you’ve got. It should take you less than an hour to round up most of what you need to keep your children entertained for hours – and that’s without leaving your house. Follow this up with a quick visit to your mother-in-law’s and a sniff through her handwork cupboard, and you’re very likely to have a craftactivity box near sorted. We’ve collated our fun-to-go into three groups – craft, sports, and card and board games – and suggest you


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crafty character Round up old cereal boxes and other cardboard packaging, some scrap paper, old magazines, wool, buttons, pipe cleaners, strong paper glue, beads, a pair of scissors, socks that have lost their partners, felt, needle with an eye big enough for threading wool, chunky knitting needles, glitter, paint, paint brushes, pencil crayons, khokis, newspaper, old wrapping paper, tissue paper, string, raffia, empty matchboxes, recycled foil and foil pie cases, masking tape, play dough, clay and bits of ribbon. With just a few items your children can get stuck into any one of these 20 boredom-busting activities (plus numerous others they might come up with themselves):

1. Cut paper dolls out of recycled paper. 2. Make pipe-cleaner people (dye the pipe cleaners in food colouring to make them interesting colours). 3. Try string weaving. For this activity you’ll need to make a loop of string (about 40 cm in length) and then reach back into your memory – if you’ve forgotten how to weave the Cat’s Cradle or Teacup and Saucer between your fingers, then take a look at book/chten_cats1105.htm so you can pass on this skill to your children. 4. Knit a scarf, or make squares and sew these together to make a baby or doll’s blanket. 5. Make hand puppets from old socks. Sew or glue on some wool for hair, stick on googly eyes and add a tongue of felt or fabric. 6. Create a cardboard and wool bangle. Cut strips of cardboard, long enough to create a circle that fits over the child’s fist onto her wrist. Glue these into a ring and



home these holidays. By ELAINE EKSTEEN

then wind different colour strands of wool around the width to create a bangle. 7. Finger-knit necklaces for granny and aunty. (If you need help with the finger-knitting technique, visit 8. Create beads out of strips of magazine paper. Tightly wrap long, narrow triangles of paper dipped in glue around a kebab stick. Apply a layer of clear nail polish when complete, carefully remove from the kebab stick and leave to dry. Thread onto wool or string to make a necklace. 9. Create a pair of sunglasses using pipe cleaners and cardboard. Decorate with glitter and paint. 10. Create pom-poms. You’ll need two “doughnut” shaped cardboard circles and wool. Forgotten how? Visit 11. Make a two-humped camel using egg boxes (for body) and pipe cleaners (for legs).


12. Use buttons and pipe cleaners (bend and twist to make legs, wings, feelers) to create fun creepy crawly creatures. 13. Convert cardboard toilet-paper inners into colourful racing cars by decorating the body with paint and then adding wheels (Liquorice Allsorts and toothpicks will work nicely). 14. Create clothing out of newspaper and hold a fashion show to show off the creations. 15. Make a coat-hanger mobile. Hang painted paper shapes on strings of different lengths from the hanger, then cover the hanger in a cardboard “hood” decorated to match the theme. 16. Try your hand at origami – swans, frogs, boxes… the sky’s the limit. Check out for ideas and instructions. 17. Make your own Little Town. Cover matchboxes in paper, add a cardboard roof and paint and decorate

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to look like little houses, shops, and schools. Arrange on a large piece of cardboard; draw in roads. Position the odd tree (green pom-pom on toothpick weighed down by a blob of clay or play dough). Just add toy cars and away you go. 18. Have a funny hat competition. Children can use cardboard, foil, newspaper, pom-poms, and more to come up with their own weird and wonderful creations. 19. Build an air soccer pitch. Tape a sheet of newspaper or cardboard to the floor using masking tape. Mark the halfway line and create goals using two old shoe boxes. Glue these in place. Children can decorate a cardboard tube, which is their blower. A pingpong ball can be painted a bright colour to make things more fun. Let the game begin! 20. Create a 3D collage – think skyline, farm or street scene – using corrugated and other cardboard, paper clips, pie tins, and other bits and pieces. Add a touch of paint, some glitter and you’ve got a great birthday present for Dad or Grandpa.


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be a sport

roll the dice

For fun that’s exercise too, gather together things such as: a skipping rope, old pairs of stockings tied into a three-metre loop for that ’80s playground game “stocking” or “elastic”, a dingbat, home four-square kit (tennis ball and masking tape to mark court on tiled or wooden floor, visit for rules), badminton rackets and shuttlecock, ping-pong balls and bats (children can play on your dining-room table – just mark the halfway line with masking tape or string and Prestik), home jukskei (tent peg and hardboard hoop), duster hockey set (newspaper rolled into a baton and secured with masking tape becomes the duster hockey stick, a pair of rolled up rugby socks the ball) and skittles (you can make these from plastic bottles filled with water or sand).

You’ll need to dig out all the board and card games that have been gathering dust in various cupboards in the house… Think Uno, Scrabble, Risk, Monopoly, Pictionary, dominoes, cards, Cluedo, 30 Seconds, puzzles the children haven’t done for a while, Pick Up Sticks, and so on. If you’ve forgotten the rules or lost the instructions, a book like Reader’s Digest The Treasury of Family Games by Jim Glenn and Carey Denton will help. It has easyto-follow instructions for dice games, board games, domino and card games, oldfashioned parlour games, word games and lots more. The section on children’s card games is particularly helpful.



inbetweenager in the house Parenting the almost teen can be a roller-coaster ride – only problem is the theme park’s never closed, says LEONORA FOUND.



ust when I thought life would be getting easier, I have discovered my 10-yearold has become an “inbetweenager” – no longer my baby-faced little girl in pink, but not yet a fully fledged teen. The ever so slight mood changes, the beginnings of some “attitude”, and the fact that she is on her way to becoming a woman have made me want to push an invisible emergency panic button and halt the roller-coaster ride, which is no doubt about to pick up speed. She has also started to ask questions of the sort I’d prefer to answer when she is 20. But, much as it’s tempting to fudge some sort of a cop-out reply and move quickly along, I can’t. The world is a hugely different place to what it was when I was 10 and the external pressure and influences are enormous. All of this was particularly brought home to me recently when, over a cup of tea the other


afternoon, she asked to see if there were any games on my new cellphone, which is much like a mini computer. And so, together we searched the various applications only to discover, to my horror, that the entertainment application, where we did find some games, also had direct links to some rather unsavoury pictures – free and available for any young inquiring mind. Then, this morning, my insinuation that she had spilled the sugar, led to a verbal explosion. Not appreciating this kind of behaviour at 7am, pre my caffeine fix, I made the error of questioning her once she had assured me that it had not been her. She then burst into tears, dashed to her room and slammed the door – thus far, a no-no in our home… Ladies and gentleman, the ride has begun… and it’s not for the faint hearted! Please keep your seat belts fastened…

note to self Above my computer, I have stuck up the following message to myself about parenting my “inbetweenager”: • Knowledge. We need as much of it as we can get. We need to support each other and keep up with the times. • Show love and extreme patience. This journey may be difficult for me as parent but I am sure it is harder for her. • Show understanding and a willingness to learn. Neither one of us is perfect. • Honesty. Avoid even a hint of distortion, and be committed to keeping communication channels open. • Establish boundaries. These are a means of offering her security as she makes the transition into adulthood. • I am sorry – the next best three words after “I love you”. (After realising that my “I don’t believe you” (in the sugar episode) had hurt her, the need for an “I

am sorry” became obvious. A genuine apology when we get it wrong – which we will – reinforces all the previous points, and is so important, even when we are spitting mad.)

fall-back plan But, if all else fails, then perhaps my husband could resign his job, we could buy a farm in the country, grow organic veggies and I could homeschool our three children. Our house would be free of internal doors that can be slammed and too far from a cellphone tower to pick up a signal… Problem solved, or not.

June 2010/July 2010



don’t be a


DONNA COBBAN looks at the age-old sit-up-straight rule and offers some tips on how to achieve a good posture.

movement model Although ergonomic children’s furniture is a growing (and essential) industry, we need to look at posture as an essential element of our overall wellbeing. The Chiropractic Association of South Africa (CASA) has partnered with a global initiative called Straighten


June 2010/July 2010




sit here today hunched over the keyboard. “Don’t slouch”; “Sit up straight”; “No elbows on the table”; “Shoulders back” – the wise words of my mother seem to have fallen on deaf ears. My shoulders are rounded in an unattractive position that can only be described as slouching. I hate the way I instinctively sit and am hoping my son maintains his ruler-straight back and out-turned shoulders well into adulthood. To help him achieve this, I buy him an expensive chair. It’s adjustable and can be used for many years, thus the expense spread over the years of usage render it a reasonable buy – but I still look at it as one notch short of a throne, given how much I paid! I am hoping that the “throne” is going to make all the difference, as new research shows that sitting up straight is physically impossible if your feet are not resting firmly on something. No small child whose legs are dangling above the ground is going to be able to sit straight, as feet need support. The throne comes replete with a foot-resting ledge and, for the most part, my son uses it as such. But when I am around the corner, it becomes a platform from which to launch himself onto the dining-room table. A few friends have raised one eyebrow at the sight of the throne and the other one at me. And, yes, they are probably right – a beer crate or a cooler box under the child’s chair would have done just as well.

Up and Move; they envision “a time when everyone performs a short enjoyable spinal exercise module daily, just as we brush our teeth”. I become determined to lead by example, particularly when I stumble across new research that says children of slouchers will become slouchers themselves – no matter the throne upon which they sit. I go to the Straighten Up UK website that has an easy-to-follow YouTube clip, and 10 minutes later I have completed my spine-strengthening exercises. I try it out again after supper. We look like butterflies, swans, eagles and owls as we twist and bend our arms shoulders, necks and heads. The exercises have names such as “Twisting and Twirling Stars”, “Humming Birds” and my personal favourite, “The Shakes”. My two-year-old makes every effort to copy me; I am delighted and vow to keep at it every day. Not so much for him, with his ruler-straight posture, but in order to improve my own posture, so that he may have, at the very least, a half-decent role model to emulate.

I become determined to lead by example, particularly when I stumble across new research that says children of slouchers will become slouchers themselves – no matter the throne upon which they sit. be seated Yet even with the best chair and daily exercises, you are apparently fighting a losing battle when your child starts school. According to research conducted on 10 000 Israeli school children in 2004, “…almost 15 percent of the first-graders and 20 percent of six-graders sat in chairs of ‘inappropriate height’”. Sue Merry, a UK-based Alexander-technique practitioner, firmly believes that school furniture can do great damage, as desks are made to be functional, chairs to be stackable, with little thought given to the varying sizes of growing children. Compare this to the corporate working environment where there are often mandatory chair and lighting level inspections, and where very few of us would not hesitate to pick up the phone to HR or facilities management to report any ergonomic discomfort we may be experiencing. Perhaps it is the threat of lower backache or sciaticnerve lawsuits, but generally somebody comes running to fix the situation. However, Sue points out that by adulthood the damage has already been done. “Badly designed and ill-fitting chairs and tables make it very difficult for a small child to maintain their natural poise and freedom from unnecessary tension. Eventually, most children stop trying and collapse into the chair, until sitting in this way quickly becomes habitual and feels right,” she says. So, the throne is only going to help up to a point, and refurnishing a school or even just a classroom is unlikely… But before I give up, I learn that strengthening core muscles is essential to a child’s long-term posture. Early sports such as gymnastics, karate and even horse riding are said to be beneficial and it goes without saying that after a morning spent slouched over ill-fitting furniture, an afternoon spent slouching on the sofa isn’t going to help. So, with the throne, daily spine exercises, and some sport thrown into the pot, my son may very well be the one telling me to sit up straight.

sit back and relax Research conducted by Woodend Hospital in Scotland in 2006 revealed that sitting up straight might not be so good for us, after all. The researchers measured spinal angles and spinal-disc movement in a variety of positions from sitting up straight, to slouching, to sitting back in your chair at a 135-degree angle. The 135-degree position won, but they did concede that this might cause a person to slide off their seat, so the acceptable position was adjusted to 120 degrees.


June 2010/July 2010


get moving Try these spinal exercises from the Straighten Up UK campaign. Visit to download pamphlets of straightening up exercises for both adults and children.


stand tall

Straighten up in the Stand Tall posture. Ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles should be in a straight line. Pull your belly button in towards your spine.


the eagle

In the Stand Tall posture, bring your arms out to your sides and gently draw your shoulder blades together. Breathe in as you slowly raise your arms, touching your hands together above your head. Slowly lower your arms to your sides as you breathe out. Perform three times.

the hummingbird


Next, make small backward circles with your hands and arms, drawing your shoulder blades together. Sway gently from side to side. Enjoy for 10 seconds.


the butterfly

Place your hands behind your head and gently draw your elbows backward. Slowly and gently press your head backwards and resist with your hands for a count of two, and release. Breathe freely. Perform three times. Then gently massage the back of your neck and head as you relax your stomach region with slow, easy breathing.

other ways to help encourage good posture • Wear a good pair of shoes with soft, flexible soles. • Avoid carrying heavy bags. • Perform regular exercise to strengthen core muscles. • Don’t sit for too long. • Practise regular shoulder shrugs and stretching. • Use both straps on a rucksack. • Limit extended game times. • Sleep on a good mattress. • Don’t sleep on your stomach. Adapted from the British Chiropractic Association


June 2010/July 2010



June 2010/July 2010



out & about Tired of repeating the same family day-out activities? It’s time to bundle everyone into the car and head to Pietermaritzburg and surrounds. Compiled by TRACY ELLIS

don’t miss Butterflies for Africa Get up close with indigenous and exotic butterflies as they fly freely around you in the butterfly house. The complex also includes a monkey enclosure, which is home to CottonTop Tamarin monkeys. The nursery sells butterfly-friendly plants, while the education centre and museum offer visitors a chance to learn more about butterflies. Browse the Blue Caterpillar Art Gallery and enjoy refreshments and light meals at The Painted Lady Coffee Bar. Open Tuesday–Sunday 9am–4:30pm, Saturday 9:30am–3:30pm, Sunday 10:30am–3:30pm. 37 Willowton Road, Pietermaritzburg. 033 387 1356 or visit Crafty Duck Village A range of educational and fun activities – walk through the animal farmyard with its resident alpaca and chinchillas, brave the reptile room with over 40 snake species and grab the opportunity to touch a non-venomous snake. The aviary is home to a collection of exotic birds and ducks, and children can enjoy horse and pony rides at the stables. The new Crafty Express is a fun train ride for young and old. There’s also a playground, farmyard walk, animal rehabilitation centre, tuck shop,

African Bird of Prey Sanctuary


June 2010/July 2010

of raptors take part in daily flight displays, allowing the audience to experience these elusive birds. Resident raptors include vultures, eagles, falcons, kestrels, hawks, kites and owls. Take cash as no card facilities are available. Vulture-feeding sessions usually take place around noon on weekends but call ahead to confirm. Open Tuesday–Sunday 9am–4pm. Daily flight shows at 10:30am with an extra 3pm show on weekends and public holidays. Lion Park Road, off the N3. 031 785 2981 or visit

Butterflies for Africa

restaurant and eco-therapy relaxation spa. Open Tuesday–Sunday 9:30am–4:30pm. Chief Mhlabunzima Road (Old Wartburg Road), Bishopstowe. 033 390 1334 or visit

things to see African Bird of Prey Sanctuary Dedicated to the conservation of indigenous raptors, the sanctuary is also home to a selection of captive-bred birds. A specially trained group

Natal Museum With eight natural history and 10 cultural history galleries, a visit to the Natal Museum is a great way to spend a day. Learn about mammals, insects, San rock art, dinosaurs and more. The museum is wheelchair friendly and has a coffee bar and internet café. Guided tours can be arranged. The Soccer 2010 Exhibition ends on 31 July. Open Monday–Friday 8:15am–4:30pm, Saturday 10am–4pm and Sunday 11am–3pm. 237 Jabu Ndlovu Street, Pietermaritzburg. 033 345 1404 or visit Olwazini Discovery Centre Aimed at children in Grades 7–12, this science edutainment centre features more than 50 interactive science, technology, maths and cultural exhibits as well as a computer centre and a life skills and career guidance corner. While older children enjoy Olwazini, younger siblings can have their picture taken alongside Pegasus, the largest horse statue in the world, or visit Funland for games and rides. Open Monday–Friday 9am–4pm. Golden Horse Casino, 45 New England Road, Scottsville. 033 395 8000 or visit Tatham Art Gallery One of the country’s top art museums, the Tatham houses beadwork, basketry and sculptures as well as an impressive collection of paintings by artists such as Picasso, Matisse and Renoir. Jabulisa 2010, a celebration of

contemporary visual creativity by artists and crafters resident in KwaZulu-Natal, will be on display from 8 June. The coffee shop offers an interesting and delicious menu and the Art Gallery Shop sells art and crafts. Open 10am–6pm. Free admission. Chief Albert Luthuli (Commercial) Road, Pietermaritzburg. 033 392 2800/1 or visit

Natal Museum

action packed Ecabazini This traditional Zulu village provides you with the opportunity to experience authentic Zulu culture. Ecabazini is a genuine living village full of culture and tradition. Try your hand at “dunging” the kraal floor or milking the cattle. Learn about traditional medicine, taste authentic cuisine and watch Zulu dancing. Optional overnight accommodation is offered in a selfcatering rondawel. There is no electricity, but paraffin lamps and gas geysers are provided. Booking required as tours are arranged in groups. Near Albert Falls Dam. 033 342 1928, or visit Karkloof Canopy Tour Glide through this indigenous forest on one of durban’s


Pietermaritzburg from World’s View


June 2010/July 2010


Tatham Art Gallery

eight different zip-line slides suspended between seven platforms. The scenery and birdlife is spectacular and professional guides provide interesting facts about the forest during the tour. Start off with a safety briefing then allow the guides to strap you into your full body harness and climbing equipment. Children as young as seven can join in the fun. The tour lasts approximately three hours and is followed by a meal. Open 8am–3pm. Booking is required. Follow signs from Karkloof/Rietvlei Road. 033 330 3415 or visit karkloofcanopytour.

lazy days Kwazulu-Natal National Botanical Gardens Pack a picnic and spend a relaxing afternoon strolling through the lush gardens or resting beside the Kingfisher Dam. The gardens promote the conservation and propagation of indigenous plants and the cultivation of East Coast Grassland plants.

directions, please At Publicity House, the tourist information centre, you can stock up on interesting brochures and local maps. The friendly staff will help you plan a route and will make suggestions on accommodation, local history spots, leisure activities and more. 177 Commercial Road, Pietermaritzburg. 033 345 1348,

Over 150 bird species have been recorded here, plus there’s a variety of small game. The Useful Plants Garden displays plants used for traditional Zulu medicine, crafts and food. As you enter or leave the gardens stop and marvel at the avenue of plane trees and ring the HMS Princess ship’s bell. There’s also a children’s play area and restaurant. Open 8am–5:30pm. 2 Swartkops Road, Prestbur y, Pietermaritzburg. 033 344 3585 or visit

taste of ’maritzburg Celtiskloof Nursery If plants are your thing then take the family to Celtiskloof for breakfast or lunch. It stocks a wide range of indigenous and exotic plants, and friendly assistants are willing to offer advice on planting. There’s a large jungle gym, train rides, mini-golf course and gemstone mining to keep the children busy. The coffee shop sells a range of delicious meals, coffees and pancakes. If you’re really hungry, opt for the South African breakfast. Open 8am–6pm. 1 Boston Road, Merrivale. 033 330 3013

Karkloof Canopy Tour


June 2010/July 2010

Rosehurst A hidden gem in the heart of the city. Sit on the patio and enjoy the beautifully landscaped gardens with durban’s


bougainvillea, rose bushes and topiary trees or wander through the gardens to the old wishing well, which used to supply water to the area. The gift shop, bead shop and bookshop (selling out-of-print and collectable books) all add to the experience. A children’s menu is available as well as a range of old-fashioned soda floats. If the toasted croissant with bacon, blue cheese and creamed eggs is on the menu, which changes daily, don’t miss it. Open weekdays 8:30am–4:30pm and Saturday 8:30am–2pm. 239 Boom Street, Pietermaritzburg. 033 394 1443 or 033 394 3833

off to market The Oval Art and Craft Market This popular market has been around for over 25 years and is set in beautiful Alexandra Park opposite a large playground where children can stretch their legs and have fun. The layout is informal and more than 100 stallholders sell everything from handcrafted children-sized kitchen furniture, homemade cards and crib sets

to handmade pyjamas, fairy dresses and gemstone jewellery. Grab lunch at one of the yummy food stalls. The market takes place on the first Saturday of each month, 9am–3:30pm. The Cricket Oval, Alexandra Park, off Alan Paton Drive, Pietermaritzburg. 082 774 5493

big on fun Plan your trip to coincide with one of these events happening in Pietermaritzburg The Royal Show Head here for livestock and agricultural displays, a food hall, interactive crafts hall, military tattoo, a Lipizzaner display, concerts and more. Toddlers will enjoy getting up close to some of the farm animals (sheep, cows, horses, goats, rabbits, chickens) that they’ll recognise from their favourite books. How much better can it be to hear the animal noises in person than just Mommy or Daddy’s renditions? 28 May–6 June. 033 345 6274, or visit Nashua Art in The Park Artists display their work and chat to the public, who are able to purchase pieces. A five-day event including music and entertainment. 2–6 June. 033 345 1348/9, events@ or visit The Witness Bridal Extravaganza 2010 Fashion shows, exhibitions and the chance to win a wedding. 24–25 June. 082 445 2577, or visit 2010 UCI BMX World Championships A competition featuring top local and international riders plus live entertainment and fun activities. 29 July– 1 August. or visit

Rosehurst durban’s

June 2010/July 2010



a good read for toddlers No Babysitters Allowed By Amber Stewart and Laura Rankin

for preschoolers best bedtime story

(Bloomsbury Publishing, R97) Hopscotch is a very brave bunny – except when his parents go out and Mrs Honeybunch comes to babysit. She wants to play, but Hopscotch would much rather be alone in his special “no babysitters allowed” corner. That is until he hears Mrs Honeybunch reading his books all wrong. But is Hopscotch brave enough to help her read them correctly? This sweet funny story will provide ample reassurance to young children (and their worried parents) as they face babysitter night. Even though there’s quite a bit of text, Laura Rankin’s brightly coloured illustrations make it possible for toddlers to follow the story.

Toddle Waddle By Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt (Macmillan Children’s Books, R90) There’s a hullabaloo at the seaside when a toddler takes his friends on a stroll to the end of the pier. Follow-my-leader has never been so much fun! With catchy rhymes and bright, bold pictures even the youngest child will love this simple, playful story. They will also have fun copying the noises: mom’s flops go “flip, flop”, the running dog “hurry and scurry”, the horse’s hooves “clip, clop” and the bicycle bell “ting-aling”. Award-winner Julia Donaldson is one of today’s most popular picture-book authors.


June 2010/July 2010

The Circus Ship By Chris van Dusen

A Child’s Garden – a Story of Hope By Michael Foreman

pick of the month

(Candlewick Press, R195) When a circus ship runs aground, the circus animals stagger to the shore of a small island. It’s not long before locals and animals are sharing the island in harmony. When the greedy circus owner returns, the towns folk and the circus refugees come up with a delightful way to outsmart him. This is a stunning picture book for children four to eight years old.

(Macmillan Children’s Books, R210) In a ruined village, torn apart by war, a barbed wire fence cuts off a little boy from the hills in which he loved to walk. But does a tiny green shoot spell hope? This is a beautifully illustrated tale of healing and renewal from a world-acclaimed children’s book creator Michael Foreman. A Child’s Garden pays tribute to the human spirit in a thoughtful story that you are almost certainly to be touched by as you share it with your children.


for preteens and teens The Silver Spoon for Children – Favourite Italian Recipes By Amanda Grant

for parents the perfect gift

(Phaidon Press, R187) All the recipes in this book have been adapted from Italy’s best-selling cookbook, The Silver Spoon. Each fabulous dish has been tested by an expert in children’s nutrition. There are tips on cooking safely, which kitchen equipment to use, and how to make things as tasty as possible. Every step is explained and illustrated, making the recipes easy to follow. Your little chefs will soon be making their own pizza, ravioli napoletana, lasagne, risotto, focaccia and much more. With this book your children will turn your kitchen into a top-notch Italian eatery in no time!

How To Surf By Miles Masterson (Penguin Books, R119) This is the comprehensive guide to learning to surf in South Africa. Packed with all you need to know about the local surfing lifestyle, this book gives you the knowledge and skills needed to achieve the ultimate freedom of riding the ocean’s waves. From understanding the weather and how waves are created and what conditions are best for beginners to how to execute a cutback and bottom turn – it’s all covered. There are detailed step-by-step illustrations and easy-to-follow instructions to the most basic manoeuvres, chapters on surfing history, types of surfboards, surf travel and the environment.


for grandparents

The Contented Baby with Toddler Book By Gina Ford

The Grandparents’ Book By Miriam Stoppard

(Random House Struik, R185) Introducing a toddler to their new baby brother or sister is an exciting moment. But alongside the joy of having two young children comes the challenge of balancing their different needs. Written in the same reassuring, accessible style as Ford’s best-selling The Contented Little Baby Book, it is full of practical tips and solutions to support busy parents. The easy to follow and adaptable routines are designed to help you structure your day to meet the demands of both your new baby and your toddler.

(Dorling Kindersley Limited, R127) The relationship between grandparent and grandchild is a very special one and can bring some of the happiest times of your life. In The Grandparents’ Book, you’ll discover how to build that unique closeness with wise and friendly advice from childcare expert Miriam Stoppard, a grandmother herself. With sensible guidelines on how to build a wonderful bond with your grandchildren, while respecting parents’ boundaries, this is the personal, practical, real-life guide to how to be the kind of grandparent every child could want.

June 2010/July 2010



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

special events


FUN for children


only for parents


bump, baby & tot in tow


how to help






bump, baby & tot in tow

how to help

Choose from a variety of holiday programmes and activities, get up close to a monster crocodile, explore a market or catch a new show.

Take some time out for yourself with a visit to the theatre, a meditation class or a creative workshop.

Pick a morning to have tea, attend a workshop or just get together with other moms and moms-to-be for support and conversation.

Help out this holiday by donating blood, buying an artwork or giving your time to a worthy cause.

June 2010/July 2010



From world-class surfing and acrobatic aircraft to independent films and edgy interior design, we have a special event to suit every member of the family.


June 2010/July 2010


10am; auditions 10am–3pm. Venue: The Barnyard Theatre, Gateway. Cost: free entry. Contact: 031 566 3045


16 june

VIVA F.E.E.T.A.H. (For Ever Enthusiastic Footballers At Heart) The Cinderella story of one child’s quest among over 100 others to get a prized ticket to the Fifa World Cup. Ends 4 June. Time: 6:30pm. Venue: Gordon Road Girls School, 68 Gordon Rd, Morningside. Cost: adults R40, children R20. Contact: 031 303 2628 Books2You Fair Browse through your favourite book titles by famous authors at affordable prices. Ends 2 June. Also 3–4 June, Winston Park Primary; 8–9 June, Hillcrest Primary. Time: varies. Venue: Berea West Senior Primary, Westville. Cost: free entry. Contact: 031 762 3468

2 june Bafunny Bafunny What if comedy was a sport? Who will represent South Africa at the World Cup of Funny? Eight South African comedians join forces in this show, which celebrates everything local. Time: 8pm. Venue: ICC Durban Arena. Cost: R120–R200. Book through Computicket: 083 915 8000 or visit

3 june Reach For A Dream Music Game Show A quiz show with a difference in conjunction with Sony. Includes dinner. Time: 7pm. Venue: Suzuki showroom, 1 Wilton Crescent, Umhlanga. Cost: R200. Contact: 031 566 2220 or visit

5 june Crafts morning Enjoy a variety of craft activities including beading, facepainting, card-making, T-shirt painting, scrapbooking, pottery, mosaics and woodwork. Food and drinks are on sale. Time: 9am–12:30pm. Venue: 10 Rif Rd, Manor Gardens. Cost: adults R10, children R25. Contact: 031 261 7272 or admin@ SAMBA KZN Winter Social Parents of twins, triplets or more are invited to snack on soup and fresh bread while they meet other parents of multiples. A babymassage demo will take place at 10:30am. Children can take their bikes for a fun race. Time: 10am–noon. Venue: Kloof PrePrimary, Old Main Rd, Kloof. Cost: free entry. Contact: 082 338 2625 or kzn@

Youth Day For more info: visit

5 June – Crafts morning

Wildsfees This annual fundraising event features music, homemade bread, koeksisters and coffee as well as a business showcase. Take your own chairs, cutlery and drinks. A cash bar is available. Time: 5:30pm. Venue: Durban North College. Cost: R120. Contact: 031 564 1347 or 082 772 2923 Health and Beauty Mini Market in aid of John Edward Palmer Residence for the Blind. Time: 8:30am–1pm. Venue: 45 Harris Cres, Sherwood. Cost: free. Contact: 031 208 2263 or

9 june Football Park for Kids Join in the football fun with activity sheets, kick for goal, facepainting and giveaways. Ends 20 June. Time: all day. Venue: La Lucia Mall, Centre Court. Cost: free. For more info: visit

13 june Hills 1000 Paws Walk for SPCA Walk on your own or with your dog. Family entertainment is provided and refreshments are on sale. Time: 9am. Venue: Hilton College. Cost: R25, dogs R10. Contact: 031 764 1212 or

15 june Gateway to Fame auditions Are you a star waiting to be discovered? This talent competition is open to scholars from Grade 1–12. Auditions take place in singing (15– 16 June), dancing (17 June) and general talents (18 June). Entry forms available from The Barnyard Theatre or Gateway information desk. Time: registration 9am–

19 june Go 2 Natural Expo Learn more about organics, recycling and sustainable living. The expo includes family entertainment and demonstrations. Also 20 June. Time: 9am– 4pm. Venue: Giba Gorge Mountainbike Park, Westmead. Cost: adults R50, children R10. Contact: 083 268 3884 or 079 493 4975 or visit Help your child to love reading A practical workshop given by an experienced remedial teacher. Time: 10am–11:30am. Venue: Eagle’s View, 4 Galloway Lane, Winston Park. Cost: R150. Contact: 072 568 8786

20 june Father’s Day Spoil dad with tickets to the hilarious, and insightfull Bend it like Beauty. Radio personality, writer and comic sensation Ben Voss is back with his razorsharp, motor-mouth alter-ego Beauty Ramapelepele, who has fast become a recognised socialite and self-made woman among South Africa’s business and political elite. Ends 27 June. Time: 6pm. Venue: Elizabeth Snedden Theatre, University of KZN. Cost: R55. Contact: 031 260 2296

5 june

SASAD World Showcase of Dance Local dancers will showcase their talent through a variety of dance genres. Time: 2pm and 6pm. Venue: Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. Cost: R60. Book through Computicket: 083 915 8000 or visit

The Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival includes jazz performances, rehearsals, workshops and lectures. Aspiring jazz stars can interact with the country’s top artists. Ends 29 June. Time: consult programme. Venue: Grahamstown. Cost: tbc. For more info: visit

market, crafts fair and family entertainment including children’s carnival and fun fair. Ends 4 July. Time: varies. Venue: Collisheen Estate, Ballito. Cost: varies. Contact: 082 459 9567 or The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Sports, adventure racing, great parties and plenty to occupy the whole family. The Young Oyster Festival caters for children. Ends 11 July. For more info: visit Hairspray Join Tracy Turnblad as she follows her dreams of stardom and challenges racial segregation. Ends 18 July. Time: tbc. Venue: Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. Cost: tbc. Book through Computicket: 083 915 8000 or visit

26 june

10 july

Kitchen garden course Learn how to cultivate an organic kitchen garden for a regular supply of fresh leafy vegetables and herbs. This course offers a practical introduction to food gardening right on your kitchen doorstep. Tea and lunch included. Time: 8:30am–3pm. Venue: The Durban Botanic Gardens Permaculture Centre. Cost: R375. Contact: 031 322 4021, 031 309 1170 or Heritage Charity Market Various charities to benefit plus pony rides and a jumping castle for children. Time: 9am–3pm. Venue: Heritage Market Hilllcrest, Old Main Rd. Cost: free entry. Contact: 031 765 2500

Aloe Steam Festival Enjoy a steam train ride alongside the Gongwaane River. Weekend camping specials. Also 11 July. The train also runs on 3, 4, 17, and 18 July. Time: tbc. Venue: Creighton Station. Cost: tbc. Contact: 083 273 8037

23 june

17 july Durban Air Show Witness incredible aerobatic displays and parachute jumps as well as helicopters, military and civilian jets flying a few hundred metres above

1 july Mr Price Pro Ballito The internationally recognised surfing competition takes place just 30km north of Durban. Popular South African bands also entertain the public with a two-night concert on 9–10 July. Ends 11 July. Time: varies. Venue: Salmon Bay Beach and Surfers’ Beach, Ballito. Cost: free entry. Visit

2 july 9 June – Football Park for Kids


June 2010/July 2010

Ballito Prawn and Jazz Festival Besides gourmet prawns and live jazz artists, visitors can enjoy sporting events, a farmer’s

1 July – Mr Price Pro Ballito durban’s

the runway. Alternatively watch the show from Glen Ashley Preparatory School’s field. Time: tbc. Venue: Virginia Airport. Cost: tbc. For more info: visit Maris Stella Family Fun Day Incorporates food stalls, a beer garden and tea garden as well as fun activities such as sumo wrestling, sand art, water balls and carousel swings. Time: 9am–4pm. Venue: 58 Stephen Dlamini Rd, Berea. Cost: free entry. Contact: 031 209 9426 or visit

20 july

The Sunflower Fund Golf Day in association with Rodel Financial Services and Bond Choice Home Finance. Funds raised assist in building the South African Bone Marrow Registry so children with leukaemia have the hope of finding their donor match. Time: tbc. Venue: Mount Edgecombe Country Club. Cost: R1 500 per four-ball. Contact: 078 207 9041, or visit

22 july The Durban International Film Festival Over 200 screenings of local and international films throughout the city. The festival also sees the return of Talent Campus Durban, an intensive five-day programme of workshops and seminars delivered by film professionals. Ends 1 August. Time: tbc. Venue: varies. Cost: varies. Contact: 031 260 2506, diff@ukzn. or visit

23 july East Coast Radio House and Garden Show A highlight this year is the awardwinning London Chelsea Flower Show display from Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. Ends 1 August. Time: Monday–Thursday 10am–9pm; Friday– Saturday 10am–10pm; Sunday 10am– 8pm. Venue: Durban Exhibition Centre. Cost: tbc. Contact: 031 303 5941 or visit 10 July – Aloe Steam Festival

22 July – The Durban International Film Festival

24 july John Wesley School open day View the school and its facilities. Time: 9am. Venue: 30 Bamboo Lane, Pinetown. Cost: free. Contact: 031 701 5603

31 july Gordon Road Girls’ fun day Sample Indian, Chinese, Hawaiian, South African, Italian and American cuisine. Activities include a mechanical bull, water balls, bungee trampoline, quad bikes, foefie slide, carousel swings and pony rides. Time: 8:30am–2:30pm. Venue: 69 Gordon Rd, Morningside. Cost: free entry. Contact: 031 303 2628 ADHASA (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Support Group) Conference Also 1 August. Time: 8am– 4:30pm. Venue: tbc. Cost: tbc. Contact:

FUN FOR CHILDREN art, culture and science artSPACE A joint exhibition between the KwaZulu-Natal branch of Ceramics Southern Africa (CSA) and The Garrett Artists, includes interesting ceramics and lino prints. The exhibit takes place in the main gallery from 31 May–19 June. Other exhibits include ConglomerART from 21 June–10 July and En Route from 12–31 July. Time: Monday–Friday 10am–4pm; Saturday 10am–1pm. Venue: 3 Millar Rd, Durban. Cost: free entry. Contact: 031 312 0793 or Phezulu Village Experience Zulu culture by visiting the Gasa clan, who explain their rituals and traditions and perform traditional dancing. Entry includes a visit to the crocodile and snake park. Optional game drives on the hour every hour. Open daily from 8am– 4:30pm. Dancing at 10am, 11:30am, 2pm and 3:30pm. Venue: Old Main Rd, Botha’s Hill. Cost: R90, game drive R120. For more info: visit

classes, talks and workshops Dharma for Children These classes introduce meditation to children ages 5–12 years. 20 June and 11 July. Time: 10am– 11am. Venue: Mahasiddha Buddhist durban’s

June 2010/July 2010


The World Football Exhibition Hosted by Old Mutual MTN Sciencentre in association with Globex Sports Exhibition. Discover what makes football so exciting as you learn about its history and current trends. Interactive displays and rare football memorabilia on display. 4 June–23 July. Time: tbc. Venue: Gateway Theatre of Shopping. Cost: tbc. Contact: 031 566 8040 or visit

Centre, 2 Hollings Rd, Malvern. Cost: R10 per class. For more info: 031 464 0984 or Help your child to love reading A practical workshop given by an experienced remedial teacher. Time: 10am–11:30am. Venue: Eagle’s View, 4 Galloway Lane, Winston Park. Cost R150. Contact: 072 568 8786 Moms’ and children’s DIY workshops Presented by DIY Divas and Pritt KidsArt. Refreshments and snacks provided. 15, 17, 22, 24, 29 June. Time: 9am–noon. Venue:

Horseback Beach Adventures Enjoy a leisurely two-hour beach ride on horseback. At least one experienced guide accompanies every ride. Friday–Wednesday by appointment only. Venue: adjacent Durban International Airport. Cost: R250. Contact: 084 467 0752 or horsebackbeachadventures.

Builders Express, Umhlanga. Cost: R250. For more info: or visit New Daisy Arts Studio Offers lessons in drawing skills, painting and sculpture. Classes are suitable for children 6–10 years with more advanced classes for 11 years and older. Adults also welcome. Time: weekdays 10am–noon and 3:30pm–5:30pm; Saturday (age 11 and up) 9am–11am, (age 6–10 years) 11am–12:30pm. Venue: 65 Ethelbert Rd, Malvern. Cost: R250 per month. Contact: 073 540 9210 or daniella. Tots n Pots children’s cooking workshops Children learn more about nutrition as they enjoy fun cooking and baking activities. For ages 3–10 years. Time: varies. Venue: multiple locations. Cost: tbc. Contact: 083 266 5615 or visit

family outings @tap coffee corner Parents can relax with a cuppa while children enjoy the large safe playground. Don’t miss their big-screen story-time at 10am on Saturday. Time: Tuesday–Friday 9am–4pm; Saturday 8am–2pm. Venue: 20 MacKeurtan Ave, Durban North. Cost: free entry. Contact: 031 563 2678 or 031 563 0882 Durban Ice Rink is open seven days a week. There are five skate sessions daily, each two hours long. Don’t forget to take socks! Time: varies. Venue: 81 Somtseu Rd, Durban. Cost: R40 (includes hire of ice skates). For more info: 031 332 4597, info@durbanicerink. or visit Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust Tea Garden This family venue offers a jumping castle, creativity corner, and an art and crafts shop. Open the first Saturday of each month. Time: 8am–noon. Venue: 26 Old Main Rd, Hillcrest. Cost: free. For more info: 031 765 5866 or visit Hybrid Living incorporates a garden centre, Sage restaurant, Pure organic store, Shine spa and children’s playground. Parents can browse or have a meal while children entertain themselves in the Grubby Knees garden. Time: 8am–4pm. Venue: 1 Old Fort Rd, Umhlali (exit 214 from highway). Cost: free entry. Contact: 032 525 5115 or visit The Inchanga Choo Choo makes its way from Kloof to Inchanga and back along the edge of the Valley of a Thousand Hills. 6, 12, 20, 27 June and 4, 25 July. Time: 8:30am and 12:30pm. Venue: Kloof Station (Stoker’s Arms). Cost: adults R150, children R120. For more info: 031 303 3003 or visit

finding nature and outdoor play 1000 Hills Bird Park is home to many rare and exotic birds. Time: 8am–4pm. Venue: 1 Clement Stott Rd, Botha’s Hill (old Heidi’s Farm Stall). Cost: adults R25, children R15. Contact: 072 927 8242 Crocodile Creek is home to 7 000 monster crocodiles, alligators, caiman, slender– snouted and dwarf crocs. See baby crocs hatching. Taste crocodile specialties at The


June 2010/July 2010

Dangerous Creatures

Water Hole. Open daily. Time: 9am–5pm, guided tours at 10am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 2pm and 3pm. Feedings at 11am and 3pm. Venue: Tongaat. Contact: 032 944 3845 or CROW Support this wildlife hospital and gain an insight into the rehabilitation of wildlife on the guided tour. Open to the public on the last Sunday of each month. Time: gates open 10:30am, tour starts 11am. Venue: 2 Coedmore Ave, Yellowwood Park. Cost: R20. Contact: 031 462 1127, or Dangerous Creatures Dare to face some of the world’s fastest and most poisonous reptiles such as the king cobra, black mamba, anaconda, Nile crocodiles, poison dart frogs, tarantulas, Gila monster lizards and more. Open daily. Time: 10am–5pm. Venue: uShaka Marine World. Cost: R25. Contact: 031 328 8000 or visit Duck and Deck animal farm A chance for children to touch, feel and interact with animals. Closed Mondays. Time: 9:30am– 4:30pm. Venue: 3 Willow Way, Assagay. Cost: R15. For more info: 031 768 1029 or visit KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board Enjoy an audiovisual presentation followed by a shark dissection. Stroll through the display hall with lifelike replicas of sharks, fish and rays. Time: Tuesday–Thursday 9am and 2pm; Sunday 2pm. Venue: 1a Herrwood Dr, Umhlanga. Cost: adults R30, children R15. Contact: 031 566 0499 or visit The Animal Farmyard offers daily milking demonstrations as well as a playground, pony and tractor rides and foefie slide. Open Monday–Sunday 9am– 4:30pm; milking at 10:30am and 3:30pm. Venue: 3 Lello Rd, Botha’s Hill. Cost: entry fee R10, rides R4. Contact: 031 765 2240 or visit

holiday activities @tap on MacKeurtan holiday programme includes games, crafts, storytime and free play time followed by two hours of quiet time and movies. Juice and biscuits included. Monday–Friday 7:15am– 2:30pm. Venue: Durban North Baptist Church, 20 MacKeurtan Ave, Durban North. Cost: until 12:30pm, R30 per day; until 2:30pm, R40 per day. Contact: 031 563 2678 or 031 563 0882 Broadacres holiday club for children aged 2–5 years. Time: 7:15am–5pm. Venue: 17 St Kilda Ave, Durban North. Cost: tbc. Contact: 031 564 7848 Care Bears Wonderland Offers holiday care for children up to Grade 3. Snack and juice included. Time: 7am–5:30pm. Venue: 3 Bradford Place, Pinetown. Cost: half-day till 2pm, R960; full-day, R1 200. Contact Nila: 031 709 3460 or 082 855 0132

@tap coffee corner durban’s

Celebrate Soccer at the newly revamped City View Shopping Centre with competitions, a soccer court and a drop-off Action Sports holiday clinic. Activities run from 11 June–11 July except for the soccer court, which opens on 18 June. Time: soccer court, 10am–2pm; Action Sports sessions vary. Venue: 10 Mathews Mayiwa Road, Greyville. Cost: tbc. Contact: 031 309 6737 Celebrate Soccer Fever at Build-ABear Workshop There are soccer bears, soccer kits and even Zakumi. You can stuff him, dress him and take him home. Learn the Diski Dance in-store this holiday and receive a commemorative certificate. For more info: visit Children’s pony camps with 24-hour adult supervision and lessons twice daily. Camps run weekly from Sunday–Saturday. Time: daily camps 7:15am–6:30pm. Venue: Outlaw Equestrian Farm, 16 Kundalila Rd,

KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board


Waterfall. Cost: R1 250 (weekly) or R300 (daily). Contact Bev: 031 766 1185 or 083 743 5192 Clamber Club open days Enjoy their new garden with your child. Monday–Friday, 14 June–9 July. Time: 9am–4:30pm. Venue: Hellenic Hall, High Grove Rd, Durban North. Cost: R20. Contact: 074 101 2616 Football Park for Kids Join in the football fun including activity sheets, kick for goal, face-painting and giveaways. Ends 20 June. Time: all day. Venue: La Lucia Mall. Cost: free. For more info: visit Happy Days holiday club Soccerrelated activities, creative crafts, baking, outdoor games and more. Facilites include sensopathic trays, sandpit, a jungle gym and a supervised trampoline. Take a snack and juice. 10–18 June and 5–9 July. Time: 7:30am–noon. Venue: 8 Robertson Ave, Kloof. Cost: R50 per morning. Contact: 031 764 1778 or happydayspp@ Helen O’Grady Holiday Stage School A one-week workshop for ages 7–18 years. Enrolment open 6 June. Time: 9am-noon. Venue: Durban North/ Berea. Cost: R750. Contact: 072 345 0874 Hippo Corner Preschool holiday club From 14 June–9 July. Time: 8am–

Happy Days holiday club

4:30pm. Venue: Cabana Beach Hotel. Cost: R60 per day. Contact: 031 561 2371 ext 118 Holiday boot camp and paintball day A fun programme incorporating physical activities such as a commando course, mudcrawling and mini hikes. Camp Echo: 23

June–24 June, Camp Foxtrot: 1 July, Camp Golf: 7 July and 8 July. Time: 7:15am–5:30pm. Venue: Giba Gorge Valley, Westmead. Cost: R225–R350 per day. Contact: 031 701 7282 or visit Huntersfield equestrian holiday camps for riders and non-riders. Children are supervised and kept busy with games, hiking, campfires, horse-riding, scavenger hunts and more. Camps run weekly during the holidays from Sunday–Saturday. Venue: Leckhampton Valley. Cost: R1 250. For more info: 083 778 3672 or barbara@ Joyce Broadhead holiday club runs from 10 June–2 July. Time: tbc. Venue: 62 Silverton Rd, Durban. Cost: R70 per day. Contact: 083 242 1677 Kandies Kids holiday programme Daily activities and free play. 11 June– 11 July. Time: 7am–5:15pm. Venue: 5 Beachway, Durban North. Cost: R70 per day, includes meals. Contact: 031 573 2210 or King’s Camps Activity day-camps for ages 4–17 years. The camps combine a holiday club, sports camp and activity holiday. 21– 25 June or 28 June–2 July. Time: varies. Venue: Highbury Prep School. Cost: from R600. For more info: 031 100 1101 or visit Little Chefs holiday baking presented by Food Inc. Ages 4 years and upwards. All ingredients provided as well as a hotdog.

June 2010/July 2010


Holiday boot camp and paintball day

18, 24, 25 June. Time: 9am–noon. Venue: 6 Sackville Place, Durban North. Cost: R100. Contact Linda: 082 836 9365 Little Leaders Pre-School holiday programme Entertaining activities to keep preschool and pre-primary school children busy during the holiday. All meals included. Time: 6:30am–5:15pm. Venue: 29 Harrison Dr, Glenhills. Cost: R80 per day. Contact: 031 564 0833 or visit littleleaderspreschool.

Montessori Life boutique holiday club Includes fun craft activities, games, music and outdoor play. 14 June– 10 July. Time: 7:30am–5pm. Venue: 7 Little Nook, Village of Sunningdale, Umhlanga. Cost: half-day, R70; full-day R110. Contact: 072 444 7277 or visit

Tots n Pots children’s cooking workshops Children learn more about nutrition as they enjoy fun cooking and baking activities. For ages 3–10 years. Time: varies. Venue: multiple locations. Cost: phone to enquire. Contact: 083 266 5615 or visit Woodside Play School Open throughout the holiday on a casual basis for children from newborn–5 years. Lunch included. Time: 7am–5pm. Venue: Westville Methodist Church, 38 Jan Hofmeyer Rd, Westville. Cost: R60 per day. Contact: 031 266 7369

markets Essenwood Market Fresh food, children’s activities and a range of stalls. Every Saturday. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Essenwood Rd. Cost: free entry. Contact: 031 208 1264 or visit Farmer’s Market Non-refrigerated fresh produce. Time: 10am–1pm. Venue: Jimmy Bellows Sport Field, Westville (Thursday); Autumn Drive, Umhlanga (Wednesday); Amanzimtoti Sports Club (Tuesday). Cost: free entry. Contact Rob: 082 413 1887 Fever Tree Market Stroll under the yellowwood trees while shopping at a variety of stalls. Every second Sunday. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Claremont Farm, Salt Rock. Cost: free entry. Contact: 082 775 3998 or 082 336 3222 Golden Hours Family Market Fundraising initiative of Golden Hours Special School. Safe parking, adventure playground, breakfasts and roast lunches. Every Sunday. Time: 10:30am–3:30pm. Venue: Uitsig Rd, Durban North. Cost: free. Contact Lyn: 083 262 3693 i heart market A food and design market showcasing locally produced clothes, jewellery, ceramics, accessories, children’s clothes and toys, food and fresh veggies. Time: 8:30am–1pm. Venue: DLI Hall, 5 DLI Ave, Greyville. Cost: free entry. Contact: 079 496 4788 or thejoyteam@ Shongweni Farmer’s and Craft Market Gourmet food, organic and local produce and crafts. Every Saturday. Time: 6:30am–10am. Venue: cnr Kassier and Alverstone Roads, Assagay. Cost: Free. Contact Christine: 083 777 1674 or

family marketplace

Little Chefs holiday baking

Moms’ and Children’s DIY workshops presented by DIY Divas and Pritt KidsArt. Refreshments and snacks provided. 15, 17, 22, 24, 29 June. Time: 9am–noon. Venue: Builders Express, Umhlanga. Cost: R250. Contact or visit Reggie’s Rush Two children per Reggie’s store get the chance to do the 30-second Reggie’s Rush. Prizes include Nintendo Wiis and thousands of rands worth of toys for 12 lucky contestants. Entry forms are available in Reggie’s stores countrywide. Entries close on 14 June. For more info: 011 606 3700 or visit Rising Star holiday workshops Three performing arts workshops to keep your children active. 22– 24 June, 29 June–1 July, 6–8 July. Time: 9am–noon, 5–10 years; 1pm– 4pm, 11–17 years. Venue: Westville Theatre Club, Attercliffe Rd, Westville. Cost: R450 per workshop, discount offered on multiple workshops. Contact: 083 326 3257 or visit Sapling 2010 holiday club Daily activities include colouringin, dancing, games, story-time and educational facts about the countries taking part in the Fifa World Cup. 14 June–9 July. Time: tbc. Venue: tbc. Cost: half-day R40, full-day R60. Contact: 083 771 4492 or

Science of Sport holiday programme Features interactive and educational workshops for children including a Diski Dance workshop and the chance to make a vuvuzela. Children will learn about the various countries participating in the Fifa World Cup and take part in other fun soccer activities. 4 June–23 July. Time: tbc. Venue: Old Mutual MTN Sciencentre, Gateway Theatre of Shopping. Cost: tbc. Contact: 031 566 8040 Small World Pre-Primary holiday club Free play includes water play, sand play, climbing, biking, games and art. Toddlers to Grade R. Open throughout the holiday. Time: 7am–5pm. Venue: 11 Heaton Nicholls Rd, Kloof. Cost: R50 per day. Contact: 031 764 4765 Sugar Bay Soccer World Cup holiday camps Beach activities, indoor and outdoor sports, art, crafts and games. Each camp runs for seven days. 13 June–11 July. Venue: 21 Nkwasi Dr, Zinkwazi. Cost: from R3 575 per week. Contact: 032 485 3778 or visit Teen Survivor Cooking A three-day workshop for ages 14 and older. Learn basic cooking skills. Time: 8:30am–1:30pm. Venue: 6 Sackville Place, Durban North. Cost: R800. Contact Linda: 082 836 9365


June 2010/July 2010


a children’s playground. First and third Saturday of each month. Time: 9am-1pm. Venue: Seaforth Avenue, Foxhill. Cost: free entry. Contact: 084 205 6151 or jeremy@

on stage and screen

Book market Meet friends for light refreshments and let the children enjoy the large playground while you browse through secondhand books. Every Wednesday. Time: 10am–3pm. Venue: Golden Hours Family Market, Uitsig Rd, Durban North. Cost: free entry. Contact: 031 208 2251 or 083 262 3693

The Food Market A proudly home-grown KwaZulu-Natal food initiative featuring farm-fresh food, chef demos, organic produce, gourmet gifting, children’s corner, harvest tables, tea garden and more. Last Saturday of every month. Time: 8am–2pm. Venue: The Hellenic Community Centre, Durban North. Cost: free entry. Contact: 083 777 5633, 083 7070 531 or visit The Litchi Orchard Farmers Market A covered market featuring live music and

Good Luck Charlie A brand new series about the adventures of the Duncan family. When their parents return to work, PJ, Teddy and Gabe must pitch in and help take care of their new baby sister. Airs 19 June on The Disney Channel, DStv channel 303. Time: 9:40am Grimm Tales For children aged 6–12 years. 15 June–11 July. Time: 11.30am. Venue: The Amphitheatre at Durban Botanic Gardens. Cost: tbc. Contact: 031 309 1170 or visit Hairspray Join Tracy Turnblad as she follows her dreams of stardom and fights racial segregation. 2–18 July. Time: varies. Venue: Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. Cost: varies. Book through Computicket: 083 915 8000 or Sally Sunshine’s Amazing Suitcase A children’s production aimed at ages 3– 6 years. 15 June–11 July. Time: 10am. Venue: The Amphitheatre at Durban Botanic Gardens. Cost: tbc. Contact: 031 309 1170, 073 902 8889 or visit Toy Story 3 As Andy prepares to depart for college, Buzz, Woody and the rest of his loyal toys are troubled about their uncertain future. Featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and Joan Cusack. Opens 18 June at 3D and 25 June at other cinemas countrywide.

playtime and story-time Books and Books children’s storytime Every Saturday. Time: 10am. Venue: Shop 42 Kensington Square, 53 Kensington Dr, Durban North. Cost: free. For more info: 031 563 6288 or booksandbooks@ Children’s story-time A story followed by a craft or activity. For ages 3–8 years. Every Saturday. Time: 10am. Venue: 26 Rockview Rd, Amanzimtoti. Cost: free. Contact: 031 903 6692 or Steam train rides Visit the Durban Society of Model Engineers and ride a miniature steam engine. Playground available and tea/coffee on sale. Open the second and fourth Sunday of each month. Time: 11am–4pm. Venue: 4 Hinton Grove, Virginia. Cost: R5 per train ride. Contact Jimmy: 083 284 6469

sports and physical activities The Dolphin Mile Surf Swim Series A one-mile swim out to sea and back. Open to swimmers aged 10 years and older. 6 June and 25 July. Time: registration 7am, swim 8am. Venue: uShaka Pier. Cost: R60. Contact Heather: 082 320 7083, The Rock Brave the world’s highest indoor climbing wall. Time: Monday–Thursday 10am–7pm; Friday 10am–9pm; Saturday 9am–9pm; Sunday 9am–6pm. Venue: Gateway Theatre of Shopping. Cost: R40. For more info: 031 584 9400

only for parents classes, talks and workshops

Good Luck Charlie


BAT Centre Poetry Circle Established and aspiring poets meet to read their pieces, discuss their writing, offer praise and criticism and inspire one another. Every Wednesday. Time: 5pm–7pm. Venue: 45 Maritime Place, Durban. Cost: free. For more info: 031 332 0451 or visit Meditation Classes for Moms Learn to be peaceful and positive. Every Tuesday morning. Time: 8:30am–9:30am. Venue: Maitreya Buddhist Centre, 76 Springside Rd, Hillcrest. Cost: R25. Contact: 031 765 2162, or visit

The Dolphin Mile Surf Swim Series

Meryl’s School of Cooking offers a variety of courses, including bread-making, braai side-dishes, Thai food and a course for domestic workers. Contact Meryl: 031 764 6577, or visit Mosaic Workshop by Jane du Rand. This five-day course is for those who wish to pursue the art of mosaic as a career or for DIY projects around the home. 21 June–25 June. Time: 8:30am–4:30pm. Venue: Bellair, Durban. Cost: R3 575. For more info: 031 465 9049, tamryn@durandmosaic. or visit

on stage and screen All You Need is Love pays tribute to The Beatles and the ’60s. Listen to favourites such as “Hey Jude”, “Can’t buy me love”, “Yellow Submarine”, “Eight Days a Week” and more. 1 June–11 July. Time: varies. Venue: The Barnyard Theatre, Gateway. Cost: R85–R120. Contact: 031 566 3045 or visit Bafunny Bafunny What if comedy was a sport? Eight South African comedians join forces in this show, which celebrates everything local. 2 June. Time: 8pm. Venue: ICC Durban Arena. Cost: R120–R200. Book through Computicket: 083 915 8000 or visit Rock Legends Guitarist Barry Thomson and vocalist Dave Birch entertain with hits from bands like Pink Floyd, The Who, Cream, Bad Company, Deep Purple and many more. Time: varies. Venue: The Heritage Theatre, Hillcrest. Cost: varies. Contact: 031 765 4197 or visit

June 2010/July 2010


support groups

support groups

Childhood cancer parent support group CHOC schedules regular support meetings. Time: tbc. Venue: tbc. Cost: free. Contact Gill: 084 831 3683 or visit

Moms and Babes support group meets monthly for a talk. 8 June and 6 July. Time: 9am–10:30am. Venue: Alberlito Hospital, Ballito. Cost: free. For more info: 032 946 6956 or 032 946 1826 Reach Out! Touching Lives with Love Bimonthly support meeting for moms

bump, baby & Tot in tow

who have babies and children with a cleft palate or lip. Moms can enjoy tea and share their experiences with other moms in a similar situation. Children welcome. 19 June. Time: tbc. Venue: Toptots Berea, 2 Gwyneth Place, Glenmore. Cost: free. Contact: 084 245 0462

how to help

classes, talks and workshops SAMBA Expectant Parents Seminar For parents expecting twins, triplets or more. Learn about prematurity, breastfeeding, routines and more. 17 July. Time: 12:30pm–5pm. Venue: Caritas Boardroom, St. Augustine’s Netcare Hospital. Cost: members R120 per couple, non-members R150 per couple. Contact: 082 338 2625 or visit Toptots tea morning An informal gettogether for moms and children. Children can enjoy juice, a snack, and a creative activity while moms have tea and cake. 1 June and 8 June. Time: 9am–noon. Venue: 2 Gwyneth Place, Glenmore. Cost: adults R30, children R20. Contact Marinda: 084 245 0462 or

playtime and story-time Clamber Club open days A chance to play with your child in the brand new Clamber Club garden. Monday–Friday, 14 June–9 July. Time: 9am–4:30pm. Venue: Hellenic Hall, High Grove Rd, Durban North. Cost: R20. Contact: 074 101 2616

Moms and Tots and Moms and Babes Workshops An interactive programme designed to build and enhance relationships through play and fun activities. Time: various. Venue: 109 Clark Rd, Glenwood. Cost: tbc. Contact: 083 243 3143 or 083 236 8121 or visit or

everyONEcounts A public-benefits organisation, which serves as a platform to raise awareness and funding for associations that are already over-extended in fulfilling their mandates. The current campaign is raising funds to support Shepherd’s Keep, a home for abandoned babies. They are calling on 1 000 artists around the globe to donate a 30cm x 30cm piece of art for an exhibition where submissions will be sold for R1 000 each. Help by spreading the word, donating or purcashing a piece of art. For more info: visit everyonecounts. or South African National Blood Service Calls for all South African citizens to donate blood to increase supplies during the 2010

Fifa World Cup. Donor centres are located throughout the province as well as at mobile clinics in major shopping centres during the school holiday. Only South African residents are eligible to donate. For more info on a donor centre or mobile clinic near you: visit The Smile Foundation Celebrates its 10th birthday this year and is committed to helping impoverished and facially disfigured children. During National Smile Week (7–11 June), operations are scheduled for over 50 facially disfigured children. Support them by volunteering or making a donation. For more info: visit South African National Blood Service

don’t miss out! For a free listing, email your event to or fax it to 031 207 3429. Information must be received by 9 July for the August issue. Information submitted for the calendar must include all relevant details and no guarantee can be given that it will be published.

2010 Fifa World Cup Durban matches Date



13 June


Germany vs Australia

16 June


Spain vs Switzerland

19 June


Netherlands vs Japan

22 June


Nigeria vs Korea Republic

25 June


Portugal vs Brazil

28 June


Round of 16

07 July



Fifa Fan Fest No ticket for the game? Join thousands of other soccer fans at Durban’s official fan park with giant screens, pre- and post-game entertainment and food and beverage facilities. Durban’s Fan Fest is the only fan park situated on the beach, a mere 3,5km walk from Moses Mabhida Stadium along the newly renovated beach promenade. The fan park has a capacity of 25 000 and will be open on all match-playing days from 10am until late. Admission is free of charge. Contact: or visit


June 2010/July 2010

Moses Mabhida Stadium 44 Isaiah Ntshangase Rd, Durban From informative stadium tours to adrenalin-packed jumps, Moses Mabhida Stadium offers attractions suitable for every age. All attractions will be closed during the Fifa exclusive-use period from 24 May–12 July. Contact: 031 582 8242 or visit The SkyCar Ride the Skycar to the viewing platform at the top of the arch where you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the beachfront and city. Open Monday–Sunday, 9am–6pm with the last trip at 5:30pm. Cost: adults R50, children R25, under 6 free. The SkyWalk A 550-step climb to the viewing platform on the top of the arch – the walk is performed with safety equipment and under the supervision of qualified instructors. Walks take place at 10am, 1pm and 4pm daily but are weather dependent so call ahead. Cost: R80. No children under 10. Stadium Tours The general tour lasts 30 minutes and explores the main stadium, seating area and pitch. The professional tour lasts 90 minutes and explores the VIP suites, atrium, change rooms, players’ tunnel, pitch and more. Open Tuesdays–Sundays. General tours take place on the hour, every hour between 9am–4pm. Professional tours leave at 10am, noon, 2pm and 4pm. Cost: general R15–R20, professional R75, under 6 free. No prams are allowed on the tours. The BigRush Big Swing Launch yourself off the side of the arch into the void below, 106m above the pitch and swing out in a 220m arc. Qualified staff provide safety equipment and instruction. Open 9am–5pm daily. Jumps are weather permitting so call ahead. Cost: R595. Contact: 031 332 3250 or visit



party time


June 2010/July 2010


last laugh

mommy’s hobbies What should moms do with their time off? SAM WILSON has a maternal crisis of activity.


t recently occurred to me that my major hobby has been, well, going out for a few drinks with the girls. Or the boys. Or a combination of both. I don’t think I’m that unusual. And if it’s not that often, I’m not driving, and it sends me back to my family recharged, that’s not such a bad thing, is it? I didn’t used to think so. But now, as my sons grow older, I’ve become concerned that they are going to think that the odd night on the town equates to Mommy’s only hobby. “Don’t be such a drama queen,” said Andreas, when I explained my theory to him. “Okay, then riddle me this, Mr Enabler,” I replied. (I overreact when people tell me I am overreacting.) “What are my hobbies?” ’Dreas did that quizzical side-to-side eye


June 2010/July 2010

thing that scientists do when an answer isn’t immediately apparent. This resulted in a rather laden pause, which was all I needed to fuel my mini-freak out. “See? See?” This was about a month ago. And I am happy to report that, just over four weeks later, I am positively awash with hobbies. The onset of winter has helped. I dug out my knitting needles and dragged the boys down to the wool shop to choose colours for striped V-neck sweaters. They were terribly, terribly sweet about it, even though every primary schooler much prefers a fleecy top to a mommy-made double knit. The only children who actually need knitwear are little girls who need ballet jerseys, and even my sweet boys won’t go that far to appease their mom’s new obsession.

Knitting is much more fun than I remember. Admittedly, I did learn to knit when I was a wee person at a strict convent school, so it took me a while to rid myself of the need to powder my palms before putting wool ’round needle and to exorcise the urge to raise my hand proudly every time I completed an error-free row. The secret of knitting, I have discovered, is that it makes sitting on the sofa watching TV feel positively industrious. Knitting is the new-millennium equivalent of spinning your own yarn – quaint, but cool, if you can do it. Next, I unearthed my yoga mat. This was also very rewarding, mostly because I can still do a pretty solid headstand, which impressed the children quite comprehensively. I may be slightly less

supple than when last the yoga mat and I met, but at least I am now more relaxed about calling 10 minutes of the Corpse Pose “exercise”. However, the pièce de résistance was reframing some of my household duties. Walking the dogs counts as a hobby. As does cooking dinner. And weirdly enough, both have become much more fun… thanks to this simple renaming. I am always surprised by how much a mere perspective change can make everything all right again. I might even drink to that thought. Sam Wilson is the Editor-in-chief of, and She has knitted her boss Deirdre a purple, brown and pink winter scarf. Deirdre is less than delighted.



Joe, Sam and Benj

Child Magazine | Durban June/July 2010  

Durban's best guide for parents.

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